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Dryad

The maternal effects of dietary restriction on Dnmt expression and reproduction in two clones of Daphnia pulex

Cite this dataset

Agrelius, Trenton (2022). The maternal effects of dietary restriction on Dnmt expression and reproduction in two clones of Daphnia pulex [Dataset]. Dryad. https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.1c59zw3zz

Abstract

The inheritance of epigenetic marks induced by environmental variation in a previous generation is broadly accepted as a mediator of phenotypic plasticity. Transgenerational effects linking maternal experiences to changes in morphology, gene expression, and life history of successive generations are known across many taxa. While the number of studies linking epigenetic variation to ecological maternal effects is increasing rapidly, few if any attempts have been made to investigate molecular mechanisms governing epigenetic functions in the context of ecologically relevant maternal effects. Daphnia make an ideal model for investigating molecular epigenetic mechanisms and ecological maternal effects because they will reproduce asexually in the lab. Daphnia are also known to have strong maternal effects, involving a variety of traits and environmental variables. Using two clones of Daphnia pulex, we investigated the plasticity of life history and DNA methyltransferase (Dnmt) gene expression with respect to food limitation within- and across-generations. We found strong evidence of genotypic variation of responses of life history and Dnmt expression to low food diets, both within- and across-generations. In general, effects of offspring diet were larger than either the direct maternal effect or offspring-maternal environment interactions, but the direction of the maternal effect was usually in the opposite direction of the within-generation effect.  For both life history and Dnmt expression, we also found that when offspring had low food, effects of the maternal environment were stronger than when offspring had high food.

Funding

National Science Foundation, Award: DEB-1556645