Ontogenetic changes in innate immune function in captive and wild subspecies of prairie-chickens (Tympanuchus cupido spp.)

Samuel A. Meier, Carol Fassbinder-Orth, William H. Karasov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


The Attwater's prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus cupido attwateri), a federally endangered grouse species, is currently experiencing high chick mortality in wild populations and the causes are unknown. We tested 3 indicators of innate immunity (hemaggluttination, serum lysozyme, and total immunoglobulin [IgY] levels) in the Attwater's prairie-chicken and a closely related sub-species, the greater prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus cupido pinnatus). Agglutination titers were approximately 25% higher in the juvenile and adult Attwater's prairie-chickens compared to equivalently aged greater prairie-chickens. Additionally, total IgY levels in wild-collected Attwater's prairie-chicken egg samples were 34% higher than IgY levels in captive greater prairie-chickens or Attwater's prairie-chicken eggs. These results suggest that differences in innate immune function exist between these sub-species and also among Attwater's prairie-chicken subpopulations that are exposed to different environmental conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)633-638
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Wildlife Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2013


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Ecology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

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