Intraspecific genetic variation for anesthesia success in a New Zealand freshwater snail.


Song Q(#)(1), Magnuson R(#)(1), Jalinsky J(1), Roseman M(1), Neiman M(2)(3).
Author information:
(1)Department of Biology, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, USA.
(2)Department of Biology, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, USA. [Email]
(3)Department of Gender, Women's, and Sexuality Studies, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, USA. [Email]
(#)Contributed equally


Intraspecific genetic variation can drive phenotypic variation even across very closely related individuals. Here, we demonstrate that genetic differences between snails are a major contributor to wide variation in menthol anesthesia success in an important freshwater snail model system, Potamopyrgus antipodarum. Anesthesia is used to immobilize organisms for experiments and surgical procedures and to humanely mitigate pain. This is the first example of which we are aware of a role for genetic variation in anesthesia success in a mollusk. These findings highlight the fact that using only one strain or lineage for many experiments will not provide a full picture of phenotypic variation, demonstrate the importance of optimizing biomedically relevant techniques and protocols across a variety of genetic backgrounds, illuminate a potential mechanism underlying previously documented challenges in molluscan anesthesia, and set the stage for powerful and humane manipulative experiments in P. antipodarum.