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Wild guppies from populations exposed to higher predation risk exhibit greater vasotocin brain gene expression

Reddon, AR, Aubin-Horth, N and Reader, SM (2021) Wild guppies from populations exposed to higher predation risk exhibit greater vasotocin brain gene expression. Journal of Zoology. ISSN 0952-8369

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Intraspecific variation in social behaviour is often observed among animal populations. Local predation risk can be a key driver of these differences, with populations that are exposed to greater threat typically showing greater aggregation and reduced intraspecific aggression. The Trinidadian guppy, Poecilia reticulata, is found in populations that vary dramatically in predation risk and show greater grouping and reduced agonism in high-predation populations compared to low-predation populations. The neurohormonal mechanisms that underpin these differences in behaviour across populations remain unknown and elucidating these mechanisms may help us to understand the evolution of behavioural diversity in this species. We predicted that guppies naturally exposed to higher predation risk would show greater expression of the isotocin system and reduced expression of the vasotocin system when compared to low-predation fish, because these peptides are thought to promote gregariousness and aggressivity respectively. We collected guppies of both sexes from high- and low-predation sites, replicated in two different Trinidadian rivers, and measured the brain gene expression of isotocin and vasotocin along with their central receptors. Contrary to our prediction, we found that high-predation guppies showed greater expression of vasotocin, while we did not find evidence that the populations differed in isotocin expression, nor in the expression of the receptors. These results support the hypothesis that vasotocin may act as a neural substrate for social variation in fishes but call into question generalisations about its specific role across species.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Reddon, A. R., Aubin-Horth, N., & Reader, S. M. (2021). Wild guppies from populations exposed to higher predation risk exhibit greater vasotocin brain gene expression. Journal of Zoology, 00, 1– 10., which has been published in final form at https://doi.org/10.1111/jzo.12937. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions. This article may not be enhanced, enriched or otherwise transformed into a derivative work, without express permission from Wiley or by statutory rights under applicable legislation. Copyright notices must not be removed, obscured or modified. The article must be linked to Wiley’s version of record on Wiley Online Library and any embedding, framing or otherwise making available the article or pages thereof by third parties from platforms, services and websites other than Wiley Online Library must be prohibited.
Uncontrolled Keywords: 05 Environmental Sciences, 06 Biological Sciences
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Q Science > QL Zoology
Divisions: Biological & Environmental Sciences (from Sep 19)
Publisher: Wiley
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 18 Jan 2022 12:00
Last Modified: 10 Nov 2022 00:50
DOI or ID number: 10.1111/jzo.12937
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/16074
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