Data from: Sperm as arbiters of environmentally induced paternal effects in a livebearing fish

  • Jon Evans (Creator)
  • Rowan Lymbery (Creator)
  • Kyle S. Wiid (Creator)
  • Md Moshiur Rahman (Creator)
  • Clelia Gasparini (Creator)



Damtraits.txt (919 bytes):
Data for mothers' size, time to parturition, brood size.

F1 sperm traits.csv (19.93 Mb):
Male offspring sperm data, including CASA parameters, sperm counts, age tested and dates of birth.

sire sperm data.txt (2.848 Kb):
CASA (sperm motility) and sperm viability of the males assigned to high and low quantity diet treatments. Sperm from these males were artificially inseminated into the females.

body size at 1 WEEK.txt (5.736 Kb):
Offspring size data for 7 day old offspring. The mothers' body size (standard length) is also included (used as covariate in analysis).

body size 4 MONTHS.txt (9.139 Kb):
Offspring size data taken from four month old offspring. Offspring sex is recorded (used as factor in analysis).

Until recently, paternal effects – the influence of fathers on their offspring due to environmental factors rather than genes – were largely discarded or assumed to be confined to species exhibiting paternal care. It is now recognised that paternal effects can be transmitted through the ejaculate, but unambiguous evidence for them is scarce because it is difficult to isolate effects operating via changes to the ejaculate from maternal effects driven by female mate assessment. Here we use artificial insemination to disentangle mate assessment from fertilisation in guppies, and show that paternal effects can be transmitted to offspring exclusively via ejaculates. We show that males fed reduced diets produce poor quality sperm and that offspring sired by such males (via artificial insemination) exhibit reduced body size at birth. These findings may have important implications for the many mating systems in which environmentally induced changes in ejaculate quality have been reported.
Date made available15 Mar 2017


  • epigenetic inheritance
  • condition dependence
  • Poecilia reticulata

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