Recent Publication: Effects of pairing on color change and central gene expression in lined seahorses
This post summarizes the findings of the paper "Effects of pairing on color change and central gene expression in lined seahorses" by Mederos et al. published in Genes, Brain and Behavior (link).
Many seahorses show social monogamy--a reproductive strategy of paired living--but it is unknown whether seahorses also show pair bonding, which is a preference for the partner and stress upon separation. Therefore, the authors investigated whether seahorses show pair bonding by examining the gene expression of seahorses (Hippocampus erectus) during and after pairing. H. erectus also exhibits luminance (color change); therefore, luminance was recorded during interactions with mate pairs.
The authors found changes in gene expression related to metabolic activity, hormones, and cilia in paired vs. unpaired males. Male seahorses may have a larger role in luminance signaling towards their partner than females. As this was one of the first studies of pair bonding in seahorses, additional studies are needed to confirm and further these findings.
Read the full article here.