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Sample records for cichlid visual pigment

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. FTIR study of primate color visual pigments

    PubMed Central

    Katayama, Kota; Kandori, Hideki

    2015-01-01

    How do we distinguish colors? Humans possess three color pigments; red-, green-, and blue-sensitive proteins, which have maximum absorbance (λmax) at 560, 530, and 420 nm, respectively, and contribute to normal human trichromatic vision (RGB). Each color pigments consists of a different opsin protein bound to a common chromophore molecule, 11-cis-retinal, whereas different chromophore-protein interactions allow preferential absorption of different colors. However, detailed experimental structural data to explain the molecular basis of spectral tuning of color pigments are lacking, mainly because of the difficulty in sample preparation. We thus started structural studies of primate color visual pigments using low-temperature Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, which needs only 0.3 mg protein for a single measurement. Here we report the first structural data of monkey red- (MR) and green- (MG) sensitive pigments, in which the information about the protein, retinal chromophore, and internal water molecules is contained. Molecular mechanism of color discrimination between red and green pigments will be discussed based on the structural data by FTIR spectroscopy. PMID:27493516

  5. Microspectrophotometry of arthropod visual screening pigments.

    PubMed

    Strother, G K; Casella, A J

    1972-05-01

    Absorption spectra of visual screening pigments obtained in vitro with a microspectrophotometer using frozen sections are given for the insects Musca domestica, Phormia regina, Libellula luctuosa, Apis mellifera (worker honeybee only), Drosophila melanogaster (wild type only) and the arachnids Lycosa baltimoriana and Lycosa miami. The spectral range covered is 260-700 nm for Lycosa and Drosophila and 310-700 nm for the remainder of the arthropods. A complete description of the instrumentation is given. For the flies, Phormia and Musca, light absorption by the yellow and red pigments is high from 310 to about 610 nm. This implies that for these insects there should be no wavelength shift in electroretinogram (ERG) results due to light leakage among neighboring ommatidia for this wavelength range. The same comment applies to Calliphora erythrocephala, which is known to have similar screening pigments. For some of the insects studied a close correspondence is noted between screening pigment absorption spectra and spectral sensitivity curves for individual photoreceptors, available in the literature. In some cases the screening pigment absorption spectra can be related to chemical extraction results, with the general observation that some of the in vitro absorption peaks are shifted to the red. The Lycosa, Apis, and Libellula dark red pigments absorb strongly over a wide spectral range and therefore prevent chemical identification. PMID:4623852

  6. Recreating a functional ancestral archosaur visual pigment.

    PubMed

    Chang, Belinda S W; Jönsson, Karolina; Kazmi, Manija A; Donoghue, Michael J; Sakmar, Thomas P

    2002-09-01

    The ancestors of the archosaurs, a major branch of the diapsid reptiles, originated more than 240 MYA near the dawn of the Triassic Period. We used maximum likelihood phylogenetic ancestral reconstruction methods and explored different models of evolution for inferring the amino acid sequence of a putative ancestral archosaur visual pigment. Three different types of maximum likelihood models were used: nucleotide-based, amino acid-based, and codon-based models. Where possible, within each type of model, likelihood ratio tests were used to determine which model best fit the data. Ancestral reconstructions of the ancestral archosaur node using the best-fitting models of each type were found to be in agreement, except for three amino acid residues at which one reconstruction differed from the other two. To determine if these ancestral pigments would be functionally active, the corresponding genes were chemically synthesized and then expressed in a mammalian cell line in tissue culture. The expressed artificial genes were all found to bind to 11-cis-retinal to yield stable photoactive pigments with lambda(max) values of about 508 nm, which is slightly redshifted relative to that of extant vertebrate pigments. The ancestral archosaur pigments also activated the retinal G protein transducin, as measured in a fluorescence assay. Our results show that ancestral genes from ancient organisms can be reconstructed de novo and tested for function using a combination of phylogenetic and biochemical methods. PMID:12200476

  7. Dimerization of visual pigments in vivo.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Tao; Cao, Li-Hui; Kumar, Sandeep; Enemchukwu, Nduka O; Zhang, Ning; Lambert, Alyssia; Zhao, Xuchen; Jones, Alex; Wang, Shixian; Dennis, Emily M; Fnu, Amrita; Ham, Sam; Rainier, Jon; Yau, King-Wai; Fu, Yingbin

    2016-08-01

    It is a deeply engrained notion that the visual pigment rhodopsin signals light as a monomer, even though many G protein-coupled receptors are now known to exist and function as dimers. Nonetheless, recent studies (albeit all in vitro) have suggested that rhodopsin and its chromophore-free apoprotein, R-opsin, may indeed exist as a homodimer in rod disk membranes. Given the overwhelmingly strong historical context, the crucial remaining question, therefore, is whether pigment dimerization truly exists naturally and what function this dimerization may serve. We addressed this question in vivo with a unique mouse line (S-opsin(+)Lrat(-/-)) expressing, transgenically, short-wavelength-sensitive cone opsin (S-opsin) in rods and also lacking chromophore to exploit the fact that cone opsins, but not R-opsin, require chromophore for proper folding and trafficking to the photoreceptor's outer segment. In R-opsin's absence, S-opsin in these transgenic rods without chromophore was mislocalized; in R-opsin's presence, however, S-opsin trafficked normally to the rod outer segment and produced functional S-pigment upon subsequent chromophore restoration. Introducing a competing R-opsin transmembrane helix H1 or helix H8 peptide, but not helix H4 or helix H5 peptide, into these transgenic rods caused mislocalization of R-opsin and S-opsin to the perinuclear endoplasmic reticulum. Importantly, a similar peptide-competition effect was observed even in WT rods. Our work provides convincing evidence for visual pigment dimerization in vivo under physiological conditions and for its role in pigment maturation and targeting. Our work raises new questions regarding a potential mechanistic role of dimerization in rhodopsin signaling. PMID:27462111

  8. Cone visual pigments of monotremes: filling the phylogenetic gap.

    PubMed

    Wakefield, Matthew J; Anderson, Mark; Chang, Ellen; Wei, Ke-Jun; Kaul, Rajinder; Graves, Jennifer A Marshall; Grützner, Frank; Deeb, Samir S

    2008-01-01

    We have determined the sequence and genomic organization of the genes encoding the cone visual pigment of the platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) and the echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus), and inferred their spectral properties and evolutionary pathways. We prepared platypus and echidna retinal RNA and used primers of the middle-wave-sensitive (MWS), long-wave-sensitive (LWS), and short-wave sensitive (SWS1) pigments corresponding to coding sequences that are highly conserved among mammals; to PCR amplify the corresponding pigment sequences. Amplification from the retinal RNA revealed the expression of LWS pigment mRNA that is homologous in sequence and spectral properties to the primate LWS visual pigments. However, we were unable to amplify the mammalian SWS1 pigment from these two species, indicating this gene was lost prior to the echidna-platypus divergence (21 MYA). Subsequently, when the platypus genome sequence became available, we found an LWS pigment gene in a conserved genomic arrangement that resembles the primate pigment, but, surprisingly we found an adjacent (20 kb) SWS2 pigment gene within this conserved genomic arrangement. We obtained the same result after sequencing the echidna genes. The encoded SWS2 pigment is predicted to have a wavelength of maximal absorption of about 440 nm, and is paralogous to SWS pigments typically found in reptiles, birds, and fish but not in mammals. This study suggests the locus control region (LCR) has played an important role in the conservation of photo receptor gene arrays and the control of their spatial and temporal expression in the retina in all mammals. In conclusion, a duplication event of an ancestral cone visual pigment gene, followed by sequence divergence and selection gave rise to the LWS and SWS2 visual pigments. So far, the echidna and platypus are the only mammals that share the gene structure of the LWS-SWS2 pigment gene complex with reptiles, birds and fishes. PMID:18598396

  9. 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

  10. Activation of visual pigments by light and heat.

    PubMed

    Luo, Dong-Gen; Yue, Wendy W S; Ala-Laurila, Petri; Yau, King-Wai

    2011-06-10

    Vision begins with photoisomerization of visual pigments. Thermal energy can complement photon energy to drive photoisomerization, but it also triggers spontaneous pigment activation as noise that interferes with light detection. For half a century, the mechanism underlying this dark noise has remained controversial. We report here a quantitative relation between a pigment's photoactivation energy and its peak-absorption wavelength, λ(max). Using this relation and assuming that pigment activations by light and heat go through the same ground-state isomerization energy barrier, we can predict the relative noise of diverse pigments with multi-vibrational-mode thermal statistics. The agreement between predictions and our measurements strongly suggests that pigment noise arises from canonical isomerization. The predicted high noise for pigments with λ(max) in the infrared presumably explains why they apparently do not exist in nature. PMID:21659602

  11. Can Convict Cichlids (Amatitlania siquia) Socially Learn the Degree of Predation Risk Associated with Novel Visual Cues in Their Environment?

    PubMed Central

    Barks, Patrick M.; Godin, Jean-Guy J.

    2013-01-01

    For many animals, the ability to distinguish cues indicative of predation risk from cues unrelated to predation risk is not entirely innate, but rather is learned and improved with experience. Two pathways to such learning are possible. First, an animal could initially express antipredator behaviour toward a wide range of cues and subsequently learn which of those cues are non-threatening. Alternatively, it could initially express no antipredator behaviour toward a wide range of cues and subsequently learn which of them are threatening. While the learned recognition of threatening cues may occur either through personal interaction with a cue (asocial learning) or through observation of the behaviour of social companions toward a cue (social learning), the learned recognition of non-threatening cues seems to occur exclusively through habituation, a form of asocial learning. Here, we tested whether convict cichlid fish (Amatitlaniasiquia) can socially learn to recognize visual cues in their environment as either threatening or non-threatening. We exposed juvenile convict cichlids simultaneously to a novel visual cue and one of three (visual) social cues: a social cue indicative of non-risk (the sight of conspecifics that had previously been habituated to the novel cue), a social cue indicative of predation risk (the sight of conspecifics trained to fear the novel cue), or a control treatment with no social cue. The subsequent response of focal fish, when presented with the novel cue alone, was not influenced by the social cue that they had previously witnessed. We therefore did not find evidence that convict cichlids in our study could use social learning to recognize novel visual cues as either threatening or non-threatening. We consider alternative explanations for our findings. PMID:24086648

  12. Retinal photoreceptors and visual pigments in Boa constrictor imperator.

    PubMed

    Sillman, A J; Johnson, J L; Loew, E R

    2001-09-01

    The photoreceptors of Boa constrictor, a boid snake of the subfamily Boinae, were examined with scanning electron microscopy and microspectrophotometry. The retina of B. constrictor is duplex but highly dominated by rods, cones comprising 11% of the photoreceptor population. The rather tightly packed rods have relatively long outer segments with proximal ends that are somewhat tapered. There are two morphologically distinct, single cones. The most common cone by far has a large inner segment and a relatively stout outer segment. The second cone, seen only infrequently, has a substantially smaller inner segment and a finer outer segment. The visual pigments of B. constrictor are virtually identical to those of the pythonine boid, Python regius. Three different visual pigments are present, all based on vitamin A(1.) The visual pigment of the rods has a wavelength of peak absorbance (lambda(max)) at 495 +/- 2 nm. The visual pigment of the more common, large cone has a lambda(max) at 549 +/- 1 nm. The small, rare cone contains a visual pigment with lambda(max) at 357 +/- 2 nm, providing the snake with sensitivity in the ultraviolet. We suggest that B. constrictor might employ UV sensitivity to locate conspecifics and/or to improve hunting efficiency. The data indicate that wavelength discrimination above 430 nm would not be possible without some input from the rods. PMID:11550183

  13. Rod Visual Pigment Optimizes Active State to Achieve Efficient G Protein Activation as Compared with Cone Visual Pigments*

    PubMed Central

    Kojima, Keiichi; Imamoto, Yasushi; Maeda, Ryo; Yamashita, Takahiro; Shichida, Yoshinori

    2014-01-01

    Most vertebrate retinas contain two types of photoreceptor cells, rods and cones, which show different photoresponses to mediate scotopic and photopic vision, respectively. These cells contain different types of visual pigments, rhodopsin and cone visual pigments, respectively, but little is known about the molecular properties of cone visual pigments under physiological conditions, making it difficult to link the molecular properties of rhodopsin and cone visual pigments with the differences in photoresponse between rods and cones. Here we prepared bovine and mouse rhodopsin (bvRh and mRh) and chicken and mouse green-sensitive cone visual pigments (cG and mG) embedded in nanodiscs and applied time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopy to compare their Gt activation efficiencies. Rhodopsin exhibited greater Gt activation efficiencies than cone visual pigments. Especially, the Gt activation efficiency of mRh was about 2.5-fold greater than that of mG at 37 °C, which is consistent with our previous electrophysiological data of knock-in mice. Although the active state (Meta-II) was in equilibrium with inactive states (Meta-I and Meta-III), quantitative determination of Meta-II in the equilibrium showed that the Gt activation efficiency per Meta-II of bvRh was also greater than those of cG and mG. These results indicated that efficient Gt activation by rhodopsin, resulting from an optimized active state of rhodopsin, is one of the causes of the high amplification efficiency of rods. PMID:24375403

  14. Rapid Retinal Release from a Cone Visual Pigment Following Photoactivation*

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Min-Hsuan; Kuemmel, Colleen; Birge, Robert R.; Knox, Barry E.

    2012-01-01

    As part of the visual cycle, the retinal chromophore in both rod and cone visual pigments undergoes reversible Schiff base hydrolysis and dissociation following photobleaching. We characterized light-activated retinal release from a short-wavelength sensitive cone pigment (VCOP) in 0.1% dodecyl maltoside using fluorescence spectroscopy. The half-time (t1/2) of retinal release from VCOP was 7.1 s, 250-fold faster than rhodopsin. VCOP exhibited pH-dependent release kinetics, with the t1/2 decreasing from 23 s to 4 s with pH 4.1 to 8, respectively. However, the Arrhenius activation energy (Ea) for VCOP derived from kinetic measurements between 4° and 20°C was 17.4 kcal/mol, similar to 18.5 kcal/mol for rhodopsin. There was a small kinetic isotope (D2O) effect in VCOP, but less than that observed in rhodopsin. Mutation of the primary Schiff base counterion (VCOPD108A) produced a pigment with an unprotonated chromophore (⌊max = 360 nm) and dramatically slowed (t1/2 ~ 6.8 min) light-dependent retinal release. Using homology modeling, a VCOP mutant with two substitutions (S85D/ D108A) was designed to move the counterion one alpha helical turn into the transmembrane region from the native position. This double mutant had a UV-visible absorption spectrum consistent with a protonated Schiff base (⌊max = 420 nm). Moreover, VCOPS85D/D108A mutant had retinal release kinetics (t1/2 = 7 s) and Ea (18 kcal/mol) similar to the native pigment exhibiting no pH-dependence. By contrast, the single mutant VCOPS85D had a ~3-fold decrease in retinal release rate compared to the native pigment. Photoactivated VCOPD108A had kinetics comparable to a rhodopsin counterion mutant, RhoE113Q, both requiring hydroxylamine to fully release retinal. These results demonstrate that the primary counterion of cone visual pigments is necessary for efficient Schiff base hydrolysis. We discuss how the large differences in retinal release rates between rod and cone visual pigments arise, not from

  15. Cone visual pigments of aquatic mammals.

    PubMed

    Newman, Lucy A; Robinson, Phyllis R

    2005-01-01

    It has long been hypothesized that the visual systems of animals are evolutionarily adapted to their visual environment. The entrance many millions of years ago of mammals into the sea gave these new aquatic mammals completely novel visual surroundings with respect to light availability and predominant wavelengths. This study examines the cone opsins of marine mammals, hypothesizing, based on previous studies [Fasick et al. (1998) and Levenson & Dizon (2003)], that the deep-dwelling marine mammals would not have color vision because the pressure to maintain color vision in the dark monochromatic ocean environment has been relaxed. Short-wavelength-sensitive (SWS) and long-wavelength-sensitive (LWS) cone opsin genes from two orders (Cetacea and Sirenia) and an additional suborder (Pinnipedia) of aquatic mammals were amplified from genomic DNA (for SWS) and cDNA (for LWS) by PCR, cloned, and sequenced. All animals studied from the order Cetacea have SWS pseudogenes, whereas a representative from the order Sirenia has an intact SWS gene, for which the corresponding mRNA was found in the retina. One of the pinnipeds studied (harp seal) has an SWS pseudogene, while another species (harbor seal) appeared to have an intact SWS gene. However, no SWS cone opsin mRNA was found in the harbor seal retina, suggesting a promoter or splice site mutation preventing transcription of the gene. The LWS opsins from the different species were expressed in mammalian cells and reconstituted with the 11-cis-retinal chromophore in order to determine maximal absorption wavelengths (lambda(max)) for each. The deeper dwelling Cetacean species had blue shifted lambda(max) values compared to shallower-dwelling aquatic species. Taken together, these findings support the hypothesis that in the monochromatic oceanic habitat, the pressure to maintain color vision has been relaxed and mutations are retained in the SWS genes, resulting in pseudogenes. Additionally, LWS opsins are retained in the

  16. The visual pigments of the West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus).

    PubMed

    Newman, Lucy A; Robinson, Phyllis R

    2006-10-01

    Manatees are unique among the fully aquatic marine mammals in that they are herbivorous creatures, with hunting strategies restricted to grazing on sea-grasses. Since the other groups of (carnivorous) marine mammals have been found to possess various visual system adaptations to their unique visual environments, it was of interest to investigate the visual capability of the manatee. Previous work, both behavioral (Griebel & Schmid, 1996), and ultrastructural (Cohen, Tucker, & Odell, 1982; unpublished work cited by Griebel & Peichl, 2003), has suggested that manatees have the dichromatic color vision typical of diurnal mammals. This study uses molecular techniques to investigate the cone visual pigments of the manatee. The aim was to clone and sequence cone opsins from the retina, and, if possible, express and reconstitute functional visual pigments to perform spectral analysis. Both LWS and SWS cone opsins were cloned and sequenced from manatee retinae, which, upon expression and spectral analysis, had lambda(max) values of 555 and 410 nm, respectively. The expression of both the LWS and SWS cone opsin in the manatee retina is unique as both pinnipeds and cetaceans only express a cone LWS opsin. PMID:16650454

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Expression and comparative characterization of Gq-coupled invertebrate visual pigments and melanopsin.

    PubMed

    Terakita, Akihisa; Tsukamoto, Hisao; Koyanagi, Mitsumasa; Sugahara, Michio; Yamashita, Takahiro; Shichida, Yoshinori

    2008-05-01

    A non-visual pigment melanopsin, which is localized in photosensitive retinal ganglion cells and is involved in the circadian photoentrainment and pupillary responses in mammals, is phylogenetically close to the visual pigments of invertebrates, such as insects and cephalopods. Recent studies suggested that melanopsin is a bistable pigment and drives a Gq-mediated signal transduction cascade, like the invertebrate visual pigments. Because detailed electrophysiological properties are somewhat different between the visual cells and the photosensitive ganglion cells, we here expressed and purified the invertebrate visual pigment and melanopsin to comparatively investigate their Gq-activation abilities. We successfully expressed and purified UV and blue light-sensitive visual pigments of the honeybee as well as the amphioxus melanopsin. Although the purified UV-sensitive pigment and the melanopsin lost their bistable nature during purification, reconstitution of the pigments in lipid vesicles resulted in return of the bistable nature. The light-dependent Gq-activation abilities among these reconstituted pigments are similar, suggesting that the electrophysiological differences do not depend on the Gq-activation step but rather on the other signal transduction steps and/or on cell properties. Our findings are also important in that this is the first report describes a heterologous large-scale expression of the Gq-coupled invertebrate visual pigments in cultured cells. PMID:18088357

  20. Positive selection of a duplicated UV-sensitive visual pigment coincides with wing pigment evolution in Heliconius butterflies.

    PubMed

    Briscoe, Adriana D; Bybee, Seth M; Bernard, Gary D; Yuan, Furong; Sison-Mangus, Marilou P; Reed, Robert D; Warren, Andrew D; Llorente-Bousquets, Jorge; Chiao, Chuan-Chin

    2010-02-23

    The butterfly Heliconius erato can see from the UV to the red part of the light spectrum with color vision proven from 440 to 640 nm. Its eye is known to contain three visual pigments, rhodopsins, produced by an 11-cis-3-hydroxyretinal chromophore together with long wavelength (LWRh), blue (BRh) and UV (UVRh1) opsins. We now find that H. erato has a second UV opsin mRNA (UVRh2)-a previously undescribed duplication of this gene among Lepidoptera. To investigate its evolutionary origin, we screened eye cDNAs from 14 butterfly species in the subfamily Heliconiinae and found both copies only among Heliconius. Phylogeny-based tests of selection indicate positive selection of UVRh2 following duplication, and some of the positively selected sites correspond to vertebrate visual pigment spectral tuning residues. Epi-microspectrophotometry reveals two UV-absorbing rhodopsins in the H. erato eye with lambda(max) = 355 nm and 398 nm. Along with the additional UV opsin, Heliconius have also evolved 3-hydroxy-DL-kynurenine (3-OHK)-based yellow wing pigments not found in close relatives. Visual models of how butterflies perceive wing color variation indicate this has resulted in an expansion of the number of distinguishable yellow colors on Heliconius wings. Functional diversification of the UV-sensitive visual pigments may help explain why the yellow wing pigments of Heliconius are so colorful in the UV range compared to the yellow pigments of close relatives lacking the UV opsin duplicate. PMID:20133601

  1. Positive selection of a duplicated UV-sensitive visual pigment coincides with wing pigment evolution in Heliconius butterflies

    PubMed Central

    Briscoe, Adriana D.; Bybee, Seth M.; Bernard, Gary D.; Yuan, Furong; Sison-Mangus, Marilou P.; Reed, Robert D.; Warren, Andrew D.; Llorente-Bousquets, Jorge; Chiao, Chuan-Chin

    2010-01-01

    The butterfly Heliconius erato can see from the UV to the red part of the light spectrum with color vision proven from 440 to 640 nm. Its eye is known to contain three visual pigments, rhodopsins, produced by an 11-cis-3-hydroxyretinal chromophore together with long wavelength (LWRh), blue (BRh) and UV (UVRh1) opsins. We now find that H. erato has a second UV opsin mRNA (UVRh2)—a previously undescribed duplication of this gene among Lepidoptera. To investigate its evolutionary origin, we screened eye cDNAs from 14 butterfly species in the subfamily Heliconiinae and found both copies only among Heliconius. Phylogeny-based tests of selection indicate positive selection of UVRh2 following duplication, and some of the positively selected sites correspond to vertebrate visual pigment spectral tuning residues. Epi-microspectrophotometry reveals two UV-absorbing rhodopsins in the H. erato eye with λmax = 355 nm and 398 nm. Along with the additional UV opsin, Heliconius have also evolved 3-hydroxy-DL-kynurenine (3-OHK)-based yellow wing pigments not found in close relatives. Visual models of how butterflies perceive wing color variation indicate this has resulted in an expansion of the number of distinguishable yellow colors on Heliconius wings. Functional diversification of the UV-sensitive visual pigments may help explain why the yellow wing pigments of Heliconius are so colorful in the UV range compared to the yellow pigments of close relatives lacking the UV opsin duplicate. PMID:20133601

  2. Temporal Visual Mechanisms May Mediate Compensation for Macular Pigment.

    PubMed

    Stringham, Nicole T; Stringham, James M

    2015-12-01

    Macular pigment (MP) is a pre-receptoral filter that is diet derived and deposited in relatively high optical density in the foveal region of the retina. Due to its yellow coloration, MP absorbs light of relatively short wavelengths, ranging from 400 nm to 520 nm. Despite the spectral and spatial nonuniformity imposed upon the sensory retina by MP, perception appears to be relatively uniform across the central visual field. MP therefore offers an opportunity to determine experimentally potential mechanisms responsible for mediating this uniformity. After assessing, in 14 subjects, MP's effects on the temporal sensitivity of both the short-wavelength- and middle-/long-wavelength-sensitive visual pathways, it appears that the visual system compensates for absorption of short-wavelength light by MP by slowing the sampling rate of short-wavelength cones and by increasing the processing speed of middle-/long-wavelength-sensitive cones. This mechanism could work via temporal summation or a temporal neural code, whereby slower response dynamics lead to amplification of relatively weak signals. PMID:26562864

  3. Photosensitivity of 10-substituted visual pigment analogues: detection of a specific secondary opsin-retinal interaction.

    PubMed

    Liu, R S; Crescitelli, F; Denny, M; Matsumoto, H; Asato, A E

    1986-11-01

    The photosensitivities of the bovine rhodopsin and gecko pigment 521 analogues regenerated from C-10-substituted analogues of 11-cis- and 9-cis-retinals were determined by two different methods. A similar reactivity trend was noted for both pigment systems as revealed in the photosensitivity of the gecko pigments and relative quantum yields of the bovine analogues. The 10-fluoro-11-cis photopigments had a photosensitivity less than, but approaching, that of the native (11-cis) visual pigment while the 10-fluoro-9-cis photopigments had a much lower photosensitivity than the parent 9-cis regenerated pigment. The results are interpreted in terms of recently described models of rhodopsin architecture and of the primary molecular reaction of visual pigments to light. The unusually low photoreactivity of the 10-fluoro-9-cis pigment molecule is viewed as the result of a regiospecific hydrogen-bonding interaction of the electronegative fluorine atom to the opsin. PMID:2948555

  4. The absorbance spectrum and photosensitivity of a new synthetic "visual pigment" based on 4-hydroxyretinal.

    PubMed

    Kito, Y; Partridge, J C; Seidou, M; Narita, K; Hamanaka, T; Michinomae, M; Sekiya, N; Yoshihara, K

    1992-01-01

    The firefly squid, Watasenia scintillans, is the only animal known to possess a visual pigment in which the chromophore is 4-hydroxyretinal. This paper describes the absorbance spectrum and some properties of a synthetic "A4" visual pigment generated from bovine opsin and 4-hydroxyretinal. The absorbance spectrum of this pigment is compared with (a) bovine rhodopsin and (b) a rhodopsin template with the same lambda max as the synthetic visual pigment. The A4 pigment is shown to have an absorbance spectrum that is almost identical to that of a rhodopsin template. It is also shown that the photosensitivity and thermal stability of the A4 pigment, dispersed in detergent micelles, is essentially similar to that of rhodopsin. PMID:1386953

  5. The photobleaching sequence of a short-wavelength visual pigment.

    PubMed

    Kusnetzow, A; Dukkipati, A; Babu, K R; Singh, D; Vought, B W; Knox, B E; Birge, R R

    2001-07-01

    The photobleaching pathway of a short-wavelength cone opsin purified in delipidated form (lambda(max) = 425 nm) is reported. The batho intermediate of the violet cone opsin generated at 45 K has an absorption maximum at 450 nm. The batho intermediate thermally decays to the lumi intermediate (lambda(max) = 435 nm) at 200 K. The lumi intermediate decays to the meta I (lambda(max) = 420 nm) and meta II (lambda(max) = 388 nm) intermediates at 258 and 263 K, respectively. The meta II intermediate decays to free retinal and opsin at >270 K. At 45, 75, and 140 K, the photochemical excitation of the violet cone opsin at 425 nm generates the batho intermediate at high concentrations under moderate illumination. The batho intermediate spectra, generated via decomposing the photostationary state spectra at 45 and 140 K, are identical and have properties typical of batho intermediates of other visual pigments. Extended illumination of the violet cone opsin at 75 K, however, generates a red-shifted photostationary state (relative to both the dark and the batho intermediates) that has as absorption maximum at approximately 470 nm, and thermally reverts to form the normal batho intermediate when warmed to 140 K. We conclude that this red-shifted photostationary state is a metastable state, characterized by a higher-energy protein conformation that allows relaxation of the all-trans chromophore into a more planar conformation. FTIR spectroscopy of violet cone opsin indicates conclusively that the chromophore is protonated. A similar transformation of the rhodopsin binding site generates a model for the VCOP binding site that predicts roughly 75% of the observed blue shift of the violet cone pigment relative to rhodopsin. MNDO-PSDCI calculations indicate that secondary interactions involving the binding site residues are as important as the first-order chromophore protein interactions in mediating the wavelength maximum. PMID:11425310

  6. [Method of determining visual pigments in situ and their study in some vertebrates].

    PubMed

    Govardovskiî, V I

    1975-01-01

    A simple electrophysiological method for determining of visual pigments in isolated retina is described. The method is based on registration of the early receptor potential amplitude which is proportional to the visual pigment content and on measurement of the rate of the decrease of this amplitude under the action of the bleaching light of a known wavelength and intensity. The results of the determining of rod and cone visual pigments in the lamprey Lampetra fluviatilis, teleosts Diplodus annularis and Trachurus mediterraneus ponticus, toad Bufo bufo and guinea pig are presented. PMID:814749

  7. The pKa of the protonated Schiff bases of gecko cone and octopus visual pigments.

    PubMed Central

    Liang, J; Steinberg, G; Livnah, N; Sheves, M; Ebrey, T G; Tsuda, M

    1994-01-01

    A visual pigment is composed of retinal bound to its apoprotein by a protonated Schiff base linkage. Light isomerizes the chromophore and eventually causes the deprotonation of this Schiff base linkage at the meta II stage of the bleaching cycle. The meta II intermediate of the visual pigment is the active form of the pigment that binds to and activates the G protein transducin, starting the visual cascade. The deprotonation of the Schiff base is mandatory for the formation of meta II intermediate. We studied the proton binding affinity, pKa, of the Schiff base of both octopus rhodopsin and the gecko cone pigment P521 by spectral titration. Several fluorinated retinal analogs have strong electron withdrawing character around the Schiff base region and lower the Schiff base pKa in model compounds. We regenerated octopus and gecko visual pigments with these fluorinated and other retinal analogs. Experiments on these artificial pigments showed that the spectral changes seen upon raising the pH indeed reflected the pKa of the Schiff base and not the denaturation of the pigment or the deprotonation of some other group in the pigment. The Schiff base pKa is 10.4 for octopus rhodopsin and 9.9 for the gecko cone pigment. We also showed that although the removal of Cl- ions causes considerable blue-shift in the gecko cone pigment P521, it affects the Schiff base pKa very little, indicating that the lambda max of visual pigment and its Schiff base pKa are not tightly coupled. PMID:7948697

  8. A novel molecular marker for the study of Neotropical cichlid phylogeny.

    PubMed

    Fabrin, T M C; Gasques, L S; Prioli, S M A P; Prioli, A J

    2015-01-01

    The use of molecular markers has contributed to phylogeny and to the reconstruction of species' evolutionary history. Each region of the genome has different evolution rates, which may or may not identify phylogenetic signal at different levels. Therefore, it is important to assess new molecular markers that can be used for phylogenetic reconstruction. Regions that may be associated with species characteristics and are subject to selective pressure, such as opsin genes, which encode proteins related to the visual system and are widely expressed by Cichlidae family members, are interesting. Our aim was to identify a new nuclear molecular marker that could establish the phylogeny of Neotropical cichlids and is potentially correlated with the visual system. We used Bayesian inference and maximum likelihood analysis to support the use of the nuclear opsin LWS gene in the phylogeny of eight Neotropical cichlid species. Their use concatenated to the mitochondrial gene COI was also tested. The LWS gene fragment comprised the exon 2-4 region, including the introns. The LWS gene provided good support for both analyses up to the genus level, distinguishing the studied species, and when concatenated to the COI gene, there was a good support up to the species level. Another benefit of utilizing this region, is that some polymorphisms are associated with changes in spectral properties of the LWS opsin protein, which constitutes the visual pigment that absorbs red light. Thus, utilization of this gene as a molecular marker to study the phylogeny of Neotropical cichlids is promising. PMID:26782460

  9. Shedding light on serpent sight: the visual pigments of henophidian snakes.

    PubMed

    Davies, Wayne L; Cowing, Jill A; Bowmaker, James K; Carvalho, Livia S; Gower, David J; Hunt, David M

    2009-06-10

    The biologist Gordon Walls proposed his "transmutation" theory through the 1930s and the 1940s to explain cone-like morphology of rods (and vice versa) in the duplex retinas of modern-day reptiles, with snakes regarded as the epitome of his hypothesis. Despite Walls' interest, the visual system of reptiles, and in particular snakes, has been widely neglected in favor of studies of fishes and mammals. By analyzing the visual pigments of two henophidian snakes, Xenopeltis unicolor and Python regius, we show that both species express two cone opsins, an ultraviolet-sensitive short-wavelength-sensitive 1 (SWS1) (lambda(max) = 361 nm) pigment and a long-wavelength-sensitive (LWS) (lambda(max) = 550 nm) pigment, providing the potential for dichromatic color vision. They also possess rod photoreceptors which express the usual rod opsin (Rh1) pigment with a lambda(max) at 497 nm. This is the first molecular study of the visual pigments expressed in the photoreceptors of any snake species. The presence of a duplex retina and the characterization of LWS, SWS1, and Rh1 visual pigments in henophidian snakes implies that "lower" snakes do not provide support for Walls' transmutation theory, unlike some "higher" (caenophidian) snakes and other reptiles, such as geckos. More data from other snake lineages will be required to test this hypothesis further. PMID:19515920

  10. Deep-sea and pelagic rod visual pigments identified in the mysticete whales.

    PubMed

    Bischoff, Nicole; Nickle, Benjamin; Cronin, Thomas W; Velasquez, Stephani; Fasick, Jeffry I

    2012-03-01

    Our current understanding of the spectral sensitivities of the mysticete whale rod-based visual pigments is based on two species, the gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus) and the humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) possessing absorbance maxima determined from difference spectra to be 492 and 497 nm, respectively. These absorbance maxima values are blueshifted relative to those from typical terrestrial mammals (≈500 nm) but are redshifted when compared to those identified in the odontocetes (479-484 nm). Although these mysticete species represent two of the four mysticete families, they do not fully represent the mysticete whales in terms of foraging strategy and underwater photic environments where foraging occurs. In order to better understand the spectral sensitivities of the mysticete whale rod visual pigments, we have examined the rod opsin genes from 11 mysticete species and their associated amino acid substitutions. Based on the amino acids occurring at positions 83, 292, and 299 along with the directly determined dark spectra from expressed odontocete and mysticete rod visual pigments, we have determined that the majority of mysticete whales possess deep-sea and pelagic like rod visual pigments with absorbance maxima between 479 and 484 nm. Finally, we have defined the five amino acid substitution events that determine the resulting absorbance spectra and associated absorbance maxima for the mysticete whale rod visual pigments examined here. PMID:22414424

  11. Characterization of visual pigments, oil droplets, lens and cornea in the whooping crane Grus americana

    PubMed Central

    Porter, Megan L.; Kingston, Alexandra C. N.; McCready, Robert; Cameron, Evan G.; Hofmann, Christopher M.; Suarez, Lauren; Olsen, Glenn H.; Cronin, Thomas W.; Robinson, Phyllis R.

    2014-01-01

    Vision has been investigated in many species of birds, but few studies have considered the visual systems of large birds and the particular implications of large eyes and long-life spans on visual system capabilities. To address these issues we investigated the visual system of the whooping crane Grus americana (Gruiformes, Gruidae), which is one of only two North American crane species. It is a large, long-lived bird in which UV sensitivity might be reduced by chromatic aberration and entrance of UV radiation into the eye could be detrimental to retinal tissues. To investigate the whooping crane visual system we used microspectrophotometry to determine the absorbance spectra of retinal oil droplets and to investigate whether the ocular media (i.e. the lens and cornea) absorb UV radiation. In vitro expression and reconstitution was used to determine the absorbance spectra of rod and cone visual pigments. The rod visual pigments had wavelengths of peak absorbance (λmax) at 500 nm, whereas the cone visual pigment λmax values were determined to be 404 nm (SWS1), 450 nm (SWS2), 499 nm (RH2) and 561 nm (LWS), similar to other characterized bird visual pigment absorbance values. The oil droplet cut-off wavelength (λcut) values similarly fell within ranges recorded in other avian species: 576 nm (R-type), 522 nm (Y-type), 506 nm (P-type) and 448 nm (C-type). We confirm that G. americana has a violet-sensitive visual system; however, as a consequence of the λmax of the SWS1 visual pigment (404 nm), it might also have some UV sensitivity. PMID:25267845

  12. Visual pigments, oil droplets, lens, and cornea characterization in the whooping crane (Grus americana)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Porter, Megan L.; Kingston, Alexandra C. N.; McCready, Robert; Cameron, Evan G.; Hofmann, Christopher M.; Suarez, Lauren; Olsen, Glenn H.; Cronin, Thomas W.; Robinson, Phyllis R.

    2014-01-01

    Vision has been investigated in many species of birds, but few studies have considered the visual systems of large birds and the particular implications of large eyes and long-life spans on visual system capabilities. To address these issues we investigated the visual system of the whooping crane, Grus americana (Gruiformes: Gruidae). G. americana (an endangered species) is one of only two North American crane species and represents a large, long-lived bird where ultraviolet sensitivity may be degraded by chromatic aberrations and entrance of ultraviolet light into the eye could be detrimental to retinal tissues. To investigate the whooping crane visual system we used microspectrophotometry to determine the absorbance spectra of retinal oil droplets and to investigate if the ocular media (i.e., the lens and cornea) absorbs UV light. In vitro expression and reconstitution was used to determine the absorbance spectra of rod and cone visual pigments. The rod visual pigments had wavelengths of peak absorbance (λmax) at 500 nm, while the cone visual pigments λmax values were determined to be 404 nm (SWS1), 450 nm (SWS2), 499 nm (RH2), and 561 nm (LWS), similar to other characterized bird visual pigment absorbance values. The oil droplet cutoff wavelength (λcut) values similarly fell within ranges recorded from other avian species: 576 nm (R-type), 522 nm (Y-type), 506 nm (P-type), and 448 nm (C-type). We confirm that G. americana has a violet-sensitive visual system, although based on the λmax of the SWS1 visual pigment (404 nm) may also have some ability for UV sensitivity.

  13. Numbers and Ratios of Visual Pigment Genes for Normal Red-Green Color Vision

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neitz, Maureen; Neitz, Jay

    1995-02-01

    Red-green color vision is based on middle-wavelength- and long-wavelength-sensitive visual pigments encoded by an array of genes on the X chromosome. The numbers and ratios of genes in this cluster were reexamined in men with normal color vision by means of newly refined methods. These methods revealed that many men had more pigment genes on the X chromosome than had previously been suggested and that many had more than one long-wave pigment gene. These discoveries challenge accepted ideas that are the foundation for theories of normal and anomalous color vision.

  14. Visual pigments in a living fossil, the Australian lungfish Neoceratodus forsteri

    PubMed Central

    Bailes, Helena J; Davies, Wayne L; Trezise, Ann EO; Collin, Shaun P

    2007-01-01

    Background One of the greatest challenges facing the early land vertebrates was the need to effectively interpret a terrestrial environment. Interpretation was based on ocular adaptations evolved for an aquatic environment millions of years earlier. The Australian lungfish Neoceratodus forsteri is thought to be the closest living relative to the first terrestrial vertebrate, and yet nothing is known about the visual pigments present in lungfish or the early tetrapods. Results Here we identify and characterise five visual pigments (rh1, rh2, lws, sws1 and sws2) expressed in the retina of N. forsteri. Phylogenetic analysis of the molecular evolution of lungfish and other vertebrate visual pigment genes indicates a closer relationship between lungfish and amphibian pigments than to pigments in teleost fishes. However, the relationship between lungfish, the coelacanth and tetrapods could not be absolutely determined from opsin phylogeny, supporting an unresolved trichotomy between the three groups. Conclusion The presence of four cone pigments in Australian lungfish suggests that the earliest tetrapods would have had a colorful view of their terrestrial environment. PMID:17961206

  15. Anion sensitivity and spectral tuning of cone visual pigments in situ.

    PubMed Central

    Kleinschmidt, J; Harosi, F I

    1992-01-01

    We tested the effect of anions on the absorbance spectrum of native visual pigments as measured by microspectrophotometry in individual cone outer segments of four species of fish and one species of amphibian. In all species tested, the long-wavelength-absorbing cone pigments were anion sensitive, and their lambda max could be tuned over a range of 55 nm depending on the identity of the anion present. Cl- and Br- were the only anions that produced native pigment spectra by red shifting lambda max from its value under anion-free conditions. Lyotropic anions such as NO3-, SCN-, BF4-, and ClO4- caused substantial and graded blue shifts of lambda max. The apparent Kd of binding sites on the pigment for Cl- and for ClO4- was approximately 2 mM. Taken together with previous findings on three visual pigments from the reptilian, avian, and amphibian classes, our results support the hypothesis that all long-wavelength-absorbing vertebrate visual pigments are spectrally tuned in part through the binding of a chloride ion. We propose that the site of anion tuning is near the protonated Schiff base of the chromophore, whose counterion may be complex and include Cl- as an exchangeable anion. This counterion configuration may resemble the one present in the light-driven Cl- pump halorhodopsin. PMID:1409622

  16. 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

  17. Contribution of a visual pigment absorption spectrum to a visual function: depth perception in a jumping spider

    PubMed Central

    Nagata, Takashi; Arikawa, Kentaro; Terakita, Akihisa

    2013-01-01

    Absorption spectra of visual pigments are adaptively tuned to optimize informational capacity in most visual systems. Our recent investigation of the eyes of the jumping spider reveals an apparent exception: the absorption characteristics of a visual pigment cause defocusing of the image, reducing visual acuity generally in a part of the retina. However, the amount of defocus can theoretically provide a quantitative indication of the distance of an object. Therefore, we proposed a novel mechanism for depth perception in jumping spiders based on image defocus. Behavioral experiments revealed that the depth perception of the spider depended on the wavelength of the ambient light, which affects the amount of defocus because of chromatic aberration of the lens. This wavelength effect on depth perception was in close agreement with theoretical predictions based on our hypothesis. These data strongly support the hypothesis that the depth perception mechanism of jumping spiders is based on image defocus.

  18. A conserved aromatic residue regulating photosensitivity in short-wavelength sensitive cone visual pigments.

    PubMed

    Kuemmel, Colleen M; Sandberg, Megan N; Birge, Robert R; Knox, Barry E

    2013-07-30

    Visual pigments have a conserved phenylalanine in transmembrane helix 5 located near the β-ionone ring of the retinal chromophore. Site-directed mutants of this residue (F207) in a short-wavelength sensitive visual pigment (VCOP) were studied using UV-visible spectroscopy to investigate its role in photosensitivity and formation of the light-activated state. The side chain is important for pigment formation: VCOP(F207A), VCOP(F207L), VCOP(F207M), and VCOP(F207W) substitutions all bound 11-cis-retinal and formed a stable visual pigment, while VCOP(F207V), VCOP(F207S), VCOP(F207T), and VCOP(F207Y) substitutions do not. The extinction coefficients of all pigments are close, ranging between 35800 and 45600 M⁻¹ cm⁻¹. Remarkably, the mutants exhibit an up to 5-fold reduction in photosensitivity and also abnormal photobleaching behavior. One mutant, VCOP(F207A), forms an isomeric composition of the retinal chromophore after illumination comparable to that of wild-type VCOP yet does not release the all-trans-retinal chromophore. These findings suggest that the conserved F207 residue is important for a normal photoactivation pathway, formation of the active conformation and the exit of all-trans-retinal from the chromophore-binding pocket. PMID:23808485

  19. Sequence divergence of the red and green visual pigments in great apes and humans.

    PubMed Central

    Deeb, S S; Jorgensen, A L; Battisti, L; Iwasaki, L; Motulsky, A G

    1994-01-01

    We have determined the coding sequences of red and green visual pigment genes of the chimpanzee, gorilla, and orangutan. The deduced amino acid sequences of these pigments are highly homologous to the equivalent human pigments. None of the amino acid differences occurred at sites that were previously shown to influence pigment absorption characteristics. Therefore, we predict the spectra of red and green pigments of the apes to have wavelengths of maximum absorption that differ by < 2 nm from the equivalent human pigments and that color vision in these nonhuman primates will be very similar, if not identical, to that in humans. A total of 14 within-species polymorphisms (6 involving silent substitutions) were observed in the coding sequences of the red and green pigment genes of the great apes. Remarkably, the polymorphisms at 6 of these sites had been observed in human populations, suggesting that they predated the evolution of higher primates. Alleles at polymorphic sites were often shared between the red and green pigment genes. The average synonymous rate of divergence of red from green sequences was approximately 1/10th that estimated for other proteins of higher primates, indicating the involvement of gene conversion in generating these polymorphisms. The high degree of homology and juxtaposition of these two genes on the X chromosome has promoted unequal recombination and/or gene conversion that led to sequence homogenization. However, natural selection operated to maintain the degree of separation in peak absorbance between the red and green pigments that resulted in optimal chromatic discrimination. This represents a unique case of molecular coevolution between two homologous genes that functionally interact at the behavioral level. PMID:8041777

  20. Beyond spectral tuning: human cone visual pigments adopt different transient conformations for chromophore regeneration.

    PubMed

    Srinivasan, Sundaramoorthy; Cordomí, Arnau; Ramon, Eva; Garriga, Pere

    2016-03-01

    Human red and green visual pigments are seven transmembrane receptors of cone photoreceptor cells of the retina that mediate color vision. These pigments share a very high degree of homology and have been assumed to feature analogous structural and functional properties. We report on a different regeneration mechanism among red and green cone opsins with retinal analogs using UV-Vis/fluorescence spectroscopic analyses, molecular modeling and site-directed mutagenesis. We find that photoactivated green cone opsin adopts a transient conformation which regenerates via an unprotonated Schiff base linkage with its natural chromophore, whereas red cone opsin forms a typical protonated Schiff base. The chromophore regeneration kinetics is consistent with a secondary retinal uptake by the cone pigments. Overall, our findings reveal, for the first time, structural differences in the photoactivated conformation between red and green cone pigments that may be linked to their molecular evolution, and support the proposal of secondary retinal binding to visual pigments, in addition to binding to the canonical primary site, which may serve as a regulatory mechanism of dark adaptation in the phototransduction process. PMID:26387074

  1. Effects of exogenous thyroid hormones on visual pigment composition in coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch).

    PubMed

    Temple, Shelby E; Ramsden, Samuel D; Haimberger, Theodore J; Veldhoen, Kathy M; Veldhoen, Nik J; Carter, Nicolette L; Roth, Wolff-Michael; Hawryshyn, Craig W

    2008-07-01

    The role of exogenous thyroid hormone on visual pigment content of rod and cone photoreceptors was investigated in coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch). Coho vary the ratio of vitamin A1- and A2-based visual pigments in their eyes. This variability potentially alters spectral sensitivity and thermal stability of the visual pigments. We tested whether the direction of shift in the vitamin A1/A2 ratio, resulting from application of exogenous thyroid hormone, varied in fish of different ages and held under different environmental conditions. Changes in the vitamin A1/A2 visual pigment ratio were estimated by measuring the change in maximum absorbance (lambda max) of rods using microspectrophotometry (MSP). Exogenous thyroid hormone resulted in a long-wavelength shift in rod, middle-wavelength-sensitive (MWS) and long-wavelength-sensitive (LWS) cone photoreceptors. Rod and LWS cone lambda max values increased, consistent with an increase in vitamin A2. MWS cone lambda max values increased more than predicted for a change in the vitamin A1/A2 ratio. To account for this shift, we tested for the expression of multiple RH2 opsin subtypes. We isolated and sequenced a novel RH2 opsin subtype, which had 48 amino acid differences from the previously sequenced coho RH2 opsin. A substitution of glutamate for glutamine at position 122 could partially account for the greater than predicted shift in MWS cone lambda max values. Our findings fit the hypothesis that a variable vitamin A1/A2 ratio provides seasonality in spectral tuning and/or improved thermal stability of visual pigments in the face of seasonal environmental changes, and that multiple RH2 opsin subtypes can provide flexibility in spectral tuning associated with migration-metamorphic events. PMID:18552303

  2. Evolution and spectral tuning of visual pigments in birds and mammals

    PubMed Central

    Hunt, David M.; Carvalho, Livia S.; Cowing, Jill A.; Davies, Wayne L.

    2009-01-01

    Variation in the types and spectral characteristics of visual pigments is a common mechanism for the adaptation of the vertebrate visual system to prevailing light conditions. The extent of this diversity in mammals and birds is discussed in detail in this review, alongside an in-depth consideration of the molecular changes involved. In mammals, a nocturnal stage in early evolution is thought to underlie the reduction in the number of classes of cone visual pigment genes from four to only two, with the secondary loss of one of these genes in many monochromatic nocturnal and marine species. The trichromacy seen in many primates arises from either a polymorphism or duplication of one of these genes. In contrast, birds have retained the four ancestral cone visual pigment genes, with a generally conserved expression in either single or double cone classes. The loss of sensitivity to ultraviolet (UV) irradiation is a feature of both mammalian and avian visual evolution, with UV sensitivity retained among mammals by only a subset of rodents and marsupials. Where it is found in birds, it is not ancestral but newly acquired. PMID:19720655

  3. Visual pigments and spectral sensitivity of the diurnal gecko Gonatodes albogularis.

    PubMed

    Ellingson, J M; Fleishman, L J; Loew, E R

    1995-11-01

    The visual pigments and oil droplets in the retina of the diurnal gecko Gonatodes albogularis were examined microspectrophotometrically, and the spectral sensitivity under various adapting conditions was recorded using electrophysiological responses. Three classes of visual pigments were identified, with lambda max at about 542, 475, and 362 nm. Spectral sensitivity functions revealed a broad range of sensitivity, with a peak at approximately 530-540 nm. The cornea and oil droplets were found to be transparent across a range from 350-700 nm, but the lens absorbed short wavelength light below 450 nm. Despite the filtering effect of the lens, a secondary peak in spectral sensitivity to ultraviolet wavelengths was found. These results suggest that G. albogularis does possess the visual mechanisms for discrimination of the color pattern of conspecifics based on either hue or brightness. These findings are discussed in terms of the variation in coloration and social behavior of Gonatodes. PMID:7473305

  4. Iodopsin, a red-sensitive cone visual pigment in the chicken retina.

    PubMed

    Yoshizawa, T; Kuwata, O

    1991-12-01

    The vertebrate retina contains two kinds of visual cells: rods, responsible for twilight (scotopic) vision (black and white discrimination); and cones, responsible for daylight (photopic) vision (color discrimination). Here we attempt to explain some of their functional differences and similarities in terms of their visual pigments. In the chicken retina there are four types of single cones and a double cone; each of the single cones has its own characteristic oil droplet (red, orange, blue, or colorless) and the double cone is composed of a set of principal and accessory members, the former of which has a green-colored oil droplet. Iodopsin, the chicken red-sensitive cone visual pigment, is located at outer segments of both the red single cones and the double cones, while the other single cones and the rod contain their own visual pigments with different absorption spectra. The diversity in absorption spectra among these visual pigments is caused by the difference in interaction between chromophore (11-cis retinal) and protein moiety (opsin). However, the chromophore-binding pocket in iodopsin is similar to that in rhodopsin. The difference in absorption maxima between both pigments could be explained by the difference in distances between the protonated Schiff-bases at the chromophore-binding site and their counter ions in iodopsin and rhodopsin. Furthermore, iodopsin has a unique chloride-binding site whose chloride ion serves for the red-shift of the absorption maximum of iodopsin. Visual pigment bleaches upon absorption of light through several intermediates and finally dissociates into all-trans retinal and opsin. That the sensitivity of cones is lower than rods cannot be explained by the relative photosensitivity of iodopsin to rhodopsin, but may be understood to some extent by the short lifetime of an enzymatically active intermediate (corresponding to metarhodopsin II) produced in the photobleaching process of iodopsin. The rapid formation and decay of the

  5. Visual pigment processes and prolonged pupillary responses in insect photoreceptor cells.

    PubMed

    Stavenga, D G

    1979-01-01

    The visual pigment in the peripheral retinular cells of the hoverfly Syrphus balteatus was investigated by absorbance difference measurements. Different visual pigments were found in the dorsal versus the ventral part of the eye in the male, but not in the female. In the male in the dorsal part of the eye the visual pigment has an isosbestic point at 513 nm; in the ventral part this value is 490 nm. The latter value is found in the female in both parts of the eye. Prolonged pupillary responses were studied in the male Syrphus and appeared to be most marked in the ventral part of the eye. In both hoverfly and blowfly prolonged pupillary responses are induced by short wavelength light only; i.e., by light which excessively can convert rhodopsin into metarhodopsin. By contrast, in butterflies red light (and a long dark adaptation time) is necessary to evoke a prolonged pupillary response. It was demonstrated in both hoverfly and blowfly that long wavelength light, which reconverts metarhodopsin into rhodopsin, inhibits a prolonged pupillary response; or, accelerates pupil opening. PMID:22730591

  6. Visual pigments in a palaeognath bird, the emu Dromaius novaehollandiae: implications for spectral sensitivity and the origin of ultraviolet vision.

    PubMed

    Hart, Nathan S; Mountford, Jessica K; Davies, Wayne I L; Collin, Shaun P; Hunt, David M

    2016-07-13

    A comprehensive description of the spectral characteristics of retinal photoreceptors in palaeognaths is lacking. Moreover, controversy exists with respect to the spectral sensitivity of the short-wavelength-sensitive-1 (SWS1) opsin-based visual pigment expressed in one type of single cone: previous microspectrophotometric (MSP) measurements in the ostrich (Struthio camelus) suggested a violet-sensitive (VS) SWS1 pigment, but all palaeognath SWS1 opsin sequences obtained to date (including the ostrich) imply that the visual pigment is ultraviolet-sensitive (UVS). In this study, MSP was used to measure the spectral properties of visual pigments and oil droplets in the retinal photoreceptors of the emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae). Results show that the emu resembles most other bird species in possessing four spectrally distinct single cones, as well as double cones and rods. Four cone and a single rod opsin are expressed, each an orthologue of a previously identified pigment. The SWS1 pigment is clearly UVS (wavelength of maximum absorbance [λmax] = 376 nm), with key tuning sites (Phe86 and Cys90) consistent with other vertebrate UVS SWS1 pigments. Palaeognaths would appear, therefore, to have UVS SWS1 pigments. As they are considered to be basal in avian evolution, this suggests that UVS is the most likely ancestral state for birds. The functional significance of a dedicated UVS cone type in the emu is discussed. PMID:27383819

  7. 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

  8. Conserved residues in the extracellular loops of short-wavelength cone visual pigments.

    PubMed

    Chen, Min-Hsuan; Sandberg, Daniel J; Babu, Kunnel R; Bubis, Jose; Surya, Arjun; Ramos, Lavoisier S; Zapata, Heidi J; Galan, Jhenny F; Sandberg, Megan N; Birge, Robert R; Knox, Barry E

    2011-08-16

    The role of the extracellular loop region of a short-wavelength sensitive pigment, Xenopus violet cone opsin, is investigated via computational modeling, mutagenesis, and spectroscopy. The computational models predict a complex H-bonding network that stabilizes and connects the EC2-EC3 loop and the N-terminus. Mutations that are predicted to disrupt the H-bonding network are shown to produce visual pigments that do not stably bind chromophore and exhibit properties of a misfolded protein. The potential role of a disulfide bond between two conserved Cys residues, Cys(105) in TM3 and Cys(182) in EC2, is necessary for proper folding and trafficking in VCOP. Lastly, certain residues in the EC2 loop are predicted to stabilize the formation of two antiparallel β-strands joined by a hairpin turn, which interact with the chromophore via H-bonding or van der Waals interactions. Mutations of conserved residues result in a decrease in the level of chromophore binding. These results demonstrate that the extracellular loops are crucial for the formation of this cone visual pigment. Moreover, there are significant differences in the structure and function of this region in VCOP compared to that in rhodopsin. PMID:21688771

  9. The gecko visual pigment: a pH indicator with a salt effect.

    PubMed

    Crescitelli, F

    1981-12-01

    1. Unlike rhodopsin, the extracted 521-pigment of the Tokay gecko (Gekko gekko) is pH-sensitive and changes its spectral absorbance in the pH range of 4.5-7.3. The colour change is reversible and pH can be employed to adjust the spectral maximum anywhere between 490 nm and its native location at 521 nm.2. The hypsochromic shift with increasing acidity is opposite to that expected for the protonation of the Schiff base nitrogen and suggests an action on the secondary system of interacting charges that have long been postulated to adjust vertebrate visual pigment colour within the visible spectrum.3. Chloride ions modulate this pH effect in a systematic and significant manner. For the pigment extracted in the chloride-deficient state the colour change occurs in the pH range of 6.0-7.0, the midpoint being close to 6.5, suggesting the possible participation of the imidazole group of histidine as the functional moiety. With added NaCl the colour shifts to the region below pH 6.2.4. The modulating action of chloride is postulated to be a conformational change of the opsin leading to a shift of the secondary interacting site from one functional group to another or else to a change in pK of a single group due to the conformational alteration of the electrostatics of the system.5. At pH values between 7.5 and 9.0 a different mechanism becomes apparent. In this region a decrease occurs in the photopigment density as well as a shift in absorbance toward the blue. This alkaline effect is readily reversed either by adding NaCl or else by lowering the pH. Along with the other protective effects of chloride these ions serve to reduce or prevent this alkaline loss in density.6. Associated with this reversible photopigment loss is a reversible appearance of a product with a maximum at about 366 nm. The spectrum of this product is like that produced by the addition of 11-cis retinal to the extract. Acidification of the alkaline preparation leads to a restitution of the photopigment

  10. The molecular mechanism for the spectral shifts between vertebrate ultraviolet- and violet-sensitive cone visual pigments.

    PubMed Central

    Cowing, Jill A; Poopalasundaram, Subathra; Wilkie, Susan E; Robinson, Phyllis R; Bowmaker, James K; Hunt, David M

    2002-01-01

    The short-wave-sensitive (SWS) visual pigments of vertebrate cone photoreceptors are divided into two classes on the basis of molecular identity, SWS1 and SWS2. Only the SWS1 class are present in mammals. The SWS1 pigments can be further subdivided into violet-sensitive (VS), with lambda(max) (the peak of maximal absorbance) values generally between 400 and 430 nm, and ultraviolet-sensitive (UVS), with a lambda(max)<380 nm. Phylogenetic evidence indicates that the ancestral pigment was UVS and that VS pigments have evolved separately from UVS pigments in the different vertebrate lineages. In this study, we have examined the mechanism of evolution of VS pigments in the mammalian lineage leading to present day ungulates (cow and pig). Amino acid sequence comparisons of the UVS pigments of teleost fish, amphibia, reptiles and rodents show that site 86 is invariably occupied by Phe but is replaced in bovine and porcine VS pigments by Tyr. Using site-directed mutagenesis of goldfish UVS opsin, we have shown that a Phe-86-->Tyr substitution is sufficient by itself to shift the lambda(max) of the goldfish pigment from a wild-type value of 360 nm to around 420 nm, and the reverse substitution of Tyr-86-Phe into bovine VS opsin produces a similar shift in the opposite direction. The substitution of this single amino acid is sufficient to account therefore for the evolution of bovine and porcine VS pigments. The replacement of Phe with polar Tyr at site 86 is consistent with the stabilization of Schiff-base protonation in VS pigments and the absence of protonation in UVS pigments. PMID:12099889

  11. Visual pigments of marine carnivores: pinnipeds, polar bear, and sea otter.

    PubMed

    Levenson, David H; Ponganis, Paul J; Crognale, Michael A; Deegan, Jess F; Dizon, Andy; Jacobs, Gerald H

    2006-08-01

    Rod and cone visual pigments of 11 marine carnivores were evaluated. Rod, middle/long-wavelength sensitive (M/L) cone, and short-wavelength sensitive (S) cone opsin (if present) sequences were obtained from retinal mRNA. Spectral sensitivity was inferred through evaluation of known spectral tuning residues. The rod pigments of all but one of the pinnipeds were similar to those of the sea otter, polar bear, and most other terrestrial carnivores with spectral peak sensitivities (lambda(max)) of 499 or 501 nm. Similarly, the M/L cone pigments of the pinnipeds, polar bear, and otter had inferred lambda(max) of 545 to 560 nm. Only the rod opsin sequence of the elephant seal had sensitivity characteristic of adaptation for vision in the marine environment, with an inferred lambda(max) of 487 nm. No evidence of S cones was found for any of the pinnipeds. The polar bear and otter had S cones with inferred lambda(max) of approximately 440 nm. Flicker-photometric ERG was additionally used to examine the in situ sensitivities of three species of pinniped. Despite the use of conditions previously shown to evoke cone responses in other mammals, no cone responses could be elicited from any of these pinnipeds. Rod photoreceptor responses for all three species were as predicted by the genetic data. PMID:16572322

  12. The green-absorbing Drosophila Rh6 visual pigment contains a blue-shifting amino acid substitution that is conserved in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Salcedo, Ernesto; Farrell, David M; Zheng, Lijun; Phistry, Meridee; Bagg, Eve E; Britt, Steven G

    2009-02-27

    The molecular mechanisms that regulate invertebrate visual pigment absorption are poorly understood. Through sequence analysis and functional investigation of vertebrate visual pigments, numerous amino acid substitutions important for this adaptive process have been identified. Here we describe a serine/alanine (S/A) substitution in long wavelength-absorbing Drosophila visual pigments that occurs at a site corresponding to Ala-292 in bovine rhodopsin. This S/A substitution accounts for a 10-17-nm absorption shift in visual pigments of this class. Additionally, we demonstrate that substitution of a cysteine at the same site, as occurs in the blue-absorbing Rh5 pigment, accounts for a 4-nm shift. Substitutions at this site are the first spectrally significant amino acid changes to be identified for invertebrate pigments sensitive to visible light and are the first evidence of a conserved tuning mechanism in vertebrate and invertebrate pigments of this class. PMID:19126545

  13. Use of visible and infrared reflectance and luminescence imaging spectroscopy to study illuminated manuscripts: pigment identification and visualization of underdrawings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ricciardi, Paola; Delaney, John K.; Glinsman, Lisha; Thoury, Mathieu; Facini, Michelle; de la Rie, E. René

    2009-07-01

    Site specific, in situ techniques such as X-ray fluorescence (XRF) and Raman spectroscopy are commonly used to identify pigments on illuminated manuscripts. With both techniques, spectra are usually acquired on visually identified sites thought to be representative of the pigments and mixtures used for the illumination. Such visual inspection may not always ensure an adequate representation of the pigment diversity. Here we report on the application of multispectral (MSI) visible/infrared reflectance and luminescence imaging spectroscopy, along with fiber optics reflectance spectroscopy (FORS) to help determine and map the primary pigments in a late 14th century miniature on vellum, attributed to Niccolo da Bologna and representing the birth of John the Baptist. XRF analyses of visually selected sites found elements consistent with azurite, ultramarine, vermillion, lead white, "mosaic gold" and yellow earth pigments. Visible/infrared FORS analyses confirmed these assignments and showed evidence for the use of organic dyes. The spectral analysis of the MSI-reflectance images gave distribution maps for these pigments (i.e., regions of azurite, ultramarine, vermillion) along with some indication of pigment layering not identified visually. The luminescence image gave a probable map of the organic dye(s). Images acquired in the near- and shortwave-infrared (NIR and SWIR, 750 to 2400 nm) revealed preparatory sketches and illumination techniques. These results show, like those of a prior study carried out on another 14th century Italian miniature, that the combination of low light multi-spectral imaging spectroscopy with FORS provides improved in situ mapping and identification of pigments on illuminated manuscripts.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. The molecular basis for the green-blue sensitivity shift in the rod visual pigments of the European eel.

    PubMed

    Archer, S; Hope, A; Partridge, J C

    1995-12-22

    When the European eel matures sexually and migrates back to deep sea breeding grounds the visual pigments in its rod photoreceptors change from being maximally sensitive to green light to being maximally sensitive to blue light. In part, this change in sensitivity is due to a change in the opsin component of the visual pigment molecule. We used hormone injection to induce these developmental changes in a group of eels and from these animals an opsin coding region was cloned and sequenced using cDNA made from retinal mRNA. From the retinae of hormone-injected eels and those not injected with hormones, distinct opsin mRNAs were isolated. These mRNAs encode two rod opsin proteins that are very similar but have significant amino acid substitutions in key positions that are likely to be involved in spectral tuning of the eel green and blue sensitive rod visual pigment molecules. PMID:8587887

  17. Hierarchical structural control of visual properties in self-assembled photonic-plasmonic pigments.

    PubMed

    Koay, Natalie; Burgess, Ian B; Kay, Theresa M; Nerger, Bryan A; Miles-Rossouw, Malaika; Shirman, Tanya; Vu, Thy L; England, Grant; Phillips, Katherine R; Utech, Stefanie; Vogel, Nicolas; Kolle, Mathias; Aizenberg, Joanna

    2014-11-17

    We present a simple one-pot co-assembly method for the synthesis of hierarchically structured pigment particles consisting of silica inverse-opal bricks that are doped with plasmonic absorbers. We study the interplay between the plasmonic and photonic resonances and their effect on the visual appearance of macroscopic collections of photonic bricks that are distributed in randomized orientations. Manipulating the pore geometry tunes the wavelength- and angle-dependence of the scattering profile, which can be engineered to produce angle-dependent Bragg resonances that can either enhance or contrast with the color produced by the plasmonic absorber. By controlling the overall dimensions of the photonic bricks and their aspect ratios, their preferential alignment can either be encouraged or suppressed. This causes the Bragg resonance to appear either as uniform color travel in the former case or as sparse iridescent sparkle in the latter case. By manipulating the surface chemistry of these photonic bricks, which introduces a fourth length-scale (molecular) of independent tuning into our design, we can further engineer interactions between liquids and the pores. This allows the structural color to be maintained in oil-based formulations, and enables the creation of dynamic liquid-responsive images from the pigment. PMID:25402020

  18. Tracking the excited-state time evolution of the visual pigment with multiconfigurational quantum chemistry

    PubMed Central

    Frutos, Luis Manuel; Andruniów, Tadeusz; Santoro, Fabrizio; Ferré, Nicolas; Olivucci, Massimo

    2007-01-01

    The primary event that initiates vision is the photoinduced isomerization of retinal in the visual pigment rhodopsin (Rh). Here, we use a scaled quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics potential that reproduces the isomerization path determined with multiconfigurational perturbation theory to follow the excited-state evolution of bovine Rh. The analysis of a 140-fs trajectory provides a description of the electronic and geometrical changes that prepare the system for decay to the ground state. The data uncover a complex change of the retinal backbone that, at ≈60-fs delay, initiates a space saving “asynchronous bicycle-pedal or crankshaft” motion, leading to a conical intersection on a 110-fs time scale. It is shown that the twisted structure achieved at decay features a momentum that provides a natural route toward the photoRh structure recently resolved by using femtosecond-stimulated Raman spectroscopy. PMID:17470789

  19. Tracking the excited-state time evolution of the visual pigment with multiconfigurational quantum chemistry.

    PubMed

    Frutos, Luis Manuel; Andruniów, Tadeusz; Santoro, Fabrizio; Ferré, Nicolas; Olivucci, Massimo

    2007-05-01

    The primary event that initiates vision is the photoinduced isomerization of retinal in the visual pigment rhodopsin (Rh). Here, we use a scaled quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics potential that reproduces the isomerization path determined with multiconfigurational perturbation theory to follow the excited-state evolution of bovine Rh. The analysis of a 140-fs trajectory provides a description of the electronic and geometrical changes that prepare the system for decay to the ground state. The data uncover a complex change of the retinal backbone that, at approximately 60-fs delay, initiates a space saving "asynchronous bicycle-pedal or crankshaft" motion, leading to a conical intersection on a 110-fs time scale. It is shown that the twisted structure achieved at decay features a momentum that provides a natural route toward the photoRh structure recently resolved by using femtosecond-stimulated Raman spectroscopy. PMID:17470789

  20. Wavepacket splitting and two-pathway deactivation in the photoexcited visual pigment isorhodopsin.

    PubMed

    Polli, Dario; Weingart, Oliver; Brida, Daniele; Poli, Emiliano; Maiuri, Margherita; Spillane, Katelyn M; Bottoni, Andrea; Kukura, Philipp; Mathies, Richard A; Cerullo, Giulio; Garavelli, Marco

    2014-02-24

    Isorhodopsin is the visual pigment analogue of rhodopsin. It shares the same opsin environment but it embeds 9-cis retinal instead of 11-cis. Its photoisomerization is three times slower and less effective. The mechanistic rationale behind this observation is revealed by combining high-level quantum-mechanical/molecular-mechanical simulations with ultrafast optical spectroscopy with sub-20 fs time resolution and spectral coverage extended to the near-infrared. Whereas in rhodopsin the photoexcited wavepacket has ballistic motion through a single conical intersection seam region between the ground and excited states, in isorhodopsin it branches into two competitive deactivation pathways involving distinct conical intersection funnels. One is rapidly accessed but unreactive. The other is slower, as it features extended steric interactions with the environment, but it is productive as it follows forward bicycle pedal motion. PMID:24481600

  1. An artificial molecular switch that mimics the visual pigment and completes its photocycle in picoseconds

    PubMed Central

    Sinicropi, Adalgisa; Martin, Elena; Ryazantsev, Mikhail; Helbing, Jan; Briand, Julien; Sharma, Divya; Léonard, Jérémie; Haacke, Stefan; Cannizzo, Andrea; Chergui, Majed; Zanirato, Vinicio; Fusi, Stefania; Santoro, Fabrizio; Basosi, Riccardo; Ferré, Nicolas; Olivucci, Massimo

    2008-01-01

    Single molecules that act as light-energy transducers (e.g., converting the energy of a photon into atomic-level mechanical motion) are examples of minimal molecular devices. Here, we focus on a molecular switch designed by merging a conformationally locked diarylidene skeleton with a retinal-like Schiff base and capable of mimicking, in solution, different aspects of the transduction of the visual pigment Rhodopsin. Complementary ab initio multiconfigurational quantum chemistry-based computations and time-resolved spectroscopy are used to follow the light-induced isomerization of the switch in methanol. The results show that, similar to rhodopsin, the isomerization occurs on a 0.3-ps time scale and is followed by <10-ps cooling and solvation. The entire (2-photon-powered) switch cycle was traced by following the evolution of its infrared spectrum. These measurements indicate that a full cycle can be completed within 20 ps. PMID:19004797

  2. Opsins in onychophora (velvet worms) suggest a single origin and subsequent diversification of visual pigments in arthropods.

    PubMed

    Hering, Lars; Henze, Miriam J; Kohler, Martin; Kelber, Almut; Bleidorn, Christoph; Leschke, Maren; Nickel, Birgit; Meyer, Matthias; Kircher, Martin; Sunnucks, Paul; Mayer, Georg

    2012-11-01

    Multiple visual pigments, prerequisites for color vision, are found in arthropods, but the evolutionary origin of their diversity remains obscure. In this study, we explore the opsin genes in five distantly related species of Onychophora, using deep transcriptome sequencing and screening approaches. Surprisingly, our data reveal the presence of only one opsin gene (onychopsin) in each onychophoran species, and our behavioral experiments indicate a maximum sensitivity of onychopsin to blue-green light. In our phylogenetic analyses, the onychopsins represent the sister group to the monophyletic clade of visual r-opsins of arthropods. These results concur with phylogenomic support for the sister-group status of the Onychophora and Arthropoda and provide evidence for monochromatic vision in velvet worms and in the last common ancestor of Onychophora and Arthropoda. We conclude that the diversification of visual pigments and color vision evolved in arthropods, along with the evolution of compound eyes-one of the most sophisticated visual systems known. PMID:22683812

  3. Contrasting modes of evolution of the visual pigments in Heliconius butterflies.

    PubMed

    Yuan, Furong; Bernard, Gary D; Le, Jennifer; Briscoe, Adriana D

    2010-10-01

    The adult compound eyes of passion-vine butterflies in the genus Heliconius contain one more UV opsin than other butterflies. Together with an 11-cis-3-hydroxyretinal chromophore, their four opsin genes UVRh1, UVRh2, BRh, and LWRh produce four rhodopsins that are UV-, blue-, or long wavelength absorbing. One of the Heliconius UV opsin genes, UVRh2, was found to have evolved under positive selection following recent gene duplication, using the branch-site test of selection. Using a more conservative test, the small-sample method, we confirm our prior finding of positive selection of UVRh2 and provide new statistical evidence of episodic evolution, that is, positive selection followed by purifying selection. We also newly note that one of the positively selected amino acid sites contains substitutions with known spectral tuning effects in avian ultraviolet- and violet-sensitive visual pigments. As this is one of a handful of described examples of positive selection of any specific gene in any butterfly where functional variation between copies has been characterized, we were interested in examining the molecular and physiological context of this adaptive event by examining the UV opsin genes in contrast to the other visual pigment genes. We cloned BRh and LWRh from 13 heliconiine species and UVRh1 and UVRh2 from Heliconius elevatus. In parallel, we performed in vivo epi-microspectrophotometric experiments to estimate the wavelength of peak absorbance, λ(max), of several rhodopsins in seven heliconiine species. In contrast to UVRh2, we found both physiological and statistical evidence consistent with purifying selection on UVRh1, BRh, and LWRh along the branch leading to the common ancestor of Heliconius. These results underscore the utility of combining molecular and physiological experiments in a comparative context for strengthening evidence for adaptive evolution at the molecular level. PMID:20478921

  4. Photoreceptors, visual pigments, and ellipsosomes in the killifish, Fundulus heteroclitus: a microspectrophotometric and histological study.

    PubMed

    Flamarique, I N; Hárosi, F I

    2000-01-01

    The photoreceptor layer of F. heteroclitus was examined by light and electron microscopy. We identified four cone visual pigments with maximum absorbance (lambda(max)) in the UV (363 nm), short (400 nm), middle (463 nm), and long (563 nm) wavelength regions of the spectrum and a rod visual pigment that peaked in the middle wavelengths (503 nm). Electron-dense bodies, ellipsosomes and pseudoellipsosomes, were present in the distal ellipsoids of long/middle (L/M) and long/long (L/L) wavelength double cones and in single short wavelength (S) cones, respectively. The light absorption of ellipsosomes indicated the presence of reduced cytochrome-c with the highest optical densities found in the M members of L/M double cones. By contrast, S cones contained pseudo-ellipsosomes which had very low optical density. UV cones were present everywhere as part of square or row mosaics in the retina of F. heteroclitus. Cone packing was on average higher for locations in the upper half of the retina while the highest cone density was found in the centro-ventral retina. An analysis of potential quantum catches for each cone type as a function of retinal sector and underwater irradiance characteristics revealed higher overall quantum catches for cones in the upper retina when the light field was assumed homogeneous, and higher quantum catches for cones in the lower retina when downwelling, horizontal, and upwelling irradiances were considered separately. At dusk, quantum catch was highest for M cones and the contribution to the overall retinal quantum catch by UV and S cones was much greater than during daylight hours. We propose that UV and S cones may be used to detect targets of interest against the background irradiance sensed by double cones. PMID:10910108

  5. Identification and characterization of visual pigments in caecilians (Amphibia: Gymnophiona), an order of limbless vertebrates with rudimentary eyes.

    PubMed

    Mohun, S M; Davies, W L; Bowmaker, J K; Pisani, D; Himstedt, W; Gower, D J; Hunt, D M; Wilkinson, M

    2010-10-15

    In comparison with the other amphibian orders, the Anura (frogs) and Urodela (salamanders), knowledge of the visual system of the snake-like Gymnophiona (caecilians) is relatively sparse. Most caecilians are fossorial with, as far as is known any surface activity occurring mainly at night. They have relatively small, poorly developed eyes and might be expected to possess detectable changes in the spectral sensitivity of their visual pigments. Microspectrophotometry was used to determine the spectral sensitivities of the photoreceptors in three species of caecilian, Rhinatrema bivittatum, Geotrypetes seraphini and Typhlonectes natans. Only rod opsin visual pigment, which may be associated with scotopic (dim light) vision when accompanied by other 'rod-specific' components of the phototransduction cascade, was found to be present. Opsin sequences were obtained from the eyes of two species of caecilian, Ichthyophis cf. kohtaoensis and T. natans. These rod opsins were regenerated in vitro with 11-cis retinal to give pigments with spectral sensitivity peaks close to 500 nm. No evidence for cone photoreception, associated with diurnal and colour vision, was detected using molecular and physiological methods. Additionally, visual pigments are short-wavelength shifted in terms of the maximum absorption of light when compared with other amphibian lineages. PMID:20889838

  6. Chloride binding regulates the Schiff base pK in gecko P521 cone-type visual pigment.

    PubMed

    Yuan, C; Kuwata, O; Liang, J; Misra, S; Balashov, S P; Ebrey, T G

    1999-04-01

    The binding of chloride is known to shift the absorption spectrum of most long-wavelength-absorbing cone-type visual pigments roughly 30 nm to the red. We determined that the chloride binding constant for this color shift in the gecko P521 visual pigment is 0.4 mM at pH 6.0. We found an additional effect of chloride on the P521 pigment: the apparent pKa of the Schiff base in P521 is greatly increased as the chloride concentration is increased. The apparent Schiff base pKa shifts from 8.4 for the chloride-free form to >10.4 for the chloride-bound form. We show that this shift is due to chloride binding to the pigment, not to the screening of the membrane surface charges by chloride ions. We also found that at high pH, the absorption maximum of the chloride-free pigment shifts from 495 to 475 nm. We suggest that the chloride-dependent shift of the apparent Schiff base pKa is due to the deprotonation of a residue in the chloride binding site with a pKa of ca. 8.5, roughly that of the Schiff base in the absence of chloride. The deprotonation of this site results in the formation of the 475 nm pigment and a 100-fold decrease in the pigment's ability to bind chloride. Increasing the concentration of chloride results in the stabilization of the protonated state of this residue in the chloride binding site and thus increased chloride binding with an accompanying increase in the Schiff base pK. PMID:10194387

  7. 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

  8. Coexpression of two visual pigments in a photoreceptor causes an abnormally broad spectral sensitivity in the eye of the butterfly Papilio xuthus.

    PubMed

    Arikawa, Kentaro; Mizuno, Shin; Kinoshita, Michiyo; Stavenga, Doekele G

    2003-06-01

    The compound eye of the butterfly Papilio xuthus consists of three different types of ommatidia, each containing nine photoreceptor cells (R1-R9). We have found previously that the R5-R8 photoreceptors of type II ommatidia coexpress two different mRNAs, encoding opsins of green- and orange-red-absorbing visual pigments (Kitamoto et al., 1998). Do these cells contain two functionally distinct visual pigments? First, we identified the sensitivity spectrum of these photoreceptors by using combined intracellular recording and dye injection. We thus found that the R5-R8 of type II ommatidia have a characteristic sensitivity spectrum extending over an excessively broad spectral range, from the violet to the red region; the photoreceptors are therefore termed broadband photoreceptors. The spectral shape was interpreted with a computational model for type II ommatidia, containing a UV visual pigment in cells R1 and R2, two green visual pigments in cells R3 and R4, a far-UV-absorbing screening pigment (3-hydroxyretinol) in the distal part of the ommatidium, and a red-screening pigment that surrounds the rhabdom. The modeling suggests that both visual pigments in the R5-R8 photoreceptors participate in phototransduction. This work provides the first compelling evidence that multiple visual pigments participate in phototransduction in single invertebrate photoreceptors. PMID:12805293

  9. Delayed near-infrared analysis permits visualization of rodent retinal pigment epithelium layer in vivo

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pankova, Natalie; Zhao, Xu; Liang, Huiyuan; Baek, David Sung Hyeon; Wang, Hai; Boyd, Shelley

    2014-07-01

    Patches of atrophy of the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) have not been described in rodent models of retinal degeneration, as they have the clinical setting using fundus autofluorescence. We hypothesize that prelabeling the RPE would increase contrast and allow for improved visualization of RPE loss in vivo. Here, we demonstrate a new technique termed "delayed near-infrared analysis (DNIRA)" that permits ready detection of rat RPE, using optical imaging in the near-infrared (IR) spectrum with aid of indocyanine green (ICG) dye. Using DNIRA, we demonstrate a fluorescent RPE signal that is detected using confocal scanning laser ophthalmoscopy up to 28 days following ICG injection. This signal is apparent only after ICG injection, is dose dependent, requires the presence of the ICG filters (795/810 nm excitation/emission), does not appear in the IR reflectance channel, and is eliminated in the presence of sodium iodate, a toxin that causes RPE loss. Rat RPE explants confirm internalization of ICG dye. Together with normal retinal electrophysiology, these findings demonstrate that DNIRA is a new and safe noninvasive optical imaging technique for in vivo visualization of the RPE in models of retinal disease.

  10. Chloride effect on the early photolysis intermediates of a gecko cone-type visual pigment.

    PubMed

    Lewis, J W; Liang, J; Ebrey, T G; Sheves, M; Kliger, D S

    1995-05-01

    Nanosecond laser photolysis measurements were conducted on the cone-type visual pigment P521 in digitonin extracts of Tokay gecko (Gekko gekko) retina containing physiological chloride ion levels and also on samples which had been chloride depleted or which contained high levels (4 M) of chloride. Absorbance difference spectra were recorded at a sequence of time delays from 30 ns to 60 microseconds following excitation with a pulse of either 532- or 477-nm actinic light. Global analysis showed the kinetic decay data for gecko pigment P521 to be best fit by two exponential processes under all chloride conditions. The initial photoproduct detected had a broad spectrum characteristic of an equilibrated mixture of a Batho P521 intermediate with its blue-shifted intermediate (BSI P521) decay product. The first exponential process was assigned to the decay of this mixture to the Lumi P521 intermediate. The second exponential process was identified as the decay of Lumi P521 to Meta I P521. The initial photoproduct's spectrum exhibited a strong dependence on chloride concentration, indicating that chloride affects the composition of the equilibrated mixture of Batho P521 and BSI P521. These results suggest that the affinity for chloride is reduced approximately 5-fold in the Batho P521 intermediate and approximately 50-fold in the BSI P521 intermediate. Chloride concentration also affects the apparent decay rate of the equilibrated mixture. When the apparent decay rate is corrected for the composition of the equilibrated mixture, a relatively invariant microscopic rate constant is obtained for BSI decay (k = 1/55 ns-1).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) PMID:7727442

  11. Spectral tuning and evolution of primate short-wavelength-sensitive visual pigments

    PubMed Central

    Carvalho, Livia S.; Davies, Wayne L.; Robinson, Phyllis R.; Hunt, David M.

    2012-01-01

    The peak sensitivities (λmax) of the short-wavelength-sensitive-1 (SWS1) pigments in mammals range from the ultraviolet (UV) (360–400 nm) to the violet (400–450 nm) regions of the spectrum. In most cases, a UV or violet peak is determined by the residue present at site 86, with Phe conferring UV sensitivity (UVS) and either Ser, Tyr or Val causing a shift to violet wavelengths. In primates, however, the tuning mechanism of violet-sensitive (VS) pigments would appear to differ. In this study, we examine the tuning mechanisms of prosimian SWS1 pigments. One species, the aye-aye, possesses a pigment with Phe86 but in vitro spectral analysis reveals a VS rather than a UVS pigment. Other residues (Cys, Ser and Val) at site 86 in prosimians also gave VS pigments. Substitution at site 86 is not, therefore, the primary mechanism for the tuning of VS pigments in primates, and phylogenetic analysis indicates that substitutions at site 86 have occurred at least five times in primate evolution. The sole potential tuning site that is conserved in all primate VS pigments is Pro93, which when substituted by Thr (as found in mammalian UVS pigments) in the aye-aye pigment shifted the peak absorbance into the UV region with a λmax value at 371 nm. We, therefore, conclude that the tuning of VS pigments in primates depends on Pro93, not Tyr86 as in other mammals. However, it remains uncertain whether the initial event that gave rise to the VS pigment in the ancestral primate was achieved by a Thr93Pro or a Phe86Tyr substitution. PMID:21697177

  12. Gene duplications and evolution of the short wavelength-sensitive visual pigments in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Yokoyama, S

    1994-01-01

    When invertebrate rhodopsins were used as the outgroup, the rooted phylogenetic tree of 26 vertebrate visual pigments (VPs) was constructed. These VPs are distinguished into the following four clusters: (1) RH1 cluster consisting of rhodopsins, (2) RH2 cluster consisting of VPs with variable ranges of absorption spectra, (3) SWS cluster of short wavelength-sensitive VPs, and (4) LWS/MSW cluster of long and medium wavelength-sensitive VPs. Short wavelength-sensitive VPs from Astyanax fasciatus (AF23), goldfish (BCa), chicken (BCg and VGg), and human (BHs) belong to SWS cluster, whereas that from gecko (BGge) belongs to the RH2 cluster. The SWS cluster is further divided into SWS-I (BHs and VGg) and SWS-II (AF23, BCa, and BGg) groups. The SWS-I group has accumulated more amino acid changes than any other group of VPs. It is suggested that amino acid changes at a few key positions might have been important in the functional differentiation of the SWS-I group from the SWS-II group. PMID:8121284

  13. Effects of Ocular Hypertension in the Visual System of Pigmented Mice

    PubMed Central

    Valiente-Soriano, Francisco J.; Salinas-Navarro, Manuel; Jiménez-López, Manuel; Alarcón-Martínez, Luis; Ortín-Martínez, Arturo; Bernal-Garro, José M.; Avilés-Trigueros, Marcelino; Agudo-Barriuso, Marta; Villegas-Pérez, María P.; Vidal-Sanz, Manuel

    2015-01-01

    To study the effects of ocular hypertension (OHT) on the visual system of C57BL/6 pigmented mice, the limbal and episcleral veins of the left eye were laser photocoagulated (LP). LP increased the intraocular pressure during the first five days (d), reaching basal values at 7d. To investigate the effect of OHT on the retinal ganglion cell (RGC) retrograde axonal transport, hydroxistilbamidine methanesulfonate (OHSt) was applied to both superior colliculi (SCi) and the retinas were dissected 2 or 4 weeks after LP. To determine RGC survival, these same retinas were immunoreacted against Brn3a (general RGC population) and melanopsin (intrinsically photosensitive RGCs, m+RGCs). To study whether OHT affected non-RGC neurons in the ganglion cell layer (GCL), RGCs were immunodetected with Brn3a and all GCL nuclei counterstained with DAPI in a group of animals examined 4 weeks post-LP. Innervation of the SCi was examined at 10 days, 8 or 14 weeks after LP with the orthogradely transported cholera toxin subunit-B. OHT resulted in diffuse and sectorial loss of OHSt+RGCs (50% at 2 weeks and 62% at 4 weeks) and in a comparable loss of Brn3a+RGCs at the same time intervals. m+RGCs decreased to 59% at 2 weeks and to 46% at 4 weeks, such loss was diffuse, did not parallel the sectorial loss of the general RGC population and was more severe in the superior-temporal retina. In the GCL, cell loss is selective for RGCs and does not affect other non-RGC neurons. The retinotectal innervation appeared significantly reduced at 10 days (55.7%) and did not progress further up to 14 weeks (46.6%). Thus, LP-induced OHT results in retrograde degeneration of RGCs and m+RGCs, as well as in the loss of CTB-labelled retinotectal terminals. PMID:25811653

  14. Evolutionary changes of multiple visual pigment genes in the complete genome of Pacific bluefin tuna.

    PubMed

    Nakamura, Yoji; Mori, Kazuki; Saitoh, Kenji; Oshima, Kenshiro; Mekuchi, Miyuki; Sugaya, Takuma; Shigenobu, Yuya; Ojima, Nobuhiko; Muta, Shigeru; Fujiwara, Atushi; Yasuike, Motoshige; Oohara, Ichiro; Hirakawa, Hideki; Chowdhury, Vishwajit Sur; Kobayashi, Takanori; Nakajima, Kazuhiro; Sano, Motohiko; Wada, Tokio; Tashiro, Kosuke; Ikeo, Kazuho; Hattori, Masahira; Kuhara, Satoru; Gojobori, Takashi; Inouye, Kiyoshi

    2013-07-01

    Tunas are migratory fishes in offshore habitats and top predators with unique features. Despite their ecological importance and high market values, the open-ocean lifestyle of tuna, in which effective sensing systems such as color vision are required for capture of prey, has been poorly understood. To elucidate the genetic and evolutionary basis of optic adaptation of tuna, we determined the genome sequence of the Pacific bluefin tuna (Thunnus orientalis), using next-generation sequencing technology. A total of 26,433 protein-coding genes were predicted from 16,802 assembled scaffolds. From these, we identified five common fish visual pigment genes: red-sensitive (middle/long-wavelength sensitive; M/LWS), UV-sensitive (short-wavelength sensitive 1; SWS1), blue-sensitive (SWS2), rhodopsin (RH1), and green-sensitive (RH2) opsin genes. Sequence comparison revealed that tuna's RH1 gene has an amino acid substitution that causes a short-wave shift in the absorption spectrum (i.e., blue shift). Pacific bluefin tuna has at least five RH2 paralogs, the most among studied fishes; four of the proteins encoded may be tuned to blue light at the amino acid level. Moreover, phylogenetic analysis suggested that gene conversions have occurred in each of the SWS2 and RH2 loci in a short period. Thus, Pacific bluefin tuna has undergone evolutionary changes in three genes (RH1, RH2, and SWS2), which may have contributed to detecting blue-green contrast and measuring the distance to prey in the blue-pelagic ocean. These findings provide basic information on behavioral traits of predatory fish and, thereby, could help to improve the technology to culture such fish in captivity for resource management. PMID:23781100

  15. Raman microscope and quantum yield studies on the primary photochemistry of A2-visual pigments.

    PubMed Central

    Barry, B; Mathies, R A; Pardoen, J A; Lugtenburg, J

    1987-01-01

    The 77-K resonance Raman vibrational spectrum of intact goldfish rod photoreceptors containing 3,4-dehydro (A2) retinal is dominated by scattering from the 9-cis component of the steady state at all excitation wavelengths. Intact goldfish photoreceptors were regenerated with an A1-retinal chromophore to determine whether this behavior is caused by the protein or the chromophore. The resulting Raman spectrum was typical of an A1-pigment exhibiting significant scattering from all three components of the steady state: rhodopsin, bathorhodopsin, and isorhodopsin. Furthermore, regeneration of bovine opsin with A2-retinal produces a characteristic "A2-Raman spectrum" that is dominated by scattering from the 9-cis pigment. We conclude that the differences between the Raman spectra of the A1-and A2-pigments are caused by some intrinsic difference in the photochemical properties of the retinal chromophores. To quantitate these observations, the 77-K adsorption spectra and the photochemical quantum yields (phi) of the native A2-goldfish and the regenerated A2-bovine pigments were measured. In the goldfish A2-pigment, the value of phi 4 (9-cis----trans) is 0.05; phi 3 (trans----9-cis) is 0.10; and phi 2 (trans----11-cis) is 0.35. By contrast, in the bovine A1-pigment, these quantum yields are 0.10, 0.053, and 0.50, respectively. The reduced value of phi 4 and the increased value of phi 3 in the goldfish pigment confirms that the 9-cis isomer is photochemically more stable in A2-pigments. PMID:3676440

  16. Functional characterization of the rod visual pigment of the echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus), a basal mammal.

    PubMed

    Bickelmann, Constanze; Morrow, James M; Müller, Johannes; Chang, Belinda S W

    2012-09-01

    Monotremes are the most basal egg-laying mammals comprised of two extant genera, which are largely nocturnal. Visual pigments, the first step in the sensory transduction cascade in photoreceptors of the eye, have been examined in a variety of vertebrates, but little work has been done to study the rhodopsin of monotremes. We isolated the rhodopsin gene of the nocturnal short-beaked echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus) and expressed and functionally characterized the protein in vitro. Three mutants were also expressed and characterized: N83D, an important site for spectral tuning and metarhodopsin kinetics, and two sites with amino acids unique to the echidna (T158A and F169A). The λ(max) of echidna rhodopsin (497.9 ± 1.1 nm) did not vary significantly in either T158A (498.0 ± 1.3 nm) or F169A (499.4 ± 0.1 nm) but was redshifted in N83D (503.8 ± 1.5 nm). Unlike other mammalian rhodopsins, echidna rhodopsin did react when exposed to hydroxylamine, although not as fast as cone opsins. The retinal release rate of light-activated echidna rhodopsin, as measured by fluorescence spectroscopy, had a half-life of 9.5 ± 2.6 min-1, which is significantly shorter than that of bovine rhodopsin. The half-life of the N83D mutant was 5.1 ± 0.1 min-1, even shorter than wild type. Our results show that with respect to hydroxylamine sensitivity and retinal release, the wild-type echidna rhodopsin displays major differences to all previously characterized mammalian rhodopsins and appears more similar to other nonmammalian vertebrate rhodopsins such as chicken and anole. However, our N83D mutagenesis results suggest that this site may mediate adaptation in the echidna to dim light environments, possibly via increased stability of light-activated intermediates. This study is the first characterization of a rhodopsin from a most basal mammal and indicates that there might be more functional variation in mammalian rhodopsins than previously assumed. PMID:22874131

  17. Microphthalmia-associated transcription factor regulates the visual cycle genes Rlbp1 and Rdh5 in the retinal pigment epithelium

    PubMed Central

    Wen, Bin; Li, Shuang; Li, Huirong; Chen, Yu; Ma, Xiaoyin; Wang, Jing; Lu, Fan; Qu, Jia; Hou, Ling

    2016-01-01

    Regeneration of the visual pigment by cells of the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) is fundamental to vision. Here we show that the microphthalmia-associated transcription factor, MITF, which plays a central role in the development and function of RPE cells, regulates the expression of two visual cycle genes, Rlbp1 which encodes retinaldehyde binding protein-1 (RLBP1), and Rdh5, which encodes retinol dehydrogenase-5 (RDH5). First, we found that Rlbp1 and Rdh5 are downregulated in optic cups and presumptive RPEs of Mitf-deficient mouse embryos. Second, experimental manipulation of MITF levels in human RPE cells in culture leads to corresponding modulations of the endogenous levels of RLBP1 and RDH5. Third, the retinal degeneration associated with the disruption of the visual cycle in Mitf-deficient mice can be partially corrected both structurally and functionally by an exogenous supply of 9-cis-retinal. We conclude that the expression of Rlbp1 and Rdh5 critically depends on functional Mitf in the RPE and suggest that MITF has an important role in controlling retinoid processing in the RPE. PMID:26876013

  18. Transgene-based anthocyanin hyper-pigmentation as a visual reporter of gene silencing in plants

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    “Co-suppression” associated loss of flower pigmentation in transgenic petunia plants was one of the first clear indicators of the natural process of RNA-associated gene silencing in plants. We have been exploring the use of genetically engineered anthocyanin over-production in vegetative tissues as...

  19. Psychophysical estimates of visual pigment densities in red-green dichromats.

    PubMed

    Miller, S S

    1972-05-01

    1. The spectral sensitivity of red-green dichromats was determined using heterochromatic flicker photometric matches (25-30 c/s) on the fovea. These matches are upset after a bright bleach and consequently the spectral sensitivity is altered.2. Preliminary experiments indicate that under the conditions in which these experiments were performed, the blue cone mechanism of deuteranopes and protanopes cannot follow 20 c/s flicker. If dichromats lack one of the normal pigments then the upset of these matches monitors the change in spectral sensitivity of a single mechanism.3. After a bleach which removes all the cone pigments, the spectral sensitivity recovers with the time course of pigment kinetics as measured by densitometry.4. An intense background also changes the relative spectral sensitivity of the dichromats. On real equilibrium backgrounds, the changes in spectral sensitivity follow those predicted by the pigment changes measured by densitometry. The predicted changes are obtained by modifying the Rushton equilibrium equation to take into account the density of pigment.5. The relationship of these changes to the luminance of the background is independent of the colour of the background light.6. In contradistinction the effect is dependent on the colour of the lights which were flickered. These experiments indicate that a narrowing of the spectral sensitivity curves takes place on both sides of the dichromats' lambda(max).7. The change in relative spectral sensitivity as a function of background intensity was also determined by increment threshold measurements. These changes can be expressed in terms of deviations from Weber's law (DeltaI/I = const.) if DeltaI and I represent the number of chromophores destroyed by the test and background.8. The relative spectral sensitivity of the dichromat was changed by decentering the point of pupil entry. This upset was abolished by bleaching. The size of the upset was correlated with the magnitude of the S-C I effect.9

  20. Vision in click beetles (Coleoptera: Elateridae): pigments and spectral correspondence between visual sensitivity and species bioluminescence emission.

    PubMed

    Lall, Abner B; Cronin, Thomas W; Carvalho, Alexandre A; de Souza, John M; Barros, Marcelo P; Stevani, Cassius V; Bechara, Etelvino J H; Ventura, Dora F; Viviani, Vadim R; Hill, Avionne A

    2010-09-01

    Among lampyrids, intraspecific sexual communication is facilitated by spectral correspondence between visual sensitivity and bioluminescence emission from the single lantern in the tail. Could a similar strategy be utilized by the elaterids (click beetles), which have one ventral abdominal and two dorsal prothoracic lanterns? Spectral sensitivity [S(lambda)] and bioluminescence were investigated in four Brazilian click beetle species Fulgeochlizus bruchii, Pyrearinus termitilluminans, Pyrophorus punctatissimus and P. divergens, representing three genera. In addition, in situ microspectrophotometric absorption spectra were obtained for visual and screening pigments in P. punctatissimus and P. divergens species. In all species, the electroretinographic S(lambda) functions showed broad peaks in the green with a shoulder in the near-ultraviolet, suggesting the presence of short- and long-wavelength receptors in the compound eyes. The long-wavelength receptor in Pyrophorus species is mediated by a P540 rhodopsin in conjunction with a species-specific screening pigment. A correspondence was found between green to yellow bioluminescence emissions and its broad S(lambda) maximum in each of the four species. It is hypothesized that in elaterids, bioluminescence of the abdominal lantern is an optical signal for intraspecifc sexual communication, while the signals from the prothoracic lanterns serve to warn predators and may also provide illumination in flight. PMID:20563816

  1. SWS2 visual pigment evolution as a test of historically contingent patterns of plumage color evolution in warblers.

    PubMed

    Bloch, Natasha I; Morrow, James M; Chang, Belinda S W; Price, Trevor D

    2015-02-01

    Distantly related clades that occupy similar environments may differ due to the lasting imprint of their ancestors-historical contingency. The New World warblers (Parulidae) and Old World warblers (Phylloscopidae) are ecologically similar clades that differ strikingly in plumage coloration. We studied genetic and functional evolution of the short-wavelength-sensitive visual pigments (SWS2 and SWS1) to ask if altered color perception could contribute to the plumage color differences between clades. We show SWS2 is short-wavelength shifted in birds that occupy open environments, such as finches, compared to those in closed environments, including warblers. Phylogenetic reconstructions indicate New World warblers were derived from a finch-like form that colonized from the Old World 15-20 Ma. During this process, the SWS2 gene accumulated six substitutions in branches leading to New World warblers, inviting the hypothesis that passage through a finch-like ancestor resulted in SWS2 evolution. In fact, we show spectral tuning remained similar across warblers as well as the finch ancestor. Results reject the hypothesis of historical contingency based on opsin spectral tuning, but point to evolution of other aspects of visual pigment function. Using the approach outlined here, historical contingency becomes a generally testable theory in systems where genotype and phenotype can be connected. PMID:25496318

  2. SWS2 visual pigment evolution as a test of historically contingent patterns of plumage color evolution in Warblers

    PubMed Central

    Bloch, Natasha I.; Morrow, James M.; Chang, Belinda S.W.; Price, Trevor D.

    2014-01-01

    Distantly related clades that occupy similar environments may differ due to the lasting imprint of their ancestors – historical contingency. The New World warblers (Parulidae) and Old World warblers (Phylloscopidae) are ecologically similar clades that differ strikingly in plumage coloration. We studied genetic and functional evolution of the short-wavelength sensitive visual pigments (SWS2 and SWS1) to ask if altered color perception could contribute to the plumage color differences between clades. We show SWS2 is short-wavelength shifted in birds that occupy open environments, such as finches, compared to those in closed environments, including warblers. Phylogenetic reconstructions indicate New World warblers were derived from a finch-like form that colonized from the Old World 15-20Ma. During this process the SWS2 gene accumulated 6 substitutions in branches leading to New World warblers, inviting the hypothesis that passage through a finch-like ancestor resulted in SWS2 evolution. In fact, we show spectral tuning remained similar across warblers as well as the finch ancestor. Results reject the hypothesis of historical contingency based on opsin spectral tuning, but point to evolution of other aspects of visual pigment function. Using the approach outlined here, historical contingency becomes a generally testable theory in systems where genotype and phenotype can be connected. PMID:25496318

  3. Spectral tuning in vertebrate short wavelength-sensitive 1 (SWS1) visual pigments: can wavelength sensitivity be inferred from sequence data?

    PubMed

    Hauser, Frances E; van Hazel, Ilke; Chang, Belinda S W

    2014-11-01

    The molecular mechanisms underlying the enormous diversity of visual pigment wavelength sensitivities found in nature have been the focus of many molecular evolutionary studies, with particular attention to the short wavelength-sensitive 1 (SWS1) visual pigments that mediate vision in the ultraviolet to violet range of the electromagnetic spectrum. Over a decade of study has revealed that the remarkable extension of SWS1 absorption maxima (λ max ) into the ultraviolet occurs through a deprotonation of the Schiff base linkage of the retinal chromophore, a mechanism unique to this visual pigment type. In studies of visual ecology, there has been mounting interest in inferring visual sensitivity at short wavelengths, given the importance of UV signaling in courtship displays and other behaviors. Since experimentally determining spectral sensitivities can be both challenging and time-consuming, alternative strategies such as estimating λ max based on amino acids at sites known to affect spectral tuning are becoming increasingly common. However, these estimates should be made with knowledge of the limitations inherent in these approaches. Here, we provide an overview of the current literature on SWS1 site-directed mutagenesis spectral tuning studies, and discuss methodological caveats specific to the SWS1-type pigments. We focus particular attention on contrasting avian and mammalian SWS1 spectral tuning mechanisms, which are the best studied among vertebrates. We find that avian SWS1 visual pigment spectral tuning mechanisms are fairly consistent, and therefore more predictable in terms of wavelength absorption maxima, whereas mammalian pigments are not well suited to predictions of λ max from sequence data alone. PMID:24890094

  4. Serine 85 in transmembrane helix 2 of short-wavelength visual pigments interacts with the retinylidene Schiff base counterion.

    PubMed

    Dukkipati, A; Vought, B W; Singh, D; Birge, R R; Knox, B E

    2001-12-18

    Short-wavelength cone visual pigments (SWS1) are responsible for detecting light from 350 to 430 nm. Models of this class of pigment suggest that TM2 has extensive contacts with the retinal binding pocket and stabilizes interhelical interactions. The role of TM2 in the structure-function of the Xenopus SWS1 (VCOP, lambda(max) = 427 nm) pigment was studied by replacement of the helix with that of bovine rhodopsin and also by mutagenesis of highly conserved residues. The TM2 chimera and G78D, F79L, M81E, P88T, V89S, and F90V mutants did not produce any significant spectral shift of the dark state or their primary photointermediate formed upon illumination at cryogenic temperatures. The mutant G77R (responsible for human tritanopia) was completely defective in folding, while C82A and F87T bound retinal at reduced levels. The position S85 was crucial for obtaining the appropriate spectroscopic properties of VCOP. S85A and S85T did not bind retinal. S85D bound retinal and had a wild-type dark state at room temperature and a red-shifted dark state at 45 K and formed an altered primary photointermediate. S85C absorbed maximally at 390 nm at neutral pH and at 365 nm at pH >7.5. The S85C dark state was red shifted by 20 nm at 45 K and formed an altered primary photointermediate. These data suggest that S85 is involved in a hydrogen bond with the protonated retinylidene Schiff base counterion in both the dark state and the primary photointermediate. PMID:11735392

  5. 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

  6. Spectral tuning and molecular evolution of rod visual pigments in the species flock of cottoid fish in Lake Baikal.

    PubMed

    Hunt, D M; Fitzgibbon, J; Slobodyanyuk, S J; Bowmaker, J K

    1996-05-01

    Lake Baikal in Eastern Siberia is the deepest and one of the largest and most ancient lakes in the world. However, even in the deepest regions, oxygenation levels do not fall below 75-80% of the surface levels. This has enabled a remarkable flock of largely endemic teleost fish of the sub-order Cottoidei to colonize all depth habitats. We have previously shown that species that occupy progressively deeper habitats show a blue shift in the peak wavelength of absorbance (lambda max) of both their rod and cone visual pigments; for the rod pigments, a number of stepwise shifts occur from about 516 nm in littoral species to about 484 nm in abyssal species. By sequencing the rod opsin gene from 11 species of Baikal cottoids that include representatives from all depth habitats, we have been able to identify four amino acid substitutions that would account for these shifts. The effect of each substitution on lambda max is approximately additive and each corresponds to a particular lineage of evolution. PMID:8711901

  7. Pigment Degradation in Oil Paint Induced by Indoor Climate: Comparison of Visual and Computational Backscattered Electron Images.

    PubMed

    Keune, Katrien; Kramer, Rick P; Huijbregts, Zara; Schellen, Henk L; Stappers, Marc H L; van Eikema Hommes, Margriet H

    2016-04-01

    For the first time the degradation of lead white pigment in mature oil paint has been used as an internal marker for the degree of saponification and hence chemical degradation of oil paint. Computational image analysis of the backscattered electron images quantified the degree of the intact lead white pigment versus the nonpigmented and lead-rich areas (degraded lead white) in the paint layers. This new methodology was applied to a series of paint samples taken from four painted wall hangings (dated 1778), which makes it possible to study the influence of indoor climate on chemical degradation of aged oil paintings. The visual interpretation and computational image analysis of the backscattered electron images revealed clear trends. The highest degree of lead white degradation in the room was found in samples from the north wall close to the windows, whereas degradation diminished further away from the window. Lead white from the south wall was less degraded, but showed a similar trend as in the paintings on the north wall. These results imply a strong relationship between chemical degradation of paint and location of the paint in the room. PMID:26891673

  8. On the color-tuning mechanism of Human-Blue visual pigment: SAC-CI and QM/MM study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fujimoto, Kazuhiro; Hasegawa, Jun-ya; Hayashi, Shigehiko; Nakatsuji, Hiroshi

    2006-12-01

    Color-tuning mechanism of Human-Blue pigment, visual color-receptor in the cone cells of the eye, has been investigated. Based on a previous Homology-modeling structure and experimental evidences, a working model was constructed, and the structure has been optimized by QM(B3LYP)/MM(A MBER) method. SAC-CI calculation was performed to obtain photo-absorption energy. The calculated absorption energy reasonably agrees with the experiment. A decomposition analysis was performed and compared with the case of Bovine rhodopsin. The electrostatic effect from the opsin is primarily important for the color-tuning. The electronic interaction (quantum effect) of the counter-residue is indispensable for quantitative calculation of the absorption energy.

  9. 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)

  10. 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

  11. Isomerization and oxidation of vitamin a in cone-dominant retinas: a novel pathway for visual-pigment regeneration in daylight.

    PubMed

    Mata, Nathan L; Radu, Roxana A; Clemmons, Richard C; Travis, Gabriel H

    2002-09-26

    The first step toward light perception is 11-cis to all-trans photoisomerization of the retinaldehyde chromophore in a rod or cone opsin-pigment molecule. Light sensitivity of the opsin pigment is restored through a multistep pathway called the visual cycle, which effects all-trans to 11-cis re-isomerization of the retinoid chromophore. The maximum throughput of the known visual cycle, however, is too slow to explain sustained photosensitivity in bright light. Here, we demonstrate three novel enzymatic activities in cone-dominant ground-squirrel and chicken retinas: an all-trans-retinol isomerase, an 11-cis-retinyl-ester synthase, and an 11-cis-retinol dehydrogenase. Together these activities comprise a novel pathway that regenerates opsin photopigments at a rate 20-fold faster than the known visual cycle. We suggest that this pathway is responsible for sustained daylight vision in vertebrates. PMID:12367507

  12. Isomerization and Oxidation of Vitamin A in Cone-Dominant Retinas: A Novel Pathway for Visual-Pigment Regeneration in Daylight

    PubMed Central

    Mata, Nathan L.; Radu, Roxana A.; Clemmons, Richard S.; Travis, Gabriel H.

    2010-01-01

    Summary The first step toward light perception is 11-cis to all-trans photoisomerization of the retinaldehyde chromophore in a rod or cone opsin-pigment molecule. Light sensitivity of the opsin pigment is restored through a multistep pathway called the visual cycle, which effects all-trans to 11-cis re-isomerization of the retinoid chromophore. The maximum throughput of the known visual cycle, however, is too slow to explain sustained photosensitivity in bright light. Here, we demonstrate three novel enzymatic activities in cone-dominant ground-squirrel and chicken retinas: an all-trans-retinol isomerase, an 11-cis-retinyl-ester synthase, and an 11-cis-retinol dehydrogenase. Together these activities comprise a novel pathway that regenerates opsin photopigments at a rate 20-fold faster than the known visual cycle. We suggest that this pathway is responsible for sustained daylight vision in vertebrates. PMID:12367507

  13. Out of the blue: adaptive visual pigment evolution accompanies Amazon invasion.

    PubMed

    Van Nynatten, Alexander; Bloom, Devin; Chang, Belinda S W; Lovejoy, Nathan R

    2015-07-01

    Incursions of marine water into South America during the Miocene prompted colonization of freshwater habitats by ancestrally marine species and present a unique opportunity to study the molecular evolution of adaptations to varying environments. Freshwater and marine environments are distinct in both spectra and average intensities of available light. Here, we investigate the molecular evolution of rhodopsin, the photosensitive pigment in the eye that activates in response to light, in a clade of South American freshwater anchovies derived from a marine ancestral lineage. Using likelihood-based comparative sequence analyses, we found evidence for positive selection in the rhodopsin of freshwater anchovy lineages at sites known to be important for aspects of rhodopsin function such as spectral tuning. No evidence was found for positive selection in marine lineages, nor in three other genes not involved in vision. Our results suggest that an increased rate of rhodopsin evolution was driven by diversification into freshwater habitats, thereby constituting a rare example of molecular evolution mirroring large-scale palaeogeographic events. PMID:26224386

  14. Blue- and green-absorbing visual pigments of Drosophila: ectopic expression and physiological characterization of the R8 photoreceptor cell-specific Rh5 and Rh6 rhodopsins.

    PubMed

    Salcedo, E; Huber, A; Henrich, S; Chadwell, L V; Chou, W H; Paulsen, R; Britt, S G

    1999-12-15

    Color discrimination requires the input of different photoreceptor cells that are sensitive to different wavelengths of light. The Drosophila visual system contains multiple classes of photoreceptor cells that differ in anatomical location, synaptic connections, and spectral sensitivity. The Rh5 and Rh6 opsins are expressed in nonoverlapping sets of R8 cells and are the only Drosophila visual pigments that remain uncharacterized. In this study, we ectopically expressed Rh5 and Rh6 in the major class of photoreceptor cells (R1-R6) and show them to be biologically active in their new environment. The expression of either Rh5 or Rh6 in "blind" ninaE(17) mutant flies, which lack the gene encoding the visual pigment of the R1-R6 cells, fully rescues the light response. Electrophysiological analysis showed that the maximal spectral sensitivity of the R1-R6 cells is shifted to 437 or 508 nm when Rh5 or Rh6, respectively, is expressed in these cells. These spectral sensitivities are in excellent agreement with intracellular recordings of the R8p and R8y cells measured in Calliphora and Musca. Spectrophotometric analyses of Rh5 and Rh6 in vivo by microspectrophotometry, and of detergent-extracted pigments in vitro, showed that Rh5 is reversibly photoconverted to a stable metarhodopsin (lambda(max) = 494 nm), whereas Rh6 appears to be photoconverted to a metarhodopsin (lambda(max) = 468 nm) that is less thermally stable. Phylogenetically, Rh5 belongs to a group of short-wavelength-absorbing invertebrate visual pigments, whereas Rh6 is related to a group of long-wavelength-absorbing pigments and is the first member of this class to be functionally characterized. PMID:10594055

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Femtosecond spectroscopy of a 13-demethylrhodopsin visual pigment analogue: The role of nonbonded interactions in the isomerization process

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, Q.; Shank, C.V.; Kochendoerfer, G.G.; Mathies, R.A.; Schoenlein, R.W.; Verdegem, P.J.E.; Lugtenburg, J.

    1996-10-24

    The photoisomerization reaction of the visual pigment analogue 11-cis-13-demethylrhodopsin is investigated using femtosecond pump-probe techniques. Following excitation with a 40-fs pump pulse at 500 nm, differential trasnsient absorption spectra are measured from 470 to 560 nm using a 10-fs probe pulse centered at 500 nm and from 560 to 650 nm using a 10-fs probe pulse centered at 620 nm. The persistence of the excited-state absorption, the recovery kinetics of the ground-state bleach, and the formation time of the photoproduct absorption all indicate that this photoisomerization reaction is complete on the 400-fs time scale. Comparison of the reaction dynamics of 11-cis-rhodopsin with 11-cis-13-demethylrhodopsin suggests that the removal of the nonbonded steric intersection between the C{sub 13}-methyl group and the C{sub 10}-hydrogen atom slows down the initial torsional dynamics and that this in turn results in a lower isomerization quantum yield and a slower overall reaction time. Our results support the hypothesis that the quantum yield and the speed of the isomerization reaction are coupled according to a dynamic potential-sulfate crossing mechanism. 27 refs., 5 figs.

  18. Ultraviolet vision in lacertid lizards: evidence from retinal structure, eye transmittance, SWS1 visual pigment genes and behaviour.

    PubMed

    Pérez i de Lanuza, Guillem; Font, Enrique

    2014-08-15

    Ultraviolet (UV) vision and UV colour patches have been reported in a wide range of taxa and are increasingly appreciated as an integral part of vertebrate visual perception and communication systems. Previous studies with Lacertidae, a lizard family with diverse and complex coloration, have revealed the existence of UV-reflecting patches that may function as social signals. However, confirmation of the signalling role of UV coloration requires demonstrating that the lizards are capable of vision in the UV waveband. Here we use a multidisciplinary approach to characterize the visual sensitivity of a diverse sample of lacertid species. Spectral transmission measurements of the ocular media show that wavelengths down to 300 nm are transmitted in all the species sampled. Four retinal oil droplet types can be identified in the lacertid retina. Two types are pigmented and two are colourless. Fluorescence microscopy reveals that a type of colourless droplet is UV-transmitting and may thus be associated with UV-sensitive cones. DNA sequencing shows that lacertids have a functional SWS1 opsin, very similar at 13 critical sites to that in the presumed ancestral vertebrate (which was UV sensitive) and other UV-sensitive lizards. Finally, males of Podarcis muralis are capable of discriminating between two views of the same stimulus that differ only in the presence/absence of UV radiance. Taken together, these results provide convergent evidence of UV vision in lacertids, very likely by means of an independent photopigment. Moreover, the presence of four oil droplet types suggests that lacertids have a four-cone colour vision system. PMID:24902749

  19. Space and Time Evolution of the Electrostatic Potential During the Activation of a Visual Pigment.

    PubMed

    Melaccio, Federico; Calimet, Nicolas; Schapiro, Igor; Valentini, Alessio; Cecchini, Marco; Olivucci, Massimo

    2016-07-01

    Animal and microbial retinal proteins employ the Schiff base of retinal as their chromophore. Here, the possible consequences of the charge translocation associated with the light-induced dynamics of the chromophore of a visual opsin are investigated along a representative semiclassical trajectory. We show that the evolution of the electrostatic potential projected by the chromophore onto the surrounding protein displays intense but topographically localized sudden variations in proximity of the decay region. pKa calculations carried out on selected snapshots used as probes, indicate that the only residue which may be sensitive to the electrostatic potential shift is Glu181. Accordingly, our results suggest that the frail Tyr191/268-Glu181-Wat2-Ser186 hydrogen bond network may be perturbed by the transient variations of the electrostatic potential. PMID:27322155

  20. Spectral tuning by opsin coexpression in retinal regions that view different parts of the visual field

    PubMed Central

    Dalton, Brian E.; Loew, Ellis R.; Cronin, Thomas W.; Carleton, Karen L.

    2014-01-01

    Vision frequently mediates critical behaviours, and photoreceptors must respond to the light available to accomplish these tasks. Most photoreceptors are thought to contain a single visual pigment, an opsin protein bound to a chromophore, which together determine spectral sensitivity. Mechanisms of spectral tuning include altering the opsin, changing the chromophore and incorporating pre-receptor filtering. A few exceptions to the use of a single visual pigment have been documented in which a single mature photoreceptor coexpresses opsins that form spectrally distinct visual pigments, and in these exceptions the functional significance of coexpression is unclear. Here we document for the first time photoreceptors coexpressing spectrally distinct opsin genes in a manner that tunes sensitivity to the light environment. Photoreceptors of the cichlid fish, Metriaclima zebra, mix different pairs of opsins in retinal regions that view distinct backgrounds. The mixing of visual pigments increases absorbance of the corresponding background, potentially aiding the detection of dark objects. Thus, opsin coexpression may be a novel mechanism of spectral tuning that could be useful for detecting prey, predators and mates. However, our calculations show that coexpression of some opsins can hinder colour discrimination, creating a trade-off between visual functions. PMID:25377457

  1. Spectral tuning by opsin coexpression in retinal regions that view different parts of the visual field.

    PubMed

    Dalton, Brian E; Loew, Ellis R; Cronin, Thomas W; Carleton, Karen L

    2014-12-22

    Vision frequently mediates critical behaviours, and photoreceptors must respond to the light available to accomplish these tasks. Most photoreceptors are thought to contain a single visual pigment, an opsin protein bound to a chromophore, which together determine spectral sensitivity. Mechanisms of spectral tuning include altering the opsin, changing the chromophore and incorporating pre-receptor filtering. A few exceptions to the use of a single visual pigment have been documented in which a single mature photoreceptor coexpresses opsins that form spectrally distinct visual pigments, and in these exceptions the functional significance of coexpression is unclear. Here we document for the first time photoreceptors coexpressing spectrally distinct opsin genes in a manner that tunes sensitivity to the light environment. Photoreceptors of the cichlid fish, Metriaclima zebra, mix different pairs of opsins in retinal regions that view distinct backgrounds. The mixing of visual pigments increases absorbance of the corresponding background, potentially aiding the detection of dark objects. Thus, opsin coexpression may be a novel mechanism of spectral tuning that could be useful for detecting prey, predators and mates. However, our calculations show that coexpression of some opsins can hinder colour discrimination, creating a trade-off between visual functions. PMID:25377457

  2. Skin Pigment

    MedlinePlus

    ... Professional Version Pigment Disorders Overview of Skin Pigment Albinism Vitiligo Hyperpigmentation Melasma Melanin is the brown pigment ... dark-skinned people produce the most. People with albinism have little or no melanin and thus their ...

  3. Effect of Supplemental Lutein and Zeaxanthin on Serum, Macular Pigmentation, and Visual Performance in Patients with Early Age-Related Macular Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Yang-Mu; Dou, Hong-Liang; Huang, Fei-Fei; Xu, Xian-Rong; Zou, Zhi-Yong

    2015-01-01

    Purpose. To compare the 2-year effect of multiple doses of lutein/zeaxanthin on serum, macular pigmentation, and visual performance on patients with early age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Methods. In this randomized, double-blinded, and placebo-controlled trial, 112 early AMD patients randomly received either 10 mg lutein, 20 mg lutein, a combination of lutein (10 mg) and zeaxanthin (10 mg), or placebo daily for 2 years. Serum concentration of lutein/zeaxanthin, macular pigment optical density (MPOD), visual functions including best-spectacle corrected visual acuity (BCVA), contrast sensitivity (CS), flash recovery time (FRT), and vision-related quality of life (VFQ25) was quantified. Results. Serum lutein concentration and MPOD significantly increased in all the active treatment groups. Supplementation with 20 mg lutein was the most effective in increasing MPOD and CS at 3 cycles/degree for the first 48 weeks. However, they both significantly increased to the same peak value following supplementation with either 10 mg or 20 mg lutein during the intervention. No statistical changes of BCVA or FRT were observed during the trial. Conclusions. Long-term lutein supplementation could increase serum lutein concentration, MPOD, and visual sensitivities of early AMD patients. 10 mg lutein daily might be an advisable long-term dosage for early AMD treatment. PMID:25815324

  4. Variation in the Visual Habitat May Mediate the Maintenance of Color Polymorphism in a Poeciliid Fish

    PubMed Central

    Hurtado-Gonzales, Jorge L.; Loew, Ellis R.; Uy, J. Albert C.

    2014-01-01

    The conspicuousness of animal signals is influenced by their contrast against the background. As such, signal conspicuousness will tend to vary in nature because habitats are composed of a mosaic of backgrounds. Variation in attractiveness could result in variation in conspecific mate choice and risk of predation, which, in turn, may create opportunities for balancing selection to maintain distinct polymorphisms. We quantified male coloration, the absorbance spectrum of visual pigments and the photic environment of Poecilia parae, a fish species with five distinct male color morphs: a drab (i.e., grey), a striped, and three colorful (i.e., blue, red and yellow) morphs. Then, using physiological models, we assessed how male color patterns can be perceived in their natural visual habitats by conspecific females and a common cichlid predator, Aequidens tetramerus. Our estimates of chromatic and luminance contrasts suggest that the three most colorful morphs were consistently the most conspicuous across all habitats. However, variation in the visual background resulted in variation in which morph was the most conspicuous to females at each locality. Likewise, the most colorful morphs were the most conspicuous morphs to cichlid predators. If females are able to discriminate between conspicuous prospective mates and those preferred males are also more vulnerable to predation, variable visual habitats could influence the direction and strength of natural and sexual selection, thereby allowing for the persistence of color polymorphisms in natural environments. PMID:24987856

  5. 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

  6. Sequence divergence, polymorphism and evolution of the middle-wave and long-wave visual pigment genes of great apes and Old World monkeys.

    PubMed

    Dulai, K S; Bowmaker, J K; Mollon, J D; Hunt, D M

    1994-10-01

    In man, the spectral shift between the middle-wave (MW) and long-wave (LW) visual pigments is largely achieved by amino acid substitution at two codons, both located in exon 5. A third amino acid site coded by exon 3 is polymorphic between pigments. We have studied the equivalent regions of the cone opsin genes in two members of the Hominidea (the gorilla, Gorilla gorilla and the chimpanzee, Pan troglodytes) and in three members of the Cercopithecoidea family of Old World primates (the diana monkey, Cercopithecus diana, the talapoin monkey, Miopithecus talapoin, and the crab-eating macaque, Macaca fascicularis). No variation in the codons that specify the amino acids involved in spectral tuning were found. We predict therefore that the MW and LW pigments of gorilla and chimpanzee have similar spectral characteristics to those of man. Multiple copies of the same opsin gene sequence were identified in the chimpanzee, talapoin and macaque and we also show that non-human Old World primates are similar to man in showing a bunching of polymorphic sites in exon 3. We discuss the ancestry of the separate MW and LW genes of Old World primates and the equivalent polymorphic gene of the marmoset, a New World primate. PMID:7975287

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Ion transport in pigmentation

    PubMed Central

    Bellono, Nicholas W.; Oancea, Elena V.

    2014-01-01

    Skin melanocytes and ocular pigment cells contain specialized organelles called melanosomes, which are responsible for the synthesis of melanin, the major pigment in mammals. Defects in the complex mechanisms involved in melanin synthesis and regulation result in vision and pigmentation deficits, impaired development of the visual system,, and increased susceptibility to skin and eye cancers. Ion transport across cellular membranes is critical for many biological processes, including pigmentation, but the molecular mechanisms by which it regulates melanin synthesis, storage, and transfer are not understood. In this review we first discuss ion channels and transporters that function at the plasma membrane of melanocytes; in the second part we consider ion transport across the membrane of intracellular organelles, with emphasis on melanosomes. We discuss recently characterized lysosomal and endosomal ion channels and transporters associated with pigmentation phenotypes. We then review the evidence for melanosomal channels and transporters critical for pigmentation, discussing potential molecular mechanisms mediating their function. The studies investigating ion transport in pigmentation physiology open new avenues for future research and could reveal novel molecular mechanisms underlying melanogenesis. PMID:25034214

  13. Lake and Sea Populations of Mysis relicta (Crustacea, Mysida) with Different Visual-Pigment Absorbance Spectra Use the Same A1 Chromophore

    PubMed Central

    Belikov, Nikolai; Yakovleva, Marina; Feldman, Tatiana; Demina, Olga; Khodonov, Andrei; Lindström, Magnus; Donner, Kristian; Ostrovsky, Mikhail

    2014-01-01

    Glacial-relict species of the genus Mysis (opossum shrimps) inhabiting both fresh-water lakes and brackish sea waters in northern Europe show a consistent lake/sea dichotomy in eye spectral sensitivity. The absorbance peak (λmax) recorded by microspectrophotometry in isolated rhabdoms is invariably 20–30 nm red-shifted in “lake” compared with “sea” populations. The dichotomy holds across species, major opsin lineages and light environments. Chromophore exchange from A1 to A2 (retinal → 3,4-didehydroretinal) is a well-known mechanism for red-shifting visual pigments depending on environmental conditions or stages of life history, present not only in fishes and amphibians, but in some crustaceans as well. We tested the hypothesis that the lake/sea dichotomy in Mysis is due to the use of different chromophores, focussing on two populations of M. relicta from, respectively, a Finnish lake and the Baltic Sea. They are genetically very similar, having been separated for less than 10 kyr, and their rhabdoms show a typical lake/sea difference in λmax (554 nm vs. 529 nm). Gene sequencing has revealed no differences translating into amino acid substitutions in the transmembrane parts of their opsins. We determined the chromophore identity (A1 or A2) in the eyes of these two populations by HPLC, using as standards pure chromophores A1 and A2 as well as extracts from bovine (A1) and goldfish (A2) retinas. We found that the visual-pigment chromophore in both populations is A1 exclusively. Thus the spectral difference between these two populations of M. relicta is not due to the use of different chromophores. We argue that this conclusion is likely to hold for all populations of M. relicta as well as its European sibling species. PMID:24516590

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Pigmented casts.

    PubMed

    Miteva, Mariya; Romanelli, Paolo; Tosti, Antonella

    2014-01-01

    Pigmented casts have been reported with variable frequency in scalp biopsies from alopecia areata, trichotillomania, chemotherapy-induced alopecia and postoperative (pressure induced) alopecia. Their presence and morphology in other scalp disorders has not been described. The authors assessed for the presence and morphology of pigmented casts in 308 transversely bisected scalp biopsies from nonscarring and scarring alopecia, referred to the Department of Dermatology, University of Miami within a year. The pigmented casts were present in 21 of 29 cases of alopecia areata (72%), 7 of 7 cases of trichotillomania (100%), 1 case of friction alopecia, 4 of 28 cases of central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia (14%), and 4 of 4 cases of dissecting cellulitis (100%). They did not show any distinguishing features except for the morphology in trichotillomania, which included twisted, linear (zip), and "button"-like pigment aggregation. The linear arrangement was found also in friction alopecia and dissecting cellulitis. Pigmented casts in the hair canals of miniaturized/vellus hairs was a clue to alopecia areata. Pigmented casts can be observed in biopsies of different hair disorders, but they are not specific for the diagnosis. Horizontal sections allow to better assess their morphology and the follicular level of presence of pigmented casts, which in the context of the other follicular findings may be a clue to the diagnosis. PMID:23823025

  17. 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

  18. Spectral Tuning of Killer Whale (Orcinus orca) Rhodopsin: Evidence for Positive Selection and Functional Adaptation in a Cetacean Visual Pigment.

    PubMed

    Dungan, Sarah Z; Kosyakov, Alexander; Chang, Belinda S W

    2016-02-01

    Cetaceans have undergone a remarkable evolutionary transition that was accompanied by many sensory adaptations, including modification of the visual system for underwater environments. Recent sequencing of cetacean genomes has made it possible to begin exploring the molecular basis of these adaptations. In this study we use in vitro expression methods to experimentally characterize the first step of the visual transduction cascade, the light activation of rhodopsin, for the killer whale. To investigate the spectral effects of amino acid substitutions thought to correspond with absorbance shifts relative to terrestrial mammals, we used the orca gene as a background for the first site-directed mutagenesis experiments in a cetacean rhodopsin. The S292A mutation had the largest effect, and was responsible for the majority of the spectral difference between killer whale and bovine (terrestrial) rhodopsin. Using codon-based likelihood models, we also found significant evidence for positive selection in cetacean rhodopsin sequences, including on spectral tuning sites we experimentally mutated. We then investigated patterns of ecological divergence that may be correlated with rhodopsin functional variation by using a series of clade models that partitioned the data set according to phylogeny, habitat, and foraging depth zone. Only the model partitioning according to depth was significant. This suggests that foraging dives might be a selective regime influencing cetacean rhodopsin divergence, and our experimental results indicate that spectral tuning may be playing an adaptive role in this process. Our study demonstrates that combining computational and experimental methods is crucial for gaining insight into the selection pressures underlying molecular evolution. PMID:26486871

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Increased Macular Pigment Optical Density and Visual Acuity following Consumption of a Buttermilk Drink Containing Lutein-Enriched Egg Yolks: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial

    PubMed Central

    van der Made, Sanne M.; Kelly, Elton R.; Kijlstra, Aize; Plat, Jogchum

    2016-01-01

    Purpose. To study the effect of 1-year daily consumption of a dairy drink containing lutein-enriched egg yolks on macular pigment optical density (MPOD) and visual function parameters in elderly subjects with ocular drusen and/or retinal pigment abnormalities. Methods. One hundred and one subjects were recruited to participate in this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled parallel intervention trial. Statistical analyses were performed with 46 subjects in the lutein group and 43 in the control group. MPOD, best corrected visual acuity (BCVA, logMAR), and dark adaptation were measured at the start of the study, after 6 months and after 12 months. Plasma lutein and zeaxanthin concentrations were assessed at baseline and at the end of the study. Results. In the lutein group, plasma lutein concentrations increased significantly from 205 ng/mL at baseline to 399 ng/mL after twelve months of intervention. MPOD increased significantly from 0.45 to 0.52 and BCVA improved significantly from −0.04 to −0.09 LogMar. Differences in rod dark adaptation rate between both groups were not significant. Conclusion. Daily consumption of a dairy drink containing lutein-enriched egg yolks for one year improves visual acuity, MPOD, and plasma lutein concentration in elderly subjects with drusen and/or retinal pigment epithelial abnormalities. PMID:27064326

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. The molecular basis for UV vision in birds: spectral characteristics, cDNA sequence and retinal localization of the UV-sensitive visual pigment of the budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulatus).

    PubMed Central

    Wilkie, S E; Vissers, P M; Das, D; Degrip, W J; Bowmaker, J K; Hunt, D M

    1998-01-01

    Microspectrophotometric (msp) studies have shown that the colour-vision system of many bird species is based on four pigments with absorption peaks in the red, green, blue and UV regions of the spectrum. The existence of a fourth pigment (UV) is the major difference between the trichromacy of humans and the tetrachromacy of such birds, and recent studies have shown that it may play a determining role in such diverse aspects of behaviour as mate selection and detection of food. Avian visual pigments are composed of an opsin protein covalently bound via a Schiff-base linkage to the chromophore 11-cis-retinal. Here we report the cDNA sequence of a UV opsin isolated from an avian species, Melopsittacus undulatus (budgerigar or small parakeet). This sequence has been expressed using the recombinant baculovirus system; the pigment generated from the expressed protein on addition of 11-cis-retinal yielded an absorption spectrum typical of a UV photopigment, with lambdamax 365+/-3 nm. This is the first UV opsin from an avian species to be sequenced and expressed in a heterologous system. In situ hybridization of this sequence to budgerigar retinas selectively labelled a sub-set of UV cones, representing approx. 9% of the total cone population, that are distributed in a semi-regular pattern across the entire retina. PMID:9461554

  9. Birthmarks - pigmented

    MedlinePlus

    ... its own appearance: Cafe-au-lait spots are light tan, the color of coffee with milk. Moles are small clusters of colored skin cells. Mongolian spots (also called Mongolian blue ... dark or light skin Growth of hair from pigmented skin Skin ...

  10. 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

  11. Hybrid origin of a cichlid population in Lake Malawi: implications for genetic variation and species diversity.

    PubMed

    Smith, Peter F; Konings, Ad; Kornfield, Irv

    2003-09-01

    The importance of species recognition to taxonomic diversity among Lake Malawi cichlids has been frequently discussed. Hybridization - the apparent breakdown of species recognition - has been observed sporadically among cichlids and has been viewed as both a constructive and a destructive force with respect to species diversity. Here we provide genetic evidence of a natural hybrid cichlid population with a unique colour phenotype and elevated levels of genetic variation. We discuss the potential evolutionary consequences of interspecific hybridization in Lake Malawi cichlids and propose that the role of hybridization in generating both genetic variability and species diversity of Lake Malawi cichlids warrants further consideration. PMID:12919487

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Sensory basis for detection of benthic prey in two Lake Malawi cichlids.

    PubMed

    Schwalbe, Margot A B; Webb, Jacqueline F

    2014-04-01

    The adaptive radiations of African cichlids resulted in a diversity of feeding morphologies and strategies, but the role of sensory biology in prey detection and feeding ecology remains largely unexplored. Two endemic Lake Malawi cichlid genera, Tramitichromis and Aulonocara, feed on benthic invertebrates, but differ in lateral line morphology (narrow and widened lateral line canals, respectively) and foraging strategy. The hypothesis that they use their lateral line systems differently was tested by looking at the relative contribution of the lateral line system and vision in prey detection by Tramitichromis sp. and comparing results to those from a complementary study using Aulonocara stuartgranti (Schwalbe et al., 2012). First, behavioral trials were used to assess the ability of Tramitichromis sp. to detect live (mobile) and dead (immobile) benthic prey under light and dark conditions. Second, trials were run before, immediately after, and several weeks after chemical ablation of the lateral line system to determine its role in feeding behavior. Results show that Tramitichromis sp. is a visual predator that neither locates prey in the dark nor depends on lateral line input for prey detection and is thus distinct from A. stuartgranti, which uses its lateral line or a combination of vision and lateral line to detect prey depending on light condition. Investigating how functionally distinctive differences in sensory morphology are correlated with feeding behavior in the laboratory and determining the role of sensory systems in feeding ecology will provide insights into how sensory capabilities may contribute to trophic niche segregation. PMID:24369759

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Skin Pigmentation Disorders

    MedlinePlus

    Pigmentation means coloring. Skin pigmentation disorders affect the color of your skin. Your skin gets its color from a pigment called melanin. Special cells in the skin make melanin. When these cells become damaged or ...

  1. 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

  2. Function of a key morphological innovation: fusion of the cichlid pharyngeal jaw

    PubMed Central

    Darrin Hulsey, C

    2005-01-01

    The pharyngeal jaw of cichlids may represent a key innovation that facilitated their unparalleled trophic divergence. In cichlids, ‘fusion’ of the lower pharyngeal jaw (LPJ) results from suturing between the two lower ceratobranchials. To examine, what novel abilities a more extensively fused pharyngeal jaw may confer, the function of LPJ suturing was examined in Heroine cichlids. Greater LPJ suturing, pharyngeal jaw splitting under compression and the forces used to crush molluscs in the wild suggest increased LPJ fusion in the trophically polymorphic Herichthys minckleyi operates to strengthen the pharyngeal jaw. Among Heroine cichlid species, the presence of an external LPJ suture and feeding specialization on molluscs was evolutionarily quite variable, but greater LPJ fusion estimated from the amount of external suturing was highly correlated with molluscivory. Throughout cichlid diversification, increased pharyngeal jaw fusion via suturing has likely helped to reinforce the LPJ during pharyngeal processing thereby facilitating the ability of cichlids to exploit durable prey. PMID:16608685

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Synthesis and migration of /sup 3/H-fucose-labeled glycoproteins in the retinal pigment epithelium of albino rats, as visualized by radioautography

    SciTech Connect

    Haddad, A.; Bennett, G.

    1987-03-01

    /sup 3/H-fucose was injected into the vitreous body of the eye(s) of 250-gm rats, which were then killed by means of an intracardiac perfusion with glutaraldehyde after intervals of 10 min, 1 and 4 hr, and 1 and 7 days. The eyes were removed and further fixed, and pieces of retina were processed for light and electron microscope radioautography. Light microscope radioautography showed that the pigment epithelial cells actively incorporated /sup 3/H-fucose label. The intensity of reaction peaked at 4 hr after injection of the label and then slowly declined. Quantitative electron microscope radioautography revealed that, at 10 min after /sup 3/H-fucose injection, over 70% of the label was localized to the Golgi apparatus, indicating that fucose residues are added to newly synthesized glycoproteins principally at this site. With time the proportion of label associated with the Golgi apparatus decreased, but that assigned to the infolded basal plasma membrane, the apical microvilli, and various apical lysosomes increased. These results indicate that in retinal pigment epithelial cells newly synthesized glycoproteins continuously migrate from the Golgi apparatus to lysosomes and to various regions of the plasma membrane. In this case, the membrane glycoproteins may play specific roles in receptor functions of the basal plasma membrane or phagocytic activities at the apical surface. Very little label migrated to Bruch's membrane, indicating either a very slow turnover or a paucity of fucose-containing glycoproteins at this site.

  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. 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

  8. Skin Pigmentation Disorders

    MedlinePlus

    ... skin gets its color from a pigment called melanin. Special cells in the skin make melanin. When these cells become damaged or unhealthy, it affects melanin production. Some pigmentation disorders affect just patches of ...

  9. Oral pigmentation: A review

    PubMed Central

    Sreeja, C.; Ramakrishnan, K.; Vijayalakshmi, D.; Devi, M.; Aesha, I.; Vijayabanu, B.

    2015-01-01

    Pigmentations are commonly found in the mouth. They represent in various clinical patterns that can range from just physiologic changes to oral manifestations of systemic diseases and malignancies. Color changes in the oral mucosa can be attributed to the deposition of either endogenous or exogenous pigments as a result of various mucosal diseases. The various pigmentations can be in the form of blue/purple vascular lesions, brown melanotic lesions, brown heme-associated lesions, gray/black pigmentations. PMID:26538887

  10. Overview of plant pigments

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Chlorophylls, carotenoids, flavonoids and betalains are four major classes of biological pigments produced in plants. Chlorophylls are the primary pigments responsible for plant green and photosynthesis. The other three are accessary pigments and secondary metabolites that yield non-green colors and...

  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. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Graph-based pigment network detection in skin images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sadeghi, M.; Razmara, M.; Ester, M.; Lee, T. K.; Atkins, M. S.

    2010-03-01

    Detecting pigmented network is a crucial step for melanoma diagnosis. In this paper, we present a novel graphbased pigment network detection method that can find and visualize round structures belonging to the pigment network. After finding sharp changes of the luminance image by an edge detection function, the resulting binary image is converted to a graph, and then all cyclic sub-graphs are detected. Theses cycles represent meshes that belong to the pigment network. Then, we create a new graph of the cyclic structures based on their distance. According to the density ratio of the new graph of the pigment network, the image is classified as "Absent" or "Present". Being Present means that a pigment network is detected in the skin lesion. Using this approach, we achieved an accuracy of 92.6% on five hundred unseen images.

  16. Evolutionary History of Lake Tanganyika's Predatory Deepwater Cichlids

    PubMed Central

    Kirchberger, Paul C.; Sefc, Kristina M.; Sturmbauer, Christian; Koblmüller, Stephan

    2012-01-01

    Hybridization among littoral cichlid species in Lake Tanganyika was inferred in several molecular phylogenetic studies. The phenomenon is generally attributed to the lake level-induced shoreline and habitat changes. These allow for allopatric divergence of geographically fragmented populations alternating with locally restricted secondary contact and introgression between incompletely isolated taxa. In contrast, the deepwater habitat is characterized by weak geographic structure and a high potential for gene flow, which may explain the lower species richness of deepwater than littoral lineages. For the same reason, divergent deepwater lineages should have evolved strong intrinsic reproductive isolation already in the incipient stages of diversification, and, consequently, hybridization among established lineages should have been less frequent than in littoral lineages. We test this hypothesis in the endemic Lake Tanganyika deepwater cichlid tribe Bathybatini by comparing phylogenetic trees of Hemibates and Bathybates species obtained with nuclear multilocus AFLP data with a phylogeny based on mitochondrial sequences. Consistent with our hypothesis, largely congruent tree topologies and negative tests for introgression provided no evidence for introgressive hybridization between the deepwater taxa. Together, the nuclear and mitochondrial data established a well-supported phylogeny and suggested ecological segregation during speciation. PMID:22675652

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Evolution of brain-body allometry in Lake Tanganyika cichlids.

    PubMed

    Tsuboi, Masahito; Kotrschal, Alexander; Hayward, Alexander; Buechel, Severine Denise; Zidar, Josefina; Løvlie, Hanne; Kolm, Niclas

    2016-07-01

    Brain size is strongly associated with body size in all vertebrates. This relationship has been hypothesized to be an important constraint on adaptive brain size evolution. The essential assumption behind this idea is that static (i.e., within species) brain-body allometry has low ability to evolve. However, recent studies have reported mixed support for this view. Here, we examine brain-body static allometry in Lake Tanganyika cichlids using a phylogenetic comparative framework. We found considerable variation in the static allometric intercept, which explained the majority of variation in absolute and relative brain size. In contrast, the slope of the brain-body static allometry had relatively low variation, which explained less variation in absolute and relative brain size compared to the intercept and body size. Further examination of the tempo and mode of evolution of static allometric parameters confirmed these observations. Moreover, the estimated evolutionary parameters indicate that the limited observed variation in the static allometric slope could be a result of strong stabilizing selection. Overall, our findings suggest that the brain-body static allometric slope may represent an evolutionary constraint in Lake Tanganyika cichlids. PMID:27241216

  20. 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

  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. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Iris pigment epithelial cysts in a newborn

    PubMed Central

    Zargar, Shabnam; Prendiville, Kevin John; Martinez, Eladio

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: We report a case of iris pigment epithelial cysts in a newborn and discuss the importance of an accurate diagnosis for prevention of amblyopia. Methods: We describe a case of an abnormal red reflex seen on a newborn exam. Results: A full-term female born via normal spontaneous vaginal delivery without any complications was seen in the newborn nursery. She was noted to have an abnormal eye exam. Pupils were large with circular dark excrescences of the iris pigment epithelium. She was referred to a pediatric ophthalmologist where she was noted to fixate and follow faces. No afferent pupillary defect was seen. OD red reflex was normal whereas OS red reflex was blocked mostly by dark excrescences. A 2–3 mm dark brown lesion was seen in the OD iris and a 3–5 mm dark brown lesion was seen in the OS iris, consistent with a pupillary iris pigment epithelial cyst. Central visual axis was clear OU. Glaucoma was not present and patching was not performed. Observations and clinical photographs were recommended with follow-up in three months. Conclusion: Iris pigment epithelial cysts are uncommonly seen in children. The primary care provider first seeing a newborn must be aware of lesions obscuring a red reflex with appropriate follow-up. Follow-up in three months with IOP measurements is recommended. Iris pigment epithelial cysts in children may be a cause of amblyopia, thus prompt evaluation is important for prognostic purposes and the prevention of amblyopia. PMID:27625966

  7. Pigment-protein complexes

    SciTech Connect

    Siegelman, H W

    1980-01-01

    The photosynthetically-active pigment protein complexes of procaryotes and eucaryotes include chlorophyll proteins, carotenochlorophyll proteins, and biliproteins. They are either integral components or attached to photosynthetic membranes. Detergents are frequently required to solubilize the pigment-protein complexes. The membrane localization and detergent solubilization strongly suggest that the pigment-protein complexes are bound to the membranes by hydrophobic interactions. Hydrophobic interactions of proteins are characterized by an increase in entropy. Their bonding energy is directly related to temperature and ionic strength. Hydrophobic-interaction chromatography, a relatively new separation procedure, can furnish an important method for the purification of pigment-protein complexes. Phycobilisome purification and properties provide an example of the need to maintain hydrophobic interactions to preserve structure and function.

  8. A melanosomal two-pore sodium channel regulates pigmentation.

    PubMed

    Bellono, Nicholas W; Escobar, Iliana E; Oancea, Elena

    2016-01-01

    Intracellular organelles mediate complex cellular functions that often require ion transport across their membranes. Melanosomes are organelles responsible for the synthesis of the major mammalian pigment melanin. Defects in melanin synthesis result in pigmentation defects, visual deficits, and increased susceptibility to skin and eye cancers. Although genes encoding putative melanosomal ion transporters have been identified as key regulators of melanin synthesis, melanosome ion transport and its contribution to pigmentation remain poorly understood. Here we identify two-pore channel 2 (TPC2) as the first reported melanosomal cation conductance by directly patch-clamping skin and eye melanosomes. TPC2 has been implicated in human pigmentation and melanoma, but the molecular mechanism mediating this function was entirely unknown. We demonstrate that the vesicular signaling lipid phosphatidylinositol bisphosphate PI(3,5)P2 modulates TPC2 activity to control melanosomal membrane potential, pH, and regulate pigmentation. PMID:27231233

  9. A melanosomal two-pore sodium channel regulates pigmentation

    PubMed Central

    Bellono, Nicholas W.; Escobar, Iliana E.; Oancea, Elena

    2016-01-01

    Intracellular organelles mediate complex cellular functions that often require ion transport across their membranes. Melanosomes are organelles responsible for the synthesis of the major mammalian pigment melanin. Defects in melanin synthesis result in pigmentation defects, visual deficits, and increased susceptibility to skin and eye cancers. Although genes encoding putative melanosomal ion transporters have been identified as key regulators of melanin synthesis, melanosome ion transport and its contribution to pigmentation remain poorly understood. Here we identify two-pore channel 2 (TPC2) as the first reported melanosomal cation conductance by directly patch-clamping skin and eye melanosomes. TPC2 has been implicated in human pigmentation and melanoma, but the molecular mechanism mediating this function was entirely unknown. We demonstrate that the vesicular signaling lipid phosphatidylinositol bisphosphate PI(3,5)P2 modulates TPC2 activity to control melanosomal membrane potential, pH, and regulate pigmentation. PMID:27231233

  10. 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

  11. Photosynthetic Pigments in Diatoms

    PubMed Central

    Kuczynska, Paulina; Jemiola-Rzeminska, Malgorzata; Strzalka, Kazimierz

    2015-01-01

    Photosynthetic pigments are bioactive compounds of great importance for the food, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical industries. They are not only responsible for capturing solar energy to carry out photosynthesis, but also play a role in photoprotective processes and display antioxidant activity, all of which contribute to effective biomass and oxygen production. Diatoms are organisms of a distinct pigment composition, substantially different from that present in plants. Apart from light-harvesting pigments such as chlorophyll a, chlorophyll c, and fucoxanthin, there is a group of photoprotective carotenoids which includes β-carotene and the xanthophylls, diatoxanthin, diadinoxanthin, violaxanthin, antheraxanthin, and zeaxanthin, which are engaged in the xanthophyll cycle. Additionally, some intermediate products of biosynthetic pathways have been identified in diatoms as well as unusual pigments, e.g., marennine. Marine algae have become widely recognized as a source of unique bioactive compounds for potential industrial, pharmaceutical, and medical applications. In this review, we summarize current knowledge on diatom photosynthetic pigments complemented by some new insights regarding their physico-chemical properties, biological role, and biosynthetic pathways, as well as the regulation of pigment level in the cell, methods of purification, and significance in industries. PMID:26389924

  12. Photosynthetic Pigments in Diatoms.

    PubMed

    Kuczynska, Paulina; Jemiola-Rzeminska, Malgorzata; Strzalka, Kazimierz

    2015-09-01

    Photosynthetic pigments are bioactive compounds of great importance for the food, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical industries. They are not only responsible for capturing solar energy to carry out photosynthesis, but also play a role in photoprotective processes and display antioxidant activity, all of which contribute to effective biomass and oxygen production. Diatoms are organisms of a distinct pigment composition, substantially different from that present in plants. Apart from light-harvesting pigments such as chlorophyll a, chlorophyll c, and fucoxanthin, there is a group of photoprotective carotenoids which includes β-carotene and the xanthophylls, diatoxanthin, diadinoxanthin, violaxanthin, antheraxanthin, and zeaxanthin, which are engaged in the xanthophyll cycle. Additionally, some intermediate products of biosynthetic pathways have been identified in diatoms as well as unusual pigments, e.g., marennine. Marine algae have become widely recognized as a source of unique bioactive compounds for potential industrial, pharmaceutical, and medical applications. In this review, we summarize current knowledge on diatom photosynthetic pigments complemented by some new insights regarding their physico-chemical properties, biological role, and biosynthetic pathways, as well as the regulation of pigment level in the cell, methods of purification, and significance in industries. PMID:26389924

  13. 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

  14. Skin pigmentation evaluation in broilers fed natural and synthetic pigments.

    PubMed

    Castañeda, M P; Hirschler, E M; Sams, A R

    2005-01-01

    Broiler carcass skin color is important in the United States and Mexico. This study evaluated the use of natural and synthetic pigments in broiler diets at commercial levels. Birds were fed natural or synthetic pigments at low or high levels, simulating US and Mexican commercial practices. Skin color was measured during live production (3 to 7 wk of age) and after slaughter and chilling. The natural pigments had consistently greater skin b* values (yellowness) than the synthetic pigments. The high levels produced greater skin b* values than the low levels, regardless of source. The synthetic pigments had a slower increase in skin b* but reached the same level as the natural low by 7 wk. There was no difference in skin a* values (redness) due to pigment source or level or the age of the bird. By 7 wk, all pigment sources approached plateau levels in the blood, but the synthetic pigment diet produced higher blood levels of yellow and red pigments than the natural pigment diets. Processing intensified skin yellowness and reduced skin redness. These data suggest that although synthetic pigments might have been absorbed better than natural ones, natural pigments were more efficient at increasing skin yellowness and there were only small differences between high and low levels for each pigment source. This finding may allow reduction in pigment use and feed cost to achieve the same skin acceptance by the consumer. PMID:15685954

  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. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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).

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Biology of pigmentation

    SciTech Connect

    Parker, F.

    1981-01-01

    The many factors involved in the normal pigmentation of human skin are highly complex involving anatomic, biochemical, and genetic aspects of melanocytes in the skin and the influence of UV light and various hormones on the melanocytes. It is probably more than just coincidence that the melanocytes, which are of neurogenic origin, are so responsive to several trophic hormones produced in the brain. Understanding of the various factors involved in the normal pigmentary process is crucial to explaining the many alterations and anomalies in human pigmentation.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Hydrodynamic drag constrains head enlargement for mouthbrooding in cichlids.

    PubMed

    Van Wassenbergh, Sam; Potes, Nuno Zavattieri; Adriaens, Dominique

    2015-08-01

    Presumably as an adaptation for mouthbrooding, many cichlid fish species have evolved a prominent sexual dimorphism in the adult head. Since the head of fishes serves as a bow during locomotion, an evolutionary increase in head volume to brood more eggs can trade-off with the hydrodynamic efficiency of swimming. Here, the differences between males and females in three-dimensional shape and size of the external head surfaces and the effect thereof on drag force during locomotion was analysed for the Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus), a maternal mouthbrooder. To do so, three-dimensional body surface reconstructions from laser scans and computational fluid dynamics simulations were performed. After scaling the scanned specimens to post-cranial body volume, in order to theoretically equalize propulsive power, the external volume of the head of females was 27% larger than that of males (head length + 14%; head width + 9%). These differences resulted in an approximate 15% increase in drag force. Yet, hydrodynamics imposed important constraints on the adaptation for mouthbrooding as a much more drastic drop in swimming efficiency seems avoided by mainly enlarging the head along the swimming direction. PMID:26224567

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Subordinate male cichlids retain reproductive competence during social suppression

    PubMed Central

    Kustan, Jacqueline M.; Maruska, Karen P.; Fernald, Russell D.

    2012-01-01

    Subordinate males, which are excluded from reproduction often save energy by reducing their investment in sperm production. However, if their position in a dominance hierarchy changes suddenly they should also rapidly attain fertilization capability. Here, we asked how social suppression and ascension to dominance influences sperm quality, spermatogenesis and reproductive competence in the cichlid Astatotilapia burtoni, where reproduction is tightly coupled to social status. Dominant territorial (T) males are reproductively active while subordinate non-territorial (NT) males are suppressed, but given the opportunity, NT males will perform dominance behaviours within minutes and attain T male testes size within days. Using the thymidine analogue 5-bromo-2-deoxyuridine (BrdU) to label germ cell proliferation, we found that the spermatogenic cycle takes approximately 11–12 days, and social status had no effect on proliferation, suggesting that spermatogenesis continues during reproductive suppression. Although sperm velocity did not differ among social states, NT males had reduced sperm motility. Remarkably, males ascending in status showed sperm motility equivalent to T males within 24 h. Males also successfully reproduced within hours of social opportunity, despite four to five weeks of suppression and reduced testis size. Our data suggest that NT males maintain reproductive potential during suppression possibly as a strategy to rapidly improve reproductive fitness upon social opportunity. PMID:21733892

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. The complete mitochondrial DNA of the bay snook, Petenia splendida, a native Mexican cichlid.

    PubMed

    Del Río-Portilla, Miguel A; Vargas-Peralta, Carmen E; Farfán, Claudia; Barriga-Sosa, Irene de los A; García-De-León, Francisco J

    2016-01-01

    The mitogenome of the tenguayaca, Petenia splendida (GenBank accession number KJ914664) has a total length of 16,518 bp, and the arrangement consist of 15 protein-coding genes, 2 ribosomal RNA (rRNA) genes and 22 transfer RNA (tRNA) genes. Gene order was equal to the mitogenomes of other new world cichlids. PMID:25121835

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Phytoplankton pigments from the Nimbus-7 Coastal Zone Color Scanner - Comparisons with surface measurements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gordon, H. R.; Clark, D. K.; Hovis, W. A.; Mueller, J. L.

    1980-01-01

    Algorithms are developed for removing aerosol effects in visual data from the Nimbus-7 Coastal Zone Color Scanner (CZCS). The corrected imagery reveals eddy-like ocean circulation patterns. Pigment concentrations from CZCS are compared with surface determinations. CZCS imagery estimates pigment concentration to within 0.5 log C, where C is the sum of the concentrations of chlorophyll a and phaeopigments a

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Evolutionary dynamics of retrotransposable elements Rex1, Rex3 and Rex6 in neotropical cichlid genomes

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Transposable elements (TEs) have the potential to produce broad changes in the genomes of their hosts, acting as a type of evolutionary toolbox and generating a collection of new regulatory and coding sequences. Several TE classes have been studied in Neotropical cichlids; however, the information gained from these studies is restricted to the physical chromosome mapping, whereas the genetic diversity of the TEs remains unknown. Therefore, the genomic organization of the non-LTR retrotransposons Rex1, Rex3, and Rex6 in five Amazonian cichlid species was evaluated using physical chromosome mapping and DNA sequencing to provide information about the role of TEs in the evolution of cichlid genomes. Results Physical mapping revealed abundant TE clusters dispersed throughout the chromosomes. Furthermore, several species showed conspicuous clusters accumulation in the centromeric and terminal portions of the chromosomes. These TE chromosomal sites are associated with both heterochromatic and euchromatic regions. A higher number of Rex1 clusters were observed among the derived species. The Rex1 and Rex3 nucleotide sequences were more conserved in the basal species than in the derived species; however, this pattern was not observed in Rex6. In addition, it was possible to observe conserved blocks corresponding to the reverse transcriptase fragment of the Rex1 and Rex3 clones and to the endonuclease of Rex6. Conclusion Our data showed no congruence between the Bayesian trees generated for Rex1, Rex3 and Rex6 of cichlid species and phylogenetic hypothesis described for the group. Rex1 and Rex3 nucleotide sequences were more conserved in the basal species whereas Rex6 exhibited high substitution rates in both basal and derived species. The distribution of Rex elements in cichlid genomes suggests that such elements are under the action of evolutionary mechanisms that lead to their accumulation in particular chromosome regions, mostly in heterochromatins. PMID

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Raman Spectroscopy of Microbial Pigments

    PubMed Central

    Edwards, Howell G. M.; Oren, Aharon

    2014-01-01

    Raman spectroscopy is a rapid nondestructive technique providing spectroscopic and structural information on both organic and inorganic molecular compounds. Extensive applications for the method in the characterization of pigments have been found. Due to the high sensitivity of Raman spectroscopy for the detection of chlorophylls, carotenoids, scytonemin, and a range of other pigments found in the microbial world, it is an excellent technique to monitor the presence of such pigments, both in pure cultures and in environmental samples. Miniaturized portable handheld instruments are available; these instruments can be used to detect pigments in microbiological samples of different types and origins under field conditions. PMID:24682303

  13. Functional characterization of spectral tuning mechanisms in the great bowerbird short-wavelength sensitive visual pigment (SWS1), and the origins of UV/violet vision in passerines and parrots

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background One of the most striking features of avian vision is the variation in spectral sensitivity of the short wavelength sensitive (SWS1) opsins, which can be divided into two sub-types: violet- and UV- sensitive (VS & UVS). In birds, UVS has been found in both passerines and parrots, groups that were recently shown to be sister orders. While all parrots are thought to be UVS, recent evidence suggests some passerine lineages may also be VS. The great bowerbird (Chlamydera nuchalis) is a passerine notable for its courtship behaviours in which males build and decorate elaborate bower structures. Results The great bowerbird SWS1 sequence possesses an unusual residue combination at known spectral tuning sites that has not been previously investigated in mutagenesis experiments. In this study, the SWS1 opsin of C. nuchalis was expressed along with a series of spectral tuning mutants and ancestral passerine SWS1 pigments, allowing us to investigate spectral tuning mechanisms and explore the evolution of UV/violet sensitivity in early passerines and parrots. The expressed C. nuchalis SWS1 opsin was found to be a VS pigment, with a λmax of 403 nm. Bowerbird SWS1 mutants C86F, S90C, and C86S/S90C all shifted λmax into the UV, whereas C86S had no effect. Experimentally recreated ancestral passerine and parrot/passerine SWS1 pigments were both found to be VS, indicating that UV sensitivity evolved independently in passerines and parrots from a VS ancestor. Conclusions Our mutagenesis studies indicate that spectral tuning in C. nuchalis is mediated by mechanisms similar to those of other birds. Interestingly, our ancestral sequence reconstructions of SWS1 in landbird evolution suggest multiple transitions from VS to UVS, but no instances of the reverse. Our results not only provide a more precise prediction of where these spectral sensitivity shifts occurred, but also confirm the hypothesis that birds are an unusual exception among vertebrates where some descendants re

  14. Development of Betta splendens embryos and larvae reveals variation in pigmentation patterns.

    PubMed

    Carey, Alexis N; Lyvers, Benjamin H; Ferrill, Rachel N; Johnson, Rachel L; Dumaine, Anne Marie; Sly, Belinda J

    2016-06-01

    Vertebrate pigmentation provides an ideal system for studying the intersections between evolution, genetics, and developmental biology. Teleost fish, with their accessible developmental stages and intense and diverse colours produced by chromatophores, are an ideal group for study. We set out to test whether Betta splendens is a good model organism for studying the evolution and development of diverse pigmentation. Our results demonstrate that B. splendens can be bred to produce large numbers of offspring with easily visualized pigment cells. Depending on the colour of the parents, there was variation in larval pigmentation patterns both within and between breeding events. In juveniles the developing adult pigmentation patterns showed even greater variation. These results suggest that B. splendens has great potential as a model organism for pigmentation studies. PMID:27172056

  15. Expression of carotenoid pigments of haloarchaeal cultures exposed to aniline.

    PubMed

    Raghavan, T M; Furtado, I

    2005-04-01

    The effects of exposure to aniline on growth and pigmentation in three haloarchaeal isolates from the Indian subcontinent--GUSF (MTCC 3265), from the estuarine saltpans of Goa, India; and GURFT-1 and GURFP-1, both from continental shelf sediments of the west coast of India--were studied. In nutrient-rich tryptone yeast extract medium containing 25% NaCl/crude salt, the growth of GUSF, measured as absorbance at 600 nm, was not affected significantly at all concentrations of aniline used [0.005%-0.04% (v/v)], whereas the growth phases of GURFT-1 and GURFP-1 were affected at concentrations > 0.005%; the total yield, however, was nearly equal to the yield of cultures growing in the absence of aniline. GURFT-1 reached approximately 40% of total yield on the 7th day in the presence of 0.04% aniline, which declined thereafter. The pigmentation observed visually was completely abolished at concentrations of aniline greater than 0.01%. Spectral scans of acetone extracts of the pigment of each of the cultures exposed to concentrations of aniline > 0.01% showed that (i) the bacterioruberin component of the pigments (absorbance in the range 390-500 nm) was completely abolished and (ii) the pigment component(s) shifted toward squalene and phytofluene derivatives (320-360 nm). This is the first report examining the effect of an aromatic pollutant such as aniline on the growth and pigmentation of haloarchaeal cultures. PMID:15793825

  16. Color stability of thermochromic pigment in maxillofacial silicone

    PubMed Central

    Lassila, Lippo V.J.; Tolvanen, Mimmi; Valittu, Pekka K.

    2013-01-01

    PURPOSE Maxillofacial silicone elastomer is usually colored intrinsically with color pigments to match skin colors. The purpose of this study was to investigate the color stability of a maxillofacial silicone elastomer, colored with a thermochromic, color changing pigment. MATERIALS AND METHODS Disc-shaped maxillofacial silicone specimens were prepared and divided into 3 groups: a conventionally colored control group, one group additionally colored with 0.2 wt% thermochromic pigment , and one group with 0.6 wt% thermochromic pigment. Half of the surface of each specimen was covered with an aluminium foil. All of the specimens were exposed to UV radiation in 6 hour cycles over 46 days. In between the UV exposures, half of the specimens were stored in darkness, at room temperature, and the other half was stored in an incubator, at a humidity of 97% and a temperature of +37℃. Color measurements were made with a spectrophotometer and registered according to the CIELAB L*a*b* color model system. The changes in L*, a* and b* values during artificial aging were statistically analyzed by using paired samples t-test and repeated measures ANOVA. P-values <.05 were considered as statistically significant. RESULTS The UV exposure resulted in visually noticeable and statistically significant color changes in the L*, a* and b* values in both of the test groups containing thermochromic pigment. Storage in the incubator lead to statistically significant color changes in the a* and b* values of the specimens containing thermochromic pigment, compared to those stored at room temperature. CONCLUSION The specimens containing thermochromic pigment were very sensitive to UV radiation, and the thermochromic pigment is not suitable, as such, to be used in maxillofacial prostheses. PMID:23755330

  17. Nonphotosynthetic Pigments as Potential Biosignatures

    PubMed Central

    Cockell, Charles S.; Meadows, Victoria S.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Previous work on possible surface reflectance biosignatures for Earth-like planets has typically focused on analogues to spectral features produced by photosynthetic organisms on Earth, such as the vegetation red edge. Although oxygenic photosynthesis, facilitated by pigments evolved to capture photons, is the dominant metabolism on our planet, pigmentation has evolved for multiple purposes to adapt organisms to their environment. We present an interdisciplinary study of the diversity and detectability of nonphotosynthetic pigments as biosignatures, which includes a description of environments that host nonphotosynthetic biologically pigmented surfaces, and a lab-based experimental analysis of the spectral and broadband color diversity of pigmented organisms on Earth. We test the utility of broadband color to distinguish between Earth-like planets with significant coverage of nonphotosynthetic pigments and those with photosynthetic or nonbiological surfaces, using both 1-D and 3-D spectral models. We demonstrate that, given sufficient surface coverage, nonphotosynthetic pigments could significantly impact the disk-averaged spectrum of a planet. However, we find that due to the possible diversity of organisms and environments, and the confounding effects of the atmosphere and clouds, determination of substantial coverage by biologically produced pigments would be difficult with broadband colors alone and would likely require spectrally resolved data. Key Words: Biosignatures—Exoplanets—Halophiles—Pigmentation—Reflectance spectroscopy—Spectral models. Astrobiology 15, 341–361. PMID:25941875

  18. Nonphotosynthetic pigments as potential biosignatures.

    PubMed

    Schwieterman, Edward W; Cockell, Charles S; Meadows, Victoria S

    2015-05-01

    Previous work on possible surface reflectance biosignatures for Earth-like planets has typically focused on analogues to spectral features produced by photosynthetic organisms on Earth, such as the vegetation red edge. Although oxygenic photosynthesis, facilitated by pigments evolved to capture photons, is the dominant metabolism on our planet, pigmentation has evolved for multiple purposes to adapt organisms to their environment. We present an interdisciplinary study of the diversity and detectability of nonphotosynthetic pigments as biosignatures, which includes a description of environments that host nonphotosynthetic biologically pigmented surfaces, and a lab-based experimental analysis of the spectral and broadband color diversity of pigmented organisms on Earth. We test the utility of broadband color to distinguish between Earth-like planets with significant coverage of nonphotosynthetic pigments and those with photosynthetic or nonbiological surfaces, using both 1-D and 3-D spectral models. We demonstrate that, given sufficient surface coverage, nonphotosynthetic pigments could significantly impact the disk-averaged spectrum of a planet. However, we find that due to the possible diversity of organisms and environments, and the confounding effects of the atmosphere and clouds, determination of substantial coverage by biologically produced pigments would be difficult with broadband colors alone and would likely require spectrally resolved data. PMID:25941875

  19. Comparative chromatography of chloroplast pigment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Grandolfo, M.; Sherma, J.; Strain, H. H.

    1969-01-01

    Methods for isolation of low concentration pigments of the cocklebur species are described. The methods entail two step chromatography so that the different sorption properties of the various pigments in varying column parameters can be utilized. Columnar and thin layer methods are compared. Many conditions influence separability of the chloroplasts.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. New directions in phthalocyanine pigments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Trinh, Diep VO

    1994-01-01

    Phthalocyanines have been used as a pigment in coatings and related applications for many years. These pigments are some of the most stable organic pigments known. The phthalo blue and green pigments have been known to be ultraviolet (UV) stable and thermally stable to over 400 C. These phthalocyanines are both a semiconductor and photoconductor, exhibiting catalytic activity and photostabilization capability of polymers. Many metal free and metallic phthalocyanine derivatives have been prepared. Development of the new classes of phthalocyanine pigment could be used as coating on NASA spacecraft material such as glass to decrease the optical degradation from UV light, the outside of the space station modules for UV protection, and coating on solar cells to increase lifetime and efficiency.

  4. Morphology, Molecules, and Monogenean Parasites: An Example of an Integrative Approach to Cichlid Biodiversity

    PubMed Central

    Van Steenberge, Maarten; Pariselle, Antoine; Huyse, Tine; Volckaert, Filip A. M.; Snoeks, Jos; Vanhove, Maarten P. M.

    2015-01-01

    The unparalleled biodiversity of Lake Tanganyika (Africa) has fascinated biologists for over a century; its unique cichlid communities are a preferred model for evolutionary research. Although species delineation is, in most cases, relatively straightforward, higher-order classifications were shown not to agree with monophyletic groups. Here, traditional morphological methods meet their limitations. A typical example are the tropheine cichlids currently belonging to Simochromis and Pseudosimochromis. The affiliations of these widespread and abundant cichlids are poorly understood. Molecular work suggested that genus and species boundaries should be revised. Moreover, previous morphological results indicated that intraspecific variation should be considered to delineate species in Lake Tanganyika cichlids. We review the genera Simochromis and Pseudosimochromis using an integrative approach. Besides a morphometric study and a barcoding approach, monogenean Cichlidogyrus (Platyhelminthes: Ancyrocephalidae) gill parasites, often highly species-specific, are used as complementary markers. Six new species are described. Cichlidogyrus raeymaekersi sp. nov., C. muterezii sp. nov. and C. banyankimbonai sp. nov. infect S. diagramma. Cichlidogyrus georgesmertensi sp. nov. was found on S. babaulti and S. pleurospilus, C. franswittei sp. nov. on both S. marginatus and P. curvifrons and C. frankwillemsi sp. nov. only on P. curvifrons. As relatedness between Cichlidogyrus species usually reflects relatedness between hosts, we considered Simochromis monotypic because the three Cichlidogyrus species found on S. diagramma belonged to a different morphotype than those found on the other Simochromis. The transfer of S. babaulti, S. marginatus, S. pleurospilus and S. margaretae to Pseudosimochromis was justified by the similarity of their Cichlidogyrus fauna and the intermediate morphology of S. margaretae. Finally parasite data also supported the synonymy between S. pleurospilus and S

  5. 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

  6. Morphology, molecules, and monogenean parasites: an example of an integrative approach to cichlid biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Van Steenberge, Maarten; Pariselle, Antoine; Huyse, Tine; Volckaert, Filip A M; Snoeks, Jos; Vanhove, Maarten P M

    2015-01-01

    The unparalleled biodiversity of Lake Tanganyika (Africa) has fascinated biologists for over a century; its unique cichlid communities are a preferred model for evolutionary research. Although species delineation is, in most cases, relatively straightforward, higher-order classifications were shown not to agree with monophyletic groups. Here, traditional morphological methods meet their limitations. A typical example are the tropheine cichlids currently belonging to Simochromis and Pseudosimochromis. The affiliations of these widespread and abundant cichlids are poorly understood. Molecular work suggested that genus and species boundaries should be revised. Moreover, previous morphological results indicated that intraspecific variation should be considered to delineate species in Lake Tanganyika cichlids. We review the genera Simochromis and Pseudosimochromis using an integrative approach. Besides a morphometric study and a barcoding approach, monogenean Cichlidogyrus (Platyhelminthes: Ancyrocephalidae) gill parasites, often highly species-specific, are used as complementary markers. Six new species are described. Cichlidogyrus raeymaekersi sp. nov., C. muterezii sp. nov. and C. banyankimbonai sp. nov. infect S. diagramma. Cichlidogyrus georgesmertensi sp. nov. was found on S. babaulti and S. pleurospilus, C. franswittei sp. nov. on both S. marginatus and P. curvifrons and C. frankwillemsi sp. nov. only on P. curvifrons. As relatedness between Cichlidogyrus species usually reflects relatedness between hosts, we considered Simochromis monotypic because the three Cichlidogyrus species found on S. diagramma belonged to a different morphotype than those found on the other Simochromis. The transfer of S. babaulti, S. marginatus, S. pleurospilus and S. margaretae to Pseudosimochromis was justified by the similarity of their Cichlidogyrus fauna and the intermediate morphology of S. margaretae. Finally parasite data also supported the synonymy between S. pleurospilus and S

  7. Wallaceochromis gen. nov, a new chromidotilapiine cichlid genus (Pisces: Perciformes) from West Africa.

    PubMed

    Lamboj, Anton; Trummer, Franziska; Metscher, Brian D

    2016-01-01

    A new genus, Wallaceochromis, is described for the chromidotilapiine cichlids of the Pelvicachromis humilis group. It differs from Pelvicachromis sensu stricto in the number and arrangement of tubular infraorbitals, a straighter and sloping dorsal head profile with a low supraoccipital crest, higher abdominal vertebral counts (14-15 vs. 13-14), and in displaying a pattern of vertical bars on the body in several behavioral situations. PMID:27470842

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. [INHERITANCE OF EPIDERMIS PIGMENTATION IN SUNFLOWER ACHENES].

    PubMed

    Gorohivets, N A; Vedmedeva, E V

    2016-01-01

    Inheritance of epidermis pigmentation in the pericarp of sunflower seeds was studied. Inheritance of pigmentation was confirmed by three alleles Ew (epidermis devoid of pigmentation), Estr (epidermal pigmentation in strips), Edg (solid pigmentation). Dominance of the lack of epidermis pigmentation over striped epidermis and striped epidermis over solid pigmentation was established. It was shown that the striped epidermis pigmentation and the presence of testa layer are controlled by two genes, expression of which is independent from each other. Yellowish hypodermis was discovered in the sample I2K2218, which is inherited monogenically dominantly. PMID:27281924

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Phenotypic integration of brain size and head morphology in Lake Tanganyika Cichlids

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Phenotypic integration among different anatomical parts of the head is a common phenomenon across vertebrates. Interestingly, despite centuries of research into the factors that contribute to the existing variation in brain size among vertebrates, little is known about the role of phenotypic integration in brain size diversification. Here we used geometric morphometrics on the morphologically diverse Tanganyikan cichlids to investigate phenotypic integration across key morphological aspects of the head. Then, while taking the effect of shared ancestry into account, we tested if head shape was associated with brain size while controlling for the potentially confounding effect of feeding strategy. Results The shapes of the anterior and posterior parts of the head were strongly correlated, indicating that the head represents an integrated morphological unit in Lake Tanganyika cichlids. After controlling for phylogenetic non-independence, we also found evolutionary associations between head shape, brain size and feeding ecology. Conclusions Geometric morphometrics and phylogenetic comparative analyses revealed that the anterior and posterior parts of the head are integrated, and that head morphology is associated with brain size and feeding ecology in Tanganyikan cichlid fishes. In light of previous results on mammals, our results suggest that the influence of phenotypic integration on brain diversification is a general process. PMID:24593160

  17. Bower-building behaviour is associated with increased sperm longevity in Tanganyikan cichlids.

    PubMed

    Morita, M; Awata, S; Yorifuji, M; Ota, K; Kohda, M; Ochi, H

    2014-12-01

    We investigated the evolutionary relationship between spawning behaviour and sperm motility traits among Tanganyikan mouth-brooding cichlid species that have developed diverse mating behaviours and male sexual traits. Mouth-brooding behaviour is common among these fish, but different species demonstrate a range of spawning behaviours, bower construction, male sexual traits and timing of gamete release. We observed spawning behaviours and compared sperm motility traits of 28 Tanganyikan mouth-brooding cichlids to elucidate the evolutionary correlations between these traits. Sperm longevity was considerably longer in bower-building species that construct crater-shaped spawning sites compared with species that do not build bowers. Male bower builders released sperm in the pit of the bower prior to spawning, and the time from ejaculation to fertilization was longer. Conversely, most mouth-brooding cichlids deposited semen directly into the female buccal cavity, and spawned eggs were immediately picked up to be placed inside the cavity; thus, the time from ejaculation to fertilization was short. These observations suggest that increased sperm longevity is favoured in bower builders. Comparative phylogenetic analyses suggested that bower-building behaviour and greater time from ejaculation to fertilization are associated with the extension of sperm longevity, whereas sperm competition rank does not play a major role. In addition, bower-building behaviour preceded the emergence of increased sperm longevity. These results indicate that the extension of sperm longevity as a result of the emergence of bower builders may have acted as an evolutionary attractor for sperm longevity. PMID:25330280

  18. Fast adaptive responses in the oral jaw of Lake Victoria cichlids.

    PubMed

    van Rijssel, Jacco C; Hoogwater, Ellen S; Kishe-Machumu, Mary A; van Reenen, Elize; Spits, Kevin V; van der Stelt, Ronald C; Wanink, Jan H; Witte, Frans

    2015-01-01

    Rapid morphological changes in response to fluctuating natural environments are a common phenomenon in species that undergo adaptive radiation. The dramatic ecological changes in Lake Victoria provide a unique opportunity to study environmental effects on cichlid morphology. This study shows how four haplochromine cichlids adapted their premaxilla to a changed diet over the past 30 years. Directly after the diet change toward larger and faster prey in the late 1980s, the premaxilla (upper jaw) changed in a way that is in agreement with a more food manipulating feeding style. During the 2000s, two zooplanktivorous species showed a reversal of morphological changes after returning to their original diet, whereas two other species showed no reversal of diet and morphology. These rapid changes indicate a potential for extremely fast adaptive responses to environmental fluctuations, which are likely inflicted by competition release and increase, and might have a bearing on the ability of haplochromines to cope with environmental changes. These responses could be due to rapid genetic change or phenotypic plasticity, for which there is ample evidence in cichlid fish structures associated with food capture and processing. These versatile adaptive responses are likely to have contributed to the fast adaptive radiation of haplochromines. PMID:25403383

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Natural pigments and sacred art

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kelekian, Lena, ,, Lady

    2010-05-01

    Since the dawn of mankind, cavemen has expressed himself through art. The earliest known cave paintings date to some 32,000 years ago and used 4 colours derived from the earth. These pigments were iron oxides and known as ochres, blacks and whites. All pigments known by the Egyptians, the Greeks, the Romans and Renaissance man were natural and it was not until the 18th century that synthetic pigments were made and widely used. Until that time all art, be it sacred or secular used only natural pigments, of which the preparation of many have been lost or rarely used because of their tedious preparation. As a geologist, a mineralogist and an artist specializing in iconography, I have been able to rediscover 89 natural pigments extracted from minerals. I use these pigments to paint my icons in the traditional Byzantine manner and also to restore old icons, bringing back their glamour and conserving them for years to come. The use of the natural pigments in its proper way also helps to preserve the traditional skills of the iconographer. In the ancient past, pigments were extremely precious. Many took an exceedingly long journey to reach the artists, and came from remote countries. Research into these pigments is the work of history, geography and anthropology. It is an interesting journey in itself to discover that the blue aquamarines came from Afghanistan, the reds from Spain, the greens Africa, and so on. In this contribution I will be describing the origins, preparation and use of some natural pigments, together with their history and provenance. Additionally, I will show how the natural pigments are used in the creation of an icon. Being a geologist iconographer, for me, is a sacrement that transforms that which is earthly, material and natural into a thing of beauty that is sacred. As bread and wine in the Eucharist, water during baptism and oil in Holy Union transmit sanctification to the beholder, natural pigments do the same when one considers an icon. The

  3. [Sepsis caused by pigmented and no pigmented Chromobacterium violaceum].

    PubMed

    Guevara, Armando; Salomón, Marlly; Oliveros, María; Guevara, Esmirna; Guevara, Milarys; Medina, Laida

    2007-10-01

    Chromobacterium violaceum sepsis is rare but associated with a high mortality rate. We report a fatal case of C. violaceum sepsis in a 6 years old Venezuelan indian boy. Clinical manifestations were fever and swelling in the right inguinal region. The initial diagnosis was an appendicular plastron. Appendicectomy was performed and during surgery a right psoas abscess was identified that resulted culture positive for pigmented C. violaceum. Blood cultures were positive for a pigmented and non pigmented C. violaceum strain. Imipenem and amikacin were administered despite of which the child died 9 days after hospital admission. PMID:17989847

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. The genetic basis of divergent pigment patterns in juvenile threespine sticklebacks

    PubMed Central

    Greenwood, A K; Jones, F C; Chan, Y F; Brady, S D; Absher, D M; Grimwood, J; Schmutz, J; Myers, R M; Kingsley, D M; Peichel, C L

    2011-01-01

    Animal pigment patterns are important for a range of functions, including camouflage and communication. Repeating pigment patterns, such as stripes, bars and spots have been of particular interest to developmental and theoretical biologists, but the genetic basis of natural variation in such patterns is largely unexplored. In this study, we identify a difference in a periodic pigment pattern among juvenile threespine sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus) from different environments. Freshwater sticklebacks exhibit prominent vertical bars that visually break up the body shape, but sticklebacks from marine populations do not. We hypothesize that these distinct pigment patterns are tuned to provide crypsis in different habitats. This phenotypic difference is widespread and appears in most of the freshwater populations that we sampled. We used quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping in freshwater–marine F2 hybrids to elucidate the genetic architecture underlying divergence in this pigmentation pattern. We identified two QTL that were significantly associated with variation in barring. Interestingly, these QTL were associated with two distinct aspects of the pigment pattern: melanophore number and overall pigment level. We compared the QTL locations with positions of known pigment candidate genes in the stickleback genome. We also identified two major QTL for juvenile body size, providing new insights into the genetic basis of juvenile growth rates in natural populations. In summary, although there is a growing literature describing simple genetic bases for adaptive coloration differences, this study emphasizes that pigment patterns can also possess a more complex genetic architecture. PMID:21304547

  7. Die Pigmente der antiken Malerei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Riederer, J.

    1982-02-01

    Scientific analysis of painted antique objects provides us with information about the pigments used in earlier periods of history. Beginning in prehistoric times, coloured earths and minerals were used exclusively until the 3rd millenium B.C. when an extensive production of artificial pigments started. Following Egyptian Blue, a potassium copper chloride, cobalt blue, and a cobalt aluminium oxide was invented but used only over a short period, until it was reinvented 200 years ago. In the Greecian and Roman times the palette was considerably enlarged by the use of other coloured minerals and artificially prepared pigments.

  8. Seeking carotenoid pigments in amber-preserved fossil feathers

    PubMed Central

    Thomas, Daniel B.; Nascimbene, Paul C.; Dove, Carla J.; Grimaldi, David A.; James, Helen F.

    2014-01-01

    Plumage colours bestowed by carotenoid pigments can be important for visual communication and likely have a long evolutionary history within Aves. Discovering plumage carotenoids in fossil feathers could provide insight into the ecology of ancient birds and non-avian dinosaurs. With reference to a modern feather, we sought chemical evidence of carotenoids in six feathers preserved in amber (Miocene to mid-Cretaceous) and in a feather preserved as a compression fossil (Eocene). Evidence of melanin pigmentation and microstructure preservation was evaluated with scanning electron and light microscopies. We observed fine microstructural details including evidence for melanin pigmentation in the amber and compression fossils, but Raman spectral bands did not confirm the presence of carotenoids in them. Carotenoids may have been originally absent from these feathers or the pigments may have degraded during burial; the preservation of microstructure may suggest the former. Significantly, we show that carotenoid plumage pigments can be detected without sample destruction through an amber matrix using confocal Raman spectroscopy. PMID:24909554

  9. Seeking carotenoid pigments in amber-preserved fossil feathers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thomas, Daniel B.; Nascimbene, Paul C.; Dove, Carla J.; Grimaldi, David A.; James, Helen F.

    2014-06-01

    Plumage colours bestowed by carotenoid pigments can be important for visual communication and likely have a long evolutionary history within Aves. Discovering plumage carotenoids in fossil feathers could provide insight into the ecology of ancient birds and non-avian dinosaurs. With reference to a modern feather, we sought chemical evidence of carotenoids in six feathers preserved in amber (Miocene to mid-Cretaceous) and in a feather preserved as a compression fossil (Eocene). Evidence of melanin pigmentation and microstructure preservation was evaluated with scanning electron and light microscopies. We observed fine microstructural details including evidence for melanin pigmentation in the amber and compression fossils, but Raman spectral bands did not confirm the presence of carotenoids in them. Carotenoids may have been originally absent from these feathers or the pigments may have degraded during burial; the preservation of microstructure may suggest the former. Significantly, we show that carotenoid plumage pigments can be detected without sample destruction through an amber matrix using confocal Raman spectroscopy.

  10. Algal Accessory Pigment Detection Using AVIRIS Image-Derived Spectral Radiance Data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Richardson, Laurie L.; Ambrosia, Vincent G.

    1996-01-01

    Visual and derivative analyses of AVIRIS spectral data can be used to detect algal accessory pigments in aquatic communities. This capability extends the use of remote sensing for the study of aquatic ecosystems by allowing detection of taxonomically significant pigment signatures which yield information about the type of algae present. Such information allows remote sensing-based assessment of aquatic ecosystem health, as in the detection of nuisance blooms of cyanobacteria or toxic blooms of dinoflagellates. Remote sensing of aquatic systems has traditionally focused on quantification of chlorophyll a, a photoreactive (and light-harvesting) pigment which is common to all algae as well as cyanobacteria (bluegreen algae). Due to the ubiquitousness of this pigment within algae, chl a is routinely measured to estimate algal biomass both during ground-truthing and using various airborne or satellite based sensors, including AVIRIS. Within the remote sensing and aquatic sciences communities, ongoing research has been performed to detect algal accessory pigments for assessment of algal population composition. This research is based on the fact that many algal accessory pigments are taxonomically significant, and all are spectrally unique. Aquatic scientists have been refining pigment analysis techniques, primarily high performance liquid chromatography, or HPLC, to detect specific pigments as a time-saving alternative to individual algal cell identifications and counts. Remote sensing scientists are investigating the use of pigment signatures to construct pigment libraries analogous to mineral spectral libraries used in geological remote sensing applications. The accessory pigment approach has been used successfully in remote sensing using data from the Thematic Mapper, low-altitude, multiple channel scanners, field spectroradiometers and the AVIRIS hyperspectral scanner. Due to spectral and spatial resolution capabilities, AVIRIS is the sensor of choice for such