Behaviour 2019
The behavioral and neurogenomic effects of receiving parental care
Jason Keagy1, Alison M. Bell2. 1Penn State University, University Park, PA, United States; 2University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, IL, United States

Offspring are often influenced by the type and quality of care they receive from their parents. However, we know little about the underlying neurogenomic mechanisms. Using a half-sib design, threespine stickleback fish offspring were either raised by their fathers or hand-reared. Once offspring became juveniles, they were individually released into an open field assay followed by a simulated predator attack. One hour following this attack, brains were sampled from these fish as well as time-matched full-sib controls. These brains were processed for gene expression (via TagSeq) and chromatin accessibility (via ATACseq). Offspring that received paternal care were more bold and recovered more quickly from the predator attack. Experiencing paternal care affected brain gene expression, but sex and interactions between sex and paternal care were also major factors, despite the fish being reproductively immature. Sex, but not paternal care, influenced chromatin accessibility. Our findings further our understanding of the mechanistic basis for how offspring respond to variation in the care they receive from their parents.