The genetics of fish personality

22 Jun

Just published in the journal Behavior Genetics: “Assessment of Genetic Variability of Fish Personality Traits using Rainbow Trout Isogenic Lines.”

Here is the abstract:

“The study of inter-individual variability of personality in fish is a growing field of interest but the genetic basis of this complex trait is still poorly investigated due to the difficulty in controlling fish genetic origin and life history. When available, isogenic lines that allow performing independent tests on different individuals having identical genotype constitute a very relevant experimental material to disentangle the genetic and environmental components of behavioural individuality. We took advantage of heterozygous isogenic lines to investigate the personality in rainbow trout through the analysis of their reactions to different experimental situations. To this end, seven to ten rainbow trout isogenic lines were screened for their spatial exploratory behaviour, their flight response toward a stressor and their risk taking behaviour. Results showed that some lines seemed less sensitive to new events or environmental changes and could be defined as low responsive, while others were very sensitive and defined as high responsive. The use of isogenic lines highlighted the importance of genetic factors, in combination with life history, in the expression of personality in domesticated fish.”

The paper provides evidence for two important hypotheses. First, fish do demonstrate differences in personality. Second, genes play a role in those differences.

Here is a video on fish personality:


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