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Expression change in Angiopoietin-1 underlies change in relative brain size in fish
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Animal ecology.
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2015 (English)In: Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Biological Sciences, ISSN 0962-8452, E-ISSN 1471-2954, Vol. 282, no 1810, 20150872Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Brain size varies substantially across the animal kingdom and is often associated with cognitive ability; however, the genetic architecture underpinning natural variation in these key traits is virtually unknown. In order to identify the genetic architecture and loci underlying variation in brain size, we analysed both coding sequence and expression for all the loci expressed in the telencephalon in replicate populations of guppies (Poecilia reticulata) artificially selected for large and small relative brain size. A single gene, Angiopoietin-1 (Ang-1), a regulator of angiogenesis and suspected driver of neural development, was differentially expressed between large-and small-brain populations. Zebra fish (Danio rerio) morphants showed that mild knock down of Ang-1 produces a small-brained phenotype that could be rescued with Ang-1 mRNA. Translation inhibition of Ang-1 resulted in smaller brains in larvae and increased expression of Notch-1, which regulates differentiation of neural stem cells. In situ analysis of newborn large-and small-brained guppies revealed matching expression patterns of Ang-1 and Notch-1 to those observed in zebrafish larvae. Taken together, our results suggest that the genetic architecture affecting brain size in our population may be surprisingly simple, and Ang-1 may be a potentially important locus in the evolution of vertebrate brain size and cognitive ability.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 282, no 1810, 20150872
Keyword [en]
brain size, artificial selection, neuro-transcriptome, gene expression, knock down
National Category
Evolutionary Biology
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-259653DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2015.0872ISI: 000357719500028OAI: diva2:847511
Swedish Research CouncilEU, European Research Council, 260233

Yu-Chia Chen, Peter W. Harrison, Alexander Kotrschal, Niclas Kolm contributed equally to this work.

Funding: Carl Tryggers Foundation, Austrian Science Fund J 3304-B24, Academy of Finland, Sigrid Juselius Foundation 

Available from: 2015-08-20 Created: 2015-08-10 Last updated: 2015-08-20Bibliographically approved

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