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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Genet. | doi: 10.3389/fgene.2018.00404

Space radiation alters genotype-phenotype correlations in fear learning and memory tests

 Ovidiu D. Iancu1, Sydney Weber Boutris1,  Reid H. Olsen1, Matthew J. Davis1, Blair Stewart1, Massarra Eiwaz1, Tessa Marzulla1, John Belknap1, Christina Fallgren2,  Elijah Edmondson2,  Michael Weil2 and  Jacob Raber1*
  • 1Oregon Health & Science University, United States
  • 2Colorado State University, United States

Behavioral and cognitive traits have a genetic component even though contributions from individual genes and genomic loci are in many cases modest. Changes in the environment can alter genotype-phenotype relationships. Space travel, which includes exposure to ionizing radiation, constitutes environmental challenges and is expected to induce not only dramatic behavioral and cognitive changes but also has the potential to induce physical DNA damage. In this study, we utilized a genetically heterogeneous mouse model, dense genotype data, and shifting environmental challenges, including ionizing radiation exposure, to explore and quantify the size and stability of the genetic component of fear learning and memory-related measures. Exposure to ionizing radiation and other external stressors altered the genotype-phenotype correlations, although different behavioral and cognitive measures were affected to different extents. Utilizing an integrative genomic approach, we identified pathways and functional ontology categories associated with these behavioral and cognitive measures.

Keywords: space radiation, Genotype-phenotype, Behavioral genetics, Fear learning and memory, Mice

Received: 07 Jun 2018; Accepted: 03 Sep 2018.

Edited by:

Dimitrios Avramopoulos, Johns Hopkins University, United States

Reviewed by:

Peristera Paschou, Purdue University, United States
Alex Hatzimanolis, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece  

Copyright: © 2018 Iancu, Weber Boutris, Olsen, Davis, Stewart, Eiwaz, Marzulla, Belknap, Fallgren, Edmondson, Weil and Raber. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Jacob Raber, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, United States, raberj@ohsu.edu