Responses to artificial selection for locomotor activity: A focus on death feigning in red flour beetle

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2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Whole-organism performance, including locomotor activity, is an important fitness trait in many animals. Locomotor activity is often classified into sprint speed and locomotor endurance and differences in sprint speed and locomotor endurance affect on other traits such as life-history traits. Previous studies found that locomotor endurance, sprint speed and brain dopamine (DA) levels are correlated with artificial selection for death feigning (an anti-predator behaviour that we refer to as ‘death-feigning syndrome’) in some insect species. Thus, if the syndrome has a genetic basis, death feigning, sprint speed and brain DA levels may be affected by artificial selection for locomotor endurance. We artificially selected for locomotor endurance over 10 generations in the red flour beetle Tribolium castaneum, and established higher (H) and lower activity (L) strains, then compared their death-feigning behaviour, sprint speed and brain DA levels. H-strain beetles exhibited significantly shorter duration of death-feigning, and significantly higher sprint speeds, suggesting variation in death-feigning syndrome. Surprisingly, although brain DA expression affects various animal behaviours, we found no significant differences in the brain DA expressions of H- and L-strain beetles. Thus, our results imply genetic correlations between locomotor endurance, sprint speed and death feigning, but not with brain DA expression, suggesting that differences in the biogenic amine results of our and previous studies may reflect differences in behavioural expression mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Evolutionary Biology
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • artificial selection
  • death feigning
  • dopamine
  • locomotor activity
  • sprint speed

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

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