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The Evolution of Parental Care$
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Nick J. Royle, Per T. Smiseth, and Mathias Kölliker

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199692576

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199692576.001.0001

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Genetics and epigenetics of parental care

Genetics and epigenetics of parental care

Chapter:
(p.304) Chapter 17 Genetics and epigenetics of parental care
Source:
The Evolution of Parental Care
Author(s):

Frances A. Champagne

James P. Curley

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199692576.003.0017

This chapter describes how both genetic and epigenetic approaches have been applied to the study of parental care/caregiving, with a particular focus on species in which there have been molecular analyses of these mechanisms (Apis mellifera, rodents, primates, and humans). Targeted gene deletion, QTL analyses, gene polymorphism associations, DNA methylation, and gene expression assays in these species have identified specific genes that play a critical role in the interactions between parents and offspring. It is apparent from these studies that genes which promote or inhibit parental behaviour also shape the ability of offspring to solicit resources and that genes implicated in parental care often have an impact on a broad range of phenotypic outcomes. The transmission of variation in parental care across generations may involve both genetic and epigenetic pathways and thus both of these processes contribute to the evolution of parental behaviour.

Keywords:   gene expression assays, epigenetics, parental care, genes, parental behaviour, DNA methylation

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