RNA sequencing of early round goby embryos reveals that maternal experiences can shape the maternal RNA contribution in a wild vertebrate
- Journal Article
Rights / licenseCreative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
Background It has been proposed that non-genetic inheritance could promote species fitness. Non-genetic inheritance could allow offspring to benefit from the experience of their parents, and could advocate pre-adaptation to prevailing and potentially selective conditions. Indeed, adaptive parental effects have been modeled and observed, but the molecular mechanisms behind them are far from understood. Results In the present study, we investigated whether maternal RNA can carry information about environmental conditions experienced by the mother in a wild vertebrate. Maternal RNA directs the development of the early embryo in many non-mammalian vertebrates and invertebrates. However, it is not known whether vertebrate maternal RNA integrates information about the parental environment. We sequenced the maternal RNA contribution from a model that we expected to rely on parental effects: the invasive benthic fish species Neogobius melanostomus (Round Goby). We found that maternal RNA expression levels correlated with the water temperature experienced by the mother before oviposition, and identified temperature-responsive gene groups such as core nucleosome components or the microtubule cytoskeleton. Conclusions Our findings suggest that the maternal RNA contribution may incorporate environmental information. Maternal RNA should therefore be considered a potentially relevant pathway for non-genetic inheritance. Also, the ability of a species to integrate environmental information in the maternal RNA contribution could potentially contribute to species fitness and may also play a role in extraordinary adaptive success stories of invasive species such as the round goby. Show more
Journal / seriesBMC Evolutionary Biology
Pages / Article No.
Subjectparental effects; non-genetic inheritance; short term adaptation; maternal contribution; Neogobius melanostomus
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