An improved transmissibility model to detect transgenerational transmitted environmental effects.

TitleAn improved transmissibility model to detect transgenerational transmitted environmental effects.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2023
AuthorsDavid, I, Ricard, A
JournalGenet Sel Evol
Date Published2023 Sep 21

BACKGROUND: Evolutionary studies have reported that non-genetic information can be inherited across generations (epigenetic marks, microbiota, cultural inheritance). Non-genetic information is considered to be a key element to explain the adaptation of wild species to environmental constraints because it lies at the root of the transgenerational transmission of environmental effects. The "transmissibility model" was proposed several years ago to better predict the transmissible potential of each animal by taking these diverse sources of inheritance into account in a global transmissible potential. We propose to improve this model to account for the influence of the environment on the global transmissible potential as well. This extension of the transmissibility model is the "transmissibility model with environment" that considers a covariance between transmissibility samplings of animals sharing the same environment. The null hypothesis of "no transmitted environmental effect" can be tested by comparing the two models using a likelihood ratio test (LRT).

RESULTS: We performed simulations that mimicked an experimental design consisting of two lines of animals with one exposed to a particular environment at a given generation. This enabled us to evaluate the performances of the transmissibility model with environment so as to detect and quantify transgenerational transmitted environmental effects. The power and the realized type I error of the LRT were compared to those of a T-test comparing the phenotype of the two lines, three generations after the environmental exposure for different sets of parameters. The power of the LRT ranged from 45 to 94%, whereas that of the T-test was always lower than 26%. In addition, the realized type I error of the T-test was 15% and that of the LRT was 5%, as expected. Variances, the covariance between transmissibility samplings, and path coefficients of transmission estimated with the transmissibility model with environment were close to their true values for all sets of parameters.

CONCLUSIONS: The transmissibility model with environment is effective in modeling vertical transmission of environmental effects.

Alternate JournalGenet Sel Evol
PubMed ID37735633
PubMed Central IDPMC10512618
Grant List101000236 / / HORIZON EUROPE Reforming and enhancing the European Research and Innovation system /