Supporting files from Early social learning triggers neurogenomic expression changes in a swordtail fish

Mate choice can play a pivotal role in the nature and extent of reproductive isolation between species. Mating preferences are often dependent on an individual's social experience with adult phenotypes throughout development. We show that olfactory preference in a swordtail fish (Xiphophorus malinche) is affected by previous experience with adult olfactory signals. We compare transcriptome-wide gene expression levels of pooled sensory and brain tissues between three treatment groups that differ by social experience: females with no adult exposure, females exposed to conspecifics and females exposed to heterospecifics. We identify potential functionally relevant genes and biological pathways differentially expressed not only between control and exposure groups, but also between groups exposed to conspecifics and heterospecifics. Based on our results, we speculate that vomeronasal receptor type 2 paralogs may detect species-specific pheromone components and thus play an important role in reproductive isolation between species.