Supplementary material from "Offspring genes indirectly influence sibling and maternal behavioural strategies over resource share"
Published on 2017-09-13T09:37:14Z (GMT) by
Family members show behavioural strategies predicted to maximize individual fitness. These behaviours depend directly on genes expressed in focal individuals but also indirectly on genes expressed in other family members. However, how sibling and parental behavioural strategies are modified by genes expressed in family members, and to what degree, remains unclear. To answer this question, we have used a split litter design in an experimental population of genetically variable mouse families, and identified loci that indirectly affected sibling and maternal behaviour simultaneously. These loci map to genomic regions that also show a direct effect on offspring behaviour. Directly and indirectly affected traits were significantly correlated at the phenotypic level, illustrating how indirect effects are caused. Genetic variants in offspring that influence solicitation also impacted their siblings' and maternal behaviour. However, in contrast to predictions from sibling competition, unrelated litter mates benefited from increased solicitation. Overall, such indirect genetic effects explained a large proportion of variation seen in behaviours, with candidate genes involved in metabolism to neuronal development. These results reveal that we need to view behavioural strategies as the result of conjoint selection on genetic variation in all interacting family members.
Cite this collection
Ashbrook, David G.; Sharmin, Naorin; Hager, Reinmar (2017): Supplementary material from "Offspring genes indirectly influence sibling and maternal behavioural strategies over resource share". The Royal Society.