Transmission of parental care behavior in African striped mice, Rhabdomys pumilio

Rymer, Tasmin, and Pillay, Neville (2011) Transmission of parental care behavior in African striped mice, Rhabdomys pumilio. Journal of Experimental Zoology, Part A, 315A (10). pp. 631-638.

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Abstract

The expression of behavior, including parental care behavior, is influenced by complex interactions of the genes of an organism and the prevailing environmental conditions. Previously, we showed that the development of paternal, but not maternal, care in the African striped mouse, Rhabdomys pumilio, has a significant nongenetic maternal component. Here, we investigate the genetic component of parental care behavior from parents to offspring. We first measured the duration of parental care behavior of mothers and fathers every second day for 11 days postnatally. Subsequently, one son and one daughter from each of these litters were paired with unrelated mates when they were adults and their parental care behavior scored. Using regression models, we then compared parental care behavior of parents and their adult offspring. The transmission of parental care behavior from striped mouse fathers to sons and from mothers to both sons and daughters did not indicate a genetic component. Instead, we found a patrilineal genetic component for parental care in daughters. The reason for this unusual pattern of inheritance is not known, but this finding complements that of our other studies, showing that the expression of maternal care behavior in adult daughters is also not nongenetically influenced by their mothers. We suggest that, although females are constrained to provide maternal care in different social contexts, maternal care behavior may be influenced genetically by the father.

Item ID: 33491
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1932-5231
Funders: National Research Foundation (NRF), South Africa, University of the Witwatersrand
Projects and Grants: NRF grant 20591
Date Deposited: 11 Jun 2014 23:53
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0604 Genetics > 060411 Population, Ecological and Evolutionary Genetics @ 20%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0608 Zoology > 060801 Animal Behaviour @ 80%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 80%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960811 Sparseland, Permanent Grassland and Arid Zone Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 20%
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