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Sex matters : predator presence induces sexual dimorphism in a monomorphic prey, from stress genes to morphological defences

Vinterstare, Jerker LU orcid ; Brönmark, Christer LU ; Nilsson, P. Anders LU orcid ; Langerhans, R. Brian ; Chauhan, Pallavi LU ; Hansson, Bengt LU orcid and Hulthén, Kaj LU (2023) In Evolution; international journal of organic evolution 77(1). p.304-317
Abstract

Inducible defences allow prey to increase survival chances when predators are present while avoiding unnecessary costs in their absence. Many studies report considerable inter-individual variation in inducible defence expression, yet what underlies this variation is poorly understood. A classic vertebrate example of a predator-induced morphological defence is the increased body depth in crucian carp (Carassius carassius), which reduces the risk of predation from gape-size limited predators. Here, we report that among-individual variation in morphological defence expression can be linked to sex. We documented sexual dimorphism in lakes in which crucian carp coexisted with predators, where females showed shallower relative body depths... (More)

Inducible defences allow prey to increase survival chances when predators are present while avoiding unnecessary costs in their absence. Many studies report considerable inter-individual variation in inducible defence expression, yet what underlies this variation is poorly understood. A classic vertebrate example of a predator-induced morphological defence is the increased body depth in crucian carp (Carassius carassius), which reduces the risk of predation from gape-size limited predators. Here, we report that among-individual variation in morphological defence expression can be linked to sex. We documented sexual dimorphism in lakes in which crucian carp coexisted with predators, where females showed shallower relative body depths than males, but not in a predator-free lake. When exposing crucian carp from a population without predators to perceived predation risk in a laboratory environment (presence/absence of pike, Esox lucius), we found that males expressed significantly greater morphological defence than females, causing sexual dimorphism only in the presence of predators. We uncovered a correlative link between the sex-specific inducible phenotypic response and gene expression patterns in major stress-related genes (POMC, MC3R, and MC4R). Together, our results highlight that sex-specific responses may be an important, yet underappreciated, component underlying inter-individual differences in the expression of inducible defences, even in species without pronounced sexual dimorphism.

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author
; ; ; ; ; and
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
POMC, crucian carp, nducible morphological defence, phenotypic plasticity, predator-prey interactions, stress physiology
in
Evolution; international journal of organic evolution
volume
77
issue
1
pages
14 pages
publisher
Wiley-Blackwell
external identifiers
  • pmid:36625450
  • scopus:85147047361
ISSN
1558-5646
DOI
10.1093/evolut/qpac030
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
2d97b97f-04ef-41aa-8e8a-fac61ef2633d
date added to LUP
2023-02-13 08:34:01
date last changed
2024-06-13 23:01:58
@article{2d97b97f-04ef-41aa-8e8a-fac61ef2633d,
  abstract     = {{<p>Inducible defences allow prey to increase survival chances when predators are present while avoiding unnecessary costs in their absence. Many studies report considerable inter-individual variation in inducible defence expression, yet what underlies this variation is poorly understood. A classic vertebrate example of a predator-induced morphological defence is the increased body depth in crucian carp (Carassius carassius), which reduces the risk of predation from gape-size limited predators. Here, we report that among-individual variation in morphological defence expression can be linked to sex. We documented sexual dimorphism in lakes in which crucian carp coexisted with predators, where females showed shallower relative body depths than males, but not in a predator-free lake. When exposing crucian carp from a population without predators to perceived predation risk in a laboratory environment (presence/absence of pike, Esox lucius), we found that males expressed significantly greater morphological defence than females, causing sexual dimorphism only in the presence of predators. We uncovered a correlative link between the sex-specific inducible phenotypic response and gene expression patterns in major stress-related genes (POMC, MC3R, and MC4R). Together, our results highlight that sex-specific responses may be an important, yet underappreciated, component underlying inter-individual differences in the expression of inducible defences, even in species without pronounced sexual dimorphism.</p>}},
  author       = {{Vinterstare, Jerker and Brönmark, Christer and Nilsson, P. Anders and Langerhans, R. Brian and Chauhan, Pallavi and Hansson, Bengt and Hulthén, Kaj}},
  issn         = {{1558-5646}},
  keywords     = {{POMC; crucian carp; nducible morphological defence; phenotypic plasticity; predator-prey interactions; stress physiology}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  number       = {{1}},
  pages        = {{304--317}},
  publisher    = {{Wiley-Blackwell}},
  series       = {{Evolution; international journal of organic evolution}},
  title        = {{Sex matters : predator presence induces sexual dimorphism in a monomorphic prey, from stress genes to morphological defences}},
  url          = {{http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/evolut/qpac030}},
  doi          = {{10.1093/evolut/qpac030}},
  volume       = {{77}},
  year         = {{2023}},
}