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Beemelmanns, Anne; Roth, Olivia (2016): Biparental immune priming in the pipefish Syngnathus typhle. PANGAEA,, Supplement to: Beemelmanns, A; Roth, O (2016): Biparental immune priming in the pipefish Syngnathus typhle. Zoology, 119(4), 262-272,

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The transfer of immunity from parents to offspring (trans-generational immune priming (TGIP)) boostsoffspring immune defence and parasite resistance. TGIP is usually a maternal trait. However, if fathershave a physical connection to their offspring, and if offspring are born in the paternal parasitic environ-ment, evolution of paternal TGIP can become adaptive. In Syngnathus typhle, a sex-role reversed pipefishwith male pregnancy, both parents invest into offspring immune defence. To connect TGIP with parentalinvestment, we need to know how parents share the task of TGIP, whether TGIP is asymmetrically dis-tributed between the parents, and how the maternal and paternal effects interact in case of biparentalTGIP. We experimentally investigated the strength and differences but also the costs of maternal andpaternal contribution, and their interactive biparental influence on offspring immune defence through-out offspring maturation. To disentangle maternal and paternal influences, two different bacteria wereused in a fully reciprocal design for parental and offspring exposure. In offspring, we measured geneexpression of 29 immune genes, 15 genes associated with epigenetic regulation, immune cell activity andlife-history traits. We identified asymmetric maternal and paternal immune priming with a dominating,long-lasting paternal effect. We could not detect an additive adaptive biparental TGIP impact. However,biparental TGIP harbours additive costs as shown in delayed sexual maturity. Epigenetic regulation mayplay a role both in maternal and paternal TGIP.
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