Science.gov

Sample records for african cichlid fish

  1. Phylogeny of African cichlid fishes as revealed by molecular markers.

    PubMed

    Mayer, W E; Tichy, H; Klein, J

    1998-06-01

    The species flocks of cichlid fish in the three great East African Lakes, Victoria, Malawi, and Tanganyika, have arisen in each lake by explosive adaptive radiation. Various questions concerning their phylogeny have not yet been answered. In particular, the identity of the ancestral founder species and the monophyletic origin of the haplochromine cichlids from the East African lakes have not been established conclusively. In the present study, we used the anonymous nuclear DNA marker DXTU1 as a step towards answering these questions. A 280 bp-fragment of the DXTU1 locus was amplified by the polymerase chain reaction from East African lacustrine species, the East African riverine cichlid species Haplochromis bloyeti, H. burtoni and H. sparsidens, and other African cichlids. Sequencing revealed several indels and substitutions that were used as cladistically informative markers to support a phylogenetic tree constructed by the neighbor-joining method. The topology, although not supported by high bootstrap values, corresponds well to the geographical distribution and previous classification of the cichlids. Markers could be defined that: (i) differentiate East African from West African cichlids; (ii) distinguish the riverine and Lake Victoria/Malawi haplochromines from Lake Tanganyika cichlids; and (iii) indicate the existence of a monophyletic Lake Victoria cichlid superflock which includes haplochromines from satellite lakes and East African rivers. In order to resolve further the relationship of East African riverine and lacustrine species, mtDNA cytochrome b and control region segments were sequenced. The mtDNA-based trees support the notion of the monophyly of the Lake Victoria superflock but are ambiguous with respect to the phylogenetic position of the Lake Malawi flock. PMID:9675872

  2. The genomic substrate for adaptive radiation in African cichlid fish

    PubMed Central

    Malinsky, Milan; Keller, Irene; Fan, Shaohua; Simakov, Oleg; Ng, Alvin Y.; Lim, Zhi Wei; Bezault, Etienne; Turner-Maier, Jason; Johnson, Jeremy; Alcazar, Rosa; Noh, Hyun Ji; Russell, Pamela; Aken, Bronwen; Alföldi, Jessica; Amemiya, Chris; Azzouzi, Naoual; Baroiller, Jean-François; Barloy-Hubler, Frederique; Berlin, Aaron; Bloomquist, Ryan; Carleton, Karen L.; Conte, Matthew A.; D'Cotta, Helena; Eshel, Orly; Gaffney, Leslie; Galibert, Francis; Gante, Hugo F.; Gnerre, Sante; Greuter, Lucie; Guyon, Richard; Haddad, Natalie S.; Haerty, Wilfried; Harris, Rayna M.; Hofmann, Hans A.; Hourlier, Thibaut; Hulata, Gideon; Jaffe, David B.; Lara, Marcia; Lee, Alison P.; MacCallum, Iain; Mwaiko, Salome; Nikaido, Masato; Nishihara, Hidenori; Ozouf-Costaz, Catherine; Penman, David J.; Przybylski, Dariusz; Rakotomanga, Michaelle; Renn, Suzy C. P.; Ribeiro, Filipe J.; Ron, Micha; Salzburger, Walter; Sanchez-Pulido, Luis; Santos, M. Emilia; Searle, Steve; Sharpe, Ted; Swofford, Ross; Tan, Frederick J.; Williams, Louise; Young, Sarah; Yin, Shuangye; Okada, Norihiro; Kocher, Thomas D.; Miska, Eric A.; Lander, Eric S.; Venkatesh, Byrappa; Fernald, Russell D.; Meyer, Axel; Ponting, Chris P.; Streelman, J. Todd; Lindblad-Toh, Kerstin; Seehausen, Ole; Di Palma, Federica

    2015-01-01

    Cichlid fishes are famous for large, diverse and replicated adaptive radiations in the Great Lakes of East Africa. To understand the molecular mechanisms underlying cichlid phenotypic diversity, we sequenced the genomes and transcriptomes of five lineages of African cichlids: the Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus), an ancestral lineage with low diversity; and four members of the East African lineage: Neolamprologus brichardi/pulcher (older radiation, Lake Tanganyika), Metriaclima zebra (recent radiation, Lake Malawi), Pundamilia nyererei (very recent radiation, Lake Victoria), and Astatotilapia burtoni (riverine species around Lake Tanganyika). We found an excess of gene duplications in the East African lineage compared to tilapia and other teleosts, an abundance of non-coding element divergence, accelerated coding sequence evolution, expression divergence associated with transposable element insertions, and regulation by novel microRNAs. In addition, we analysed sequence data from sixty individuals representing six closely related species from Lake Victoria, and show genome-wide diversifying selection on coding and regulatory variants, some of which were recruited from ancient polymorphisms. We conclude that a number of molecular mechanisms shaped East African cichlid genomes, and that amassing of standing variation during periods of relaxed purifying selection may have been important in facilitating subsequent evolutionary diversification. PMID:25186727

  3. Monogeneans of West African Cichlid Fish: Evolution and Cophylogenetic Interactions

    PubMed Central

    Mendlová, Monika; Desdevises, Yves; Civáňová, Kristína; Pariselle, Antoine; Šimková, Andrea

    2012-01-01

    The goals of this paper were to investigate phylogenetic and evolutionary patterns of cichlid fish from West Africa and their Cichlidogyrus and Scutogyrus monogenean parasites, to uncover the presence of host-parasite cospeciation and to assess the level of morphological adaptation in parasites. This required the following steps, each one representing specific objectives of this paper: (1) to build phylogenetic trees for Cichlidogyrus and Scutogyrus species based on ribosomal DNA sequences, (2) to investigate phylogenetic relationships within West African cichlid fish based on the analysis of mitochondrial cytochrome b DNA sequences, (3) to investigate host-parasite cophylogenetic history to gain clues on parasite speciation process, and (4) to investigate the link between the morphology of the attachment apparatus and parasite phylogeny. Phylogenetic analyses supported the monophyletic origin of the Cichlidogyrus/Scutogyrus group, and suggested that Cichlidogyrus is polyphyletic and that Scutogyrus is monophyletic. The phylogeny of Cichlidae supported the separation of mouthbrooders and substrate-brooders and is consistent with the hypothesis that the mouthbrooding behavior of Oreochromis and Sarotherodon evolved from substrate-brooding behavior. The mapping of morphological characters of the haptor onto the parasite phylogenetic tree suggests that the attachment organ has evolved from a very simple form to a more complex one. The cophylogenetic analyses indicated a significant fit between trees using distance-based tests, but no significant cospeciation signal using tree-based tests, suggesting the presence of parasite duplications and host switches on related host species. This shed some light on the diversification process of Cichlidogyrus species parasitizing West African cichlids. PMID:22662139

  4. Contextual chemosensory urine signaling in an African cichlid fish

    PubMed Central

    Maruska, Karen P.; Fernald, Russell D.

    2012-01-01

    SUMMARY Chemosensory signaling is crucial for communication in many fish species, but little is known about how signalers modulate chemical output in response to sensory information and social context. Here, we tested the hypothesis that dominant male African cichlid fish (Astatotilapia burtoni) use urine signals during social interactions, and demonstrate that this signaling depends on social context (reproductive; territorial) and on available sensory information (visual cues; full interaction). We injected males with dye to visualize urine pulses and exposed them to full sensory information or visual cues alone of four types: (1) dominant male; (2) gravid (reproductively receptive) females; (3) mouth-brooding (non-receptive) females; or (4) control (no fish). We found that males released urine sooner and increased their urination frequency when visually exposed to gravid females as compared with mouth-brooding females and or no-fish controls. While males could distinguish female reproductive states using visual cues alone, courtship behavior rates were ∼10-fold higher when they fully interacted with gravid females compared with receiving visual cues alone. Males also increased their urination and territorial behaviors when exposed to another male, suggesting that chemical signals may convey information on dominance status. These data support the hypothesis that dominant males use urine as a chemical signal and adjust the frequency of their urine output based on contextual information. PMID:22162854

  5. Genomics of adaptation and speciation in cichlid fishes: recent advances and analyses in African and Neotropical lineages

    PubMed Central

    Fan, Shaohua; Elmer, Kathryn R.; Meyer, Axel

    2012-01-01

    Cichlid fishes are remarkably phenotypically diverse and species-rich. Therefore, they provide an exciting opportunity for the study of the genetics of adaptation and speciation by natural and sexual selection. Here, we review advances in the genomics and transcriptomics of cichlids, particularly regarding ecologically relevant differences in body shape, trophic apparatus, coloration and patterning, and sex determination. Research conducted so far has focused almost exclusively on African cichlids. To analyse genomic diversity and selection in a Neotropical radiation, we conducted a comparative transcriptomic analysis between sympatric, ecologically divergent crater-lake Midas cichlids (Lake Xiloá Amphilophus amarillo and Amphilophus sagittae). We pyrosequenced (Roche 454) expressed sequence tag (EST) libraries and generated more than 178 000 000 ESTs and identified nine ESTs under positive selection between these sister species (Ka/Ks > 1). None of these ESTs were found to be under selection in African cichlids. Of 11 candidate genes for ecomorphological differentiation in African cichlids, none showed signs of selection between A. amarillo and A. sagittae. Although more population-level studies are now needed to thoroughly document patterns of divergence during speciation of cichlids, available information so far suggests that adaptive phenotypic diversification in Neotropical and African cichlids may be evolving through non-parallel genetic bases. PMID:22201168

  6. Chromosome Evolution in African Cichlid Fish: Contributions from the Physical Mapping of Repeated DNAs

    PubMed Central

    Ferreira, I.A.; Poletto, A.B.; Kocher, T.D.; Mota-Velasco, J.C.; Penman, D.J.; Martins, C.

    2010-01-01

    Cichlid fishes have been the subject of increasing scientific interest because of their rapid adaptive radiation that has led to extensive ecological diversity and because of their enormous importance to tropical and subtropical aquaculture. To further understanding of chromosome evolution among cichlid species, we have comparatively mapped the SATA satellite DNA, the transposable element ROn-1, and repeated sequences in the bacterial artificial chromosome clone BAC-C4E09 on the chromosomes of a range of African species of Cichlidae, using fluorescence in situ hybridization. The SATA satellite DNA was mapped in almost all the centromeres of all tilapiine and haplochromine species studied. The maintenance and centromeric distribution of the SATA satellite DNA in African cichlids suggest that this sequence plays an important role in the organization and function of the centromere in these species. Furthermore, analysis of SATA element distribution clarifies that chromosome fusions occurred independently in Oreochromis and Tilapia genera, and led to the reduced chromosome number detected in O. karongae and T. mariae. The comparative chromosome mapping of the ROn-1 SINE-like element and BAC-C4E09 shows that the repeated sequences have been maintained among tilapiine, haplochromine and hemichromine fishes and has demonstrated the homology of the largest chromosomes among these groups. Furthermore, the mapping of ROn-1 suggested that different chromosomal rearrangements could have occurred in the origin of the largest chromosome pairs of tilapiines and non-tilapiines. PMID:20606399

  7. Immune-Related Functions of the Hivep Gene Family in East African Cichlid Fishes

    PubMed Central

    Diepeveen, Eveline T.; Roth, Olivia; Salzburger, Walter

    2013-01-01

    Immune-related genes are often characterized by adaptive protein evolution. Selection on immune genes can be particularly strong when hosts encounter novel parasites, for instance, after the colonization of a new habitat or upon the exploitation of vacant ecological niches in an adaptive radiation. We examined a set of new candidate immune genes in East African cichlid fishes. More specifically, we studied the signatures of selection in five paralogs of the human immunodeficiency virus type I enhancer-binding protein (Hivep) gene family, tested their involvement in the immune defense, and related our results to explosive speciation and adaptive radiation events in cichlids. We found signatures of long-term positive selection in four Hivep paralogs and lineage-specific positive selection in Hivep3b in two radiating cichlid lineages. Exposure of the cichlid Astatotilapia burtoni to a vaccination with Vibrio anguillarum bacteria resulted in a positive correlation between immune response parameters and expression levels of three Hivep loci. This work provides the first evidence for a role of Hivep paralogs in teleost immune defense and links the signatures of positive selection to host–pathogen interactions within an adaptive radiation. PMID:24142922

  8. The species flocks of East African cichlid fishes: recent advances in molecular phylogenetics and population genetics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salzburger, Walter; Meyer, Axel

    With more than 3,000 species, the fish family Cichlidae is one of the most species-rich families of vertebrates. Cichlids occur in southern and central America, Africa, Madagascar, and India. The hotspot of their biodiversity is East Africa, where they form adaptive radiations composed of hundreds of endemic species in several lakes of various sizes and ages. The unparalleled species richness of East African cichlids has been something of a conundrum for evolutionary biologists and ecologists, since it has been in doubt whether these hundreds of species arose by allopatric speciation or whether it is necessary to invoke somewhat less traditional models of speciation, such as micro-allopatric, peripatric, or even sympatric speciation or evolution through sexual selection mediated by female choice. Ernst Mayr's analyses of these evolutionary uniquely diverse species assemblages have contributed to a more direct approach to this problem and have led to a deeper understanding of the patterns and processes that caused the formation of these huge groups of species. We review here recent molecular data on population differentiation and phylogenetics, which have helped to unravel, to some extent, the patterns and processes that led to the formation and ecological maintenance of cichlid species flocks. It is becoming apparent that sexually selected traits do play an important role in speciation in micro-allopatric or even sympatric settings. Species richness seems to be roughly correlated with the surface area, but not the age, of the lakes. We observe that the oldest lineages of a species flock of cichlids are often less species-rich and live in the open water or deepwater habitats. While the species flocks of the Lake Malawai and the Lake Victoria areas were shown to be monophyletic, the cichlid assemblage of Lake Tanganyika seems to consist of several independent species flocks. Cichlids emerge as an evolutionary model system in which many fundamental questions in

  9. Gut Microbiota Dynamics during Dietary Shift in Eastern African Cichlid Fishes.

    PubMed

    Baldo, Laura; Riera, Joan Lluís; Tooming-Klunderud, Ave; Albà, M Mar; Salzburger, Walter

    2015-01-01

    The gut microbiota structure reflects both a host phylogenetic history and a signature of adaptation to the host ecological, mainly trophic niches. African cichlid fishes, with their array of closely related species that underwent a rapid dietary niche radiation, offer a particularly interesting system to explore the relative contribution of these two factors in nature. Here we surveyed the host intra- and interspecific natural variation of the gut microbiota of five cichlid species from the monophyletic tribe Perissodini of lake Tanganyika, whose members transitioned from being zooplanktivorous to feeding primarily on fish scales. The outgroup riverine species Astatotilapia burtoni, largely omnivorous, was also included in the study. Fusobacteria, Firmicutes and Proteobacteria represented the dominant components in the gut microbiota of all 30 specimens analysed according to two distinct 16S rRNA markers. All members of the Perissodini tribe showed a homogenous pattern of microbial alpha and beta diversities, with no significant qualitative differences, despite changes in diet. The recent diet shift between zooplantkon- and scale-eaters simply reflects on a significant enrichment of Clostridium taxa in scale-eaters where they might be involved in the scale metabolism. Comparison with the omnivorous species A. burtoni suggests that, with increased host phylogenetic distance and/or increasing herbivory, the gut microbiota begins differentiating also at qualitative level. The cichlids show presence of a large conserved core of taxa and a small set of core OTUs (average 13-15%), remarkably stable also in captivity, and putatively favoured by both restricted microbial transmission among related hosts (putatively enhanced by mouthbrooding behavior) and common host constraints. This study sets the basis for a future large-scale investigation of the gut microbiota of cichlids and its adaptation in the process of the host adaptive radiation. PMID:25978452

  10. Gut Microbiota Dynamics during Dietary Shift in Eastern African Cichlid Fishes

    PubMed Central

    Baldo, Laura; Riera, Joan Lluís; Tooming-Klunderud, Ave; Albà, M. Mar; Salzburger, Walter

    2015-01-01

    The gut microbiota structure reflects both a host phylogenetic history and a signature of adaptation to the host ecological, mainly trophic niches. African cichlid fishes, with their array of closely related species that underwent a rapid dietary niche radiation, offer a particularly interesting system to explore the relative contribution of these two factors in nature. Here we surveyed the host intra- and interspecific natural variation of the gut microbiota of five cichlid species from the monophyletic tribe Perissodini of lake Tanganyika, whose members transitioned from being zooplanktivorous to feeding primarily on fish scales. The outgroup riverine species Astatotilapia burtoni, largely omnivorous, was also included in the study. Fusobacteria, Firmicutes and Proteobacteria represented the dominant components in the gut microbiota of all 30 specimens analysed according to two distinct 16S rRNA markers. All members of the Perissodini tribe showed a homogenous pattern of microbial alpha and beta diversities, with no significant qualitative differences, despite changes in diet. The recent diet shift between zooplantkon- and scale-eaters simply reflects on a significant enrichment of Clostridium taxa in scale-eaters where they might be involved in the scale metabolism. Comparison with the omnivorous species A. burtoni suggests that, with increased host phylogenetic distance and/or increasing herbivory, the gut microbiota begins differentiating also at qualitative level. The cichlids show presence of a large conserved core of taxa and a small set of core OTUs (average 13–15%), remarkably stable also in captivity, and putatively favoured by both restricted microbial transmission among related hosts (putatively enhanced by mouthbrooding behavior) and common host constraints. This study sets the basis for a future large-scale investigation of the gut microbiota of cichlids and its adaptation in the process of the host adaptive radiation. PMID:25978452

  11. Testing the stages model in the adaptive radiation of cichlid fishes in East African Lake Tanganyika.

    PubMed

    Muschick, Moritz; Nosil, Patrik; Roesti, Marius; Dittmann, Marie Theres; Harmon, Luke; Salzburger, Walter

    2014-11-22

    Adaptive radiation (AR) is a key process in the origin of organismal diversity. However, the evolution of trait disparity in connection with ecological specialization is still poorly understood. Available models for vertebrate ARs predict that diversification occurs in the form of temporal stages driven by different selective forces. Here, we investigate the AR of cichlid fishes in East African Lake Tanganyika and use macroevolutionary model fitting to evaluate whether diversification happened in temporal stages. Six trait complexes, for which we also provide evidence of their adaptiveness, are analysed with comparative methods: body shape, pharyngeal jaw shape, gill raker traits, gut length, brain weight and body coloration. Overall, we do not find strong evidence for the 'stages model' of AR. However, our results suggest that trophic traits diversify earlier than traits implicated in macrohabitat adaptation and that sexual communication traits (i.e. coloration) diversify late in the radiation. PMID:25274371

  12. Testing the stages model in the adaptive radiation of cichlid fishes in East African Lake Tanganyika

    PubMed Central

    Muschick, Moritz; Nosil, Patrik; Roesti, Marius; Dittmann, Marie Theres; Harmon, Luke; Salzburger, Walter

    2014-01-01

    Adaptive radiation (AR) is a key process in the origin of organismal diversity. However, the evolution of trait disparity in connection with ecological specialization is still poorly understood. Available models for vertebrate ARs predict that diversification occurs in the form of temporal stages driven by different selective forces. Here, we investigate the AR of cichlid fishes in East African Lake Tanganyika and use macroevolutionary model fitting to evaluate whether diversification happened in temporal stages. Six trait complexes, for which we also provide evidence of their adaptiveness, are analysed with comparative methods: body shape, pharyngeal jaw shape, gill raker traits, gut length, brain weight and body coloration. Overall, we do not find strong evidence for the ‘stages model’ of AR. However, our results suggest that trophic traits diversify earlier than traits implicated in macrohabitat adaptation and that sexual communication traits (i.e. coloration) diversify late in the radiation. PMID:25274371

  13. Adaptive divergence between lake and stream populations of an East African cichlid fish.

    PubMed

    Theis, Anya; Ronco, Fabrizia; Indermaur, Adrian; Salzburger, Walter; Egger, Bernd

    2014-11-01

    Divergent natural selection acting in different habitats may build up barriers to gene flow and initiate speciation. This speciation continuum can range from weak or no divergence to strong genetic differentiation between populations. Here, we focus on the early phases of adaptive divergence in the East African cichlid fish Astatotilapia burtoni, which occurs in both Lake Tanganyika (LT) and inflowing rivers. We first assessed the population structure and morphological differences in A. burtoni from southern LT. We then focused on four lake-stream systems and quantified body shape, ecologically relevant traits (gill raker and lower pharyngeal jaw) as well as stomach contents. Our study revealed the presence of several divergent lake-stream populations that rest at different stages of the speciation continuum, but show the same morphological and ecological trajectories along the lake-stream gradient. Lake fish have higher bodies, a more superior mouth position, longer gill rakers and more slender pharyngeal jaws, and they show a plant/algae and zooplankton-biased diet, whereas stream fish feed more on snails, insects and plant seeds. A test for reproductive isolation between closely related lake and stream populations did not detect population-assortative mating. Analyses of F1 offspring reared under common garden conditions indicate that the detected differences in body shape and gill raker length do not constitute pure plastic responses to different environmental conditions, but also have a genetic basis. Taken together, the A. burtoni lake-stream system constitutes a new model to study the factors that enhance and constrain progress towards speciation in cichlid fishes. PMID:25256664

  14. Back to Tanganyika: a case of recent trans-species-flock dispersal in East African haplochromine cichlid fishes.

    PubMed

    Meyer, Britta S; Indermaur, Adrian; Ehrensperger, Xenia; Egger, Bernd; Banyankimbona, Gaspard; Snoeks, Jos; Salzburger, Walter

    2015-03-01

    The species flocks of cichlid fishes in the East African Great Lakes are the largest vertebrate adaptive radiations in the world and illustrious textbook examples of convergent evolution between independent species assemblages. Although recent studies suggest some degrees of genetic exchange between riverine taxa and the lake faunas, not a single cichlid species is known from Lakes Tanganyika, Malawi and Victoria that is derived from the radiation associated with another of these lakes. Here, we report the discovery of a haplochromine cichlid species in Lake Tanganyika, which belongs genetically to the species flock of haplochromines of the Lake Victoria region. The new species colonized Lake Tanganyika only recently, suggesting that faunal exchange across watersheds and, hence, between isolated ichthyofaunas, is more common than previously thought. PMID:26064619

  15. Back to Tanganyika: a case of recent trans-species-flock dispersal in East African haplochromine cichlid fishes

    PubMed Central

    Meyer, Britta S.; Indermaur, Adrian; Ehrensperger, Xenia; Egger, Bernd; Banyankimbona, Gaspard; Snoeks, Jos; Salzburger, Walter

    2015-01-01

    The species flocks of cichlid fishes in the East African Great Lakes are the largest vertebrate adaptive radiations in the world and illustrious textbook examples of convergent evolution between independent species assemblages. Although recent studies suggest some degrees of genetic exchange between riverine taxa and the lake faunas, not a single cichlid species is known from Lakes Tanganyika, Malawi and Victoria that is derived from the radiation associated with another of these lakes. Here, we report the discovery of a haplochromine cichlid species in Lake Tanganyika, which belongs genetically to the species flock of haplochromines of the Lake Victoria region. The new species colonized Lake Tanganyika only recently, suggesting that faunal exchange across watersheds and, hence, between isolated ichthyofaunas, is more common than previously thought. PMID:26064619

  16. Expression and Sequence Evolution of Aromatase cyp19a1 and Other Sexual Development Genes in East African Cichlid Fishes

    PubMed Central

    Böhne, Astrid; Heule, Corina; Boileau, Nicolas; Salzburger, Walter

    2013-01-01

    Sex determination mechanisms are highly variable across teleost fishes and sexual development is often plastic. Nevertheless, downstream factors establishing the two sexes are presumably conserved. Here, we study sequence evolution and gene expression of core genes of sexual development in a prime model system in evolutionary biology, the East African cichlid fishes. Using the available five cichlid genomes, we test for signs of positive selection in 28 genes including duplicates from the teleost whole-genome duplication, and examine the expression of these candidate genes in three cichlid species. We then focus on a particularly striking case, the A- and B-copies of the aromatase cyp19a1, and detect different evolutionary trajectories: cyp19a1A evolved under strong positive selection, whereas cyp19a1B remained conserved at the protein level, yet is subject to regulatory changes at its transcription start sites. Importantly, we find shifts in gene expression in both copies. Cyp19a1 is considered the most conserved ovary-factor in vertebrates, and in all teleosts investigated so far, cyp19a1A and cyp19a1B are expressed in ovaries and the brain, respectively. This is not the case in cichlids, where we find new expression patterns in two derived lineages: the A-copy gained a novel testis-function in the Ectodine lineage, whereas the B-copy is overexpressed in the testis of the speciest-richest cichlid group, the Haplochromini. This suggests that even key factors of sexual development, including the sex steroid pathway, are not conserved in fish, supporting the idea that flexibility in sexual determination and differentiation may be a driving force of speciation. PMID:23883521

  17. The African Cichlid Fish Astatotilapia burtoni Uses Acoustic Communication for Reproduction: Sound Production, Hearing, and Behavioral Significance

    PubMed Central

    Maruska, Karen P.; Ung, Uyhun S.; Fernald, Russell D.

    2012-01-01

    Sexual reproduction in all animals depends on effective communication between signalers and receivers. Many fish species, especially the African cichlids, are well known for their bright coloration and the importance of visual signaling during courtship and mate choice, but little is known about what role acoustic communication plays during mating and how it contributes to sexual selection in this phenotypically diverse group of vertebrates. Here we examined acoustic communication during reproduction in the social cichlid fish, Astatotilapia burtoni. We characterized the sounds and associated behaviors produced by dominant males during courtship, tested for differences in hearing ability associated with female reproductive state and male social status, and then tested the hypothesis that female mate preference is influenced by male sound production. We show that dominant males produce intentional courtship sounds in close proximity to females, and that sounds are spectrally similar to their hearing abilities. Females were 2–5-fold more sensitive to low frequency sounds in the spectral range of male courtship sounds when they were sexually-receptive compared to during the mouthbrooding parental phase. Hearing thresholds were also negatively correlated with circulating sex-steroid levels in females but positively correlated in males, suggesting a potential role for steroids in reproductive-state auditory plasticity. Behavioral experiments showed that receptive females preferred to affiliate with males that were associated with playback of courtship sounds compared to noise controls, indicating that acoustic information is likely important for female mate choice. These data show for the first time in a Tanganyikan cichlid that acoustic communication is important during reproduction as part of a multimodal signaling repertoire, and that perception of auditory information changes depending on the animal's internal physiological state. Our results highlight the

  18. Behavioral and Physiological Plasticity: Rapid Changes during Social Ascent in an African Cichlid Fish

    PubMed Central

    Fernald, Russell D.

    2010-01-01

    In many vertebrates, reproduction is regulated by social interactions in which dominant males control access to females and food. Subordinate males that displace dominant individuals must rapidly adopt behavioral and physiological traits of the higher rank to gain reproductive success. To understand the process of phenotypic plasticity during social ascent, we analyzed the temporal expression pattern of dominance behaviors and circulating androgen levels when socially-suppressed males of an African cichlid fish Astatotilapia burtoni ascended in status. These experiments tested a prediction of the ‘challenge hypothesis’ that, during periods of social instability, male androgen levels are higher than during socially stable times. We found that socially and reproductively suppressed males perform territorial and reproductive behaviors within minutes of an opportunity to ascend in status, and that animals switch from initial expression of territorial behaviors to more reproductive behaviors during territory establishment. Following this rapid response, social stability may be achieved within 1–3 days of social ascent. Consistent with predictions of the ‘challenge hypothesis’, circulating 11-ketotestosterone (11-KT) levels were elevated within 30 min following social opportunity, coincident with increased aggressive behavior. However, territorial behaviors and serum 11-KT levels were then dissociated by 72 hrs after social ascent, suggesting either rapid social stability and/or increased physiological potential for androgen production. This behavioral and physiological plasticity in male A. burtoni suggests that perception of social opportunity triggers a suite of quick changes to facilitate rapid transition towards reproductive success, and reveals important features of social ascent not previously recognized. PMID:20303357

  19. Social Regulation of Male Reproductive Plasticity in an African Cichlid Fish

    PubMed Central

    Maruska, Karen P.; Fernald, Russell D.

    2013-01-01

    Social interactions with the outcome of a position in a dominance hierarchy can have profound effects on reproductive behavior and physiology, requiring animals to integrate environmental information with their internal physiological state; but how is salient information from the animal’s dynamic social environment transformed into adaptive behavioral, physiological, and molecular-level changes? The African cichlid fish, Astatotilapia burtoni, is ideally suited to understand socially controlled reproductive plasticity because activity of the male reproductive (brain–pituitary–gonad) axis is tightly linked to social status. Males form hierarchies in which a small percentage of brightly colored dominant individuals have an active reproductive axis, defend territories, and spawn with females, while the remaining males are subordinate, drably colored, do not hold a territory, and have a suppressed reproductive system with minimal opportunities for spawning. These social phenotypes are plastic and quickly reversible, meaning that individual males may switch between dominant and subordinate status multiple times within a lifetime. Here, we review the rapid and remarkable plasticity that occurs along the entire reproductive axis when males rise in social rank, a transition that has important implications for the operational sex ratio of the population. When males rise in rank, transformations occur in the brain, pituitary, circulation, and testes over short time-scales (minutes to days). Changes are evident in overt behavior, as well as modifications at the physiological, cellular, and molecular levels that regulate reproductive capacity. Widespread changes triggered by a switch in rank highlight the significance of external social information in shaping internal physiology and reproductive competence. PMID:23613320

  20. What, if anything, is a Tilapia?-mitochondrial ND2 phylogeny of tilapiines and the evolution of parental care systems in the African cichlid fishes.

    PubMed

    Klett, Vera; Meyer, Axel

    2002-06-01

    We estimated a novel phylogeny of tilapiine cichlid fish (an assemblage endemic to Africa and the Near East) within the African cichlid fishes on the basis of complete mitochondrial NADH dehydrogenase subunit 2 (ND2) gene sequences. The ND2 (1,047 bp) gene was sequenced in 39 tilapiine cichlids (38 species and 1 subspecies) and in an additional 14 nontilapiine cichlid species in order to evaluate the traditional morphologically based hypothesis of the respective monophyly of the tilapiine and haplochromine cichlid fish assemblages. The analyses included many additional cichlid lineages, not only the so-called tilapiines, but also lineages from Lake Tanganyika, east Africa, the Neotropics and an out-group from Madagascar with a wide range of parental care and mating systems. Our results suggest, in contrast to the historical morphology-based hypotheses from Regan (1920, 1922 ), Trewavas (1983), and Stiassny (1991), that the tilapiines do not form a monophyletic group because there is strong evidence that the genus Tilapia is not monophyletic but divided into at least five distinct groups. In contrast to this finding, an allozyme analysis of Pouyaud and Agnèse (1995), largely based on the same samples as used here, found a clustering of the Tilapia species into only two groups. This discrepancy is likely caused by the difference in resolution power of the two marker systems used. Our data suggest that only type species Tilapia sparrmanii Smith (1840) should retain the genus name TILAPIA: One particular group of tilapiines (composed of genera Sarotherodon, Oreochromis, Iranocichla, and Tristramella) is more closely related to an evolutionarily highly successful lineage, the haplochromine cichlids that compose the adaptive radiations of cichlid species flocks of east Africa. It appears that the highly adaptable biology of tilapiines is the ancestral state for all African cichlids and that the more stenotypic lifestyle of the haplochromine cichlids is derived from this

  1. Chromosome differentiation patterns during cichlid fish evolution

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Cichlid fishes have been the subject of increasing scientific interest because of their rapid adaptive radiation which has led to an extensive ecological diversity and their enormous importance to tropical and subtropical aquaculture. To increase our understanding of chromosome evolution among cichlid species, karyotypes of one Asian, 22 African, and 30 South American cichlid species were investigated, and chromosomal data of the family was reviewed. Results Although there is extensive variation in the karyotypes of cichlid fishes (from 2n = 32 to 2n = 60 chromosomes), the modal chromosome number for South American species was 2n = 48 and the modal number for the African ones was 2n = 44. The only Asian species analyzed, Etroplus maculatus, was observed to have 46 chromosomes. The presence of one or two macro B chromosomes was detected in two African species. The cytogenetic mapping of 18S ribosomal RNA (18S rRNA) gene revealed a variable number of clusters among species varying from two to six. Conclusions The karyotype diversification of cichlids seems to have occurred through several chromosomal rearrangements involving fissions, fusions and inversions. It was possible to identify karyotype markers for the subfamilies Pseudocrenilabrinae (African) and Cichlinae (American). The karyotype analyses did not clarify the phylogenetic relationship among the Cichlinae tribes. On the other hand, the two major groups of Pseudocrenilabrinae (tilapiine and haplochromine) were clearly discriminated based on the characteristics of their karyotypes. The cytogenetic mapping of 18S ribosomal RNA (18S rRNA) gene did not follow the chromosome diversification in the family. The dynamic evolution of the repeated units of rRNA genes generates patterns of chromosomal distribution that do not help follows the phylogenetic relationships among taxa. The presence of B chromosomes in cichlids is of particular interest because they may not be represented in the reference genome

  2. Interspecific variation in Rx1 expression controls opsin expression and causes visual system diversity in African cichlid fishes.

    PubMed

    Schulte, Jane E; O'Brien, Conor S; Conte, Matthew A; O'Quin, Kelly E; Carleton, Karen L

    2014-09-01

    The mechanisms underlying natural phenotypic diversity are key to understanding evolution and speciation. Cichlid fishes are among the most speciose vertebrates and an ideal model for identifying genes controlling species differences. Cichlids have diverse visual sensitivities that result from species expressing subsets of seven cichlid cone opsin genes. We previously identified a quantitative trait locus (QTL) that tunes visual sensitivity by varying SWS2A (short wavelength sensitive 2A) opsin expression in a genetic cross between two Lake Malawi cichlid species. Here, we identify Rx1 (retinal and anterior neural fold homeobox) as the causative gene for the QTL using fine mapping and RNAseq in retinal transcriptomes. Rx1 is differentially expressed between the parental species and correlated with SWS2A expression in the F2 progeny. Expression of Rx1 and SWS2A is also correlated in a panel of 16 Lake Malawi cichlid species. Association mapping in this panel identified a 413-bp deletion located 2.5-kb upstream of the Rx1 translation start site that is correlated with decreased Rx1 expression. This deletion explains 62% of the variance in SWS2A expression across 53 cichlid species in 29 genera. The deletion occurs in both the sand and rock-dwelling cichlid clades, suggesting that it is an ancestral polymorphism. Our finding supports the hypothesis that mixing and matching of ancestral polymorphisms can explain the diversity of present day cichlid phenotypes. PMID:24859246

  3. The B chromosomes of the African cichlid fish Haplochromis obliquidens harbour 18S rRNA gene copies

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Diverse plant and animal species have B chromosomes, also known as accessory, extra or supernumerary chromosomes. Despite being widely distributed among different taxa, the genomic nature and genetic behavior of B chromosomes are still poorly understood. Results In this study we describe the occurrence of B chromosomes in the African cichlid fish Haplochromis obliquidens. One or two large B chromosome(s) occurring in 39.6% of the analyzed individuals (both male and female) were identified. To better characterize the karyotype and assess the nature of the B chromosomes, fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) was performed using probes for telomeric DNA repeats, 18S and 5S rRNA genes, SATA centromeric satellites, and bacterial artificial chromosomes (BACs) enriched in repeated DNA sequences. The B chromosomes are enriched in repeated DNAs, especially non-active 18S rRNA gene-like sequences. Conclusion Our results suggest that the B chromosome could have originated from rDNA bearing subtelo/acrocentric A chromosomes through formation of an isochromosome, or by accumulation of repeated DNAs and rRNA gene-like sequences in a small proto-B chromosome derived from the A complement. PMID:20051104

  4. Comparative Transcriptomics of Eastern African Cichlid Fishes Shows Signs of Positive Selection and a Large Contribution of Untranslated Regions to Genetic Diversity

    PubMed Central

    Baldo, Laura; Santos, M.Emília; Salzburger, Walter

    2011-01-01

    The hundreds of endemic species of cichlid fishes in the East African Great Lakes Tanganyika, Malawi, and Victoria are a prime model system in evolutionary biology. With five genomes currently being sequenced, eastern African cichlids also represent a forthcoming genomic model for evolutionary studies of genotype-to-phenotype processes in adaptive radiations. Here we report the functional annotation and comparative analyses of transcriptome data sets for two eastern African cichlid species, Astatotilapia burtoni and Ophthalmotilapia ventralis, representatives of the modern haplochromines and ectodines, respectively. Nearly 647,000 expressed sequence tags were assembled in more than 46,000 contigs for each species using the 454 sequencing technology, largely expanding the current sequence data set publicly available for these cichlids. Total predicted coverage of their proteome diversity is approximately 50% for both species. Comparative qualitative and quantitative analyses show very similar transcriptome data for the two species in terms of both functional annotation and relative abundance of gene ontology terms expressed. Average genetic distance between species is 1.75% when all transcript types are considered including nonannotated sequences, 1.33% for annotated sequences only including untranslated regions, and decreases to nearly half, 0.95%, for coding sequences only, suggesting a large contribution of noncoding regions to their genetic diversity. Comparative analyses across the two species, tilapia and the outgroup medaka based on an overlapping data set of 1,216 genes (∼526 kb) demonstrate cichlid-specific signature of disruptive selection and provide a set of candidate genes that are putatively under positive selection. Overall, these data sets offer the genetic platform for future comparative analyses in light of the upcoming genomes for this taxonomic group. PMID:21617250

  5. Continental monophyly of cichlid fishes and the phylogenetic position of Heterochromis multidens.

    PubMed

    Keck, Benjamin P; Hulsey, C Darrin

    2014-04-01

    The incredibly species-rich cichlid fish faunas of both the Neotropics and Africa are generally thought to be reciprocally monophyletic. However, the phylogenetic affinity of the African cichlid Heterochromis multidens is ambiguous, and this distinct lineage could make African cichlids paraphyletic. In past studies, Heterochromis has been variously suggested to be one of the earliest diverging lineages within either the Neotropical or the African cichlid radiations, and it has even been hypothesized to be the sister lineage to a clade containing all Neotropical and African cichlids. We examined the phylogenetic relationships among a representative sample of cichlids with a dataset of 29 nuclear loci to assess the support for the different hypotheses of the phylogenetic position of Heterochromis. Although individual gene trees in some instances supported alternative relationships, a majority of gene trees, integration of genes into species trees, and hypothesis testing of putative topologies all supported Heterochromis as belonging to the clade of African cichlids. PMID:24472673

  6. Variable light environments induce plastic spectral tuning by regional opsin coexpression in the African cichlid fish, Metriaclima zebra.

    PubMed

    Dalton, Brian E; Lu, Jessica; Leips, Jeff; Cronin, Thomas W; Carleton, Karen L

    2015-08-01

    Critical behaviours such as predation and mate choice often depend on vision. Visual systems are sensitive to the spectrum of light in their environment, which can vary extensively both within and among habitats. Evolutionary changes in spectral sensitivity contribute to divergence and speciation. Spectral sensitivity of the retina is primarily determined by visual pigments, which are opsin proteins bound to a chromophore. We recently discovered that photoreceptors in different regions of the retina, which view objects against distinct environmental backgrounds, coexpress different pairs of opsins in an African cichlid fish, Metriaclima zebra. This coexpression tunes the sensitivity of the retinal regions to the corresponding backgrounds and may aid in detection of dark objects, such as predators. Although intraretinal regionalization of spectral sensitivity in many animals correlates with their light environments, it is unknown whether variation in the light environment induces developmentally plastic alterations of intraretinal sensitivity regions. Here, we demonstrate with fluorescent in situ hybridization and qPCR that the spectrum and angle of environmental light both influence the development of spectral sensitivity regions by altering the distribution and level of opsins across the retina. Normally, M. zebra coexpresses LWS opsin with RH2Aα opsin in double cones of the ventral but not the dorsal retina. However, when illuminated from below throughout development, adult M. zebra coexpressed LWS and RH2Aα in double cones both dorsally and ventrally. Thus, environmental background spectra alter the spectral sensitivity pattern that develops across the retina, potentially influencing behaviours and related evolutionary processes such as courtship and speciation. PMID:26175094

  7. Variable light environments induce plastic spectral tuning by regional opsin coexpression in the African cichlid fish, Metriaclima zebra

    PubMed Central

    Dalton, Brian E.; Lu, Jessica; Leips, Jeff; Cronin, Thomas W.; Carleton, Karen L.

    2015-01-01

    Critical behaviors such as predation and mate choice often depend on vision. Visual systems are sensitive to the spectrum of light in their environment, which can vary extensively both within and among habitats. Evolutionary changes in spectral sensitivity contribute to divergence and speciation. Spectral sensitivity of the retina is primarily determined by visual pigments, which are opsin proteins bound to a chromophore. We recently discovered that photoreceptors in different regions of the retina, which view objects against distinct environmental backgrounds, coexpress different pairs of opsins in an African cichlid fish, Metriaclima zebra. This coexpression tunes the sensitivity of the retinal regions to the corresponding backgrounds and may aid detection of dark objects, such as predators. Although intraretinal regionalization of spectral sensitivity in many animals correlates with their light environments, it is unknown whether variation in the light environment induces developmentally plastic alterations of intraretinal sensitivity regions. Here, we demonstrate with fluorescent in situ hybridization and qPCR that the spectrum and angle of environmental light both influence the development of spectral sensitivity regions by altering the distribution and level of opsins across the retina. Normally M. zebra coexpresses LWS opsin with RH2Aα opsin in double cones of the ventral but not the dorsal retina. However, when illuminated from below throughout development, adult M. zebra coexpressed LWS and RH2Aα in double cones both dorsally and ventrally. Thus, environmental background spectra alter the spectral sensitivity pattern that develops across the retina, potentially influencing behaviors and related evolutionary processes such as courtship and speciation. PMID:26175094

  8. Plasticity of the Reproductive Axis Caused by Social Status Change in an African Cichlid Fish: I. Pituitary Gonadotropins

    PubMed Central

    Maruska, Karen P.; Levavi-Sivan, Berta; Biran, Jakob; Fernald, Russell D.

    2011-01-01

    Social position in a dominance hierarchy is often tightly coupled with fertility. Consequently, an animal that can recognize and rapidly take advantage of an opportunity to rise in rank will have a reproductive advantage. Reproduction in all vertebrates is controlled by the brain-pituitary-gonad axis, and in males of the African cichlid fish Astatotilapia burtoni, GnRH1 neurons at the apex of this axis are under social control. However, little is known about how quickly social information is transformed into functional reproductive change, or about how socially controlled changes in GnRH1 neurons influence downstream actions of the brain-pituitary-gonad axis. We created an opportunity for reproductively suppressed males to ascend in status and then measured how quickly the perception of this opportunity caused changes in mRNA and protein levels of the pituitary gonadotropins. mRNA levels of the β-subunits of LH and FSH rose rapidly in the pituitary 30 min after suppressed males perceived an opportunity to ascend. In contrast, mRNA levels of GnRH receptor-1 remained unchanged during social transition but were higher in stable dominant compared with subordinate males. In the circulation, levels of both LH and FSH were also quickly elevated. There was a positive correlation between mRNA in the pituitary and circulating protein levels for LH and FSH, and both gonadotropins were positively correlated with plasma 11-ketotestosterone. Our results show that the pituitary is stimulated extremely rapidly after perception of social opportunity, probably to allow suppressed males to quickly achieve reproductive success in a dynamic social environment. PMID:21068157

  9. Age and spread of the haplochromine cichlid fishes in Africa.

    PubMed

    Koblmüller, Stephan; Schliewen, Ulrich K; Duftner, Nina; Sefc, Kristina M; Katongo, Cyprian; Sturmbauer, Christian

    2008-10-01

    The Haplochromini are by far the most species-rich cichlid fish tribe that originated along with the so-called primary radiation of the Lake Tanganyika cichlid species flock, i.e. at the same time during which the majority of the endemic Lake Tanganyika cichlid tribes emerged. Unlike the other tribes, the haplochromines are not restricted to Lake Tanganyika but distributed throughout Africa, except for the northwestern part of the continent. Haplochromine cichlids seeded the adaptive radiation of cichlid fishes in Lakes Malawi, Kivu, Victoria, Turkana, as well as in the now extinct paleo-Lake Makgadikgadi. Here we present a comprehensive phylogenetic and phylogeographic analysis of haplochromine cichlids that is based upon DNA sequences of two mitochondrial gene segments of riverine taxa covering all major African biogeographic regions where haplochromines are found. Our analysis revealed that six lineages of haplochromines originated within a short period of time, about 5.3-4.4 MYA. These haplochromine lineages show a highly complex phylogeographic pattern, probably severely influenced by climate- and/or geology-induced changes of the environment, with river capture events most likely playing an important role for species dispersal. PMID:18582582

  10. Trophic radiation through polymorphism in cichlid fishes.

    PubMed

    Sage, R D; Selander, R K

    1975-11-01

    Several morphologically defined species of cichlid fishes (Cichlasoma) endemic to the Cuatro Cienegas basin of Mexico and differing in tooth structure, body shape, and diet are allelically identical at 27 gene loci. The presence of only one Mendelian population in each of three drainage systems studied and the occurrence of two of the morphotypes in the same broods indicate that the supposed species are morphs. That trophic radiation in the Cuatro Cienegas cichlids has been achieved through ecological polymorphism rather than speciation raises questions regarding the genetic basis for the extensive intralacustrine radiation of cichlids in Africa and elsewhere. PMID:16592286

  11. Trophic radiation through polymorphism in cichlid fishes

    PubMed Central

    Sage, Richard D.; Selander, Robert K.

    1975-01-01

    Several morphologically defined species of cichlid fishes (Cichlasoma) endemic to the Cuatro Cienegas basin of Mexico and differing in tooth structure, body shape, and diet are allelically identical at 27 gene loci. The presence of only one Mendelian population in each of three drainage systems studied and the occurrence of two of the morphotypes in the same broods indicate that the supposed species are morphs. That trophic radiation in the Cuatro Cienegas cichlids has been achieved through ecological polymorphism rather than speciation raises questions regarding the genetic basis for the extensive intralacustrine radiation of cichlids in Africa and elsewhere. Images PMID:16592286

  12. Genomic analysis of cichlid fish 'natural mutants'.

    PubMed

    Kuraku, Shigehiro; Meyer, Axel

    2008-12-01

    In the lakes of East Africa, cichlid fishes have formed adaptive radiations that are each composed of hundreds of endemic, morphologically stunningly diverse, but genetically extremely similar species. In the past 20 years, it became clear that their extreme phenotypic diversity arose within very short time spans, and that phenotypically radically different species are exceptionally similar genetically; hence, they could be considered to be 'natural mutants'. Many species can be hybridized and, therefore, provide a unique opportunity to study the genetic underpinnings of phenotypic diversification. Comparative large-scale genomic analyses are beginning to unravel the patterns and processes that led to the formation of the cichlid species flocks. Cichlids are an emerging evolutionary genomic model system for fundamental questions on the origin of phenotypic diversity. PMID:19095433

  13. Effects of a non-native cichlid fish (African jewelfish, Hemichromis letourneuxi Sauvage 1880) on a simulated Everglades aquatic community

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schofield, Pamela J.; Slone, Daniel H.; Gregoire, Denise R.; Loftus, William F.

    2014-01-01

    In an 8-month mesocosm experiment, we examined how a simulated Everglades aquatic community of small native fishes, snails, and shrimp changed with the addition of either a native predator (dollar sunfish Lepomis marginatus) or a non-native predator (African jewelfish Hemichromis letourneuxi) compared to a no-predator control. Two snail species (Planorbella duryi, Physella cubensis) and the shrimp (Palaemonetes paludosus) displayed the strongest predator-treatment effects, with significantly lower biomasses in tanks with Hemichromis. One small native fish (Heterandria formosa) was significantly less abundant in Hemichromis tanks, but there were no significant treatment effects for Gambusia holbrooki, Jordanella floridae, or Pomacea paludosa (applesnail). Overall, there were few treatment differences between native predator and no-predator control tanks. The results suggest that the potential of Hemichromis to affect basal food-web species that link primary producers with higher-level consumers in the aquatic food web, with unknown consequences for Florida waters.

  14. Carotenoid-based coloration in cichlid fishes

    PubMed Central

    Sefc, Kristina M.; Brown, Alexandria C.; Clotfelter, Ethan D.

    2014-01-01

    Animal colors play important roles in communication, ecological interactions and speciation. Carotenoid pigments are responsible for many yellow, orange and red hues in animals. Whereas extensive knowledge on the proximate mechanisms underlying carotenoid coloration in birds has led to testable hypotheses on avian color evolution and signaling, much less is known about the expression of carotenoid coloration in fishes. Here, we promote cichlid fishes (Perciformes: Cichlidae) as a system in which to study the physiological and evolutionary significance of carotenoids. Cichlids include some of the best examples of adaptive radiation and color pattern diversification in vertebrates. In this paper, we examine fitness correlates of carotenoid pigmentation in cichlids and review hypotheses regarding the signal content of carotenoid-based ornaments. Carotenoid-based coloration is influenced by diet and body condition and is positively related to mating success and social dominance. Gaps in our knowledge are discussed in the last part of this review, particularly in the understanding of carotenoid metabolism pathways and the genetics of carotenoid coloration. We suggest that carotenoid metabolism and transport are important proximate mechanisms responsible for individual and population-differences in cichlid coloration that may ultimately contribute to diversification and speciation. PMID:24667558

  15. The Impact of the Geologic History and Paleoclimate on the Diversification of East African Cichlids

    PubMed Central

    Danley, Patrick D.; Husemann, Martin; Ding, Baoqing; DiPietro, Lyndsay M.; Beverly, Emily J.; Peppe, Daniel J.

    2012-01-01

    The cichlid fishes of the East African Great Lakes are the largest extant vertebrate radiation identified to date. These lakes and their surrounding waters support over 2,000 species of cichlid fish, many of which are descended from a single common ancestor within the past 10 Ma. The extraordinary East African cichlid diversity is intricately linked to the highly variable geologic and paleoclimatic history of this region. Greater than 10 Ma, the western arm of the East African rift system began to separate, thereby creating a series of rift basins that would come to contain several water bodies, including the extremely deep Lakes Tanganyika and Malawi. Uplifting associated with this rifting backponded many rivers and created the extremely large, but shallow Lake Victoria. Since their creation, the size, shape, and existence of these lakes have changed dramatically which has, in turn, significantly influenced the evolutionary history of the lakes' cichlids. This paper reviews the geologic history and paleoclimate of the East African Great Lakes and the impact of these forces on the region's endemic cichlid flocks. PMID:22888465

  16. Plasticity of the Reproductive Axis Caused by Social Status Change in an African Cichlid Fish: II. Testicular Gene Expression and Spermatogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Maruska, Karen P.; Fernald, Russell D.

    2011-01-01

    Reproduction in all vertebrates is controlled by the brain-pituitary-gonad (BPG) axis, which is regulated socially in males of the African cichlid fish Astatotilapia burtoni. Although social information influences GnRH1 neurons at the apex of the BPG axis, little is known about how the social environment and dominance affects the cellular and molecular composition of the testes to regulate reproductive capacity. We created an opportunity for reproductively suppressed males to ascend in status and then measured changes in gene expression and tissue morphology to discover how quickly the perception of this opportunity can influence the testes. Our results show rapid up-regulation of mRNA levels of FSH receptor and several steroid receptor subtypes in the testes during social ascent. In contrast, LH receptor was not elevated until 72 h after ascent, but this increase was coincident with elevated circulating androgens and early stages of spermatogenesis, suggesting a role in steroidogenesis. The spermatogenic potential of the testes, as measured by cellular composition, was also elevated before the overall increase in testes size. The presence of cysts at all stages of spermatogenesis, coupled with lower levels of gonadotropin and steroid receptors in subordinate males, suggests that the BPG axis and spermatogenesis are maintained at a subthreshold level in anticipation of the chance to gain a territory and become reproductively active. Our results show that the testis is stimulated extremely quickly after perception of social opportunity, presumably to allow suppressed males to rapidly achieve high reproductive success in a dynamic social environment. PMID:21084443

  17. The fish eye view: are cichlids conspicuous?

    PubMed

    Dalton, Brian E; Cronin, Thomas W; Marshall, N Justin; Carleton, Karen L

    2010-07-01

    The extent of animal colouration is determined by an interplay between natural and sexual selection. Both forces probably shape colouration in the speciose, rock-dwelling cichlids of Lake Malawi. Sexual selection is thought to drive male colouration, overcoming natural selection to create conspicuous colour patterns via female mate choice and male-male competition. However, natural selection should make female cichlids cryptic because they mouthbrood their young. We hypothesize that as a result of both sexual and natural selection, males will have colours that are more conspicuous than female colours. Cichlid spectral sensitivity, especially in the ultraviolet, probably influences how colours appear to them. Here we use simple models of the trichromatic colour space of cichlid visual systems to compare the conspicuousness of male and female nuptial colours of nine species. Conspicuousness of colours was evaluated as their Euclidian distance in colour space from environmental backgrounds and from other colours on the same fish. We find in six of the nine species that breeding males have colours that are statistically more conspicuous than female colours. These colours contrast strongly with each other or with the backgrounds, and they fall within a range of spectra best transmitted in the habitat. Female colour distances were sometimes smaller, suggesting that females of some species are more cryptic than males. Therefore, selection can differentially act to generate male colours that are more conspicuous than those in females. However, in two species, females had colours that were more conspicuous than male colours, suggesting that other selective forces and possibly sexual conflicts are acting in this system. PMID:20543123

  18. Origin of the superflock of cichlid fishes from Lake Victoria, East Africa.

    PubMed

    Verheyen, Erik; Salzburger, Walter; Snoeks, Jos; Meyer, Axel

    2003-04-11

    Lake Victoria harbors a unique species-rich flock of more than 500 endemic haplochromine cichlid fishes. The origin, age, and mechanism of diversification of this extraordinary radiation are still debated. Geological evidence suggests that the lake dried out completely about 14,700 years ago. On the basis of phylogenetic analyses of almost 300 DNA sequences of the mitochondrial control region of East African cichlids, we find that the Lake Victoria cichlid flock is derived from the geologically older Lake Kivu. We suggest that the two seeding lineages may have already been lake-adapted when they colonized Lake Victoria. A haplotype analysis further shows that the most recent desiccation of Lake Victoria did not lead to a complete extinction of its endemic cichlid fauna and that the major lineage diversification took place about 100,000 years ago. PMID:12649486

  19. Complete Mitochondrial DNA Sequences of the Threadfin Cichlid (Petrochromis trewavasae) and the Blunthead Cichlid (Tropheus moorii) and Patterns of Mitochondrial Genome Evolution in Cichlid Fishes

    PubMed Central

    Fischer, Christoph; Koblmüller, Stephan; Gülly, Christian; Schlötterer, Christian; Sturmbauer, Christian; Thallinger, Gerhard G.

    2013-01-01

    The cichlid fishes of the East African Great Lakes represent a model especially suited to study adaptive radiation and speciation. With several African cichlid genome projects being in progress, a promising set of closely related genomes is emerging, which is expected to serve as a valuable data base to solve questions on genotype-phenotype relations. The mitochondrial (mt) genomes presented here are the first results of the assembly and annotation process for two closely related but eco-morphologically highly distinct Lake Tanganyika cichlids, Petrochromis trewavasae and Tropheus moorii. The genomic sequences comprise 16,588 bp (P. trewavasae) and 16,590 bp (T. moorii), and exhibit the typical mitochondrial structure, with 13 protein-coding genes, 2 rRNA genes, 22 tRNA genes, and a non-coding control region. Analyses confirmed that the two species are very closely related with an overall sequence similarity of 96%. We analyzed the newly generated sequences in the phylogenetic context of 21 published labroid fish mitochondrial genomes. Consistent with other vertebrates, the D-loop region was found to evolve faster than protein-coding genes, which in turn are followed by the rRNAs; the tRNAs vary greatly in the rate of sequence evolution, but on average evolve the slowest. Within the group of coding genes, ND6 evolves most rapidly. Codon usage is similar among examined cichlid tribes and labroid families; although a slight shift in usage patterns down the gene tree could be observed. Despite having a clearly different nucleotide composition, ND6 showed a similar codon usage. C-terminal ends of Cox1 exhibit variations, where the varying number of amino acids is related to the structure of the obtained phylogenetic tree. This variation may be of functional relevance for Cox1 synthesis. PMID:23826193

  20. Comparative Transcriptomics in East African Cichlids Reveals Sex- and Species-Specific Expression and New Candidates for Sex Differentiation in Fishes

    PubMed Central

    Böhne, Astrid; Sengstag, Thierry; Salzburger, Walter

    2014-01-01

    Males and females of the same species differ largely in gene expression, which accounts for most of the morphological and physiological differences and sex-specific phenotypes. Here, we analyzed sex-specific gene expression in the brain and the gonads of cichlid fishes from Lake Tanganyika belonging to four different lineages, so-called tribes (Eretmodini, Ectodini, Haplochromini, and Lamprologini), using the outgroup Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) as reference. The comparison between male and female brains revealed few differences between the sexes, consistent in all investigated species. The gonads, on the other hand, showed a large fraction of differentially expressed transcripts with the majority of them showing the same direction of expression in all four species. All here-studied cichlids, especially the three investigated mouth-breeding species, showed a trend toward more male- than female-biased transcripts. Transcripts, which were female-biased in expression in all four species, were overrepresented on linkage group (LG)1 in the reference genome and common male-biased transcripts showed accumulation on LG23, the presumable sex chromosomes of the Nile tilapia. Sex-specific transcripts contained candidate genes for sex determination and differentiation in fishes, especially members of the transforming growth factor-β-superfamily and the Wnt-pathway and also prominent members of the sox-, dm-domain-, and high mobility group-box families. We further confirmed our previous finding on species/lineage-specific gene expression shifts in the sex steroid pathway, including synthesizing enzymes as the aromatase cyp19a1 and estrogen and androgen receptors. PMID:25364805

  1. An extant cichlid fish radiation emerged in an extinct Pleistocene lake.

    PubMed

    Joyce, Domino A; Lunt, David H; Bills, Roger; Turner, George F; Katongo, Cyprian; Duftner, Nina; Sturmbauer, Christian; Seehausen, Ole

    2005-05-01

    The haplochromine cichlid fish of the East African Great Lakes represent some of the fastest and most species-rich adaptive radiations known, but rivers in most of Africa accommodate only a few morphologically similar species of haplochromine cichlid fish. This has been explained by the wealth of ecological opportunity in large lakes compared with rivers. It is therefore surprising that the rivers of southern Africa harbour many, ecologically diverse haplochromines. Here we present genetic, morphological and biogeographical evidence suggesting that these riverine cichlids are products of a recent adaptive radiation in a large lake that dried up in the Holocene. Haplochromine species richness peaks steeply in an area for which geological data reveal the historical existence of Lake palaeo-Makgadikgadi. The centre of this extinct lake is now a saltpan north of the Kalahari Desert, but it once hosted a rapidly evolving fish species radiation, comparable in morphological diversity to that in the extant African Great Lakes. Importantly, this lake seeded all major river systems of southern Africa with ecologically diverse cichlids. This discovery reveals how local evolutionary processes operating during a short window of ecological opportunity can have a major and lasting effect on biodiversity on a continental scale. PMID:15875022

  2. Hearing in Cichlid Fishes under Noise Conditions

    PubMed Central

    Ladich, Friedrich; Schulz-Mirbach, Tanja

    2013-01-01

    Background Hearing thresholds of fishes are typically acquired under laboratory conditions. This does not reflect the situation in natural habitats, where ambient noise may mask their hearing sensitivities. In the current study we investigate hearing in terms of sound pressure (SPL) and particle acceleration levels (PAL) of two cichlid species within the naturally occurring range of noise levels. This enabled us to determine whether species with and without hearing specializations are differently affected by noise. Methodology/Principal Findings We investigated auditory sensitivities in the orange chromide Etroplus maculatus, which possesses anterior swim bladder extensions, and the slender lionhead cichlid Steatocranus tinanti, in which the swim bladder is much smaller and lacks extensions. E. maculatus was tested between 0.2 and 3kHz and S. tinanti between 0.1 and 0.5 kHz using the auditory evoked potential (AEP) recording technique. In both species, SPL and PAL audiograms were determined in the presence of quiet laboratory conditions (baseline) and continuous white noise of 110 and 130 dB RMS. Baseline thresholds showed greatest hearing sensitivity around 0.5 kHz (SPL) and 0.2 kHz (PAL) in E. maculatus and 0.2 kHz in S. tinanti. White noise of 110 dB elevated the thresholds by 0–11 dB (SPL) and 7–11 dB (PAL) in E. maculatus and by 1–2 dB (SPL) and by 1–4 dB (PAL) in S. tinanti. White noise of 130 dB elevated hearing thresholds by 13–29 dB (SPL) and 26–32 dB (PAL) in E. maculatus and 6–16 dB (SPL) and 6–19 dB (PAL) in S. tinanti. Conclusions Our data showed for the first time for SPL and PAL thresholds that the specialized species was masked by different noise regimes at almost all frequencies, whereas the non-specialized species was much less affected. This indicates that noise can limit sound detection and acoustic orientation differently within a single fish family. PMID:23469032

  3. A tribal level phylogeny of Lake Tanganyika cichlid fishes based on a genomic multi-marker approach.

    PubMed

    Meyer, Britta S; Matschiner, Michael; Salzburger, Walter

    2015-02-01

    The species-flocks of cichlid fishes in the East African Great Lakes Victoria, Malawi and Tanganyika constitute the most diverse extant adaptive radiations in vertebrates. Lake Tanganyika, the oldest of the lakes, harbors the morphologically and genetically most diverse assemblage of cichlids and contains the highest number of endemic cichlid genera of all African lakes. Based on morphological grounds, the Tanganyikan cichlid species have been grouped into 12-16 distinct lineages, so-called tribes. While the monophyly of most of the tribes is well established, the phylogenetic relationships among the tribes remain largely elusive. Here, we present a new tribal level phylogenetic hypothesis for the cichlid fishes of Lake Tanganyika that is based on the so far largest set of nuclear markers and a total alignment length of close to 18kb. Using next-generation amplicon sequencing with the 454 pyrosequencing technology, we compiled a dataset consisting of 42 nuclear loci in 45 East African cichlid species, which we subjected to maximum likelihood and Bayesian inference phylogenetic analyses. We analyzed the entire concatenated dataset and each marker individually, and performed a Bayesian concordance analysis and gene tree discordance tests. Overall, we find strong support for a position of the Oreochromini, Boulengerochromini, Bathybatini and Trematocarini outside of a clade combining the substrate spawning Lamprologini and the mouthbrooding tribes of the 'H-lineage', which are both strongly supported to be monophyletic. The Eretmodini are firmly placed within the 'H-lineage', as sister-group to the most species-rich tribe of cichlids, the Haplochromini. The phylogenetic relationships at the base of the 'H-lineage' received less support, which is likely due to high speciation rates in the early phase of the radiation. Discordance among gene trees and marker sets further suggests the occurrence of past hybridization and/or incomplete lineage sorting in the cichlid

  4. Females of an African cichlid fish display male-typical social dominance behavior and elevated androgens in the absence of males.

    PubMed

    Renn, Suzy C P; Fraser, Eleanor J; Aubin-Horth, Nadia; Trainor, Brian C; Hofmann, Hans A

    2012-04-01

    Social environment can affect the expression of sex-typical behavior in both males and females. Males of the African cichlid species Astatotilapia burtoni have long served as a model system to study the neural, endocrine, and molecular basis of socially plastic dominance behavior. Here we show that in all-female communities of A. burtoni, some individuals acquire a male-typical dominance phenotype, including aggressive territorial defense, distinctive color patterns, and courtship behavior. Furthermore, dominant females have higher levels of circulating androgens than either subordinate females or females in mixed-sex communities. These male-typical traits do not involve sex change, nor do the social phenotypes in all-female communities differ in relative ovarian size, suggesting that factors other than gonadal physiology underlie much of the observed variation. In contrast to the well-studied situation in males, dominant and subordinate females do not differ in the rate of somatic growth. Dominant females are not any more likely than subordinates to spawn with an introduced male, although they do so sooner. These results extend the well known extraordinary behavioral plasticity of A. burtoni to the females of this species and provide a foundation for uncovering the neural and molecular basis of social dominance behavior while controlling for factors such as sex, gonadal state and growth. PMID:22285646

  5. Identification of Cichlid Fishes from Lake Malawi Using Computer Vision

    PubMed Central

    Joo, Deokjin; Kwan, Ye-seul; Song, Jongwoo; Pinho, Catarina; Hey, Jody; Won, Yong-Jin

    2013-01-01

    Background The explosively radiating evolution of cichlid fishes of Lake Malawi has yielded an amazing number of haplochromine species estimated as many as 500 to 800 with a surprising degree of diversity not only in color and stripe pattern but also in the shape of jaw and body among them. As these morphological diversities have been a central subject of adaptive speciation and taxonomic classification, such high diversity could serve as a foundation for automation of species identification of cichlids. Methodology/Principal Finding Here we demonstrate a method for automatic classification of the Lake Malawi cichlids based on computer vision and geometric morphometrics. For this end we developed a pipeline that integrates multiple image processing tools to automatically extract informative features of color and stripe patterns from a large set of photographic images of wild cichlids. The extracted information was evaluated by statistical classifiers Support Vector Machine and Random Forests. Both classifiers performed better when body shape information was added to the feature of color and stripe. Besides the coloration and stripe pattern, body shape variables boosted the accuracy of classification by about 10%. The programs were able to classify 594 live cichlid individuals belonging to 12 different classes (species and sexes) with an average accuracy of 78%, contrasting to a mere 42% success rate by human eyes. The variables that contributed most to the accuracy were body height and the hue of the most frequent color. Conclusions Computer vision showed a notable performance in extracting information from the color and stripe patterns of Lake Malawi cichlids although the information was not enough for errorless species identification. Our results indicate that there appears an unavoidable difficulty in automatic species identification of cichlid fishes, which may arise from short divergence times and gene flow between closely related species. PMID:24204918

  6. Microsatellites Cross-Species Amplification across Some African Cichlids.

    PubMed

    Bezault, Etienne; Rognon, Xavier; Gharbi, Karim; Baroiller, Jean-Francois; Chevassus, Bernard

    2012-01-01

    The transfer of the genomic resources developed in the Nile tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus, to other Tilapiines sensu lato and African cichlid would provide new possibilities to study this amazing group from genetics, ecology, evolution, aquaculture, and conservation point of view. We tested the cross-species amplification of 32 O. niloticus microsatellite markers in a panel of 15 species from 5 different African cichlid tribes: Oreochromines (Oreochromis, Sarotherodon), Boreotilapiines (Tilapia), Chromidotilapines, Hemichromines, and Haplochromines. Amplification was successfully observed for 29 markers (91%), with a frequency of polymorphic (P(95)) loci per species around 70%. The mean number of alleles per locus and species was 3.2 but varied from 3.7 within Oreochromis species to 1.6 within the nontilapia species. The high level of cross-species amplification and polymorphism of the microsatellite markers tested in this study provides powerful tools for a wide range of molecular genetic studies within tilapia species as well as for other African cichlids. PMID:22701809

  7. Food deprivation explains effects of mouthbrooding on ovaries and steroid hormones, but not brain neuropeptide and receptor mRNAs, in an African cichlid fish

    PubMed Central

    Grone, Brian P.; Carpenter, Russ E.; Lee, Malinda; Maruska, Karen P.; Fernald, Russell D.

    2012-01-01

    Feeding behavior and reproduction are coordinately regulated by the brain via neurotransmitters, circulating hormones, and neuropeptides. Reduced feeding allows animals to engage in other behaviors important for fitness, including mating and parental care. Some fishes cease feeding for weeks at a time in order to provide care to their young by brooding them inside the male or female parent’s mouth. Maternal mouthbrooding is known to impact circulating hormones and subsequent reproductive cycles, but neither the full effects of food deprivation nor the neural mechanisms are known. Here we ask what effects mouthbrooding has on several physiological processes including gonad and body mass, brain neuropeptide and receptor gene expression, and circulating steroid hormones in a mouthbrooding cichlid species, Astatotilapia burtoni. We ask whether any observed changes can be explained by food deprivation, and show that during mouthbrooding, ovary size and circulating levels of androgens and estrogens match those seen during food deprivation. Levels of gonadotropin-releasing hormone 1 (GnRH1) mRNA in the brain were low in food-deprived females compared to controls and in mouthbrooding females compared to gravid females. Levels of mRNA encoding two peptides involved in regulating feeding, hypocretin and cholecystokinin, were increased in the brains of food-deprived females. Brain mRNA levels of two receptors, GnRH Receptor 2 and NPY receptor Y8c, were elevated in mouthbrooding females compared to the fed condition, but NPY receptor Y8b mRNA was differently regulated by mouthbrooding. These results suggest that many, but not all, of the characteristic physiological changes that occur during mouthbrooding are consequences of food deprivation. PMID:22561338

  8. Widespread geographical distribution of mitochondrial haplotypes in rock-dwelling cichlid fishes from Lake Tanganyika.

    PubMed

    Meyer, A; Knowles, L L; Verheyen, E

    1996-06-01

    The spectacularly diverse cichlid fish species flocks of the East African Rift Lakes have elicited much debate on the potential evolutionary mechanisms responsible for the origin of these adaptive radiations. An historical perspective on population structure may offer insights into the processes driving population differentiation and possibly speciation. Here, we examine mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequence variation in two endemic species of rock-dwelling cichlids, Simochromis babaulti and S. diagramma, from Lake Tanganyika. Phylogeographic analyses were used to infer what factors might have been important in the genetic structuring of Simochromis populations. Patterns of mtDNA differentiation in Simochromis were compared to those of other rock-dwelling cichlids to distinguish between competing hypotheses concerning the processes underlying their evolution. In striking contrast to previous findings, populations of Simochromis, even those separated by up to 300 km, were found to share mitochondrial DNA haplotypes. There is no correspondence between mtDNA genealogies and the geographical distribution of populations. Only S. babaulti, but not S. diagramma was found to have a significant association between genetic and geographic distance. These phylogeographic patterns suggest that the evolutionary effects of abiotic and biotic factors shaping population genetic structure may differ substantially even among closely related species of rock-dwelling cichlids. Physical events and barriers to gene flow that are believed to have had a major impact on the geographical distribution and intralacustrine speciation of Tropheus do not seem to have equally strongly affected its close relative Simochromis. These findings emphasize that no single mechanism can be responsible for the formation of population structure, speciation, and the adaptive radiation of all cichlid fishes. PMID:8688956

  9. Twelve-Day Reinforcement-Based Memory Retention in African Cichlids (Labidochromis caeruleus).

    PubMed

    Ingraham, Erica; Anderson, Nicole D; Hurd, Peter L; Hamilton, Trevor J

    2016-01-01

    The formation of long-term memories for food sources is essential for the survival of most animals. Long-term memory formation in mammalian species has been demonstrated through a variety of conditioning tasks, however, the nature of long-term memory in fish is less known. In the current study, we explored whether African cichlids (Labidochromis caeruleus) could form memories for food-reinforced stimuli that last for 12 days. During the training sessions, fish were reinforced for approaching an upward drifting line grating. After a rest period of 12 days, fish demonstrated a significant preference for the upward drifting grating. To determine whether this preference could also be reversed, fish were then reinforced for approaching a downward drifting line grating after a 20-day rest period. When tested 12 days later, there were no significant differences in preference for either stimulus; however, following a second training period for the downward stimulus, there was a significant preference for the downward drifting grating. This suggests that cichlids are able to form reversible discrimination-based memories for food-reinforced stimuli that remain consolidated for at least 12 days. PMID:27582695

  10. Twelve-Day Reinforcement-Based Memory Retention in African Cichlids (Labidochromis caeruleus)

    PubMed Central

    Ingraham, Erica; Anderson, Nicole D.; Hurd, Peter L.; Hamilton, Trevor J.

    2016-01-01

    The formation of long-term memories for food sources is essential for the survival of most animals. Long-term memory formation in mammalian species has been demonstrated through a variety of conditioning tasks, however, the nature of long-term memory in fish is less known. In the current study, we explored whether African cichlids (Labidochromis caeruleus) could form memories for food-reinforced stimuli that last for 12 days. During the training sessions, fish were reinforced for approaching an upward drifting line grating. After a rest period of 12 days, fish demonstrated a significant preference for the upward drifting grating. To determine whether this preference could also be reversed, fish were then reinforced for approaching a downward drifting line grating after a 20-day rest period. When tested 12 days later, there were no significant differences in preference for either stimulus; however, following a second training period for the downward stimulus, there was a significant preference for the downward drifting grating. This suggests that cichlids are able to form reversible discrimination-based memories for food-reinforced stimuli that remain consolidated for at least 12 days. PMID:27582695

  11. Molecular and fossil evidence place the origin of cichlid fishes long after Gondwanan rifting

    PubMed Central

    Friedman, Matt; Keck, Benjamin P.; Dornburg, Alex; Eytan, Ron I.; Martin, Christopher H.; Hulsey, C. Darrin; Wainwright, Peter C.; Near, Thomas J.

    2013-01-01

    Cichlid fishes are a key model system in the study of adaptive radiation, speciation and evolutionary developmental biology. More than 1600 cichlid species inhabit freshwater and marginal marine environments across several southern landmasses. This distributional pattern, combined with parallels between cichlid phylogeny and sequences of Mesozoic continental rifting, has led to the widely accepted hypothesis that cichlids are an ancient group whose major biogeographic patterns arose from Gondwanan vicariance. Although the Early Cretaceous (ca 135 Ma) divergence of living cichlids demanded by the vicariance model now represents a key calibration for teleost molecular clocks, this putative split pre-dates the oldest cichlid fossils by nearly 90 Myr. Here, we provide independent palaeontological and relaxed-molecular-clock estimates for the time of cichlid origin that collectively reject the antiquity of the group required by the Gondwanan vicariance scenario. The distribution of cichlid fossil horizons, the age of stratigraphically consistent outgroup lineages to cichlids and relaxed-clock analysis of a DNA sequence dataset consisting of 10 nuclear genes all deliver overlapping estimates for crown cichlid origin centred on the Palaeocene (ca 65–57 Ma), substantially post-dating the tectonic fragmentation of Gondwana. Our results provide a revised macroevolutionary time scale for cichlids, imply a role for dispersal in generating the observed geographical distribution of this important model clade and add to a growing debate that questions the dominance of the vicariance paradigm of historical biogeography. PMID:24048155

  12. Eggspot Number and Sexual Selection in the Cichlid Fish Astatotilapia burtoni

    PubMed Central

    Henning, Frederico; Meyer, Axel

    2012-01-01

    Sexual selection on male coloration is one of the main mechanisms proposed to explain the explosive speciation rates in East African cichlid fish. True eggspots are color patterns characteristic of the most species-rich lineage of cichlids, the Haplochromini, and have been suggested to be causally related to the speciation processes. Eggspots are thought to have originated by sensory exploitation and subsequently gained several roles in sexual advertisement. However, for most of these functions the evidence is equivocal. In addition, the genetic architecture of this trait still is largely unknown. We conducted bidirectional selective breeding experiments for eggspot numbers in the model cichlid, Astatotilapia burtoni. After two generations, low lines responded significantly, whereas the high lines did not. Body size was both phenotypically and genotypically correlated with eggspot number and showed correlated response to selection. Males with higher numbers of eggspots were found to sire larger offspring. Despite the potential to act as honest indicators of fitness, the behavioral experiments showed no evidence of a role in either intra- or inter-sexual selection. Visual-based female preference was instead explained by courtship intensity. The evolution of this trait has been interpreted in light of adaptive theories of sexual selection, however the present and published results suggest the influence of non-adaptive factors such as sensory exploitation, environmental constraints and sexual antagonism. PMID:22937082

  13. Cichlid fishes as a model to understand normal and clinical craniofacial variation.

    PubMed

    Powder, Kara E; Albertson, R Craig

    2016-07-15

    We have made great strides towards understanding the etiology of craniofacial disorders, especially for 'simple' Mendelian traits. However, the facial skeleton is a complex trait, and the full spectrum of genetic, developmental, and environmental factors that contribute to its final geometry remain unresolved. Forward genetic screens are constrained with respect to complex traits due to the types of genes and alleles commonly identified, developmental pleiotropy, and limited information about the impact of environmental interactions. Here, we discuss how studies in an evolutionary model - African cichlid fishes - can complement traditional approaches to understand the genetic and developmental origins of complex shape. Cichlids exhibit an unparalleled range of natural craniofacial morphologies that model normal human variation, and in certain instances mimic human facial dysmorphologies. Moreover, the evolutionary history and genomic architecture of cichlids make them an ideal system to identify the genetic basis of these phenotypes via quantitative trait loci (QTL) mapping and population genomics. Given the molecular conservation of developmental genes and pathways, insights from cichlids are applicable to human facial variation and disease. We review recent work in this system, which has identified lbh as a novel regulator of neural crest cell migration, determined the Wnt and Hedgehog pathways mediate species-specific bone morphologies, and examined how plastic responses to diet modulate adult facial shapes. These studies have not only revealed new roles for existing pathways in craniofacial development, but have identified new genes and mechanisms involved in shaping the craniofacial skeleton. In all, we suggest that combining work in traditional laboratory and evolutionary models offers significant potential to provide a more complete and comprehensive picture of the myriad factors that are involved in the development of complex traits. PMID:26719128

  14. Social deprivation affects cooperative predator inspection in a cichlid fish

    PubMed Central

    Hesse, Saskia; Anaya-Rojas, Jaime M.; Frommen, Joachim G.; Thünken, Timo

    2015-01-01

    The social environment individuals are exposed to during ontogeny shapes social skills and social competence in group-living animals. Consequently, social deprivation has serious effects on behaviour and development in animals but little is known about its impact on cooperation. In this study, we examined the effect of social environment on cooperative predator inspection. Predator inspection behaviour is a complex behaviour, which is present in a variety of shoaling fish species. Often, two fish leave the safety of the group and inspect a potentially dangerous predator in order to gather information about the current predation risk. As predator inspection is highly risky, it is prone to conflicts and cheating. However, cooperation among individuals may reduce the individual predation risk. We investigated this complex social behaviour in juveniles of the cichlid fish Pelvicachromis taeniatus that were reared in two different social environments throughout development. Fish reared in a group inspected more often than isolation-reared fish and were more likely to cooperate, i.e. they conducted conjoint inspection of a predator. By contrast, isolation-reared fish were more likely to perform a single inspection without a companion. These results suggest an impairment of cooperative behaviour in isolation-reared fish most probably due to lack of social experience and resulting in lowered social skills needed in coordinated behaviour. PMID:26064616

  15. A robust phylogeny among major lineages of the East African cichlids.

    PubMed

    Takahashi, Tetsumi; Sota, Teiji

    2016-07-01

    The huge monophyletic group of the East African cichlid radiations (EAR) consists of thousands of species belonging to 12-14 tribes; the number of tribes differs among studies. Many studies have inferred phylogenies of EAR tribes using various genetic markers. However, these phylogenies partly contradict one another and can have weak statistic support. In this study, we conducted maximum-likelihood (ML) phylogenetic analyses using restriction site-associated DNA (RAD) sequences and propose a new robust phylogenetic hypothesis among Lake Tanganyika cichlid fishes, which cover most EAR tribes. Data matrices can vary in size and contents depending on the strategies used to process RAD sequences. Therefore, we prepared 23 data matrices with various processing strategies. The ML phylogenies inferred from 15 large matrices (2.0×10(6) to 1.1×10(7) base pairs) resolved every tribe as a monophyletic group with 100% bootstrap support and shared the same topology regarding relationships among the tribes. Most nodes among the tribes were supported by 100% bootstrap values, and the bootstrap support for the other node varied among the 15 ML trees from 70% to 100%. These robust ML trees differ partly in topology from those in earlier studies, and these phylogenetic relationships have important implications for the tribal classification of EAR. PMID:27068840

  16. A hybrid genetic linkage map of two ecologically and morphologically divergent Midas cichlid fishes (Amphilophus spp.) obtained by massively parallel DNA sequencing (ddRADSeq).

    PubMed

    Recknagel, Hans; Elmer, Kathryn R; Meyer, Axel

    2013-01-01

    Cichlid fishes are an excellent model system for studying speciation and the formation of adaptive radiations because of their tremendous species richness and astonishing phenotypic diversity. Most research has focused on African rift lake fishes, although Neotropical cichlid species display much variability as well. Almost one dozen species of the Midas cichlid species complex (Amphilophus spp.) have been described so far and have formed repeated adaptive radiations in several Nicaraguan crater lakes. Here we apply double-digest restriction-site associated DNA sequencing to obtain a high-density linkage map of an interspecific cross between the benthic Amphilophus astorquii and the limnetic Amphilophus zaliosus, which are sympatric species endemic to Crater Lake Apoyo, Nicaragua. A total of 755 RAD markers were genotyped in 343 F(2) hybrids. The map resolved 25 linkage groups and spans a total distance of 1427 cM with an average marker spacing distance of 1.95 cM, almost matching the total number of chromosomes (n = 24) in these species. Regions of segregation distortion were identified in five linkage groups. Based on the pedigree of parents to F(2) offspring, we calculated a genome-wide mutation rate of 6.6 × 10(-8) mutations per nucleotide per generation. This genetic map will facilitate the mapping of ecomorphologically relevant adaptive traits in the repeated phenotypes that evolved within the Midas cichlid lineage and, as the first linkage map of a Neotropical cichlid, facilitate comparative genomic analyses between African cichlids, Neotropical cichlids and other teleost fishes. PMID:23316439

  17. A Hybrid Genetic Linkage Map of Two Ecologically and Morphologically Divergent Midas Cichlid Fishes (Amphilophus spp.) Obtained by Massively Parallel DNA Sequencing (ddRADSeq)

    PubMed Central

    Recknagel, Hans; Elmer, Kathryn R.; Meyer, Axel

    2013-01-01

    Cichlid fishes are an excellent model system for studying speciation and the formation of adaptive radiations because of their tremendous species richness and astonishing phenotypic diversity. Most research has focused on African rift lake fishes, although Neotropical cichlid species display much variability as well. Almost one dozen species of the Midas cichlid species complex (Amphilophus spp.) have been described so far and have formed repeated adaptive radiations in several Nicaraguan crater lakes. Here we apply double-digest restriction-site associated DNA sequencing to obtain a high-density linkage map of an interspecific cross between the benthic Amphilophus astorquii and the limnetic Amphilophus zaliosus, which are sympatric species endemic to Crater Lake Apoyo, Nicaragua. A total of 755 RAD markers were genotyped in 343 F2 hybrids. The map resolved 25 linkage groups and spans a total distance of 1427 cM with an average marker spacing distance of 1.95 cM, almost matching the total number of chromosomes (n = 24) in these species. Regions of segregation distortion were identified in five linkage groups. Based on the pedigree of parents to F2 offspring, we calculated a genome-wide mutation rate of 6.6 × 10−8 mutations per nucleotide per generation. This genetic map will facilitate the mapping of ecomorphologically relevant adaptive traits in the repeated phenotypes that evolved within the Midas cichlid lineage and, as the first linkage map of a Neotropical cichlid, facilitate comparative genomic analyses between African cichlids, Neotropical cichlids and other teleost fishes. PMID:23316439

  18. The Adaptive Radiation of Cichlid Fish in Lake Tanganyika: A Morphological Perspective

    PubMed Central

    Takahashi, Tetsumi; Koblmüller, Stephan

    2011-01-01

    Lake Tanganyika is the oldest of the Great Ancient Lakes in the East Africa. This lake harbours about 250 species of cichlid fish, which are highly diverse in terms of morphology, behaviour, and ecology. Lake Tanganyika's cichlid diversity has evolved through explosive speciation and is treated as a textbook example of adaptive radiation, the rapid differentiation of a single ancestor into an array of species that differ in traits used to exploit their environments and resources. To elucidate the processes and mechanisms underlying the rapid speciation and adaptive radiation of Lake Tanganyika's cichlid species assemblage it is important to integrate evidence from several lines of research. Great efforts have been, are, and certainly will be taken to solve the mystery of how so many cichlid species evolved in so little time. In the present review, we summarize morphological studies that relate to the adaptive radiation of Lake Tanganyika's cichlids and highlight their importance for understanding the process of adaptive radiation. PMID:21716857

  19. A three-dimensional stereotaxic MRI brain atlas of the cichlid fish Oreochromis mossambicus.

    PubMed

    Simões, José M; Teles, Magda C; Oliveira, Rui F; Van der Linden, Annemie; Verhoye, Marleen

    2012-01-01

    The African cichlid Oreochromis mossambicus (Mozambique tilapia) has been used as a model system in a wide range of behavioural and neurobiological studies. The increasing number of genetic tools available for this species, together with the emerging interest in its use for neurobiological studies, increased the need for an accurate hodological mapping of the tilapia brain to supplement the available histological data. The goal of our study was to elaborate a three-dimensional, high-resolution digital atlas using magnetic resonance imaging, supported by Nissl staining. Resulting images were viewed and analysed in all orientations (transverse, sagittal, and horizontal) and manually labelled to reveal structures in the olfactory bulb, telencephalon, diencephalon, optic tectum, and cerebellum. This high resolution tilapia brain atlas is expected to become a very useful tool for neuroscientists using this fish model and will certainly expand their use in future studies regarding the central nervous system. PMID:22984463

  20. Monophyletic origin of Lake Victoria cichlid fishes suggested by mitochondrial DNA sequences.

    PubMed

    Meyer, A; Kocher, T D; Basasibwaki, P; Wilson, A C

    1990-10-11

    Lake Victoria, together with its satellite lakes, harbours roughly 200 endemic forms of cichlid fishes that are classified as 'haplochromines' and yet the lake system is less than a million years old. This 'flock' has attracted attention because of the possibility that it evolved within the lake from one ancestral species and that biologists are thus presented with a case of explosive evolution. Within the past decade, however, morphology has increasingly emphasized the view that the flock may be polyphyletic. We sequenced up to 803 base pairs of mitochondrial DNA from 14 representative Victorian species and 23 additional African species. The flock seems to be monophyletic, and is more akin to that from Lake Malawi than to species from Lake Tanganyika; in addition, it contains less genetic variation than does the human species, and there is virtually no sharing of mitochondrial DNA types among species. These results confirm that the founding event was recent. PMID:2215680

  1. Colour variation in cichlid fish: Developmental mechanisms, selective pressures and evolutionary consequences☆

    PubMed Central

    Maan, Martine E.; Sefc, Kristina M.

    2013-01-01

    Cichlid fishes constitute one of the most species-rich families of vertebrates. In addition to complex social behaviour and morphological versatility, they are characterised by extensive diversity in colouration, both within and between species. Here, we review the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying colour variation in this group and the selective pressures responsible for the observed variation. We specifically address the evidence for the hypothesis that divergence in colouration is associated with the evolution of reproductive isolation between lineages. While we conclude that cichlid colours are excellent models for understanding the role of animal communication in species divergence, we also identify taxonomic and methodological biases in the current research effort. We suggest that the integration of genomic approaches with ecological and behavioural studies, across the entire cichlid family and beyond it, will contribute to the utility of the cichlid model system for understanding the evolution of biological diversity. PMID:23665150

  2. Hormonal Responses to Noncontact Aggression in Convict Cichlid Fish.

    PubMed

    Scarsella, Grace E; Duque, Kevin S; Wong, Stephanie C; Sivaraman, Boopathy; Earley, Ryan L

    2016-03-01

    This study explored whether convict cichlid fish mount a hormonal response to aggressive encounters where dominance status remains unresolved. Hormone samples were collected at two time points before an aggressive interaction to obtain confinement-induced and baseline measures, and at one time point following a contest across a clear partition (experimental) or exposure to an opaque partition with an opponent on the opposite side (control). There was no overall significant effect of treatment (control vs. experimental) on hormone release rates but there were trends for cortisol and testosterone (T). A priori linear contrasts showed that individuals that engaged in aggressive interactions had lower postfight cortisol and T release rates than controls, suggesting that aggression, in this context, might attenuate the synthesis of both hormones. Cortisol decreased significantly between initial confinement and baseline, indicating that individuals habituate to the water-borne hormone collection procedure. Contrary to expectation, individuals with higher baseline T and 11-ketotestosterone (KT) release rates took longer to initiate conflict. None of the other measures of behavior were predicted by baseline hormone release rates, and contest behavior did not predict postfight hormone release rates. There was a significant positive relationship between KT and T at all time points. As with studies that employ mirror image stimulation, we found no hormonal response to unresolved contests despite high levels of aggressive behavior. Our study is unique because we demonstrate that animals engaged in conflict with live opponents also do not mount a significant hormonal response when clear dominance relationships are not established. PMID:27076438

  3. Parasitic infections in ornamental cichlid fish in the Peruvian Amazon.

    PubMed

    Aguinaga, Jefferson Yunis; Marcusso, Paulo Fernandes; Claudiano, Gustavo da Silva; Lima, Bruno Tadeu Marotta; Marotta, Bruno L; Sebastião, Fernanda de Alexandre; Fernandes, João Batista Kochenborger; de Moraes, Flávio Ruas; de Moraes, Julieta Rodini Engracia

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence and seasonal distribution of the main parasite species in Amazonian ornamental cichlids that affect their trade. The study was conducted from August 2007 to September 2009. We sampled 3042 specimens from 9 different species, of which 9.47% had at least one type of external parasite. 81.25% of the cases occurred in the dry season. Crenicichla anthurus (28.57%) was the most parasitized, followed by Aequidens diadema (26.32%), Pterophyllum scalare (22.69%), Cichlasoma sp. (9.52%), Apistogramma sp. (3.88%) and Symphysodon aequifasciatus (3.66%). Monogenea was the most abundant group of parasites, occurring in 66.67% of the cases, of which 96.88% occurred in the dry season. This parasite infested 95.68% of Pterophyllum scalare, 76.67% of Apistogramma sp, 33.33% of Cichlasoma sp. and 23.81% of Symphysodon aequifasciatus cases. Ichthyophthirius multifiliis infested 100% of Aequidens diadema, 76.19% of Symphysodon aequifasciatus, 66.67% of Cichlasoma sp, 41.67% of Crenicichla anthurus and 23.33% of Apistogramma sp cases. Myxosporidia infested 58.33% of Crenicichla anthurus. Trichodina infested 4.32% of Pterophyllum scalare. The prevalence of these parasites is related to the season, preferred habitat, fish behavior, individual susceptibility and handling of animals during transportation by fishermen. PMID:25909258

  4. Secondary contact seeds phenotypic novelty in cichlid fishes

    PubMed Central

    Nichols, Paul; Genner, Martin J.; van Oosterhout, Cock; Smith, Alan; Parsons, Paul; Sungani, Harold; Swanstrom, Jennifer; Joyce, Domino A.

    2015-01-01

    Theory proposes that genomic admixture between formerly reproductively isolated populations can generate phenotypic novelty for selection to act upon. Secondary contact may therefore be a significant promoter of phenotypic novelty that allows species to overcome environmental challenges and adapt to novel environments, including during adaptive radiation. To date, this has largely been considered from the perspective of interspecific hybridization at contact zones. However, it is also possible that this process occurs more commonly between natural populations of a single species, and thus its importance in adaptive evolution may have been underestimated. In this study, we tested the consequences of genomic introgression during apparent secondary contact between phenotypically similar lineages of the riverine cichlid fish Astatotilapia calliptera. We provide population genetic evidence of a secondary contact zone in the wild, and then demonstrate using mate-choice experiments that both lineages can reproduce together successfully in laboratory conditions. Finally, we show that genomically admixed individuals display extreme phenotypes not observed in the parental lineages. Collectively, the evidence shows that secondary contact can drive the evolution of phenotypic novelty, suggesting that pulses of secondary contact may repeatedly seed genetic novelty, which when coupled with ecological opportunity could promote rapid adaptive evolution in natural circumstances. PMID:25392475

  5. Secondary contact seeds phenotypic novelty in cichlid fishes.

    PubMed

    Nichols, Paul; Genner, Martin J; van Oosterhout, Cock; Smith, Alan; Parsons, Paul; Sungani, Harold; Swanstrom, Jennifer; Joyce, Domino A

    2015-01-01

    Theory proposes that genomic admixture between formerly reproductively isolated populations can generate phenotypic novelty for selection to act upon. Secondary contact may therefore be a significant promoter of phenotypic novelty that allows species to overcome environmental challenges and adapt to novel environments, including during adaptive radiation. To date, this has largely been considered from the perspective of interspecific hybridization at contact zones. However, it is also possible that this process occurs more commonly between natural populations of a single species, and thus its importance in adaptive evolution may have been underestimated. In this study, we tested the consequences of genomic introgression during apparent secondary contact between phenotypically similar lineages of the riverine cichlid fish Astatotilapia calliptera. We provide population genetic evidence of a secondary contact zone in the wild, and then demonstrate using mate-choice experiments that both lineages can reproduce together successfully in laboratory conditions. Finally, we show that genomically admixed individuals display extreme phenotypes not observed in the parental lineages. Collectively, the evidence shows that secondary contact can drive the evolution of phenotypic novelty, suggesting that pulses of secondary contact may repeatedly seed genetic novelty, which when coupled with ecological opportunity could promote rapid adaptive evolution in natural circumstances. PMID:25392475

  6. The interaction of sexually and naturally selected traits in the adaptive radiations of cichlid fishes.

    PubMed

    Salzburger, Walter

    2009-01-01

    The question of how genetic variation translates into organismal diversity has puzzled biologists for decades. Despite recent advances in evolutionary and developmental genetics, the mechanisms that underlie adaptation, diversification and evolutionary innovation remain largely unknown. The exceptionally diverse species flocks of cichlid fishes are textbook examples of adaptive radiation and explosive speciation and emerge as powerful model systems to study the genetic basis of animal diversification. East Africa's hundreds of endemic cichlid species are akin to a natural mutagenesis screen and differ greatly not only in ecologically relevant (hence naturally selected) characters such as mouth morphology and body shape, but also in sexually selected traits such as coloration. One of the most fascinating aspects of cichlid evolution is the frequent occurrence of evolutionary parallelisms, which has led to the question whether selection alone is sufficient to produce these parallel morphologies, or whether a developmental or genetic bias has influenced the direction of diversification. Here, I review fitness-relevant traits that could be responsible for the cichlids' evolutionary success and assess whether these were shaped by sexual or natural selection. I then focus on the interaction and the relative importance of sexual vs. natural selection in cichlid evolution. Finally, I discuss what is currently known about the genes underlying the morphogenesis of adaptively relevant traits and highlight the importance of the forthcoming cichlid genomes in the quest of the genetic basis of diversification in this group. PMID:18992003

  7. Extraordinarily long sperm in the socially monogamous cichlid fish Pelvicachromis taeniatus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thünken, Timo; Bakker, Theo C. M.; Kullmann, Harald

    2007-06-01

    The main function of the spermatozoon is the transfer of the male haploid genome during fertilisation. In animals in general and in fishes in particular, there is huge variation in sperm size. In fishes, sperm size ranges from 13 μm in Mugil cephlus to nearly 100 μm in the channel catfish Ictalurus punctatus. We examined intra-specific variation in sperm morphometry in the socially monogamous cichlid Pelvicachromis taeniatus using scanning electron microscopy. The mean total sperm length of nearly 70 μm was extraordinarily large for cichlids. Furthermore, within-male variation was remarkably high. To our knowledge, P. taeniatus produces the longest cichlid sperm ever documented. Several hypotheses concerning the adaptive significance of these results are presented.

  8. A complex mode of aggressive mimicry in a scale-eating cichlid fish.

    PubMed

    Boileau, Nicolas; Cortesi, Fabio; Egger, Bernd; Muschick, Moritz; Indermaur, Adrian; Theis, Anya; Büscher, Heinz H; Salzburger, Walter

    2015-09-01

    Aggressive mimicry is an adaptive tactic of parasitic or predatory species that closely resemble inoffensive models in order to increase fitness via predatory gains. Although similarity of distantly related species is often intuitively implicated with mimicry, the exact mechanisms and evolutionary causes remain elusive in many cases. Here, we report a complex aggressive mimicry strategy in Plecodus straeleni, a scale-eating cichlid fish from Lake Tanganyika, which imitates two other cichlid species. Employing targeted sequencing on ingested scales, we show that P. straeleni does not preferentially parasitize its models but—contrary to prevailing assumptions—targets a variety of co-occurring dissimilar looking fish species. Combined with tests for visual resemblance and visual modelling from a prey perspective, our results suggest that complex interactions among different cichlid species are involved in this mimicry system. PMID:26399975

  9. The Midas cichlid species complex: incipient sympatric speciation in Nicaraguan cichlid fishes?

    PubMed

    Barluenga, Marta; Meyer, Axel

    2004-07-01

    Abstract Sympatric speciation is a contentious concept, although theoretical models as well as empirical evidence support its relevance in evolutionary biology. The Midas cichlid species complex (Amphilophus citrinellus, labiatus, zaliosus) from several crater lakes in Nicaragua fits several of the key characteristics of a sympatric speciation model. In particular, in A. citrinellus (i) strong assortative mating on the basis of colour polymorphism and (ii) ecological differentiation based on morphological polymorphisms involving the feeding apparatus and body shape might both be mechanisms of incipient speciation. Seven microsatellite markers and mtDNA control region sequences [836 base pairs (bp)] were used to study the population genetic structure of 519 specimens of Midas cichlid populations from the two Great Lakes Managua and Nicaragua, and three crater lakes in Nicaragua, Central America. The three named species of the species complex occupy different ecological niches, are morphologically distinct and can be distinguished genetically. We uncovered allopatric genetic differentiation of populations of A. citrinellus from different lakes and distant locations within Lake Managua and, more interestingly, incipient genetic differentiation of several sympatric populations based on colouration (in A. citrinellus and A. labiatus) but not on the morphology of the pharyngeal jaws (in A. citrinellus). Sexual selection and assortative mating might be the driven forces of diversification within named species. The Midas cichlid species complex in Nicaragua is an excellent model system for the study of the incipient stages of adaptation, speciation and the formation of species flocks. PMID:15189226

  10. Body Size Diversity and Frequency Distributions of Neotropical Cichlid Fishes (Cichliformes: Cichlidae: Cichlinae)

    PubMed Central

    Steele, Sarah E.; López-Fernández, Hernán

    2014-01-01

    Body size is an important correlate of life history, ecology and distribution of species. Despite this, very little is known about body size evolution in fishes, particularly freshwater fishes of the Neotropics where species and body size diversity are relatively high. Phylogenetic history and body size data were used to explore body size frequency distributions in Neotropical cichlids, a broadly distributed and ecologically diverse group of fishes that is highly representative of body size diversity in Neotropical freshwater fishes. We test for divergence, phylogenetic autocorrelation and among-clade partitioning of body size space. Neotropical cichlids show low phylogenetic autocorrelation and divergence within and among taxonomic levels. Three distinct regions of body size space were identified from body size frequency distributions at various taxonomic levels corresponding to subclades of the most diverse tribe, Geophagini. These regions suggest that lineages may be evolving towards particular size optima that may be tied to specific ecological roles. The diversification of Geophagini appears to constrain the evolution of body size among other Neotropical cichlid lineages; non-Geophagini clades show lower species-richness in body size regions shared with Geophagini. Neotropical cichlid genera show less divergence and extreme body size than expected within and among tribes. Body size divergence among species may instead be present or linked to ecology at the community assembly scale. PMID:25180970

  11. Crater lake habitat predicts morphological diversity in adaptive radiations of cichlid fishes.

    PubMed

    Recknagel, Hans; Elmer, Kathryn R; Meyer, Axel

    2014-07-01

    Adaptive radiations provide an excellent opportunity for studying the correlates and causes for the origin of biodiversity. In these radiations, species diversity may be influenced by either the ecological and physical environment, intrinsic lineage effects, or both. Disentangling the relative contributions of these factors in generating biodiversity remains a major challenge in understanding why a lineage does or does not radiate. Here, we examined morphological variation in body shape for replicate flocks of Nicaraguan Midas cichlid fishes and tested its association with biological and physical characteristics of their crater lakes. We found that variability of body elongation, an adaptive trait in freshwater fishes, is mainly predicted by average lake depth (N = 6, P < 0.001, R(2) = 0.96). Other factors considered, including lake age, surface area, littoral zone area, number of co-occurring fish species, and genetic diversity of the Midas flock, did not significantly predict morphological variability. We also showed that lakes with a larger littoral zone have on average higher bodied Midas cichlids, indicating that Midas cichlid flocks are locally adapted to their crater lake habitats. In conclusion, we found that a lake's habitat predicts the magnitude and the diversity of body elongation in repeated cichlid adaptive radiations. PMID:24660780

  12. Liposarcoma or invasive lipomatosis in flower horn fish, hybrid cichlid: clinical, radiological, ultrasonographical and histopathological study.

    PubMed

    Rahmati-Holasoo, H; Shokrpoor, S; Tavakkoli, A; Vajhi, A; Ebrahimzadeh Mousavi, H

    2016-03-01

    Liposarcoma or invasive lipomatosis affecting three indoor aquarium fish (flower horn fish, hybrid cichlid) is characterized, by the presence of mature adipocytes of variable sizes and by an invasive behaviour, which affected internal organs and eyes of all cases. Detailed macroscopic, radiological, ultrasonographical and histopathological features are presented. All fish had bilateral exophthalmia with some masses around the eyes. Ultrasonography confirmed the presence of hyperechoic masses in the eyes. Histopathology of all cases described the presence of variable-sized adipose cells in the eyes. The suggested diagnosis is well-differentiated liposarcoma or invasive lipomatosis. This is the first report of liposarcoma or invasive lipomatosis in flower horn fish, hybrid cichlid. PMID:25753688

  13. Differences in male coloration are predicted by divergent sexual selection between populations of a cichlid fish.

    PubMed

    Selz, O M; Thommen, R; Pierotti, M E R; Anaya-Rojas, J M; Seehausen, O

    2016-05-11

    Female mating preferences can influence both intraspecific sexual selection and interspecific reproductive isolation, and have therefore been proposed to play a central role in speciation. Here, we investigate experimentally in the African cichlid fish Pundamilia nyererei if differences in male coloration between three para-allopatric populations (i.e. island populations with gene flow) of P. nyererei are predicted by differences in sexual selection by female mate choice between populations. Second, we investigate if female mating preferences are based on the same components of male coloration and go in the same direction when females choose among males of their own population, their own and other conspecific populations and a closely related para-allopatric sister-species, P. igneopinnis Mate-choice experiments revealed that females of the three populations mated species-assortatively, that populations varied in their extent of population-assortative mating and that females chose among males of their own population based on different male colours. Females of different populations exerted directional intrapopulation sexual selection on different male colours, and these differences corresponded in two of the populations to the observed differences in male coloration between the populations. Our results suggest that differences in male coloration between populations of P. nyererei can be explained by divergent sexual selection and that population-assortative mating may directly result from intrapopulation sexual selection. PMID:27147097

  14. High prevalence of non-synonymous substitutions in mtDNA of cichlid fishes from Lake Victoria.

    PubMed

    Shirai, Kazumasa; Inomata, Nobuyuki; Mizoiri, Shinji; Aibara, Mitsuto; Terai, Yohey; Okada, Norihiro; Tachida, Hidenori

    2014-12-01

    When a population size is reduced, genetic drift may fix slightly deleterious mutations, and an increase in nonsynonymous substitution is expected. It has been suggested that past aridity has seriously affected and decreased the populations of cichlid fishes in Lake Victoria, while geographical studies have shown that the water levels in Lake Tanganyika and Lake Malawi have remained fairly constant. The comparably stable environments in the latter two lakes might have kept the populations of cichlid fishes large enough to remove slightly deleterious mutations. The difference in the stability of cichlid fish population sizes between Lake Victoria and the Lakes Tanganyika and Malawi is expected to have caused differences in the nonsynonymous/synonymous ratio, ω (=dN/dS), of the evolutionary rate. Here, we estimated ω and compared it between the cichlids of the three lakes for 13 mitochondrial protein-coding genes using maximum likelihood methods. We found that the lineages of the cichlids in Lake Victoria had a significantly higher ω for several mitochondrial loci. Moreover, positive selection was indicated for several codons in the mtDNA of the Lake Victoria cichlid lineage. Our results indicate that both adaptive and slightly deleterious molecular evolution has taken place in the Lake Victoria cichlids' mtDNA genes, whose nonsynonymous sites are generally conserved. PMID:25241383

  15. Big fish, little divergence: phylogeography of Lake Tanganyika’s giant cichlid, Boulengerochromis microlepis

    PubMed Central

    Koblmüller, Stephan; Odhiambo, Elizabeth A.; Sinyinza, Danny; Sturmbauer, Christian; Sefc, Kristina M.

    2014-01-01

    The largely endemic cichlid species flocks of the East African Great Lakes are among the prime examples for explosive speciation and adaptive radiation. Speciation rates differ among cichlid lineages, and the propensity to radiate has been linked to intrinsic and extrinsic factors such as sexual selection and ecological opportunity. Remarkably, only one cichlid tribe—the Boulengerochromini—comprises just a single species, Boulengerochromis microlepis, a predominantly piscivorous endemic of Lake Tanganyika and the world’s largest cichlid. While the lineage diverged from its closest relatives at the onset of the Lake Tanganyika radiation >8 MYA, mitochondrial control region sequences collected in this study dated the most recent common ancestor of B. microlepis to ~60–110 KYA. There was no evidence of phylogeographic structure in the lake-wide sample. Patterns of genetic diversity and demographic analyses were consistent with slow and steady population growth throughout the reconstructed timescale. Additionally, the shallow divergence within the species may be related to a possibly large variance in reproductive success in this highly fecund species. Trophic niche space restriction by sympatric piscivores, lack of geographic structure, low potential for sexual selection arising from the monogamous mating system and extinction may have contributed to keeping the lineage monotypic. PMID:25983338

  16. Geographical ancestry of Lake Malawi's cichlid fish diversity

    PubMed Central

    Genner, Martin J.; Ngatunga, Benjamin P.; Mzighani, Semvua; Smith, Alan; Turner, George F.

    2015-01-01

    The Lake Malawi haplochromine cichlid flock is one of the largest vertebrate adaptive radiations. The geographical source of the radiation has been assumed to be rivers to the south and east of Lake Malawi, where extant representatives of the flock are now present. Here, we provide mitochondrial DNA evidence suggesting the sister taxon to the Lake Malawi radiation is within the Great Ruaha river in Tanzania, north of Lake Malawi. Estimates of the time of divergence between the Lake Malawi flock and this riverine sister taxon range from 2.13 to 6.76 Ma, prior to origins of the current radiation 1.20–4.06 Ma. These results are congruent with evaluations of 2–3.75 Ma fossil material that suggest past faunal connections between Lake Malawi and the Ruaha. We propose that ancestors of the Malawi radiation became isolated within the catchment during Pliocene rifting that formed both Lake Malawi and the Kipengere/Livingstone mountain range, before colonizing rivers to the south and east of the lake region and radiating within the lake basin. Identification of this sister taxon allows tests of whether standing genetic diversity has predisposed Lake Malawi cichlids to rapid speciation and adaptive radiation. PMID:26063752

  17. Geographical ancestry of Lake Malawi's cichlid fish diversity.

    PubMed

    Genner, Martin J; Ngatunga, Benjamin P; Mzighani, Semvua; Smith, Alan; Turner, George F

    2015-06-01

    The Lake Malawi haplochromine cichlid flock is one of the largest vertebrate adaptive radiations. The geographical source of the radiation has been assumed to be rivers to the south and east of Lake Malawi, where extant representatives of the flock are now present. Here, we provide mitochondrial DNA evidence suggesting the sister taxon to the Lake Malawi radiation is within the Great Ruaha river in Tanzania, north of Lake Malawi. Estimates of the time of divergence between the Lake Malawi flock and this riverine sister taxon range from 2.13 to 6.76 Ma, prior to origins of the current radiation 1.20-4.06 Ma. These results are congruent with evaluations of 2-3.75 Ma fossil material that suggest past faunal connections between Lake Malawi and the Ruaha. We propose that ancestors of the Malawi radiation became isolated within the catchment during Pliocene rifting that formed both Lake Malawi and the Kipengere/Livingstone mountain range, before colonizing rivers to the south and east of the lake region and radiating within the lake basin. Identification of this sister taxon allows tests of whether standing genetic diversity has predisposed Lake Malawi cichlids to rapid speciation and adaptive radiation. PMID:26063752

  18. Two types of dominant male cichlid fish: behavioral and hormonal characteristics

    PubMed Central

    Becker, Lisa; Hilliard, Austin T.; Kent, Kai R.; Fernald, Russell D.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Male African cichlid fish, Astatotilapia burtoni, have been classified as dominant or subordinate, each with unique behavioral and endocrine profiles. Here we characterize two distinct subclasses of dominant males based on types of aggressive behavior: (1) males that display escalating levels of aggression and court females while they establish a territory, and (2) males that display a stable level of aggression and delay courting females until they have established a territory. To profile differences in their approach to a challenge, we used an intruder assay. In every case, there was a male-male confrontation between the resident dominant male and the intruder, with the intruder quickly taking a subordinate role. However, we found that dominant males with escalating aggression spent measurably more time attacking subordinates than did dominant males with stable aggression that instead increased their attention toward the females in their tank. There was no difference in the behavior of intruders exposed to either type of dominant male, suggesting that escalating aggression is an intrinsic characteristic of some dominant males and is not elicited by the behavior of their challengers. Male behavior during the first 15 min of establishing a territory predicts their aggressive class. These two types of dominant males also showed distinctive physiological characteristics. After the intruder assay, males with escalating aggression had elevated levels of 11-ketotestosterone (11-KT), testosterone, estradiol, and cortisol, while those with stable aggression did not. These observations show that the same stimulus can elicit different behavioral and endocrine responses among A. burtoni dominant males that characterize them as either escalating or stable aggressive types. Our ability to identify which individuals within a population have escalating levels of aggressive responses versus those which have stable levels of aggressive responses when exposed to the same

  19. Two types of dominant male cichlid fish: behavioral and hormonal characteristics.

    PubMed

    Alcazar, Rosa M; Becker, Lisa; Hilliard, Austin T; Kent, Kai R; Fernald, Russell D

    2016-01-01

    Male African cichlid fish, Astatotilapia burtoni, have been classified as dominant or subordinate, each with unique behavioral and endocrine profiles. Here we characterize two distinct subclasses of dominant males based on types of aggressive behavior: (1) males that display escalating levels of aggression and court females while they establish a territory, and (2) males that display a stable level of aggression and delay courting females until they have established a territory. To profile differences in their approach to a challenge, we used an intruder assay. In every case, there was a male-male confrontation between the resident dominant male and the intruder, with the intruder quickly taking a subordinate role. However, we found that dominant males with escalating aggression spent measurably more time attacking subordinates than did dominant males with stable aggression that instead increased their attention toward the females in their tank. There was no difference in the behavior of intruders exposed to either type of dominant male, suggesting that escalating aggression is an intrinsic characteristic of some dominant males and is not elicited by the behavior of their challengers. Male behavior during the first 15 min of establishing a territory predicts their aggressive class. These two types of dominant males also showed distinctive physiological characteristics. After the intruder assay, males with escalating aggression had elevated levels of 11-ketotestosterone (11-KT), testosterone, estradiol, and cortisol, while those with stable aggression did not. These observations show that the same stimulus can elicit different behavioral and endocrine responses among A. burtoni dominant males that characterize them as either escalating or stable aggressive types. Our ability to identify which individuals within a population have escalating levels of aggressive responses versus those which have stable levels of aggressive responses when exposed to the same stimulus

  20. Visual Information Alone Changes Behavior and Physiology during Social Interactions in a Cichlid Fish (Astatotilapia burtoni)

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Chun-Chun; Fernald, Russell D.

    2011-01-01

    Social behavior can influence physiological systems dramatically yet the sensory cues responsible are not well understood. Behavior of male African cichlid fish, Astatotilapia burtoni, in their natural habitat suggests that visual cues from conspecifics contribute significantly to regulation of social behavior. Using a novel paradigm, we asked whether visual cues alone from a larger conspecific male could influence behavior, reproductive physiology and the physiological stress response of a smaller male. Here we show that just seeing a larger, threatening male through a clear barrier can suppress dominant behavior of a smaller male for up to 7 days. Smaller dominant males being “attacked” visually by larger dominant males through a clear barrier also showed physiological changes for up to 3 days, including up-regulation of reproductive- and stress-related gene expression levels and lowered plasma 11-ketotestesterone concentrations as compared to control animals. The smaller males modified their appearance to match that of non-dominant males when exposed to a larger male but they maintained a physiological phenotype similar to that of a dominant male. After 7 days, reproductive- and stress- related gene expression, circulating hormone levels, and gonad size in the smaller males showed no difference from the control group suggesting that the smaller male habituated to the visual intruder. However, the smaller male continued to display subordinate behaviors and assumed the appearance of a subordinate male for a full week despite his dominant male physiology. These data suggest that seeing a larger male alone can regulate the behavior of a smaller male but that ongoing reproductive inhibition depends on additional sensory cues. Perhaps, while experiencing visual social stressors, the smaller male uses an opportunistic strategy, acting like a subordinate male while maintaining the physiology of a dominant male. PMID:21633515

  1. Altering an extended phenotype reduces intraspecific male aggression and can maintain diversity in cichlid fish

    PubMed Central

    Croft, Guy E.; Joyce, Domino A.

    2013-01-01

    Reduced male aggression towards different phenotypes generating negative frequency-dependent intrasexual selection has been suggested as a mechanism to facilitate the invasion and maintenance of novel phenotypes in a population. To date, the best empirical evidence for the phenomenon has been provided by laboratory studies on cichlid fish with different colour polymorphisms. Here we experimentally tested the hypothesis in a natural population of Lake Malawi cichlid fish, in which males build sand-castles (bowers) to attract females during seasonal leks. We predicted that if bower shape plays an important role in male aggressive interactions, aggression among conspecific males should decrease when their bower shape is altered. Accordingly, we allocated randomly chosen bowers in a Nyassachromis cf. microcephalus lek into three treatments: control, manipulated to a different shape, and simulated manipulation. We then measured male behaviours and bower shape before and after these treatments. We found that once bower shape was altered, males were involved in significantly fewer aggressive interactions with conspecific males than before manipulation. Mating success was not affected. Our results support the idea that an extended phenotype, such as bower shape, can be important in maintaining polymorphic populations. Specifically, reduced male conspecific aggression towards males with different extended phenotypes (here, bower shapes) may cause negative frequency-dependent selection, allowing the invasion and establishment of a new phenotype (bower builder). This could help our understanding of mechanisms of diversification within populations, and in particular, the overall diversification of bower shapes within Lake Malawi cichlids. PMID:24349896

  2. Biting into the Genome to Phenome Map: Developmental Genetic Modularity of Cichlid Fish Dentitions.

    PubMed

    Hulsey, C Darrin; Fraser, Gareth J; Meyer, A

    2016-09-01

    Within vertebrates, teleost fishes provide a rich evolutionary context for studying the mechanisms of dental divergence because of the numerous axes along which their teeth have diverged phenotypically and presumably developmentally. Using both a review of teleost in situ hybridization and de novo transcriptome sequencing in a cichlid fish, we examined whether 341 gene homologs thought to play a role in developing mice teeth are expressed in the tooth-bearing jaws of teleosts. The similarities and putative differences in gene expression documented between the two most commonly used models, zebrafish and cichlids, highlight what can be learned from using a greater diversity of teleost model systems in studies of tooth development. Both types of gene expression analysis also provide substantial evidence for conservation of tooth gene expression from teleosts to mammals as well as between initial and replacement teeth. Additionally, we found that the cichlid oral and pharyngeal jaws share expression for a large percentage of genes that influence tooth development. Our transcriptome analyses also suggest sub-functionalization between gene paralogs expressed in teeth and paralogs expressed in other structures is likely a common pattern across teleost diversity. Teleost dentitions will continue to provide a potent system in which to examine the importance of both gene duplication as well as the conservation of gene expression for phenotypic diversification. PMID:27260860

  3. The Role of microRNAs in the Repeated Parallel Diversification of Lineages of Midas Cichlid Fish from Nicaragua

    PubMed Central

    Franchini, Paolo; Xiong, Peiwen; Fruciano, Carmelo; Meyer, Axel

    2016-01-01

    Cichlid fishes are an ideal model system for studying biological diversification because they provide textbook examples of rapid speciation. To date, there has been little focus on the role of gene regulation during cichlid speciation. However, in recent years, gene regulation has been recognized as a powerful force linking diversification in gene function to speciation. Here, we investigated the potential role of miRNA regulation in the diversification of six cichlid species of the Midas cichlid lineage (Amphilophus spp.) inhabiting the Nicaraguan crater lakes. Using several genomic resources, we inferred 236 Midas miRNA genes that were used to predict the miRNA target sites on 8,232 Midas 3′-UTRs. Using population genomic calculations of SNP diversity, we found the miRNA genes to be more conserved than protein coding genes. In contrast to what has been observed in other cichlid fish, but similar to what has been typically found in other groups, we observed genomic signatures of purifying selection on the miRNA targets by comparing these sites with the less conserved nontarget portion of the 3′-UTRs. However, in one species pair that has putatively speciated sympatrically in crater Lake Apoyo, we recovered a different pattern of relaxed purifying selection and high genetic divergence at miRNA targets. Our results suggest that sequence evolution at miRNA binding sites could be a critical genomic mechanism contributing to the rapid phenotypic evolution of Midas cichlids. PMID:27189980

  4. The Role of microRNAs in the Repeated Parallel Diversification of Lineages of Midas Cichlid Fish from Nicaragua.

    PubMed

    Franchini, Paolo; Xiong, Peiwen; Fruciano, Carmelo; Meyer, Axel

    2016-01-01

    Cichlid fishes are an ideal model system for studying biological diversification because they provide textbook examples of rapid speciation. To date, there has been little focus on the role of gene regulation during cichlid speciation. However, in recent years, gene regulation has been recognized as a powerful force linking diversification in gene function to speciation. Here, we investigated the potential role of miRNA regulation in the diversification of six cichlid species of the Midas cichlid lineage (Amphilophus spp.) inhabiting the Nicaraguan crater lakes. Using several genomic resources, we inferred 236 Midas miRNA genes that were used to predict the miRNA target sites on 8,232 Midas 3'-UTRs. Using population genomic calculations of SNP diversity, we found the miRNA genes to be more conserved than protein coding genes. In contrast to what has been observed in other cichlid fish, but similar to what has been typically found in other groups, we observed genomic signatures of purifying selection on the miRNA targets by comparing these sites with the less conserved nontarget portion of the 3'-UTRs. However, in one species pair that has putatively speciated sympatrically in crater Lake Apoyo, we recovered a different pattern of relaxed purifying selection and high genetic divergence at miRNA targets. Our results suggest that sequence evolution at miRNA binding sites could be a critical genomic mechanism contributing to the rapid phenotypic evolution of Midas cichlids. PMID:27189980

  5. Handed Foraging Behavior in Scale-Eating Cichlid Fish: Its Potential Role in Shaping Morphological Asymmetry

    PubMed Central

    Meyer, Axel

    2012-01-01

    Scale-eating cichlid fish, Perissodus microlepis, from Lake Tanganyika display handed (lateralized) foraging behavior, where an asymmetric ‘left’ mouth morph preferentially feeds on the scales of the right side of its victim fish and a ‘right’ morph bites the scales of the left side. This species has therefore become a textbook example of the astonishing degree of ecological specialization and negative frequency-dependent selection. We investigated the strength of handedness of foraging behavior as well as its interaction with morphological mouth laterality in P. microlepis. In wild-caught adult fish we found that mouth laterality is, as expected, a strong predictor of their preferred attack orientation. Also laboratory-reared juvenile fish exhibited a strong laterality in behavioral preference to feed on scales, even at an early age, although the initial level of mouth asymmetry appeared to be small. This suggests that pronounced mouth asymmetry is not a prerequisite for handed foraging behavior in juvenile scale-eating cichlid fish and might suggest that behavioral preference to attack a particular side of the prey plays a role in facilitating morphological asymmetry of this species. PMID:22970282

  6. Sexual dimorphism in a trophically polymorphic cichlid fish?

    PubMed

    Hulsey, Christopher Darrin; García-De León, Francisco J; Meyer, Axel

    2015-12-01

    Sexual dimorphism in ecologically relevant traits is ubiquitous in animals. However, other types of intraspecific phenotypic divergence, such as trophic polymorphism, are less common. Because linkage to sex should often lead to balancing selection, understanding the association between sex and phenotypic divergence could help explain why particular species show high morphological variability. To determine if sexual dimorphism could be helping to maintain ecomorphological variation in a classic case of intraspecific trophic polymorphism, we examined the association between sex and morphological divergence in the cichlid Herichthys minckleyi. Although H. minckleyi with enlarged molariform teeth on their pharyngeal jaws have been reported to more commonly be male, we did not find an association between sex and pharyngeal morphotype. Sex was associated with divergence in body size (as measured through standard length). But, sex was not associated with any of the other trophic traits examined. However, pharyngeal morphotype did show an association with gut length, gape, and tooth number. Sexual dimorphism is not playing a central role in enhancing trophic diversity within H. minckleyi. PMID:26289966

  7. Morphology and Efficiency of a Specialized Foraging Behavior, Sediment Sifting, in Neotropical Cichlid Fishes

    PubMed Central

    Willis, Stuart; Watkins, Crystal; Honeycutt, Rodney L.; Winemiller, Kirk O.

    2014-01-01

    Understanding of relationships between morphology and ecological performance can help to reveal how natural selection drives biological diversification. We investigate relationships between feeding behavior, foraging performance and morphology within a diverse group of teleost fishes, and examine the extent to which associations can be explained by evolutionary relatedness. Morphological adaptation associated with sediment sifting was examined using a phylogenetic linear discriminant analysis on a set of ecomorphological traits from 27 species of Neotropical cichlids. For most sifting taxa, feeding behavior could be effectively predicted by a linear discriminant function of ecomorphology across multiple clades of sediment sifters, and this pattern could not be explained by shared evolutionary history alone. Additionally, we tested foraging efficiency in seven Neotropical cichlid species, five of which are specialized benthic feeders with differing head morphology. Efficiency was evaluated based on the degree to which invertebrate prey could be retrieved at different depths of sediment. Feeding performance was compared both with respect to feeding mode and species using a phylogenetic ANCOVA, with substrate depth as a covariate. Benthic foraging performance was constant across sediment depths in non-sifters but declined with depth in sifters. The non-sifting Hypsophrys used sweeping motions of the body and fins to excavate large pits to uncover prey; this tactic was more efficient for consuming deeply buried invertebrates than observed among sediment sifters. Findings indicate that similar feeding performance among sediment-sifting cichlids extracting invertebrate prey from shallow sediment layers reflects constraints associated with functional morphology and, to a lesser extent, phylogeny. PMID:24603485

  8. Replicated evolution of trophic specializations in an endemic cichlid fish lineage from Lake Tanganyika

    PubMed Central

    Rüber, Lukas; Verheyen, Erik; Meyer, Axel

    1999-01-01

    The current phylogenetic hypothesis for the endemic Lake Tanganyika cichlid fishes of the tribe Eretmodini is based solely on morphology and suggests that more complex trophic morphologies derived only once from a less specialized ancestral condition. A molecular phylogeny of eretmodine cichlids based on partial mitochondrial DNA cytochrome b and control-region sequences was used to reconstruct the evolutionary sequence of trophic adaptations and to test alternative models of morphological divergence. The six mitochondrial lineages found disagree with the current taxonomy and the morphology-based phylogeny. Mitochondrial lineages with similar trophic morphologies are not grouped monophyletically but are typically more closely related to lineages with different trophic phenotypes currently assigned to other genera. Our results indicate multiple independent origins of similar trophic specializations in these cichlids. A pattern of repeated divergent morphological evolution becomes apparent when the phylogeography of the mitochondrial haplotypes is analyzed in the context of the geological and paleoclimatological history of Lake Tanganyika. In more than one instance within Lake Tanganyika, similar morphological divergence of dentitional traits occurred in sympatric species pairs. Possibly, resource-based divergent selective regimes led to resource partitioning and brought about similar trophic morphologies independently and repeatedly. PMID:10468591

  9. Morphology and efficiency of a specialized foraging behavior, sediment sifting, in neotropical cichlid fishes.

    PubMed

    López-Fernández, Hernán; Arbour, Jessica; Willis, Stuart; Watkins, Crystal; Honeycutt, Rodney L; Winemiller, Kirk O

    2014-01-01

    Understanding of relationships between morphology and ecological performance can help to reveal how natural selection drives biological diversification. We investigate relationships between feeding behavior, foraging performance and morphology within a diverse group of teleost fishes, and examine the extent to which associations can be explained by evolutionary relatedness. Morphological adaptation associated with sediment sifting was examined using a phylogenetic linear discriminant analysis on a set of ecomorphological traits from 27 species of Neotropical cichlids. For most sifting taxa, feeding behavior could be effectively predicted by a linear discriminant function of ecomorphology across multiple clades of sediment sifters, and this pattern could not be explained by shared evolutionary history alone. Additionally, we tested foraging efficiency in seven Neotropical cichlid species, five of which are specialized benthic feeders with differing head morphology. Efficiency was evaluated based on the degree to which invertebrate prey could be retrieved at different depths of sediment. Feeding performance was compared both with respect to feeding mode and species using a phylogenetic ANCOVA, with substrate depth as a covariate. Benthic foraging performance was constant across sediment depths in non-sifters but declined with depth in sifters. The non-sifting Hypsophrys used sweeping motions of the body and fins to excavate large pits to uncover prey; this tactic was more efficient for consuming deeply buried invertebrates than observed among sediment sifters. Findings indicate that similar feeding performance among sediment-sifting cichlids extracting invertebrate prey from shallow sediment layers reflects constraints associated with functional morphology and, to a lesser extent, phylogeny. PMID:24603485

  10. Histochemical localisation of carbonic anhydrase in the inner ear of developing cichlid fish, Oreochromis mossambicus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beier, M.; Hilbig, R.; Anken, R.

    2008-12-01

    Inner ear otolith growth in terms of mineralisation mainly depends on the enzyme carbonic anhydrase (CAH). CAH is located in specialised, mitochondria-rich macular cells (ionocytes), which are involved in the endolymphatic ion exchange, and the enzyme is responsible for the provision of the pH-value necessary for otolithic calcium carbonate deposition. In the present study, for the first time the localisation of histochemically demonstrated CAH was analysed during the early larval development of a teleost, the cichlid fish Oreochromis mossambicus. CAH-reactivity was observed already in stage 7 animals (onset of otocyst development; staging follows Anken et al. [Anken, R., Kappel, T., Slenzka, K., Rahmann, H. The early morphogenetic development of the cichlid fish, Oreochromis mossambicus (Perciformes, Teleostei). Zool. Anz. 231, 1-10, 1993]). Neuroblasts (from which sensory and supporting cells are derived) proved to be CAH-positive. Already at stage 12 (hatch), CAH-positive regions could be attributed to ionocyte containing regions both in the so-called meshwork and patches area of the macula (i.e., clearly before ionocytes can be identified on ultrastructural level or by employing immunocytochemistry). In contrast to the circumstances observed in mammalian species, sensory hair cells stained negative for CAH in the cichlid. With the onset of stage 16 (finray primordia in dorsal fin, yolk-sac being increasingly absorbed), CAH-reactivity was observed in the vestibular nerve. This indicates the onset of myelinisation and thus commencement of operation. The localisation of CAH in the inner ear of fish (especially the differences in comparison to mammals) is discussed on the basis of its role in otolith calcification. Since the vestibular system is a detector of acceleration and thus gravity, also aspects regarding effects of altered gravity on CAH and hence on the mineralisation of otoliths in an adaptive process are addressed.

  11. Facial Recognition in a Group-Living Cichlid Fish.

    PubMed

    Kohda, Masanori; Jordan, Lyndon Alexander; Hotta, Takashi; Kosaka, Naoya; Karino, Kenji; Tanaka, Hirokazu; Taniyama, Masami; Takeyama, Tomohiro

    2015-01-01

    The theoretical underpinnings of the mechanisms of sociality, e.g. territoriality, hierarchy, and reciprocity, are based on assumptions of individual recognition. While behavioural evidence suggests individual recognition is widespread, the cues that animals use to recognise individuals are established in only a handful of systems. Here, we use digital models to demonstrate that facial features are the visual cue used for individual recognition in the social fish Neolamprologus pulcher. Focal fish were exposed to digital images showing four different combinations of familiar and unfamiliar face and body colorations. Focal fish attended to digital models with unfamiliar faces longer and from a further distance to the model than to models with familiar faces. These results strongly suggest that fish can distinguish individuals accurately using facial colour patterns. Our observations also suggest that fish are able to rapidly (≤ 0.5 sec) discriminate between familiar and unfamiliar individuals, a speed of recognition comparable to primates including humans. PMID:26605789

  12. Genomic islands of speciation separate cichlid ecomorphs in an East African crater lake.

    PubMed

    Malinsky, Milan; Challis, Richard J; Tyers, Alexandra M; Schiffels, Stephan; Terai, Yohey; Ngatunga, Benjamin P; Miska, Eric A; Durbin, Richard; Genner, Martin J; Turner, George F

    2015-12-18

    The genomic causes and effects of divergent ecological selection during speciation are still poorly understood. Here we report the discovery and detailed characterization of early-stage adaptive divergence of two cichlid fish ecomorphs in a small (700 meters in diameter) isolated crater lake in Tanzania. The ecomorphs differ in depth preference, male breeding color, body shape, diet, and trophic morphology. With whole-genome sequences of 146 fish, we identified 98 clearly demarcated genomic "islands" of high differentiation and demonstrated the association of genotypes across these islands with divergent mate preferences. The islands contain candidate adaptive genes enriched for functions in sensory perception (including rhodopsin and other twilight-vision-associated genes), hormone signaling, and morphogenesis. Our study suggests mechanisms and genomic regions that may play a role in the closely related mega-radiation of Lake Malawi. PMID:26680190

  13. Genomic islands of speciation separate cichlid ecomorphs in an East African crater lake*

    PubMed Central

    Tyers, Alexandra M.; Schiffels, Stephan; Terai, Yohey; Ngatunga, Benjamin P.; Miska, Eric A.; Durbin, Richard; Genner, Martin J.; Turner, George F.

    2015-01-01

    The genomic causes and effects of divergent ecological selection during speciation are still poorly understood. Here, we report the discovery and detailed characterization of early-stage adaptive divergence of two cichlid fish ecomorphs in a small (700m diameter) isolated crater lake in Tanzania. The ecomorphs differ in depth preference, male breeding color, body shape, diet and trophic morphology. With whole genome sequences of 146 fish, we identify 98 clearly demarcated genomic ‘islands’ of high differentiation and demonstrate association of genotypes across these islands to divergent mate preferences. The islands contain candidate adaptive genes enriched for functions in sensory perception (including rhodopsin and other twilight vision associated genes), hormone signaling and morphogenesis. Our study suggests mechanisms and genomic regions that may play a role in the closely related mega-radiation of Lake Malawi. PMID:26680190

  14. Lateralized Kinematics of Predation Behavior in a Lake Tanganyika Scale-Eating Cichlid Fish

    PubMed Central

    Takeuchi, Yuichi; Hori, Michio; Oda, Yoichi

    2012-01-01

    Behavioral lateralization has been documented in many vertebrates. The scale-eating cichlid fish Perissodus microlepis is well known for exhibiting lateral dimorphism in its mouth morphology and lateralized behavior in robbing scales from prey fish. A previous field study indicated that this mouth asymmetry closely correlates with the side on which prey is attacked, but details of this species' predation behavior have not been previously analyzed because of the rapidity of the movements. Here, we studied scale-eating behavior in cichlids in a tank through high-speed video monitoring and quantitative assessment of behavioral laterality and kinematics. The fish observed showed a clear bias toward striking on one side, which closely correlated with their asymmetric mouth morphologies. Furthermore, the maximum angular velocity and amplitude of body flexion were significantly larger during attacks on the preferred side compared to those on the nonpreferred side, permitting increased predation success. In contrast, no such lateral difference in movement elements was observed in acoustically evoked flexion during the escape response, which is similar to flexion during scale eating and suggests that they share a common motor control pathway. Thus the neuronal circuits controlling body flexion during scale eating may be functionally lateralized upstream of this common motor pathway. PMID:22238598

  15. Local variation and parallel evolution: morphological and genetic diversity across a species complex of neotropical crater lake cichlid fishes

    PubMed Central

    Elmer, Kathryn R.; Kusche, Henrik; Lehtonen, Topi K.; Meyer, Axel

    2010-01-01

    The polychromatic and trophically polymorphic Midas cichlid fish species complex (Amphilophus cf. citrinellus) is an excellent model system for studying the mechanisms of speciation and patterns of phenotypic diversification in allopatry and in sympatry. Here, we first review research to date on the species complex and the geological history of its habitat. We analyse body shape variation from all currently described species in the complex, sampled from six crater lakes (maximally 1.2–23.9 kyr old) and both great lakes in Nicaragua. We find that Midas cichlid populations in each lake have their own characteristic body shape. In lakes with multiple sympatric species of Midas cichlid, each species has a distinct body shape. Across the species complex, most body shape change relates to body depth, head, snout and mouth shape and caudal peduncle length. There is independent parallel evolution of an elongate limnetic species in at least two crater lakes. Mitochondrial genetic diversity is higher in crater lakes with multiple species. Midas cichlid species richness increases with the size and age of the crater lakes, though no such relationship exists for the other syntopic fishes. We suggest that crater lake Midas cichlids follow the predicted pattern of an adaptive radiation, with early divergence of each crater lake colonization, followed by intralacustrine diversification and speciation by ecological adaptation and sexual selection. PMID:20439280

  16. Genetic basis of continuous variation in the levels and modular inheritance of pigmentation in cichlid fishes

    PubMed Central

    Albertson, R. Craig; Powder, Kara E.; Hu, Yinan; Coyle, Kaitlin P.; Roberts, Reade B.; Parsons, Kevin J.

    2014-01-01

    Variation in pigmentation type and levels is a hallmark of myriad evolutionary radiations, and biologists have long been fascinated by the factors that promote and maintain variation in coloration across populations. Here, we provide insights into the genetic basis of complex and continuous patterns of colour variation in cichlid fishes, which offer a vast diversity of pigmentation patterns that have evolved in response to both natural and sexual selection. Specifically, we crossed two divergent cichlid species to generate an F2 mapping population that exhibited extensive variation in pigmentation levels and patterns. Our experimental design is robust in that it combines traditional quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis with population genomics, which has allowed us to move efficiently from QTL interval to candidate gene. In total, we detected 41 QTL and 13 epistatic interactions that underlie melanocyte- and xanthophore-based coloration across the fins and flanks of these fishes. We also identified 2 QTL and 1 interaction for variation in the magnitude of integration among these colour traits. This finding in particular is notable as there are marked differences both within and between species with respect to the complexity of pigmentation patterns. While certain individuals are characterized by more uniform ‘integrated’ colour patterns, others exhibit many more degrees of freedom with respect to the distribution of colour ‘modules’ across the fins and flank. Our data reveal, for the first time, a genetic basis for this difference. Finally, we implicate pax3a as a mediator of continuous variation in the levels of xanthophore-based colour along the cichlid flank. PMID:25156298

  17. Peripheral Hearing Structures in Fishes: Diversity and Sensitivity of Catfishes and Cichlids.

    PubMed

    Ladich, Friedrich

    2016-01-01

    Fishes have evolved an astonishing diversity of peripheral (accessory/ancillary) auditory structures to improve hearing based on their ability to transmit oscillations of gas bladder walls to the inner ears. So far it is unclear to what degree the size of the bladder and the linkage to the ear affect hearing in fishes. An interfamilial study in catfishes revealed that families which possess large, single swim bladders and one to four Weberian ossicles were more sensitive at higher frequencies (≥1 kHz) than families which have small, paired, and encapsulated bladders and one to two ossicles. An intrafamilial investigation in thorny catfishes (family Doradidae) revealed that small differences in bladder morphology did not affect hearing similarly. Members of the cichlid family possess an even larger variation in peripheral auditory structures than catfishes. The linkage between the swim bladder and ear can either be present via anterior extensions of the bladder or be completely absent (in contrast to catfishes). Representatives having large bladders with extensions had the best sensitivities. Cichlids lacking extensions had lower sensitivities above 0.3 kHz. Species with a vestigial swim bladder exhibited a smaller hearing bandwidth than those with larger swim bladder (maximum frequency: 0.7 kHz vs. 3 kHz). Catfishes and cichlids reveal that larger gas bladders and more pronounced connections between the swim bladder and the inner ear result in improved hearing at higher frequencies. The lack of a connection between a large bladder and the inner ear does not necessarily result in a smaller detectable frequency range. PMID:26515321

  18. Genetic basis of continuous variation in the levels and modular inheritance of pigmentation in cichlid fishes.

    PubMed

    Albertson, R Craig; Powder, Kara E; Hu, Yinan; Coyle, Kaitlin P; Roberts, Reade B; Parsons, Kevin J

    2014-11-01

    Variation in pigmentation type and levels is a hallmark of myriad evolutionary radiations, and biologists have long been fascinated by the factors that promote and maintain variation in coloration across populations. Here, we provide insights into the genetic basis of complex and continuous patterns of colour variation in cichlid fishes, which offer a vast diversity of pigmentation patterns that have evolved in response to both natural and sexual selection. Specifically, we crossed two divergent cichlid species to generate an F2 mapping population that exhibited extensive variation in pigmentation levels and patterns. Our experimental design is robust in that it combines traditional quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis with population genomics, which has allowed us to move efficiently from QTL interval to candidate gene. In total, we detected 41 QTL and 13 epistatic interactions that underlie melanocyte- and xanthophore-based coloration across the fins and flanks of these fishes. We also identified 2 QTL and 1 interaction for variation in the magnitude of integration among these colour traits. This finding in particular is notable as there are marked differences both within and between species with respect to the complexity of pigmentation patterns. While certain individuals are characterized by more uniform 'integrated' colour patterns, others exhibit many more degrees of freedom with respect to the distribution of colour 'modules' across the fins and flank. Our data reveal, for the first time, a genetic basis for this difference. Finally, we implicate pax3a as a mediator of continuous variation in the levels of xanthophore-based colour along the cichlid flank. PMID:25156298

  19. A comparative study of an innate immune response in Lamprologine cichlid fishes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Connor, Constance M.; Reddon, Adam R.; Marsh-Rollo, Susan E.; Hellmann, Jennifer K.; Ligocki, Isaac Y.; Hamilton, Ian M.; Balshine, Sigal

    2014-10-01

    Social interactions facilitate pathogen transmission and increase virulence. Therefore, species that live in social groups are predicted to suffer a higher pathogen burden, to invest more heavily in immune defence against pathogens, or both. However, there are few empirical tests of whether social species indeed invest more heavily in immune defence than non-social species. In the current study, we conducted a phylogenetically controlled comparison of innate immune response in Lamprologine cichlid fishes. We focused on three species of highly social cichlids that live in permanent groups and exhibit cooperative breeding ( Julidochromis ornatus, Neolamprologus pulcher and Neolamprologus savoryi) and three species of non-social cichlids that exhibit neither grouping nor cooperative behaviour ( Telmatochromis temporalis, Neolamprologus tetracanthus and Neolamprologus modestus). We quantified the innate immune response by injecting wild fishes with phytohaemagglutinin (PHA), a lectin that causes a cell-mediated immune response. We predicted that the three highly social species would show a greater immune reaction to the PHA treatment, indicating higher investment in immune defence against parasites relative to the three non-social species. We found significant species-level variation in immune response, but contrary to our prediction, this variation did not correspond to social system. However, we found that immune response was correlated with territory size across the six species. Our results indicate that the common assumption of a positive relationship between social system and investment in immune function may be overly simplistic. We suggest that factors such as rates of both in-group and out-group social interactions are likely to be important mediators of the relationship between sociality and immune function.

  20. Laboratory Class Project: Using a Cichlid Fish Display Tank to Teach Students about Complex Behavioral Systems

    PubMed Central

    Nolan, Brian C.

    2010-01-01

    Laboratory activities serve several important functions in undergraduate science education. For neuroscience majors, an important and sometimes underemphasized tool is the use of behavioral observations to help inform us about the consequences of changes that are occurring on a neuronal level. To help address this concern, the following laboratory exercise is presented. The current project tested the prediction that the most dominant fish in a tank of cichlids will have gained the most benefits of its position resulting in the greatest growth and hence, become the largest fish. More specifically: (1) is there evidence that a social hierarchy exists among the fish in our tank based on the number of aggressive acts among the four largest fish; (2) if so, does the apparent rank correspond to the size of the fish as predicted by previous studies? Focal sampling and behavior sampling of aggressive acts between fish were utilized in the data collection. Collectively, the data suggest a social dominance hierarchy may be in place with the following rank order from highest to lowest: Fish A > Fish B > Fish D > Fish C. While the largest (Fish A) seems to be at the top, Fish C ended up being ranked lower than Fish D despite the fact that Fish C is larger. Overall, the project was considered a success by the instructor and students. The students offered several suggestions that could improve future versions of this type of project, in particular concerning the process of constructing a poster about the project. The implications of the data and student learning outcomes are discussed. PMID:23493462

  1. Species-specific differences in adaptive phenotypic plasticity in an ecologically relevant trophic trait: hypertrophic lips in Midas cichlid fishes.

    PubMed

    Machado-Schiaffino, Gonzalo; Henning, Frederico; Meyer, Axel

    2014-07-01

    The spectacular species richness of cichlids and their diversity in morphology, coloration, and behavior have made them an ideal model for the study of speciation and adaptive evolution. Hypertrophic lips evolved repeatedly and independently in African and Neotropical cichlid radiations. Cichlids with hypertrophic lips forage predominantly in rocky crevices and it has been hypothesized that mechanical stress caused by friction could result in larger lips through phenotypic plasticity. To test the influence of the environment on the size and development of lips, we conducted a series of breeding and feeding experiments on Midas cichlids. Full-sibs of Amphilophus labiatus (thick-lipped) and Amphilophus citrinellus (thin-lipped) each were split into a control group which was fed food from the water column and a treatment group whose food was fixed to substrates. We found strong evidence for phenotypic plasticity on lip area in the thick-lipped species, but not in the thin-lipped species. Intermediate phenotypic values were observed in hybrids from thick- and thin-lipped species reared under "control" conditions. Thus, both a genetic, but also a phenotypic plastic component is involved in the development of hypertrophic lips in Neotropical cichlids. Moreover, species-specific adaptive phenotypic plasticity was found, suggesting that plasticity is selected for in recent thick-lipped species. PMID:24475874

  2. Disruptive sexual selection on male nuptial coloration in an experimental hybrid population of cichlid fish.

    PubMed

    Stelkens, Rike B; Pierotti, Michele E R; Joyce, Domino A; Smith, Alan M; van der Sluijs, Inke; Seehausen, Ole

    2008-09-12

    Theory suggests that genetic polymorphisms in female mating preferences may cause disruptive selection on male traits, facilitating phenotypic differentiation despite gene flow, as in reinforcement or other models of speciation with gene flow. Very little experimental data have been published to test the assumptions regarding the genetics of mate choice that such theory relies on. We generated a population segregating for female mating preferences and male colour dissociated from other species differences by breeding hybrids between species of the cichlid fish genus Pundamilia. We measured male mating success as a function of male colour. First, we demonstrate that non-hybrid females of both species use male nuptial coloration for choosing mates, but with inversed preferences. Second, we show that variation in female mating preferences in an F2 hybrid population generates a quadratic fitness function for male coloration suggestive of disruptive selection: intermediate males obtained fewer matings than males at either extreme of the colour range. If the genetics of female mate choice in Pundamilia are representative for those in other species of Lake Victoria cichlid fish, it may help explain the origin and maintenance of phenotypic diversity despite some gene flow. PMID:18522918

  3. The Gut Microbial Community of Midas Cichlid Fish in Repeatedly Evolved Limnetic-Benthic Species Pairs

    PubMed Central

    Frickey, Tancred; Jones, Julia C.; Meyer, Axel

    2014-01-01

    Gut bacterial communities are now known to influence a range of fitness related aspects of organisms. But how different the microbial community is in closely related species, and if these differences can be interpreted as adaptive is still unclear. In this study we compared microbial communities in two sets of closely related sympatric crater lake cichlid fish species pairs that show similar adaptations along the limnetic-benthic axis. The gut microbial community composition differs in the species pair inhabiting the older of two crater lakes. One major difference, relative to other fish, is that in these cichlids that live in hypersaline crater lakes, the microbial community is largely made up of Oceanospirillales (52.28%) which are halotolerant or halophilic bacteria. This analysis opens up further avenues to identify candidate symbiotic or co-evolved bacteria playing a role in adaptation to similar diets and life-styles or even have a role in speciation. Future functional and phylosymbiotic analyses might help to address these issues. PMID:24733403

  4. The gut microbial community of Midas cichlid fish in repeatedly evolved limnetic-benthic species pairs.

    PubMed

    Franchini, Paolo; Fruciano, Carmelo; Frickey, Tancred; Jones, Julia C; Meyer, Axel

    2014-01-01

    Gut bacterial communities are now known to influence a range of fitness related aspects of organisms. But how different the microbial community is in closely related species, and if these differences can be interpreted as adaptive is still unclear. In this study we compared microbial communities in two sets of closely related sympatric crater lake cichlid fish species pairs that show similar adaptations along the limnetic-benthic axis. The gut microbial community composition differs in the species pair inhabiting the older of two crater lakes. One major difference, relative to other fish, is that in these cichlids that live in hypersaline crater lakes, the microbial community is largely made up of Oceanospirillales (52.28%) which are halotolerant or halophilic bacteria. This analysis opens up further avenues to identify candidate symbiotic or co-evolved bacteria playing a role in adaptation to similar diets and life-styles or even have a role in speciation. Future functional and phylosymbiotic analyses might help to address these issues. PMID:24733403

  5. Aggression and welfare in a common aquarium fish, the Midas cichlid.

    PubMed

    Oldfield, Ronald G

    2011-01-01

    Many species of fishes are aggressive when placed in small aquaria. Aggression can negatively affect the welfare of those individuals toward whom it is directed. Animals may behave aggressively in order to defend resources such as food, shelter, mates, and offspring. The decision to defend depends on the distribution of resources and on ecological factors such as number of competitors, amount of available space, and amount of habitat complexity. This study tested the effects of these factors on aggression in a common aquarium fish, the Midas cichlid (Amphilophus citrinellus). The study found that time spent behaving aggressively was not associated with small-scale differences in group size or available space. Aggression was significantly lower in a large aquarium with a complex habitat. Aquaria of sizes typically used in the companion animal (pet) hobby did not provide optimal welfare for cichlids housed with aggressive conspecifics. The public should be aware that this and similar species require larger aquaria with complex habitat, which elicit more natural behavior. PMID:21932947

  6. The Utility of Geometric Morphometrics to Elucidate Pathways of Cichlid Fish Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Kerschbaumer, Michaela; Sturmbauer, Christian

    2011-01-01

    Fishes of the family Cichlidae are famous for their spectacular species flocks and therefore constitute a model system for the study of the pathways of adaptive radiation. Their radiation is connected to trophic specialization, manifested in dentition, head morphology, and body shape. Geometric morphometric methods have been established as efficient tools to quantify such differences in overall body shape or in particular morphological structures and meanwhile found wide application in evolutionary biology. As a common feature, these approaches define and analyze coordinates of anatomical landmarks, rather than traditional counts or measurements. Geometric morphometric methods have several merits compared to traditional morphometrics, particularly for the distinction and analysis of closely related entities. Cichlid evolutionary research benefits from the efficiency of data acquisition, the manifold opportunities of analyses, and the potential to visualize shape changes of those landmark-based methods. This paper briefly introduces to the concepts and methods of geometric morphometrics and presents a selection of publications where those techniques have been successfully applied to various aspects of cichlid fish diversification. PMID:21716723

  7. Histochemical Localisation of Carbonic Anhydrase in the Inner Ear of developing Cichlid Fish, Oreochromis mossambicus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beier, M.; Hilbig, R.; Anken, R.

    Inner ear otolith growth in terms of mineralisation mainly depends on the enzyme carbonic anhydrase CA CA is located in specialised mitochondria-rich macular cells ionocytes which are involved in the endolymphatic ion exchange and the enzyme is responsible for the provision of the pH-value necessary for otolithic calcium carbonate deposition In the present study for the first time the localisation of histochemically demonstrated CA was analysed during the early larval development of a teleost the cichlid fish Oreochromis mossambicus CA-reactivity was observed already in stage 7 animals onset of otocyst development staging follows Anken et al Zool Anz 231 1-10 1993 Neuroblasts from which sensory and supporting cells as well as ionocytes are derived proved to be CA positive Already at stage 12 hatch CA-positive regions could be attributed to ionocyte containg regions both in the so-called meshwork and patches area of the macula i e clearly before ionocytes can be identified on ultrastructural level or by employing immunocytochemistry In contrast to the circumstances observed in mammalian species sensory hair cells stained negative for CA in the cichlid With the onset of stage 16 finray primordia in dorsal fin yolk-sac being increasingly absorbed CA-reactivity was observed in the vestibular nerve This indicates the onset of myelinisation and thus commencement of operation The localisation of CA in the inner ear of fish especially the differences in comparison to mammals is discussed on the basis of its role in otolith

  8. Eco-morphological differentiation in Lake Magadi tilapia, an extremophile cichlid fish living in hot, alkaline and hypersaline lakes in East Africa.

    PubMed

    Kavembe, Geraldine D; Kautt, Andreas F; Machado-Schiaffino, Gonzalo; Meyer, Axel

    2016-04-01

    Ecological diversification through divergent selection is thought to be a major force during the process of adaptive radiations. However, the large sizes and complexity of most radiations such as those of the cichlids in the African Great Lakes make it impossible to infer the exact evolutionary history of any population divergence event. The genus Alcolapia, a small cichlid lineage endemic to Lakes Magadi and Natron in East Africa, exhibits phenotypes similar to some of those found in cichlids of the radiations of the African Great Lakes. The simplicity within Alcolapia makes it an excellent model system to investigate ecological diversification and speciation. We used an integrated approach including population genomics based on RAD-seq data, geometric morphometrics and stable isotope analyses to investigate the eco-morphological diversification of tilapia in Lake Magadi and its satellite lake Little Magadi. Additionally, we reconstructed the demographic history of the species using coalescent simulations based on the joint site frequency spectrum. The population in Little Magadi has a characteristically upturned mouth--possibly an adaptation to feeding on prey from the water surface. Eco-morphological differences between populations within Lake Magadi are more subtle, but are consistent with known ecological differences between its lagoons such as high concentrations of nitrogen attributable to extensive guano deposits in Rest of Magadi relative to Fish Springs Lagoon. All populations diverged simultaneously only about 1100 generations ago. Differences in levels of gene flow between populations and the effective population sizes have likely resulted in the inferred heterogeneous patterns of genome-wide differentiation. PMID:26547282

  9. Replicated divergence in cichlid radiations mirrors a major vertebrate innovation.

    PubMed

    McGee, Matthew D; Faircloth, Brant C; Borstein, Samuel R; Zheng, Jimmy; Darrin Hulsey, C; Wainwright, Peter C; Alfaro, Michael E

    2016-01-13

    Decoupling of the upper jaw bones--jaw kinesis--is a distinctive feature of the ray-finned fishes, but it is not clear how the innovation is related to the extraordinary diversity of feeding behaviours and feeding ecology in this group. We address this issue in a lineage of ray-finned fishes that is well known for its ecological and functional diversity--African rift lake cichlids. We sequenced ultraconserved elements to generate a phylogenomic tree of the Lake Tanganyika and Lake Malawi cichlid radiations. We filmed a diverse array of over 50 cichlid species capturing live prey and quantified the extent of jaw kinesis in the premaxillary and maxillary bones. Our combination of phylogenomic and kinematic data reveals a strong association between biting modes of feeding and reduced jaw kinesis, suggesting that the contrasting demands of biting and suction feeding have strongly influenced cranial evolution in both cichlid radiations. PMID:26763694

  10. Complex patterns of divergence among green-sensitive (RH2a) African cichlid opsins revealed by Clade model analyses

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Gene duplications play an important role in the evolution of functional protein diversity. Some models of duplicate gene evolution predict complex forms of paralog divergence; orthologous proteins may diverge as well, further complicating patterns of divergence among and within gene families. Consequently, studying the link between protein sequence evolution and duplication requires the use of flexible substitution models that can accommodate multiple shifts in selection across a phylogeny. Here, we employed a variety of codon substitution models, primarily Clade models, to explore how selective constraint evolved following the duplication of a green-sensitive (RH2a) visual pigment protein (opsin) in African cichlids. Past studies have linked opsin divergence to ecological and sexual divergence within the African cichlid adaptive radiation. Furthermore, biochemical and regulatory differences between the RH2aα and RH2aβ paralogs have been documented. It thus seems likely that selection varies in complex ways throughout this gene family. Results Clade model analysis of African cichlid RH2a opsins revealed a large increase in the nonsynonymous-to-synonymous substitution rate ratio (ω) following the duplication, as well as an even larger increase, one consistent with positive selection, for Lake Tanganyikan cichlid RH2aβ opsins. Analysis using the popular Branch-site models, by contrast, revealed no such alteration of constraint. Several amino acid sites known to influence spectral and non-spectral aspects of opsin biochemistry were found to be evolving divergently, suggesting that orthologous RH2a opsins may vary in terms of spectral sensitivity and response kinetics. Divergence appears to be occurring despite intronic gene conversion among the tandemly-arranged duplicates. Conclusions Our findings indicate that variation in selective constraint is associated with both gene duplication and divergence among orthologs in African cichlid RH2a opsins. At

  11. Ancient hybridization and phenotypic novelty within Lake Malawi's cichlid fish radiation.

    PubMed

    Genner, Martin J; Turner, George F

    2012-01-01

    Does hybridization play a broad innovative role in evolution? Many studies have shown hybrid origins of individual species, particularly in major adaptive radiations, but this may be a consequence, rather than a cause, of the existence of many closely related species. Cases of hybridization in the early stages of major adaptive radiations are comparatively rare. Here, we report phylogenetic evidence for ancient introgression between distinct lineages of the species-rich Lake Malawi haplochromine cichlid fishes. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences indicated surprisingly close relationships between the shallow-water rocky habitat "Mbuna" species and a group of dark-adapted "Deep-Benthic" species specialized for feeding in low-light conditions (dawn/dusk, under overhangs, and deep water). By contrast, analyses of nuclear amplified fragment length polymorphism data demonstrated that these Deep-Benthic cichlids were more closely related to shallow water "Shallow-Benthic" soft-sediment feeders, a group that shares similar head and body morphology. A coalescent-based computer simulation indicated that the mtDNA similarity of rocky habitat Mbuna species and dark-adapted Deep-Benthic species was due to hybridization rather than incomplete lineage sorting. Comparisons of morphology indicated that some Deep-Benthic species possessed novel morphology not present in other Lake Malawi species groups. Thus, these analyses support the hypothesis that ancient hybridization occurred within the Lake Malawi cichlid radiation, that the event occurred before the radiation of a species group adapted to low-light benthic habitats, and that this group went on to dominate the deep-water regions of Lake Malawi. The results of this study contribute to a growing literature consistent with a creative role of hybridization in the evolution of species diversity and adaptive radiations. PMID:22114359

  12. Phenotypic novelty in experimental hybrids is predicted by the genetic distance between species of cichlid fish

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Background Transgressive segregation describes the occurrence of novel phenotypes in hybrids with extreme trait values not observed in either parental species. A previously experimentally untested prediction is that the amount of transgression increases with the genetic distance between hybridizing species. This follows from QTL studies suggesting that transgression is most commonly due to complementary gene action or epistasis, which become more frequent at larger genetic distances. This is because the number of QTLs fixed for alleles with opposing signs in different species should increase with time since speciation provided that speciation is not driven by disruptive selection. We measured the amount of transgression occurring in hybrids of cichlid fish bred from species pairs with gradually increasing genetic distances and varying phenotypic similarity. Transgression in multi-trait shape phenotypes was quantified using landmark-based geometric morphometric methods. Results We found that genetic distance explained 52% and 78% of the variation in transgression frequency in F1 and F2 hybrids, respectively. Confirming theoretical predictions, transgression when measured in F2 hybrids, increased linearly with genetic distance between hybridizing species. Phenotypic similarity of species on the other hand was not related to the amount of transgression. Conclusion The commonness and ease with which novel phenotypes are produced in cichlid hybrids between unrelated species has important implications for the interaction of hybridization with adaptation and speciation. Hybridization may generate new genotypes with adaptive potential that did not reside as standing genetic variation in either parental population, potentially enhancing a population's responsiveness to selection. Our results make it conceivable that hybridization contributed to the rapid rates of phenotypic evolution in the large and rapid adaptive radiations of haplochromine cichlids. PMID:19961584

  13. A genetic linkage map of a cichlid fish, the tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus).

    PubMed Central

    Kocher, T D; Lee, W J; Sobolewska, H; Penman, D; McAndrew, B

    1998-01-01

    We have constructed a genetic map for a tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus, using DNA markers. The segregation of 62 microsatellite and 112 anonymous fragment length polymorphisms (AFLPs) was studied in 41 haploid embryos derived from a single female. We have identified linkages among 162 (93.1%) of these markers. 95% of the microsatellites and 92% of the AFLPs were linked in the final map. The map spans 704 Kosambi cM in 30 linkage groups covering the 22 chromosomes of this species. Twenty-four of these linkage groups contain at least one microsatellite polymorphism. From the number of markers 15 or fewer cM apart, we estimate a total map length of approximately 1000-1200 cM. High levels of interference are observed, consistent with measurements in other fish species. This map is a starting point for the mapping of single loci and quantitative traits in cichlid fishes. PMID:9539437

  14. Genetic linkage of distinct adaptive traits in sympatrically speciating crater lake cichlid fish.

    PubMed

    Fruciano, Carmelo; Franchini, Paolo; Kovacova, Viera; Elmer, Kathryn R; Henning, Frederico; Meyer, Axel

    2016-01-01

    Our understanding of how biological diversity arises is limited, especially in the case of speciation in the face of gene flow. Here we investigate the genomic basis of adaptive traits, focusing on a sympatrically diverging species pair of crater lake cichlid fishes. We identify the main quantitative trait loci (QTL) for two eco-morphological traits: body shape and pharyngeal jaw morphology. These traits diverge in parallel between benthic and limnetic species in the repeated adaptive radiations of this and other fish lineages. Remarkably, a single chromosomal region contains the highest effect size QTL for both traits. Transcriptomic data show that the QTL regions contain genes putatively under selection. Independent population genomic data corroborate QTL regions as areas of high differentiation between the sympatric sister species. Our results provide empirical support for current theoretical models that emphasize the importance of genetic linkage and pleiotropy in facilitating rapid divergence in sympatry. PMID:27597183

  15. A genetic linkage map of a cichlid fish, the tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus).

    PubMed

    Kocher, T D; Lee, W J; Sobolewska, H; Penman, D; McAndrew, B

    1998-03-01

    We have constructed a genetic map for a tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus, using DNA markers. The segregation of 62 microsatellite and 112 anonymous fragment length polymorphisms (AFLPs) was studied in 41 haploid embryos derived from a single female. We have identified linkages among 162 (93.1%) of these markers. 95% of the microsatellites and 92% of the AFLPs were linked in the final map. The map spans 704 Kosambi cM in 30 linkage groups covering the 22 chromosomes of this species. Twenty-four of these linkage groups contain at least one microsatellite polymorphism. From the number of markers 15 or fewer cM apart, we estimate a total map length of approximately 1000-1200 cM. High levels of interference are observed, consistent with measurements in other fish species. This map is a starting point for the mapping of single loci and quantitative traits in cichlid fishes. PMID:9539437

  16. Cichlid fishes in the Angolan headwaters region: molecular evidence of the ichthyofaunal contact between the Cuanza and Okavango-Zambezi systems.

    PubMed

    Musilová, Zuzana; Kalous, Lukáš; Petrtýl, Miloslav; Chaloupková, Petra

    2013-01-01

    The headwaters of five large African river basins flow through the Bié Plateau in Angola and still remain faunistically largely unexplored. We investigated fish fauna from the Cuanza and Okavango-Zambezi river systems from central Angola. We reconstructed molecular phylogenies of the most common cichlid species from the region, Tilapia sparrmanii and Serranochromis macrocephalus, using both mitochondrial and nuclear markers. We found evidence for ichthyofaunal contact and gene flow between the Cuanza and Okavango-Zambezi watersheds in the Bié Plateau in central Angola. Waterfalls and rapids also appeared to restrict genetic exchange among populations within the Cuanza basin. Further, we found that the Angolan Serranochromis cichlid fishes represent a monophyletic lineage with respect to other haplochromines, including the serranochromines from the Congo and Zambezi rivers. This study represents an important initial step in a biodiversity survey of this extremely poorly explored region, as well as giving further understanding to species distributions and gene flow both between and within river basins. PMID:23724120

  17. Cichlid Fishes in the Angolan Headwaters Region: Molecular Evidence of the Ichthyofaunal Contact between the Cuanza and Okavango-Zambezi Systems

    PubMed Central

    Musilová, Zuzana; Kalous, Lukáš; Petrtýl, Miloslav; Chaloupková, Petra

    2013-01-01

    The headwaters of five large African river basins flow through the Bié Plateau in Angola and still remain faunistically largely unexplored. We investigated fish fauna from the Cuanza and Okavango-Zambezi river systems from central Angola. We reconstructed molecular phylogenies of the most common cichlid species from the region, Tilapia sparrmanii and Serranochromis macrocephalus, using both mitochondrial and nuclear markers. We found evidence for ichthyofaunal contact and gene flow between the Cuanza and Okavango-Zambezi watersheds in the Bié Plateau in central Angola. Waterfalls and rapids also appeared to restrict genetic exchange among populations within the Cuanza basin. Further, we found that the Angolan Serranochromis cichlid fishes represent a monophyletic lineage with respect to other haplochromines, including the serranochromines from the Congo and Zambezi rivers. This study represents an important initial step in a biodiversity survey of this extremely poorly explored region, as well as giving further understanding to species distributions and gene flow both between and within river basins. PMID:23724120

  18. Gonad development in Midas cichlids and the evolution of sex change in fishes.

    PubMed

    Oldfield, Ronald G

    2011-01-01

    Some fishes mature and function as one sex and later transform to the other sex in response to social interactions. Previous evidence suggested that a change in developmental timing may be involved in the evolution of adult sex change in fishes. The most recent support for this idea came from reports that sex in the Midas cichlid, Amphilophus citrinellus, was determined by social conditions experienced at the juvenile stage. Differentiation as a male was reported to be dependent on large body size relative to group-mates, and thought to be mediated through aggressive interactions. Here I demonstrate that socially controlled sex determination does not occur as was originally reported. Previously, I found that sex was not associated with body size in juveniles either in nature or in captivity. Similarly, I found no association between aggressive behavior and sex in juveniles. I later demonstrated that socially controlled sex determination does not typically occur in the Midas cichlid and closely related species and supported an alternative mechanism to explain large body size in adult males. Finally, in the current study I analyze gonad histology of fish from the same population used by the original authors and lay to rest the idea of socially controlled sex determination in this species. Recent observations of socially controlled sex determination in juveniles of species that typically change sex at the adult stage are examples of phenotypic plasticity, not genetic variation. Therefore, juvenile socially controlled sex determination does not support a theory that a change in developmental timing is involved in the evolution of adult sex change in fishes. PMID:21740508

  19. Mating system of the Amazonian cichlid angel fish, Pterophyllum scalare.

    PubMed

    Cacho, M S R F; Yamamoto, M E; Chellappa, S

    2007-02-01

    The species, Pterophyllum scalare distinguishes itself by its breeding behavior, involving competition for territory, sexual partners, courtship and parental care. The purpose of this study was to identify the mating system adopted by this species of fish. Twenty males and twenty females were observed under semi-natural and experimental conditions to test the hypothesis of serial monogamy. Under semi-natural conditions, after the third breeding cycle, the couples changed mates. Under experimental conditions, the couples changed partners after the first breeding cycle. Under experimental conditions, mate recognition was investigated through the preference of the females, indicated by the time they spent with the males. The females were available or not for courtship from new males, depending on their aggressiveness or submission. The larger and more aggressive males obtained new mating opportunities while the submissive males were rejected by the females. The mated fish were aggressive towards intruders in the presence of the mate, protecting their pair bond. In the interval between breeding cycles, the couples did not display aggression towards intruders, confirming the hypothesis of serial monogamy. Best mate selection by the females and the opportunity of new matings for both sexes influenced the reproductive success of this species. PMID:17505764

  20. Are sympatrically speciating Midas cichlid fish special? Patterns of morphological and genetic variation in the closely related species Archocentrus centrarchus.

    PubMed

    Fruciano, Carmelo; Franchini, Paolo; Raffini, Francesca; Fan, Shaohua; Meyer, Axel

    2016-06-01

    Established empirical cases of sympatric speciation are scarce, although there is an increasing consensus that sympatric speciation might be more common than previously thought. Midas cichlid fish are one of the few substantiated cases of sympatric speciation, and they formed repeated radiations in crater lakes. In contrast, in the same environment, such radiation patterns have not been observed in other species of cichlids and other families of fish. We analyze morphological and genetic variation in a cichlid species (Archocentrus centrarchus) that co-inhabits several crater lakes with the Midas species complex. In particular, we analyze variation in body and pharyngeal jaw shape (two ecologically important traits in sympatrically divergent Midas cichlids) and relate that to genetic variation in mitochondrial control region and microsatellites. Using these four datasets, we analyze variation between and within two Nicaraguan lakes: a crater lake where multiple Midas cichlids have been described and a lake where the source population lives. We do not observe any within-lake clustering consistent across morphological traits and genetic markers, suggesting the absence of sympatric divergence in A. centrarchus. Genetic differentiation between lakes was low and morphological divergence absent. Such morphological similarity between lakes is found not only in average morphology, but also when analyzing covariation between traits and degree of morphospace occupation. A combined analysis of the mitochondrial control region in A. centrarchus and Midas cichlids suggests that a difference between lineages in the timing of crater lake colonization cannot be invoked as an explanation for the difference in their levels of diversification. In light of our results, A. centrarchus represents the ideal candidate to study the genomic differences between these two lineages that might explain why some lineages are more likely to speciate and diverge in sympatry than others. PMID

  1. On the age and origin of the species flock of haplochromine cichlid fishes of Lake Victoria.

    PubMed

    Fryer, G

    2001-06-01

    Recent suggestions concerning the age and origin of the flock of haplochromine cichlid fishes in Lake Victoria (East Africa) are considered. These accept as proven the suggestion that Lake Victoria dried out completely in the Late Pleistocene, was dry for several thousand years, and refilled ca. 12400 years ago. Apart from the fact that other geophysical evidence contradicts this claim, its biological implications, which do likewise, have never been considered by those who have accepted it. Like those of all previous authors who have seized on the presence of the haplochromine flock of perhaps more than 600 species as evidence of extremely rapid evolution since the lake allegedly refilled, the account completely overlooks the fact that any such desiccation must have eliminated not only the haplochromine cichlids but the entire biota of the lake. Nevertheless, its present fauna not only includes the haplochromines but many other endemic organisms that would not be expected, and whose presence and history demand an explanation if the lake did indeed dry out. No such explanation has been offered, nor does such seem possible. The recent interpretation of events is questioned and rejected. PMID:11375102

  2. On the age and origin of the species flock of haplochromine cichlid fishes of Lake Victoria.

    PubMed Central

    Fryer, G.

    2001-01-01

    Recent suggestions concerning the age and origin of the flock of haplochromine cichlid fishes in Lake Victoria (East Africa) are considered. These accept as proven the suggestion that Lake Victoria dried out completely in the Late Pleistocene, was dry for several thousand years, and refilled ca. 12400 years ago. Apart from the fact that other geophysical evidence contradicts this claim, its biological implications, which do likewise, have never been considered by those who have accepted it. Like those of all previous authors who have seized on the presence of the haplochromine flock of perhaps more than 600 species as evidence of extremely rapid evolution since the lake allegedly refilled, the account completely overlooks the fact that any such desiccation must have eliminated not only the haplochromine cichlids but the entire biota of the lake. Nevertheless, its present fauna not only includes the haplochromines but many other endemic organisms that would not be expected, and whose presence and history demand an explanation if the lake did indeed dry out. No such explanation has been offered, nor does such seem possible. The recent interpretation of events is questioned and rejected. PMID:11375102

  3. Electrical synapses connect a network of gonadotropin releasing hormone neurons in a cichlid fish

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Yunyong; Hu, Caroline K.; Huguenard, John R.; Fernald, Russell D.

    2015-01-01

    Initiating and regulating vertebrate reproduction requires pulsatile release of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH1) from the hypothalamus. Coordinated GnRH1 release, not simply elevated absolute levels, effects the release of pituitary gonadotropins that drive steroid production in the gonads. However, the mechanisms underlying synchronization of GnRH1 neurons are unknown. Control of synchronicity by gap junctions between GnRH1 neurons has been proposed but not previously found. We recorded simultaneously from pairs of transgenically labeled GnRH1 neurons in adult male Astatotilapia burtoni cichlid fish. We report that GnRH1 neurons are strongly and uniformly interconnected by electrical synapses that can drive spiking in connected cells and can be reversibly blocked by meclofenamic acid. Our results suggest that electrical synapses could promote coordinated spike firing in a cellular assemblage of GnRH1 neurons to produce the pulsatile output necessary for activation of the pituitary and reproduction. PMID:25775522

  4. Probing aggressive motivation during territorial contests in a group-living cichlid fish.

    PubMed

    Reddon, Adam R; Balk, Daniel; Balshine, Sigal

    2013-01-01

    Many animals fight to win resources, repel competitors or establish dominance in a social group. Mutual-assessment of fighting ability, where competitors gather and compare information about their opponent's as well as their own fighting ability has been the dominant theoretical framework for understanding decision-making during fights. However, self-assessment, where each individual has a cost threshold and fights up until that point, may be more common than previously appreciated. In this study, we attempted to discriminate between these two potential assessment mechanisms in a group-living cichlid fish, Neolamprologus pulcher by probing aggressive motivation during a territorial contest. We measured aggressive motivation, and used this metric to investigate assessment rules during an ongoing contest. We predicted that if these social fish use self-assessment, we would observe a positive correlation between the fighting ability of the probed animal and its aggressive motivation. Alternatively, if mutual-assessment is used then we predicted we would find a negative effect of the opponent's fighting ability on the aggressive motivation of the probed fish because fish should be less motivated to fight against formidable opponents. Our results did not support either of these predictions. In contrast we found that small individuals were more aggressively motivated regardless of their opponent's size. We discuss this result in the context of theoretical models of aggression in individuals of small body size. PMID:23085244

  5. Higher parasite richness, abundance and impact in native versus introduced cichlid fishes.

    PubMed

    Roche, Dominique G; Leung, Brian; Franco, Edgar F Mendoza; Torchin, Mark E

    2010-11-01

    Empirical studies suggest that most exotic species have fewer parasite species in their introduced range relative to their native range. However, it is less clear how, ecologically, the loss of parasite species translates into a measurable advantage for invaders relative to native species in the new community. We compared parasitism at three levels (species richness, abundance and impact) for a pair of native and introduced cichlid fishes which compete for resources in the Panama Canal watershed. The introduced Nile tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus, was infected by a single parasite species from its native range, but shared eight native parasite species with the native Vieja maculicauda. Despite acquiring new parasites in its introduced range, O. niloticus had both lower parasite species richness and lower parasite abundance compared with its native competitor. There was also a significant negative association between parasite load (abundance per individual fish) and host condition for the native fish, but no such association for the invader. The effects of parasites on the native fish varied across sites and types of parasites, suggesting that release from parasites may benefit the invader, but that the magnitude of release may depend upon interactions between the host, parasites and the environment. PMID:20600073

  6. Tucunarella n. Gen. and other dactylogyrids (Monogenoidea) from cichlid fish (Perciformes) from Peruvian Amazonia.

    PubMed

    Mendoza-Franco, Edgar F; Scholz, T; Rozkosná, P

    2010-06-01

    During parasitological research on cichlid fish from the tributaries of the Amazon River around Iquitos, Peru, the following gill monogenoidean species were found: Tucunarella cichlae n. gen. and n. sp. from Cichla monoculus Spix and Agassiz; Gussevia alioides Kritsky, Thatcher, and Boeger, 1986 from Heros severus Heckel; Gussevia asota Kritsky, Thatcher, and Boeger, 1989 from Astronotus ocellatus (Agassiz); Gussevia disparoides Kritsky, Thatcher, and Boeger, 1986 from H. severus (all new geographical records) and Cichlasoma amazonarum Kullander (new host record); Gussevia longihaptor (Mizelle and Kritsky, 1969) Kritsky, Thatcher, and Boeger, 1986 and Gussevia undulata Kritsky, Thatcher, and Boeger, 1986 from C. monoculus ; Sciadicleithrum satanopercae Yamada, Takemoto, Bellay, and Pavanelli, 2008 from Satanoperca jurupari Heckel; and Sciadicleithrum variabilum (Mizelle and Kritsky, 1969) Kritsky, Thatcher, and Boeger, 1989 from C. amazonarum (new host and geographical records). Tucunarella n. gen. is proposed to accommodate a new species, Tucunarella cichlae , which is its type and only known species in the genus. The new genus is characterized by, besides a very large body size (about 1.5 mm vs. much less than 1 mm in other ancyrocephaline genera in Amazonia), a thickened tegument, 1 pair of eyes, overlapping gonads (testis dorsal to the germarium), nonarticulated male copulatory organ (MCO) and accessory piece, a coiled (counterclockwise) MCO, a dextral vaginal aperture, a haptor armed with 2 pairs of anchors (each with broad base and subequal roots, which are marginally folded), and dorsal and ventral bars and 14 hooks with protruding blunt thumbs and 2 different shapes (slender vs. slightly expanded shanks). Illustrations and data on morphological and biometric variability of individual species from different hosts are provided. The present data provide evidence of a relatively wide host specificity of gill monogenoideans parasitic in South American cichlids

  7. Evolutionary Fate of the Androgen Receptor−Signaling Pathway in Ray-Finned Fishes with a Special Focus on Cichlids

    PubMed Central

    Lorin, Thibault; Salzburger, Walter; Böhne, Astrid

    2015-01-01

    The emergence of the steroid system is coupled to the evolution of multicellular animals. In vertebrates in particular, the steroid receptor repertoire has been shaped by genome duplications characteristic to this lineage. Here, we investigate for the first time the composition of the androgen receptor–signaling pathway in ray-finned fish genomes by focusing in particular on duplicates that emerged from the teleost-specific whole-genome duplication. We trace lineage- and species-specific duplications and gene losses for the genomic and nongenomic pathway of androgen signaling and subsequently investigate the sequence evolution of these genes. In one particular fish lineage, the cichlids, we find evidence for differing selection pressures acting on teleost-specific whole-genome duplication paralogs at a derived evolutionary stage. We then look into the expression of these duplicated genes in four cichlid species from Lake Tanganyika indicating, once more, rapid changes in expression patterns in closely related fish species. We focus on a particular case, the cichlid specific duplication of the rac1 GTPase, which shows possible signs of a neofunctionalization event. PMID:26333839

  8. Evolutionary Fate of the Androgen Receptor-Signaling Pathway in Ray-Finned Fishes with a Special Focus on Cichlids.

    PubMed

    Lorin, Thibault; Salzburger, Walter; Böhne, Astrid

    2015-11-01

    The emergence of the steroid system is coupled to the evolution of multicellular animals. In vertebrates in particular, the steroid receptor repertoire has been shaped by genome duplications characteristic to this lineage. Here, we investigate for the first time the composition of the androgen receptor-signaling pathway in ray-finned fish genomes by focusing in particular on duplicates that emerged from the teleost-specific whole-genome duplication. We trace lineage- and species-specific duplications and gene losses for the genomic and nongenomic pathway of androgen signaling and subsequently investigate the sequence evolution of these genes. In one particular fish lineage, the cichlids, we find evidence for differing selection pressures acting on teleost-specific whole-genome duplication paralogs at a derived evolutionary stage. We then look into the expression of these duplicated genes in four cichlid species from Lake Tanganyika indicating, once more, rapid changes in expression patterns in closely related fish species. We focus on a particular case, the cichlid specific duplication of the rac1 GTPase, which shows possible signs of a neofunctionalization event. PMID:26333839

  9. Effect of Hypergravity on Carbonanhydrase Reactivity in inner Ear Ioncytes of developing Cichlid Fish

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beier, M.; Anken, R.; Rahmann, H.

    It has been shown earlier that hypergravity slows down inner ear otolith growth in developing fish. Otolith growth in terms of mineralisation mainly depends on the enzyme carboanhydrase (CAH), which is responsible for the provision of the pH- value necessary for calcium carbonate deposition and thus also is presumed to play a prominent role in Ménière's disease (a sensory - motor disorder inducing vertigo and kinetosis). Larval siblings of cichlid fish (Oreochromis mossambicus) were subjected to hypergravity (3g; 6 hours) during development and separated into normally and kinetotically swimming individuals following the transfer to 1g (i.e., stopping the centrifuge; kinetotically behaving fish performed spinning movements). Subsequently, CAH was histochemically demonstrated in inner ear ionocytes (cells involved in the endolymphatic ion exchange) and enzyme reactivity was determined densitometrically. The results showed that CAH-reactivity was significantly increased in normally behaving hyper-g specimens as compared to controls kept at 1g, whereas no difference in enzyme reactivity was evident between the controls and kinetotically behaving fish. On the background of earlier studies, according to which (1) hypergravity induces a decrease of otolith growth and (2) the otolithic calcium incorporation (visualized using the calcium -tracer alizarin complexone) of kinetotically swimming hyper - g fish was lower as compared to normally behaving hyper - g animals, the present study strongly supports the concept that an increase in CAH-reactivity may result in a decrease of otolithic calcium deposition. The mechanism regulating CAH-activity hitherto remains to be determined. Acknowledgement: This work was financially supported by the German Aerospace Center (DLR) (FKZ: 50 WB 9997).

  10. Effect of hypergravity on carboanhydrase reactivity in inner ear ionocytes of developing cichlid fish.

    PubMed

    Beier, M; Anken, R H; Rahmann, H

    2004-01-01

    It has been shown earlier that hypergravity slows down inner ear otolith growth in developing fish. Otolith growth in terms of mineralization mainly depends on the enzyme carboanhydrase (CA), which is responsible for the provision of the pH-value necessary for calcium carbonate deposition. Larval siblings of cichlid fish (Oreochromis mossambicus) were subjected to hypergravity (3 g, hg; 6 h) during development and separated into normally and kinetotically swimming individuals following the transfer to 1 g (i.e., stopping the centrifuge; kinetotically behaving fish performed spinning movements). Subsequently, CA was histochemically demonstrated in inner ear ionocytes (cells involved in the endolymphatic ion exchange) and enzyme reactivity was determined densitometrically. It was found that both the total macular CA-reactivity as well as the difference in reactivities between the left and the right maculae (asymmetry) were significantly lower (1) in experimental animals as compared to the 1 g controls and (2) in normally swimming hg-animals as compared to the kinetotically behaving hg-fish. The results are in complete agreement with earlier studies, according to which hypergravity induces a decrease of otolith growth and the otolithic calcium incorporation (visualized using the calcium-tracer alizarin complexone) of kinetotically swimming hg-fish was higher as compared to normally behaving hyper-g animals. The present study thus strongly supports the concept that a regulatory mechanism, which adjusts otolith size and asymmetry as well as otolithic calcium carbonate incorporation towards the gravity vector, acts via activation/deactivation of macular CA. PMID:15803633

  11. Detection of artificial water flows by the lateral line system of a benthic feeding cichlid fish.

    PubMed

    Schwalbe, Margot A B; Sevey, Benjamin J; Webb, Jacqueline F

    2016-04-01

    The mechanosensory lateral line system of fishes detects water motions within a few body lengths of the source. Several types of artificial stimuli have been used to probe lateral line function in the laboratory, but few studies have investigated the role of flow sensing in benthic feeding teleosts. In this study, we used artificial flows emerging from a sandy substrate to assess the contribution of flow sensing to prey detection in the peacock cichlid, Aulonocara stuartgranti, which feeds on benthic invertebrates in Lake Malawi. Using a positive reinforcement protocol, we trained fish to respond to flows lacking the visual and chemical cues generated by tethered prey in prior studies with A. stuartgranti Fish successfully responded to artificial flows at all five rates presented (characterized using digital particle image velocimetry), and showed a range of flow-sensing behaviors, including an unconditioned bite response. Immediately after lateral line inactivation, fish rarely responded to flows and the loss of vital fluorescent staining of hair cells (with 4-di-2-ASP) verified lateral line inactivation. Within 2 days post-treatment, some aspects of flow-sensing behavior returned and after 7 days, flow-sensing behavior and hair cell fluorescence both returned to pre-treatment levels, which is consistent with the reported timing of hair cell regeneration in other vertebrates. The presentation of ecologically relevant water flows to assess flow-sensing behaviors and the use of a positive reinforcement protocol are methods that present new opportunities to study the role of flow sensing in the feeding ecology of benthic feeding fishes. PMID:27030780

  12. Growth and social behavior in a cichlid fish are affected by social rearing environment and kinship

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hesse, Saskia; Thünken, Timo

    2014-04-01

    Living in groups is a widespread phenomenon in many animal taxa. The reduction of predation risk is thought to be an important cause for the formation of groups. Consequently, grouping behavior is particularly pronounced during vulnerable life stages, i.e., as juveniles. However, group living does not only provide benefits but also imposes costs on group members, e.g., increased competition for food. Thus, benefits of grouping behavior might not be evident when predation risk is absent. The adaptive significance of living and also developing in a group independent from predation risk has received relatively little attention although this might have important implications on the evolution and maintenance of group living. The first aim of the present study was to examine whether the social environment affects juvenile performance in the cichlid fish Pelvicachromis taeniatus and, secondly, whether kinship affects social behavior. Kin selection theory predicts benefits from grouping with kin. Here, we demonstrate that juveniles reared in a group grow on average faster compared to juveniles reared in isolation under standardized laboratory conditions without predation risk. Furthermore, we found significant differences in social behavior between juveniles reared in a group and reared in isolation. Fish reared in isolation were significantly more aggressive and less willing to shoal than group-reared fish. As expected, genetic relatedness influenced social behavior in group-reared fish as well: dyads of juveniles consisting of kin showed increased group cohesiveness compared to non-kin dyads. We discuss the potential benefits of group living in general and living with kin in particular.

  13. Efficacy of an ototoxic aminoglycoside (gentamicin) on the differentiation of the inner ear of cichlid fish.

    PubMed

    Schönleber, J; Anken, R H

    2004-01-01

    Previous investigations revealed that the growth of fish inner ear otoliths depends on the amplitude and the direction of gravity, thus suggesting the existence of a (negative) feedback mechanism. In the course of these experiments, it was shown that altered gravity both affected otolith size (and thus the provision of the proteinacious matrix) as well as the incorporation of calcium. It is hitherto unknown, as of whether sensory hair cells are involved either in the regulation of otolith growth or in the provision of otolithic material (such as protein or inorganic components) or even both. The ototoxic aminoglycoside gentamicin (GM) damages hair cells in many vertebrates (and is therefore used for the treatment of Meniere's disease in humans). The present study was thus designed to determine as of whether vestibular sensory cells are needed for otolith growth by applying GM in order to induce a (functionally relevant) loss of these cells. Developing cichlid fish Oreochromis mossambicus were therefore immersed in 120 mg/l GM for 10 or 21 days. At the beginning and at the end of the experimental periods, the fish were incubated in the calcium-tracer alizarin complexone (AC). After the experiment, otoliths were dissected and the area grown during GM-exposure (i.e., the area enclosed by the two AC labellings) was determined planimetrically. The results showed that incubating the animals in a GM-solution had no effect on otolith growth, but the development of otolith asymmetry was affected. Ultrastructural examinations of the sensory hair cells revealed that they had obviously not been affected by GM-treatment (no degenerative morphological features observed). Overall, the present results suggest that hair cells are not affected by GM concerning their possible role in (general) otolith growth, but that these cells indeed might have transitionally been impaired by GM resulting in a decreased capacity of regulating otolith symmetry. PMID:15806708

  14. Efficacy of an ototoxic aminoglycoside (gentamicin) on the differentiation of the inner ear of cichlid fish

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schönleber, J.; Anken, R. H.

    2004-01-01

    Previous investigations revealed that the growth of fish inner ear otoliths depends on the amplitude and the direction of gravity, thus suggesting the existence of a (negative) feedback mechanism. In the course of these experiments, it was shown that altered gravity both affected otolith size (and thus the provision of the proteinacious matrix) as well as the incorporation of calcium. It is hitherto unknown, as of whether sensory hair cells are involved either in the regulation of otolith growth or in the provision of otolithic material (such as protein or inorganic components) or even both. The ototoxic aminoglycoside gentamicin (GM) damages hair cells in many vertebrates (and is therefore used for the treatment of Meniere's disease in humans). The present study was thus designed to determine as of whether vestibular sensory cells are needed for otolith growth by applying GM in order to induce a (functionally relevant) loss of these cells. Developing cichlid fish Oreochromis mossambicus were therefore immersed in 120 mg/l GM for 10 or 21 days. At the beginning and at the end of the experimental periods, the fish were incubated in the calcium-tracer alizarin complexone (AC). After the experiment, otoliths were dissected and the area grown during GM-exposure (i.e., the area enclosed by the two AC labellings) was determined planimetrically. The results showed that incubating the animals in a GM-solution had no effect on otolith growth, but the development of otolith asymmetry was affected. Ultrastructural examinations of the sensory hair cells revealed that they had obviously not been affected by GM-treatment (no degenerative morphological features observed). Overall, the present results suggest that hair cells are not affected by GM concerning their possible role in (general) otolith growth, but that these cells indeed might have transitionally been impaired by GM resulting in a decreased capacity of regulating otolith symmetry.

  15. Sex biases in kin shoaling and dispersal in a cichlid fish.

    PubMed

    van Dongen, Wouter F D; Wagner, Richard H; Moodley, Yoshan; Schaedelin, Franziska C

    2014-12-01

    Animal dispersal is associated with diverse costs and benefits that vary among individuals based on phenotype and ecological conditions. For example, females may disperse when males benefit more from defending territories in familiar environments. Similarly, size differences in dispersal propensity may occur when dispersal costs are size-dependent. When individuals do disperse, they may adopt behavioral strategies that minimize dispersal costs. Dispersing fish, for example, may travel within shoals to reduce predation risks. Further, kin shoaling may augment inclusive fitness by reducing predation of relatives. However, studies are lacking on the role of kin shoaling in dispersal. We explored how sex and size influence dispersal and kin shoaling in the cichlid Neolamprologus caudopunctatus. We microsatellite genotyped over 900 individuals from two populations separated by a potential dispersal barrier, and documented patterns of population structure, migration and within-shoal relatedness. Genetic differentiation across the barrier was greater for smaller than larger fish, suggesting larger fish had dispersed longer distances. Females exhibited weaker genetic differentiation and 11 times higher migration rates than males, indicating longer-distance female-biased dispersal. Small females frequently shoaled with siblings, possibly offsetting dispersal costs associated with higher predation risks. In contrast, small males appeared to avoid kin shoaling, possibly to avoid local resource competition. In summary, long-distance dispersal in N. caudopunctatus appears to be female-biased, and kin-based shoaling by small females may represent a behavioral adaptation that reduces dispersal costs. Our study appears to be the first to provide evidence that sex differences in dispersal influence sex differences in kin shoaling. PMID:25231372

  16. Allometric shape change of the lower pharyngeal jaw correlates with a dietary shift to piscivory in a cichlid fish

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hellig, Christoph J.; Kerschbaumer, Michaela; Sefc, Kristina M.; Koblmüller, Stephan

    2010-07-01

    The morphological versatility of the pharyngeal jaw of cichlid fishes is assumed to represent a key factor facilitating their unparalleled trophic diversification and explosive radiation. It is generally believed that the functional design of an organism relates to its ecology, and thus, specializations to different diets are typically associated with distinct morphological designs, especially manifested in the cichlids’ pharyngeal jaw apparatus. Thereby, the lower pharyngeal jaw (LPJ) incorporates some of the most predictive features for distinct diet-related morphotypes. Thus, considering that piscivorous cichlids experience an ontogenetic dietary shift from typically various kinds of invertebrates to fish, concomitant morphological changes in the LPJ are expected. Using Lepidiolamprologus elongatus, a top predator in the shallow rocky habitat of Lake Tanganyika, as model, and applying geometric and traditional morphometric techniques, we demonstrate an allometric change in ontogenetic LPJ shape development coinciding with the completion of the dietary shift toward piscivory. The piscivorous LPJ morphotype is initiated in juvenile fish by increasing elongation and narrowing of the LPJ and—when the fish reach a size of 80-90 mm standard length—further refined by the elongation of the posterior muscular processes, which serve as insertion for the fourth musculus levator externus. The enlarged muscular processes of the fully mature piscivorous morphotype provide for the construction of a powerful lever system, which allows the large individuals to process large prey fish and rely on exclusive piscivory.

  17. Dear Enemies Elicit Lower Androgen Responses to Territorial Challenges than Unfamiliar Intruders in a Cichlid Fish.

    PubMed

    Aires, Rui F; Oliveira, Gonçalo A; Oliveira, Tânia F; Ros, Albert F H; Oliveira, Rui F

    2015-01-01

    In many territorial species androgen hormones are known to increase in response to territorial intrusions as a way to adjust the expression of androgen-dependent behaviour to social challenges. The dear enemy effect has also been described in territorial species and posits that resident individuals show a more aggressive response to intrusions by strangers than by other territorial neighbours. Therefore, we hypothesized that the dear enemy effect may also modulate the androgen response to a territorial intrusion. Here we tested this hypothesis in male cichlid fish (Mozambique tilapia, Oreochromis mossambicus) using a paradigm of four repeated territorial intrusions, either by the same neighbour or by four different unfamiliar intruders. Neighbour intruders elicited lower aggression and a weaker androgen response than strangers on the first intrusion of the experiment. With repeated intrusions, the agonistic behaviour of the resident males against familiar intruders was similar to that displayed towards strangers. By the fourth intrusion the androgen response was significantly reduced and there was no longer a difference between the responses to the two types of intruders. These results suggest that the dear enemy effect modulates the androgen response to territorial intrusions and that repeated intrusions lead to a habituation of the androgen response. PMID:26379045

  18. Quantity discrimination in parental fish: female convict cichlid discriminate fry shoals of different sizes.

    PubMed

    Forsatkar, Mohammad Navid; Nematollahi, Mohammad Ali; Bisazza, Angelo

    2016-09-01

    Numerical abilities have been found to be adaptive in different contexts, including mating, foraging, fighting assessment and antipredator strategies. In species with parental care, another potential advantage is the possibility to adjust parental behavior in relation to the numerosity of the progeny. The finding that many fish vary their parental investment in relation to brood size advocates the existence of a mechanism for appraising offspring number, an aspect that has never been directly investigated. Here we tested the ability of parental female convict cichlid (Amatitlania nigrofasciata) to discriminate between two fry groups differing in number by measuring time spent attempting to recover groups of fry experimentally displaced from the next. Females spent more time trying to recover the fry from larger groups when tested with contrasts 6 versus 12 (1:2) and 6 versus 9 fry (2:3); however, they showed no preference in the 6 versus 8 (3:4) contrast, suggesting that this task exceeds their discrimination capacity. PMID:27250099

  19. Social Context Influences Aggressive and Courtship Behavior in a Cichlid Fish

    PubMed Central

    Desjardins, Julie K.; Hofmann, Hans A.; Fernald, Russell D.

    2012-01-01

    Social interactions require knowledge of the environment and status of others, which can be acquired indirectly by observing the behavior of others. When being observed, animals can also alter their signals based on who is watching. Here we observed how male cichlid fish (Astatotilapia burtoni) behave when being watched in two different contexts. In the first, we show that aggressive and courtship behaviors displayed by subordinate males depends critically on whether dominant males can see them, and in the second, we manipulated who was watching aggressive interactions and showed that dominant males will change their behavior depending on audience composition. In both cases, when a more dominant individual is out of view and the audience consists of more subordinate individuals, those males signal key social information to females by displaying courtship and dominant behaviors. In contrast, when a dominant male is present, males cease both aggression and courtship. These data suggest that males are keenly aware of their social environment and modulate their aggressive and courtship behaviors strategically for reproductive and social advantage. PMID:22807996

  20. Dear Enemies Elicit Lower Androgen Responses to Territorial Challenges than Unfamiliar Intruders in a Cichlid Fish

    PubMed Central

    Oliveira, Tânia F.; Ros, Albert F. H.; Oliveira, Rui F.

    2015-01-01

    In many territorial species androgen hormones are known to increase in response to territorial intrusions as a way to adjust the expression of androgen-dependent behaviour to social challenges. The dear enemy effect has also been described in territorial species and posits that resident individuals show a more aggressive response to intrusions by strangers than by other territorial neighbours. Therefore, we hypothesized that the dear enemy effect may also modulate the androgen response to a territorial intrusion. Here we tested this hypothesis in male cichlid fish (Mozambique tilapia, Oreochromis mossambicus) using a paradigm of four repeated territorial intrusions, either by the same neighbour or by four different unfamiliar intruders. Neighbour intruders elicited lower aggression and a weaker androgen response than strangers on the first intrusion of the experiment. With repeated intrusions, the agonistic behaviour of the resident males against familiar intruders was similar to that displayed towards strangers. By the fourth intrusion the androgen response was significantly reduced and there was no longer a difference between the responses to the two types of intruders. These results suggest that the dear enemy effect modulates the androgen response to territorial intrusions and that repeated intrusions lead to a habituation of the androgen response. PMID:26379045

  1. Comparative cytogenetics of ten species of cichlid fishes (Teleostei, Cichlidae) from the Araguaia River system, Brazil, by conventional cytogenetic methods

    PubMed Central

    Valente, G. Targino; Vitorino, C. de Andrade; Cabral-de-Mello, D.C.; Oliveira, C.; Souza, I. Lima; Martins, C.; Venere, P.C.

    2012-01-01

    Abstract Cichlids represent one of the most species-rich families of fishes and have attracted the attention of evolutionary biologists due to the rapid radiation occurring in some groups and the importance of some species in the world aquaculture. Cytogenetic analysis was conducted in 10 cichlid species from the Araguaia River, Amazon Basin, Brazil. The chromosome number was 2n=48 for all analyzed species except for Laetacara araguaiae Ottoni et Costa, 2009 (2n=44). Chromosomal polymorphism was detected only in Geophagus proximus (Castelnau, 1855), which exhibits an extra large submetacentric and and a dot-like chromosomes. Moreover, the C-banding revealed a general pericentromeric heterochromatic pattern and some additional blocks for some species. The heterochromatic blocks corresponding to AgNOR bearing regions were observed in all species and also corresponded to CMA3 positive blocks, which were observed in terminal regions. Besides the general conserved chromosomal and heterochromatin patterns for South American cichlids, the presence of GC-rich heterochromatin was quite different in the species Biotodoma cupido (Heckel, 1840), Geophagus proximus, Retroculus lapidifer (Castelnau, 1855), Crenicichla strigata Günther, 1862 and Heros efasciatus Heckel, 1840. The results suggest that independent events of heterochromatin modification occurred during chromosome evolution in the group, regardless of the conservation of macro-chromosomal structure. PMID:24260660

  2. Quantitative Molecular Phenotyping of Gill Remodeling in a Cichlid Fish Responding to Salinity Stress*

    PubMed Central

    Kültz, Dietmar; Li, Johnathon; Gardell, Alison; Sacchi, Romina

    2013-01-01

    A two-tiered label-free quantitative (LFQ) proteomics workflow was used to elucidate how salinity affects the molecular phenotype, i.e. proteome, of gills from a cichlid fish, the euryhaline tilapia (Oreochromis mossambicus). The workflow consists of initial global profiling of relative tryptic peptide abundances in treated versus control samples followed by targeted identification (by MS/MS) and quantitation (by chromatographic peak area integration) of validated peptides for each protein of interest. Fresh water acclimated tilapia were independently exposed in separate experiments to acute short-term (34 ppt) and gradual long-term (70 ppt, 90 ppt) salinity stress followed by molecular phenotyping of the gill proteome. The severity of salinity stress can be deduced with high technical reproducibility from the initial global label-free quantitative profiling step alone at both peptide and protein levels. However, an accurate regulation ratio can only be determined by targeted label-free quantitative profiling because not all peptides used for protein identification are also valid for quantitation. Of the three salinity challenges, gradual acclimation to 90 ppt has the most pronounced effect on gill molecular phenotype. Known salinity effects on tilapia gills, including an increase in the size and number of mitochondria-rich ionocytes, activities of specific ion transporters, and induction of specific molecular chaperones are reflected in the regulation of abundances of the corresponding proteins. Moreover, specific protein isoforms that are responsive to environmental salinity change are resolved and it is revealed that salinity effects on the mitochondrial proteome are nonuniform. Furthermore, protein NDRG1 has been identified as a novel key component of molecular phenotype restructuring during salinity-induced gill remodeling. In conclusion, besides confirming known effects of salinity on gills of euryhaline fish, molecular phenotyping reveals novel insight into

  3. Mechanism of action of endosulfan as disruptor of gonadal steroidogenesis in the cichlid fish Cichlasoma dimerus.

    PubMed

    Da Cuña, Rodrigo H; Rey Vázquez, Graciela; Dorelle, Luciana; Rodríguez, Enrique M; Guimarães Moreira, Renata; Lo Nostro, Fabiana L

    2016-09-01

    The organochlorine pesticide endosulfan (ES) is used in several countries as a wide spectrum insecticide on crops with high commercial value. Due to its high toxicity to non-target animals, its persistence in the environment and its ability to act as an endocrine disrupting compound in fish, ES use is currently banned or restricted in many other countries. Previous studies on the cichlid fish Cichlasoma dimerus have shown that waterborne exposure to ES can lead to both decreased pituitary FSH content and histological alterations of testes. As gonadotropin-stimulated sex steroids release from gonads was inhibited by ES in vitro, the aim of the present study was to elucidate possible mechanisms of disruption of ES on gonadal steroidogenesis in C. dimerus, as well as compare the action of the active ingredient (AI) with that of currently used commercial formulations (CF). Testis and ovary fragments were incubated with ES (AI or CF) and/or steroidogenesis activators or precursors. Testosterone and estradiol levels were measured in the incubation media. By itself, ES did not affect hormone levels. Co-incubation with LH and the adenylate cyclase activator forskolin caused a decrease of the stimulated sex steroids release. When co-incubated with precursors dehydroandrostenedione and 17αhydroxyprogesterone, ES did not affect the increase caused by their addition alone. No differences were observed between the AI and CFs, suggesting that the effect on steroidogenesis disruption is mainly caused by the AI. Results indicate that action of ES takes place downstream of LH-receptor activation and upstream of the studied steroidogenic enzymes. PMID:27235598

  4. Adaptive phenotypic plasticity in the Midas cichlid fish pharyngeal jaw and its relevance in adaptive radiation

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Phenotypic evolution and its role in the diversification of organisms is a central topic in evolutionary biology. A neglected factor during the modern evolutionary synthesis, adaptive phenotypic plasticity, more recently attracted the attention of many evolutionary biologists and is now recognized as an important ingredient in both population persistence and diversification. The traits and directions in which an ancestral source population displays phenotypic plasticity might partly determine the trajectories in morphospace, which are accessible for an adaptive radiation, starting from the colonization of a novel environment. In the case of repeated colonizations of similar environments from the same source population this "flexible stem" hypothesis predicts similar phenotypes to arise in repeated subsequent radiations. The Midas Cichlid (Amphilophus spp.) in Nicaragua has radiated in parallel in several crater-lakes seeded by populations originating from the Nicaraguan Great Lakes. Here, we tested phenotypic plasticity in the pharyngeal jaw of Midas Cichlids. The pharyngeal jaw apparatus of cichlids, a second set of jaws functionally decoupled from the oral ones, is known to mediate ecological specialization and often differs strongly between sister-species. Results We performed a common garden experiment raising three groups of Midas cichlids on food differing in hardness and calcium content. Analyzing the lower pharyngeal jaw-bones we find significant differences between diet groups qualitatively resembling the differences found between specialized species. Observed differences in pharyngeal jaw expression between groups were attributable to the diet's mechanical resistance, whereas surplus calcium in the diet was not found to be of importance. Conclusions The pharyngeal jaw apparatus of Midas Cichlids can be expressed plastically if stimulated mechanically during feeding. Since this trait is commonly differentiated - among other traits - between

  5. A Fish Assemblage from the Middle Eocene from Libya (Dur At-Talah) and the Earliest Record of Modern African Fish Genera.

    PubMed

    Otero, Olga; Pinton, Aurélie; Cappetta, Henri; Adnet, Sylvain; Valentin, Xavier; Salem, Mustapha; Jaeger, Jean-Jacques

    2015-01-01

    In the early nineteen sixties, Arambourg and Magnier found some freshwater fish (i.e., Polypterus sp., Siluriformes indet. and Lates sp.) mixed with marine members in an Eocene vertebrate assemblage at Gebel Coquin, in the southern Libyan Desert. This locality, aged ca 37-39Ma and now known under the name of Dur At-Talah, has been recently excavated. A new fish assemblage, mostly composed of teeth, was collected by the Mission Paléontologique Franco-Libyenne. In this paper, we describe freshwater fish members including a dipnoan (Protopterus sp.), and several actinopterygians: bichir (Polypterus sp.), aba fish (Gymnarchus sp.), several catfishes (Chrysichthys sp. and a mochokid indet.), several characiforms (including the tiger fish Hydrocynus sp., and one or two alestin-like fish), and perciforms (including the snake-head fish Parachanna sp. and at least one cichlid). Together with the fossiliferous outcrops at Birket Qarun in Egypt, the Libyan site at Dur At-Talah reduces a 10-Ma chronological gap in the fossil record of African freshwater fish. Their fish assemblages overlap in their composition and thus constitute a rather homogenous, original and significant amount of new elements regarding the Paleogene African ichthyofauna. This supports the establishment of the modern African freshwater fish fauna during this time period because these sites mostly contain the earliest members known in modern genera. PMID:26674637

  6. A Fish Assemblage from the Middle Eocene from Libya (Dur At-Talah) and the Earliest Record of Modern African Fish Genera

    PubMed Central

    Otero, Olga; Pinton, Aurélie; Cappetta, Henri; Adnet, Sylvain; Valentin, Xavier; Salem, Mustapha; Jaeger, Jean-Jacques

    2015-01-01

    In the early nineteen sixties, Arambourg and Magnier found some freshwater fish (i.e., Polypterus sp., Siluriformes indet. and Lates sp.) mixed with marine members in an Eocene vertebrate assemblage at Gebel Coquin, in the southern Libyan Desert. This locality, aged ca 37–39Ma and now known under the name of Dur At-Talah, has been recently excavated. A new fish assemblage, mostly composed of teeth, was collected by the Mission Paléontologique Franco-Libyenne. In this paper, we describe freshwater fish members including a dipnoan (Protopterus sp.), and several actinopterygians: bichir (Polypterus sp.), aba fish (Gymnarchus sp.), several catfishes (Chrysichthys sp. and a mochokid indet.), several characiforms (including the tiger fish Hydrocynus sp., and one or two alestin-like fish), and perciforms (including the snake-head fish Parachanna sp. and at least one cichlid). Together with the fossiliferous outcrops at Birket Qarun in Egypt, the Libyan site at Dur At-Talah reduces a 10-Ma chronological gap in the fossil record of African freshwater fish. Their fish assemblages overlap in their composition and thus constitute a rather homogenous, original and significant amount of new elements regarding the Paleogene African ichthyofauna. This supports the establishment of the modern African freshwater fish fauna during this time period because these sites mostly contain the earliest members known in modern genera. PMID:26674637

  7. Mitochondrial phylogeography of rock-dwelling cichlid fishes reveals evolutionary influence of historical lake level fluctuations of Lake Tanganyika, Africa.

    PubMed

    Verheyen, E; Rüber, L; Snoeks, J; Meyer, A

    1996-06-29

    The East African Lakes Tanganyika, Malawi and Victoria each harbour hundreds of endemic invertebrate and vertebrate species. Inferences about the ecological and evolutionary processes responsible for the origin of these species flocks will only be possible when they are made within historical and comparative frameworks. Specifically, the relative importance of intrinsic characteristics and extrinsic factors may offer information about the processes that drive diversification and speciation in these species. We investigated the sequence variation of a segment of the mitochondrial DNA control region of 32 populations representing all four nominal species in the three genera of eretmodine cichlids from Lake Tanganyika. Based on a phylogenetic analysis of these data we attempted to evaluate the importance of major lake level fluctuations on patterns of intralacustrine speciation. The geography of genetic variation reveals a high degree of within-lake endemism among genetically well-separated lineages distributed along the inferred shore lines of three historically intermittent lake basins. Seismic data indicate that extreme lowering of water levels in the Pleistocene caused the single Lake Tanganyika basin to split into three isolated ones. The strong phylogeographic structure of the Eretmodini, and the observation that some closely related populations occur on opposite shores of the lake, agree with this geological scenario. The three-clade-three-basin phylogeographic pattern was repeated twice within this tribe of cichlids. The phylogeographic pattern of eretmodine cichlids suggests that major fluctuations in the level of the lake have been important in shaping their adaptive radiation and speciation. The mitochondrially defined clades are in conflict with the current taxonomy of the group and suggest that there has been convergent evolution in trophic morphology, particularly in the shapes of oral teeth, taxonomically the most diagnostic characters of the three

  8. At the edge of the thermal window: effects of elevated temperature on the resting metabolism, hypoxia tolerance and upper critical thermal limit of a widespread African cichlid

    PubMed Central

    McDonnell, Laura H.; Chapman, Lauren J.

    2015-01-01

    Tropical inland fishes are predicted to be especially vulnerable to thermal stress because they experience small temperature fluctuations that may select for narrow thermal windows. In this study, we measured resting metabolic rate (RMR), critical oxygen tension (Pcrit) and critical thermal maximum (CTMax) of the widespread African cichlid (Pseudocrenilabrus multicolor victoriae) in response to short-term acclimation to temperatures within and above their natural thermal range. Pseudocrenilabrus multicolor collected in Lake Kayanja, Uganda, a population living near the upper thermal range of the species, were acclimated to 23, 26, 29 and 32°C for 3 days directly after capture, and RMR and Pcrit were then quantified. In a second group of P. multicolor from the same population, CTMax and the thermal onset of agitation were determined for fish acclimated to 26, 29 and 32°C for 7 days. Both RMR and Pcrit were significantly higher in fish acclimated to 32°C, indicating decreased tolerance to hypoxia and increased metabolic requirements at temperatures only slightly (∼1°C) above their natural thermal range. The CTMax increased with acclimation temperature, indicating some degree of thermal compensation induced by short-term exposure to higher temperatures. However, agitation temperature (likely to represent an avoidance response to increased temperature during CTMax trials) showed no increase with acclimation temperature. Overall, the results of this study demonstrate that P. multicolor is able to maintain its RMR and Pcrit across the range of temperatures characteristic of its natural habitat, but incurs a higher cost of resting metabolism and reduced hypoxia tolerance at temperatures slightly above its present range. PMID:27293734

  9. Calcium binding protein calretinin (29kD) localization in the forebrain of the cichlid fish: An immunohistochemical study.

    PubMed

    Deshpande, Ketki V; Jadhao, Arun G

    2015-09-01

    Ionic regulation is essential for the metabolism and cellular function. For many physiological processes, ionic calcium (Ca(+2)) is important for example muscle contractions, nerve signaling, membrane permeability, cell division and hormone release. In nerve cells, the excess intracellular concentration of Ca(+2) causes cell death. It has been shown that certain calcium binding proteins (CaBPs) are essential for Ca(+2) homeostasis and protect neurons from excess Ca(+2) influx. We are for the first time showing an unusual calretinin (CR) expression and significant differences in its occurrence in the forebrain of the cichlid fish (Cynotilapia sp.) compared to other teleosts. CR labeled neurons were seen in the dorsal and lateral part of the dorsal telencephalic area, entopeduncular nucleus (EN), nucleus preopticus (NPO), diffuse nucleus of lateral torus (NDTL), ventral hypothalamic nucleus (VH), preglomerular nucleus (NPG) and optic tectum. Surprisingly, large numbers of CR immunoreactive perikarya were noted in the optic chiasma (Oc). These neurons were oval with elongated processes and forming a huge fiber network in the Oc. Enormously CR stained fibers were seen in the lateral and medial olfactory tract. Widespread distributions of strongly CR labeled fibers were observed around the EN projecting dorsally into the telencephalon, Oc and optic nerve. Presence of CR in the NPO suggests that it may be involved in the hormonal regulation by the pituitary. As in vertebrates EN plays an important role in sensory functions, massive localization CR in the EN may suggests role of CR in sensory functions of the cichlid fish. PMID:24925732

  10. Evolution of opercle shape in cichlid fishes from Lake Tanganyika - adaptive trait interactions in extant and extinct species flocks

    PubMed Central

    Wilson, Laura A. B.; Colombo, Marco; Sánchez-Villagra, Marcelo R.; Salzburger, Walter

    2015-01-01

    Phenotype-environment correlations and the evolution of trait interactions in adaptive radiations have been widely studied to gain insight into the dynamics underpinning rapid species diversification. In this study we explore the phenotype-environment correlation and evolution of operculum shape in cichlid fishes using an outline-based geometric morphometric approach combined with stable isotope indicators of macrohabitat and trophic niche. We then apply our method to a sample of extinct saurichthyid fishes, a highly diverse and near globally distributed group of actinopterygians occurring throughout the Triassic, to assess the utility of extant data to inform our understanding of ecomorphological evolution in extinct species flocks. A series of comparative methods were used to analyze shape data for 54 extant species of cichlids (N = 416), and 6 extinct species of saurichthyids (N = 44). Results provide evidence for a relationship between operculum shape and feeding ecology, a concentration in shape evolution towards present along with evidence for convergence in form, and significant correlation between the major axes of shape change and measures of gut length and body elongation. The operculum is one of few features that can be compared in extant and extinct groups, enabling reconstruction of phenotype-environment interactions and modes of evolutionary diversification in deep time. PMID:26584885

  11. Evolution of opercle shape in cichlid fishes from Lake Tanganyika - adaptive trait interactions in extant and extinct species flocks.

    PubMed

    Wilson, Laura A B; Colombo, Marco; Sánchez-Villagra, Marcelo R; Salzburger, Walter

    2015-01-01

    Phenotype-environment correlations and the evolution of trait interactions in adaptive radiations have been widely studied to gain insight into the dynamics underpinning rapid species diversification. In this study we explore the phenotype-environment correlation and evolution of operculum shape in cichlid fishes using an outline-based geometric morphometric approach combined with stable isotope indicators of macrohabitat and trophic niche. We then apply our method to a sample of extinct saurichthyid fishes, a highly diverse and near globally distributed group of actinopterygians occurring throughout the Triassic, to assess the utility of extant data to inform our understanding of ecomorphological evolution in extinct species flocks. A series of comparative methods were used to analyze shape data for 54 extant species of cichlids (N = 416), and 6 extinct species of saurichthyids (N = 44). Results provide evidence for a relationship between operculum shape and feeding ecology, a concentration in shape evolution towards present along with evidence for convergence in form, and significant correlation between the major axes of shape change and measures of gut length and body elongation. The operculum is one of few features that can be compared in extant and extinct groups, enabling reconstruction of phenotype-environment interactions and modes of evolutionary diversification in deep time. PMID:26584885

  12. Tolerance of nonindigenous cichlid fishes (Cichlasoma urophthalmus, Hemichromis letourneuxi) to low temperature: laboratory and field experiments in south Florida

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schofield, Pamela J.; Loftus, William F.; Kobza, Robert M.; Cook, Mark I.; Slone, Daniel H.

    2010-01-01

    The cold tolerance of two non-native cichlids (Hemichromis letourneuxi and Cichlasoma urophthalmus) that are established in south Florida was tested in the field and laboratory. In the laboratory, fishes were acclimated to two temperatures (24 and 28°C), and three salinities (0, 10, and 35 ppt). Two endpoints were identified: loss of equilibrium (11.5–13.7°C for C. urophthalmus; 10.8–12.5°C for H. letourneuxi), and death (9.5–11.1°C for C. urophthalmus; 9.1–13.3°C for H. letourneuxi). In the field, fishes were caged in several aquatic habitats during two winter cold snaps. Temperatures were lowest (4.0°C) in the shallow marsh, where no fish survived, and warmest in canals and solution-holes. Canals and ditches as shallow as 50 cm provided thermal refuges for these tropical fishes. Because of the effect on survival of different habitat types, simple predictions of ultimate geographic expansion by non-native fishes using latitude and thermal isoclines are insufficient for freshwater fishes.

  13. Heritability and adaptive significance of the number of egg-dummies in the cichlid fish Astatotilapia burtoni

    PubMed Central

    Lehtonen, Topi K.; Meyer, Axel

    2011-01-01

    Cichlid fishes are a textbook example of rapid speciation and exuberant diversity—this applies especially to haplochromines, a lineage with approximately 1800 species. Haplochromine males uniquely possess oval, bright spots on their anal fin, called ‘egg-spots’ or ‘egg-dummies’. These are presumed to be an evolutionary key innovation that contributed to the tribe's evolutionary success. Egg-spots have been proposed to mimic the ova of the mouthbrooding females of the corresponding species, contribute to fertilization success and even facilitate species recognition. Interestingly, egg-spot number varies extensively not only between species, but also within some populations. This high degree of intraspecific variation may appear to be counterintuitive since selection might be expected to act to stabilize traits that are correlated with fitness measures. We addressed this ‘paradox’ experimentally, and found that in the haplochromine cichlid Astatotilapia burtoni, the number of egg-spots was related to male age, body condition and dominance status. Intriguingly, the egg-spot number also had a high heritable component (narrow sense heritability of 0.5). These results suggest that the function of egg-spots might have less to do with fertilization success or species recognition, but rather relate to mate choice and/or male–male competition, helping to explain the high variability in this important trait. PMID:21208958

  14. A microsatellite-based genetic linkage map and putative sex-determining genomic regions in Lake Victoria cichlids.

    PubMed

    Kudo, Yu; Nikaido, Masato; Kondo, Azusa; Suzuki, Hikoyu; Yoshida, Kohta; Kikuchi, Kiyoshi; Okada, Norihiro

    2015-04-15

    Cichlid fishes in East Africa have undergone extensive adaptive radiation, which has led to spectacular diversity in their morphology and ecology. To date, genetic linkage maps have been constructed for several tilapias (riverine), Astatotilapia burtoni (Lake Tanganyika), and hybrid lines of Lake Malawi cichlids to facilitate genome-wide comparative analyses. In the present study, we constructed a genetic linkage map of the hybrid line of Lake Victoria cichlids, so that maps of cichlids from all the major areas of East Africa will be available. The genetic linkage map shown here is derived from the F2 progeny of an interspecific cross between Haplochromis chilotes and Haplochromis sauvagei and is based on 184 microsatellite and two single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers. Most of the microsatellite markers used in the present study were originally designed for other genetic linkage maps, allowing us to directly compare each linkage group (LG) among different cichlid groups. We found 25 LGs, the total length of which was 1133.2cM with an average marker spacing of about 6.09cM. Our subsequent linkage mapping analysis identified two putative sex-determining loci in cichlids. Interestingly, one of these two loci is located on cichlid LG5, on which the female heterogametic ZW locus and several quantitative trait loci (QTLs) related to adaptive evolution have been reported in Lake Malawi cichlids. We also found that V1R1 and V1R2, candidate genes for the fish pheromone receptor, are located very close to the recently detected sex-determining locus on cichlid LG5. The genetic linkage map study presented here may provide a valuable foundation for studying the chromosomal evolution of East African cichlids and the possible role of sex chromosomes in generating their genomic diversity. PMID:25639358

  15. Social cichlid fish change behaviour in response to a visual predator stimulus, but not the odour of damaged conspecifics.

    PubMed

    O'Connor, Constance M; Reddon, Adam R; Odetunde, Aderinsola; Jindal, Shagun; Balshine, Sigal

    2015-12-01

    Predation is one of the primary drivers of fitness for prey species. Therefore, there should be strong selection for accurate assessment of predation risk, and whenever possible, individuals should use all available information to fine-tune their response to the current threat of predation. Here, we used a controlled laboratory experiment to assess the responses of individual Neolamprologus pulcher, a social cichlid fish, to a live predator stimulus, to the odour of damaged conspecifics, or to both indicators of predation risk combined. We found that fish in the presence of the visual predator stimulus showed typical antipredator behaviour. Namely, these fish decreased activity and exploration, spent more time seeking shelter, and more time near conspecifics. Surprisingly, there was no effect of the chemical cue alone, and fish showed a reduced response to the combination of the visual predator stimulus and the odour of damaged conspecifics relative to the visual predator stimulus alone. These results demonstrate that N. pulcher adjust their anti-predator behaviour to the information available about current predation risk, and we suggest a possible role for the use of social information in the assessment of predation risk in a cooperatively breeding fish. PMID:26467942

  16. Male-Male Competition as a Force in Evolutionary Diversification: Evidence in Haplochromine Cichlid Fish

    PubMed Central

    Dijkstra, Peter D.; Groothuis, Ton G. G.

    2011-01-01

    It has been suggested that intrasexual competition can be a source of negative frequency-dependent selection, causing agonistic character displacement and facilitating speciation and coexistence of (sibling) species. In this paper we synthesise the evidence that male-male and female-female competition contributes to cichlid diversification, showing that competition is stronger among same-coloured individuals than those with different colours. We argue that intrasexual selection is more complex because there are several examples where males do not bias aggression towards their own type. In addition, sibling species or colour morphs often show asymmetric dominance relationships. We briefly discuss potential mechanisms that might promote the maintenance of covariance between colour and aggression-related traits even in the face of gene-flow. We close by proposing several avenues for future studies that might shed more light on the role of intrasexual competition in cichlid diversification. PMID:21785710

  17. Genetic evidence for multiple sources of the non-native fish Cichlasoma urophthalmus (Günther; Mayan Cichlids) in southern Florida.

    PubMed

    Harrison, Elizabeth; Trexler, Joel C; Collins, Timothy M; Vazquez-Domínguez, Ella; Razo-Mendivil, Ulises; Matamoros, Wilfredo A; Barrientos, Christian

    2014-01-01

    The number and diversity of source populations may influence the genetic diversity of newly introduced populations and affect the likelihood of their establishment and spread. We used the cytochrome b mitochondrial gene and nuclear microsatellite loci to identify the sources of a successful invader in southern Florida, USA, Cichlasoma urophthalmus (Mayan cichlid). Our cytochrome b data supported an introduction from Guatemala, while our microsatellite data suggested movement of Mayan Cichlids from the upper Yucatán Peninsula to Guatemala and introductions from Guatemala and Belize to Florida. The mismatch between mitochondrial and nuclear genomes suggests admixture of a female lineage from Guatemala, where all individuals were fixed for the mitochondrial haplotype found in the introduced population, and a more diverse but also relatively small number of individuals from Belize. The Florida cytochrome b haplotype appears to be absent from Belize (0 out of 136 fish screened from Belize had this haplotype). Genetic structure within the Florida population was minimal, indicating a panmictic population, while Mexican and Central American samples displayed more genetic subdivision. Individuals from the Upper Yucatán Peninsula and the Petén region of Guatemala were more genetically similar to each other than to fish from nearby sites and movement of Mayan Cichlids between these regions occurred thousands of generations ago, suggestive of pre-Columbian human transportation of Mayan Cichlids through this region. Mayan Cichlids present a rare example of cytonuclear disequilibrium and reduced genetic diversity in the introduced population that persists more than 30 years (at least 7-8 generations) after introduction. We suggest that hybridization occurred in ornamental fish farms in Florida and may contribute their establishment in the novel habitat. Hybridization prior to release may contribute to other successful invasions. PMID:25184569

  18. Genetic Evidence for Multiple Sources of the Non-Native Fish Cichlasoma urophthalmus (Günther; Mayan Cichlids) in Southern Florida

    PubMed Central

    Harrison, Elizabeth; Trexler, Joel C.; Collins, Timothy M.; Vazquez-Domínguez, Ella; Razo-Mendivil, Ulises; Matamoros, Wilfredo A.; Barrientos, Christian

    2014-01-01

    The number and diversity of source populations may influence the genetic diversity of newly introduced populations and affect the likelihood of their establishment and spread. We used the cytochrome b mitochondrial gene and nuclear microsatellite loci to identify the sources of a successful invader in southern Florida, USA, Cichlasoma urophthalmus (Mayan cichlid). Our cytochrome b data supported an introduction from Guatemala, while our microsatellite data suggested movement of Mayan Cichlids from the upper Yucatán Peninsula to Guatemala and introductions from Guatemala and Belize to Florida. The mismatch between mitochondrial and nuclear genomes suggests admixture of a female lineage from Guatemala, where all individuals were fixed for the mitochondrial haplotype found in the introduced population, and a more diverse but also relatively small number of individuals from Belize. The Florida cytochrome b haplotype appears to be absent from Belize (0 out of 136 fish screened from Belize had this haplotype). Genetic structure within the Florida population was minimal, indicating a panmictic population, while Mexican and Central American samples displayed more genetic subdivision. Individuals from the Upper Yucatán Peninsula and the Petén region of Guatemala were more genetically similar to each other than to fish from nearby sites and movement of Mayan Cichlids between these regions occurred thousands of generations ago, suggestive of pre-Columbian human transportation of Mayan Cichlids through this region. Mayan Cichlids present a rare example of cytonuclear disequilibrium and reduced genetic diversity in the introduced population that persists more than 30 years (at least 7–8 generations) after introduction. We suggest that hybridization occurred in ornamental fish farms in Florida and may contribute their establishment in the novel habitat. Hybridization prior to release may contribute to other successful invasions. PMID:25184569

  19. Major histocompatibility complex class II A genes in cichlid fishes: identification, expression, linkage relationships, and haplotype variation.

    PubMed

    Murray, B W; Shintani, S; Sültmann, H; Klein, J

    2000-06-01

    Two cichlid species, the haplochromine Aulonocara hansbaenschi and the tilapiine Oreochromis niloticus, were used to study the major histocompatibility complex (Mhc) class II A variation within this group. Multiple class II A sequences were recovered from A. hansbaenschi and O. niloticus cDNA libraries and three sequence families, DAA, DBA, and DCA, were identified. Sets of O. niloticus haploid embryo families were used to determine the linkage relationships of these genes. Two independently assorting linkage groups were detected, DAA and DBA/DCA, neither of which is linked to the previously described Mhc class I gene cluster. Three DCA genes and up to four DBA genes were found to segregate in different haplotypes, whereas DAA occurred as a single locus. Four DBA haplotypes, DBA*H1-H4, were identified and shown to co-segregate with the previously described class II B haplotypes. Four DCA haplotypes, DCA*H1-H4, were found at a distance of 37 cM from the DBA/class II B cluster; in one DCA haplotype, DCA*H5, the genes were tightly linked to the DBA/class II B clusters. Transcripts of DAA and DBA genes were found in O. niloticus hepatopancreas and spleen; transcripts of DCA genes were detected in the A. hansbaenschi cDNA library, but not in O. niloticus. These findings provide a basis for using class II haplotypes as markers in the study of adaptive radiation in the cichlid species flocks of the East African Great Lakes. PMID:10912508

  20. Discovery of the invasive Mayan Cichlid fish "Cichlasoma" urophthalmus (Günther 1862) in Thailand, with comments on other introductions and potential impacts

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nico, Leo G.; Beamish, William H.; Musikasinthorn, Prachya

    2007-01-01

    We report on the occurrence and possible establishment of a non-native cichlid fish in a brackish-water system in the lower Chao Phraya River delta region, Thailand. Although, the possibility of some degree of introgressive hybridization can not be ruled out, Thailand specimens agree best with Mayan Cichlid “Cichlasoma” urophthalmus (Günther 1862). Our collections represent the first records of this New World, highly-invasive, euryhaline fish from Thailand and coincides with recent collections from Singapore. Positive identification of specimens as “C.” urophthalmus requires caution due to the diversity of the Cichlidae (>1,300 species), widespread introduction of many family members, variation within species, extensive interspecific overlap in characters, and proliferation of artificial cichlid hybrids (e.g., Flowerhorns). We first became aware of the Thailand population in 2005 when “C.” urophthalmus began appearing in the catches of local fishermen. We visited the site in November 2006 and obtained and examined voucher specimens. The abundance and wide size range of juveniles and adults in local ponds and an adjacent canal is evidence of natural reproduction. Because water bodies throughout the Chao Phraya delta are interconnected and subject to flooding, it is likely that “C.” urophthalmus is already established and is dispersing, but surveys and monitoring are needed to determine their exact geographic range. The Thailand population is compared to “C.” urophthalmus introduced into Florida (USA). Based on what is known about Florida “C.” urophthalmus, it is predicted that this cichlid will further invade coastal and inland waters in Thailand and elsewhere in Southeast Asia. This cichlid has a long history in the aquarium trade in Europe. However, there are no records from the wild in European waters and, because of the colder climate, the possibility of establishment in that region is relatively low.

  1. Effect of low pH exposure on Na(+) regulation in two cichlid fish species of the Amazon.

    PubMed

    Duarte, Rafael M; Ferreira, Marcio S; Wood, Chris M; Val, Adalberto L

    2013-11-01

    We evaluated the effects of acute exposure to low pH on Na(+) regulation in two Amazon cichlids collected from natural ion-poor "blackwaters", angelfish (Pterophyllum scalare) and discus (Symphysodon discus). Na(+) uptake kinetic parameters, unidirectional Na(+) fluxes, and net Cl(-) fluxes were determined at pH6.0 and 3.6. At pH6.0, both species presented low unidirectional Na(+) flux rates, with kinetics showing a relatively low affinity for Na(+) (angelfish Km=79, discus Km=268μmolL(-1)), with similar maximum transport capacities (Jmax~535nmolg(-1)h(-1)). Overall, there appeared to be high sensitivity to inhibition by low pH, yet low intrinsic branchial permeability limiting diffusive ion effluxes, resulting in relatively low net loss rates of Na(+), the same strategy as seen previously in other blackwater cichlids, and very different from the strategy of blackwater characids. At low pH, Na(+) uptake in angelfish was inhibited competitively (increased Km=166μmolL(-1)) and non-competitively (decreased Jmax=106nmolg(-1)h(-1)), whereas in discus, only a decrease in Jmax (112nmolg(-1)h(-1)) was statistically significant. An acute reduction in H(+)-ATPase activity, but not in Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase activity, in the gills of angelfish suggests a possible mechanism for this non-competitive inhibition at low pH. Discus fish were more tolerant to low pH than angelfish, as seen by lesser effects of exposure to pH3.6 on unidirectional Na(+) uptake and efflux rates and net Na(+) and Cl(-) loss rates. Overall, discus are better than angelfish in maintaining ionic balance under acidic, ion-poor conditions. PMID:23911980

  2. The evolution of cichlid fish egg-spots is linked with a cis-regulatory change

    PubMed Central

    Santos, M. Emília; Braasch, Ingo; Boileau, Nicolas; Meyer, Britta S.; Sauteur, Loïc; Böhne, Astrid; Belting, Heinz-Georg; Affolter, Markus; Salzburger, Walter

    2014-01-01

    The origin of novel phenotypic characters is a key component in organismal diversification; yet, the mechanisms underlying the emergence of such evolutionary novelties are largely unknown. Here we examine the origin of egg-spots, an evolutionary innovation of the most species-rich group of cichlids, the haplochromines, where these conspicuous male fin colour markings are involved in mating. Applying a combination of RNAseq, comparative genomics and functional experiments, we identify two novel pigmentation genes, fhl2a and fhl2b, and show that especially the more rapidly evolving b-paralog is associated with egg-spot formation. We further find that egg-spot bearing haplochromines, but not other cichlids, feature a transposable element in the cis-regulatory region of fhl2b. Using transgenic zebrafish, we finally demonstrate that this region shows specific enhancer activities in iridophores, a type of pigment cells found in egg-spots, suggesting that a cis-regulatory change is causally linked to the gain of expression in egg-spot bearing haplochromines. PMID:25296686

  3. Acquisition of Lateralized Predation Behavior Associated with Development of Mouth Asymmetry in a Lake Tanganyika Scale-Eating Cichlid Fish.

    PubMed

    Takeuchi, Yuichi; Hori, Michio; Tada, Shinya; Oda, Yoichi

    2016-01-01

    The scale-eating cichlid Perissodus microlepis with asymmetric mouth is an attractive model of behavioral laterality: each adult tears off scales from prey fishes' left or right flanks according to the direction in which its mouth is skewed. To investigate the development of behavioral laterality and mouth asymmetry, we analyzed stomach contents and lower jaw-bone asymmetry of various-sized P. microlepis (22 ≤ SL<115 mm) sampled in Lake Tanganyika. The shapes of the pored scales found in each specimen's stomach indicated its attack side preference. Early-juvenile specimens (SL<45 mm) feeding mainly on zooplankton exhibited slight but significant mouth asymmetry. As the fish acquired scale-eating (45 mm ≤ SL), attack side preference was gradually strengthened, as was mouth asymmetry. Among size-matched individuals, those with more skewed mouths ate more scales. These findings show that behavioral laterality in scale-eating P. microlepis is established in association with development of mouth asymmetry which precedes the behavioral acquisition, and that this synergistic interaction between physical and behavioral literalities may contribute to efficient scale-eating. PMID:26808293

  4. Relationship between Swim Bladder Morphology and Hearing Abilities–A Case Study on Asian and African Cichlids

    PubMed Central

    Schulz-Mirbach, Tanja; Metscher, Brian; Ladich, Friedrich

    2012-01-01

    Background Several teleost species have evolved anterior extensions of the swim bladder which come close to or directly contact the inner ears. A few comparative studies have shown that these morphological specializations may enhance hearing abilities. This study investigates the diversity of swim bladder morphology in four Asian and African cichlid species and analyzes how this diversity affects their hearing sensitivity. Methodology/Principal Findings We studied swim bladder morphology by dissections and by making 3D reconstructions from high-resolution microCT scans. The auditory sensitivity was determined in terms of sound pressure levels (SPL) and particle acceleration levels (PAL) using the auditory evoked potential (AEP) recording technique. The swim bladders in Hemichromis guttatus and Steatocranus tinanti lacked anterior extensions and the swim bladder was considerably small in the latter species. In contrast, Paratilapia polleni and especially Etroplus maculatus possessed anterior extensions bringing the swim bladder close to the inner ears. All species were able to detect frequencies up to 3 kHz (SPL) except S. tinanti which only responded to frequencies up to 0.7 kHz. P. polleni and E. maculatus showed significantly higher auditory sensitivities at 0.5 and 1 kHz than the two species lacking anterior swim bladder extensions. The highest auditory sensitivities were found in E. maculatus, which possessed the most intimate swim bladder-inner ear relationship (maximum sensitivity 66 dB re 1 µPa at 0.5 kHz). Conclusions Our results indicate that anterior swim bladder extensions seem to improve mean absolute auditory sensitivities by 21–42 dB (SPLs) and 21–36 dB (PALs) between 0.5 and 1 kHz. Besides anterior extensions, the size of the swim bladder appears to be an important factor for extending the detectable frequency range (up to 3 kHz). PMID:22879934

  5. Salinity tolerance of the African Jewelfish Hemichromis letourneuxi, a non-native cichlid in South Florida (USA)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Langston, Jacqueline N.; Schofield, Pamela J.; Hill, Jeffrey E.; Loftus, William F.

    2010-01-01

    The African Jewelfish (Cichlidae: Hemichromis letourneuxi) is a predatory, non-native fish that has recently (since 2000) begun to expand its geographic range across south Florida. The salinity tolerance of H. letourneuxi was unknown, and thus it was unclear whether the species could use estuarine or coastal environments. The response of H. letourneuxi to chronic change in salinity was evaluated here by exposing fish to progressively increasing salinities (0–80 ppt). Fish were held at target salinities for a minimum of 30 days. The species showed excellent survival from 0–50 ppt. At 60 ppt, only 25% of the fish survived, and mean estimated survival time was 12 days. Above 60 ppt, mortality was 100%. Fish grew equally well from 0–50 ppt. In another experiment, fish were transferred directly from freshwater to various salinities from 5–35 ppt (seawater) and held for seven days, after which survivors were returned to freshwater. All fish transferred directly from freshwater to salinities up to 20 ppt survived; only 56% survived when transferred from freshwater to 25 ppt, and none survived transfer above 25 ppt. Experimental results indicated that H. letourneuxi can persist easily in salinities prevalent in coastal environments, even during periods of hypersalinity common in south Florida estuaries. Salinity will not restrict its dispersal by coastal pathways.

  6. Primary structure of solitary form of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) in cichlid pituitary; three forms of GnRH in brain of cichlid and pumpkinseed fish.

    PubMed

    Powell, J F; Fischer, W H; Park, M; Craig, A G; Rivier, J E; White, S A; Francis, R C; Fernald, R D; Licht, P; Warby, C

    1995-05-01

    GnRH is a decapeptide family with at least nine distinct structures. Vertebrates, except for most placental mammals, have more than one of these GnRH forms within the brain. We report chromatographical and immunological evidence that three forms of GnRH are in the brains of both cichlid (Haplochromis burtoni) and pumpkinseed (Lepomis gibbosus) fishes. We argue that the three forms correspond to those previously described as sea bream GnRH (sbGnRH), chicken GnRH-II and salmon GnRH. In contrast, only one GnRH form was present in the pituitary of the cichlid and is identified as sbGnRH by amino acid sequence. This is the first report in which the primary structure of GnRH is determined from pituitary tissue. The N-terminus was identified by monitoring the digestion of the peptide by pyroglutamate aminopeptidase with matrix assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) mass spectrometry (MS). The amidation of the C-terminus was established using an esterification procedure for monitoring with MALDI-MS. This report supports the idea that three forms of GnRH within one species is widespread in the order Perciformes. The present study establishes sbGnRH as the third GnRH form in H. burtoni and predicts that sbGnRH is synthesized in preoptic neurons, then transported to the pituitary in the preoptic-hypophyseal axons for the release of one or both gonadotropins. PMID:7644702

  7. Genetic and environmental effects on the morphological asymmetry in the scale-eating cichlid fish, Perissodus microlepis.

    PubMed

    Lee, Hyuk Je; Heim, Valentin; Meyer, Axel

    2015-10-01

    The scale-eating cichlid fish, Perissodus microlepis, from Lake Tanganyika are a well-known example of an asymmetry dimorphism because the mouth/head is either left-bending or right-bending. However, how strongly its pronounced morphological laterality is affected by genetic and environmental factors remains unclear. Using quantitative assessments of mouth asymmetry, we investigated its origin by estimating narrow-sense heritability (h (2) ) using midparent-offspring regression. The heritability estimates [field estimate: h (2)  = 0.22 ± 0.06, P = 0.013; laboratory estimate: h (2)  = 0.18 ± 0.05, P = 0.004] suggest that although variation in laterality has some additive genetic component, it is strongly environmentally influenced. Family-level association analyses of a putative microsatellite marker that was claimed to be linked to gene(s) for laterality revealed no association of this locus with laterality. Moreover, the observed phenotype frequencies in offspring from parents of different phenotype combinations were not consistent with a previously suggested single-locus two-allele model, but they neither were able to reject with confidence a random asymmetry model. These results reconcile the disputed mechanisms for this textbook case of mouth asymmetry where both genetic and environmental factors contribute to this remarkable case of morphological asymmetry. PMID:26664678

  8. Acquisition of Lateralized Predation Behavior Associated with Development of Mouth Asymmetry in a Lake Tanganyika Scale-Eating Cichlid Fish

    PubMed Central

    Takeuchi, Yuichi; Hori, Michio; Tada, Shinya; Oda, Yoichi

    2016-01-01

    The scale-eating cichlid Perissodus microlepis with asymmetric mouth is an attractive model of behavioral laterality: each adult tears off scales from prey fishes’ left or right flanks according to the direction in which its mouth is skewed. To investigate the development of behavioral laterality and mouth asymmetry, we analyzed stomach contents and lower jaw-bone asymmetry of various-sized P. microlepis (22≤SL<115mm) sampled in Lake Tanganyika. The shapes of the pored scales found in each specimen’s stomach indicated its attack side preference. Early-juvenile specimens (SL<45mm) feeding mainly on zooplankton exhibited slight but significant mouth asymmetry. As the fish acquired scale-eating (45mm≤SL), attack side preference was gradually strengthened, as was mouth asymmetry. Among size-matched individuals, those with more skewed mouths ate more scales. These findings show that behavioral laterality in scale-eating P. microlepis is established in association with development of mouth asymmetry which precedes the behavioral acquisition, and that this synergistic interaction between physical and behavioral literalities may contribute to efficient scale-eating. PMID:26808293

  9. Female preferences for male traits and territory characteristics in the cichlid fish Tropheus moorii

    PubMed Central

    Hermann, Caroline M.; Brudermann, Verena; Zimmermann, Holger; Vollmann, Johann; Sefc, Kristina M.

    2014-01-01

    Female mate preferences for male traits and resource characteristics affect trait evolution and diversification. Here, we test the effects of male body traits and territory characteristics on within-population female preferences and on population–assortative mating in the cichlid Tropheus moorii. Within-population preferences of females were independent of male body size, coloration and territory size but were strongly dependent on territory quality and co-varied with male courtship activity. Courtship activity of individual males was contingent on the quality of their assigned territory, and therefore, courtship may not only indicate intrinsic male quality. On the basis of these results we suggest that female preferences for high-quality territories reinforce the outcome of malemale competition and ensure male mating success. Mating preferences of females for males of their own color variant (ascertained in a previous experiment) were not overturned when males of another color variant were presented in a superior territory, indicating that within- and between-population mate preferences of females depend on different cues. PMID:25983339

  10. Male mate choice scales female ornament allometry in a cichlid fish

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Studies addressing the adaptive significance of female ornamentation have gained ground recently. However, the expression of female ornaments in relation to body size, known as trait allometry, still remains unexplored. Here, we investigated the allometry of a conspicuous female ornament in Pelvicachromis taeniatus, a biparental cichlid that shows mutual mate choice and ornamentation. Females feature an eye-catching pelvic fin greatly differing from that of males. Results We show that allometry of the female pelvic fin is scaled more positively in comparison to other fins. The pelvic fin exhibits isometry, whereas the other fins (except the caudal fin) show negative allometry. The size of the pelvic fin might be exaggerated by male choice because males prefer female stimuli that show a larger extension of the trait. Female pelvic fin size is correlated with individual condition, suggesting that males can assess direct and indirect benefits. Conclusions The absence of positive ornament allometry might be a result of sexual selection constricted by natural selection: fins are related to locomotion and thus may be subject to viability selection. Our study provides evidence that male mate choice might scale the expression of a female sexual ornament, and therefore has implications for the understanding of the relationship of female sexual traits with body size in species with conventional sex-roles. PMID:20932273

  11. Arginine vasotocin and androgen pathways are associated with mating system variation in North American cichlid fishes.

    PubMed

    Oldfield, Ronald G; Harris, Rayna M; Hendrickson, Dean A; Hofmann, Hans A

    2013-06-01

    Neuroendocrine pathways that regulate social behavior are remarkably conserved across divergent taxa. The neuropeptides arginine vasotocin/vasopressin (AVT/AVP) and their receptor V1a mediate aggression, space use, and mating behavior in male vertebrates. The hormone prolactin (PRL) also regulates social behavior across species, most notably paternal behavior. Both hormone systems may be involved in the evolution of monogamous mating systems. We compared AVT, AVT receptor V1a2, PRL, and PRL receptor PRLR1 gene expression in the brains as well as circulating androgen concentrations of free-living reproductively active males of two closely related North American cichlid species, the monogamous Herichthys cyanoguttatus and the polygynous Herichthys minckleyi. We found that H. cyanoguttatus males bond with a single female and together they cooperatively defend a small territory in which they reproduce. In H. minckleyi, a small number of large males defend large territories in which they mate with several females. Levels of V1a2 mRNA were higher in the hypothalamus of H. minckleyi, and PRLR1 expression was higher in the hypothalamus and telencephalon of H. minckleyi. 11-ketotestosterone levels were higher in H. minckleyi, while testosterone levels were higher in H. cyanoguttatus. Our results indicate that a highly active AVT/V1a2 circuit(s) in the brain is associated with space use and social dominance and that pair bonding is mediated either by a different, less active AVT/V1a2 circuit or by another neuroendocrine system. PMID:23644171

  12. Frequency-dependent social dominance in a color polymorphic cichlid fish.

    PubMed

    Dijkstra, Peter D; Lindström, Jan; Metcalfe, Neil B; Hemelrijk, Charlotte K; Brendel, Mischa; Seehausen, Ole; Groothuis, Ton G G

    2010-10-01

    A mechanism commonly suggested to explain the persistence of color polymorphisms in animals is negative frequency-dependent selection. It could result from a social dominance advantage to rare morphs. We tested for this in males of red and blue color morphs of the Lake Victoria cichlid, Pundamilia. Earlier work has shown that males preferentially attack the males of their own morph, while red males are more likely to win dyadic contests with blue males. In order to study the potential contribution of both factors to the morph co-existence, we manipulated the proportion of red and blue males in experimental assemblages and studied its effect on social dominance. We then tried to disentangle the effects of the own-morph attack bias and social dominance of red using simulations. In the experiment, we found that red males were indeed socially dominant to the blue ones, but only when rare. However, blue males were not socially dominant when rare. The simulation results suggest that an own-morph attack bias reduces the social dominance of red males when they are more abundant. Thus, there is no evidence of symmetric negative frequency-dependent selection acting on social dominance, suggesting that additional fitness costs to the red morph must explain their co-existence. PMID:20500213

  13. Effect of hypergravity on the Ca/Sr composition of developing otoliths of larval cichlid fish (Oreochromis mossambicus).

    PubMed

    Anken, R H; Ibsch, M; Breuer, J; Rahmann, H

    2001-02-01

    The amounts of calcium and strontium were measured by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) in saccular and utricular inner ear otoliths (sagittae and lapilli, respectively) of developing cichlid fish. These fish had been maintained for 22 days at 3-g hypergravity conditions within a centrifuge. During this time-span, the animals completed their ontogenetic development from hatch to the free-swimming stage. Neither the morphogenetic development nor the timely onset and gain of performance of the swimming behaviour was impaired by the experimental conditions. Experimental and control animals also did not differ concerning their size (total length). ICP-MS revealed that the otoliths contained significantly less calcium (in microg/otolith) after hyper-g exposure compared to parallelly raised 1-g control specimens (lapilli: 0.74+/-0.21 vs. 1.16+/-0.41; sagittae: 2.09+/-0.49 vs. 2.76+/-0.47). The content of strontium (in microg/otolith: lapilli: 0.0044+/-0.0023 vs. 0.0022+/-0.0013; sagittae: 0.0094+/-0.0026 vs. 0.0081+/-0.0016) and, consequently, the Sr/Ca ratio (Sr/Cax100) was increased (lapilli: 0.607+/-0.267 vs. 0.201+/-0.12; sagittae: 0.439+/-0.093 vs. 0.301+/-0.086). Since the calcium content can be taken as a proxy for otolith weight, and because parallelly undertaken morphometric investigations revealed smaller otoliths (maximum radius and surface area) due to hyper-g exposure, the results suggest that the growth of otoliths at hyper-g is slowed down. Since the concentration of trace elements incorporated into otoliths is likely based on the composition of the respective protein matrix, our findings suggest that the protein metabolism is affected by hypergravity. PMID:11223398

  14. Influence of substrate orientation on feeding kinematics and performance of algae-grazing Lake Malawi cichlid fishes.

    PubMed

    Rupp, Maxwell F; Hulsey, C Darrin

    2014-09-01

    Lake Malawi cichlids have been studied extensively in an effort to elucidate the mechanisms underlying their adaptive radiation. Both habitat partitioning and trophic specialization have been suggested to be critical ecological axes underlying the exceptional diversification of these fishes, but the mechanisms facilitating this divergence are often unclear. For instance, in the rock-dwelling mbuna of Lake Malawi, coexistence is likely tightly linked to how and where species feed on the algae coating all the surfaces of the rocky reefs they exclusively inhabit. Yet, although mbuna species often preferentially graze from particular substrate orientations, we understand very little about how substrate orientation influences feeding kinematics or feeding rates in any group of organisms. Therefore, for three species of mbuna, we quantified feeding kinematics and inferred the rates that algae could be ingested on substrates that mimicked the top, side and bottom of the algae-covered boulders these species utilize in Lake Malawi. A number of differences in feeding kinematics were found among species, and several of the kinematic variables were found to differ even within species when the fish grazed from different surface orientations. However, despite their preferences for particular microhabitats, we found no evidence for clear trade-offs in the rates that the three species were inferred to be able to obtain algae from different substrate orientations. Nevertheless, our results indicate microhabitat divergence linked to differences in feeding kinematics could have played a role in the origin and maintenance of the vast diversity of co-occurring Lake Malawi mbuna species. PMID:24948641

  15. Lake Tanganyika--a 'melting pot' of ancient and young cichlid lineages (Teleostei: Cichlidae)?

    PubMed

    Weiss, Juliane D; Cotterill, Fenton P D; Schliewen, Ulrich K

    2015-01-01

    A long history of research focused on the East Africa cichlid radiations (EAR) revealed discrepancies between mtDNA and nuclear phylogenies, suggesting that interspecific hybridisation may have been significant during the radiation of these fishes. The approximately 250 cichlid species of Lake Tanganyika have their roots in a monophyletic African cichlid assemblage, but controversies remain about the precise phylogenetic origin and placement of different lineages and consequently about L. Tanganyika colonization scenarios. 3312 AFLP loci and the mitochondrial ND2 gene were genotyped for 91 species representing almost all major lacustrine and riverine haplotilapiine east African cichlid lineages with a focus on L. Tanganyika endemics. Explicitly testing for the possibility of ancient hybridisation events, a comprehensive phylogenetic network hypothesis is proposed for the origin and diversification of L. Tanganyika cichlids. Inference of discordant phylogenetic signal strongly suggests that the genomes of two endemic L. Tanganyika tribes, Eretmodini and Tropheini, are composed of an ancient mixture of riverine and lacustrine lineages. For the first time a strong monophyly signal of all non-haplochromine mouthbrooding species endemic to L. Tanganyika ("ancient mouthbrooders") was detected. Further, in the genomes of early diverging L. Tanganyika endemics Trematocarini, Bathybatini, Hemibatini and Boulengerochromis genetic components of other lineages belonging to the East African Radiation appear to be present. In combination with recent palaeo-geological results showing that tectonic activity in the L. Tanganyika region resulted in highly dynamic and heterogeneous landscape evolution over the Neogene and Pleistocene, the novel phylogenetic data render a single lacustrine basin as the geographical cradle of the endemic L. Tanganyika cichlid lineages unlikely. Instead a scenario of a pre-rift origin of several independent L. Tanganyika precursor lineages which

  16. Lake Tanganyika—A 'Melting Pot' of Ancient and Young Cichlid Lineages (Teleostei: Cichlidae)?

    PubMed Central

    Weiss, Juliane D.; Cotterill, Fenton P. D.; Schliewen, Ulrich K.

    2015-01-01

    A long history of research focused on the East Africa cichlid radiations (EAR) revealed discrepancies between mtDNA and nuclear phylogenies, suggesting that interspecific hybridisation may have been significant during the radiation of these fishes. The approximately 250 cichlid species of Lake Tanganyika have their roots in a monophyletic African cichlid assemblage, but controversies remain about the precise phylogenetic origin and placement of different lineages and consequently about L. Tanganyika colonization scenarios. 3312 AFLP loci and the mitochondrial ND2 gene were genotyped for 91 species representing almost all major lacustrine and riverine haplotilapiine east African cichlid lineages with a focus on L. Tanganyika endemics. Explicitly testing for the possibility of ancient hybridisation events, a comprehensive phylogenetic network hypothesis is proposed for the origin and diversification of L. Tanganyika cichlids. Inference of discordant phylogenetic signal strongly suggests that the genomes of two endemic L. Tanganyika tribes, Eretmodini and Tropheini, are composed of an ancient mixture of riverine and lacustrine lineages. For the first time a strong monophyly signal of all non-haplochromine mouthbrooding species endemic to L. Tanganyika (“ancient mouthbrooders”) was detected. Further, in the genomes of early diverging L. Tanganyika endemics Trematocarini, Bathybatini, Hemibatini and Boulengerochromis genetic components of other lineages belonging to the East African Radiation appear to be present. In combination with recent palaeo-geological results showing that tectonic activity in the L. Tanganyika region resulted in highly dynamic and heterogeneous landscape evolution over the Neogene and Pleistocene, the novel phylogenetic data render a single lacustrine basin as the geographical cradle of the endemic L. Tanganyika cichlid lineages unlikely. Instead a scenario of a pre-rift origin of several independent L. Tanganyika precursor lineages which

  17. Androgen Receptors in a Cichlid Fish, Astatotilapia burtoni: Structure, Localization, and Expression Levels

    PubMed Central

    HARBOTT, LENE K.; BURMEISTER, SABRINA S.; WHITE, RICHARD B.; VAGELL, MIKE; FERNALD, RUSSELL D.

    2009-01-01

    Androgens are an important output of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis that controls reproduction in all vertebrates. In male teleosts two androgens, testosterone and 11-ketotestosterone, control sexual differentiation and development in juveniles and reproductive behavior in adults. Androgenic signals provide feedback at many levels of the HPG axis, including the hypothalamic neurons that synthesize and release gonadotropin-releasing hormone 1 (GnRH1), but the precise cellular site of androgen action in the brain is not known. Here we describe two androgen receptor subtypes, ARα and ARβ, in the cichlid Astatotilapia burtoni and show that these subtypes are differentially located throughout the adult brain in nuclei known to function in the control of reproduction. ARα was expressed in the ventral part of the ventral telencephalon, the preoptic area (POA) of the hypothalamus and the ventral hypothalamus, whereas ARβ was more widely expressed in the dorsal and ventral telencephalon, the POA, and the ventral and dorsal hypothalamus. We provide the first evidence in any vertebrate that the GnRH1-releasing neurons, which serve as the central control point of the HPG axis, express both subtypes of AR. Using quantitative real-time PCR, we show that A. burtoni AR subtypes have different expression levels in adult tissue, with ARα showing significantly higher expression than ARβ in the pituitary, and ARβ expressed at a higher level than ARα in the anterior and middle brain. These data provide important insight into the role of androgens in regulating the vertebrate reproductive axis. PMID:17614300

  18. Influence of watershed activities on the water quality and fish assemblages of a tropical African reservoir.

    PubMed

    Mustapha, Moshood K

    2009-09-01

    Agricultural and fisheries activities around the watershed of an African tropical reservoir (Oyun reservoir, Offa, Nigeria) were found to contribute significantly to water quality deterioration of the dam axis of the reservoir, leading to eutrophication of that part of the reservoir. This is evident from the high amount of nitrate (6.4 mg/l), phosphate (2.2 mg/l) and sulphate (16.9 mg/l) in the water body which was higher than most other reservoirs in Nigeria. These nutrients originate in fertilizer run-offs from nearby farmlands and were found in higher concentrations in the rainy season which is usually the peak of agricultural activities in the locality. The eutrophication was more pronounced on the dam axis because it is the point of greatest human contact where pressure and run-off of sediments were high. The eutrophication altered the food web cycle which consequently affected the fish species composition and abundance with the dominance of cichlids (planktivorous group) and decline of some species in the fish population. Best management practices (BMP) to control and reduce the eutrophication and improve water quality and fish assemblages should be adopted and adapted to suit the situation in the reservoir. PMID:19928465

  19. Influence of long-term altered gravity on the swimming performance of developing cichlid fish: including results from the 2nd German Spacelab Mission D-2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rahmann, H.; Hilbig, R.; Flemming, J.; Slenzka, K.

    This study presents qualitative and quantitative data concerning gravity-dependent changes in the swimming behaviour of developing cichlid fish larvae (Oreochromis mossambicus) after a 9 resp. 10 days exposure to increased acceleration (centrifuge experiments), to reduced gravity (fast-rotating clinostat), changed accelerations (parabolic air craft flights) and to near weightlessness (2nd German Spacelab Mission D-2). Changes of gravity initially cause disturbances of the swimming performance of the fish larvae. With prolonged stay in orbit a step by step normalisation of the swimming behaviour took place in the fish. After return to 1g earth conditions no somersaulting or looping could be detected concerning the fish, but still slow and disorientated movements as compared to controls occurred. The fish larvae adapted to earth gravity within 3-5 days. Fish seem to be in a distinct early developmental stages extreme sensitive and adaptable to altered gravity. However, elder fish either do not react or show compensatory behaviour e.g. escape reactions.

  20. Parsing parallel evolution: ecological divergence and differential gene expression in the adaptive radiations of thick-lipped Midas cichlid fishes from Nicaragua.

    PubMed

    Manousaki, Tereza; Hull, Pincelli M; Kusche, Henrik; Machado-Schiaffino, Gonzalo; Franchini, Paolo; Harrod, Chris; Elmer, Kathryn R; Meyer, Axel

    2013-02-01

    The study of parallel evolution facilitates the discovery of common rules of diversification. Here, we examine the repeated evolution of thick lips in Midas cichlid fishes (the Amphilophus citrinellus species complex)-from two Great Lakes and two crater lakes in Nicaragua-to assess whether similar changes in ecology, phenotypic trophic traits and gene expression accompany parallel trait evolution. Using next-generation sequencing technology, we characterize transcriptome-wide differential gene expression in the lips of wild-caught sympatric thick- and thin-lipped cichlids from all four instances of repeated thick-lip evolution. Six genes (apolipoprotein D, myelin-associated glycoprotein precursor, four-and-a-half LIM domain protein 2, calpain-9, GTPase IMAP family member 8-like and one hypothetical protein) are significantly underexpressed in the thick-lipped morph across all four lakes. However, other aspects of lips' gene expression in sympatric morphs differ in a lake-specific pattern, including the magnitude of differentially expressed genes (97-510). Generally, fewer genes are differentially expressed among morphs in the younger crater lakes than in those from the older Great Lakes. Body shape, lower pharyngeal jaw size and shape, and stable isotopes (δ(13)C and δ(15)N) differ between all sympatric morphs, with the greatest differentiation in the Great Lake Nicaragua. Some ecological traits evolve in parallel (those related to foraging ecology; e.g. lip size, body and head shape) but others, somewhat surprisingly, do not (those related to diet and food processing; e.g. jaw size and shape, stable isotopes). Taken together, this case of parallelism among thick- and thin-lipped cichlids shows a mosaic pattern of parallel and nonparallel evolution. PMID:23057963

  1. Early development in the mouth-brooding cichlid fish Satanoperca pappaterra (Perciformes: Cichlidae).

    PubMed

    Miranda Lopes, Taise; Garcia de Oliveira, Fernando; Bialetzki, Andréa; Antonio Agostinho, Angelo

    2015-03-01

    The Neotropical region exhibits the largest diversity of fish worldwide; however, little is known about the early development of fish species from this region. Therefore, to contribute to this knowledge, this study aimed to morphologically describe the early stages of development (eggs, larvae and juveniles) of S. pappaterra using morphometric and meristic traits, and to assess changes in growth rates throughout larval and juvenile development by analyzing the relationships between various morphometric traits using analytical regression models. Both juvenile and adult individuals with mouth-brooded offspring were collected along the basins of the Cuiaba and Manso Rivers in the state of Mato Grosso, Brazil between March 2000 and March 2004. After the adults were identified, the offspring were classified according to its stage (embryonic, larval or juvenile period), and various morphometric and meristic variables were individually measured (when possible). The eggs of this species are yellow in color, oval shaped, show dendritic pigmentation within their yolk, have small to moderately sized perivitelline spaces and lack a mucous membrane and oil droplets. The horizontal and vertical diameters of the sample yolks ranged from 1.43mm to 2.70mm and 1.05mm to 1.68 mm, respectively. The standard length of the larval period varied from 4.30mm to 7.16mm, and the standard length of the juvenile period varied from 10.29mm to 24.57mm. Larvae exhibit yolk sacs with internal dendritic pigmentation and dark punctate pigmentation in the dorsal and ventral body regions, whereas irregular transverse spots along the flanks are observed during the juvenile period. Adhesive organs are only present during the yolk-sac stage and at the beginning of the flexion stage. The mouth is terminal during all stages of development. The myomere number varied from 22 to 29 (9 to 16 pre-anal and 10 to 16 post-anal), and the maximal numbers of fin rays and spines were as follows: dorsal, XVI+10; anal

  2. Genetic isolation and morphological divergence mediated by high-energy rapids in two cichlid genera from the lower Congo rapids

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background It is hypothesized that one of the mechanisms promoting diversification in cichlid fishes in the African Great Lakes has been the well-documented pattern of philopatry along shoreline habitats leading to high levels of genetic isolation among populations. However lake habitats are not the only centers of cichlid biodiversity - certain African rivers also contain large numbers of narrowly endemic species. Patterns of isolation and divergence in these systems have tended to be overlooked and are not well understood. Results We examined genetic and morphological divergence among populations of two narrowly endemic cichlid species, Teleogramma depressum and Lamprologus tigripictilis, from a 100 km stretch of the lower Congo River using both nDNA microsatellites and mtDNA markers along with coordinate-based morphological techniques. In L. tigripictilis, the strongest genetic break was concordant with measurable phenotypic divergence but no morphological disjunction was detected for T. depressum despite significant differentiation at mtDNA and nDNA microsatellite markers. Conclusions The genetic markers revealed patterns of philopatry and estimates of genetic isolation that are among the highest reported for any African cichlid species over a comparable geographic scale. We hypothesize that the high levels of philopatry observed are generated and maintained by the extreme hydrology of the lower Congo River. PMID:20482864

  3. Independent evolution of the specialized pharyngeal jaw apparatus in cichlid and labrid fishes

    PubMed Central

    Mabuchi, Kohji; Miya, Masaki; Azuma, Yoichiro; Nishida, Mutsumi

    2007-01-01

    Background Fishes in the families Cichlidae and Labridae provide good probable examples of vertebrate adaptive radiations. Their spectacular trophic radiations have been widely assumed to be due to structural key innovation in pharyngeal jaw apparatus (PJA), but this idea has never been tested based on a reliable phylogeny. For the first step of evaluating the hypothesis, we investigated the phylogenetic positions of the components of the suborder Labroidei (including Pomacentridae and Embiotocidae in addition to Cichlidae and Labridae) within the Percomorpha, the most diversified (> 15,000 spp) crown clade of teleosts. We examined those based on 78 whole mitochondrial genome sequences (including 12 newly determined sequences) through partitioned Bayesian analyses with concatenated sequences (13,933 bp). Results The resultant phylogenies indicated that the Labridae and the remaining three labroid families have diverged basally within the Percomorpha, and monophyly of the suborder was confidently rejected by statistical tests using Bayes factors. Conclusion The resultant phylogenies indicated that the specified PJA evolved independently at least twice, once in Labridae and once in the common ancestor of the remaining three labroid families (including the Cichlidae). Because the independent evolution of pharyngeal jaws appears to have been followed by trophic radiations, we consider that our result supports, from the aspect of historical repeatability, the idea that the evolution of the specialized PJA provided these lineages with the morphological potential for their spectacular trophic radiations. The present result will provide a new framework for the study of functional morphology and genetic basis of their PJA. PMID:17263894

  4. The diversity of male nuptial coloration leads to species diversity in Lake Victoria cichlids.

    PubMed

    Miyagi, Ryutaro; Terai, Yohey

    2013-01-01

    The amazing coloration shown by diverse cichlid fish not only fascinates aquarium keepers, but also receives great attention from biologists interested in speciation because of its recently-revealed role in their adaptive radiation in an African lake. We review the important role of coloration in the speciation and adaptive evolution of Lake Victoria cichlids, which have experienced adaptive radiation during a very short evolutionary period. Mature male cichlids display their colors during mate choice. The color of their skin reflects light, and the reflected light forms a color signal that is received by the visual system of females. The adaptive divergence of visual perceptions shapes and diverges colorations, to match the adapted visual perceptions. The divergence of visual perception and coloration indicates that the divergence of color signals causes reproductive isolation between species, and this process leads to speciation. Differences in color signals among coexisting species act to maintain reproductive isolation by preventing hybridization. Thus, the diversity of coloration has caused speciation and has maintained species diversity in Lake Victoria cichlids. PMID:24025243

  5. Gonadotrophin-Inhibitory Hormone in the Cichlid Fish Cichlasoma dimerus: Structure, Brain Distribution and Differential Effects on the Secretion of Gonadotrophins and Growth Hormone.

    PubMed

    Di Yorio, M P; Pérez Sirkin, D I; Delgadin, T H; Shimizu, A; Tsutsui, K; Somoza, G M; Vissio, P G

    2016-05-01

    The role of gonadotrophin-inhibitory hormone (GnIH) in the inhibition of the reproductive axis has been well-established in birds and mammals. However, its role in other vertebrates, such as the teleost fish, remains controversial. In this context, the present study aimed to evaluate whether GnIH modulates the release of gonadotrophins and growth hormone (GH) in the cichlid fish Cichlasoma dimerus. First, we partially sequenced the precursor polypeptide for GnIH and identified three putative GnIH peptides. Next, we analysed the expression of this precursor polypeptide via a polymerase chain reaction in the reproductive axis of both sexes. We found a high expression of the polypeptide in the hypothalamus and gonads of males. Immunocytochemistry allowed the observation of GnIH-immunoreactive somata in the nucleus posterioris periventricularis and the nucleus olfacto-retinalis, with no differences between the sexes. GnIH-immunoreactive fibres were present in all brain regions, with a high density in the nucleus lateralis tuberis and at both sides of the third ventricle. Finally, we performed in vitro studies on intact pituitary cultures to evaluate the effect of two doses (10(-6)  m and 10(-8)  m) of synthetic C. dimerus (cd-) LPQRFa-1 and LPQRFa-2 on the release of gonadotrophins and GH. We observed that cd-LPQRFa-1 decreased β-luteinising hormone (LH) and β-follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and also increased GH release to the culture medium. The release of β-FSH was increased only when it was stimulated with the higher cd-LPQRFa-2 dose. The results of the present study indicate that cd-LPQRFa-1, the cichlid fish GnIH, inhibits β-LH and β-FSH release and stimulates GH release in intact pituitary cultures of C. dimerus. The results also show that cd-LPQRF-2 could act as an β-FSH-releasing factor in this fish species. PMID:26919074

  6. A case of complete loss of gill parasites in the invasive cichlid Oreochromis mossambicus.

    PubMed

    Firmat, Cyril; Alibert, Paul; Mutin, Guillaume; Losseau, Michèle; Pariselle, Antoine; Sasal, Pierre

    2016-09-01

    This study investigates the recent evolution of a rich parasite community associated with one of the world's most invasive species, the cichlid fish Oreochromis mossambicus. Populations from the species' native range (Mozambique) are compared to a population from New Caledonia (Wester Pacific), an island where the species was introduced in 1954. The results support the complete local extinction of the gill parasite community in the course of the invasion process. Up to six gill parasite species per locality were documented in the O. mossambicus native range, and previous surveys consistently reported at least one parasite species introduced along African cichlid species established out of Africa. The absence of parasites in New Caledonia is therefore exceptional. This can be attributed to local factors, such as a strong initial population bottleneck, the likely absence of multiple host introductions, and the frequent occurrence of brackish watersheds that might enhance the probability for natural deparasitation. PMID:27334451

  7. GH, IGF-I and GH receptors mRNA expression in response to growth impairment following a food deprivation period in individually housed cichlid fish Cichlasoma dimerus.

    PubMed

    Delgadin, Tomás Horacio; Pérez Sirkin, Daniela Irina; Di Yorio, María Paula; Arranz, Silvia Eda; Vissio, Paula Gabriela

    2015-02-01

    Cichlasoma dimerus is a social cichlid fish capable of growing at high rates under laboratory conditions, but knowledge on somatic growth regulation is still unclear. Growth hormone (GH)/insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) axis is the key regulator of somatic growth in vertebrates. Two types of growth hormone receptors have been described in teleost fish, named GH receptor type 1 (GHR1) and type 2 (GHR2). In addition, isoforms of these receptors lacking part of the intracellular region have been described. The aim of this study was to evaluate the somatic growth, liver histology and changes in the GH/IGF-I axis after 4 weeks of food deprivation in C. dimerus. Four-week fasted fish showed reductions in specific growth rates in body weight (p < 0.001) and standard length (p < 0.001). Additionally, the hepatosomatic index (p < 0.001) and hepatocyte area (p < 0.001) decreased in fasted fish, while no changes in glucose levels were detected in plasma. The starvation protocol failed to induce changes in GH mRNA levels in the pituitary and IGF-I mRNA levels in liver. In contrast, IGF-I mRNA levels in muscle decreased in fasted fish (p = 0.002). On the other hand, GHR2 (detected with primer sets designed over the extracellular and intracellular region) was upregulated by starvation both in liver and muscle (p < 0.05), while GHR1 remained unchanged. These results show that a fasting period reduced somatic growth both in length and body weight concomitantly with alterations on liver and muscle GHR2 and muscle IGF-I mRNA expression. PMID:25351458

  8. A sex-specific trade-off between mating preferences for genetic compatibility and body size in a cichlid fish with mutual mate choice

    PubMed Central

    Thünken, Timo; Meuthen, Denis; Bakker, Theo C. M.; Baldauf, Sebastian A.

    2012-01-01

    Mating preferences for genetic compatibility strictly depend on the interplay of the genotypes of potential partners and are therein fundamentally different from directional preferences for ornamental secondary sexual traits. Thus, the most compatible partner is on average not the one with most pronounced ornaments and vice versa. Hence, mating preferences may often conflict. Here, we present a solution to this problem while investigating the interplay of mating preferences for relatedness (a compatibility criterion) and large body size (an ornamental or quality trait). In previous experiments, both sexes of Pelvicachromis taeniatus, a cichlid fish with mutual mate choice, showed preferences for kin and large partners when these criteria were tested separately. In the present study, test fish were given a conflicting choice between two potential mating partners differing in relatedness as well as in body size in such a way that preferences for both criteria could not simultaneously be satisfied. We show that a sex-specific trade-off occurs between mating preferences for body size and relatedness. For females, relatedness gained greater importance than body size, whereas the opposite was true for males. We discuss the potential role of the interplay between mating preferences for relatedness and body size for the evolution of inbreeding preference. PMID:22513859

  9. Chronic playback of boat noise does not impact hatching success or post-hatching larval growth and survival in a cichlid fish

    PubMed Central

    Radford, Andrew N.

    2014-01-01

    Anthropogenic (man-made) noise has been shown to have a negative impact on the behaviour and physiology of a range of terrestrial and aquatic animals. However, direct assessments of fitness consequences are rare. Here we examine the effect of additional noise on early life stages in the model cichlid fish, Neolamprologus pulcher. Many fishes use and produce sounds, they are crucial elements of aquatic ecosystems, and there is mounting evidence that they are vulnerable to anthropogenic noise; adult N. pulcher have recently been shown to change key behaviours during playback of motor boat noise. Using a split-brood design to eliminate potential genetic effects, we exposed half of the eggs and fry from each clutch to four weeks of playbacks of noise originally recorded from small motor boats with the other half acting as a control (receiving no noise playback). There was no significant effect of additional noise on hatching success or fry survival, length or weight at the end of the exposure period. Although care should be taken not to generalize these findings on a single species from a laboratory study, our data suggest that moderate noise increases do not necessarily have direct negative impacts on early-life survival and growth. Further studies on a range of species in natural conditions are urgently needed to inform conservation efforts and policy decisions about the consequences of anthropogenic noise. PMID:25276507

  10. Comparative cytogenetics of Neotropical cichlid fishes (Nannacara, Ivanacara and Cleithracara) indicates evolutionary reduction of diploid chromosome numbers

    PubMed Central

    Hodaňová, Lucie; Kalous, Lukáš; Musilová, Zuzana

    2014-01-01

    Abstract A comparative cytogenetic analysis was carried out in five species of a monophyletic clade of neotropical Cichlasomatine cichlids, namely Cleithracara maronii Steindachner, 1881, Ivanacara adoketa (Kullander & Prada-Pedreros, 1993), Nannacara anomala Regan, 1905, N. aureocephalus Allgayer, 1983 and N. taenia Regan, 1912. Karyotypes and other chromosomal characteristics were revealed by CDD banding and mapped onto the phylogenetic hypothesis based on molecular analyses of four genes, namely cyt b, 16S rRNA, S7 and RAG1. The diploid numbers of chromosomes ranged from 44 to 50, karyotypes were composed predominantly of monoarmed chromosomes and one to three pairs of CMA3 signal were observed. The results showed evolutionary reduction in this monophyletic clade and the cytogenetic mechanisms (fissions/fusions) were hypothesized and discussed. PMID:25349669

  11. Comparative cytogenetics of Neotropical cichlid fishes (Nannacara, Ivanacara and Cleithracara) indicates evolutionary reduction of diploid chromosome numbers.

    PubMed

    Hodaňová, Lucie; Kalous, Lukáš; Musilová, Zuzana

    2014-01-01

    A comparative cytogenetic analysis was carried out in five species of a monophyletic clade of neotropical Cichlasomatine cichlids, namely Cleithracara maronii Steindachner, 1881, Ivanacara adoketa (Kullander & Prada-Pedreros, 1993), Nannacara anomala Regan, 1905, N. aureocephalus Allgayer, 1983 and N. taenia Regan, 1912. Karyotypes and other chromosomal characteristics were revealed by CDD banding and mapped onto the phylogenetic hypothesis based on molecular analyses of four genes, namely cyt b, 16S rRNA, S7 and RAG1. The diploid numbers of chromosomes ranged from 44 to 50, karyotypes were composed predominantly of monoarmed chromosomes and one to three pairs of CMA3 signal were observed. The results showed evolutionary reduction in this monophyletic clade and the cytogenetic mechanisms (fissions/fusions) were hypothesized and discussed. PMID:25349669

  12. Effects of waterborne exposure to 17β-estradiol and 4-tert-octylphenol on early life stages of the South American cichlid fish Cichlasoma dimerus.

    PubMed

    Meijide, Fernando J; Rey Vázquez, Graciela; Piazza, Yanina G; Babay, Paola A; Itria, Raúl F; Lo Nostro, Fabiana L

    2016-02-01

    Estrogenic chemicals are often detected in the aquatic environment and can negatively affect animal development and reproduction. In teleost fishes, the hormonal regulation during a critical period of larval development has a strong influence on gonadal sex differentiation; thus this process may be affected by the exposure to environmental estrogens. In this study, we first assessed the lethal acute toxicity of the natural estrogen 17β-estradiol (E2) and the weaker estrogen mimics 4-tert-octylphenol (OP) and 4-nonylphenol (NP) on larval stages of the South American cichlid fish Cichlasoma dimerus. In a further experiment, we analyzed the effects of chronic waterborne exposure to E2 and OP on gonad development and sex differentiation. Exposure to high concentrations of E2 had a pronounced feminizing effect directing sex differentiation towards ovarian development, while testis development was inhibited at a lower, environmentally relevant concentration. Among OP-exposed fish, 15-38.5% of the males exhibited testicular oocytes (TOs), a commonly reported biomarker of estrogenic exposure. However, since TOs were also recorded in control males and the proportion of males with TOs was not significantly higher in OP treatments, their occurrence could not be attributed to OP exposure. In addition, TOs did not seem to impair male gonad development and functionality since normal spermatogenesis was observed in testes of OP-treated fish. These results indicate that E2 occurring in the South American aquatic environment may affect male reproductive development and pose a risk for wild C. dimerus, especially under prolonged exposure, while the effects of weaker xenoestrogens such as OP would be negligible for gonad development in this species. As illustrated by this study, the natural occurrence of TOs indicates that conclusions concerning the causes of this phenomenon must be drawn with care. PMID:26476329

  13. Isolation and partial characterization of a pair of prolactins released in vitro by the pituitary of a cichlid fish, Oreochromis mossambicus.

    PubMed

    Specker, J L; King, D S; Nishioka, R S; Shirahata, K; Yamaguchi, K; Bern, H A

    1985-11-01

    The pituitary of the cichlid fish tilapia secretes two prolactins (PRLs) of molecular masses 20 kDa and 24 kDa. The 20-kDa PRL has an isoelectric point in the range of those of mammalian PRLs (pI 6.7), but the 24-kDa PRL is unusually basic (pI 8.7). Partial sequence information indicates that the PRLs are homologous but distinct proteins, differing by five amino acids within the first 29 NH2-terminal residues. Homology in the known region is higher with chum salmon PRL than with known mammalian PRLs. Reversed-phase HPLC permits isolation of these two PRLs and a single tilapia growth hormone from culture medium or from the pituitary in a single step. HPLC and radio-HPLC analysis of [3H]leucine pulse-chase experiments reveal that each PRL is secreted in vitro at remarkably high rates (21 pmol per gland per hr) and that the two PRLs are released in approximately equimolar amounts, suggesting the coordinate regulation of the secretion. Both PRLs exert characteristic PRL activity in that they prevent the loss of Na+ from the plasma of hypophysectomized tilapia in fresh water. PMID:3865172

  14. Measuring and evaluating morphological asymmetry in fish: distinct lateral dimorphism in the jaws of scale-eating cichlids

    PubMed Central

    Hata, Hiroki; Yasugi, Masaki; Takeuchi, Yuichi; Takahashi, Satoshi; Hori, Michio

    2013-01-01

    The left–right asymmetry of scale-eating Tanganyikan cichlids is described as a unilateral topographical shift of the quadratomandibular joints. This morphological laterality has a genetic basis and has therefore been used as a model for studying negative frequency-dependent selection and the resulting oscillation in frequencies of two genotypes, lefty and righty, in a population. This study aims were to confirm this laterality in Perissodus microlepis Boulenger and P. straeleni (Poll) and evaluate an appropriate method for measuring and testing the asymmetry. Left–right differences in the height of the mandible posterior ends (HMPE) and the angle between the neurocranium and vertebrae of P. microlepis and P. straeleni were measured on skeletal specimens. Snout-bending angle was also measured using a dorsal image of the same individuals following a previous method. To define which distribution model, fluctuating asymmetry (FA), directional asymmetry (DA), or antisymmetry (AS), best fit to the lateral asymmetry of the traits, we provided an R package, IASD. As a result, HMPE and neurocranium–vertebrae angle of both species were best fitted to AS, suggesting that P. microlepis and P. straeleni showed a distinct dimorphism in these traits, although snout-bending angle of P. microlepis was best fitted to FA. Measurement error was low for HMPE comparing the snout-bending angle in P. microlepis, indicating that measuring HMPE is a more accurate method. The scale-eating tribe Perissodini showed distinct antisymmetry in the jaw skeleton and neurocranium–vertebrae angle, and this laterality remains a valid marker for further evolutionary studies. PMID:24363893

  15. Embryonic development and skeletogenesis of the pharyngeal jaw apparatus in the cichlid Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus).

    PubMed

    le Pabic, Pierre; Stellwag, Edmund J; Scemama, Jean-Luc

    2009-11-01

    The evolution of a specialized pharyngeal jaw apparatus (PJA) has been argued to be the key evolutionary innovation that allowed the explosive adaptive radiation of cichlid fishes in East African lakes. Subsequent studies together with recent molecular phylogenies have shown that similar innovations evolved independently several times within the teleosts, which poses the questions: (1) how similar are the developmental mechanisms responsible for these changes in divergent taxa and (2) how did such complex features arise independently in evolution? A detailed knowledge of PJA development in cichlids and other teleosts is needed to address these questions. Here, we provide a detailed account of the development of the PJA in one species of cichlid, the Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus), from the early segmentation and patterning of its embryonic precursors - pharyngeal arches 3 to 7 - to its ossification. We find that pharyngeal segmentation occurs sequentially from anterior to posterior during early segmentation stages through the mid-pharyngula period. We show a clear combinatorial code of Hox gene expression such that each posterior arch is defined by a distinctive Hox signature. Posterior arch chondrogenesis in tilapia is essentially complete by the end of the hatching period, and most elements become ossified over the next two days. Our results reveal that both the fusion of lower jaw bones and articulation between the neurocranium and upper jaws occur during post-embryonic development. PMID:19718717

  16. Tol2-Mediated Generation of a Transgenic Haplochromine Cichlid, Astatotilapia burtoni

    PubMed Central

    Fernald, Russell D.

    2013-01-01

    Cichlid fishes represent one of the most species-rich and rapid radiations of a vertebrate family. These ∼2200 species, predominantly found in the East African Great Lakes, exhibit dramatic differences in anatomy, physiology, and behavior. However, the genetic bases for this radiation, and for the control of their divergent traits, are unknown. A flood of genomic and transcriptomic data promises to suggest mechanisms underlying the diversity, but transgenic technology will be needed to rigorously test the hypotheses generated. Here we demonstrate the successful use of the Tol2 transposon system to generate transgenic Astatotilapia burtoni, a haplochromine cichlid from Lake Tanganyika, carrying the GFP transgene under the control of the ubiquitous EF1α promoter. The transgene integrates into the genome, is successfully passed through the germline, and the widespread GFP expression pattern is stable across siblings and multiple generations. The stable inheritance and expression patterns indicate that the Tol2 system can be applied to generate A. burtoni transgenic lines. Transgenesis has proven to be a powerful technology for manipulating genes and cells in other model organisms and we anticipate that transgenic A. burtoni and other cichlids will be used to test the mechanisms underlying behavior and speciation. PMID:24204902

  17. Genetic evidence for prevalence of alloparental care in a socially monogamous biparental cichlid fish, Perissodus microlepis, from Lake Tanganyika supports the "selfish shepherd effect" hypothesis.

    PubMed

    Lee, Hyuk Je; Heim, Valentin; Meyer, Axel

    2016-05-01

    Alloparental care - care for unrelated young - is rare in animals, and its ecological or evolutionary advantages or, alternative maladaptive nature, remain unclear. We investigate alloparental care in the socially monogamous cichlid fish Perissodus microlepis from Lake Tanganyika that exhibits bi-parental care. In a genetic parentage analysis, we discovered a surprisingly high percentage of alloparental care represented by brood mixing, extra-pair paternity and extra-pair maternity in all broods that we investigated. The percentage of nondescendant juveniles of other parents, i.e., brood mixing, ranged from 5% to 57% (mean = 28%). The distribution of genetic parentage also suggests that this socially monogamous species has, in fact, polygamous mating system. The prevalence of genetically mixed broods can be best explained by two, not mutually exclusive hypotheses on farming-out and fostering behaviors. In the majority of broods, the sizes of the parents' own (descendant) offspring were significantly larger than those of the adopted (nondescendant) juveniles, supporting the 'selfish shepherd effect' hypothesis, i.e., that foster parents preferentially accept unrelated "smaller or not larger" young since this would tend to lower the predation risks for their own larger offspring. There was also a tendency for larger parents particularly mothers, more so than smaller parents, to care predominantly for their own offspring. Larger parents might be better at defending against cuckoldry and having foreign young dumped into their broods through farming-out behavior. This result might argue for maladaptive effects of allopatric care for the foster parents that only larger and possibly more experienced pairs can guard against. It needs to be determined why, apparently, the ability to recognize one's own young has not evolved in this species. PMID:27217943

  18. Serotonergic outcome, stress and sexual steroid hormones, and growth in a South American cichlid fish fed with an L-tryptophan enriched diet.

    PubMed

    Morandini, Leonel; Ramallo, Martín Roberto; Moreira, Renata Guimarães; Höcht, Christian; Somoza, Gustavo Manuel; Silva, Ana; Pandolfi, Matías

    2015-11-01

    Reared animals for edible or ornamental purposes are frequently exposed to high aggression and stressful situations. These factors generally arise from conspecifics in densely breeding conditions. In vertebrates, serotonin (5-HT) has been postulated as a key neuromodulator and neurotransmitter involved in aggression and stress. The essential amino acid L-tryptophan (trp) is crucial for the synthesis of 5-HT, and so, leaves a gateway for indirectly augmenting brain 5-HT levels by means of a trp-enriched diet. The cichlid fish Cichlasoma dimerus, locally known as chanchita, is an autochthonous, potentially ornamental species and a fruitful laboratory model which behavior and reproduction has been studied over the last 15years. It presents complex social hierarchies, and great asymmetries between subordinate and dominant animals in respect to aggression, stress, and reproductive chance. The first aim of this work was to perform a morphological description of chanchita's brain serotonergic system, in both males and females. Then, we evaluated the effects of a trp-supplemented diet, given during 4weeks, on brain serotonergic activity, stress and sexual steroid hormones, and growth in isolated specimens. Results showed that chanchita's brain serotonergic system is composed of several populations of neurons located in three main areas: pretectum, hypothalamus and raphe, with no clear differences between males and females at a morphological level. Animals fed with trp-enriched diets exhibited higher forebrain serotonergic activity and a significant reduction in their relative cortisol levels, with no effects on sexual steroid plasma levels or growth parameters. Thus, this study points to food trp enrichment as a "neurodietary'' method for elevating brain serotonergic activity and decreasing stress, without affecting growth or sex steroid hormone levels. PMID:26449161

  19. West Indian Ocean variability and East African fish catch.

    PubMed

    Jury, M; McClanahan, T; Maina, J

    2010-08-01

    We describe marine climate variability off the east coast of Africa in the context of fish catch statistics for Tanzania and Kenya. The time series exhibits quasi-decadal cycles over the period 1964-2007. Fish catch is up when sea surface temperature (SST) and atmospheric humidity are below normal in the tropical West Indian Ocean. This pattern relates to an ocean Rossby wave in one phase of its east-west oscillation. Coastal-scale analyses indicate that northward currents and uplift on the shelf edge enhance productivity of East African shelf waters. Some of the changes are regulated by the south equatorial current that swings northward from Madagascar. The weather is drier and a salty layer develops in high catch years. While the large-scale West Indian Ocean has some impact on East African fish catch, coastal dynamics play a more significant role. Climatic changes are reviewed using 200 years of past and projected data. The observed warming trend continues to increase such that predicted SST may reach 30 degrees C by 2100 while SW monsoon winds gradually increase, according to a coupled general circulation model simulation with a gradual doubling of CO(2). PMID:20471674

  20. Neural innovations and the diversification of African weakly electric fishes

    PubMed Central

    Arnegard, Matthew E.

    2011-01-01

    In African mormyrid fishes, evolutionary change in a sensory region of the brain established an ability to detect subtle variation in electric communication signals. In one lineage, this newfound perceptual ability triggered a dramatic increase in the rates of signal evolution and species diversification. This particular neural innovation is just one in a series of nested evolutionary novelties that characterize the sensory and motor systems of mormyrids, the most speciose group of extant osteoglossomorph fishes. Here we discuss the behavioral significance of these neural innovations, relate them to differences in extant species diversity, and outline possible scenarios by which some of these traits may have fueled diversification. We propose that sensory and motor capabilities limit the extent to which signals evolve and, by extension, the role of communication behavior in the process of speciation. By expanding these capabilities, neural innovations increase the potential for signal evolution and species diversification. PMID:22446537

  1. Visual discrimination of rotated 3D objects in Malawi cichlids (Pseudotropheus sp.): a first indication for form constancy in fishes.

    PubMed

    Schluessel, V; Kraniotakes, H; Bleckmann, H

    2014-03-01

    Fish move in a three-dimensional environment in which it is important to discriminate between stimuli varying in colour, size, and shape. It is also advantageous to be able to recognize the same structures or individuals when presented from different angles, such as back to front or front to side. This study assessed visual discrimination abilities of rotated three-dimensional objects in eight individuals of Pseudotropheus sp. using various plastic animal models. All models were displayed in two choice experiments. After successful training, fish were presented in a range of transfer tests with objects rotated in the same plane and in space by 45° and 90° to the side or to the front. In one experiment, models were additionally rotated by 180°, i.e., shown back to front. Fish showed quick associative learning and with only one exception successfully solved and finished all experimental tasks. These results provide first evidence for form constancy in this species and in fish in general. Furthermore, Pseudotropheus seemed to be able to categorize stimuli; a range of turtle and frog models were recognized independently of colour and minor shape variations. Form constancy and categorization abilities may be important for behaviours such as foraging, recognition of predators, and conspecifics as well as for orienting within habitats or territories. PMID:23982620

  2. Effect of lead nitrate on the liver of the cichlid fish (Oreochromis niloticus): a light microscope study.

    PubMed

    Khidr, Bothaina M; Mekkawy, Imam A A; Harabawy, Ahmed S A; Ohaida, Abdel Salam M I

    2012-09-15

    The adverse impacts of heavy metals on fish liver were evident with great variability among organs and species. The present study deals with the histological changes of the hepatocytes of the Nile tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus, following exposure to 2.5, 5, 10 ppm of lead nitrate for 1, 2, 3, 4 weeks. The present results revealed that lead nitrate exerts some histological effects on the hepatic tissue after exposure to the first concentration in the form of dilatation and congestion of the blood vessels, vacuolation of hepatic cells, proliferation of connective tissue and hepatic necrosis. Leucocyte aggregation-mostly lymphatic in nature-was seen infiltrating hepatic tissue. These alterations became more pronounced in liver of fishes exposed to second concentrations indicating more progressive signs of necrosis. The presence of eosinophilic oedematous areas surrounding some blood vessels was also observed. Finally, at the third concentration, in addition to the above alterations, melanomacrophages, which store lipofuscin at the site of necrosis, were observed. These histological results imply that the fish liver may serve as a target organ for the toxicity of sublethal concentrations of lead nitrate. PMID:24205754

  3. Chemical communication in cichlids: A mini-review.

    PubMed

    Keller-Costa, Tina; Canário, Adelino V M; Hubbard, Peter C

    2015-09-15

    The family Cichlidae is well-known for pair-formation, parental care, territoriality, elaborate courtship and social organization. Do cichlids use chemical communication to mediate any of these behaviours? Early studies suggest that parent cichlids can discriminate between conspecific and heterospecific wrigglers (but not eggs) using olfactory cues. Some species are able to discriminate between their own brood and other conspecific broods based on olfaction. The young recognise conspecific adults (although not necessarily their parents) through the odorants they release. In both scenarios, protection of the young from predation is the likely selective force. Some male cichlids use urinary pheromones during courtship and spawning to attract females and induce ovulation. Females--in their turn--may base their mate-choice in part on assessment of those self-same pheromones. The same pheromonal system may be involved in establishing and maintaining the social hierarchies in lek-breeding cichlids. Individual recognition is also mediated by chemical communication. Finally, there is ample behavioural evidence that cichlids--like ostariophysan fish--release alarm cues that alert conspecifics to predation danger. Although the effects of these cues may be similar (e.g., increased shelter use, tighter schooling), they are different substances which remain to be identified. Cichlids, then, use chemical communication associated with many different behaviours. However, given the diversity of cichlids, little is known about the mechanisms of chemical communication or the chemical identity of the cues involved. The aim of this mini-review is to persuade those working with cichlids to consider the involvement of chemical communication, and those working in chemical communication to consider using cichlids. PMID:25622908

  4. The complete mitochondrial genome of the midas cichlid (Amphilophus citrinellus).

    PubMed

    Xu, Bin; Gao, Jianzhong; Chen, Zaizhong; Wang, Lei; Li, Zhongpu; Zhou, Qi; Wang, Chenghui

    2014-12-01

    Abstract The midas cichlid (Amphilophus citrinellus) is an important aquarium fish that has served as a model organism for studying sympatric speciation. In this study, we sequenced the complete mitochondrial genome of the midas cichlid. We report that the cichlid's mitochondrial genome is a circular DNA double strand of 16,521 bp length, which contains 13 protein-coding genes, 22 tRNA genes, 2 rRNA genes and 1 control region. The overall-base compositions of the H-strand are as follows: A, 28.56%; C, 30.69%; G, 15.11%; T, 25.64%. This study provides important genomic data to further the research of the genetic evolution of cichlids. PMID:25489778

  5. Incipient sympatric speciation in Midas cichlid fish from the youngest and one of the smallest crater lakes in Nicaragua due to differential use of the benthic and limnetic habitats?

    PubMed

    Kautt, Andreas F; Machado-Schiaffino, Gonzalo; Torres-Dowdall, Julian; Meyer, Axel

    2016-08-01

    Understanding how speciation can occur without geographic isolation remains a central objective in evolutionary biology. Generally, some form of disruptive selection and assortative mating are necessary for sympatric speciation to occur. Disruptive selection can arise from intraspecific competition for resources. If this competition leads to the differential use of habitats and variation in relevant traits is genetically determined, then assortative mating can be an automatic consequence (i.e., habitat isolation). In this study, we caught Midas cichlid fish from the limnetic (middle of the lake) and benthic (shore) habitats of Crater Lake Asososca Managua to test whether some of the necessary conditions for sympatric speciation due to intraspecific competition and habitat isolation are given. Lake As. Managua is very small (<900 m in diameter), extremely young (maximally 1245 years of age), and completely isolated. It is inhabited by, probably, only a single endemic species of Midas cichlids, Amphilophus tolteca. We found that fish from the limnetic habitat were more elongated than fish collected from the benthic habitat, as would be predicted from ecomorphological considerations. Stable isotope analyses confirmed that the former also exhibit a more limnetic lifestyle than the latter. Furthermore, split-brood design experiments in the laboratory suggest that phenotypic plasticity is unlikely to explain much of the observed differences in body elongation that we observed in the field. Yet, neutral markers (microsatellites) did not reveal any genetic clustering in the population. Interestingly, demographic inferences based on RAD-seq data suggest that the apparent lack of genetic differentiation at neutral markers could simply be due to a lack of time, as intraspecific competition may only have begun a few hundred generations ago. PMID:27551387

  6. Comparative methodological investigations on the cytochemical localization of calcium in brain and inner ear of cichlid fish.

    PubMed

    Vöhringer, P; Nindl, G; Aich, B; Körtje, K H; Rahmann, H

    1995-07-01

    Four different methods for calcium precipitation are compared in the optic tectum and the inner ear of the cichid fish, Oreochromis mossambicus. Several parameters are investigated concerning their influences on the reaction product. Three procedures (bichromate, fluoride, and oxalate-pyroantimonate) produce fine-grained deposits, often flocculent in the latter method. The fourth method (potassium-pyroantimonate) generates predominantly coarse-grained reaction product. The calcium content of the deposits is always proven with energy-filtering transmission electron microscopy (EFTEM). In both tissues fine-grained reaction product is found in endoplasmic reticulum and synaptic vesicles, and in addition in some mitochondria and at the cytoskeleton. The coarse-grained deposits of the potassium-pyroantimonate method have a more unspecific distribution. This is the only method which produces extracellular deposits in the inner ear, whereas in the optic tectum extracellular precipitates are always present except with the oxalate-pyroantimonate procedure. Two factors have an influence on the reaction product: the duration of fixation and the type of resin. The prolongation of the fixation time up to 24 hours leads to an increase of the reaction product, which also becomes coarse-grained. These observations are corroborated by quantification with image analysis. Furthermore the use of an epoxy resin compared to acrylic resins decreases the amount of reaction product produced. We show that the application of several methods is meaningful in order to understand the calcium properties of the investigated tissue, but it is necessary to optimize a certain method for a given tissue. PMID:7549006

  7. Genetic, comparative genomic, and expression analyses of the Mc1r locus in the polychromatic Midas cichlid fish (Teleostei, Cichlidae Amphilophus sp.) species group.

    PubMed

    Henning, Frederico; Renz, Adina Josepha; Fukamachi, Shoji; Meyer, Axel

    2010-05-01

    Natural populations of the Midas cichlid species in several different crater lakes in Nicaragua exhibit a conspicuous color polymorphism. Most individuals are dark and the remaining have a gold coloration. The color morphs mate assortatively and sympatric population differentiation has been shown based on neutral molecular data. We investigated the color polymorphism using segregation analysis and a candidate gene approach. The segregation patterns observed in a mapping cross between a gold and a dark individual were consistent with a single dominant gene as a cause of the gold phenotype. This suggests that a simple genetic architecture underlies some of the speciation events in the Midas cichlids. We compared the expression levels of several candidate color genes Mc1r, Ednrb1, Slc45a2, and Tfap1a between the color morphs. Mc1r was found to be up regulated in the gold morph. Given its widespread association in color evolution and role on melanin synthesis, the Mc1r locus was further investigated using sequences derived from a genomic library. Comparative analysis revealed conserved synteny in relation to the majority of teleosts and highlighted several previously unidentified conserved non-coding elements (CNEs) in the upstream and downstream regions in the vicinity of Mc1r. The identification of the CNEs regions allowed the comparison of sequences from gold and dark specimens of natural populations. No polymorphisms were found between in the population sample and Mc1r showed no linkage to the gold phenotype in the mapping cross, demonstrating that it is not causally related to the color polymorphism in the Midas cichlid. PMID:20449580

  8. Mating and Parental Care in Lake Tanganyika's Cichlids

    PubMed Central

    Sefc, Kristina M.

    2011-01-01

    Cichlid fishes of Lake Tanganyika display a variety of mating and parental care behaviors, including polygamous and monogamous mouthbrooding and substrate breeding, cooperative breeding, as well as various alternative reproductive tactics such as sneaking and piracy. Moreover, reproductive behaviors sometimes vary within species both in space and in time. Here, I survey reports on mating and parenting behaviors of Lake Tanganyika cichlid species and address the evolution of mating and parental care patterns and sexual dimorphism. Notes on measures of sexual selection intensity and the difficulties of defining mating systems and estimating selection intensities at species level conclude the essay. PMID:21822482

  9. Mating and Parental Care in Lake Tanganyika's Cichlids.

    PubMed

    Sefc, Kristina M

    2011-01-01

    Cichlid fishes of Lake Tanganyika display a variety of mating and parental care behaviors, including polygamous and monogamous mouthbrooding and substrate breeding, cooperative breeding, as well as various alternative reproductive tactics such as sneaking and piracy. Moreover, reproductive behaviors sometimes vary within species both in space and in time. Here, I survey reports on mating and parenting behaviors of Lake Tanganyika cichlid species and address the evolution of mating and parental care patterns and sexual dimorphism. Notes on measures of sexual selection intensity and the difficulties of defining mating systems and estimating selection intensities at species level conclude the essay. PMID:21822482

  10. Construction of chromosome markers from the Lake Victoria cichlid Paralabidochromis chilotes and their application to comparative mapping.

    PubMed

    Kuroiwa, A; Terai, Y; Kobayashi, N; Yoshida, K; Suzuki, M; Nakanishi, A; Matsuda, Y; Watanabe, M; Okada, N

    2014-01-01

    Cichlid fishes in the African Great Lakes are known as a spectacular example of adaptive radiation in vertebrates. Four linkage maps have been constructed to identify the genes responsible for adaptation and speciation, and the genetic linkages of those genes are assumed to play an important role during adaptive evolution. However, it is difficult to analyze such linkages because the linkage groups of one species do not match well with those of the other species. Chromosome markers are a powerful tool for the direct identification of linkage homology between different species. We used information about the linkage map of the Lake Malawi cichlid (Labeotropheus fuelleborni/Metriaclima zebra) to isolate bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) clones from the BAC library of Paralabidochromis chilotes, Lake Victoria. We identified 18 of 22 P. chilotes chromosomes by single- and multi-color BAC fluorescence in situ hybridization using 19 BAC clones. Comparative mapping with the chromosome markers of P. chilotes in Astatotilapia burtoni (2n = 40) from Lake Tanganyika revealed the chromosome rearrangements that have occurred in this lineage. These chromosome markers will be useful for delineating the process of genome and chromosome evolution in African species. PMID:24217467

  11. The introduced Asian parasitic copepod Neoergasilus japonicus (Harada) (Cyclopoida: Ergasilidae) from endangered cichlid teleosts in Mexico.

    PubMed

    Suárez-Morales, Eduardo; Paredes-Trujillo, Amelia; González-Solís, David

    2010-11-01

    The cyclopoid copepod Neoergasilus japonicus ( Harada, 1930 ) is recorded from three endangered or threatened fish species from southeast Mexico: the tailbar cichlid Vieja hartwegi (Taylor and Miller, 1980); the Angostura cichlid V. breidohri (Werner and Stawikowski, 1987); and the sieve cichlid C. grammodes (Taylor and Miller, 1980). This ectoparasitic copepod is considered, together with most other members of Neoergasilus, an Eastern Asian form. N. japonicus is one of the most widespread parasitic Asian copepods, as it has rapidly invaded Europe and North America, including Mexico. We estimated the prevalence, mean abundance, and intensity of infection of N. japonicus in these cichlid teleosts; our data agree with previous works stating the high prevalence of this ectoparasite. This copepod has a wide range of hosts among freshwater fish taxa, but this is only the second published report from cichlids in the Neotropical region. The three cichlids surveyed, V. hartwegi, V. breidohri, and C. grammodes, are new hosts of this copepod. Its occurrence in Mexico is attributed to different events of introduction by human agency. This is the southernmost record of N. japonicus in continental America. It is a matter of concern that this copepod is parasitizing endangered or threatened endemic cichlids in the Neotropical region. Because its high infective efficiency and ability to shift hosts, this Asian parasite is expected to spread farther southwards into Central and South America. PMID:21039123

  12. A Neural Basis for Control of Cichlid Female Reproductive Behavior by Prostaglandin F2α.

    PubMed

    Juntti, Scott A; Hilliard, Austin T; Kent, Kai R; Kumar, Anusha; Nguyen, Andrew; Jimenez, Mariana A; Loveland, Jasmine L; Mourrain, Philippe; Fernald, Russell D

    2016-04-01

    In most species, females time reproduction to coincide with fertility. Thus, identifying factors that signal fertility to the brain can provide access to neural circuits that control sexual behaviors. In vertebrates, levels of key signaling molecules rise at the time of fertility to prime the brain for reproductive behavior [1-11], but how and where they regulate neural circuits is not known [12, 13]. Specifically, 17α,20β-dihydroxyprogesterone (DHP) and prostaglandin F2α (PGF2α) levels rise in teleost fish around the time of ovulation [10, 14, 15]. In an African cichlid fish, Astatotilapia burtoni, fertile females select a mate and perform a stereotyped spawning routine, offering quantifiable behavioral outputs of neural circuits. We show that, within minutes, PGF2α injection activates a naturalistic pattern of sexual behavior in female A. burtoni. We also identify cells in the brain that transduce the prostaglandin signal to mate and show that the gonadal steroid DHP modulates mRNA levels of the putative receptor for PGF2α (Ptgfr). We use CRISPR/Cas9 to generate the first targeted gene mutation in A. burtoni and show that Ptgfr is necessary for the initiation of sexual behavior, uncoupling sexual behavior from reproductive status. Our findings are consistent with a model in which PGF2α communicates fertility status via Ptgfr to circuits in the brain that drive female sexual behavior. Our targeted genome modification in a cichlid fish shows that dissection of gene function can reveal basic control mechanisms for behaviors in this large family of species with diverse and fascinating social systems [16, 17]. PMID:26996507

  13. Detection of mycobacteria in aquarium fish in Slovenia by culture and molecular methods.

    PubMed

    Pate, M; Jencic, V; Zolnir-Dovc, M; Ocepek, M

    2005-04-01

    Thirty-five aquarium fish were investigated for the presence of mycobacteria by culture and molecular methods. The following species were examined: goldfish Carassius auratus auratus, guppy Poecilia reticulata, 4 three-spot gourami Trichogaster trichopterus, dwarf gourami Colisa lalia, Siamese fighting fish Betta splendens, freshwater angelfish Pterophyllum scalare, African cichlid fish Cichlidae spp., cichlid fish Microgeophagus altispinosus, cichlid fish Pseudotropheus lombardoi, blue streak hap Labidochromis caeruleus, sterlet Acipenser ruthenus, southern platyfish Xiphophorus maculatus, and catfish Corydoras spp. Isolates of mycobacteria were obtained in 29 cases (82.9%). Two specimens were positive using Ziehl-Neelsen (ZN) staining, but the cultivation failed. Four specimens were both ZN- and culture-negative. On the basis of GenoType Mycobacterium assay (Hain Life-science) and restriction enzyme analysis of the amplified products (PCR-RFLP), 23 isolates (79.3%) were identified: 7 as Mycobacterium fortuitum, 6 as M. gordonae, 6 as M. marinum, 3 as M. chelonae, and 1 as M. peregrinum. Five isolates remained unidentified (Mycobacterium spp.). One case probably represented a mixed infection (M. marinum/M. fortuitum). Since M. marinum infections are also detected in humans, the significance of mycobacteria in aquarium fish should not be overlooked. PMID:15900685

  14. Untangling the evolutionary history of a highly polymorphic species: introgressive hybridization and high genetic structure in the desert cichlid fish Herichtys minckleyi.

    PubMed

    Magalhaes, Isabel S; Ornelas-Garcıa, Claudia Patricia; Leal-Cardin, Mariana; Ramírez, Tania; Barluenga, Marta

    2015-09-01

    Understanding the origin of biodiversity requires knowledge on the evolutionary processes that drive divergence and speciation, as well as on the processes constraining it. Intraspecific polymorphisms can provide insight into the mechanisms that generate and maintain phenotypic, behavioural and life history diversification, and can help us understand not only the processes that lead to speciation but also the processes that prevent local fixation of morphs. The 'desert cichlid' Herichtys minckleyi is a highly polymorphic species endemic to a biodiversity hotspot in northern Mexico, the Cuatro Ciénegas valley. This species is polymorphic in body shape and trophic apparatus, and eco-morphotypes coexist in small spring-fed lagoons across the valley. We investigated the genetic structure of these polymorphisms and their phylogeographic history by analysing the entire control region of the mitochondrial DNA and 10 nuclear microsatellite markers in several populations from different sites and morphs. We found two very divergent mitochondrial lineages that most likely predate the closing of the valley and are not associated with morphotypes or sites. One of these lineages is also found in the sister species Herichthys cyanoguttatus. Data from neutral microsatellite markers suggest that most lagoons or drainages constitute their own genetic cluster with sympatric eco-morphotypes forming panmictic populations. Alternative mechanisms such as phenotypic plasticity and a few loci controlled traits provide possible explanations for the sympatric coexistence of discrete nonoverlapping eco-morphotypes with apparent lack of barriers to gene flow within multiple lagoons and drainages. PMID:26175313

  15. Same school, different conduct: rates of multiple paternity vary within a mixed-species breeding school of semi-pelagic cichlid fish (Cyprichromis spp.).

    PubMed

    Anderson, Caleb; Werdenig, Alexandra; Koblmüller, Stephan; Sefc, Kristina M

    2016-01-01

    Mating system variability is known to exist between and within species, often due to environmental influences. An open question is whether, vice versa, similar environmental conditions entail congruent mating behavior, for example in terms of multiple paternity, in species or populations sharing largely comparable breeding modes. This study employed microsatellite markers to investigate the incidence of multiple paternity in Cyprichromis coloratus and Cyprichromis leptosoma, two sympatric, closely related, mouthbrooding Lake Tanganyika cichlids with similar ecological and behavioral characteristics including the formation of open-water schools. Mouthbrooding females of both species were collected from the same mixed-species breeding school at the same time, minimizing environmental variation during courtship and mating. In C. coloratus, four of 12 broods had more than one sire, with a mean of 1.33 reconstructed sires per brood. C. leptosoma exhibited multiple paternity in 18 of 22 broods, with a mean of 2.59 or 2.86 reconstructed sires per brood according to the programs gerud and colony, respectively. In addition, two broods were found to contain offspring transplanted from another brood. There was no significant difference in brood size between species, but mean sire number did differ significantly. Hence, substantial similarity in reproductive behavior along with shared environmental conditions during courtship and spawning did not lead to equal rates of polyandry or sneaking in the two species. PMID:26811772

  16. Iridovirus disease in two ornamental tropical freshwater fishes: African lampeye and dwarf gourami.

    PubMed

    Sudthongkong, Chaiwud; Miyata, Masato; Miyazaki, Teruo

    2002-04-01

    Many species of ornamental freshwater fishes are imported into Japan from all over the world. We found African lampeye Aplocheilichthys normani and dwarf gourami Colisa lalia suffering from an iridovirus infection just after being imported by tropical fish wholesalers from Singapore. African lampeye were cultured on the Indonesian Island of Sumatra and dwarf gourami were cultured in Malaysia before export. Diseased fishes displayed distinct histopathological signs of iridovirus infection: systemic appearance of inclusion body-bearing cells, and necrosis of splenocytes and hematopoietic cells. Electron microscopy revealed viral particles (African lampeye:180 to 200 nm in edge to edge diameter; dwarf gourami: 140 to 150 nm in diameter) in an inclusion body within the cytoplasm of inclusion body-bearing cells as well as in the cytoplasm of necrotized cells. Experimental infection with an iridovirus isolate from African lampeye (ALIV) revealed pathogenicity of ALIV to African lampeye and pearl gourami Trichogaster leeri. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) products from ALIV and an iridovirus isolate from dwarf gourami (DGIV) using iridovirus-specific primers were indistinguishable. The nucleotide sequence of PCR products derived from ALIV (696 base pairs) and DGIV (701 base pairs) had 95.3% identity. These results indicate that ALIV and DGIV have a single origin. PMID:12033703

  17. Genomics of Adaptation to Multiple Concurrent Stresses: Insights from Comparative Transcriptomics of a Cichlid Fish from One of Earth's Most Extreme Environments, the Hypersaline Soda Lake Magadi in Kenya, East Africa.

    PubMed

    Kavembe, Geraldine D; Franchini, Paolo; Irisarri, Iker; Machado-Schiaffino, Gonzalo; Meyer, Axel

    2015-10-01

    The Magadi tilapia (Alcolapia grahami) is a cichlid fish that inhabits one of the Earth's most extreme aquatic environments, with high pH (~10), salinity (~60% of seawater), high temperatures (~40 °C), and fluctuating oxygen regimes. The Magadi tilapia evolved several unique behavioral, physiological, and anatomical adaptations, some of which are constituent and thus retained in freshwater conditions. We conducted a transcriptomic analysis on A. grahami to study the evolutionary basis of tolerance to multiple stressors. To identify the adaptive regulatory changes associated with stress responses, we massively sequenced gill transcriptomes (RNAseq) from wild and freshwater-acclimated specimens of A. grahami. As a control, corresponding transcriptome data from Oreochromis leucostictus, a closely related freshwater species, were generated. We found expression differences in a large number of genes with known functions related to osmoregulation, energy metabolism, ion transport, and chemical detoxification. Over-representation of metabolism-related gene ontology terms in wild individuals compared to laboratory-acclimated specimens suggested that freshwater conditions greatly decrease the metabolic requirements of this species. Twenty-five genes with diverse physiological functions related to responses to water stress showed signs of divergent natural selection between the Magadi tilapia and its freshwater relative, which shared a most recent common ancestor only about four million years ago. The complete set of genes responsible for urea excretion was identified in the gill transcriptome of A. grahami, making it the only fish species to have a functional ornithine-urea cycle pathway in the gills--a major innovation for increasing nitrogenous waste efficiency. PMID:26345661

  18. Teaching How to Fish: Employment Skills for African American Women.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smith, Zira J.

    1996-01-01

    Agrees with Jeremy Rifkin that "human labor is being systematically eliminated from the economic process" and deplores educators' slowness to recognize implications. Since individuals must create their own work, educational programs should stress entrepreneurship and self-employment skills, not job-seeking behaviors. African American women,…

  19. A pharyngeal jaw evolutionary innovation facilitated extinction in Lake Victoria cichlids.

    PubMed

    McGee, Matthew D; Borstein, Samuel R; Neches, Russell Y; Buescher, Heinz H; Seehausen, Ole; Wainwright, Peter C

    2015-11-27

    Evolutionary innovations, traits that give species access to previously unoccupied niches, may promote speciation and adaptive radiation. Here, we show that such innovations can also result in competitive inferiority and extinction. We present evidence that the modified pharyngeal jaws of cichlid fishes and several marine fish lineages, a classic example of evolutionary innovation, are not universally beneficial. A large-scale analysis of dietary evolution across marine fish lineages reveals that the innovation compromises access to energy-rich predator niches. We show that this competitive inferiority shaped the adaptive radiation of cichlids in Lake Tanganyika and played a pivotal and previously unrecognized role in the mass extinction of cichlid fishes in Lake Victoria after Nile perch invasion. PMID:26612951

  20. Haematology and plasma chemistry of the red top ice blue mbuna cichlid (Metriaclima greshakei).

    PubMed

    Snellgrove, Donna L; Alexander, Lucille G

    2011-10-01

    Clinical haematology and blood plasma chemistry can be used as a valuable tool to provide substantial diagnostic information for fish. A wide range of parameters can be used to assess nutritional status, digestive function, disease identification, routine metabolic levels, general physiological status and even the assessment and management of wild fish populations. However to evaluate such data accurately, baseline reference intervals for each measurable parameter must be established for the species of fish in question. Baseline data for ornamental fish species are limited, as research is more commonly conducted using commercially cultured fish. Blood samples were collected from sixteen red top ice blue cichlids (Metriaclima greshakei), an ornamental freshwater fish, to describe a range of haematology and plasma chemistry parameters. Since this cichlid is fairly large in comparison with most tropical ornamental fish, two independent blood samples were taken to assess a large range of parameters. No significant differences were noted between sample periods for any parameter. Values obtained for a large number of parameters were similar to those established for other closely related fish species such as tilapia (Oreochromis spp.). In addition to reporting the first set of blood values for M. Greshakei, to our knowledge, this study highlights the possibility of using previously established data for cultured cichlid species in studies with ornamental cichlid fish. PMID:22005416

  1. Prey vulnerability to peacock cichlids and largemouth bass based on predator gape and prey body depth

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hill, Jeffrey E.; Nico, Leo G.; Cichra, Charles E.; Gilbert, Carter R.

    2005-01-01

    The interaction of prey fish body depth and predator gape size may produce prey assemblages dominated by invulnerable prey and excessive prey-to-predator biomass ratios. Peacock cichlids (Cichla ocellaris) were stocked into southeast Florida canals to consume excess prey fish biomass, particularly spotted tilapia (Tilapia mariae). The ecomorphologically similar largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) was already present in the canals. We present relations of length-specific gape size for peacock cichlids and largemouth bass. Both predators have broadly overlapping gape size, but largemouth bass ?126 mm total length have slightly larger gape sizes than peacock cichlids of the same length. Also, we experimentally tested the predictions of maximum prey size for peacock cichlids and determined that a simple method of measuring gape size used for largemouth bass also is appropriate for peacock cichlids. Lastly, we determined relations of body depth and length of prey species to investigate relative vulnerability. Using a simple predator-prey model and length frequencies of predators and bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus), redear sunfish (Lepomis microlophus), and spotted tilapia prey, we documented that much of the prey biomass in southeast Florida canals is unavailable for largemouth bass and peacock cichlid predation.

  2. Transcriptomics of morphological color change in polychromatic Midas cichlids

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Animal pigmentation has received much attention in evolutionary biology research due to its strong implications for adaptation and speciation. However, apart from a few cases the genetic changes associated with these evolutionary processes remain largely unknown. The Midas cichlid fish from Central America are an ideal model system for investigating pigmentation traits that may also play a role in speciation. Most Midas cichlids maintain their melanophores and exhibit a grayish (normal) color pattern throughout their lives. A minority of individuals, however, undergo color change and exhibit a distinctive gold or even white coloration in adulthood. The ontogenetic color change in the Midas cichlids may also shed light on the molecular mechanisms underlying pigmentation disorders in humans. Results Here we use next-generation sequencing (Illumina) RNAseq analyses to compare skin transcriptome-wide expression levels in three distinct stages of color transformation in Midas cichlids. cDNA libraries of scale tissue, for six biological replicates of each group, were generated and sequenced using Illumina technology. Using a combination of three differential expression (DE) analyses we identified 46 candidate genes that showed DE between the color morphs. We find evidence for two key DE patterns: a) genes involved in melanosomal pathways are up-regulated in normally pigmented fish; and b) immediate early and inflammatory response genes were up-regulated in transitional fish, a response that parallels some human skin disorders such as melanoma formation and psoriasis. One of the DE genes segregates with the gold phenotype in a genetic cross and might be associated with incipient speciation in this highly “species-rich” lineage of cichlids. Conclusions Using transcriptomic analyses we successfully identified key expression differences between different color morphs of Midas cichlid fish. These differentially expressed genes have important implications for

  3. The tropical African mercury anomaly: lower than expected mercury concentrations in fish and human hair.

    PubMed

    Black, Frank J; Bokhutlo, Thethela; Somoxa, Aaron; Maethamako, Mothusi; Modisaemang, Ontlogetse; Kemosedile, Thebe; Cobb-Adams, Cristina; Mosepele, Ketlhatlogile; Chimbari, Moses

    2011-04-15

    Mercury is a neurotoxin and global pollutant, and wetlands and newly flooded areas are known to be sites of enhanced production of monomethylmercury, the form of mercury that is readily biomagnified in aquatic food chains to potentially toxic levels. The Okavango Delta in Botswana, Southern Africa, is the largest inland delta in the world and a wetland ecosystem that experiences dramatic annual flooding of large tracts of seasonal floodplains. The Delta was, therefore, expected to be home to high mercury levels in fish and to be an area where local subsistence fishing communities would be at substantial risk of mercury toxicity from fish consumption. Total mercury concentrations measured in 27 species of fish from the Okavango Delta averaged (mean±s.d., wet weight) 19±19ng g(-1) in non-piscivorous fish, and 59±53ng g(-1) in piscivorous fish. These mercury concentrations are similar to those reported for fish from lakes in other areas of tropical Africa, demonstrating that not all wetlands are sites of elevated mercury concentrations in biota. Even more intriguing is that concentrations of mercury in fish from across tropical Africa are systematically and substantially lower than those typically reported for fish from freshwater ecosystems elsewhere globally. The reasons for this apparent "African mercury anomaly" are unclear, but this finding poses a unique opportunity to improve our understanding of mercury's biogeochemical cycling in the environment. Mercury concentrations measured in human hair collected in subsistence fishing communities in the Okavango Delta were similarly low (0.21±0.22μg g(-1) dry weight) despite high levels of fish consumption, and reflect the low mercury concentrations in the fish here. PMID:21342703

  4. Species of Gyrodactylus von Nordmann, 1832 (Platyhelminthes: Monogenea) from cichlids from Zambezi and Limpopo river basins in Zimbabwe and South Africa: evidence for unexplored species richness.

    PubMed

    Zahradníčková, Petra; Barson, Maxwell; Luus-Powell, Wilmien J; Přikrylová, Iva

    2016-09-01

    New findings on Gyrodactylus spp. parasitising African cichlids in southern Africa are presented, comprising data from Zimbabwe and South Africa. Morphometry of opisthaptoral hard parts in combination with nuclear ribosomal DNA sequences confirmed the presence of six species of Gyrodactylus von Nordmann, 1832. Three new species are described from fishes in Zimbabwe: Gyrodactylus chitandiri n. sp. from the gill arches of Coptodon rendalli (Boulenger) and Pseudocrenilabrus philander (Weber); Gyrodactylus occupatus n. sp. from the fins of Oreochromis niloticus (L.), Pharyngochromis acuticeps (Steindachner) and P. philander; and Gyrodactylus parisellei n. sp. from the fins of O. niloticus, P. philander and Tilapia sp. Gyrodactylus nyanzae Paperna, 1973 was also identified from the gills of O. niloticus and C. rendalli collected from two localities in Zimbabwe; these findings represent new host and locality records for this parasite. Gyrodactylus sturmbaueri Vanhove, Snoeks, Volckaert & Huyse, 2011 was identified from P. philander collected in South Africa and Zimbabwe thereby providing new host and locality records for this parasite. Finally, Gyrodactylus yacatli García-Vásquez, Hansen, Christison, Bron & Shinn, 2011 was collected from the fins of O. niloticus and P. philander studied in Zimbabwe; this represents the first record of this species from the continent of Africa. Notably, this study improves upon the knowledge of Gyrodactylus spp. parasitising cichlids from these southern African regions. All species studied were recorded from at least two different cichlid host species indicating trend for a wide range of Gyrodactylus hosts in Africa. Accordingly, this supports the idea of intensive host switching in the course of their evolution. PMID:27522367

  5. Introgressive hybridization in a trophically polymorphic cichlid

    PubMed Central

    Hulsey, C Darrin; García-de-León, Francisco J

    2013-01-01

    Trophically polymorphic species could represent lineages that are rapidly diverging along an ecological axis or could phenotypically mark the collapse of species through introgressive hybridization. We investigated patterns of introgression between the trophically polymorphic cichlid fish Herichthys minckleyi and its relative H. cyanoguttatus using a combination of population genetics and species tree analyses. We first examined the distribution of mitochondrial haplotypes within the alternative H. minckleyi pharyngeal jaw morphotypes that are endemic to the small desert valley of Cuatro Ciénegas. We recovered two clusters of mitochondrial haplotypes. The first contained a number of slightly differentiated cytochrome b (cytb) haplotypes that showed some phylogeographic signal and were present in both jaw morphotypes. The other haplotype was monomorphic, highly differentiated from the other cluster, present in equal frequencies in the morphotypes, and identical to H. cyanoguttatus haplotypes found outside Cuatro Ciénegas. Then, we investigated whether H. minckleyi individuals with the H. cyanoguttatus cytb were more evolutionarily similar to H. cyanoguttatus or other H. minckleyi using a species tree analysis of 84 nuclear loci. Both H. minckleyi pharyngeal morphotypes, regardless of their cytb haplotype, were quite distinct from H. cyanoguttatus. However, hybridization could be blurring subdivision within H. minckleyi as the alternative jaw morphotypes were not genetically distinct from one another. Accounting for introgression from H. cyanoguttatus will be essential to understand the evolution of the trophically polymorphic cichlid H. minckleyi. PMID:24340193

  6. Introgressive hybridization in a trophically polymorphic cichlid.

    PubMed

    Hulsey, C Darrin; García-de-León, Francisco J

    2013-11-01

    Trophically polymorphic species could represent lineages that are rapidly diverging along an ecological axis or could phenotypically mark the collapse of species through introgressive hybridization. We investigated patterns of introgression between the trophically polymorphic cichlid fish Herichthys minckleyi and its relative H. cyanoguttatus using a combination of population genetics and species tree analyses. We first examined the distribution of mitochondrial haplotypes within the alternative H. minckleyi pharyngeal jaw morphotypes that are endemic to the small desert valley of Cuatro Ciénegas. We recovered two clusters of mitochondrial haplotypes. The first contained a number of slightly differentiated cytochrome b (cytb) haplotypes that showed some phylogeographic signal and were present in both jaw morphotypes. The other haplotype was monomorphic, highly differentiated from the other cluster, present in equal frequencies in the morphotypes, and identical to H. cyanoguttatus haplotypes found outside Cuatro Ciénegas. Then, we investigated whether H. minckleyi individuals with the H. cyanoguttatus cytb were more evolutionarily similar to H. cyanoguttatus or other H. minckleyi using a species tree analysis of 84 nuclear loci. Both H. minckleyi pharyngeal morphotypes, regardless of their cytb haplotype, were quite distinct from H. cyanoguttatus. However, hybridization could be blurring subdivision within H. minckleyi as the alternative jaw morphotypes were not genetically distinct from one another. Accounting for introgression from H. cyanoguttatus will be essential to understand the evolution of the trophically polymorphic cichlid H. minckleyi. PMID:24340193

  7. Plasticity of opsin gene expression in cichlids from Lake Malawi.

    PubMed

    Hofmann, Christopher M; O'Quin, Kelly E; Smith, Adam R; Carleton, Karen L

    2010-05-01

    Sensory systems play crucial roles in survival and reproduction. Therefore, sensory plasticity has important evolutionary implications. In this study, we examined retinal plasticity in five species of cichlid fish from Lake Malawi. We compared the cone opsin expression profiles of wild-caught fish to lab-reared F(1) that had been raised in a UV minus, reduced intensity light environment. All of the opsin genes that were expressed in wild-caught fish were also expressed in lab-reared individuals. However, we found statistically significant differences in relative opsin expression among all five species. The most consistent difference was in the SWS2B (violet) opsin, which was always expressed at higher levels in lab-reared individuals. Estimates of visual pigment quantum catch suggest that this change in expression would increase retinal sensitivity in the light environment of the lab. We also found that the magnitude of plasticity varied across species. These findings have important implications for understanding the genetic regulation of opsin expression and raise many interesting questions about how the cichlid visual system develops. They also suggest that sensory plasticity may have facilitated the ecological diversification of cichlids in Lake Malawi. PMID:20374487

  8. Contrasting parasite communities among allopatric colour morphs of the Lake Tanganyika cichlid Tropheus

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Adaptation to different ecological environments is thought to drive ecological speciation. This phenomenon culminates in the radiations of cichlid fishes in the African Great Lakes. Multiple characteristic traits of cichlids, targeted by natural or sexual selection, are considered among the driving factors of these radiations. Parasites and pathogens have been suggested to initiate or accelerate speciation by triggering both natural and sexual selection. Three prerequisites for parasite-driven speciation can be inferred from ecological speciation theory. The first prerequisite is that different populations experience divergent infection levels. The second prerequisite is that these infection levels cause divergent selection and facilitate adaptive divergence. The third prerequisite is that parasite-driven adaptive divergence facilitates the evolution of reproductive isolation. Here we investigate the first and the second prerequisite in allopatric chromatically differentiated lineages of the rock-dwelling cichlid Tropheus spp. from southern Lake Tanganyika (Central Africa). Macroparasite communities were screened in eight populations belonging to five different colour morphs. Results Parasite communities were mainly composed of acanthocephalans, nematodes, monogeneans, copepods, branchiurans, and digeneans. In two consecutive years (2011 and 2012), we observed significant variation across populations for infection with acanthocephalans, nematodes, monogeneans of the genera Gyrodactylus and Cichlidogyrus, and the copepod Ergasilus spp. Overall, parasite community composition differed significantly between populations of different colour morphs. Differences in parasite community composition were stable in time. The genetic structure of Tropheus populations was strong and showed a significant isolation-by-distance pattern, confirming that spatial isolation is limiting host dispersal. Correlations between parasite community composition and Tropheus genetic

  9. Not All Inner Ears are the Same: Otolith Matrix Proteins in the Inner Ear of Sub-Adult Cichlid Fish, Oreochromis Mossambicus, Reveal Insights Into the Biomineralization Process.

    PubMed

    Weigele, Jochen; Franz-Odendaal, Tamara A; Hilbig, Reinhard

    2016-02-01

    The fish ear stones (otoliths) consist mainly of calcium carbonate and have lower amounts of a proteinous matrix. This matrix consists of macromolecules, which directly control the biomineralization process. We analyzed the composition of this proteinous matrix by mass spectrometry in a shotgun approach. For this purpose, an enhanced protein purification technique was developed that excludes any potential contamination of proteins from body fluids. Using this method we identified eight proteins in the inner ear of Oreochromis mossambicus. These include the common otolith matrix proteins (OMP-1, otolin-1, neuroserpin, SPARC and otoconin), and three proteins (alpha tectorin, otogelin and transferrin) not previously localized to the otoliths. Moreover, we were able to exclude the occurrence of two matrix proteins (starmaker and pre-cerebellin-like protein) known from other fish species. In further analyses, we show that the absence of the OMP starmaker corresponds to calcitic otoliths and that pre-cerebellin-like protein is not present at any stage during the development of the otoliths of the inner ear. This study shows O. mossambicus does not have all of the known otolith proteins indicating that the matrix proteins in the inner ear of fish are not the same across species. Further functional studies of the novel proteins we identified during otolith development are required. PMID:26559654

  10. Process and pattern in cichlid radiations - inferences for understanding unusually high rates of evolutionary diversification.

    PubMed

    Seehausen, Ole

    2015-07-01

    The cichlid fish radiations in the African Great Lakes differ from all other known cases of rapid speciation in vertebrates by their spectacular trophic diversity and richness of sympatric species, comparable to the most rapid angiosperm radiations. I review factors that may have facilitated these radiations and compare these with insights from recent work on plant radiations. Work to date suggests that it was a coincidence of ecological opportunity, intrinsic ecological versatility and genomic flexibility, rapidly evolving behavioral mate choice and large amounts of standing genetic variation that permitted these spectacular fish radiations. I propose that spatially orthogonal gradients in the fit of phenotypes to the environment facilitate speciation because they allow colonization of alternative fitness peaks during clinal speciation despite local disruptive selection. Such gradients are manifold in lakes because of the interaction of water depth as an omnipresent third spatial dimension with other fitness-relevant variables. I introduce a conceptual model of adaptive radiation that integrates these elements and discuss its applicability to, and predictions for, plant radiations. PMID:25983053

  11. A high-resolution map of the Nile tilapia genome: a resource for studying cichlids and other percomorphs

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    and the other model fishes. These maps represent a valuable resource for organizing the forthcoming genome sequence of Nile tilapia, and provide a foundation for evolutionary studies of East African cichlid fishes. PMID:22672252

  12. Continental cichlid radiations: functional diversity reveals the role of changing ecological opportunity in the Neotropics.

    PubMed

    Arbour, Jessica Hilary; López-Fernández, Hernán

    2016-08-17

    Adaptive radiations have been hypothesized to contribute broadly to the diversity of organisms. Models of adaptive radiation predict that ecological opportunity and ecological release, the availability of empty ecological niches and the response by adapting lineages to occupy them, respectively, drive patterns of phenotypic and lineage diversification. Adaptive radiations driven by 'ecological opportunity' are well established in island systems; it is less clear if ecological opportunity influences continent-wide diversification. We use Neotropical cichlid fishes to test if variation in rates of functional evolution is consistent with changing ecological opportunity. Across a functional morphological axis associated with ram-suction feeding traits, evolutionary rates declined through time as lineages diversified in South America. Evolutionary rates of ram-suction functional morphology also appear to have accelerated as cichlids colonized Central America and encountered renewed opportunity. Our results suggest that ecological opportunity may play an important role in shaping patterns of morphological diversity of even broadly distributed lineages like Neotropical cichlids. PMID:27512144

  13. On the origin of Lake Malawi cichlid species: A population genetic analysis of divergence

    PubMed Central

    Won, Yong-Jin; Sivasundar, Arjun; Wang, Yong; Hey, Jody

    2005-01-01

    The cichlid fishes of Lake Malawi are famously diverse. However, phylogenetic and population genetic studies of their history have been difficult because of the great amount of genetic variation that is shared between species. We apply a recently developed method for fitting the “isolation with migration” divergence model to a data set of specially designed compound loci to develop portraits of cichlid species divergence. Outgroup sequences from a cichlid from Lake Tanganyika permit model parameter estimates in units of years and effective population sizes. Estimated speciation times range from 1,000 to 17,000 years for species in the genus Tropheops. These exceptionally recent dates suggest that Malawi cichlids as a group experience a very active and dynamic diversification process. Current effective population size estimates range form 2,000 to near 40,000, and to >120,000 for estimates of ancestral population sizes. It appears that very recent speciation and gene flow are among the reasons why it has been difficult to discern the phylogenetic history of Malawi cichlids. PMID:15851665

  14. On the origin of Lake Malawi cichlid species: a population genetic analysis of divergence.

    PubMed

    Won, Yong-Jin; Sivasundar, Arjun; Wang, Yong; Hey, Jody

    2005-05-01

    The cichlid fishes of Lake Malawi are famously diverse. However, phylogenetic and population genetic studies of their history have been difficult because of the great amount of genetic variation that is shared between species. We apply a recently developed method for fitting the "isolation with migration" divergence model to a data set of specially designed compound loci to develop portraits of cichlid species divergence. Outgroup sequences from a cichlid from Lake Tanganyika permit model parameter estimates in units of years and effective population sizes. Estimated speciation times range from 1,000 to 17,000 years for species in the genus Tropheops. These exceptionally recent dates suggest that Malawi cichlids as a group experience a very active and dynamic diversification process. Current effective population size estimates range form 2,000 to near 40,000, and to >120,000 for estimates of ancestral population sizes. It appears that very recent speciation and gene flow are among the reasons why it has been difficult to discern the phylogenetic history of Malawi cichlids. PMID:15851665

  15. Time and Origin of Cichlid Colonization of the Lower Congo Rapids

    PubMed Central

    Schwarzer, Julia; Misof, Bernhard; Ifuta, Seraphin N.; Schliewen, Ulrich K.

    2011-01-01

    Most freshwater diversity is arguably located in networks of rivers and streams, but, in contrast to lacustrine systems riverine radiations, are largely understudied. The extensive rapids of the lower Congo River is one of the few river stretches inhabited by a locally endemic cichlid species flock as well as several species pairs, for which we provide evidence that they have radiated in situ. We use more that 2,000 AFLP markers as well as multilocus sequence datasets to reconstruct their origin, phylogenetic history, as well as the timing of colonization and speciation of two Lower Congo cichlid genera, Steatocranus and Nanochromis. Based on a representative taxon sampling and well resolved phylogenetic hypotheses we demonstrate that a high level of riverine diversity originated in the lower Congo within about 5 mya, which is concordant with age estimates for the hydrological origin of the modern lower Congo River. A spatial genetic structure is present in all widely distributed lineages corresponding to a trisection of the lower Congo River into major biogeographic areas, each with locally endemic species assemblages. With the present study, we provide a phylogenetic framework for a complex system that may serve as a link between African riverine cichlid diversity and the megadiverse cichlid radiations of the East African lakes. Beyond this we give for the first time a biologically estimated age for the origin of the lower Congo River rapids, one of the most extreme freshwater habitats on earth. PMID:21799840

  16. Using Cichlids for Illustrating Mendel's Laws

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gennaro, Eugene D.; Winters, Charlotte M.

    1978-01-01

    A classroom experiment is proposed in which students can mate a banded or spotted convict cichlid with a pink convict cichlid and observe the markings of their "children" and "grandchildren" as a way of illustrating Mendel's Laws of Dominance and Segregation. (MN)

  17. Duration of memory of dominance relationships in a group living cichlid

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hotta, Takashi; Takeyama, Tomohiro; Jordan, Lyndon Alexander; Kohda, Masanori

    2014-09-01

    Animal contests are costly and tend to escalate when rivals have similar competitive abilities. Individuals that remember dominance relationships with rivals may avoid repeated agonistic interactions and hence avoid the costs of repeated escalation of contests. However, it can be difficult to experimentally disentangle the effects of memory from those of loser effects (losers behaving subordinately due to prior defeats). Here, we test whether loser effects or individual memory mediate contest behaviour in the African cichlid, Julidochromis transcriptus. We find that on days 3 and 5 after initial contests, losers display subordinate behaviour to contest winners but not to novel contestants. However, this effect disappears after 7 days, at which time losers do not display subordinate behaviour to either rival. These results show that (1) this fish can recall a previously dominant contestant for up to 5 days and (2) as no subordinate displays were shown to the novel contestant, there are no evidences for loser effects in this species. Such short-term memory of past interactions may have broad significance in social species with repeated interactions.

  18. Metabolic divergence between sibling species of cichlids Pundamilia nyererei and Pundamilia pundamilia.

    PubMed

    Dijkstra, P D; Seehausen, O; Metcalfe, N B

    2013-06-01

    This study compared Pundamilia nyererei and Pundamilia pundamilia males in routine metabolic rate (R(R)) and in the metabolic costs males pay during territorial interactions (active metabolic rate, R(A)). Pundamilia nyererei and P. pundamilia males housed in social isolation did not differ in RR . In contrast to expectation, however, P. nyererei males used less oxygen than P. pundamilia males, for a given mass and level of agonistic activity. This increased metabolic efficiency may be an adaptation to limit the metabolic cost that P. nyererei males pay for their higher rate of aggressiveness compared to P. pundamilia males. Thus, the divergence between the species in agonistic behaviour is correlated with metabolic differentiation. Such concerted divergence in physiology and behaviour might be widespread in the dramatically diverse cichlid radiations in East African lakes and may be an important factor in the remarkably rapid speciation of these fishes. The results did not support the hypothesis that higher metabolic rates caused a physiological cost to P. nyererei males that would offset their dominance advantage. PMID:23731147

  19. Hybridization generates a hopeful monster: a hermaphroditic selfing cichlid.

    PubMed

    Svensson, Ola; Smith, Alan; García-Alonso, Javier; van Oosterhout, Cock

    2016-03-01

    Compared with other phylogenetic groups, self-fertilization (selfing) is exceedingly rare in vertebrates and is known to occur only in one small clade of fishes. Here we report observing one F1-hybrid individual that developed into a functional hermaphrodite after crossing two closely-related sexually reproducing species of cichlids. Microsatellite alleles segregated consistent with selfing and Mendelian inheritance and we could rule out different modes of parthenogenesis including automixis. We discuss why selfing is not more commonly observed in vertebrates in nature, and the role of hybridization in the evolution of novel traits. PMID:27069660

  20. Hybridization generates a hopeful monster: a hermaphroditic selfing cichlid

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Alan; García-Alonso, Javier; van Oosterhout, Cock

    2016-01-01

    Compared with other phylogenetic groups, self-fertilization (selfing) is exceedingly rare in vertebrates and is known to occur only in one small clade of fishes. Here we report observing one F1-hybrid individual that developed into a functional hermaphrodite after crossing two closely-related sexually reproducing species of cichlids. Microsatellite alleles segregated consistent with selfing and Mendelian inheritance and we could rule out different modes of parthenogenesis including automixis. We discuss why selfing is not more commonly observed in vertebrates in nature, and the role of hybridization in the evolution of novel traits. PMID:27069660

  1. Strategic growth decisions in helper cichlids.

    PubMed

    Heg, Dik; Bender, Nicole; Hamilton, Ian

    2004-12-01

    Recently, it has been shown that group-living subordinate clownfish Amphiprion percula increase their growth rate after acquiring the dominant breeder male position in the group. Evidence was found for strategic growth adjustments of subordinate fishes depending on the threat of eviction, i.e. subordinates adjust their growth rates so they remain smaller than the dominant fish and thereby limit the threat of being expelled from the territory. However, it is impossible to exclude several alternative factors that potentially could have influenced the observed changes in growth, owing to the nature of that experiment (removing the second-ranking fish--the breeder male--caused the third-ranking fish to change sex to become breeder male and change rank). We studied strategic growth decisions in the group-living Lake Tanganyika cichlid Neolamprologus pulcher under controlled laboratory conditions with ad libitum food availability. First, we show that male breeders grow faster than subordinate male helpers of the same initial size and confirm that N. pulcher shows status-dependent growth. Second, we improved on the experimental design by not removing the dominant breeder male in the group; instead we replaced the breeder male with a new breeder male in a full factorial design and measured growth of the subordinate male helpers is a function of the size difference with the old and the new breeder male. As predicted, male helpers showed strategic growth adjustments, i.e. growing faster when the size difference with the breeder male is large. Strategic growth adjustments were less pronounced than status-dependent growth adjustments. PMID:15801617

  2. Predator-induced neophobia in juvenile cichlids.

    PubMed

    Meuthen, Denis; Baldauf, Sebastian A; Bakker, Theo C M; Thünken, Timo

    2016-08-01

    Predation is an important but often fluctuating selection factor for prey animals. Accordingly, individuals plastically adopt antipredator strategies in response to current predation risk. Recently, it was proposed that predation risk also plastically induces neophobia (an antipredator response towards novel cues). Previous studies, however, do not allow a differentiation between general neophobia and sensory channel-specific neophobic responses. Therefore, we tested the neophobia hypothesis focusing on adjustment in shoaling behavior in response to a novel cue addressing a different sensory channel than the one from which predation risk was initially perceived. From hatching onwards, juveniles of the cichlid Pelvicachromis taeniatus were exposed to different chemical cues in a split-clutch design: conspecific alarm cues which signal predation risk and heterospecific alarm cues or distilled water as controls. At 2 months of age, their shoaling behavior was examined prior and subsequent to a tactical disturbance cue. We found that fish previously exposed to predation risk formed more compact shoals relative to the control groups in response to the novel disturbance cue. Moreover, the relationship between shoal density and shoal homogeneity was also affected by experienced predation risk. Our findings indicate predator-induced, increased cross-sensory sensitivity towards novel cues making neophobia an effective antipredator mechanism. PMID:26578223

  3. Comparable Ages for the Independent Origins of Electrogenesis in African and South American Weakly Electric Fishes

    PubMed Central

    Lavoué, Sébastien; Miya, Masaki; Arnegard, Matthew E.; Sullivan, John P.; Hopkins, Carl D.; Nishida, Mutsumi

    2012-01-01

    One of the most remarkable examples of convergent evolution among vertebrates is illustrated by the independent origins of an active electric sense in South American and African weakly electric fishes, the Gymnotiformes and Mormyroidea, respectively. These groups independently evolved similar complex systems for object localization and communication via the generation and reception of weak electric fields. While good estimates of divergence times are critical to understanding the temporal context for the evolution and diversification of these two groups, their respective ages have been difficult to estimate due to the absence of an informative fossil record, use of strict molecular clock models in previous studies, and/or incomplete taxonomic sampling. Here, we examine the timing of the origins of the Gymnotiformes and the Mormyroidea using complete mitogenome sequences and a parametric Bayesian method for divergence time reconstruction. Under two different fossil-based calibration methods, we estimated similar ages for the independent origins of the Mormyroidea and Gymnotiformes. Our absolute estimates for the origins of these groups either slightly postdate, or just predate, the final separation of Africa and South America by continental drift. The most recent common ancestor of the Mormyroidea and Gymnotiformes was found to be a non-electrogenic basal teleost living more than 85 millions years earlier. For both electric fish lineages, we also estimated similar intervals (16–19 or 22–26 million years, depending on calibration method) between the appearance of electroreception and the origin of myogenic electric organs, providing rough upper estimates for the time periods during which these complex electric organs evolved de novo from skeletal muscle precursors. The fact that the Gymnotiformes and Mormyroidea are of similar age enhances the comparative value of the weakly electric fish system for investigating pathways to evolutionary novelty, as well as the

  4. Comparable ages for the independent origins of electrogenesis in African and South American weakly electric fishes.

    PubMed

    Lavoué, Sébastien; Miya, Masaki; Arnegard, Matthew E; Sullivan, John P; Hopkins, Carl D; Nishida, Mutsumi

    2012-01-01

    One of the most remarkable examples of convergent evolution among vertebrates is illustrated by the independent origins of an active electric sense in South American and African weakly electric fishes, the Gymnotiformes and Mormyroidea, respectively. These groups independently evolved similar complex systems for object localization and communication via the generation and reception of weak electric fields. While good estimates of divergence times are critical to understanding the temporal context for the evolution and diversification of these two groups, their respective ages have been difficult to estimate due to the absence of an informative fossil record, use of strict molecular clock models in previous studies, and/or incomplete taxonomic sampling. Here, we examine the timing of the origins of the Gymnotiformes and the Mormyroidea using complete mitogenome sequences and a parametric bayesian method for divergence time reconstruction. Under two different fossil-based calibration methods, we estimated similar ages for the independent origins of the Mormyroidea and Gymnotiformes. Our absolute estimates for the origins of these groups either slightly postdate, or just predate, the final separation of Africa and South America by continental drift. The most recent common ancestor of the Mormyroidea and Gymnotiformes was found to be a non-electrogenic basal teleost living more than 85 millions years earlier. For both electric fish lineages, we also estimated similar intervals (16-19 or 22-26 million years, depending on calibration method) between the appearance of electroreception and the origin of myogenic electric organs, providing rough upper estimates for the time periods during which these complex electric organs evolved de novo from skeletal muscle precursors. The fact that the Gymnotiformes and Mormyroidea are of similar age enhances the comparative value of the weakly electric fish system for investigating pathways to evolutionary novelty, as well as the

  5. Effects of the environment on fish juvenile growth in West African stressful estuaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Diouf, K.; Guilhaumon, F.; Aliaume, C.; Ndiaye, P.; Chi, T. Do; Panfili, J.

    2009-06-01

    The knowledge of juvenile fish growth in extreme environmental conditions is a key to the understanding of adaptive responses and to the relevant management of natural populations. The juvenile growth of an extreme euryhaline tilapia species, Sarotherodon melanotheron (Cichlidae), was examined across a salinity gradient (20-118) in several West African estuarine ecosystems. Juveniles were collected during the reproduction period of two consecutive years (2003 and 2004) in six locations in the Saloum (Senegal) and Gambia estuaries. Age and growth were estimated using daily otolith microincrements. For each individual, otolith growth rates showed three different stages (slow, fast, decreasing): around 4 ± 0.5 μm d -1 during the first five days, 9 ± 0.5 μm d -1 during the next 15 days and 4 ± 0.50 μm d -1 at 60 days. Growth modelling and model comparisons were objectively made within an information theory framework using the multi-model inference from five growth models (linear, power, Gompertz, von Bertalanffy, and logistic). The combination of both the model adjustment inspection and the information theory model selection procedure allowed identification of the final set of models, including the less parameterised ones. The estimated growth rates were variable across spatial scales but not across temporal scales (except for one location), following exactly the salinity gradient with growth decrease towards the hypersaline conditions. The salinity gradient was closely related to all measured variables (condition factor, mean age, multi-model absolute growth rate) demonstrating the strong effect of hypersaline environmental conditions—induced by climate changes—on fish populations at an early stage.

  6. Optimization of Supercritical CO2 Extraction of Fish Oil from Viscera of African Catfish (Clarias gariepinus)

    PubMed Central

    Sarker, Mohamed Zaidul Islam; Selamat, Jinap; Habib, Abu Sayem Md. Ahsan; Ferdosh, Sahena; Akanda, Mohamed Jahurul Haque; Jaffri, Juliana Mohamed

    2012-01-01

    Fish oil was extracted from the viscera of African Catfish using supercritical carbon dioxide (SC-CO2). A Central Composite Design of Response Surface methodology (RSM) was employed to optimize the SC-CO2 extraction parameters. The oil yield (Y) as response variable was executed against the four independent variables, namely pressure, temperature, flow rate and soaking time. The oil yield varied with the linear, quadratic and interaction of pressure, temperature, flow rate and soaking time. Optimum points were observed within the variables of temperature from 35 °C to 80 °C, pressure from 10 MPa to 40 MPa, flow rate from 1 mL/min to 3 mL/min and soaking time from 1 h to 4 h. However, the extraction parameters were found to be optimized at temperature 57.5 °C, pressure 40 MPa, flow rate 2.0 mL/min and soaking time 2.5 h. At this optimized condition, the highest oil yields were found to be 67.0% (g oil/100 g sample on dry basis) in the viscera of catfish which was reasonable to the yields of 78.0% extracted using the Soxhlet method. PMID:23109854

  7. Rapid growth, early maturation and short generation time in African annual fishes

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Extreme environmental conditions can give rise to extreme adaptations. We document growth, sexual maturation and fecundity in two species of African annual fish inhabiting temporary savanna pools. Results Nothobranchius kadleci started to reproduce at the age of 17 days and size of 31 mm and Nothobranchius furzeri at 18 days and 32 mm. All four study populations demonstrated rapid growth rates of up to 2.72 mm/day (23.4% of their total length). Both species may produce diapausing embryos or embryos that are able to hatch in as few as 15 days, resulting in a minimum generation time as short as only one month. Incubation on the surface of damp peat moss results in high embryo survival (73%) and a high proportion of rapidly developing embryos (58%) that skip diapauses and hatch in less than 30 days. We further demonstrated that rapid growth and maturation do not compromise subsequent fecundity. Conclusions Our data suggest that both species have the most rapid sexual maturation and minimum generation time of any vertebrate species, and that rapid maturity does not involve paedogenesis. PMID:24007640

  8. Social control of primary sex differentiation in the Midas cichlid.

    PubMed Central

    Francis, R C; Barlow, G W

    1993-01-01

    Sexual differentiation in teleost fishes is characteristically labile. The most dramatic form of sexual lability is postmaturational sex change, which is common among teleosts although rare or absent in other vertebrate taxa. In many cases this process is regulated by social cues, particularly dominance interactions. Here we show that in the Midas cichlid, Cichlasoma citrinellum, these same sorts of social interactions affect much earlier stages of sexual differentiation. In this species, males are larger than females. By manipulating relative size in juveniles, we show that this sex-based size difference does not arise from endogenous factors associated with sex. Rather, sex is determined by relative size as a juvenile. We argue that this mode of sex determination, which may be common among teleosts, is a heterochronic variant of postmaturational sex change, one in which some individuals are deflected from a default female trajectory before maturation, as a result of social signals. The size-advantage model, which specifies the optimal size for sex change in hermaphroditic species, can be extended to account for the decision whether to mature as a male or a female in the Midas cichlid. PMID:8248158

  9. Time-place learning in the cichlid angelfish, Pterophyllum scalare.

    PubMed

    Gómez-Laplaza, Luis M; Morgan, Elfed

    2005-09-30

    The ability of the cichlid angelfish, Pterophyllum scalare, to associate time and place to locate food, provided twice a day in two different places, was tested. Food was delivered daily in one corner of the tank in the morning and in the diagonally opposite corner in the afternoon, for a 3-week period, and the distribution of the fish in the tank was noted prior to and during feeding time. The results indicate that, in a fairly uniform environment and in the absence of external time cues, angelfish can discriminate and associate time and place to obtain a food reward. It is suggested that they do so by means of an endogenous timing mechanism. PMID:16129239

  10. Testing the carotenoid trade-off hypothesis in the polychromatic Midas cichlid, Amphilophus citrinellus.

    PubMed

    Lin, Susan M; Nieves-Puigdoller, Katherine; Brown, Alexandria C; McGraw, Kevin J; Clotfelter, Ethan D

    2010-01-01

    Many animals use carotenoid pigments derived from their diet for coloration and immunity. The carotenoid trade-off hypothesis predicts that, under conditions of carotenoid scarcity, individuals may be forced to allocate limited carotenoids to either coloration or immunity. In polychromatic species, the pattern of allocation may differ among individuals. We tested the carotenoid trade-off hypothesis in the Midas cichlid, Amphilophus citrinellus, a species with two ontogenetic color morphs, barred and gold, the latter of which is the result of carotenoid expression. We performed a diet-supplementation experiment in which cichlids of both color morphs were assigned to one of two diet treatments that differed only in carotenoid content (beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin). We measured integument color using spectrometry, quantified carotenoid concentrations in tissue and plasma, and assessed innate immunity using lysozyme activity and alternative complement pathway assays. In both color morphs, dietary carotenoid supplementation elevated plasma carotenoid circulation but failed to affect skin coloration. Consistent with observable differences in integument coloration, we found that gold fish sequestered more carotenoids in skin tissue than barred fish, but barred fish had higher concentrations of carotenoids in plasma than gold fish. Neither measure of innate immunity differed between gold and barred fish, or as a function of dietary carotenoid supplementation. Lysozyme activity, but not complement activity, was strongly affected by body condition. Our data show that a diet low in carotenoids is sufficient to maintain both coloration and innate immunity in Midas cichlids. Our data also suggest that the developmental transition from the barred to gold morph is not accompanied by a decrease in innate immunity in this species. PMID:20151818