Interindividual Behavioural Variation in Response to Elevated C02 Predicts mRNA Transcript Abundance of Genes Related to Acid-Base Regulation in Medaka (Oryzias Latipes)

45 Pages Posted: 11 Jul 2023

See all articles by Jenna L. Fleet

Jenna L. Fleet

University of Winnipeg

Theresa E. Mackey

University of Manitoba

Jennifer Jeffrey

University of Winnipeg

Sara V. Good

University of Winnipeg

Ken M. Jeffries

University of Manitoba

Caleb Hasler

University of Winnipeg

Abstract

Rising carbon dioxide (CO2) in aquatic ecosystems due to climate change is a challenge for aquatic ecotherms. Interindividual variation (i.e., phenotypic plasticity) should permit individuals within a population to respond to a reasonably predictable change in their environment. We examined whether interindividual variation in behavioural responses to CO2 could predict how fish would respond to elevated CO2 for multiple phenotypic and molecular traits. To this end, we used behavioural variation to phenotype freshwater teleost exposed to acute elevated CO2, and used this to assign individuals as either high or low responders. Subsequently, we exposed both high and low responders to elevated CO2 for 6 weeks and quantified the effect on body condition, reproduction, behaviour, and mRNA transcript responses of brain, gill, and liver genes associated with relevant physiological processes. Generally, we found few relationships between the phenotypic groups and body condition, reproduction and behaviour following the CO2 exposure period; however, stark differences between the phenotypic groups with respect to gene transcripts from each tissue related to various processes were found, mostly independent of CO2 exposure. The most pronounced changes were in the gill transcripts related to acid-base regulation, suggesting that the observed behavioural variation used to assign fish to phenotypic groups may have an underlying molecular origin. Should the link between behaviour and gene transcripts be shown to have a fitness advantage and be maintained across generations, interindividual variation in behavioural responses to acute CO2 exposure may be a viable and non-invasive tool to predict future population responses to elevated aquatic CO2.

Keywords: mRNA, teleost, climate change, phenotypic plasticity

Suggested Citation

Fleet, Jenna L. and Mackey, Theresa E. and Jeffrey, Jennifer and Good, Sara V. and Jeffries, Ken M. and Hasler, Caleb, Interindividual Behavioural Variation in Response to Elevated C02 Predicts mRNA Transcript Abundance of Genes Related to Acid-Base Regulation in Medaka (Oryzias Latipes). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4485183 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4485183

Jenna L. Fleet

University of Winnipeg ( email )

Theresa E. Mackey

University of Manitoba ( email )

501 F.A. Bldg
Winnipeg R3T 5V4, R3T 5V5
Canada

Jennifer Jeffrey

University of Winnipeg ( email )

Sara V. Good

University of Winnipeg ( email )

Ken M. Jeffries

University of Manitoba ( email )

501 F.A. Bldg
Winnipeg R3T 5V4, R3T 5V5
Canada

Caleb Hasler (Contact Author)

University of Winnipeg ( email )

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