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Flow-mediated plasticity in the expression of stickleback nesting glue genes.

Seear PJ, Head ML, Tilley CA, Rosato E, Barber I - Ecol Evol (2014)

Bottom Line: Further, we show the effects of flow on expression patterns are gene-specific.Fish reared under flowing-water conditions showed significantly increased levels of spiggin gene expression compared to those reared in still water, but this effect was far stronger for Spg-a than for Spg-1 or Spg-2.The strong effect of flowing water on Spg-a expression, even among non-nesters, suggests that the increased production of spiggin - or of spiggin rich in the component contributed by Spg-a - may allow more rapid and/or effective nest construction under challenging high flow conditions.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Biology, College of Medicine, Biological Sciences and Psychology, University of Leicester Leicester, LE1 7RH, U.K.

ABSTRACT
Nest construction is an essential component of the reproductive behavior of many species, and attributes of nests - including their location and structure - have implications for both their functional capacity as incubators for developing offspring, and their attractiveness to potential mates. To maximize reproductive success, nests must therefore be suited to local environmental conditions. Male three-spined sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus) build nests from collected materials and use an endogenous, glue-like multimeric protein - "spiggin" - as an adhesive. Spiggin is encoded by a multigene family, and differential expression of spiggin genes potentially allows plasticity in nest construction in response to variable environments. Here, we show that the expression of spiggin genes is affected significantly by both the flow regime experienced by a fish and its nesting status. Further, we show the effects of flow on expression patterns are gene-specific. Nest-building fish exhibited consistently higher expression levels of the three genes under investigation (Spg-a,Spg-1, and Spg-2) than non-nesting controls, irrespective of rearing flow treatment. Fish reared under flowing-water conditions showed significantly increased levels of spiggin gene expression compared to those reared in still water, but this effect was far stronger for Spg-a than for Spg-1 or Spg-2. The strong effect of flowing water on Spg-a expression, even among non-nesters, suggests that the increased production of spiggin - or of spiggin rich in the component contributed by Spg-a - may allow more rapid and/or effective nest construction under challenging high flow conditions.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

(A) A schematic overview of the experimental design and sampling programme. (B) A diagram of the nesting channels used in the study. Individual channels (45 × 13 × 18 cm) separated by solid plastic barriers were created in large plastic trays (80 × 60 × 20 cm). A 8000-L·h−1 water pump moved water from a sump tank via a 32-mm-diameter corrugated hose into two of the four channels in each tray. The water entering the flow channels first passed through a sponge baffle (“a”) and a 50 mm collimator of 5-mm-diameter plastic straws (“b”) to generate a nonturbulent flow of 5 ± 1 cm·sec−1 through the nesting area. Water then passed through a mesh barrier (“e”) before exiting the nesting channels via an outflow (“f”). In the remaining two nesting channels in each tank, there was no directional flow, but water quality and circulation was maintained by 50% water exchange every 2 weeks along with air stones and biofilter units. All nesting channels were provided with a (10 × 10 × 1 cm) petri dish of 150 g sand (“c”) and a bundle of 200, 5-cm-long black polyester threads (“d”) as nesting material.
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fig01: (A) A schematic overview of the experimental design and sampling programme. (B) A diagram of the nesting channels used in the study. Individual channels (45 × 13 × 18 cm) separated by solid plastic barriers were created in large plastic trays (80 × 60 × 20 cm). A 8000-L·h−1 water pump moved water from a sump tank via a 32-mm-diameter corrugated hose into two of the four channels in each tray. The water entering the flow channels first passed through a sponge baffle (“a”) and a 50 mm collimator of 5-mm-diameter plastic straws (“b”) to generate a nonturbulent flow of 5 ± 1 cm·sec−1 through the nesting area. Water then passed through a mesh barrier (“e”) before exiting the nesting channels via an outflow (“f”). In the remaining two nesting channels in each tank, there was no directional flow, but water quality and circulation was maintained by 50% water exchange every 2 weeks along with air stones and biofilter units. All nesting channels were provided with a (10 × 10 × 1 cm) petri dish of 150 g sand (“c”) and a bundle of 200, 5-cm-long black polyester threads (“d”) as nesting material.

Mentions: Adult three-spined sticklebacks collected in April 2009 from the River Eye, Leicestershire, UK (52.759°N, −0.814°W), were transported to aquarium facilities at the University of Leicester and maintained at 16 ± 1°C under a 16L:8D photoperiod, to induce sexual maturation. These fish were used as parents for the generation of 13 full-sibling families, generated using standard IVF techniques (Barber and Arnott 2000). Newly-hatched fry were fed infusoria for several days before being switched to a diet of laboratory-hatched Artemia sp. nauplii. After 4 weeks, juvenile fish from all families were combined, and 50 randomly selected individuals were transferred to each of six 40 L aquaria, held on a filtered, recirculating system (Fig. 1A). Fish were reared in these aquaria for a further three months before being transferred into their experimental rearing treatments. Throughout the rearing period, fish were kept in conditions designed to track seasonal changes in day length and temperature and fed a mixture of live Artemia sp. nauplii and frozen bloodworms (Chironomus sp. larvae) supplemented with flake food (Tetra Prima® Spectrum Brands Europe GmbH, Sulzbach, Germany).


Flow-mediated plasticity in the expression of stickleback nesting glue genes.

Seear PJ, Head ML, Tilley CA, Rosato E, Barber I - Ecol Evol (2014)

(A) A schematic overview of the experimental design and sampling programme. (B) A diagram of the nesting channels used in the study. Individual channels (45 × 13 × 18 cm) separated by solid plastic barriers were created in large plastic trays (80 × 60 × 20 cm). A 8000-L·h−1 water pump moved water from a sump tank via a 32-mm-diameter corrugated hose into two of the four channels in each tray. The water entering the flow channels first passed through a sponge baffle (“a”) and a 50 mm collimator of 5-mm-diameter plastic straws (“b”) to generate a nonturbulent flow of 5 ± 1 cm·sec−1 through the nesting area. Water then passed through a mesh barrier (“e”) before exiting the nesting channels via an outflow (“f”). In the remaining two nesting channels in each tank, there was no directional flow, but water quality and circulation was maintained by 50% water exchange every 2 weeks along with air stones and biofilter units. All nesting channels were provided with a (10 × 10 × 1 cm) petri dish of 150 g sand (“c”) and a bundle of 200, 5-cm-long black polyester threads (“d”) as nesting material.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4020685&req=5

fig01: (A) A schematic overview of the experimental design and sampling programme. (B) A diagram of the nesting channels used in the study. Individual channels (45 × 13 × 18 cm) separated by solid plastic barriers were created in large plastic trays (80 × 60 × 20 cm). A 8000-L·h−1 water pump moved water from a sump tank via a 32-mm-diameter corrugated hose into two of the four channels in each tray. The water entering the flow channels first passed through a sponge baffle (“a”) and a 50 mm collimator of 5-mm-diameter plastic straws (“b”) to generate a nonturbulent flow of 5 ± 1 cm·sec−1 through the nesting area. Water then passed through a mesh barrier (“e”) before exiting the nesting channels via an outflow (“f”). In the remaining two nesting channels in each tank, there was no directional flow, but water quality and circulation was maintained by 50% water exchange every 2 weeks along with air stones and biofilter units. All nesting channels were provided with a (10 × 10 × 1 cm) petri dish of 150 g sand (“c”) and a bundle of 200, 5-cm-long black polyester threads (“d”) as nesting material.
Mentions: Adult three-spined sticklebacks collected in April 2009 from the River Eye, Leicestershire, UK (52.759°N, −0.814°W), were transported to aquarium facilities at the University of Leicester and maintained at 16 ± 1°C under a 16L:8D photoperiod, to induce sexual maturation. These fish were used as parents for the generation of 13 full-sibling families, generated using standard IVF techniques (Barber and Arnott 2000). Newly-hatched fry were fed infusoria for several days before being switched to a diet of laboratory-hatched Artemia sp. nauplii. After 4 weeks, juvenile fish from all families were combined, and 50 randomly selected individuals were transferred to each of six 40 L aquaria, held on a filtered, recirculating system (Fig. 1A). Fish were reared in these aquaria for a further three months before being transferred into their experimental rearing treatments. Throughout the rearing period, fish were kept in conditions designed to track seasonal changes in day length and temperature and fed a mixture of live Artemia sp. nauplii and frozen bloodworms (Chironomus sp. larvae) supplemented with flake food (Tetra Prima® Spectrum Brands Europe GmbH, Sulzbach, Germany).

Bottom Line: Further, we show the effects of flow on expression patterns are gene-specific.Fish reared under flowing-water conditions showed significantly increased levels of spiggin gene expression compared to those reared in still water, but this effect was far stronger for Spg-a than for Spg-1 or Spg-2.The strong effect of flowing water on Spg-a expression, even among non-nesters, suggests that the increased production of spiggin - or of spiggin rich in the component contributed by Spg-a - may allow more rapid and/or effective nest construction under challenging high flow conditions.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Biology, College of Medicine, Biological Sciences and Psychology, University of Leicester Leicester, LE1 7RH, U.K.

ABSTRACT
Nest construction is an essential component of the reproductive behavior of many species, and attributes of nests - including their location and structure - have implications for both their functional capacity as incubators for developing offspring, and their attractiveness to potential mates. To maximize reproductive success, nests must therefore be suited to local environmental conditions. Male three-spined sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus) build nests from collected materials and use an endogenous, glue-like multimeric protein - "spiggin" - as an adhesive. Spiggin is encoded by a multigene family, and differential expression of spiggin genes potentially allows plasticity in nest construction in response to variable environments. Here, we show that the expression of spiggin genes is affected significantly by both the flow regime experienced by a fish and its nesting status. Further, we show the effects of flow on expression patterns are gene-specific. Nest-building fish exhibited consistently higher expression levels of the three genes under investigation (Spg-a,Spg-1, and Spg-2) than non-nesting controls, irrespective of rearing flow treatment. Fish reared under flowing-water conditions showed significantly increased levels of spiggin gene expression compared to those reared in still water, but this effect was far stronger for Spg-a than for Spg-1 or Spg-2. The strong effect of flowing water on Spg-a expression, even among non-nesters, suggests that the increased production of spiggin - or of spiggin rich in the component contributed by Spg-a - may allow more rapid and/or effective nest construction under challenging high flow conditions.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus