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The Influence of Genetic Effects and Plastic Responses on Brain Size and Behaviour of Polymorphic Brook Charr (Salvelinus fontinalis)

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Title: The Influence of Genetic Effects and Plastic Responses on Brain Size and Behaviour of Polymorphic Brook Charr (Salvelinus fontinalis)
Author: Cantera, Karalea
Department: Department of Integrative Biology
Program: Integrative Biology
Advisor: McLaughlin, Rob
Abstract: In fishes, individuals from the same population can differ in morphology, habitat use, and diet (resource polymorphism). Delineating the proximate mechanisms shaping this diversification remains a challenge. I tested for family differences and plastic responses in the brain morphology and foraging behaviour of young-of-the-year brook charr (Salvelinus fontinalis) originating from migratory and resident grandparents sampled from Lake Superior tributaries. Siblings from 24 families were split and raised in conditions favouring a sedentary or an active foraging style. Total brain weight and relative volumes of the telencephalon, optic tectum, cerebellum, olfactory bulb, and hypothalamus varied between families and between foraging treatments. Three brain characters were correlated with activity and foraging location in the water column during independent feeding trials and four differed with the family history of migration. My findings suggest both family differences and plasticity within families influence brain morphology and foraging behaviour, and therefore contribute to phenotypic diversification.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10214/15907
Date: 2019-03


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