TitleUtilizing a Population-Genetic Framework to Test for Gene-Environment Interactions between Zebrafish Behavior and Chemical Exposure.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsThunga, P, Truong, L, Rericha, Y, La Du, JK, Morshead, M, Tanguay, RL, Reif, DM
Date Published2022 Dec 09

Individuals within genetically diverse populations display broad susceptibility differences upon chemical exposures. Understanding the role of gene-environment interactions (GxE) in differential susceptibility to an expanding exposome is key to protecting public health. However, a chemical's potential to elicit GxE is often not considered during risk assessment. Previously, we've leveraged high-throughput zebrafish (Danio rerio) morphology screening data to reveal patterns of potential GxE effects. Here, using a population genetics framework, we apportioned variation in larval behavior and gene expression in three different PFHxA environments via mixed-effect modeling to assess significance of GxE term. We estimated the intraclass correlation (ICC) between full siblings from different families using one-way random-effects model. We found a significant GxE effect upon PFHxA exposure in larval behavior, and the ICC of behavioral responses in the PFHxA exposed population at the lower concentration was 43.7%, while that of the control population was 14.6%. Considering global gene expression data, a total of 3746 genes showed statistically significant GxE. By showing evidence that heritable genetics are directly affecting gene expression and behavioral susceptibility of individuals to PFHxA exposure, we demonstrate how standing genetic variation in a heterogeneous population such as ours can be leveraged to test for potential GxE.

Alternate JournalToxics
PubMed ID36548602
PubMed Central IDPMC9781692
Grant List83948101 / EPA / EPA / United States
R01ES033243 / ES / NIEHS NIH HHS / United States
P42ES016465 / ES / NIEHS NIH HHS / United States
P30ES030287 / ES / NIEHS NIH HHS / United States
T32ES007060 / ES / NIEHS NIH HHS / United States