Threespined sticklebacks, Gasterosteus aculeatus, exhibit male-only parental care, but will decrease paternal care if exposed to predators while given care or if their mate has had prior experiences with predators. The offspring will experience lasting effects based on the experience of their parents (behavior-mediated transgenerational plasticity). While other studies have concluded that male exposure to predators prior to fertilization (sperm-mediated transgenerational plasticity) impacts offspring, whether sperm-mediated effects exist in sticklebacks, and for how many generations the effects persist is unknown. Courtship trials with both predator exposed and predator unexposed females with six male treatment groups shows significant impact of maternal grandfather predation exposure, suggesting that daughters of predator-exposed fathers are passing down cues to their sons.
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Kempfer, Shayne; Carlson, Erika; Hellmann, Jennifer; Keagy, Jason; and Bell, Alison, "Sperm-mediated Effects of Predation Risk on Reproduction in Male Threespined Sticklebacks" (2018). Phenotypic Plasticity Research Experience for Community College Students. 21.