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Captivity induces large and population-dependent brain transcriptomic changes in wild-caught cane toads (Rhinella marina)
journal contributionposted on 2023-02-16, 03:46 authored by B Yagound, AJ West, Mark RichardsonMark Richardson, J Gruber, JG Reid, MJ Whiting, LA Rollins
Gene expression levels are key molecular phenotypes at the interplay between genotype and environment. Mounting evidence suggests that short-term changes in environmental conditions, such as those encountered in captivity, can substantially affect gene expression levels. Yet, the exact magnitude of this effect, how general it is, and whether it results in parallel changes across populations are not well understood. Here, we take advantage of the well-studied cane toad, Rhinella marina, to examine the effect of short-term captivity on brain gene expression levels, and determine whether effects of captivity differ between long-colonized and vanguard populations of the cane toad's Australian invasion range. We compared the transcriptomes of wild-caught toads immediately assayed with those from toads captured from the same populations but maintained in captivity for seven months. We found large differences in gene expression levels between captive and wild-caught toads from the same population, with an over-representation of processes related to behaviour and the response to stress. Captivity had a much larger effect on both gene expression levels and gene expression variability in toads from vanguard populations compared to toads from long-colonized areas, potentially indicating an increased plasticity in toads at the leading edge of the invasion. Overall, our findings indicate that short-term captivity can induce large and population-specific transcriptomic changes, which has significant implications for studies comparing phenotypic traits of wild-caught organisms from different populations that have been held in captivity.
Publication classificationC1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
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Science & TechnologyLife Sciences & BiomedicineBiochemistry & Molecular BiologyEcologyEvolutionary BiologyEnvironmental Sciences & EcologyBufo marinuscane toadcaptivityinvasive speciespopulationtranscriptomicsGENE-EXPRESSIONDISPERSAL BEHAVIORRAPID EVOLUTIONINVASION-FRONTPHENOTYPIC PLASTICITYLOCOMOTOR PERFORMANCEBUFO-MARINUSSTRESSRANGEADAPTATIONAnimalsAustraliaBrainIntroduced SpeciesPoaceaeTranscriptomeGeneticsBiological Sciences