Bibek Parajuli

Document Type

Honors Thesis


Transgenerational plasticity (TGP) occurs when environmental signals influence the expression of traits across multiple generations. TGP allows for organisms to survive until genetic changes occur over multiple generations. This study examined the influence of consistent exposure to environmental signals on the induction and strength of TGP. It also examined the expression, behavioral, and life history traits in Daphnia from lakes in Wisconsin, USA that have experienced the invasion of a novel predator, spiny water fleas (Bythotrephes). All clones were reared in the presence and absence of predator cues and the TGP was assessed at regular intervals over the course of the five-generation experiment. We found that the multigenerational exposure to predator cues had no effect on the body size and eye size of the Daphnia. Our results show that the initial response to predator cues was strong in both parent and offspring, albeit in the opposite direction. However, consistent exposure to predator cue aligned this response by the third generation. The plastic response degraded over time and by generation 4, its effect was a non-factor.

Publication Date






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