An appraisal of how the vitamin A-redox hypothesis can maintain honesty of carotenoid-dependent signals

Simons, M. J. P., Groothuis, T. G. G. & Verhulst, S., Jan-2015, In : Ecology and Evolution. 5, 1, p. 224-228 5 p.

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The vitamin A-redox hypothesis provides an explanation for honest signaling of phenotypic quality by carotenoid-dependent traits. A key aspect of the vitamin A-redox hypothesis, applicable to both yellow and red coloration, is the hypothesized negative feedback of tightly regulated Vitamin A plasma levels on the enzyme responsible for sequestering both Vitamin A and carotenoids from the gut. We performed a meta-analysis and find that vitamin A levels are positively related to carotenoid plasma levels (r=0.50, P=0.0002). On the basis of this finding and further theoretical considerations, we propose that the vitamin A-redox hypothesis is unlikely to explain carotenoid-dependent honest signaling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)224-228
Number of pages5
JournalEcology and Evolution
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan-2015


  • Birds, carotenoids, coloration, meta-analysis, sexual selection, OXIDATIVE STRESS, FLIGHT PERFORMANCE, ZEBRA FINCH, SUPPLEMENTATION, ANTIOXIDANTS, HEALTH

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