Dr. Michael Blouin (OSU Integrative Biology) and his lab are testing “personality” in newly hatched wild x wild and hatchery x hatchery crosses of fish and rearing them in multiple learning environments to ascertain the differences in selection imposed on fish for survival. 

In hatcheries, behavioral adaptations, e.g., habituation to novel stimuli (i.e. risk taking) occur in fish reared under artificial conditions favoring traits that improve growth in man-made environments.  However, these traits are inheritable and may negatively impact the survival of the next generation.  The ability to remain variable and avoid predators due to lower risk taking behavior may favor wild fry over hatchery-reared fish in natural settings.

Christie, M., Marine, M., Fox, S., French, R. and Blouin, M.  2016.  A single generation of domestication heritably alters the expression of hundreds of genes.  Nat. Commun. 7:10676.