Stress and the Offspring: Adaptive Transgenerational Effects of Unpredictability on Behaviour and Gene Expression in Chickens (Gallus gallus)
2008 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Environmental stress has shown to affect both the exposed individuals and the development of their offspring. Generally, it is thought that the stressed organism responds to stress by trying to adapt to it. This thesis investigates possible evolutionary consequences of cross-generational transmissions of stress, where the parent has been stressed but the offspring has not. In two studies we have exposed chicken parents of different breeds to an unpredictable circadian light rhythm, to investigate the influence of genetic background on the transmission of behaviour and patterns of genome-wide gene expression across generations. In Paper I, we can show that the domesticated chicken, by means of epigenetic factors, transmit their behaviours as well as their gene expression profiles to their offspring to a higher extent than their wild ancestor, the red junglefowl. Furthermore, in Paper II, even though the offspring never experienced the stress or had any contact with their stressed parents, they seemed to have adapted to it, which suggests that the parents might have prepared (or pre-adapted) them for living in the unpredictable environment. Additionally, eggs of stressed hens showed increased levels of estradiol that might have affected gene expression of specific immune genes, which were up-regulated in the offspring of stressed parents. It is possible that the traditional distinction between stress responses and evolutionary adaptation may be reevaluated, since our results indicate that they could be parts of the same evolutionary event.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press , 2008. , 22 p.
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Thesis, ISSN 0280-7971 ; 1385
Chicken, Red junglefowl, Domestication, Epigenetics, Transgenerational, Inheritance, Gene expression, Microarray, qRT-PCR, Immunogenetics, Immunoglobulin, Estradiol, Steriod hormones, Prenatal stress, Epigenetic inheritance, Adaptation, Stress, Behaviour
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-15518ISBN: 978-91-7393-753-5OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-15518DiVA: diva2:117473
2008-12-04, Schrödinger E324, Linköpings Universitet, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, 58183 Linköping, Sweden , Linköping, 13:00 (English)
Spruijt, Berry, Professor
Jensen, Per, Professor
List of papers