The transgenerational effects of heat stress in the nematode Caenorhabditis remanei are negative and rapidly eliminated under direct selection for increased stress resistance in larvae

Kristin L. Sikkink, Catherine M. Ituarte, Rose M. Reynolds, William A. Cresko, Patrick C. Phillips

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

Parents encountering stress environments can influence the phenotype of their offspring in a form of transgenerational phenotypic plasticity that has the potential to be adaptive if offspring are thereby better able to deal with future stressors. Here, we test for the existence of anticipatory parental effects in the heat stress response in the highly polymorphic nematode Caenorhabditis remanei. Rather providing an anticipatory response, parents subject to a prior heat stress actually produce offspring that are less able to survive a severe heat shock. Selection on heat shock resistance within the larvae via experimental evolution leads to a loss of sensitivity (robustness) to environmental variation during both the parental and larval periods. Whole genome transcriptional analysis of both ancestor and selected lines shows that there is weak correspondence between genetic pathways induced via temperature shifts during parental and larval periods. Parental effects can evolve very rapidly via selection acting directly on offspring.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)438-446
Number of pages9
JournalGenomics
Volume104
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 23 2014

Keywords

  • Experimental evolution
  • Heat shock
  • Phenotypic plasticity
  • Stress resistance
  • Transgenerational effects

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