ABS 2023
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Effects of Selfing and Outcrossing on Transgenerational Responses to Predation Risk
Lynne Beaty, Haley Altadonna. Penn State Behrend, Erie, PA, United States

Phenotype can be altered by direct experiences (i.e., within-generation plasticity) or the experiences of previous generations (i.e., transgenerational plasticity) through epigenetic information. Offspring of simultaneous hermaphrodites, which can reproduce via outcrossing or self-fertilization (i.e., selfing), can get epigenetic information from either one or two parental sources. While the transgenerational effects of predation risk have been described, the relative influence of epigenetic information on predation risk from one or two parental sources is unknown. To fill this gap, we collected´┐ŻPhysa acuta, hermaphroditic freshwater snails, from Penn State Behrend’s campus and allowed them to mate. The resulting F1 generation experienced treatments consisting of all combinations of the absence/presence of predation risk and absence/presence of mating opportunities, resulting in six F2 generation treatments. Shell shape and anti-predator behavior were quantified from the F2 generation. These findings can provide insight into the mechanisms of transgenerational effects, particularly as they relate to different reproductive strategies.