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Data from: Mothers and not genes determine inherited differences in cadmium sensitivities within unexposed populations of the freshwater crustacean Gammarus fossarum

Citation

Vigneron, Amandine; Geffard, Olivier; Quéau, Hervé; Chaumot, Arnaud (2015), Data from: Mothers and not genes determine inherited differences in cadmium sensitivities within unexposed populations of the freshwater crustacean Gammarus fossarum, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.ft511

Abstract

Deciphering evolutionary processes occurring within contaminated populations is important for the ecological risk assessment of toxic chemicals. Whereas increased tolerance to contaminants is well documented in aquatic animal populations, whether such phenotypic changes occur through genetic adaptation is still debated. In that sense, several studies with the freshwater crustacean Gammarus concluded in a weak potential for genetic adaptation to cadmium (Cd), while others reported inheritable increased tolerance in Cd-contaminated populations. Using quantitative genetics and selection experiments, this study sought to further assess the potential of Gammarus populations to genetically adapt to Cd. By combining the control of the reproductive cycle of this species in the laboratory and protocols of individual Cd exposure, we conducted half-sib analyses to establish the genetic and environmental sources of variance in Cd sensitivity of neonates. Prior to experiments, computations allowed optimizing the experimental design in order to increase the power to detect additive genetic variance. The main findings are the existence of strong between-brood variability along with weak heritability of Cd sensitivity within Gammarus populations. This study also revealed a significant maternal effect on individual Cd sensitivity. This sheds new light on the importance of maternal influence in microevolutionary processes occurring in contaminated environments.

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