Behaviour 2019
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 Neurogenomic signatures of paternal care in three-spined stickleback
Colby Behrens, Alison M. Bell. University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, IL, United States

Parental care has evolved repeatedly across taxa has important implications for the health of parents and offspring. Though the molecular basis of parental care has been studied, much of this research has focused primarily on maternal care, meaning the transcriptional changes associated with paternal care are still poorly understood. To address this, we took advantage of the behavioral diversity seen in two populations of three-spined stickleback fish (Gasterosteus aculeatus) that vary extensively in their paternal care. One population protects and cares for its offspring until the eggs hatch, while the other population abandons its eggs shortly after fertilization. We characterized differences in gene expression between these two populations across two brain regions. Additionally, as many neurogenomic changes likely occur throughout the reproductive cycle, we sampled brains from four stages of the reproductive cycle. Here we report major neurogenomic changes across reproductive stages, brain regions, and populations.