Organisers: Dalial Freitak, Olivia Roth
To keep up with the changing environment and novel challenges, organisms are required to adapt constantly. Adaptive phenotypic plasticity is achieved via an interplay between genes and intrinsic, as well as extrinsic signals manipulating their expression. This is happening perpetually during the lifetime of all living organisms in order to survive and reproduce. Remarkably, also parents are able to “prime” the physiology of their offspring, such that the offspring phenotypes will match the expected environmental challenges. This trans-generational plasticity serves as a short time response towards changing environmental conditions. Maternal effects have as yet received more attention, however, it is becoming increasingly clear, that also paternal effects are shaping offspring phenotypes. It is time to shed light on the epigenetic, behavioral and physiological factors mediating these trans generational effects. We need to gain insight into the costs and duration of trans generational plasticity to assess their importance and interaction with genetic adaptation. Furthermore, comparative approaches spanning over different organismal groups will serve to better understanding common patterns and mechanisms.
Invited speakers: Marjo Saastamoinen, Seth Barribeau