Pheromones in Vertebrates

Abstract

Pheromones are chemical signals, released from a donor individual, that elicit a specific response in a recipient of the same species. They are generally classified into two types: releaser pheromones produce a relatively rapid, behavioural effect, while primer pheromones lead to longer term physiological or developmental changes in the recipient animal. The use of pheromones as a method of communication is widespread amongst organisms from bacteria to humans.

Keywords: primer pheromone; releaser pheromone; vomeronasal organ; puberty acceleration

Further Reading

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Barrett J, Abbott DH and George LM (1993) Sensory cues and the suppression of reproduction in subordinate female marmoset monkeys, Callithrix jacchus. Journal of Reproduction and Fertility 97: 301–310.

Novotny MV, Ma W, Weisler D and Zídek L (1999) Positive identification of the puberty‐accelerating pheromone of the house mouse: the volatile ligands associating with the major urinary protein. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 266: 2017–2022.

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How to Cite close
Faulkes, Chris G(Apr 2001) Pheromones in Vertebrates. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. http://www.els.net [doi: 10.1038/npg.els.0001847]