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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.


Boxplots showing the effect of flow treatment and nesting status on the expression of three spiggin genes (Spg-a, Spg-1, Spg-2) relative to that of the reference gene, ribosomal protein L8, by male sticklebacks in the study. Horizontal lines in each box indicate the median value; boxes show interquartile range; whiskers show 95% confidence intervals and asterisks (*) show outlying data points. Sample sizes: flow, control n = 10; flow, nesting n = 13; still, control n = 8; still, nesting n = 12. See Table 2 for statistical analysis.
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fig04: Boxplots showing the effect of flow treatment and nesting status on the expression of three spiggin genes (Spg-a, Spg-1, Spg-2) relative to that of the reference gene, ribosomal protein L8, by male sticklebacks in the study. Horizontal lines in each box indicate the median value; boxes show interquartile range; whiskers show 95% confidence intervals and asterisks (*) show outlying data points. Sample sizes: flow, control n = 10; flow, nesting n = 13; still, control n = 8; still, nesting n = 12. See Table 2 for statistical analysis.

Mentions: Analysis by three-way ANOVA of delta Ct values was undertaken to investigate the role of experimental flow treatment, nesting status, and gene identity on patterns of spiggin gene expression in the kidney tissue of experimental male sticklebacks. This analysis demonstrated that spiggin gene expression was strongly affected by flow treatment, nesting status and gene identity (all P < 0.0005; Table 2). Males reared under the flowing water treatment exhibited higher levels of spiggin gene expression than males reared under still conditions, and nest-building males exhibited higher expression than non-nesting controls (Fig. 4). Furthermore, a highly significant interaction between rearing regime and nesting status was revealed (P = 0.006), with high levels of gene expression among non-nesting, flow-reared fish leading to smaller differences in gene expression between nesting and non-nesting fish reared in flowing water than for fish reared in still water. In addition, there was a highly significant interaction between flow regime and gene identity on expression levels (P < 0.005), with expression levels of Spg-a being more strongly increased among flow-reared fish than Spg-1 or Spg-2.


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

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

Boxplots showing the effect of flow treatment and nesting status on the expression of three spiggin genes (Spg-a, Spg-1, Spg-2) relative to that of the reference gene, ribosomal protein L8, by male sticklebacks in the study. Horizontal lines in each box indicate the median value; boxes show interquartile range; whiskers show 95% confidence intervals and asterisks (*) show outlying data points. Sample sizes: flow, control n = 10; flow, nesting n = 13; still, control n = 8; still, nesting n = 12. See Table 2 for statistical analysis.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

fig04: Boxplots showing the effect of flow treatment and nesting status on the expression of three spiggin genes (Spg-a, Spg-1, Spg-2) relative to that of the reference gene, ribosomal protein L8, by male sticklebacks in the study. Horizontal lines in each box indicate the median value; boxes show interquartile range; whiskers show 95% confidence intervals and asterisks (*) show outlying data points. Sample sizes: flow, control n = 10; flow, nesting n = 13; still, control n = 8; still, nesting n = 12. See Table 2 for statistical analysis.
Mentions: Analysis by three-way ANOVA of delta Ct values was undertaken to investigate the role of experimental flow treatment, nesting status, and gene identity on patterns of spiggin gene expression in the kidney tissue of experimental male sticklebacks. This analysis demonstrated that spiggin gene expression was strongly affected by flow treatment, nesting status and gene identity (all P < 0.0005; Table 2). Males reared under the flowing water treatment exhibited higher levels of spiggin gene expression than males reared under still conditions, and nest-building males exhibited higher expression than non-nesting controls (Fig. 4). Furthermore, a highly significant interaction between rearing regime and nesting status was revealed (P = 0.006), with high levels of gene expression among non-nesting, flow-reared fish leading to smaller differences in gene expression between nesting and non-nesting fish reared in flowing water than for fish reared in still water. In addition, there was a highly significant interaction between flow regime and gene identity on expression levels (P < 0.005), with expression levels of Spg-a being more strongly increased among flow-reared fish than Spg-1 or Spg-2.

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.