Effects of 2 G hypergravity exposure on Bobwhite (Colinus virginianus) and Japanese quail (Coturnix coturnix japonica).J Gravit Physiol. 2004 Jul; 11(2):P241-2.JG
We compared reproductive fitness and early postnatal growth of Bobwhite (Colinus virginianus) and Japanese (Coturnix coturnix japonica) quail incubated and hatched during 2 G centrifugation. Fertilized Bobwhite and Japanese quail eggs were placed in portable incubators on the 8-ft International Space Station Test Bed (ISSTB) Centrifuge at NASA Ames Research Center. The quail eggs were incubated throughout hatching and reared until Postnatal day (P)4 at either 1.0, 1.2 or 2.0 G. Two days before hatching, candling revealed significantly greater numbers of viable Bobwhite than Japanese quail eggs at all g-loads. Bobwhite quail exhibited significantly better hatching success at all g-loads than did Japanese quail. Bobwhite hatchlings were sensitive to gravitational loading as evidenced by reduced postnatal body mass and length of 2 G hatchlings relative to 1 G control hatchlings. In contrast, mass and length of Japanese quail hatchlings were unaffected by 1.2 or 2 G exposure. Together, our findings provide evidence for superior viability and hatching success in Bobwhite quail relative to Japanese quail, coupled with greater sensitivity of postnatal body growth and development to 2 G loading. Bobwhite quail may be better suited than Japanese quail for scientific studies on space biology platforms.