Aggressive Behavior, Brain Size and Domestication in Clonal Rainbow Trout Lines
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Domestication causes behavior and brain size changes in many species. We addressed three questions using clonal rainbow trout lines: What are the mirror-elicited aggressive tendencies in lines with varying degrees of domestication? How does brain size relate to genotype and domestication level? Finally, is there a relationship between aggressive behavior and brain size? Clonal lines, although sampling a limited subset of the species variation, provide us with a reproducible experimental system with which we can develop hypotheses for further research. We performed principal component analyses on 12 continuous behavior and brain/body size variables and one discrete behavioral variable (“yawn”) and detected several aggression syndromes. Two behaviors, “freeze” and “escape”, associated with high domestication; “display” and “yawn” behavior associated with wild lines and “swim against the mirror” behavior associated with semi-wild and domestic lines. Two brain size traits, total brain and olfactory volume, were significantly related to domestication level when taking total body size into account, with domesticated lines having larger total brain volume and olfactory regions. The aggression syndromes identified indicate that future QTL mapping studies on domestication-related traits would likely be fruitful.
KeywordsHatchery Salmonid Aggression Clonal line Mirror test Brain volume
Funding for this project was provided in part by Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Competitive Grant numbers 2009-35205-05067 and 2011-67015-30091 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. We thank Troutlodge Inc., the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game for providing gametes used in this study. We also thank two anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments.
Conflict of Interest
Janet M. Campbell, Patrick A. Carter, Paul A. Wheeler, and Gary H. Thorgaard declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent
All institutional and national guidelines for the care and use of laboratory animals were followed.
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