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Data for: Genetic and context-specific effects on individual inhibitory control performance in the guppy (Poecilia reticulata)

Cite this dataset

Prentice, Pamela M.; Wilson, Alastair J.; Thornton, Alex; Kolm, Niclas (2023). Data for: Genetic and context-specific effects on individual inhibitory control performance in the guppy (Poecilia reticulata) [Dataset]. Dryad. https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.66t1g1k71

Abstract

Among-individual variation in cognitive traits, widely assumed to have evolved under adaptive processes, is increasingly being demonstrated across animal taxa. As variation among individuals is required for natural selection, characterising individual differences and their heritability is important to understand how cognitive traits evolve. Here we use a quantitative genetic study of wild-type guppies repeatedly exposed to a ‘detour task’ to test for genetic variance in the cognitive trait of inhibitory control. We also test for genotype-by-environment interactions (GxE) by testing related fish under alternative experimental treatments (transparent vs. semi-transparent barrier in the detour-task). We find among-individual variation in detour task performance, consistent with differences in inhibitory control. However, analysis of GxE reveals that heritable factors only contribute to performance variation in one treatment. This suggests that the adaptive evolutionary potential of inhibitory control (and/or other latent variables contributing to task performance) may be highly sensitive to environmental conditions. The presence of GxE also implies that the plastic response of detour task performance to treatment environment is genetically variable. Our results are consistent with a scenario where variation in individual inhibitory control stems from complex interactions between heritable and plastic components.

README: README data file description associated with manuscript ‘Genetic and context-specific effects on individual inhibitory control performance in the guppy (Poecilia reticulata)’

Authors

Pamela M. Prentice1,2, Alex Thornton1, Niclas Kolm3, Alastair J. Wilson1*

1Centre for Ecology and Conservation, University of Exeter, Penryn Campus, Cornwall, TR10 9FE, UK

2Animal and Veterinary Science Research Group, SRUC, West Mains Rd, Edinburgh, EH9 3JG, UK

3Department of Zoology, Stockholm University, 106 91 Stockholm, Sweden

*Corresponding Author

Data collection – Pamela M. Prentice
Code writing - Alastair J. Wilson and Pamela M. Prentice

This is a quantitative genetic study of wild-type guppies repeatedly exposed to a ‘detour task’ to test for genetic variance in the cognitive trait of inhibitory control. We also tested for genotype-by-environment interactions (GxE) by testing related fish under alternative experimental treatments (transparent vs. semi-transparent barrier in the detour-task). We find among-individual variation in detour task performance, consistent with differences in inhibitory control. However, analysis of GxE reveals that heritable factors only contribute to performance variation in one treatment. This suggests that the adaptive evolutionary potential of inhibitory control (and/or other latent variables contributing to task performance ) may be highly sensitive to environmental conditions. The presence of GxE also implies that the plastic response of detour task performance to treatment environment is genetically variable. Our results are consistent with a scenario where variation in individual inhibitory control stems from complex interactions between heritable and plastic components.

data file name ‘IC_full_MS.csv’

Column headers with explanations
  • date: The date each trial took place on
  • time: The time of day each trial took place on
  • block: Fish were trialled in 11 blocks of 48 fish (categorical, group = 1 – 11).
  • trial: Fish had 9 training trials, followed by 3 test trials. Trial number here refers to the incremental trial number, whether it was a training or test trial (categorical, trial = 1 – 9)
  • rept: Incremental trial number, including training (9 trials) and test trials (3 trials) ((repeat)rept = 1 – 12)
  • ID_full: Full ID description e.g. Grp 1_11_T35_M_2 would indicate a fish that was in Group1, breeding group 11, tank35, male #2
  • ID: Individual fish were given an identifiable number for pedigree reconstruction (categorical)
  • brood tank: Fish were housed in brood groups within a specific tank number before receiving the cognitive assay of training and test trials (categorical)
  • breeding_group: The number of breeding group each fish was born from (6 groups, number breeding groups = 7 - 12)
  • brood_den: The number of fish in each brood group
  • dob: The date each brood group was birthed on
  • brood_age: The age of the brood each fish was from (brood age = number of days)
  • tank: The identifying tank number each fish was housed in during the cognitive assay trials
  • stack: Experimental tanks were contained within two ‘stacks’, each comprising 24 tanks, 3 rows high, 8 tanks per row. (categorical, stack = 1, or 2).)
  • level: The level of the stack on which each tank was situated (categorical, level = 1, 2 or 3)
  • sexM: The sex of each fish (categorical, 0 = female, 1 = male)
  • treatment: The treatment of the test trials (categorical, 0 = clear cylinder, 1=marked cylinder)
  • temp: The temp of each stack when each trial took place (Celcius)
  • success: Whether fish were successful in locating and eating the food reward each trial (categorical, 0=no, 1=yes)
  • time_train: Time taken for each fish to locate the food during the training trials (continuous, seconds)
  • time_test: Time taken for each fish to locate the food during the test trials (continuous, seconds)
  • time_test_1: Time taken for each fish to locate the food during the test trials under treatment 1 (marked cylinders) (continuous, seconds)
  • time_test_0: Time taken for each fish to locate the food during the training trials under treatment 1 (clear cylinders) (continuous, seconds)

data file name ‘Genotype_File.csv’

Column headers with explanations
  • ID: Individual identification number. ‘P’ denotes ‘parent’. Parents were genotyped but did not undergo test trials or inhibitory control trials.
  • Column B – M: Individual genotype scores at each loci position, across 6 microsatellite markers (e.g. P39Da and P39Db)

data file name ‘IC_pedigree.csv’

Column headers with explanations
  • ID: Individual identification number. ‘P’ denotes paternal/ male, ‘M’ denotes maternal/ female parent. Dam and Sire for these individuals are scored as ‘NA’.
  • DAM: Identification number of each individuals’ mother ID
  • SIRE: Identification number of each individuals’ father ID

Methods

Data was collected from fish bred from a captive population of P. reticulata housed at the University of Exeter’s Penryn campus. The population has been maintained at a population size of several thousand, with no deliberate selection or inbreeding. Behavioural data was collected on an offspring generation of 374 guppies (all tested as adults), produced from 6 small breeding groups over a period of 4 months.  Individual detour task performance was assessed in a repeated measures design. First, naïve guppies were given the opportunity to learn to associate the appearance of a green disc placed on the floor of the test compartment with a food reward. Individual guppies were given nine feeding training ‘trials’ (3 per day for 3 successive days). To ensure fish had sufficient opportunity to learn the food location, they did not proceed to the detour task if they did not locate food in 5/9 of the training trials. Fish that completed the training stage were then assayed three times in a detour task (once per day for three successive days), and time taken to locate a food reward inside a cylinder was recorded. To test for GxE, fish were assigned to one of two treatments in the detour task; either a transparent (unmarked) cylinder with low visual information or a cylinder marked with three black horizontal lines providing high visual information. 

Fish were genotyped at 6 autosomal microsatellite loci to facilitate pedigree reconstruction.

Data from both detour and training trials were analysed using a linear mixed effect model fitted with ASReml-R 4.1 within R version 3.6.1. 

Funding

Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council