Transcriptomic signatures of social experience during early development in a highly social cichlid fish

Nyman, Cecilia; Hebert, Francois Olivier; Bessert‐Nettelbeck, Mathilde; Aubin‐Horth, Nadia; Taborsky, Barbara (2020). Transcriptomic signatures of social experience during early development in a highly social cichlid fish. Molecular Ecology, 29(3), pp. 610-623. Wiley 10.1111/mec.15335

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The social environment encountered early during development can temporarily or permanently influence life history decisions and behaviour of individuals and correspondingly shape molecular pathways. In the highly social cichlid fish Neolamprologus pulcher, deprivation of brood care permanently affects social behaviour and alters the expression of stress axis genes in juveniles and adults. It is unclear when gene expression patterns change during early life depending on social experience, and which genes are involved. We compared brain gene expression of N. pulcher at two time points during the social experience phase when juveniles were reared either with or without brood care, and one time point shortly afterwards. We compared (a) whole transcriptomes and (b) expression of 79 genes related to stress regulation, in order to define a neurogenomic state of stress for each fish. At developmental day 75, that is, after the social experience phase, 43 genes were down‐regulated in fish having experienced social deprivation, while two genes involved in learning and memory and in post‐translational modifications of proteins (PTM), respectively, were up‐regulated. Down‐regulated genes were mainly associated with immunity, PTM and brain function. In contrast, during the experience phase no genes were differentially expressed when assessing the whole transcriptome. When focusing on the neurogenomic state associated with the stress response, we found that individuals from the two social treatments differed in how their brain gene expression profiles changed over developmental stages. Our results indicate that the early social environment influences the transcriptional activation in fish brains, both during and after an early social experience, possibly affecting plasticity, immune system function and stress axis regulation.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Ecology and Evolution (IEE)
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Ecology and Evolution (IEE) > Behavioural Ecology

UniBE Contributor:

Nyman, Cecilia Alexandra and Taborsky, Barbara

Subjects:

500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology

ISSN:

0962-1083

Publisher:

Wiley

Language:

English

Submitter:

Niklas Ingvar Paulsson

Date Deposited:

24 Mar 2020 14:21

Last Modified:

24 Mar 2020 14:21

Publisher DOI:

10.1111/mec.15335

PubMed ID:

31849106

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.140914

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/140914

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