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Transgenerational Effects of Structural Enrichment in Danio rerio

Green, M (2021) Transgenerational Effects of Structural Enrichment in Danio rerio. Doctoral thesis, Liverpool John Moores University.

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This thesis examines the potential for the inheritance of environmental information in the highly social teleost fish, Danio rerio. I performed a series of studies over four data chapters that examined the effects of varying levels of environmental enrichment (EE) across three generations. I aimed to examine the effects of EE on physiology, brain function and behaviour. To do this, I utilized a combination of video tracking in a novel open tank group shoaling test, larvae movement trials, high resolution imaging of morphology, and adult whole brain gene expression analysis. Taken together, these studies indicate that variation in levels of enrichment is associated with changes in complex behaviours and morphologies, which can be inherited through the paternal germline. The analysis of larvae movement and shape performed here shows that changes in locomotor activity may be established in early development, as subtle changes in developmental timing are found. The results here also show that changes in locomotor activity are stably inherited between generations, whereas changes in social traits are not. Although there were changes in social behaviours within generations, there were no inherited effects of on shoal cohesion. I targeted the expression of two nonapeptides known to be involved in the regulation of social behaviour in fish species, arginine vasotocin (AVT) and isotocin (IT) and found that changes to social traits in the first generation appear to be associated with changes in whole-brain AVT expression. The disparity in the heritability of these two behavioural realms found here is particularly interesting and provides the potential for further investigation.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: transgenerational; effects; enrichment; zebrafish; behaviour; epigenetics; inheritance
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Q Science > QL Zoology
Divisions: Biological & Environmental Sciences (from Sep 19)
Date Deposited: 08 Jun 2021 08:26
Last Modified: 08 Nov 2022 15:11
DOI or ID number: 10.24377/LJMU.t.00015117
Supervisors: Swaney, W, Wilding, C and Rae, R
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/15117
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