Female sticklebacks prime their offspring to cope with climate change

3 febrero 2015

Three-spined sticklebacks in the North Sea pass on information concerning their living environment to their offspring, without genetic changes, researchers have found. «Female sticklebacks pass on optimized mitochondria, which have adapted to the environmental conditions the mothers experienced, to their offspring. As a result the young fish receive information on their mothers’ environment and living conditions without any genetic changes. In this species, then, maternal effects play a decisive role in terms of the potential to adapt to changes in their habitat,» researchers say.