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ESJ annual meeting Genetic variation in phenotypic plasticity (GxE) is a major driver of personality in a clonal fish

Kodama, S., Royaute, R., Dingemanse, N. and Hakoyama, H.

Individuals often behave consistently across different contexts and times. The magnitude of these variation in personalities'' can however change through different contexts (e.g., predator presence/absence), indicative of genetic variation in phenotypic plasticity (GxE). How much GxE effects contributes to personality differences, remains in most cases, unknown. Here, we tested these questions using the Japanese Crucian carp (Carassius auratus) as a model system. These fish reproduce asexually in the natural environment, allowing to investigate whether genetically identical individuals respond similarly to predation exposure. We exposed six clonal lineages (e.g. genotypes) to the presence/absence of a predator (Catfish; Silurus asotus) during development. We sampled activity, exploration and prey capture after three months of exposure to the predator and one month after the removal of the predator. Predator presence or absence had no discernable effect on the expression of behavioral variation among genotypes. Instead, we found strong evidence for a genotype-specific developmental shift in behavioral expression, regardless of the history of predation exposure. Taken together, these results mean that personality variation has a genetic basis in the Japanese Crucian carp underpinned by GxE, but predation exposure is a poor driver of personality variation in this system.

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