Meeting Abstract

P1.55  Wednesday, Jan. 4  Differences in the Expression of Muscle Related Genes in Response to Predation Cues in the Trinidad Guppy; Poecilia reticulata PITTS, NL*; HOKE, KL; MYKLES, DL; GHALAMBHOR, CK; Colorado State University; Colorado State University; Colorado State University; Colorado State University

Poecilia reticulate, are found throughout a variety of stream drainages on the Caribbean Island of Trinidad. Guppies are found in both high predation and low predation environments that differ in the predation species with which the guppies co-exist with. High predation and low predation drainages often exist in close proximity to one another separated only by a waterfall barrier. This sharp contrast between populations with different predation cues provides a unique opportunity to study how the stress of predation effects gene expression, morphology, and behavior. Plastic differences in predation cues can also be created in the lab by breeding wild caught fish for two generations then separating the F2 generation into tanks with pred+ or pred- water. Differences in predation cues have been shown to cause significant differences in the depth of the caudal peduncle, the location of the majority of a guppy’s muscle mass. The purpose of this experiment was to examine the effects of predation on gene expression of mTOR signaling pathway and muscle related genes. Two populations were examined, Guanapo (GH), a high predation population and Taylor (TY), a low predation population. Two treatments, pred+ and pred- where examined within both of these populations. qPCR was used to examine differences in Myostatin, FKBP12, elF2, myosin heavy chain, myosin light chain 2, and TnT. In most cases, expression levels of the analyzed genes differed between populations and treatments. These data indicate that differences in body morphology caused by predation cues may be attributed to changes in gene expression in the muscle.