Parental effects occur when the phenotype of one or both parent(s) affects the phenotype of offspring beyond direct effects of genetic inheritance. Effects can be maladaptive, for instance when offspring lifespan and/or reproductive success are reduced because of transgenerational senescence, or adaptive, for example when parasite exposure of parents primes the immune responsiveness of offspring. From a mechanistic perspective, the question which processes underlie transgenerational inheritance remains open. Moreover, from an evolutionary point of view, the fitness consequences of transgenerational inheritance and its impact on adaptation to changing environments are also mostly unknown. In this meeting, we aim to discuss examples of transgenerational inheritance in natural populations of non-model organisms (plenary 1, session 2), potential mechanisms underlying such patterns (sessions 3 and 4) as well as its evolutionary underpinnings and consequences (sessions 5 and 6).
Confirmed speakers are Pat Monaghan, Olivia Roth, Virpi Lummaa, Bram Kuijper, Alexei Maklakov, Eric Miska, Frank Johannes, and Tobias Uller.
Organizers: Britta Meyer (MPI, Plön), Miriam Liedvogel (MPI, Plön), Melanie Heckwolf (GEOMAR, Kiel), Sandra Bouwhuis (Institute for Avian Research, Wilhelmshaven)