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Control of annual gonadal cycles in Indian songbirds

Dixit, Anand S., Jain Gupta, Neelu, Dwivedi, Vatsala, Bhardwaj, Sanjay K.
Biological rhythm research 2017 v.48 no.5 pp. 701-721
anterior pituitary, breeding, breeding programs, breeding season, follicle-stimulating hormone, food availability, gonads, hypothalamus, luteinizing hormone, photoperiod, rain, songbirds, steroids, summer, temperature, triiodothyronine, India
Reproduction is a part of life cycle with great environmental dependence. In contrast to temperate avian species, which mostly breed during summer, the Indian songbirds have more flexible breeding programs and exhibit a spectrum of reproductive strategies with the breeding season scattered all over the year. Control of breeding cycles in the Indian songbirds, therefore, are broadly viewed in light of two strategies (i) birds showing strong photoperiodic component in regulation of reproductive and post-reproductive events (ii) birds that do not exhibit typical photoperiodic regulation indicating the involvement of an inherent rhythm of reproduction. Both circadian and circannual rhythms have been demonstrated to regulate annual gonadal cycles of Indian songbirds. While photoperiod continues to be a predominant proximate factor for timing of breeding in majority of Indian songbirds investigated so far, some studies reveal the role of non photoperiodic cues such as the food availability, temperature, rainfall, etc. in timing/modulating the timing of breeding. The conversion or non-conversion of thyroxine to triiodothyronine may act as a long or short photoperiod signal and may up or downregulate the synthesis and release of GnRH-I in hypothalamus, FSH and LH in anterior pituitary and gonadal steroids in gonads causing gonadal growth or regression, respectively.