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Sample records for african cichlid fish

  1. Parallel evolution of opsin gene expression in African cichlid fishes.

    PubMed

    O'Quin, Kelly E; Hofmann, Christopher M; Hofmann, Hans A; Carleton, Karen L

    2010-12-01

    Phenotypic evolution may occur either through alterations to the structure of protein-coding genes or their expression. Evidence for which of these two mechanisms more commonly contribute to the evolution of a phenotype can be garnered from examples of parallel and convergent evolution. The visual system of East African cichlid fishes is an excellent system with which to address this question. Cichlid fishes from Lakes Malawi (LM) and Victoria together exhibit three diverse palettes of coexpressed opsins and several important protein-coding mutations that both shift spectral sensitivity. Here we assess both opsin expression and protein-coding diversity among cichlids from a third rift lake, Lake Tanganyika (LT). We found that Tanganyikan cichlids exhibit three palettes of coexpressed opsins that largely overlap the short-, middle-, and long-wavelength-sensitive palettes of LM cichlids. Bayesian phenotypic clustering and ancestral state reconstructions both support the parallel evolution of the short- and middle-wavelength palettes among cichlids from LT and LM. In each case, these transitions occurred from different ancestors that expressed the same long-wavelength palette. We also identified similar but distinct patterns of correlated evolution between opsin expression, diet, and lens transmittance among cichlids from LT and LM as well. In contrast to regulatory changes, we identified few functional or potentially functional mutations in the protein-coding sequences of three variable opsins, with the possible exception of the SWS1 (ultraviolet) opsin. These results underscore the important contribution that gene regulation can make to rapid phenotypic evolution and adaptation.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  3. Evolution of host specificity in monogeneans parasitizing African cichlid fish

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background The patterns and processes linked to the host specificity of parasites represent one of the central themes in the study of host-parasite interactions. We investigated the evolution and determinants of host specificity in gill monogeneans of Cichlidogyrus and Scutogyrus species parasitizing African freshwater fish of Cichlidae. Methods We analyzed (1) the link between host specificity and parasite phylogeny, (2) potential morphometric correlates of host specificity (i.e. parasite body size and the morphometrics of the attachment apparatus), and (3) potential determinants of host specificity following the hypothesis of ecological specialization and the hypothesis of specialization on predictable resources (i.e. host body size and longevity were considered as measures of host predictability), and (4) the role of brooding behavior of cichlids in Cichlidogyrus and Scutogyrus diversification. Results No significant relationships were found between host specificity and phylogeny of Cichlidogyrus and Scutogyrus species. The mapping of host specificity onto the parasite phylogenetic tree revealed that an intermediate specialist parasitizing congeneric cichlid hosts represents the ancestral state for the Cichlidogyrus/Scutogyrus group. Only a weak relationship was found between the morphometry of the parasites’ attachment apparatus and host specificity. Our study did not support the specialization on predictable resources or ecological specialization hypotheses. Nevertheless, host specificity was significantly related to fish phylogeny and form of parental care. Conclusions Our results confirm that host specificity is not a derived condition for Cichlidogyrus/Scutogyrus parasites and may reflect other than historical constraints. Attachment apparatus morphometry reflects only partially (if at all) parasite adaptation to the host species, probably because of the morphological similarity of rapidly evolved cichlids (analyzed in our study). However, we showed that

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Molecular characterization of two endothelin pathways in East African cichlid fishes.

    PubMed

    Diepeveen, Eveline T; Salzburger, Walter

    2011-12-01

    The adaptive radiations of cichlid fishes in East Africa have been associated with the acquisition of evolutionary novelties as well as the ecological opportunities existing in the East African Great lakes. Two remarkable evolutionary innovations are the pharyngeal jaw apparatus, found in all cichlid species, and the anal fin egg-spots of mouthbrooding cichlids. Based on their conserved functions during the development of both the jaw apparatus and pigmentation, the endothelin ligands and receptors form a putative link between these naturally and sexually selected traits. Here we study the evolutionary history of four members of two endothelin pathways (Edn1/EdnrAa and Edn3b/EdnrB1a) to elucidate their possible roles during the evolution and development of key innovations in East African cichlids species. The analyses performed on partial sequences (ca. 6,000 bp per taxon) show that all four endothelin family members evolved under purifying selection, although both ligands are characterized by an accelerated rate of protein evolution in comparison to the receptors. In accordance with earlier findings, we show that the mature protein sequence of Edn1 and Edn3 are highly conserved, also in cichlids, whereas the preproendothelin parts are variable indicating relaxed selective constraints. In the receptors, nonsynonymous substitutions were mainly found in the ligand-binding domains suggesting functional divergence. Gene expression assays with Real-Time PCR indeed reveal that the two studied endothelin pathways are expressed in the cichlid pharyngeal jaw and in the haplochromine egg-spot (among other pigment-cell containing tissues), suggesting their involvement during morphogenesis of naturally and sexually selected traits in cichlids. PMID:22271349

  7. Evolution of genomic structural variation and genomic architecture in the adaptive radiations of African cichlid fishes.

    PubMed

    Fan, Shaohua; Meyer, Axel

    2014-01-01

    African cichlid fishes are an ideal system for studying explosive rates of speciation and the origin of diversity in adaptive radiation. Within the last few million years, more than 2000 species have evolved in the Great Lakes of East Africa, the largest adaptive radiation in vertebrates. These young species show spectacular diversity in their coloration, morphology and behavior. However, little is known about the genomic basis of this astonishing diversity. Recently, five African cichlid genomes were sequenced, including that of the Nile Tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus), a basal and only relatively moderately diversified lineage, and the genomes of four representative endemic species of the adaptive radiations, Neolamprologus brichardi, Astatotilapia burtoni, Metriaclima zebra, and Pundamila nyererei. Using the Tilapia genome as a reference genome, we generated a high-resolution genomic variation map, consisting of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), short insertions and deletions (indels), inversions and deletions. In total, around 18.8, 17.7, 17.0, and 17.0 million SNPs, 2.3, 2.2, 1.4, and 1.9 million indels, 262, 306, 162, and 154 inversions, and 3509, 2705, 2710, and 2634 deletions were inferred to have evolved in N. brichardi, A. burtoni, P. nyererei, and M. zebra, respectively. Many of these variations affected the annotated gene regions in the genome. Different patterns of genetic variation were detected during the adaptive radiation of African cichlid fishes. For SNPs, the highest rate of evolution was detected in the common ancestor of N. brichardi, A. burtoni, P. nyererei, and M. zebra. However, for the evolution of inversions and deletions, we found that the rates at the terminal taxa are substantially higher than the rates at the ancestral lineages. The high-resolution map provides an ideal opportunity to understand the genomic bases of the adaptive radiation of African cichlid fishes.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salzburger, Walter; Meyer, Axel

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

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

    PubMed 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. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-01

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

  13. Sequence analyses of the distal-less homeobox gene family in East African cichlid fishes reveal signatures of positive selection

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Gen(om)e duplication events are hypothesized as key mechanisms underlying the origin of phenotypic diversity and evolutionary innovation. The diverse and species-rich lineage of teleost fishes is a renowned example of this scenario, because of the fish-specific genome duplication. Gene families, generated by this and other gene duplication events, have been previously found to play a role in the evolution and development of innovations in cichlid fishes - a prime model system to study the genetic basis of rapid speciation, adaptation and evolutionary innovation. The distal-less homeobox genes are particularly interesting candidate genes for evolutionary novelties, such as the pharyngeal jaw apparatus and the anal fin egg-spots. Here we study the dlx repertoire in 23 East African cichlid fishes to determine the rate of evolution and the signatures of selection pressure. Results Four intact dlx clusters were retrieved from cichlid draft genomes. Phylogenetic analyses of these eight dlx loci in ten teleost species, followed by an in-depth analysis of 23 East African cichlid species, show that there is disparity in the rates of evolution of the dlx paralogs. Dlx3a and dlx4b are the fastest evolving dlx genes, while dlx1a and dlx6a evolved more slowly. Subsequent analyses of the nonsynonymous-synonymous substitution rate ratios indicate that dlx3b, dlx4a and dlx5a evolved under purifying selection, while signs of positive selection were found for dlx1a, dlx2a, dlx3a and dlx4b. Conclusions Our results indicate that the dlx repertoire of teleost fishes and cichlid fishes in particular, is shaped by differential selection pressures and rates of evolution after gene duplication. Although the divergence of the dlx paralogs are putative signs of new or altered functions, comparisons with available expression patterns indicate that the three dlx loci under strong purifying selection, dlx3b, dlx4a and dlx5a, are transcribed at high levels in the cichlids

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  15. The African cichlid fish Astatotilapia burtoni uses acoustic communication for reproduction: sound production, hearing, and behavioral significance.

    PubMed

    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

  16. Social regulation of male reproductive plasticity in an African cichlid fish.

    PubMed

    Maruska, Karen P; Fernald, Russell D

    2013-12-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Fernald, Russell D.

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Maruska, Karen P.; Fernald, Russell D.

    2013-01-01

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

  19. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Cone opsin genes of african cichlid fishes: tuning spectral sensitivity by differential gene expression.

    PubMed

    Carleton, K L; Kocher, T D

    2001-08-01

    Spectral tuning of visual pigments is typically accomplished through changes in opsin amino acid sequence. Within a given opsin class, changes at a few key sites control wavelength specificity. To investigate known differences in the visual pigment spectral sensitivity of the Lake Malawi cichlids, Metriaclima zebra (368, 488, and 533 nm) and Dimidiochromis compressiceps (447, 536, and 569 nm), we sequenced cone opsin genes from these species as well as Labeotropheus fuelleborni and Oreochromis niloticus. These cichlids have five distinct classes of cone opsin genes, including two unique SWS-2 genes. Comparisons of the inferred amino acid sequences from the five cone opsin genes of M. zebra, D. compressiceps, and L. fuelleborni show the sequences to be nearly identical. Therefore, evolution of key opsin sites cannot explain the differences in visual pigment sensitivities. Real-time PCR demonstrates that different cichlid species express different subsets of the available cone opsin genes. Metriaclima zebra and L. fuelleborni express a complement of genes which give them UV-shifted visual pigments, while D. compressiceps expresses a different set to produce a red-shifted visual system. Thus, variations in cichlid spectral sensitivity have arisen through evolution of gene regulation, rather than through changes in opsin amino acid sequence.

  4. 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

  5. Social opportunity causes rapid transcriptional changes in the social behaviour network of the brain in an African cichlid fish

    PubMed Central

    Maruska, Karen P.; Zhang, April; Neboori, Anoop; Fernald, Russell D.

    2012-01-01

    Animals constantly integrate external stimuli with their own internal physiological state to make appropriate behavioural decisions. Little is known, however, about where in the brain the salience of these signals is evaluated, or which neural and transcriptional mechanisms link this integration to adaptive behaviours. We used an African cichlid fish Astatotilapia burtoni to test the hypothesis that a new social opportunity activates the conserved ‘social behaviour network’ (SBN), a collection of brain nuclei known to regulate social behaviours across vertebrates. We measured mRNA levels of immediate early genes (IEGs) in microdissected brain regions as a proxy for neuronal activation, and discovered that IEGs were higher in all SBN nuclei in males that were given an opportunity to rise in social rank compared to control stable subordinate and dominant individuals. Further, since the presence of sex-steroid receptors is one defining criteria of SBN nuclei, we also tested whether social opportunity or status influenced androgen and oestrogen receptor mRNA levels within these same regions. There were several rapid region-specific changes in receptor mRNA levels induced by social opportunity, most notably in oestrogen receptor subtypes in areas that regulate social aggression and reproduction, suggesting that oestrogenic signalling pathways play an important role in regulating male status. Several receptor mRNA changes occurred in regions with putative homologies to the mammalian septum and extended amygdala, two regions shared by SBN and reward circuits, suggesting an important role in integration of social salience, stressors, hormonal state, and adaptive behaviours. We also show increases in plasma sex- and stress-steroids at 30-min after a rise in social rank. This rapid endocrine and transcriptional response suggests that the SBN is involved in the integration of social inputs with internal hormonal state to facilitate the transition to dominant status, which

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Complete mitochondrial DNA sequencing of Vieja synspila, a cichlid fish.

    PubMed

    Xu, Bin; Gao, Jianzhong; Wang, Xuelong; Chen, Zaizhong; Wang, Chenghui

    2016-01-01

    The Redhead cichlid (Vieja synspila) is an important aquarium fish and a useful phylogenetic organism of the Cichlidae family. In this study, we sequenced the mitochondrial genome of the Redhead cichlid for the first time. The mitogenome (16,543 bp) had the typical mitochondrial characteristics of other cichlid fish, including 13 protein-coding, 22 tRNA, two rRNA genes and one putative control region. This sequence will be helpful in studying the phylogenetic relationships between cichlid fish.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2014-01-01

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

  10. 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

  11. The impact of the geologic history and paleoclimate on the diversification of East african cichlids.

    PubMed

    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.

  12. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Maruska, Karen P.; Fernald, Russell D.

    2011-01-01

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

  14. Crater lake colonization by neotropical cichlid fishes.

    PubMed

    Elmer, Kathryn R; Lehtonen, Topi K; Fan, Shaohua; Meyer, Axel

    2013-01-01

    Volcanic crater lakes are isolated habitats that are particularly well suited to investigating ecological and evolutionary divergence and modes of speciation. However, the mode, frequency, and timing of colonization of crater lakes have been difficult to determine. We used a statistical comparative phylogeographic approach, based on a mitochondrialDNA dataset, to infer the colonization history of two Nicaraguan crater lakes by populations of genetically and ecologically divergent cichlid lineages: Midas (Amphilophus cf. citrinellus complex) and moga (Hypsophrys nematopus). We compared estimates of diversity among populations within the two cichlid lineages and found that Midas were the most genetically diverse. From an approximate Bayesian computation analysis, we inferred that the crater lakes were each founded by both cichlid lineages in single waves of colonization: Masaya 5800 ± 300 years ago and Xiloá 5400 ± 750 years ago. We conclude that natural events are likely to have a dominant role in colonization of the crater lakes. Further, our findings suggest that the higher species richness and more rapid evolution of the Midas species complex, relative to other lineages of fishes in the same crater lakes, cannot be explained by earlier or more numerous colonization events.

  15. Genetic basis of differential opsin gene expression in cichlid fishes.

    PubMed

    Carleton, K L; Hofmann, C M; Klisz, C; Patel, Z; Chircus, L M; Simenauer, L H; Soodoo, N; Albertson, R C; Ser, J R

    2010-04-01

    Visual sensitivity can be tuned by differential expression of opsin genes. Among African cichlid fishes, seven cone opsin genes are expressed in different combinations to produce diverse visual sensitivities. To determine the genetic architecture controlling these adaptive differences, we analysed genetic crosses between species expressing different complements of opsin genes. Quantitative genetic analyses suggest that expression is controlled by only a few loci with correlations among some genes. Genetic mapping identifies clear evidence of trans-acting factors in two chromosomal regions that contribute to differences in opsin expression as well as one cis-regulatory region. Therefore, both cis and trans regulation are important. The simple genetic architecture suggested by these results may explain why opsin gene expression is evolutionarily labile, and why similar patterns of expression have evolved repeatedly in different lineages.

  16. Persistence of neutral polymorphisms in Lake Victoria cichlid fish

    PubMed Central

    Nagl, Sandra; Tichy, Herbert; Mayer, Werner E.; Takahata, Naoyuki; Klein, Jan

    1998-01-01

    Phylogenetic trees for groups of closely related species often have different topologies, depending on the genes used. One explanation for the discordant topologies is the persistence of polymorphisms through the speciation phase, followed by differential fixation of alleles in the resulting species. The existence of transspecies polymorphisms has been documented for alleles maintained by balancing selection but not for neutral alleles. In the present study, transspecific persistence of neutral polymorphisms was tested in the endemic haplochromine species flock of Lake Victoria cichlid fish. Putative noncoding region polymorphisms were identified at four randomly selected nuclear loci and tested on a collection of 12 Lake Victoria species and their putative riverine ancestors. At all loci, the same polymorphism was found to be present in nearly all the tested species, both lacustrine and riverine. Different polymorphisms at these loci were found in cichlids of other East African lakes (Malawi and Tanganyika). The Lake Victoria polymorphisms must have therefore arisen after the flocks now inhabiting the three great lakes diverged from one another, but before the riverine ancestors of the Lake Victoria flock colonized the Lake. Calculations based on the mtDNA clock suggest that the polymorphisms have persisted for about 1.4 million years. To maintain neutral polymorphisms for such a long time, the population size must have remained large throughout the entire period. PMID:9826684

  17. Parallel life history evolution in mouthbrooding cichlids from the African Great Lakes

    PubMed Central

    Duponchelle, Fabrice; Paradis, Emmanuel; Ribbink, Anthony J.; Turner, George F.

    2008-01-01

    The existence of ancient deep-water lakes provides an opportunity to study the independent adaptation of aquatic organisms to pelagic, benthic, and rocky shore habitats. With improving resolution of their phylogenetic relationships, the many cichlid fish species endemic to the African Great Lakes Malawi, Tanganyika, and Victoria provide a significant resource for the comparative study of such evolutionary processes. Here, we show that cichlid lineages colonizing rocky shores and pelagic habitats in the different lakes have independently evolved larger eggs and lower fecundities than benthic lineages, suggesting parallel adaptive life-history evolution. By contrast, other pelagic teleost fishes in both marine and freshwater habitats, including African lakes, typically produce large numbers of very small eggs. Our results also suggest that decreased fecundity and increased egg size not only occurred independently in each lake but occurred independently in the colonization of rocky and pelagic habitats. PMID:18824688

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

    PubMed Central

    Böhne, Astrid; Sengstag, Thierry; Salzburger, Walter

    2014-01-01

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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Females of an African Cichlid Fish Display Male-Typical Social Dominance Behavior and Elevated Androgens in the Absence of Males

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  2. Evolution of egg dummies in Tanganyikan cichlid fishes: the roles of parental care and sexual selection.

    PubMed

    Amcoff, M; Gonzalez-Voyer, A; Kolm, N

    2013-11-01

    Sexual selection has been suggested to be an important driver of speciation in cichlid fishes of the Great Lakes of Africa, and the presence of male egg dummies is proposed to have played a key role. Here, we investigate how mouthbrooding and egg dummies have evolved in Tanganyikan cichlids, the lineage which seeded the other African radiations, with a special emphasis on the egg dummies. Using modern phylogenetic comparative analyses and a phylogeny including 86% of the 200 described species, we provide formal evidence demonstrating correlated evolution between mouthbrooding and egg dummies in Tanganyikan cichlids. These results concur with existing evidence, suggesting that egg dummies have evolved through sensory exploitation. We also demonstrate that there is a strong evolutionary correlation between the presence of egg dummies and both pre- and post-copulatory sexual selection. Moreover, egg dummy evolution was contingent on the intensity of pre- and post-copulatory sexual selection in Tanganyikan cichlids. In sum, our results provide evidence supporting the hypothesis of egg dummies evolving through sensory exploitation and highlight the role of sexual selection in favouring the evolution and maintenance of this trait.

  3. Social regulation of reproduction in male cichlid fishes.

    PubMed

    Maruska, Karen P

    2014-10-01

    Social interactions and relative positions within a dominance hierarchy have helped shape the evolution of reproduction in many animals. Since reproduction is crucial in all animals, and rank typically regulates access to reproductive opportunities, understanding the mechanisms that regulate socially-induced reproductive processes is extremely important. How does position in a dominance hierarchy impact an individual's reproductive behavior, morphology, and physiology? Teleost fishes, and cichlids in particular, are ideally-suited models for studying how social status influences reproduction on multiple levels of biological organization. Here I review the current knowledge on the reproductive behavioral and physiological consequences of relative position in a dominance hierarchy, with a particular focus on male cichlids. Dominant and subordinate social status is typically associated with distinct differences in activity along the entire hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis. Further, when transitions in social status occur between subordinate and dominant individuals, there are plastic changes from whole-organism behavior to molecular-level gene expression modifications that occur quickly. These rapid changes in behavior and physiology have allowed cichlids the flexibility to adapt to and thrive in their often dynamic physical and social environments. Studies in cichlid fishes have, and will continue, to advance our understanding of how the social environment can modulate molecular, cellular, and behavioral outcomes relevant to reproductive success. Future studies that take advantage of the extreme diversity in mating systems, reproductive tactics, and parental care strategies within the cichlid group will help generate hypotheses and careful experimental tests on the mechanisms governing the social control of reproduction in many vertebrates.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  6. Integrating cytogenetics and genomics in comparative evolutionary studies of cichlid fish

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background The availability of a large number of recently sequenced vertebrate genomes opens new avenues to integrate cytogenetics and genomics in comparative and evolutionary studies. Cytogenetic mapping can offer alternative means to identify conserved synteny shared by distinct genomes and also to define genome regions that are still not fine characterized even after wide-ranging nucleotide sequence efforts. An efficient way to perform comparative cytogenetic mapping is based on BAC clones mapping by fluorescence in situ hybridization. In this report, to address the knowledge gap on the genome evolution in cichlid fishes, BAC clones of an Oreochromis niloticus library covering the linkage groups (LG) 1, 3, 5, and 7 were mapped onto the chromosomes of 9 African cichlid species. The cytogenetic mapping data were also integrated with BAC-end sequences information of O. niloticus and comparatively analyzed against the genome of other fish species and vertebrates. Results The location of BACs from LG1, 3, 5, and 7 revealed a strong chromosomal conservation among the analyzed cichlid species genomes, which evidenced a synteny of the markers of each LG. Comparative in silico analysis also identified large genomic blocks that were conserved in distantly related fish groups and also in other vertebrates. Conclusions Although it has been suggested that fishes contain plastic genomes with high rates of chromosomal rearrangements and probably low rates of synteny conservation, our results evidence that large syntenic chromosome segments have been maintained conserved during evolution, at least for the considered markers. Additionally, our current cytogenetic mapping efforts integrated with genomic approaches conduct to a new perspective to address important questions involving chromosome evolution in fishes. PMID:22958299

  7. 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

  8. Eggspot number and sexual selection in the cichlid fish Astatotilapia burtoni.

    PubMed

    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.

  9. 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

  10. Androgen level and male social status in the African cichlid, Astatotilapia burtoni.

    PubMed

    Parikh, Victoria N; Clement, Tricia S; Fernald, Russell D

    2006-01-30

    In vertebrates, circulating androgen levels are regulated by the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis through which the brain controls the gonads via the pituitary. Androgen levels ultimately depend on factors including season, temperature, social circumstance, age, and other variables related to reproductive capacity and opportunity. Previous studies with an African cichlid fish, Astatotilapia burtoni, suggested that changes in both testosterone and 11-ketotestosterone (11-KT), an androgen specific to teleost fish, depend on male social status. Here we characterize circulating plasma concentrations of testosterone and 11-KT in socially dominant (territorial) and socially subordinate (non-territorial) males. Territorial males have significantly higher circulating levels of both forms of androgen, which is another defining difference between dominant and subordinate males in this species. These results underscore how internal and external cues related to reproduction are integrated at the level of the HPG axis.

  11. 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

  12. Functional diversity in the color vision of cichlid fishes

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Color vision plays a critical role in visual behavior. An animal's capacity for color vision rests on the presence of differentially sensitive cone photoreceptors. Spectral sensitivity is a measure of the visual responsiveness of these cones at different light wavelengths. Four classes of cone pigments have been identified in vertebrates, but in teleost fishes, opsin genes have undergone gene duplication events and thus can produce a larger number of spectrally distinct cone pigments. In this study, we examine the question of large-scale variation in color vision with respect to individual, sex and species that may result from differential expression of cone pigments. Cichlid fishes are an excellent model system for examining variation in spectral sensitivity because they have seven distinct cone opsin genes that are differentially expressed. Results To examine the variation in the number of cones that participate in cichlid spectral sensitivity, we used whole organism electrophysiology, opsin gene expression and empirical modeling. Examination of over 100 spectral sensitivity curves from 34 individuals of three species revealed that (1) spectral sensitivity of individual cichlids was based on different subsets of four or five cone pigments, (2) spectral sensitivity was shaped by multiple cone interactions and (3) spectral sensitivity differed between species and correlated with foraging mode and the spectral reflectance of conspecifics. Our data also suggest that there may be significant differences in opsin gene expression between the sexes. Conclusions Our study describes complex opponent and nonopponent cone interactions that represent the requisite neural processing for color vision. We present the first comprehensive evidence for pentachromatic color vision in vertebrates, which offers the potential for extraordinary spectral discrimination capabilities. We show that opsin gene expression in cichlids, and possibly also spectral sensitivity, may be

  13. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  15. 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

  16. Kinship reinforces cooperative predator inspection in a cichlid fish.

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

    Kin selection theory predicts that cooperation is facilitated between genetic relatives, as by cooperating with kin an individual might increase its inclusive fitness. Although numerous theoretical papers support Hamilton's inclusive fitness theory, experimental evidence is still underrepresented, in particular in noncooperative breeders. Cooperative predator inspection is one of the most intriguing antipredator strategies, as it implies high costs on inspectors. During an inspection event, one or more individuals leave the safety of a group and approach a potential predator to gather information about the current predation risk. We investigated the effect of genetic relatedness on cooperative predator inspection in juveniles of the cichlid fish Pelvicachromis taeniatus, a species in which juveniles live in shoals under natural conditions. We show that relatedness significantly influenced predator inspection behaviour with kin dyads being significantly more cooperative. Thus, our results indicate a higher disposition for cooperative antipredator behaviour among kin as predicted by kin selection theory. PMID:26299423

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  18. A Three-Dimensional Stereotaxic MRI Brain Atlas of the Cichlid Fish Oreochromis mossambicus

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  19. Colour-assortative mating among populations of Tropheus moorii, a cichlid fish from Lake Tanganyika, East Africa

    PubMed Central

    Salzburger, Walter; Niederstätter, Harald; Brandstätter, Anita; Berger, Burkhard; Parson, Walther; Snoeks, Jos; Sturmbauer, Christian

    2005-01-01

    The species flocks of cichlid fishes in the East African Lakes Tanganyika, Malawi and Victoria are prime examples of adaptive radiation and explosive speciation. Several hundreds of endemic species have evolved in each of the lakes over the past several thousands to a few millions years. Sexual selection via colour-assortative mating has often been proposed as a probable causal factor for initiating and maintaining reproductive isolation. Here, we report the consequences of human-mediated admixis among differentially coloured populations of the endemic cichlid fish Tropheus moorii from several localities that have accidentally been put in sympatry in a small harbour bay in the very south of Lake Tanganyika. We analysed the phenotypes (coloration) and genotypes (mitochondrial control region and five microsatellite loci) of almost 500 individuals, sampled over 3 consecutive years. Maximum-likelihood-based parenthood analyses and Bayesian inference of population structure revealed that significantly more juveniles are the product of within-colour-morph matings than could be expected under the assumption of random mating. Our results clearly indicate a marked degree of assortative mating with respect to the different colour morphs. Therefore, we postulate that sexual selection based on social interactions and female mate choice has played an important role in the formation and maintenance of the different colour morphs in Tropheus, and is probably common in other maternally mouthbrooding cichlids as well. PMID:16543167

  20. Social Status and Arginine Vasotocin Neuronal Phenotypes in a Cichlid Fish.

    PubMed

    Almeida, Olinda; Oliveira, Rui F

    2015-01-01

    The nonapeptide arginine vasotocin (AVT) and its mammalian homologue arginine vasopressin play a key role in the regulation of social behaviour across vertebrates. In teleost fishes, three AVT neuronal populations have been described in the preoptic area (POA): the parvocellular (pPOA), the magnocellular (mPOA) and the gigantocellular (gPOA). Neurons from each of these areas project both to the pituitary and to other brain regions, where AVT is supposed to regulate neural circuits underlying social behaviour. However, in the fish species studied so far, there is considerable variation in which AVT neuronal populations are involved in behavioural modulation and in the direction of the effect. In this study, the association between AVT neuronal phenotypes and social status was investigated in the Mozambique tilapia (Oreochromis mossambicus). This species is an African female mouth-brooding cichlid fish in which males form breeding aggregations in which dominant males establish territories and subordinate males to act as floaters. With respect to sex differences in AVT neuronal phenotypes, females have a larger number of AVT neurons in the pPOA and mPOA. Within males, AVT appeared associated with social subordination, as indicated by the larger cell body areas of AVT neurons in mPOA and gPOA nuclei of non-territorial males. There were also positive correlations between submissive behaviour and the soma size of AVT cells in all three nuclei and AVT cell number in the mPOA. In summary, the results provide evidence for an involvement of AVT in the modulation of social behaviour in tilapia, but it was not possible to identify specific roles for specific AVT neuronal populations. The results presented here also contrast with those previously published for another cichlid species with a similar mating system, which highlights the species-specific nature of the pattern of association between AVT and social behaviour even within the same taxonomic family. PMID:25997523

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Social familiarity modulates personality trait in a cichlid fish

    PubMed Central

    Galhardo, L.; Vitorino, A.; Oliveira, R. F.

    2012-01-01

    Personality traits, such as exploration–avoidance, are expected to be adaptive in a given context (e.g. low-risk environment) but to be maladaptive in others (e.g. high-risk environment). Therefore, it is expected that personality traits are flexible and respond to environmental fluctuations, given that consistency across different contexts is maintained, so that the relative individual responses in relation to others remains the same (i.e. although the magnitude of the response varies the differences between high and low responders are kept). Here, we tested the response of male cichlid fish (Oreochromis mossambicus) to a novel object (NO) in three different social contexts: (i) social isolation, (ii) in the presence of an unfamiliar conspecific, and (iii) in the presence of a familiar conspecific. Males in the familiar treatment exhibited more exploratory behaviour and less neophobia than males in either the unfamiliar or the social isolation treatments. However, there were no overall correlations in individual behaviour across the three treatments, suggesting a lack of consistency in exploration–avoidance as measured by the NO test in this species. Moreover, there were no differences in cortisol responsiveness to an acute stressor between the three treatments. Together, these results illustrate how behavioural traits usually taken as measures of personality may exhibit significant flexibility and lack the expected consistency across different social contexts. PMID:22859562

  4. 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

  5. Hormonal anticipation of territorial challenges in cichlid fish

    PubMed Central

    Antunes, Raquel A.; Oliveira, Rui F.

    2009-01-01

    In many territorial species androgens respond to social interactions. This response has been interpreted as a mechanism for adjusting aggressive motivation to a changing social environment. Therefore, it would be adaptive to anticipate social challenges and reacting to their clues with an anticipatory androgen response to adjust agonistic motivation to an imminent social challenge. Here we test the hypothesis of an anticipatory androgen response to territorial intrusions using classical conditioning to establish an association between a conditioned stimulus (CS = light) and an unconditioned stimulus (US = intruder male) in male cichlid fish (Oreochromis mossambicus). During the training phase conditioned males (CS−US paired presentations) showed a higher decrease in latency for agonistic response toward the intruder than unconditioned males (CS–US unpaired presentations). In the test trial, conditioned males showed an increase in androgen levels (i.e., testosterone and 11-ketotestosterone) relative to baseline, in response to the CS alone. This increase was similar to that of control males exposed to real intruders after CS, whereas unconditioned males showed a decrease in androgen levels in response to the CS. Furthermore, conditioned males were significantly more aggressive than unconditioned males during the post-CS period on test trial, even though the intruder male was not present during this period. These results reveal the occurrence of a conditioned androgen response that may give territorial males an advantage in mounting a defense to upcoming territorial intrusions, if the ability to readily elevate androgens does not co-vary with other traits that bear costs. PMID:19805238

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

    PubMed

    Salzburger, Walter

    2009-01-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. Bentho-Pelagic Divergence of Cichlid Feeding Architecture Was Prodigious and Consistent during Multiple Adaptive Radiations within African Rift-Lakes

    PubMed Central

    Cooper, W. James; Parsons, Kevin; McIntyre, Alyssa; Kern, Brittany; McGee-Moore, Alana; Albertson, R. Craig

    2010-01-01

    Background How particular changes in functional morphology can repeatedly promote ecological diversification is an active area of evolutionary investigation. The African rift-lake cichlids offer a calibrated time series of the most dramatic adaptive radiations of vertebrate trophic morphology yet described, and the replicate nature of these events provides a unique opportunity to test whether common changes in functional morphology have repeatedly facilitated their ecological success. Methodology/Principal Findings Specimens from 87 genera of cichlid fishes endemic to Lakes Tanganyka, Malawi and Victoria were dissected in order to examine the functional morphology of cichlid feeding. We quantified shape using geometric morphometrics and compared patterns of morphological diversity using a series of analytical tests. The primary axes of divergence were conserved among all three radiations, and the most prevalent changes involved the size of the preorbital region of the skull. Even the fishes from the youngest of these lakes (Victoria), which exhibit the lowest amount of skull shape disparity, have undergone extensive preorbital evolution relative to other craniofacial traits. Such changes have large effects on feeding biomechanics, and can promote expansion into a wide array of niches along a bentho-pelagic ecomorphological axis. Conclusions/Significance Here we show that specific changes in trophic anatomy have evolved repeatedly in the African rift lakes, and our results suggest that simple morphological alterations that have large ecological consequences are likely to constitute critical components of adaptive radiations in functional morphology. Such shifts may precede more complex shape changes as lineages diversify into unoccupied niches. The data presented here, combined with observations of other fish lineages, suggest that the preorbital region represents an evolutionary module that can respond quickly to natural selection when fishes colonize new lakes

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Genomic architecture of ecologically divergent body shape in a pair of sympatric crater lake cichlid fishes.

    PubMed

    Franchini, Paolo; Fruciano, Carmelo; Spreitzer, Maria L; Jones, Julia C; Elmer, Kathryn R; Henning, Frederico; Meyer, Axel

    2014-04-01

    Determining the genetic bases of adaptations and their roles in speciation is a prominent issue in evolutionary biology. Cichlid fish species flocks are a prime example of recent rapid radiations, often associated with adaptive phenotypic divergence from a common ancestor within a short period of time. In several radiations of freshwater fishes, divergence in ecomorphological traits - including body shape, colour, lips and jaws - is thought to underlie their ecological differentiation, specialization and, ultimately, speciation. The Midas cichlid species complex (Amphilophus spp.) of Nicaragua provides one of the few known examples of sympatric speciation where species have rapidly evolved different but parallel morphologies in young crater lakes. This study identified significant QTL for body shape using SNPs generated via ddRAD sequencing and geometric morphometric analyses of a cross between two ecologically and morphologically divergent, sympatric cichlid species endemic to crater Lake Apoyo: an elongated limnetic species (Amphilophus zaliosus) and a high-bodied benthic species (Amphilophus astorquii). A total of 453 genome-wide informative SNPs were identified in 240 F2 hybrids. These markers were used to construct a genetic map in which 25 linkage groups were resolved. Seventy-two segregating SNPs were linked to 11 QTL. By annotating the two most highly supported QTL-linked genomic regions, genes that might contribute to divergence in body shape along the benthic-limnetic axis in Midas cichlid sympatric adaptive radiations were identified. These results suggest that few genomic regions of large effect contribute to early stage divergence in Midas cichlids.

  12. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-11

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

  14. Quantitative Genetic Analyses of Male Color Pattern and Female Mate Choice in a Pair of Cichlid Fishes of Lake Malawi, East Africa.

    PubMed

    Ding, Baoqing; Daugherty, Daniel W; Husemann, Martin; Chen, Ming; Howe, Aimee E; Danley, Patrick D

    2014-01-01

    The traits involved in sexual selection, such as male secondary sexual characteristics and female mate choice, often co-evolve which can promote population differentiation. However, the genetic architecture of these phenotypes can influence their evolvability and thereby affect the divergence of species. The extraordinary diversity of East African cichlid fishes is often attributed to strong sexual selection and thus this system provides an excellent model to test predictions regarding the genetic architecture of sexually selected traits that contribute to reproductive isolation. In particular, theory predicts that rapid speciation is facilitated when male sexual traits and female mating preferences are controlled by a limited number of linked genes. However, few studies have examined the genetic basis of male secondary sexual traits and female mating preferences in cichlids and none have investigated the genetic architecture of both jointly. In this study, we artificially hybridized a pair of behaviorally isolated cichlid fishes from Lake Malawi and quantified both melanistic color pattern and female mate choice. We investigated the genetic architecture of both phenotypes using quantitative genetic analyses. Our results suggest that 1) many non-additively acting genetic factors influence melanistic color patterns, 2) female mate choice may be controlled by a minimum of 1-2 non-additive genetic factors, and 3) F2 female mate choice is not influenced by male courting effort. Furthermore, a joint analysis of color pattern and female mate choice indicates that the genes underlying these two traits are unlikely to be physically linked. These results suggest that reproductive isolation may evolve rapidly owing to the few genetic factors underlying female mate choice. Hence, female mate choice likely played an important role in the unparalleled speciation of East African cichlid fish. PMID:25494046

  15. Quantitative Genetic Analyses of Male Color Pattern and Female Mate Choice in a Pair of Cichlid Fishes of Lake Malawi, East Africa

    PubMed Central

    Ding, Baoqing; Daugherty, Daniel W.; Husemann, Martin; Chen, Ming; Howe, Aimee E.; Danley, Patrick D.

    2014-01-01

    The traits involved in sexual selection, such as male secondary sexual characteristics and female mate choice, often co-evolve which can promote population differentiation. However, the genetic architecture of these phenotypes can influence their evolvability and thereby affect the divergence of species. The extraordinary diversity of East African cichlid fishes is often attributed to strong sexual selection and thus this system provides an excellent model to test predictions regarding the genetic architecture of sexually selected traits that contribute to reproductive isolation. In particular, theory predicts that rapid speciation is facilitated when male sexual traits and female mating preferences are controlled by a limited number of linked genes. However, few studies have examined the genetic basis of male secondary sexual traits and female mating preferences in cichlids and none have investigated the genetic architecture of both jointly. In this study, we artificially hybridized a pair of behaviorally isolated cichlid fishes from Lake Malawi and quantified both melanistic color pattern and female mate choice. We investigated the genetic architecture of both phenotypes using quantitative genetic analyses. Our results suggest that 1) many non-additively acting genetic factors influence melanistic color patterns, 2) female mate choice may be controlled by a minimum of 1–2 non-additive genetic factors, and 3) F2 female mate choice is not influenced by male courting effort. Furthermore, a joint analysis of color pattern and female mate choice indicates that the genes underlying these two traits are unlikely to be physically linked. These results suggest that reproductive isolation may evolve rapidly owing to the few genetic factors underlying female mate choice. Hence, female mate choice likely played an important role in the unparalleled speciation of East African cichlid fish. PMID:25494046

  16. Incipient speciation in sympatric Nicaraguan crater lake cichlid fishes: sexual selection versus ecological diversification.

    PubMed Central

    Wilson, A B; Noack-Kunnmann, K; Meyer, A

    2000-01-01

    The growing body of empirical evidence for sympatric speciation has been complemented by recent theoretical treatments that have identified evolutionary conditions conducive to speciation in sympatry. The Neotropical Midas cichlid (Amphilophus citrinellum) fits both of the key characteristics of these models, with strong assortative mating on the basis of a colour polymorphism coupled with trophic and ecological differentiation derived from a polymorphism in their pharyngeal jaws. We used microsatellite markers and a 480 bp fragment of the mitochondrial DNA control region to study four polymorphic populations of the Midas cichlid from three crater lakes and one large lake in Nicaragua in an investigation of incipient sympatric speciation. All populations were strongly genetically differentiated on the basis of geography. We identified strong genetic separation based on colour polymorphism for populations from Lake Nicaragua and one crater lake (Lake Apoyo), but failed to find significant genetic structuring based on trophic differences and ecological niche separation in any of the four populations studied. These data support the idea that sexual selection through assortative mating contributes more strongly or earlier during speciation in sympatry than ecological separation in these cichlids. The long-term persistence of divergent cichlid ecotypes (as measured by the percentage sequence divergence between populations) in Central American crater lakes, despite a lack of fixed genetic differentiation, differs strikingly from the patterns of extremely rapid speciation in the cichlids in Africa, including its crater lakes. It is unclear whether extrinsic environmental factors or intrinsic biological differences, e.g. in the degree of phenotypic plasticity, promote different mechanisms and thereby rates of speciation of cichlid fishes from the Old and New Worlds. PMID:11413624

  17. Incipient speciation in sympatric Nicaraguan crater lake cichlid fishes: sexual selection versus ecological diversification.

    PubMed

    Wilson, A B; Noack-Kunnmann, K; Meyer, A

    2000-11-01

    The growing body of empirical evidence for sympatric speciation has been complemented by recent theoretical treatments that have identified evolutionary conditions conducive to speciation in sympatry. The Neotropical Midas cichlid (Amphilophus citrinellum) fits both of the key characteristics of these models, with strong assortative mating on the basis of a colour polymorphism coupled with trophic and ecological differentiation derived from a polymorphism in their pharyngeal jaws. We used microsatellite markers and a 480 bp fragment of the mitochondrial DNA control region to study four polymorphic populations of the Midas cichlid from three crater lakes and one large lake in Nicaragua in an investigation of incipient sympatric speciation. All populations were strongly genetically differentiated on the basis of geography. We identified strong genetic separation based on colour polymorphism for populations from Lake Nicaragua and one crater lake (Lake Apoyo), but failed to find significant genetic structuring based on trophic differences and ecological niche separation in any of the four populations studied. These data support the idea that sexual selection through assortative mating contributes more strongly or earlier during speciation in sympatry than ecological separation in these cichlids. The long-term persistence of divergent cichlid ecotypes (as measured by the percentage sequence divergence between populations) in Central American crater lakes, despite a lack of fixed genetic differentiation, differs strikingly from the patterns of extremely rapid speciation in the cichlids in Africa, including its crater lakes. It is unclear whether extrinsic environmental factors or intrinsic biological differences, e.g. in the degree of phenotypic plasticity, promote different mechanisms and thereby rates of speciation of cichlid fishes from the Old and New Worlds.

  18. 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

  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. Repeated Parallel Evolution of Parental Care Strategies within Xenotilapia, a Genus of Cichlid Fishes from Lake Tanganyika

    PubMed Central

    Kidd, Michael R.; Duftner, Nina; Koblmüller, Stephan; Sturmbauer, Christian; Hofmann, Hans A.

    2012-01-01

    The factors promoting the evolution of parental care strategies have been extensively studied in experiment and theory. However, most attempts to examine parental care in an evolutionary context have evaluated broad taxonomic categories. The explosive and recent diversifications of East African cichlid fishes offer exceptional opportunities to study the evolution of various life history traits based on species-level phylogenies. The Xenotilapia lineage within the endemic Lake Tanganyika cichlid tribe Ectodini comprises species that display either biparental or maternal only brood care and hence offers a unique opportunity to study the evolution of distinct parental care strategies in a phylogenetic framework. In order to reconstruct the evolutionary relationships among 16 species of this lineage we scored 2,478 Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphisms (AFLPs) across the genome. We find that the Ectodini genus Enantiopus is embedded within the genus Xenotilapia and that during 2.5 to 3 million years of evolution within the Xenotilapia clade there have been 3–5 transitions from maternal only to biparental care. While most previous models suggest that uniparental care (maternal or paternal) arose from biparental care, we conclude from our species-level analysis that the evolution of parental care strategies is not only remarkably fast, but much more labile than previously expected. PMID:22347454

  1. 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

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Rapid evolution and selection inferred from the transcriptomes of sympatric crater lake cichlid fishes.

    PubMed

    Elmer, K R; Fan, S; Gunter, H M; Jones, J C; Boekhoff, S; Kuraku, S; Meyer, A

    2010-03-01

    Crater lakes provide a natural laboratory to study speciation of cichlid fishes by ecological divergence. Up to now, there has been a dearth of transcriptomic and genomic information that would aid in understanding the molecular basis of the phenotypic differentiation between young species. We used next-generation sequencing (Roche 454 massively parallel pyrosequencing) to characterize the diversity of expressed sequence tags between ecologically divergent, endemic and sympatric species of cichlid fishes from crater lake Apoyo, Nicaragua: benthic Amphilophus astorquii and limnetic Amphilophus zaliosus. We obtained 24 174 A. astorquii and 21 382 A. zaliosus high-quality expressed sequence tag contigs, of which 13 106 pairs are orthologous between species. Based on the ratio of nonsynonymous to synonymous substitutions, we identified six sequences exhibiting signals of strong diversifying selection (K(a)/K(s) > 1). These included genes involved in biosynthesis, metabolic processes and development. This transcriptome sequence variation may be reflective of natural selection acting on the genomes of these young, sympatric sister species. Based on Ks ratios and p-distances between 3'-untranslated regions (UTRs) calibrated to previously published species divergence times, we estimated a neutral transcriptome-wide substitutional mutation rate of approximately 1.25 x 10(-6) per site per year. We conclude that next-generation sequencing technologies allow us to infer natural selection acting to diversify the genomes of young species, such as crater lake cichlids, with much greater scope than previously possible.

  9. Rapid sympatric ecological differentiation of crater lake cichlid fishes within historic times

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background After a volcano erupts, a lake may form in the cooled crater and become an isolated aquatic ecosystem. This makes fishes in crater lakes informative for understanding sympatric evolution and ecological diversification in barren environments. From a geological and limnological perspective, such research offers insight about the process of crater lake ecosystem establishment and speciation. In the present study we use genetic and coalescence approaches to infer the colonization history of Midas cichlid fishes (Amphilophus cf. citrinellus) that inhabit a very young crater lake in Nicaragua-the ca. 1800 year-old Lake Apoyeque. This lake holds two sympatric, endemic morphs of Midas cichlid: one with large, hypertrophied lips (~20% of the total population) and another with thin lips. Here we test the associated ecological, morphological and genetic diversification of these two morphs and their potential to represent incipient speciation. Results Gene coalescence analyses [11 microsatellite loci and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences] suggest that crater lake Apoyeque was colonized in a single event from the large neighbouring great lake Managua only about 100 years ago. This founding in historic times is also reflected in the extremely low nuclear and mitochondrial genetic diversity in Apoyeque. We found that sympatric adult thin- and thick-lipped fishes occupy distinct ecological trophic niches. Diet, body shape, head width, pharyngeal jaw size and shape and stable isotope values all differ significantly between the two lip-morphs. The eco-morphological features pharyngeal jaw shape, body shape, stomach contents and stable isotopes (δ15N) all show a bimodal distribution of traits, which is compatible with the expectations of an initial stage of ecological speciation under disruptive selection. Genetic differentiation between the thin- and thick-lipped population is weak at mtDNA sequence (FST = 0.018) and absent at nuclear microsatellite loci (FST < 0

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Handed foraging behavior in scale-eating cichlid fish: its potential role in shaping morphological asymmetry.

    PubMed

    Lee, Hyuk Je; Kusche, Henrik; Meyer, Axel

    2012-01-01

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

  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. Cichlid Fish Use Coloration as a Cue to Assess the Threat Status of Heterospecific Intruders.

    PubMed

    Lehtonen, Topi K; Sowersby, Will; Gagnon, Karine; Wong, Bob B M

    2015-10-01

    The ability to assess the threat posed by competitors, and to respond appropriately, is important for reducing the costs of aggression. In this respect, aggression directed toward heterospecifics is often just as significant as aggression among conspecifics. This is especially true for cichlid fish that share breeding grounds with heterospecifics. Indeed, cichlids are known to differentiate not only between conspecifics that pose different levels of threat but also between heterospecific territorial intruders by directing more aggression toward nonbreeding individuals. To assess whether the ability to make such distinctions could be based on color cues alone, we carried out a field study in which we experimentally presented Amphilophus sagittae cichlid pairs with model intruders of a sympatric congener, Amphilophus xiloaensis, in breeding versus nonbreeding coloration. Consistent with our prediction, we found that A. sagittae exhibited more aggression toward A. xiloaensis models of the latter color type. The results are, to our knowledge, the first to show that territory holders can, based on coloration alone, assess variation among individuals of a species other than their own in the threat posed to offspring survival.

  15. 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

  16. Do estimated and actual species phylogenies match? Evaluation of East African cichlid radiations.

    PubMed

    Huang, Huateng; Tran, Lucy A P; Knowles, L Lacey

    2014-09-01

    A large number of published phylogenetic estimates are based on a single locus or the concatenation of multiple loci, even though genealogies of single or concatenated loci may not accurately reflect the true history of species diversification (i.e., the species tree). The increased availability of genomic data, coupled with new computational methods, improves resolution of species relationships beyond what was possible in the past. Such developments will no doubt benefit future phylogenetic studies. It remains unclear how robust phylogenies that predate these developments (i.e., the bulk of phylogenetic studies) are to departures from the assumption of strict gene tree-species tree concordance. Here, we present a parametric bootstrap (PBST) approach that assesses the reliability of past phylogenetic estimates in which gene tree-species tree discord was ignored. We focus on a universal cause of discord-the random loss of gene lineages from genetic drift-and apply the method in a meta-analysis of East African cichlids, a group encompassing historical scenarios that are particularly challenging for phylogenetic estimation. Although we identify some evolutionary relationships that are robust to gene tree discord, many past phylogenetic estimates of cichlids are not. We discuss the utility of the PBST method for evaluating the robustness of gene tree-based phylogenetic estimations in general as well as for testing the clade-specific performance of species tree estimation methods and designing sampling strategies that increase the accuracy of estimated species relationships.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-18

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-18

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-12-01

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

  1. Facial Recognition in a Group-Living Cichlid Fish

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Takeuchi, Yuichi; Hori, Michio; Oda, Yoichi

    2012-01-01

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

  4. Cytogenetic mapping of the retroelements Rex1, Rex3 and Rex6 among cichlid fish: new insights on the chromosomal distribution of transposable elements.

    PubMed

    Valente, G T; Mazzuchelli, J; Ferreira, I A; Poletto, A B; Fantinatti, B E A; Martins, C

    2011-01-01

    To enhance our understanding of the organization of the genome and chromosome evolution of cichlid fish species, we have isolated and physically mapped onto the chromosomes the transposable elements (TEs) Rex1, Rex3 and Rex6, which are conserved in teleost fish, in the chromosomes of African and South American cichlid species. The physical mapping of different Rex elements showed that they are primarily compartmentalized in the pericentromeric heterochromatic regions, although dispersed or clustered signals in euchromatic regions were also observed. The presence of TEs in heterochromatin can be correlated with their role in the structure and organization of heterochromatic areas (such as centromeres) or with the lower selective pressure that act on these gene-poor regions. The Rex elements were also concentrated in the largest chromosome pair of the Nile tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus. This chromosome pair is supposed to have originated by fusions, demonstrating the possible involvement of TEs with chromosome rearrangements. Besides general patterns of chromosomal distribution, comparative analysis suggests that Rex elements could differ in their chromosomal distribution among different fish groups or species and that intrinsic aspects of the genomes could influence the spread, accumulation or elimination of TEs. PMID:21196713

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-06-12

    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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Ladich, Friedrich

    2016-01-01

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

  9. Changes of Sexual Behaviors in Rapamycin-injected Cichlid Fish Astatotilapia burtoni Males

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Tae Ha; Sohn, Young Chang

    2016-01-01

    Cichlid fish species exhibit characteristic sexual behaviors according to not only reproductive stages but also social status. In a reproductive season, Astatotilapia burtoni males compete for females and a small number of dominant winners finally obtain the chance of spermiation. In addition to the characteristic behaviors, the dominant males have relatively bigger gonadotropin-releasing hormone 1 (GnRH1) neurons in the preoptic area (POA) of brain compared to those of subordinate males. Although the stimulatory effect of GnRH1 in vertebrate reproduction is well established, little is known about the triggering signal pathway to control GnRH1 neurons and GnRH1-mediated sexual behavior. In the present study, we evaluated the potential effect of TOR inhibitor rapamycin in relation to the cichlid male behaviors and GnRH1 neuron. After 14 h and 26 h of intraventricular injection of rapamycin, behavior patterns of chasing and courtship display did not show significant changes between rapamycin- and DMSO-injected males. Behaviors of spawning site entry increased in rapamycininjected fish at 26 h post-injection than at 14 h post-injection significantly (P<0.05). Meanwhile, there was a tendency that GnRH1 neurons’ soma size in the POA shrank by rapamycin injection, whereas the testes did not show notable changes. Taken together, these results suggest the possible role of TOR signal on GnRH1-mediated sexual behavior in cichlid dominant males, although further biological characterization of the TOR signaling pathway will be required to clarify this matter. PMID:27796008

  10. 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

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-09-12

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-09-12

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

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

    PubMed

    Oldfield, Ronald G

    2011-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-06

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  5. Monogeneans in introduced and native cichlids in México: evidence for transfer.

    PubMed

    Jiménez-García, M I; Vidal-Martínez, V M; López-Jiménez, S

    2001-08-01

    We examined 2 cichlid fish species native to México, Cichlasoma callolepis and C. fenestratum, and 2 introduced African cichlids, Oreochromis aureus and O. niloticus, from 3 localities in southeastern México for monogeneans. Six monogenean species infected the African cichlids: Cichlidogyrus haplochromii, C. dossoui, C. longicornis longicornis, C. sclerosus, C. tilapiae, and Enterogyrus malmbergi. We found all these parasite species, except C. haplochromii and C. dossoui, on the native C. fenestratum and C. callolepis. Prevalences of Cichlidogyrus spp. were 3-10% and abundances ranged from 0.03 +/- 0.2 to 0.1 +/- 0.3 for native cichlids. We only recovered a single E. malmbergi from 1 C. callolepis. We found Sciadicleithrum bravohollisae, a monogenean of native Cichlasoma spp., on the gills of the introduced O. aureus from Lake Catemaco (prevalence 3%, abundance 0.03 +/- 0.2). Although prevalence and abundance in atypical hosts were fairly low, the present findings provide evidence of monogenean transfer from African to American cichlids and vice versa. This is the first record of exotic monogeneans in the genus Cichlidogyrus and Enterogyrus infecting native American cichlid fish. It is also the first record from southeastern México of a native American monogenean infecting introduced African cichlids. PMID:11534657

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

  7. Parallel evolution of Nicaraguan crater lake cichlid fishes via non-parallel routes.

    PubMed

    Elmer, Kathryn R; Fan, Shaohua; Kusche, Henrik; Spreitzer, Maria Luise; Kautt, Andreas F; Franchini, Paolo; Meyer, Axel

    2014-10-27

    Fundamental to understanding how biodiversity arises and adapts is whether evolution is predictable in the face of stochastic genetic and demographic factors. Here we show rapid parallel evolution across two closely related but geographically isolated radiations of Nicaraguan crater lake cichlid fishes. We find significant morphological, ecological and genetic differentiation between ecomorphs in sympatry, reflected primarily in elongated versus high-bodied shape, differential ecological niche use and genetic differentiation. These eco-morphological divergences are significantly parallel across radiations. Based on 442,644 genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphisms, we identify strong support for the monophyly of, and subsequent sympatric divergence within, each radiation. However, the order of speciation differs across radiations; in one lake the limnetic ecomorph diverged first while in the other a benthic ecomorph. Overall our results demonstrate that complex parallel phenotypes can evolve very rapidly and repeatedly in similar environments, probably due to natural selection, yet this evolution can proceed along different evolutionary genetic routes.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  12. Laboratory mating trials indicate incipient speciation by sexual selection among populations of the cichlid fish Pseudotropheus zebra from Lake Malawi.

    PubMed Central

    Knight, Mairi E.; Turner, George F.

    2004-01-01

    It has been suggested that sexual selection may have played a major role in the rapid evolution of hundreds of species of cichlid fishes in Lake Malawi. We report the results of a laboratory test of assortative mating among Lake Malawi cichlid fishes from five closely related geographical populations differing in male courtship colour. Paternity of clutches was tested using microsatellite DNA typing of offspring. Out of 1955 offspring typed, 1296 (66.3%) were sired by the male from the same population as the female, which is more than three times the rate expected if females do not differentiate among males of the different populations (20%). This result indicates that mate preferences of geographical races are strongly differentiated, consistent with the races representing incipient geographical species diverging under sexual selection exerted by female preferences for different male courtship colours. PMID:15209099

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

    PubMed Central

    Lorin, Thibault; Salzburger, Walter; Böhne, Astrid

    2015-01-01

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

  14. Ancient origin and recent divergence of a haplochromine cichlid lineage from isolated water bodies in the East African Rift system.

    PubMed

    Hermann, C M; Sefc, K M; Koblmüller, S

    2011-11-01

    Phylogenetic analysis identified haplochromine cichlids from isolated water bodies in the eastern branch of the East African Rift system as an ancient lineage separated from their western sister group in the course of the South Kenyan-North Tanzanian rift system formation. Within this lineage, the close phylogenetic relatedness among taxa indicates a recent common ancestry and historical connections between now separated water bodies. In connection with a total lack of local genetic diversity attributable to population bottlenecks, the data suggest cycles of extinction and colonization in the unstable habitat provided by the small lakes and rivers in this geologically highly active area.

  15. Efficacy of an ototoxic Aminoglycoside (Gentamicin) on the Differentiation of the inner Ear of cichlid Fish

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schoenleber, J.; Anken, R.

    Previous investigations revealed that the growth of fish inner ear otoliths depends on the amplitude and direction of gravity, thus suggesting the existence of a (negative) feedback mechanism. In the course of these experiments, it was shown that altered gravity both affected otolith size (and thus the provision of the proteinacious matrix) as well as the incorporation of calcium. It is hitherto unknown, as of whether sensory hair cells are involved either in the regulation of otolith growth or in the provision of otolithic material (such as protein or inorganic components) or even both. Developing cichlid fish Oreochromis mossambicus were therefore immersed in varying concentrations of the ototoxic aminoglycoside gentamicin (20, 40, 60, 100, 120mg/l; at even higher concentrations, the animals did not survive) for 10 or 20 days. At the beginning and at the end of the experimental periods, the fish were incubated in the calcium-tracer alizarin complexone (AC). After the experiment, otoliths were dissected and the area grown during gentamicin exposure (i.e., the area enclosed by the two AC labellings) was determined planimetrically. The results clearly showed that incubating the animals in a gentamicin solution had no effect on otolith growth. Further examinations, focused on the ultrastructure and on physiological parameters of the sensory hair cells, revealed, that these cells had not been affected by gentamicin treatment. These findings suggest that gentamicin does either not act ototoxically on hair cells in developing fish (in contrast to adult fish and developing mammals), or that immersion in gentamicin does not allow the aminoglycoside to act on inner ear hair cells (although it damages lateral line neuromasts and high concentrations affect the rate of survival). The role of sensory cells on the formation of otoliths thus remains obscure. Acknowledgement: This work was financially supported by the German Aerospace Center (DLR) (FKZ: 50 WB 9997).

  16. 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

  17. 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).

  18. Temporal diversification of Mesoamerican cichlid fishes across a major biogeographic boundary.

    PubMed

    Darrin Hulsey, C; García de León, Francisco J; Sánchez Johnson, Yara; Hendrickson, Dean A; Near, Thomas J

    2004-05-01

    The Mexican Neovolcanic Plateau sharply divides the vertebrate fauna of Mesoamerica where the climate of both the neotropics and temperate North America gradually blend. Only a few vertebrate groups such as the Heroine cichlids, distributed from South America to the Rio Grande in North America, are found both north and south of the Neovolcanic Plateau. To better understand the geography and temporal diversification of cichlids at this geologic boundary, we used mitochondrial DNA sequences of the cytochrome b (cyt b) gene to reconstruct the relationships of 52 of the approximately 80 species of Heroine cichlids in Mesoamerica. Our analysis suggests several cichlids in South America should be considered as part of the Mesoamerican Heroine clade because they and the cichlids north of the Isthmus of Panama are clearly supported as monophyletic with respect to all other Neotropical cichlids. We also recovered a group containing species in Paratheraps+Paraneetroplus+Vieja as the sister clade to Herichthys. Herichthys is the only cichlid clade north of the Mexican Plateau and it is monophyletic. Non-parametric rate smoothing of cichlid cyt b sequence resulted in an estimated divergence time of approximately 6 million years for Herichthys. This temporal diversification is concordant with divergence times estimated for anurans in the genus Bufo, a group that exhibits a similar geographic distribution. Our results indicate the 5-million-year-old extension of the Mexican Neovolcanic Plateau to the Gulf Coast of Mexico has strongly influenced the current transition between the vertebrate faunas of the Neotropics and Nearctic.

  19. Hybridization and contemporary evolution in an introduced cichlid fish from Lake Malawi National Park.

    PubMed

    Streelman, J Todd; Gmyrek, S L; Kidd, M R; Kidd, C; Robinson, R L; Hert, E; Ambali, A J; Kocher, T D

    2004-08-01

    Rapidly evolving systems offer the chance to observe genetic and phenotypic change in real time. We exploit a well-characterized introduction of cichlid fish into Lake Malawi National Park to document a short history of habitat colonization and the evolution of genes and colour pattern. In the early 1960s, a fish exporter introduced individuals of Cynotilapia afra to a single site (Mitande Point) of Thumbi West Island and, as late as 1983, the species was confined to this location. In 2001, C. afra had colonized the entire perimeter of Thumbi West. In July of that year, we sampled C. afra individuals from six sites around the island and scored variation in dorsal fin colour as well as allelic diversity at six microsatellite loci. We found that, in two decades, C. afra had diverged into genetically distinct, phenotypically different northern and southern populations. We observed a high proportion of hybrids between the introduced C. afra and the native Metriaclima zebra on the southern coast of Thumbi West, and speculate that hybridization is facilitated by low water clarity at these windward sites. The short history of C. afra at Thumbi West is a microcosm of contemporary evolutionary divergence and may provide the opportunity to study the process from start to finish in genetic detail. PMID:15245419

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hesse, Saskia; Thünken, Timo

    2014-04-01

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

  1. Modularity of the oral jaws is linked to repeated changes in the craniofacial shape of african cichlids.

    PubMed

    Parsons, Kevin J; Cooper, W James; Albertson, R Craig

    2011-01-01

    The African cichlids of the East-African rift-lakes provide one of the most dramatic examples of adaptive radiation known. It has long been thought that functional decoupling of the oral and pharyngeal jaws in cichlids has facilitated their explosive evolution. Recent research has also shown that craniofacial evolution from radiations in lakes Victoria, Malawi, and Tanganyika has occurred along a shared primary axis of shape divergence, whereby the preorbital region of the skull changes in a manner that is, relatively independent from other head regions. We predicted that the preorbital region would comprise a variational module and used an extensive dataset from each lake that allowed us to test this prediction using a model selection approach. Our findings supported the presence of a preorbital module across all lakes, within each lake, and for Malawi, within sand and rock-dwelling clades. However, while a preorbital module was consistently present, notable differences were also observed among groups. Of particular interest, a negative association between patterns of variational modularity was observed between the sand and rock-dwelling clades, a patter consistent with character displacement. These findings provide the basis for further experimental research involving the determination of the developmental and genetic bases of these patterns of modularity.

  2. Modularity of the Oral Jaws Is Linked to Repeated Changes in the Craniofacial Shape of African Cichlids

    PubMed Central

    Parsons, Kevin J.; Cooper, W. James; Albertson, R. Craig

    2011-01-01

    The African cichlids of the East-African rift-lakes provide one of the most dramatic examples of adaptive radiation known. It has long been thought that functional decoupling of the oral and pharyngeal jaws in cichlids has facilitated their explosive evolution. Recent research has also shown that craniofacial evolution from radiations in lakes Victoria, Malawi, and Tanganyika has occurred along a shared primary axis of shape divergence, whereby the preorbital region of the skull changes in a manner that is, relatively independent from other head regions. We predicted that the preorbital region would comprise a variational module and used an extensive dataset from each lake that allowed us to test this prediction using a model selection approach. Our findings supported the presence of a preorbital module across all lakes, within each lake, and for Malawi, within sand and rock-dwelling clades. However, while a preorbital module was consistently present, notable differences were also observed among groups. Of particular interest, a negative association between patterns of variational modularity was observed between the sand and rock-dwelling clades, a patter consistent with character displacement. These findings provide the basis for further experimental research involving the determination of the developmental and genetic bases of these patterns of modularity. PMID:21716745

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schönleber, J.; Anken, R. H.

    2004-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. A small number of genes underlie male pigmentation traits in Lake Malawi cichlid fishes.

    PubMed

    O'Quin, Claire T; Drilea, Alexi C; Roberts, Reade B; Kocher, Thomas D

    2012-05-01

    Pigmentation patterns are one of the most recognizable forms of phenotypic diversity and an important component of organismal fitness. While much progress has been made in understanding the genes controlling pigmentation in model systems, many questions remain about the genetic basis of pigment traits observed in nature. Lake Malawi cichlid fishes are known for their diversity of male pigmentation patterns, which have been shaped by sexual selection. To begin the process of identifying the genes underlying this diversity, we quantified the number of pigment cells on the body and fins of two species of the genus Metriaclima and their hybrids. We then used the Castle-Wright equation to estimate that differences in individual pigmentation traits between these species are controlled by one to four genes each. Different pigmentation traits are highly correlated in the F(2) , suggesting shared developmental pathways and genetic pleiotropy. Melanophore and xanthophore traits fall on opposite ends of the first principal component axis of the F(2) phenotypes, suggesting a tradeoff during the development of these two pigment cell types.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  10. Mapping of pigmentation QTL on an anchored genome assembly of the cichlid fish, Metriaclima zebra

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Pigmentation patterns are one of the most recognizable phenotypes across the animal kingdom. They play an important role in camouflage, communication, mate recognition and mate choice. Most progress on understanding the genetics of pigmentation has been achieved via mutational analysis, with relatively little work done to understand variation in natural populations. Pigment patterns vary dramatically among species of cichlid fish from Lake Malawi, and are thought to be important in speciation. In this study, we crossed two species, Metriaclima zebra and M. mbenjii, that differ in several aspects of their body and fin color. We genotyped 798 SNPs in 160 F2 male individuals to construct a linkage map that was used to identify quantitative trait loci (QTL) associated with the pigmentation traits of interest. We also used the linkage map to anchor portions of the M. zebra genome assembly. Results We constructed a linkage map consisting of 834 markers in 22 linkage groups that spanned over 1,933 cM. QTL analysis detected one QTL each for dorsal fin xanthophores, caudal fin xanthophores, and pelvic fin melanophores. Dorsal fin and caudal fin xanthophores share a QTL on LG12, while pelvic fin melanophores have a QTL on LG11. We used the mapped markers to anchor 66.5% of the M. zebra genome assembly. Within each QTL interval we identified several candidate genes that might play a role in pigment cell development. Conclusion This is one of a few studies to identify QTL for natural variation in fish pigmentation. The QTL intervals we identified did not contain any pigmentation genes previously identified by mutagenesis studies in other species. We expect that further work on these intervals will identify new genes involved in pigment cell development in natural populations. PMID:23622422

  11. Social instability promotes hormone-behavior associated patterns in a cichlid fish.

    PubMed

    Almeida, Olinda; Gonçalves-de-Freitas, Eliane; Lopes, João S; Oliveira, Rui F

    2014-07-01

    Androgens are known to respond to social challenges and to control the expression of social behavior and reproductive traits, such as gonadal maturation and sperm production, expression of secondary sex characters and reproductive behaviors. According to the challenge hypothesis variation in androgen levels above a breeding baseline should be explained by the regime of social challenges faced by the individual considering the trade-offs of androgens with other traits (e.g. parental care). One prediction that can be derived from the challenge hypothesis is that androgen levels should increase in response to social instability. Moreover, considering that a tighter association of relevant traits is expected in periods of environmental instability, we also predict that in unstable environments the degree of correlations among different behaviors should increase and hormones and behavior should be associated. These predictions were tested in a polygamous cichlid fish (Mozambique tilapia, Oreochromis mossambicus) with exclusive maternal care. Social instability was produced by swapping dominant males among groups. Stable treatment consisted in removing and placing back dominant males in the same group, in order to control for handling stress. Cortisol levels were also measured to monitor stress levels involved in the procedure and their relation to the androgen patterns and behavior. As predicted androgen levels increased in males in response to the establishment of a social hierarchy and presence of receptive females. However, there were no further differential increases in androgen levels over the social manipulation phase between social stable and social unstable groups. As predicted behaviors were significantly more correlated among themselves in the unstable than in the stable treatment and an associated hormone-behavior pattern was only observed in the unstable treatment. PMID:24973663

  12. Social instability promotes hormone-behavior associated patterns in a cichlid fish.

    PubMed

    Almeida, Olinda; Gonçalves-de-Freitas, Eliane; Lopes, João S; Oliveira, Rui F

    2014-07-01

    Androgens are known to respond to social challenges and to control the expression of social behavior and reproductive traits, such as gonadal maturation and sperm production, expression of secondary sex characters and reproductive behaviors. According to the challenge hypothesis variation in androgen levels above a breeding baseline should be explained by the regime of social challenges faced by the individual considering the trade-offs of androgens with other traits (e.g. parental care). One prediction that can be derived from the challenge hypothesis is that androgen levels should increase in response to social instability. Moreover, considering that a tighter association of relevant traits is expected in periods of environmental instability, we also predict that in unstable environments the degree of correlations among different behaviors should increase and hormones and behavior should be associated. These predictions were tested in a polygamous cichlid fish (Mozambique tilapia, Oreochromis mossambicus) with exclusive maternal care. Social instability was produced by swapping dominant males among groups. Stable treatment consisted in removing and placing back dominant males in the same group, in order to control for handling stress. Cortisol levels were also measured to monitor stress levels involved in the procedure and their relation to the androgen patterns and behavior. As predicted androgen levels increased in males in response to the establishment of a social hierarchy and presence of receptive females. However, there were no further differential increases in androgen levels over the social manipulation phase between social stable and social unstable groups. As predicted behaviors were significantly more correlated among themselves in the unstable than in the stable treatment and an associated hormone-behavior pattern was only observed in the unstable treatment.

  13. Male courtship preferences demonstrate discrimination against allopatric colour morphs in a cichlid fish

    PubMed Central

    Zoppoth, P; Koblmüller, S; Sefc, K M

    2013-01-01

    Whether premating isolation is achieved by male-specific, female-specific or sex-independent assortative preferences often depends on the underlying evolutionary processes. Here we test mate preferences of males presented with females of different allopatric colour variants of the cichlid fish Tropheus sp., a Lake Tanganyika endemic with rich geographical colour pattern variation, in which the strength of sexual isolation varies between populations. We conducted two-way mate choice experiments to compare behaviour of males of a red-bodied morph (population Moliro) towards females from their own population with behaviour towards females from four allopatric populations at different stages of phylogenetic and phenotypic divergence. Males courted same-population females significantly more intensely than females of other populations, and reduced their heteromorphic courtship efforts both with increasing genetic and increasing phenotypic distinctness of the females. In particular, females of a closely related red-bodied population received significantly more courtship than either genetically distinct, similarly coloured females (‘Kirschfleck’ morph) or genetically related, differently coloured females (‘yellow-blotch’ morph), both of which were courted similarly. Genetically and phenotypically distinct females (Tropheus polli) were not courted at all. Consistent with previous female-choice experiments, female courtship activity also decreased with increasing genetic distance from the males’ population. Given successful experimental and natural introgression between colour morphs and the pervasive allopatry of related variants, we consider it unlikely that assortative preferences of both sexes were driven by direct selection during periods of secondary contact or, in turn, drove colour pattern differentiation in allopatry. Rather, we suggest that sexual isolation evolved as by-product of allopatric divergence. PMID:23405907

  14. Male courtship preferences demonstrate discrimination against allopatric colour morphs in a cichlid fish.

    PubMed

    Zoppoth, P; Koblmüller, S; Sefc, K M

    2013-03-01

    Whether premating isolation is achieved by male-specific, female-specific or sex-independent assortative preferences often depends on the underlying evolutionary processes. Here we test mate preferences of males presented with females of different allopatric colour variants of the cichlid fish Tropheus sp., a Lake Tanganyika endemic with rich geographical colour pattern variation, in which the strength of sexual isolation varies between populations. We conducted two-way mate choice experiments to compare behaviour of males of a red-bodied morph (population Moliro) towards females from their own population with behaviour towards females from four allopatric populations at different stages of phylogenetic and phenotypic divergence. Males courted same-population females significantly more intensely than females of other populations, and reduced their heteromorphic courtship efforts both with increasing genetic and increasing phenotypic distinctness of the females. In particular, females of a closely related red-bodied population received significantly more courtship than either genetically distinct, similarly coloured females ('Kirschfleck' morph) or genetically related, differently coloured females ('yellow-blotch' morph), both of which were courted similarly. Genetically and phenotypically distinct females (Tropheus polli) were not courted at all. Consistent with previous female-choice experiments, female courtship activity also decreased with increasing genetic distance from the males' population. Given successful experimental and natural introgression between colour morphs and the pervasive allopatry of related variants, we consider it unlikely that assortative preferences of both sexes were driven by direct selection during periods of secondary contact or, in turn, drove colour pattern differentiation in allopatry. Rather, we suggest that sexual isolation evolved as by-product of allopatric divergence.

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

    PubMed

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

    1996-06-29

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

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

    PubMed Central

    McDonnell, Laura H.; Chapman, Lauren J.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  1. Male-male competition and nuptial-colour displacement as a diversifying force in Lake Victoria cichlid fishes.

    PubMed

    Seehausen, Ole; Schluter, Dolph

    2004-07-01

    We propose a new mechanism for diversification of male nuptial-colour patterns in the rapidly speciating cichlid fishes of Lake Victoria. Sympatric closely related species often display nuptial colours at opposite ends of the spectrum with males either blue or yellow to red. Colour polymorphisms within single populations are common too. We propose that competition between males for breeding sites promotes such colour diversification, and thereby speciation. We hypothesize that male aggression is primarily directed towards males of the common colour, and that rare colour morphs enjoy a negatively frequency-dependent fitness advantage. We test our hypothesis with a large dataset on the distributions and nuptial colorations of 52 species on 47 habitat islands in Lake Victoria, and with a smaller dataset on the within-spawning-site distributions of males with different coloration. We report that territories of males of the same colour are negatively associated on the spawning site, and that the distribution of closely related species over habitat islands is determined by nuptial coloration in the fashion predicted by our hypothesis. Whereas among unrelated species those with similar nuptial colour are positively associated, among closely related species those with similar colour are negatively associated and those with different colour are positively associated. This implies that negatively frequency-dependent selection on nuptial coloration among closely related species is a sufficiently strong force to override other effects on species distributions. We suggest that male-male competition is an important and previously neglected agent of diversification among haplochromine cichlid fishes.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-20

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

  3. Photoperiod modulation of aggressive behavior is independent of androgens in a tropical cichlid fish.

    PubMed

    Gonçalves-de-Freitas, Eliane; Carvalho, Thaís Billalba; Oliveira, Rui F

    2014-10-01

    Photoperiod is a major environmental cue that signals breeding conditions in animals living in temperate climates. Therefore, the activity of the reproductive (i.e. hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal, HPG) axis and of the expression of reproductive behaviors, including territoriality, is responsive to changes in day length. However, at low latitudes the seasonal variation in day length decreases dramatically and photoperiod becomes less reliable as a breeding entraining cue in tropical species. In spite of this, some tropical mammals and birds have been found to still respond to small amplitude changes in photoperiod (e.g. 17min). Here we tested the effect of 2 photoperiod regimes, referred to as long-day (LD: 16L:08D) and short-day (SD: 08L:16D), on the activity of the HPG axis, on aggressive behavior and in the androgen response to social challenges in males of the tropical cichlid fish Tilapia rendalli. For each treatment, fish were transferred from a pre-treatment photoperiod of 12L:12D to their treatment photoperiod (either LD or SD) in which they were kept for 20days on stock tanks. Afterwards, males were isolated for 4days in glass aquaria in order to establish territories and initial androgen levels (testosterone, T; 11-ketotestosterone, KT) were assessed. On the 4th day, territorial intrusions were promoted such that 1/3 of the isolated males acted as residents and another 1/3 as intruders. Territorial intrusions lasted for 1h to test the effects of a social challenge under different photoperiod regimes. Photoperiod treatment (either SD or LD) failed to induce significant changes in the HPG activity, as measured by androgen levels and gonadosomatic index. However, SD increased the intensity of aggressive behaviors and shortened the time to settle a dominance hierarchy in an androgen-independent manner. The androgen responsiveness to the simulated territorial intrusion was only present in KT but not for T. The percent change in KT levels in response to the

  4. Photoperiod modulation of aggressive behavior is independent of androgens in a tropical cichlid fish.

    PubMed

    Gonçalves-de-Freitas, Eliane; Carvalho, Thaís Billalba; Oliveira, Rui F

    2014-10-01

    Photoperiod is a major environmental cue that signals breeding conditions in animals living in temperate climates. Therefore, the activity of the reproductive (i.e. hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal, HPG) axis and of the expression of reproductive behaviors, including territoriality, is responsive to changes in day length. However, at low latitudes the seasonal variation in day length decreases dramatically and photoperiod becomes less reliable as a breeding entraining cue in tropical species. In spite of this, some tropical mammals and birds have been found to still respond to small amplitude changes in photoperiod (e.g. 17min). Here we tested the effect of 2 photoperiod regimes, referred to as long-day (LD: 16L:08D) and short-day (SD: 08L:16D), on the activity of the HPG axis, on aggressive behavior and in the androgen response to social challenges in males of the tropical cichlid fish Tilapia rendalli. For each treatment, fish were transferred from a pre-treatment photoperiod of 12L:12D to their treatment photoperiod (either LD or SD) in which they were kept for 20days on stock tanks. Afterwards, males were isolated for 4days in glass aquaria in order to establish territories and initial androgen levels (testosterone, T; 11-ketotestosterone, KT) were assessed. On the 4th day, territorial intrusions were promoted such that 1/3 of the isolated males acted as residents and another 1/3 as intruders. Territorial intrusions lasted for 1h to test the effects of a social challenge under different photoperiod regimes. Photoperiod treatment (either SD or LD) failed to induce significant changes in the HPG activity, as measured by androgen levels and gonadosomatic index. However, SD increased the intensity of aggressive behaviors and shortened the time to settle a dominance hierarchy in an androgen-independent manner. The androgen responsiveness to the simulated territorial intrusion was only present in KT but not for T. The percent change in KT levels in response to the

  5. 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.

  6. Brain nonapeptide levels are related to social status and affiliative behaviour in a cooperatively breeding cichlid fish

    PubMed Central

    Reddon, Adam R.; O'Connor, Constance M.; Marsh-Rollo, Susan E.; Balshine, Sigal; Gozdowska, Magdalena; Kulczykowska, Ewa

    2015-01-01

    The mammalian nonapeptide hormones, vasopressin and oxytocin, are known to be potent regulators of social behaviour. Teleost fishes possess vasopressin and oxytocin homologues known as arginine vasotocin (AVT) and isotocin (IT), respectively. The role of these homologous nonapeptides in mediating social behaviour in fishes has received far less attention. The extraordinarily large number of teleost fish species and the impressive diversity of their social systems provide us with a rich test bed for investigating the role of nonapeptides in regulating social behaviour. Existing studies, mostly focused on AVT, have revealed relationships between the nonapeptides, and both social behaviour and dominance status in fishes. To date, much of the work on endogenous nonapeptides in fish brains has measured genomic or neuroanatomical proxies of nonapeptide production rather than the levels of these molecules in the brain. In this study, we measure biologically available AVT and IT levels in the brains of Neolamprologus pulcher, a cooperatively breeding cichlid fish, using high performance liquid chromatography with fluorescence detection. We found that brain AVT levels were higher in the subordinate than in dominant animals, and levels of IT correlated negatively with the expression of affiliative behaviour. We contrast these results with previous studies, and we discuss the role the nonapeptide hormones may play in the regulation of social behaviour in this highly social animal. PMID:26064593

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2010-01-01

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

  8. Brain nonapeptide levels are related to social status and affiliative behaviour in a cooperatively breeding cichlid fish.

    PubMed

    Reddon, Adam R; O'Connor, Constance M; Marsh-Rollo, Susan E; Balshine, Sigal; Gozdowska, Magdalena; Kulczykowska, Ewa

    2015-02-01

    The mammalian nonapeptide hormones, vasopressin and oxytocin, are known to be potent regulators of social behaviour. Teleost fishes possess vasopressin and oxytocin homologues known as arginine vasotocin (AVT) and isotocin (IT), respectively. The role of these homologous nonapeptides in mediating social behaviour in fishes has received far less attention. The extraordinarily large number of teleost fish species and the impressive diversity of their social systems provide us with a rich test bed for investigating the role of nonapeptides in regulating social behaviour. Existing studies, mostly focused on AVT, have revealed relationships between the nonapeptides, and both social behaviour and dominance status in fishes. To date, much of the work on endogenous nonapeptides in fish brains has measured genomic or neuroanatomical proxies of nonapeptide production rather than the levels of these molecules in the brain. In this study, we measure biologically available AVT and IT levels in the brains of Neolamprologus pulcher, a cooperatively breeding cichlid fish, using high performance liquid chromatography with fluorescence detection. We found that brain AVT levels were higher in the subordinate than in dominant animals, and levels of IT correlated negatively with the expression of affiliative behaviour. We contrast these results with previous studies, and we discuss the role the nonapeptide hormones may play in the regulation of social behaviour in this highly social animal.

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

    PubMed Central

    Lehtonen, Topi K.; Meyer, Axel

    2011-01-01

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

  10. Origin and evolution of B chromosomes in the cichlid fish Astatotilapia latifasciata based on integrated genomic analyses.

    PubMed

    Valente, Guilherme T; Conte, Matthew A; Fantinatti, Bruno E A; Cabral-de-Mello, Diogo C; Carvalho, Robson F; Vicari, Marcelo R; Kocher, Thomas D; Martins, Cesar

    2014-08-01

    Approximately 15% of eukaryotes contain supernumerary B chromosomes. When present, B chromosomes frequently represent as much as 5% of the genome. Despite thousands of reports describing the distribution of supernumeraries in various taxa, a comprehensive theory for the origin, maintenance, and evolution of B chromosomes has not emerged. Here, we sequence the complete genomes of individual cichlid fish (Astatotilapia latifasciata) with and without B chromosomes, as well as microdissected B chromosomes, to identify DNA sequences on the B. B sequences were further analyzed through quantitative polymerase chain reaction and in situ hybridization. We find that the B chromosome contains thousands of sequences duplicated from essentially every chromosome in the ancestral karyotype. Although most genes on the B chromosome are fragmented, a few are largely intact, and we detect evidence that at least three of them are transcriptionally active. We propose a model in which the B chromosome originated early in the evolutionary history of Lake Victoria cichlids from a small fragment of one autosome. DNA sequences originating from several autosomes, including protein-coding genes and transposable elements, subsequently inserted into this proto-B. We propose that intact B chromosome genes involved with microtubule organization, kinetochore structure, recombination and progression through the cell cycle may play a role in driving the transmission of the B chromosome. Furthermore, our work suggests that karyotyping is an essential step prior to genome sequencing to avoid problems in genome assembly and analytical biases created by the presence of high copy number sequences on the B chromosome.

  11. Do constructional constraints influence cichlid craniofacial diversification?

    PubMed Central

    Hulsey, C.D; Mims, M.C; Streelman, J.T

    2007-01-01

    Constraints on form should determine how organisms diversify. Owing to competition for the limited space within the body, investment in adjacent structures may frequently represent an evolutionary compromise. For example, evolutionary trade-offs between eye size and jaw muscles in cichlid fish of the African great lakes are thought to represent a constructional constraint that influenced the diversification of these assemblages. To test the evolutionary independence of these structures in Lake Malawi cichlid fish, we measured the mass of the three major adductor mandibulae (AM) muscles and determined the eye volume in 41 species. Using both traditional and novel methodologies to control for resolved and unresolved phylogenetic relationships, we tested the evolutionary independence of these four structures. We found that evolutionary change in the AM muscles was positively correlated, suggesting that competition for space in the head has not influenced diversification among these jaw muscles. Furthermore, there was no negative relationship between change in total AM muscle mass and eye volume, indicating that there has been little effect of the evolution of eye size on AM evolution in Lake Malawi cichlids. The comparative approach used here should provide a robust method to test whether constructional constraints frequently limit phenotypic change in adaptive radiations. PMID:17519189

  12. Temporal patterns of diversification across global cichlid biodiversity (Acanthomorpha: Cichlidae).

    PubMed

    McMahan, Caleb D; Chakrabarty, Prosanta; Sparks, John S; Smith, W M Leo; Davis, Matthew P

    2013-01-01

    The contrasting distribution of species diversity across the major lineages of cichlids makes them an ideal group for investigating macroevolutionary processes. In this study, we investigate whether different rates of diversification may explain the disparity in species richness across cichlid lineages globally. We present the most taxonomically robust time-calibrated hypothesis of cichlid evolutionary relationships to date. We then utilize this temporal framework to investigate whether both species-rich and depauperate lineages are associated with rapid shifts in diversification rates and if exceptional species richness can be explained by clade age alone. A single significant rapid rate shift increase is detected within the evolutionary history of the African subfamily Pseudocrenilabrinae, which includes the haplochromins of the East African Great Lakes. Several lineages from the subfamilies Pseudocrenilabrinae (Australotilapiini, Oreochromini) and Cichlinae (Heroini) exhibit exceptional species richness given their clade age, a net rate of diversification, and relative rates of extinction, indicating that clade age alone is not a sufficient explanation for their increased diversity. Our results indicate that the Neotropical Cichlinae includes lineages that have not experienced a significant rapid burst in diversification when compared to certain African lineages (rift lake). Neotropical cichlids have remained comparatively understudied with regard to macroevolutionary patterns relative to African lineages, and our results indicate that of Neotropical lineages, the tribe Heroini may have an elevated rate of diversification in contrast to other Neotropical cichlids. These findings provide insight into our understanding of the diversification patterns across taxonomically disparate lineages in this diverse clade of freshwater fishes and one of the most species-rich families of vertebrates.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Adaptive sequence evolution in a color gene involved in the formation of the characteristic egg-dummies of male haplochromine cichlid fishes

    PubMed Central

    Salzburger, Walter; Braasch, Ingo; Meyer, Axel

    2007-01-01

    Background The exceptionally diverse species flocks of cichlid fishes in East Africa are prime examples of parallel adaptive radiations. About 80% of East Africa's more than 1 800 endemic cichlid species, and all species of the flocks of Lakes Victoria and Malawi, belong to a particularly rapidly evolving lineage, the haplochromines. One characteristic feature of the haplochromines is their possession of egg-dummies on the males' anal fins. These egg-spots mimic real eggs and play an important role in the mating system of these maternal mouthbrooding fish. Results Here, we show that the egg-spots of haplochromines are made up of yellow pigment cells, xanthophores, and that a gene coding for a type III receptor tyrosine kinase, colony-stimulating factor 1 receptor a (csf1ra), is expressed in egg-spot tissue. Molecular evolutionary analyses reveal that the extracellular ligand-binding and receptor-interacting domain of csf1ra underwent adaptive sequence evolution in the ancestral lineage of the haplochromines, coinciding with the emergence of egg-dummies. We also find that csf1ra is expressed in the egg-dummies of a distantly related cichlid species, the ectodine cichlid Ophthalmotilapia ventralis, in which markings with similar functions evolved on the pelvic fin in convergence to those of the haplochromines. Conclusion We conclude that modifications of existing signal transduction mechanisms might have evolved in the haplochromine lineage in association with the origination of anal fin egg-dummies. That positive selection has acted during the evolution of a color gene that seems to be involved in the morphogenesis of a sexually selected trait, the egg-dummies, highlights the importance of further investigations of the comparative genomic basis of the phenotypic diversification of cichlid fishes. PMID:18005399

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  18. A single mitochondrial haplotype and nuclear genetic differentiation in sympatric colour morphs of a riverine cichlid fish.

    PubMed

    Koblmüller, S; Sefc, K M; Duftner, N; Katongo, C; Tomljanovic, T; Sturmbauer, C

    2008-01-01

    Some of the diversity of lacustrine cichlid fishes has been ascribed to sympatric divergence, whereas diversification in rivers is generally driven by vicariance and geographic isolation. In the riverine Pseudocrenilabrus philander species complex, several morphologically highly distinct populations are restricted to particular river systems, sinkholes and springs in southern Africa. One of these populations consists of a prevalent yellow morph in sympatry with a less frequent blue morph, and no individuals bear intermediate phenotypes. Genetic variation in microsatellites and AFLP markers was very low in both morphs and one single mtDNA haplotype was fixed in all samples, indicating a very young evolutionary age and small effective population size. Nevertheless, the nuclear markers detected low but significant differentiation between the two morphs. The data suggest recent and perhaps sympatric divergence in the riverine habitat.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2007-01-01

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

  20. High frequency of multiple paternity in broods of a socially monogamous cichlid fish with biparental nest defence.

    PubMed

    Sefc, Kristina M; Mattersdorfer, Karin; Sturmbauer, Christian; Koblmüller, Stephan

    2008-05-01

    In several animal taxa, genetic analyses have demonstrated that social monogamy and biparental brood care do not preclude polygamous reproduction. Few studies have been conducted in fish, but in fish species without alternative reproductive phenotypes, social monogamy was largely congruent with genetic parentage. In contrast to these findings, we report an exceptionally high level of multiple paternity in a socially monogamous cichlid fish with biparental nest defence (Variabilichromis moorii), inferred from microsatellite and mitochondrial data of 10 broods. Whereas all offspring in a nest shared a common mother, each brood was sired by 2 to > 10 males. None of the inferred sires was assigned a large proportion of the brood. Paternity was estimated as the minimum number of sires required to explain multilocus offspring genotypes, and as the maximum-likelihood number of sires given population allele frequencies. Analysis of simulated brood genotypes suggested that, although these two methods tend to under- and overestimate, respectively, the true number of sires, primary sires with many offspring in a brood would have been detected. Hence, the genetic data indicate that the nest tending males suffer substantial cuckoldry and provide alloparental care for a large number of unrelated fry. We have no data on the social status of the cuckolding males, but due to synchronous spawning of pairs and commitment to brood care of paired males, it is possible that most of the parasitic spawners are solitary males.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  3. Is intraspecific variation in diet and morphology related to environmental gradients? Exploring Liem's paradox in a cichlid fish.

    PubMed

    Binning, Sandra A; Chapman, Lauren J

    2010-09-01

    Interspecific studies have demonstrated that trophic morphology and ecology are not always tightly matched: a phenomenon rarely reported at the intraspecific level. In the present study, we explored relationships among diet, morphology and the environment in a widespread cichlid fish, Astatoreochromis alluaudi (Pellegrin 1904), from 6 sites in southern Uganda to test for evidence of eco-morphological matching at the interdemic level. Previous studies of Astatoreochromis alluaudi have demonstrated developmental plasticity in trophic morphology in response to diet: a mollusk diet produces specimens with large pharyngeal jaws and muscles, whereas a soft-food diet produces smaller pharyngeal jaws and corresponding changes in musculature. Sites were chosen to maximize variability in environmental variables that might directly or indirectly affect trophic morphology. We found significant differences in pharyngeal jaw and muscle morphology among populations. Similarly, we found differences in diets among sites: mollusks were found in the stomachs of fish from only 2 populations sampled, despite the presence of mollusks in 5 of the 6 sites. Although trophic morphology did match the observed diet in 2 sites, diet did not correlate with either morphology or environmental variables across sites, nor were environmental variables correlated with morphological variation among sites. These results suggest that mismatch can occur among different populations of a single species for reasons such as seasonality in resources, developmental plasticity and/or complex indirect interactions. Intraspecific mechanisms should be further studied in order to better understand the complex relationships between morphological specialization and ecological generalization.

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

    PubMed

    Rupp, Maxwell F; Hulsey, C Darrin

    2014-09-01

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

  5. Mouth asymmetry in the textbook example of scale-eating cichlid fish is not a discrete dimorphism after all

    PubMed Central

    Kusche, Henrik; Lee, Hyuk Je; Meyer, Axel

    2012-01-01

    Individuals of the scale-eating cichlid fish, Perissodus microlepis, from Lake Tanganyika tend to have remarkably asymmetric heads that are either left-bending or right-bending. The ‘left’ morph opens its mouth markedly towards the left and preferentially feeds on the scales from the right-hand side of its victim fish, and the ‘right’ morph bites scales from the victims’ left-hand side. This striking dimorphism made these fish a textbook example of their astonishing degree of ecological specialization and as one of the few known incidences of negative frequency-dependent selection acting on an asymmetric morphological trait, where left and right forms are equally frequent within a species. We investigated the degree and the shape of the frequency distribution of head asymmetry in P. microlepis to test whether the variation conforms to a discrete dimorphism, as generally assumed. In both adult and juvenile fish, mouth asymmetry appeared to be continuously and unimodally distributed with no clear evidence for a discrete dimorphism. Mixture analyses did not reveal evidence of a discrete or even strong dimorphism. These results raise doubts about previous claims, as reported in textbooks, that head variation in P. microlepis represents a discrete dimorphism of left- and right-bending forms. Based on extensive field sampling that excluded ambiguous (i.e. symmetric or weakly asymmetric) individual adults, we found that left and right morphs occur in equal abundance in five populations. Moreover, mate pairing for 51 wild-caught pairs was random with regard to head laterality, calling into question reports that this laterality is maintained through disassortative mating. PMID:23055070

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2010-01-01

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

  7. Mix and match color vision: tuning spectral sensitivity by differential opsin gene expression in Lake Malawi cichlids.

    PubMed

    Parry, Juliet W L; Carleton, Karen L; Spady, Tyrone; Carboo, Aba; Hunt, David M; Bowmaker, James K

    2005-10-11

    Cichlid fish of the East African Rift Lakes are renowned for their diversity and offer a unique opportunity to study adaptive changes in the visual system in rapidly evolving species flocks. Since color plays a significant role in mate choice, differences in visual sensitivities could greatly influence and even drive speciation of cichlids. Lake Malawi cichlids inhabiting rock and sand habitats have significantly different cone spectral sensitivities. By combining microspectrophotometry (MSP) of isolated cones, sequencing of opsin genes, and spectral analysis of recombinant pigments, we have established the cone complements of four species of Malawi cichlids. MSP demonstrated that each of these species predominately expresses three cone pigments, although these differ between species to give three spectrally different cone complements. In addition, rare populations of spectrally distinct cones were found. In total, seven spectral classes were identified. This was confirmed by opsin gene sequencing, expression, and in vitro reconstitution. The genes represent the four major classes of cone opsin genes that diverged early in vertebrate evolution. All four species possess a long-wave-sensitive (LWS), three spectrally distinct green-sensitive (RH2), a blue-sensitive (SWS2A), a violet-sensitive (SWS2B), and an ultraviolet-sensitive (SWS1) opsin. However, African cichlids determine their spectral sensitivity by differential expression of primarily only three of the seven available cone opsin genes. Phylogenetic analysis suggests that all percomorph fish have similar potential.

  8. Indirect mate choice, direct mate choice and species recognition in a bower-building cichlid fish lek.

    PubMed

    Genner, M J; Young, K A; Haesler, M P; Joyce, D A

    2008-09-01

    Sexual selection arising through female mate choice typically favours males with larger, brighter and louder signals. A critical challenge in sexual selection research is to determine the degree to which this pattern results from direct mate choice, where females select individual males based on variation in signalling traits, or indirect mate choice, where male competition governs access to reproductively active females. We investigated female mate choice in a lekking Lake Malawi cichlid fish, Hemitilapia oxyrhynchus, in which males build and aggressively defend sand 'bowers'. Similar to previous studies, we found that male reproductive success was positively associated with bower height and centrality on the lek. However, this pattern resulted from males holding these territories encountering more females, and thus their greater success was due to indirect mate choice. Following initial male courtship, an increase in the relative mating success of some males was observed, but this relative increase was unrelated to bower size or position. Crucially, experimentally manipulating bowers to resemble those of a co-occurring species had no appreciable effect on direct choice by females or male spawning success. Together, these results suggest indirect mate choice is the dominant force determining male-mating success in this species, and that bowers are not signals used in direct mate choice by females. We propose that, in this species, bowers have a primary function in intraspecific male competition, with the most competitive males maintaining larger and more central bowers that are favoured by sexual selection due to higher female encounter rates.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. Androgen receptors in a cichlid fish, Astatotilapia burtoni: structure, localization, and expression levels.

    PubMed

    Harbott, Lene K; Burmeister, Sabrina S; White, Richard B; Vagell, Mike; Fernald, Russell D

    2007-09-01

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

  11. Monogamy in the maternally mouthbrooding Lake Tanganyika cichlid fish Tropheus moorii.

    PubMed

    Egger, Bernd; Obermüller, Beate; Phiri, Harris; Sturmbauer, Christian; Sefc, Kristina M

    2006-07-22

    Supported by evidence for assortative mating and polygynandry, sexual selection through mate choice was suggested as the main force driving the evolution of colour diversity of haplochromine cichlids in Lakes Malawi and Victoria. The phylogenetically closely related tribe Tropheini of Lake Tanganyika includes the genus Tropheus, which comprises over 100 colour variants currently classified into six morphologically similar, polyphyletic species. To assess the potential for sexual selection in this sexually monochromatic maternal mouthbrooder, we used microsatellite-based paternity inference to investigate the mating system of Tropheus moorii. In contrast to haplochromines in Lake Malawi, multiple paternity is rare or even absent in broods of T. moorii. Eighteen of the 19 analysed families were consistent with genetic monogamy, while either a mutation or more than one sire explained the genotype of one offspring in another brood. We discuss the differences in breeding behaviour between T. moorii and the Lake Malawi haplochromines, and evaluate additional factors or alternatives to sexual selection as promoters of colour diversification. A preliminary survey of other Tropheini species suggested that multiple paternity is infrequent in the entire tribe. PMID:16790413

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

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

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

  13. Comparative gene expression profiles for highly similar aggressive phenotypes in male and female cichlid fishes (Julidochromis)

    PubMed Central

    Schumer, Molly; Krishnakant, Kavita; Renn, Suzy C. P.

    2011-01-01

    SUMMARY Julidochromis marlieri and Julidochromis transcriptus are two closely related Tanganyikan cichlids that have evolved different behavior and mating strategies since they diverged from their common ancestor. While J. transcriptus follows the ancestral pattern of male dominance, male-biased sexual size dimorphism and territoriality, the pattern is reversed in J. marlieri. In J. marlieri, females show all of these behavioral and morphological characteristics. This raises the question of whether female J. marlieri achieve the dominant phenotype by expressing the same genes as J. transcriptus males or whether novel brain gene expression patterns have evolved to produce a similar behavioral phenotype in the females of J. marlieri. This study used cDNA microarrays to investigate whether female J. marlieri and male J. transcriptus show conserved or divergent patterns of brain gene expression. Analysis of microarray data in both species showed certain gene expression patterns associated with sex role independent of gonadal sex and, to a lesser extent, gene expression patterns associated with sex independent of sex role. In general, these data suggest that while there has been substantial divergence in gene expression patterns between J. transcriptus and J. marlieri, we can detect a highly significant overlap for a core set of genes related to aggression in both species. These results suggest that the proximate mechanisms regulating aggressive behavior in J. transcriptus and J. marlieri may be shared. PMID:21900474

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  15. 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

  16. 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

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

    PubMed

    Rupp, Maxwell F; Hulsey, C Darrin

    2014-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Mustapha, Moshood K

    2009-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Mustapha, Moshood K

    2009-09-01

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

  20. Isolation and characterization of microsatellite markers for the ornamental discus fish Symphysodon discus and cross-species amplification in other Heroini cichlid species.

    PubMed

    Amado, Manuella Villar; Hrbek, Tomas; Gravena, Waleska; Fantin, Cleiton; DE Assunção, Enedina Nogueira; Astolfi-Filho, Spartaco; Farias, Izeni P

    2008-11-01

    The discus fishes (Symphysodon spp.) are economically important ornamental species. Thirteen microsatellite markers were developed from a CT(12) - and CA(12) -enriched whole genomic DNA library of Symphysodon discus. Allelic variability was tested on 44 individuals of two species (S. discus and S. aequifasciatus). Allelic richness ranged from two to 11 alleles per locus and observed heterozygosities from 0.083 to 0.998. All loci were at Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium, and no pair of loci showed linkage disequilibrium within a species. Cross-species amplification was also successfully performed in the Neotropical cichlids Uaru amphiacanthoides, Hoplarchus psittacus, Hypselecara coryphaenoides, Pterophyllum sp., Mesonauta sp. and Heros sp.

  1. Social status, breeding state, and GnRH soma size in convict cichlids (Cryptoheros nigrofasciatus).

    PubMed

    Chee, San-San Amy; Espinoza, Walter A S; Iwaniuk, Andrew N; Pakan, Janelle M P; Gutiérrez-Ibáñez, Cristian; Wylie, Douglas R; Hurd, Peter L

    2013-01-15

    Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) expressing neurons in the preoptic area (POA) of the hypothalamus plays a key role in regulating reproductive function through the control of gonadotropin release. Several studies have illustrated the importance of the social environment in modulating the size of GnRH expressing neurons. In the African cichlid fish Astatotilapia burtoni, the size of the soma of GnRH expressing neurons in the POA varies with social status in males, and with breeding state in females. Territorial males have larger GnRH+ cells than non-territorial males, while brooder females have smaller GnRH+ cells than control females. The lek-like breeding system of A. burtoni is, however, only one type of social system within the diverse assemblage of cichlids. To gain a better understanding of GnRH neuronal plasticity in response to the changes in the social environment, we tested whether similar effects occur in the monogamous New World cichlid, the convict cichlid (Cryptoheros nigrofasciatus), a model species for the study of social behaviour. Our results indicate that, indeed GnRH expressing neuron soma size, and not cell number, varies with both male territorial status, and manipulations of female breeding state in this monogamous, biparental, New World cichlid.

  2. Adaptive molecular evolution in the opsin genes of rapidly speciating cichlid species.

    PubMed

    Spady, Tyrone C; Seehausen, Ole; Loew, Ellis R; Jordan, Rebecca C; Kocher, Thomas D; Carleton, Karen L

    2005-06-01

    Cichlid fish inhabit a diverse range of environments that vary in the spectral content of light available for vision. These differences should result in adaptive selective pressure on the genes involved in visual sensitivity, the opsin genes. This study examines the evidence for differential adaptive molecular evolution in East African cichlid opsin genes due to gross differences in environmental light conditions. First, we characterize the selective regime experienced by cichlid opsin genes using a likelihood ratio test format, comparing likelihood models with different constraints on the relative rates of amino acid substitution, across sites. Second, we compare turbid and clear lineages to determine if there is evidence of differences in relative rates of substitution. Third, we present evidence of functional diversification and its relationship to the photic environment among cichlid opsin genes. We report statistical evidence of positive selection in all cichlid opsin genes, except short wavelength-sensitive 1 and short wavelength-sensitive 2b. In all genes predicted to be under positive selection, except short wavelength-sensitive 2a, we find differences in selective pressure between turbid and clear lineages. Potential spectral tuning sites are variable among all cichlid opsin genes; however, patterns of substitution consistent with photic environment-driven evolution of opsin genes are observed only for short wavelength-sensitive 1 opsin genes. This study identifies a number of promising candidate-tuning sites for future study by site-directed mutagenesis. This work also begins to demonstrate the molecular evolutionary dynamics of cichlid visual sensitivity and its relationship to the photic environment.

  3. Arginine-vasotocin expression and participation in reproduction and social behavior in males of the cichlid fish Cichlasoma dimerus.

    PubMed

    Ramallo, Martín Roberto; Grober, Matthew; Cánepa, Maximiliano Martín; Morandini, Leonel; Pandolfi, Matías

    2012-11-01

    In non-mammalian vertebrates, the nonapeptide arginine-vasotocin (AVT) is involved in the regulation of social behavior related to reproduction and aggression. The cichlid fish Cichlasoma dimerus is a monogamous species with complex social hierarchies. Males are found in one of two basic alternative phenotypes: Non-territorial and territorial males. In this work we characterize the vasotocinergic system in males of C. dimerus in relation to social status with particular emphasis on the various putative sites of action of AVT across the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonad (HPG) axis, and its effects on reproductive and social behavior. The location and distribution of vasotocinergic neurons in the brain was studied, highlighting a morphometric analysis of AVT producing neurons in males of different social status. The effect of AVT on pituitary gonadotropin secretion was analyzed by single pituitary culture while expression of AVT in peripheral organs was studied by RT-PCR using specific primers. Finally, the role of AVT on testicular androgen release was assessed by in vitro incubation of testis. Results showed a positive effect of AVT on gonadotropin secretion, where β-LH showcased a triphasic response under increasing AVT concentration, while β-FSH's response was dose-dependent and directly proportional. AVT showed a positive and concentration-dependent effect over testicular androgens synthesis and secretion in vitro. Vasotocin expression was observed in testicular somatic tissue located in the interstitial compartment. Thus, the AVT system in C. dimerus appears to be of high complexity, with multiple sites of action in the hypothalamus-pituitary-gonadal axis.

  4. Correlation between nuptial colors and visual sensitivities tuned by opsins leads to species richness in sympatric Lake Victoria cichlid fishes.

    PubMed

    Miyagi, Ryutaro; Terai, Yohey; Aibara, Mitsuto; Sugawara, Tohru; Imai, Hiroo; Tachida, Hidenori; Mzighani, Semvua Isa; Okitsu, Takashi; Wada, Akimori; Okada, Norihiro

    2012-11-01

    Reproductive isolation that prevents interspecific hybridization between closely related coexisting species maintains sympatric species diversity. One of the reproductive isolations is mate choice based on color signals (breeding color perceived by color vision). This is well known in several animal taxa, yet little is known about its genetic and molecular mechanism. Lake Victoria cichlid fishes are thought to be an example of sympatric species diversity. In the species inhabiting different light environments in rocky shore, speciation by sensory drive through color signals has been proposed by analyses of the long wavelength-sensitive (LWS) opsin gene and the male nuptial coloration. However, the genetic and molecular mechanism of how diversity of sympatric species occurring in the same habitat is maintained remains unknown. To address this issue, we determined nucleotide sequences of eight opsins of six sympatric species collected from a sandy-muddy shore--an ideal model system for studying sympatric species. Among eight opsins, the LWS and RH1 alleles were diversified and one particular allele is dominant or fixed in each species, and we propose that this is due to natural selection. The functions of their LWS alleles were also diversified as shown by absorption measurements of reconstituted visual pigments. To analyze the relationship between nuptial coloration and the absorption of LWS pigments, we systematically evaluated and defined nuptial coloration. We showed that the coloration was species specific with respect to hue and significantly differentiated by the index values of hue (dominant wavelength: λ(d)). The λ(d) value of the male nuptial coloration correlated with the absorption of LWS pigments from all the species, suggesting that reproductive isolation through mate choice using color signals may prevent sympatric interspecific hybridization, thereby maintaining the species diversity in sympatric species in Lake Victoria. PMID:22617953

  5. Correlation between nuptial colors and visual sensitivities tuned by opsins leads to species richness in sympatric Lake Victoria cichlid fishes.

    PubMed

    Miyagi, Ryutaro; Terai, Yohey; Aibara, Mitsuto; Sugawara, Tohru; Imai, Hiroo; Tachida, Hidenori; Mzighani, Semvua Isa; Okitsu, Takashi; Wada, Akimori; Okada, Norihiro

    2012-11-01

    Reproductive isolation that prevents interspecific hybridization between closely related coexisting species maintains sympatric species diversity. One of the reproductive isolations is mate choice based on color signals (breeding color perceived by color vision). This is well known in several animal taxa, yet little is known about its genetic and molecular mechanism. Lake Victoria cichlid fishes are thought to be an example of sympatric species diversity. In the species inhabiting different light environments in rocky shore, speciation by sensory drive through color signals has been proposed by analyses of the long wavelength-sensitive (LWS) opsin gene and the male nuptial coloration. However, the genetic and molecular mechanism of how diversity of sympatric species occurring in the same habitat is maintained remains unknown. To address this issue, we determined nucleotide sequences of eight opsins of six sympatric species collected from a sandy-muddy shore--an ideal model system for studying sympatric species. Among eight opsins, the LWS and RH1 alleles were diversified and one particular allele is dominant or fixed in each species, and we propose that this is due to natural selection. The functions of their LWS alleles were also diversified as shown by absorption measurements of reconstituted visual pigments. To analyze the relationship between nuptial coloration and the absorption of LWS pigments, we systematically evaluated and defined nuptial coloration. We showed that the coloration was species specific with respect to hue and significantly differentiated by the index values of hue (dominant wavelength: λ(d)). The λ(d) value of the male nuptial coloration correlated with the absorption of LWS pigments from all the species, suggesting that reproductive isolation through mate choice using color signals may prevent sympatric interspecific hybridization, thereby maintaining the species diversity in sympatric species in Lake Victoria.

  6. Rapid assessment of female preference for male size predicts subsequent choice of spawning partner in a socially monogamous cichlid fish.

    PubMed

    Dechaume-Moncharmont, François-Xavier; Cornuau, Jérémie H; Keddar, Ismaël; Ihle, Malika; Motreuil, Sébastien; Cézilly, Frank

    2011-12-01

    Although size-assortative mating in convict cichlids, Amatitliana nigrofasciata, is supposed to result from mutual mating preference for larger individuals, female choice in relation to male size remains ambiguous. We revisited the evidence for directional preference for larger males in female convict cichlids using a classical two-way choice apparatus in which each female could decide to spend time in front of a small male or a large one. We found evidence for female preference for large males, as assessed from association preference during a 4-hour period following encounter. Furthermore, females decided to spawn in front of the initially preferred male more often than expected by chance. Our results thus confirm the existence of a directional preference for large males in female convict cichlids, and indicate that association preference measured over a short period of time can provide a quick and reliable proxy for reproductive preference in this species.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2007-01-01

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

  9. Development and altered gravity dependent changes in glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase activity in the brain of the cichlid fish Oreochromis mossambicus.

    PubMed

    Slenzka, K; Appel, R; Rahmann, H

    1995-06-01

    Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase activity was studied in the brain of the cichlid fish Oreochromis mossambicus during early ontogenetic development. In general a slight but continuous decrease in enzyme activity was found (9.5 +/- 0.5 nmol substrate cleaved per mg protein and per min at developmental stage 13 [= 1 day post hatch at 28 degrees C] to a value of 7.9 +/- 0.6 in adult brain). In order to investigate the possible influence of altered gravity during early ontogenetic brain development, fish larvae were exposed to an increased acceleration of three times earth gravity (3 g) or to functional weightlessness in a fast-rotating clinostat for 7 days. A significant increase of brain G6PDH activity of approx. 15% was found after exposure to hyper gravity, whereas a significant decrease of the enzyme activity, approximately 10%, was detected following functional weightlessness in respect to the corresponding 1 g controls. Analyses concerning the regain of normal control enzyme activity of the larvae revealed dramatic fluctuations within the first 5 h after exposure to an increased acceleration of 3 g. Thereafter, between day 1 and day 3 after exposure, brain glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase decreased slowly. At day 3 after exposure no further differences of the hyper-g larvae compared to the controls were found. Only slight changes in total brain glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase activity occur during ontogenetic development of cichlid fish. This suggests that a more or less constant enzyme activity is important during brain development, but is reacting very sensitively to changes in the environmental factor gravity.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

  11. Genomic signatures of divergent selection and speciation patterns in a 'natural experiment', the young parallel radiations of Nicaraguan crater lake cichlid fishes.

    PubMed

    Kautt, Andreas F; Elmer, Kathryn R; Meyer, Axel

    2012-10-01

    Divergent selection is the main driving force in sympatric ecological speciation and may also play a strong role in divergence between allopatric populations. Characterizing the genome-wide impact of divergent selection often constitutes a first step in unravelling the genetic bases underlying adaptation and ecological speciation. The Midas cichlid fish (Amphilophus citrinellus) species complex in Nicaragua is a powerful system for studying evolutionary processes. Independent colonizations of isolated young crater lakes by Midas cichlid populations from the older and great lakes of Nicaragua resulted in the repeated evolution of adaptive radiations by intralacustrine sympatric speciation. In this study we performed genome scans on two repeated radiations of crater lake species and their great lake source populations (1030 polymorphic AFLPs, n ∼ 30 individuals per species). We detected regions under divergent selection (0.3% in the crater lake Xiloá flock and 1.7% in the older crater lake Apoyo radiation) that might be responsible for the sympatric diversifications. We find no evidence that the same genomic regions have been involved in the repeated evolution of parallel adaptations across crater lake flocks. However, there is some genetic parallelism apparent (seven out of 51 crater lake to great lake outlier loci are shared; 13.7%) that is associated with the allopatric divergence of both crater lake flocks. Interestingly, our results suggest that the number of outlier loci involved in sympatric and allopatric divergence increases over time. A phylogeny based on the AFLP data clearly supports the monophyly of both crater lake species flocks and indicates a parallel branching order with a primary split along the limnetic-benthic axis in both radiations.

  12. 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

  13. Pentastomid infections in cichlid fishes in the Kruger National Park and the description of the infective larva of Subtriquetra rileyi n. sp.

    PubMed

    Junker, K; Boomker, J; Booyse, D G

    1998-09-01

    During 1995, studies were conducted on the pentastome fauna of the cichlid fishes Tilapia rendalli and Oreochromis mossambicus in the Kruger National Park. The prevalence of infective pentastome larvae was 40.5% in T. rendalli and 9.2% in O. mossambicus. Encapsulated nymphs of Leiperia cincinnalis were taken from the mesentery, while Sebekia wedli was either encapsulated or free-living in the swim bladder. The subtriquetrids moved about freely in the swim bladder. L. cincinnalis was present in 0.5% of T. rendalli and 0.8% of O. mossambicus and additional descriptions and measurements of the nymphs are presented. S. wedli was present in 2.5% of O. mossambicus and a new Subtriquetra species, for which the name Subtriquetra riley n. sp. is proposed, in 7.5%. This ratio in T. rendalli was 40.5% and 2.2%, respectively. Of the infected T. rendalli, 89% harboured one or two sebekiid larvae, while a single fish harboured eight. Fish infected with S. rileyi contained only one larva each. The condition factor of infected T. rendalli was compared statistically to that of uninfected fish and no significant difference found. However, infected fish were significantly shorter and lighter than uninfected ones. S. rileyi differs from the other three known Subtriquetra spp., Subtriquetra subtriquetra, Subtriquetra megacephala and Subtriquetra shipleyi in both hook size and annulus counts. Furthermore, S. subtriquetra occurs in South American crocodilians (Riley 1986), and S. megacephala and S. shipleyi in crocodilians in India (Fain 1961). This is the first record of the genus occurring in Africa and although adult specimens of S. rileyi n. sp. were not obtained, we assume that the new species is specific to Nile crocodiles. PMID:9809320

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-08-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Radford, Andrew N.

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

  18. The effects of social isolation on steroid hormone levels are modulated by previous social status and context in a cichlid fish.

    PubMed

    Galhardo, L; Oliveira, R F

    2014-01-01

    Social isolation is a major stressor which impacts the physiology, behaviour and health of individuals in gregarious species. However, depending on conditional and contextual factors, such as social status and group composition, social isolation may be perceived differently by different individuals or even by the same individuals at different times. Here we tested the effects of social status (territorial vs. non-territorial) and previous group composition (i.e. type of social group: mixed sex group with two territorial males, TT vs. mixed sex group with one territorial and one non-territorial male, TnT) on the hormonal response (androgens and cortisol) to social isolation in a cichlid fish (Oreochromis mossambicus). The different steroid hormones measured responded differentially to social isolation, and their response was modulated by social factors. Social isolation elicited a decrease of 11-keto formation only in territorial males, whereas non-territorial males present a non-significant trend for increasing KT levels. Testosterone did not respond to social isolation. Cortisol only increased in isolated individuals from TnT groups irrespective of social status (i.e. both in territorials and non-territorials). These results suggest that it is the perception of social isolation and not the objective structure of the situation that triggers the hormonal response to isolation.

  19. The effects of social isolation on steroid hormone levels are modulated by previous social status and context in a cichlid fish.

    PubMed

    Galhardo, L; Oliveira, R F

    2014-01-01

    Social isolation is a major stressor which impacts the physiology, behaviour and health of individuals in gregarious species. However, depending on conditional and contextual factors, such as social status and group composition, social isolation may be perceived differently by different individuals or even by the same individuals at different times. Here we tested the effects of social status (territorial vs. non-territorial) and previous group composition (i.e. type of social group: mixed sex group with two territorial males, TT vs. mixed sex group with one territorial and one non-territorial male, TnT) on the hormonal response (androgens and cortisol) to social isolation in a cichlid fish (Oreochromis mossambicus). The different steroid hormones measured responded differentially to social isolation, and their response was modulated by social factors. Social isolation elicited a decrease of 11-keto formation only in territorial males, whereas non-territorial males present a non-significant trend for increasing KT levels. Testosterone did not respond to social isolation. Cortisol only increased in isolated individuals from TnT groups irrespective of social status (i.e. both in territorials and non-territorials). These results suggest that it is the perception of social isolation and not the objective structure of the situation that triggers the hormonal response to isolation. PMID:24172186

  20. Evolution of the cichlid visual palette through ontogenetic subfunctionalization of the opsin gene arrays.

    PubMed

    Spady, Tyrone C; Parry, Juliet W L; Robinson, Phyllis R; Hunt, David M; Bowmaker, James K; Carleton, Karen L

    2006-08-01

    The evolution of cone opsin genes is characterized by a dynamic process of gene birth and death through gene duplication and loss. However, the forces governing the retention and death of opsin genes are poorly understood. African cichlid fishes have a range of ecologies, differing in habitat and foraging style, which make them ideal for examining the selective forces acting on the opsin gene family. In this work, we present data on the riverine cichlid, Oreochromis niloticus, which is an ancestral outgroup to the cichlid adaptive radiations in the Great African lakes. We identify 7 cone opsin genes with several instances of gene duplication. We also characterize the spectral sensitivities of these genes through reconstitution of visual pigments. Peak absorbances demonstrate that each tilapia cone opsin gene codes for a spectrally distinct visual pigment: SWS1 (360 nm), SWS2b (423 nm), SWS2a (456 nm), Rh2b (472 nm), Rh2a beta (518 nm), Rh2a alpha (528 nm), and LWS (561 nm). Furthermore, quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction at 3 ontogenetic time points demonstrates that although only 4 genes (SWS2a, Rh2a alpha and beta, and LWS) are expressed in adults, mRNAs for the other genes are all expressed during ontogeny. Therefore, subfunctionalization through differential ontogenetic expression may be a key mechanism for preservation of opsin genes. The distinct peak absorbances of these preserved opsin genes provide a palette from which selection creates the diverse visual sensitivities found among the cichlid species of the lacustrine adaptive radiations.

  1. Biogeographical implications of Zambezian Cichlidogyrus species (Platyhelminthes: Monogenea: Ancyrocephalidae) parasitizing Congolian cichlids.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-22

    Fishes normally restricted to inland waters are valuable model systems for historical biogeography, inter alia, because of their limited dispersal abilities and concordance with the distribution patterns of other freshwater taxa (Zogaris et al. 2009). The comparison of fish species assemblages has been the major biogeographical tool for delineating African aquatic ecoregions as the fossil record is often meagre and merely offers complementary information. This is, for example, the case for the Zambezian and Congolian ichthyofaunal provinces, which display substantial contemporary fish diversity (Stewart 2001). Between both regions lies the Bangweulu-Mweru ecoregion (sensu Scott 2005), known for its high percentage of endemicity. Although hydrographically belonging to the Congo Basin, the Bangweulu-Mweru ecoregion has a high affinity with the Zambezi province (Scott 2005), due to historical river connections (Tweddle 2010). Studies comparing the Zambezi and Congo ichthyofaunal provinces are rare and hampered by lack of data from the Congo Basin. The latter harbours more than 1250 fish species (Snoeks et al. 2011) while in the Zambezi, only 120 freshwater fishes are found (Tweddle 2010). Indeed, species richness declines in all major African teleost families from the Congo Basin southwards, riverine haplochromine cichlids forming a notable exception to this rule (Joyce et al. 2005). Although it was hypothesized by Tweddle (2010) that the origin of many Zambezian fish species is in the Congo Basin, the haplochromines Serranochromis Regan, Sargochromis Regan, Pharyngochromis Greenwood and Chetia Trewavas, together forming the serranochromines, have their centre of diversity in the rivers of the Zambezian ichthyofaunal province (Joyce et al. 2005). Therefore, the biogeographical history of Cichlidae across the Zambezi- Congo watershed is not only key to cichlid biogeography on an African scale, but also complementary to biogeography of all other teleosts in the region

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-01

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

  4. Public Health Risks from Illegally Imported African Bushmeat and Smoked Fish : Public Health Risks from African Bushmeat and Smoked Fish.

    PubMed

    Chaber, Anne-Lise; Cunningham, Andrew

    2016-03-01

    Large-scale importation of bushmeat from West and Central Africa into Europe was reported in 2010. We sampled 18 illegal African bushmeat consignments seized at Charles de Gaulle airport, Paris, France and tested for the presence of bacteria. Additionally, five smuggled smoked fish were analysed for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which are known carcinogens. All bushmeat samples had viable counts of aerobic bacteria above levels considered safe for human consumption. We also identified zoonotic bacterial pathogens in bushmeat and unsafe levels of carcinogens in fish. The illegal importation of meat is a potential risk for the introduction of pathogens.

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Jury, M; McClanahan, T; Maina, J

    2010-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-09-15

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-09-15

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

  12. Inheritance of female mating preference in a sympatric sibling species pair of Lake Victoria cichlids: implications for speciation

    PubMed Central

    Haesler, Marcel P.; Seehausen, Ole

    2005-01-01

    Female mate choice has often been proposed to play an important role in cases of rapid speciation, in particular in the explosively evolved haplochromine cichlid species flocks of the Great Lakes of East Africa. Little, if anything, is known in cichlid radiations about the heritability of female mating preferences. Entirely sympatric distribution, large ecological overlap and conspicuous differences in male nuptial coloration, and female preferences for these, make the sister species Pundamilia pundamilia and P. nyererei from Lake Victoria an ideally suited species pair to test assumptions on the genetics of mating preferences made in models of sympatric speciation. Female mate choice is necessary and sufficient to maintain reproductive isolation between these species, and it is perhaps not unlikely therefore, that female mate choice has been important during speciation. A prerequisite for this, which had remained untested in African cichlid fish, is that variation in female mating preferences is heritable. We investigated mating preferences of females of these sister species and their hybrids to test this assumption of most sympatric speciation models, and to further test the assumption of some models of sympatric speciation by sexual selection that female preference is a single-gene trait. We find that the differences in female mating preferences between the sister species are heritable, possibly with quite high heritabilities, and that few but probably more than one genetic loci contribute to this behavioural speciation trait with no apparent dominance. We discuss these results in the light of speciation models and the debate about the explosive radiation of cichlid fishes in Lake Victoria. PMID:15705547

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

  15. Interactions between aggression, boldness and shoaling within a brood of convict cichlids (Amatitlania nigrofasciatus).

    PubMed

    Moss, Sarah; Tittaferrante, Stephanie; Way, Gregory P; Fuller, Ashlei; Sullivan, Nicole; Ruhl, Nathan; McRobert, Scott P

    2015-12-01

    A behavioral syndrome is considered present when individuals consistently express correlated behaviors across two or more axes of behavior. These axes of behavior are shy-bold, exploration-avoidance, activity, aggression, and sociability. In this study we examined aggression, boldness and sociability (shoaling) within a juvenile convict cichlid brood (Amatitlania nigrofasciatus). Because young convict cichlids are social, we used methodologies commonly used by ethologists studying social fishes. We did not detect an aggression-boldness behavioral syndrome, but we did find that the aggression, boldness, and possibly the exploration behavioral axes play significant roles in shaping the observed variation in individual convict cichlid behavior. While juvenile convict cichlids did express a shoaling preference, this social preference was likely convoluted by aggressive interactions, despite the small size and young age of the fish. There is a need for the development of behavioral assays that allow for more reliable measurement of behavioral axes in juvenile neo-tropical cichlids.

  16. Evolution of a unique predatory feeding apparatus: functional anatomy, development and a genetic locus for jaw laterality in Lake Tanganyika scale-eating cichlids

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background While bilaterality is a defining characteristic of triploblastic animals, several assemblages have managed to break this symmetry in order to exploit the adaptive peaks garnered through the lateralization of behaviour or morphology. One striking example of an evolved asymmetry in vertebrates comes from a group of scale-eating cichlid fishes from Lake Tanganyika. Members of the Perissodini tribe of cichlid fishes have evolved dental and craniofacial asymmetries in order to more effectively remove scales from the left or right flanks of prey. Here we examine the evolution and development of craniofacial morphology and laterality among Lake Tanganyika scale-eating cichlids. Results Using both geometric and traditional morphometric methods we found that the craniofacial evolution in the Perissodini involved discrete shifts in skeletal anatomy that reflect differences in habitat preference and predation strategies. Further, we show that the evolutionary history of the Perissodini is characterized by an accentuation of craniofacial laterality such that certain taxa show elaborate sided differences in craniofacial shape consistent with the sub-partitioning of function between sides of the head during attacks. Craniofacial laterality in the scale-eating specialist Perissodus microlepis was found to be evident early in development and exhibited a unimodal distribution, which is contrary to the adult condition where jaw laterality has been described as a discrete, bimodal antisymmetry. Finally, using linkage and association analyses we identified a conserved locus for jaw handedness that segregates among East African cichlids. Conclusions We suggest that, during the evolution of the Perissodini, selection has accentuated a latent, genetically determined handedness of the craniofacial skeleton, enabling the evolution of jaw asymmetries in order to increase predation success. Continued work on the developmental genetic basis of laterality in the Perissodini will

  17. Species tree estimation and the historical biogeography of heroine cichlids.

    PubMed

    Hulsey, C Darrin; Keck, Benjamin P; Hollingsworth, Phillip R

    2011-01-01

    Heroine cichlids are major components of the fish faunas in both Central America and the Caribbean. To examine the evolutionary patterns of how cichlids colonized both of these regions, we reconstructed the phylogenetic relationships among 23 cichlid lineages. We used three phylogenetically novel nuclear markers (Dystropin b, Myomesin1, and Wnt7b) in combination with sequence data from seven other gene regions (Nd2, Rag1, Enc1, Sreb2, Ptr, Plagl2, and Zic1) to elucidate the species tree of these cichlids. The species examined represent major heroine lineages in South America, Central America, and the Greater Antilles. The individual gene trees of these groups were topologically quite discordant. Therefore, we combined the genetic partitions and inferred the species tree using both concatenation and a coalescent-based Bayesian method. The two resulting phylogenetic topologies were largely concordant but differed in two fundamental ways. First, more nodes in the concatenated tree were supported with substantial or 100% Bayesian posterior support than in the coalescent-based tree. Second, there was a minor, but biogeographically critical, topological difference between the concatenated and coalescent-based trees. Nevertheless, both analyses recovered topologies consistent with the Greater Antillean heroines being phylogenetically nested within the largely Central American heroine radiation. This study suggests that reconstructions of cichlid phylogeny and historical biogeography should account for the vagaries of individual gene histories.

  18. Lake Malawi cichlid evolution along a benthic/limnetic axis

    PubMed Central

    Hulsey, C D; Roberts, R J; Loh, Y-H E; Rupp, M F; Streelman, J T

    2013-01-01

    Divergence along a benthic to limnetic habitat axis is ubiquitous in aquatic systems. However, this type of habitat divergence has largely been examined in low diversity, high latitude lake systems. In this study, we examined the importance of benthic and limnetic divergence within the incredibly species-rich radiation of Lake Malawi cichlid fishes. Using novel phylogenetic reconstructions, we provided a series of hypotheses regarding the evolutionary relationships among 24 benthic and limnetic species that suggests divergence along this axis has occurred multiple times within Lake Malawi cichlids. Because pectoral fin morphology is often associated with divergence along this habitat axis in other fish groups, we investigated divergence in pectoral fin muscles in these benthic and limnetic cichlid species. We showed that the eight pectoral fin muscles and fin area generally tended to evolve in a tightly correlated manner in the Lake Malawi cichlids. Additionally, we found that larger pectoral fin muscles are strongly associated with the independent evolution of the benthic feeding habit across this group of fish. Evolutionary specialization along a benthic/limnetic axis has occurred multiple times within this tropical lake radiation and has produced repeated convergent matching between exploitation of water column habitats and locomotory morphology. PMID:23919168

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

  1. Community Genetics Reveal Elevated Levels of Sympatric Gene Flow among Morphologically Similar but Not among Morphologically Dissimilar Species of Lake Victoria Cichlid Fish

    PubMed Central

    Konijnendijk, N.; Joyce, D. A.; Mrosso, H. D. J.; Egas, M.; Seehausen, O.

    2011-01-01

    We examined genetic structure among five species of Lake Victoria haplochromine cichlids in four island communities, using a full factorial sampling design that compared genetic differentiation between pairs of species and populations of varying morphological similarity and geographical proximity. We found that allopatric conspecific populations were on average significantly more strongly differentiated than sympatric heterospecific populations of morphologically similar species. Allopatric heterospecific populations of morphologically dissimilar species were most differentiated. Our work demonstrates that phenotypic divergence can be maintained and perhaps even evolve in sympatry despite considerable gene flow between species. Conversely, phenotypic resemblance among conspecific populations can be maintained despite geographical isolation. Additionally we show that anthropogenically increased hybridization does not affect all sympatric species evenly but predominantly affects morphologically similar and closely related species. This has important implications for the evolution of reproductive isolation between species These findings are also consistent with the hypothesis of speciation reversal due to weakening of divergent selection and reproductive isolation as a consequence of habitat homogenization and offers an evolutionary mechanistic explanation for the observation that species poor assemblages in turbid areas of the lake are characterized by just one or two species in each of a few morphologically distinct genera. PMID:22164342

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Sudthongkong, Chaiwud; Miyata, Masato; Miyazaki, Teruo

    2002-04-01

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

  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.

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

  8. Linkage relationships and haplotype polymorphism among cichlid Mhc class II B loci.

    PubMed Central

    Málaga-Trillo, E; Zaleska-Rutczynska, Z; McAndrew, B; Vincek, V; Figueroa, F; Sültmann, H; Klein, J

    1998-01-01

    The species flocks of cichlid fishes in the Great East African Lakes are paradigms of adaptive radiation and hence, of great interest to evolutionary biologists. Phylogenetic studies of these fishes have, however, been hampered by the lack of suitable polymorphic markers. The genes of the major histocompatibility complex hold the promise to provide, through their extensive polymorphism, a large number of such markers, but their use has been hampered by the complexity of the genetic system and the lack of definition of the individual loci. In this study we take the first substantial step to alleviate this problem. Using a combination of methods, including the typing of single sperm cells, gyno- or androgenetic individuals, and haploid embryos, as well as sequencing of class II B restriction fragments isolated from gels for Southern blots, we identify the previously characterized homology groups as distinct loci. At least 17 polymorphic class II B loci, all of which are presumably transcribed, have been found among the different species studied. Most of these loci are shared across the various cichlid species and genera. The number of loci per haplotype varies from individual to individual, ranging from 1 to 13. A total of 21 distinct haplotypes differing in the number of loci they carry has thus far been identified. All the polymorphic loci are part of the same cluster in which, however, distances between at least some of the loci (as indicated by recombination frequencies) are relatively large. Both the individual loci and the haplotypes can now be used to study phylogenetic relationships among the members of the species flocks and the mode in which speciation occurs during adaptive radiation. PMID:9649539

  9. 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

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-04-15

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-04-15

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Seehausen, Ole

    2015-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Effects of illegal cyanide fishing on vitellogenin in the freshwater African catfish, Clarias gariepinus (Burchell, 1822).

    PubMed

    Authman, Mohammad M N; Abbas, Wafaa T; Abumourad, Iman M K; Kenawy, Amany M

    2013-05-01

    The effects of cyanide, used in illegal fishing, on one of the most economically important Nile fishes, the African catfish (Clarias gariepinus), were studied. Cyanide impacts were evaluated in terms of biochemical, molecular and histopathological characteristics. After exposure to sublethal concentration (0.05mg/l) of potassium cyanide (KCN) for two and four weeks, GOT (glutamate oxaloacetate transaminase) was significantly increased in both male and female, while GPT (glutamate pyruvate transaminase), total plasma protein, phosphoprotein phosphorus (Vgt) in serum, vitellogenin gene expression (Vtg mRNA) and estrogen receptors (ER mRNA) were significantly decreased in female. On the other hand, male C. gariepinus showed a significant increase in Vtg and Vtg mRNA. Liver, testis and ovaries showed distinct histopathological changes. It was concluded that, cyanide caused damaging effects to fish and can cause serious disturbance in the natural reproduction and a drastic decline in fish population. Therefore, it is recommended that, the use of cyanide compounds must be prohibited to conserve the fisheries resources.

  2. 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)

  3. Relaxed trait covariance in interspecific cichlid hybrids predicts morphological diversity in adaptive radiations.

    PubMed

    Selz, O M; Lucek, K; Young, K A; Seehausen, O

    2014-01-01

    The process of adaptive radiation involves multiple events of speciation in short succession, associated with ecological diversification. Understanding this process requires identifying the origins of heritable phenotypic variation that allows adaptive radiation to progress. Hybridization is one source of genetic and morphological variation that may spur adaptive radiation. We experimentally explored the potential role of hybridization in facilitating the onset of adaptive radiation. We generated first- and second-generation hybrids of four species of African cichlid fish, extant relatives of the putative ancestors of the adaptive radiations of Lakes Victoria and Malawi. We compared patterns in hybrid morphological variation with the variation in the lake radiations. We show that significant fractions of the interspecific morphological variation and the major trajectories in morphospace that characterize whole radiations can be generated in second-generation hybrids. Furthermore, we show that covariation between traits is relaxed in second-generation hybrids, which may facilitate adaptive diversification. These results support the idea that hybridization can provide the heritable phenotypic diversity necessary to initiate adaptive radiation.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-09-01

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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Micro- and macroevolutionary decoupling of cichlid jaws: a test of Liem's key innovation hypothesis.

    PubMed

    Hulsey, C D; García de León, F J; Rodiles-Hernández, R

    2006-10-01

    The extent to which elements of functional systems can change independently (modularity) likely influences the diversification of lineages. Major innovations in organismal design, like the pharyngeal jaw in cichlid fishes, may be key to a group's success when they relax constraints on diversification by increasing phenotypic modularity. In cichlid fishes, pharyngeal jaw modifications that enhanced the ability to breakdown prey may have freed their oral jaws from serving their ancestral dual role as a site of both prey capture and prey processing. This functional decoupling that allowed the oral jaws to become devoted solely to prey capture has been hypothesized to have permitted the two sets of cichlid jaws to evolve independently. We tested the hypothesis that oral and pharyngeal jaw mechanics are evolutionarily decoupled both within and among Neotropical Heroine cichlids. In the trophically polymorphic species Herichthys minckleyi, molariforms that exhibit enlarged molarlike pharyngeal jaw teeth were found to have approximately 400% greater lower jaw mass compared to H. minckleyi with the alternative papilliform pharyngeal morphology. However, oral jaw gape, lower jaw velocity ratios, anterior jaw linkage mechanics, and jaw protrusion did not differ between the morphotypes. In 40 other Heroine species, there was a weak correlation between oral jaw mechanics and pharyngeal jaw mass when phylogenetic history was ignored. Yet, after expansion of the cytochrome b phylogeny for Heroines, change in oral jaw mechanics was found to be independent of evolutionary change in pharyngeal jaw mass based on independent contrasts. Evolutionary decoupling of oral and pharyngeal jaw mechanics has likely played a critical role in the unparalleled trophic diversification of cichlid fishes.

  8. Rhabdochona spp. (Nematoda: Rhabdochonidae) from fishes in the Central African Republic, including three new species.

    PubMed

    Moravec, Frantisek; Jirků, Miloslav

    2014-04-01

    Based on light and scanning electron microscopical studies, three new, one already known and one not identified species of the nematode genus Rhabdochona Railliet, 1916 are reported from the intestine of freshwater fishes in Dzanga-Sangha Protected Areas (Congo River basin), the Central African Republic: Rhabdochona (Rhabdochona) centroafricana sp. n. from Barbus miolepis Boulenger, R. (R.) marcusenii sp. n. from Marcusenius greshoffii (Schilthuis), R. (Globochona) paski Baylis, 1928 from Phenacogrammus aurantiacus (Pellegrin) (new host record), R. (G.) tricuspidata sp. n. from Raiamas christvi (Boulenger) and Rhabdochona (G.) sp. (only females) from Epiplatys multifasciatus (Boulenger). Rhabdochona centroafricana is mainly characterised by the length of the left spicule (333 microm) and the presence of the operculum bearing a conspicuous gelatinous formation on one of egg poles, R. marcusenii by the length of the left spicule (453-486 microm) and the presence of a single broad filament on one egg pole only and R. tricuspidata by the body with marked cuticular ornamentations and deirids branching into three prongs. A key to valid species of Rhabdochona parasitic in fishes of Africa is provided.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-06-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  12. Female fecundity traits in wild populations of African annual fish: the role of the aridity gradient.

    PubMed

    Vrtílek, Milan; Reichard, Martin

    2016-08-01

    The evolution of life history is shaped by life expectancy. Life-history traits coevolve, and optimal states for particular traits are constrained by trade-offs with other life-history traits. Life histories contrast among species, but may also diverge intraspecifically, at the level of populations. We studied the evolution of female reproductive allocation strategy, using natural populations of two sympatric species of African annual fishes, Nothobranchius furzeri and Nothobranchius orthonotus. These species inhabit pools in the Mozambican savanna that are formed in the rainy season and persist for only 2-10 months. Using 207 female N. furzeri from 11 populations and 243 female N. orthonotus from 14 populations, we tested the effects of genetic background (intraspecific lineage) and life expectancy (position on the aridity gradient determining maximum duration of their temporary habitat) on female fecundity traits. First, we found that variation in female body mass was small within populations, but varied considerably among populations. Second, we found that fecundity was largely defined by female body mass and that females spawned most of their eggs in the morning. Third, we found that the trade-off between egg size and egg number varied among lineages of N. furzeri and this outcome has been confirmed by data from two separate years. Overall, we demonstrate that local conditions were important determinants for Nothobranchius growth and fecundity and that eggs size in arid region was less limited by female fecundity than in humid region. PMID:27547365

  13. Spatial distribution of a fusiform cell in the optic tectum of Pantodon buchholzi, the African butterfly fish (Teleostei, Osteoglossomorpha).

    PubMed

    Saidel, William M; Mandau, Marek K; Haynes, Paul T

    2008-12-01

    Pantodon buchholzi, the African butterfly fish, inhabits an ecological niche just below the water surface. At that position, each eye necessarily views into the air through the surface of the water and into the water. Since Pantodon is an obligatory surface feeder, the ventral retina viewing the aerial environment provides all visual information for prey acquisition. The visual pathway of this fish reflects the divided visual field with structural differences in the retina and brain corresponding to the different views. In this study, we describe a specific type of neuron in the tectum that, due to its intrinsic structure, likely integrates visual and mechanoreceptor inputs. Because of its spatial distribution, this type of neuron is a candidate as a basic element in a network involved with prey acquisition.

  14. Life history change in response to fishing and an introduced predator in the East African cyprinid Rastrineobola argentea

    PubMed Central

    Sharpe, Diana M T; Wandera, Silvester B; Chapman, Lauren J

    2012-01-01

    Fishing and introduced species are among the most important stressors affecting freshwaters and can also be strong selective agents. We examined the combined effects of commercial fishing and an introduced predator (Nile perch, Lates niloticus) on life history traits in an African cyprinid fish (Rastrineobola argentea) native to the Lake Victoria basin in East Africa. To understand whether these two stressors have driven shifts in life history traits of R. argentea, we tested for associations between life history phenotypes and the presence/absence of stressors both spatially (across 10 Ugandan lakes) and temporally (over four decades in Lake Victoria). Overall, introduced Nile perch and fishing tended to be associated with a suite of life history responses in R. argentea, including: decreased body size, maturation at smaller sizes, and increased reproductive effort (larger eggs; and higher relative fecundity, clutch volume, and ovary weight). This is one of the first well-documented examples of fisheries-induced phenotypic change in a tropical, freshwater stock; the magnitude of which raises some concerns for the long-term sustainability of this fishery, now the most important (by mass) in Lake Victoria. PMID:23144655

  15. Antipredator responses by native mosquitofish to non-native cichlids: An examination of the role of prey naiveté

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rehage, Jennifer S.; Dunlop, Katherine L.; Loftus, William F.

    2009-01-01

    The strong impact of non-native predators in aquatic systems is thought to relate to the evolutionary naiveté of prey. Due to isolation and limited dispersal, this naiveté may be relatively high in freshwater systems. In this study, we tested this notion by examining the antipredator response of native mosquitofish, Gambusia holbrooki, to two non-native predators found in the Everglades, the African jewelfish,Hemichromis letourneuxi, and the Mayan cichlid, Cichlasoma urophthalmus. We manipulated prey naiveté by using two mosquitofish populations that varied in their experience with the recent invader, the African jewelfish, but had similar levels of experience with the longer-established Mayan cichlid. Specifically, we tested these predictions: (1) predator hunting modes differed between the two predators, (2) predation rates would be higher by the novel jewelfish predator, (3) particularly on the naive population living where jewelfish have not invaded yet, (4) antipredator responses would be stronger to Mayan cichlids due to greater experience and weaker and/or ineffective to jewelfish, and (5) especially weakest by the naive population. We assayed prey and predator behavior, and prey mortality in lab aquaria where both predators and prey were free-ranging. Predator hunting modes and habitat domains differed, with jewelfish being more active search predators that used slightly higher parts of the water column and less of the habitat structure relative to Mayan cichlids. In disagreement with our predictions, predation rates were similar between the two predators, antipredator responses were stronger to African jewelfish (except for predator inspections), and there was no difference in response between jewelfish-savvy and jewelfish-naive populations. These results suggest that despite the novelty of introduced predators, prey may be able to respond appropriately if non-native predator archetypes are similar enough to those of native predators, if prey rely

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Effects of Saccharomyces cerevisiae on survival rate and growth performance of Convict Cichlid (Amatitlania nigrofasciata)

    PubMed Central

    Mohammadi, F; Mousavi, S. M.; Ahmadmoradi, E.; Zakeri, M.; Jahedi, A.

    2015-01-01

    Using probiotics can control pathogens by a variety of mechanisms. Probiotics can promote growth performance and have, therefore, become increasingly important in the aquaculture industry. Convict Cichlid belongs to the family of Cichlidae and is known for its rapid development in laboratory conditions and is suitable for behavioral examinations. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of Saccharomyces cerevisiae on growth performance, survival rate and body composition of Convict Cichlids (Amatitlania nigrofasciata). One hundred sixty eight Convict Cichlids (mean weight: 2.1 ± 0.12 g and mean length: 2.2 ± 0.05 cm) were fed by commercial diets with different concentrations of S. cerevisiae (0, 0.5%, 1%, 2%). At the end of the experiment, survival rate and growth indices were measured. Based on the results, growth performance significantly increased with probiotic, S. cerevisiae, specially, at the 2% probiotic level of concentration. In the present study, the best FCR (feed conversion rate), SGR (specific growth rate), CF (condition factor) and BWG (body weight gain) values were observed in a 2% concentration of S. cerevisiae. The results suggest that this yeast could improve feed utilization in this fish species. PMID:27175152

  19. Parasites of South African freshwater fish. VI. Nematode parasites of some fish species in the Kruger National Park.

    PubMed

    Boomker, J

    1994-03-01

    The nematode parasites of 30 spot-tailed robbers, Brycinus imberi, five tiger-fish, Hydrocynus vittatus, 77 large-scaled yellowfish. Barbus marequensis, two mudsuckers, Labeo molybdinus, 114 catfish, Clarias gariepinus, 46 silver barbel, Schilbe intermedius, 66 squeakers, Synodontis zambezensis, three eels, Anguilla spp., 83 Mozambique bream, Oreochromis mossambicus, 81 red-breasted bream, Tilapia rendalli swierstrae and 32 large-mouthed bream, Serranochromis meridianus, caught in the Sabie, Crocodile and Olifants Rivers in the southern and central regions of the Kruger National Park, were collected, identified and counted. A single Camallanus sp. male was recovered from one of the mudsuckers; Capillaria spp. from three catfish and one squeaker; philometrid nematodes from two silver barbel, 15 squeakers and a large-mouthed bream; Paracamallanus cyathopharynx from one tiger-fish, 80 catfish, 28 silver barbel and one squeaker; Procamallanus laeviconchus from a single catfish; Rhabdochona esseniae from six large-scaled yellowfish; Rhabdochona versterae from 14 spot-tailed robbers; Rhabdochona spp. from 20 catfish, 17 silver barbel, eight squeakers, two eels, one large-mouthed bream and two red-breasted bream; Raillietnema synodontisi from 33 squeakers; Spinitectus petterae from 37 catfish; Spinitectus zambezensis from 55 squeakers; Spinitectus spp. from one tiger-fish and four silver barbel, and Spirocamallanus daleneae and Synodontisia thelastomoides from 33 and 35 squeakers, respectively.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) PMID:7898896

  20. Nuclear markers reveal unexpected genetic variation and a Congolese-Nilotic origin of the Lake Victoria cichlid species flock.

    PubMed Central

    Seehausen, Ole; Koetsier, Egbert; Schneider, Maria Victoria; Chapman, Lauren J; Chapman, Colin A; Knight, Mairi E; Turner, George F; van Alphen, Jacques J M; Bills, Roger

    2003-01-01

    Phylogenetic analyses based on mitochondrial (mt) DNA have indicated that the cichlid species flock of the Lake Victoria region is derived from a single ancestral species found in East African rivers, closely related to the ancestor of the Lake Malawi cichlid species flock. The Lake Victoria flock contains ten times less mtDNA variation than the Lake Malawi radiation, consistent with current estimates of the ages of the lakes. We present results of a phylogenetic investigation using nuclear (amplified fragment length polymorphism) markers and a wider coverage of riverine haplochromines. We demonstrate that the Lake Victoria-Edward flock is derived from the morphologically and ecologically diverse cichlid genus Thoracochromis from the Congo and Nile, rather than from the phenotypically conservative East African Astatotilapia. This implies that the ability to express much of the morphological diversity found in the species flock may by far pre-date the origin of the flock. Our data indicate that the nuclear diversity of the Lake Victoria-Edward species flock is similar to that of the Lake Malawi flock, indicating that the genetic diversity is considerably older than the 15 000 years that have passed since the lake began to refill. Most of this variation is manifested in trans-species polymorphisms, indicating very recent cladogenesis from a genetically very diverse founder stock. Our data do not confirm strict monophyly of either of the species flocks, but raise the possibility that these flocks have arisen from hybrid swarms. PMID:12590750

  1. 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.

  2. Discovering the African freshwater "torpedo": legendary Ethiopia, religious controversies, and a catfish capable of reanimating dead fish.

    PubMed

    Piccolino, Marco; Finger, Stanley; Barbara, Jean-Gaël

    2011-07-01

    The electric catfishes of African rivers and lakes, once depicted on Egyptian tomb art, have been largely overlooked in histories and reviews of electric fish biology and animal electricity. This article examines how Westerners, especially Dominican and Jesuit missionaries, discovered them in Ethiopia and other parts of Africa at the beginning of the seventeenth century. What transpired took place against the backdrop of tales involving the Bible, Prester John's mythical empire, and imaginary animals with fabulous powers. In effect, how they were found is related to attempts to convert Ethiopian Christians to true Catholicism, hopes of discovering great riches, and opportunities to trade, and not with the efforts of skilled natural philosophers to document and conduct experiments on the wildlife of this continent. Nevertheless, the early descriptions by Europeans circulated, and during the next century these catfishes began to be used in experiments that helped to make animal electricity a reality. PMID:21736441

  3. Parasites of South African freshwater fish. VII. Nematodes of some scaled fishes from the Hartbeespoort Dam, Transvaal.

    PubMed

    Boomker, J

    1994-06-01

    The nematode parasites of 16 large-scaled yellowfish, Barbus marequensis, six silverfish, Barbus mattozi, six small-scaled yellowfish, Barbus polylepis, 52 canary kurper, Chetia flaviventris, 11 carp, Cyprinus carpio, 45 Mozambique bream, Oreochromis mossambicus and a single-banded bream, Tilapia sparrmani, caught in the Hartbeespoort Dam, Transvaal, were collected, identified and counted. Contracaecum spp. larvae were recovered from one O. mossambicus, 40 Chetia flaviventris, three Cyprinus carpio, one B. marequensis and five B. mattozi, Rhabdochona esseniae from five B. marequensis, Rhabdochona spp. from one O. mossambicus and four Cyprinus carpio, and unidentified nematode larvae from two O. mossambicus, three Chetia flaviventris, two Cyprinus carpio and from the single T. sparrmani. Burdens in the infected fishes were generally small, and small-scaled yellowfish did not harbour any worms. Only Mozambique bream and canary kurper were caught at regular intervals, but even in these species no pattern of seasonal prevalence of the nematodes was evident. PMID:7596571

  4. Autumn larval fish assemblages in the northwest African Atlantic coastal zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abdelouahab, Hinde; Berraho, Amina; Baibai, Tarik; Agouzouk, Aziz; Makaoui, Ahmed; Errhif, Ahmed

    2016-06-01

    A study on the assemblage composition and vertical distribution of larval fish was conducted in the southern area of the Moroccan Atlantic coast in Autumn 2011. A total of 1 680 fish larvae taxa were identified from 21 families. The majority of the larvae were present in the upper layers. Clupeids were the most abundant larvae taxa followed by Myctophidae, Gadidae and Sparidae, hence the larval fish assemblages (LFA) were variable in diff erent depth layers. Total fish larvae showed a preference for surface layers, and were mainly found above 75 m depth, with some exceptions. The maximum concentration of fish larvae was concentrated up to 25 m essentially above the thermocline, where chlorophyll a and mesozooplankton were abundant. Spatially, neritic families were located near the coast and at some off shore stations especially in the northern part, while oceanic families were more distributed towards off shore along the study area. Cluster analysis showed a segregation of two groups of larvae. However, a clear separation between neritic families and oceanic families was not found. Multivariate analysis highlighted the relationship between the distribution of larvae of diff erent families and environmental parameters. Temperature and salinity seem to have been the factors that acted on associations of fish larvae. Day/night vertical distributions suggest there was not a very significant vertical migration, probably due to adequate light levels for feeding.

  5. DNA damage in cichlids from an oil production facility in Guatemala.

    PubMed

    Theodorakis, Christopher W; Bickham, John W; Donnelly, Kirby C; McDonald, Thomas J; Willink, Philip W

    2012-03-01

    This study focused on several wetlands in Laguna del Tigre National Park (Guatemala) as part of Conservation International's Rapid Assessment Program. Sediment and water samples were collected from a laguna near Xan field, Guatemala's largest oil facility, and three other sites for determination of levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Cichlid fish (Thorichthys meeki and Vieja synspila) were collected for determination of DNA strand breakage (by gel electrophoresis), chromosomal breakage (flow cytometry), and fin erosion. For T. meeki from Xan field, chromosomal breakage and strand breakage was greater than in at least two of the three reference sites. For V. synspila, chromosomal breakage and strand breakage were greater in Xan than one of the two reference sites. Fin erosion was observed only at the Xan laguna. Genetic biomarker effects and fin erosion, along with patterns of aqueous PAH concentrations, indicate that fish are affected by anthropogenic contaminants. PAHs were elevated at some reference sites, but environmental forensic analysis suggested a pyrogenic or diagenic origin. It is possible that oil field brines injected into the ground water caused fin erosion and genotoxicity in fish at Xan field, and it is also possible that pyrogenic PAHs influence levels of DNA damage in reference sites. These analyses represent one of the first efforts to examine genotoxicity in native Mesoamerican cichlids.

  6. Petrocephalus boboto and Petrocephalus arnegardi, two new species of African electric fish (Osteoglossomorpha, Mormyridae) from the Congo River basin.

    PubMed

    Lavoué, Sébastien; Sullivan, John P

    2014-01-01

    A specimen of the African weakly electric fish genus Petrocephalus (Osteoglossomorpha, Mormyridae) collected in the Congo River at Yangambi, Orientale Province, Democratic Republic of Congo, is described as a new species. Petrocephalus boboto sp. n. can be distinguished from other Central African species of Petrocephalus by a combination of the following characteristics: three distinct black spots on the body, one at the origin of the pectoral fin, one at the origin of the caudal fin and one below the anterior base of the dorsal fin; Nakenrosette and Khelrosette electroreceptor clusters distinct on head but Augenrosette cluster reduced in size; 23 branched dorsal rays, 34 branched anal rays, and electric organ discharge waveform triphasic. Petrocephalus boboto sp. n. most closely resembles the holotype of Petrocephalus binotatus but is easily distinguished from it by its smaller mouth. A comparative molecular analysis including 21 other Petrocephalus species shows Petrocephalus boboto sp. n. to be genetically distinctive and to represent a deep lineage in the genus. Two specimens of Petrocephalus collected at Yangambi are morphologically similar and genetically closely related to specimens previously assigned to Petrocephalus binotatus, collected in the northwestern Congo River basin within Odzala-Kokua National Park, Republic of the Congo. This prompts us to formally describe a new species from these collections, Petrocephalus arnegardi sp. n., that, although similar to the holotype of Petrocephalus binotatus, can be distinguished from it by its smaller mouth and shorter interorbital width.

  7. Petrocephalus boboto and Petrocephalus arnegardi, two new species of African electric fish (Osteoglossomorpha, Mormyridae) from the Congo River basin

    PubMed Central

    Lavoué, Sébastien; Sullivan, John P.

    2014-01-01

    Abstract A specimen of the African weakly electric fish genus Petrocephalus (Osteoglossomorpha, Mormyridae) collected in the Congo River at Yangambi, Orientale Province, Democratic Republic of Congo, is described as a new species. Petrocephalus boboto sp. n. can be distinguished from other Central African species of Petrocephalus by a combination of the following characteristics: three distinct black spots on the body, one at the origin of the pectoral fin, one at the origin of the caudal fin and one below the anterior base of the dorsal fin; Nakenrosette and Khelrosette electroreceptor clusters distinct on head but Augenrosette cluster reduced in size; 23 branched dorsal rays, 34 branched anal rays, and electric organ discharge waveform triphasic. Petrocephalus boboto sp. n. most closely resembles the holotype of Petrocephalus binotatus but is easily distinguished from it by its smaller mouth. A comparative molecular analysis including 21 other Petrocephalus species shows Petrocephalus boboto sp. n. to be genetically distinctive and to represent a deep lineage in the genus. Two specimens of Petrocephalus collected at Yangambi are morphologically similar and genetically closely related to specimens previously assigned to Petrocephalus binotatus, collected in the northwestern Congo River basin within Odzala-Kokua National Park, Republic of the Congo. This prompts us to formally describe a new species from these collections, Petrocephalus arnegardi sp. n., that, although similar to the holotype of Petrocephalus binotatus, can be distinguished from it by its smaller mouth and shorter interorbital width. PMID:24843255

  8. Alternative intrapopulation life-history strategies and their trade-offs in an African annual fish.

    PubMed

    Polačik, M; Blažek, R; Režucha, R; Vrtílek, M; Terzibasi Tozzini, E; Reichard, M

    2014-05-01

    In ephemeral habitats, the same genotypes cope with unpredictable environmental conditions, favouring the evolution of developmental plasticity and alternative life-history strategies (ALHS). We tested the existence of intrapopulation ALHS in an annual killifish, Nothobranchius furzeri, inhabiting temporary pools. The pools are either primary (persisting throughout the whole rainy season) or secondary (refilled after desiccation of the initial pool), representing alternative niches. The unpredictable conditions led to the evolution of reproductive bet-hedging with asynchronous embryonic development. We used a common garden experiment to test whether the duration of embryonic period is associated with post-embryonic life-history traits. Fish with rapid embryonic development (secondary pool strategy, high risk of desiccation) produced phenotypes with more rapid life-history traits than fish with slow embryonic development (primary pool strategy). The fast fish were smaller at hatching but had larger yolk sac reserves. Their post-hatching growth was more rapid, and they matured earlier. Further, fast fish grew to a smaller body size and died earlier than slow fish. No differences in fecundity, propensity to mate or physiological ageing were found, demonstrating a combination of plastic responses and constraints. Such developmentally related within-population plasticity in life history is exceptional among vertebrates.

  9. Microbiological and biochemical spoilage of smoke-dried fishes sold in West African open markets.

    PubMed

    Ikutegbe, Victoria; Sikoki, Francis

    2014-10-15

    Proximate composition and microbiological characteristics of pre-dried Chrysichthys nigrodigitatus and Pseudotolithus typus were studied over a period of 4weeks to determine the health risks associated with delayed consumption. All analyses were conducted using standard microbiological and chemical methods. Results showed a general decline in microbiological safety and nutritive characteristics of both fish species over time, with an observed increase in microbial loads over time. Aspergillus flavus was also present on both species which makes consumption of the fishes hazardous to the health of consumers due to its ability to produce carcinogenic aflatoxins. In order to minimise the health risks to consumers, it is recommended that smoke-dried fishes be consumed with minimal delay and cooked properly before consumption. The findings of this study will prove important in the development of more stringent regulations regarding food safety in Nigeria.

  10. Consistency of individual differences in behaviour of the lion-headed cichlid, Steatocranus casuarius.

    PubMed

    Budaev, S V; Zworykin, D D; Mochek, A D

    1999-11-01

    The development of individual differences in behaviour in a novel environment, in the presence of a strange fish and during aggressive interactions with a mirror-image was studied in the lion-headed cichlid (Steatocranus casuarius, Teleostei, Cichlidae). No consistency in behaviour was found at 4-5.5 months of age. However, behaviours scored in situations involving a discrete source of stress (a strange fish or conspecific) become significantly consistent at the age of 12 months. At 4-5.5 but not 12 months of age, larger individuals approached and attacked the strange fish significantly more than smaller ones. These patterns may be associated with development and integration of motivational systems and alternative coping strategies. PMID:24897562

  11. Hidden biodiversity in an ancient lake: phylogenetic congruence between Lake Tanganyika tropheine cichlids and their monogenean flatworm parasites

    PubMed Central

    Vanhove, Maarten P. M.; Pariselle, Antoine; Van Steenberge, Maarten; Raeymaekers, Joost A. M.; Hablützel, Pascal I.; Gillardin, Céline; Hellemans, Bart; Breman, Floris C.; Koblmüller, Stephan; Sturmbauer, Christian; Snoeks, Jos; Volckaert, Filip A. M.; Huyse, Tine

    2015-01-01

    The stunning diversity of cichlid fishes has greatly enhanced our understanding of speciation and radiation. Little is known about the evolution of cichlid parasites. Parasites are abundant components of biodiversity, whose diversity typically exceeds that of their hosts. In the first comprehensive phylogenetic parasitological analysis of a vertebrate radiation, we study monogenean parasites infecting tropheine cichlids from Lake Tanganyika. Monogeneans are flatworms usually infecting the body surface and gills of fishes. In contrast to many other parasites, they depend only on a single host species to complete their lifecycle. Our spatially comprehensive combined nuclear-mitochondrial DNA dataset of the parasites covering almost all tropheine host species (N = 18), reveals species-rich parasite assemblages and shows consistent host-specificity. Statistical comparisons of host and parasite phylogenies based on distance and topology-based tests demonstrate significant congruence and suggest that host-switching is rare. Molecular rate evaluation indicates that species of Cichlidogyrus probably diverged synchronically with the initial radiation of the tropheines. They further diversified through within-host speciation into an overlooked species radiation. The unique life history and specialisation of certain parasite groups has profound evolutionary consequences. Hence, evolutionary parasitology adds a new dimension to the study of biodiversity hotspots like Lake Tanganyika. PMID:26335652

  12. Hidden biodiversity in an ancient lake: phylogenetic congruence between Lake Tanganyika tropheine cichlids and their monogenean flatworm parasites.

    PubMed

    Vanhove, Maarten P M; Pariselle, Antoine; Van Steenberge, Maarten; Raeymaekers, Joost A M; Hablützel, Pascal I; Gillardin, Céline; Hellemans, Bart; Breman, Floris C; Koblmüller, Stephan; Sturmbauer, Christian; Snoeks, Jos; Volckaert, Filip A M; Huyse, Tine

    2015-01-01

    The stunning diversity of cichlid fishes has greatly enhanced our understanding of speciation and radiation. Little is known about the evolution of cichlid parasites. Parasites are abundant components of biodiversity, whose diversity typically exceeds that of their hosts. In the first comprehensive phylogenetic parasitological analysis of a vertebrate radiation, we study monogenean parasites infecting tropheine cichlids from Lake Tanganyika. Monogeneans are flatworms usually infecting the body surface and gills of fishes. In contrast to many other parasites, they depend only on a single host species to complete their lifecycle. Our spatially comprehensive combined nuclear-mitochondrial DNA dataset of the parasites covering almost all tropheine host species (N = 18), reveals species-rich parasite assemblages and shows consistent host-specificity. Statistical comparisons of host and parasite phylogenies based on distance and topology-based tests demonstrate significant congruence and suggest that host-switching is rare. Molecular rate evaluation indicates that species of Cichlidogyrus probably diverged synchronically with the initial radiation of the tropheines. They further diversified through within-host speciation into an overlooked species radiation. The unique life history and specialisation of certain parasite groups has profound evolutionary consequences. Hence, evolutionary parasitology adds a new dimension to the study of biodiversity hotspots like Lake Tanganyika.

  13. Lineage-specific expansion of vomeronasal type 2 receptor-like (OlfC) genes in cichlids may contribute to diversification of amino acid detection systems.

    PubMed

    Nikaido, Masato; Suzuki, Hikoyu; Toyoda, Atsushi; Fujiyama, Asao; Hagino-Yamagishi, Kimiko; Kocher, Thomas D; Carleton, Karen; Okada, Norihiro

    2013-01-01

    Fish use olfaction to sense a variety of nonvolatile chemical signals in water. However, the evolutionary importance of olfaction in species-rich cichlids is controversial. Here, we determined an almost complete sequence of the vomeronasal type 2 receptor-like (OlfC: putative amino acids receptor in teleosts) gene cluster using the bacterial artificial chromosome library of the Lake Victoria cichlid, Haplochromis chilotes. In the cluster region, we found 61 intact OlfC genes, which is the largest number of OlfC genes identified among the seven teleost fish investigated to date. Data mining of the Oreochromis niloticus (Nile tilapia) draft genome sequence, and genomic Southern hybridization analysis revealed that the ancestor of all modern cichlids had already developed almost the same OlfC gene repertoire, which was accomplished by lineage-specific gene expansions. Furthermore, comparison of receptor sequences showed that recently duplicated paralogs are more variable than orthologs of different species at particular sites that were predicted to be involved in amino acid selectivity. Thus, the increase of paralogs through gene expansion may lead to functional diversification in detection of amino acids. This study implies that cichlids have developed a potent capacity to detect a variety of amino acids (and their derivatives) through OlfCs, which may have contributed to the extraordinary diversity of their feeding habitats. PMID:23501830

  14. More than Meets the Eye: Functionally Salient Changes in Internal Bone Architecture Accompany Divergence in Cichlid Feeding Mode

    PubMed Central

    Albertson, R. Craig; Cooper, W. James; Mann, Kenneth A.

    2012-01-01

    African cichlids have undergone extensive and repeated adaptive radiations in foraging habitat. While the external morphology of the cichlid craniofacial skeleton has been studied extensively, biomechanically relevant changes to internal bone architecture have been largely overlooked. Here we explore two fundamental questions: (1) Do changes in the internal architecture of bone accompany shifts in foraging mode? (2) What is the genetic basis for this trait? We focus on the maxilla, which is an integral part of the feeding apparatus and an element that should be subjected to significant bending forces during biting. Analyses of μCT scans revealed clear differences between the maxilla of two species that employ alternative foraging strategies (i.e., biting versus suction feeding). Hybrids between the two species exhibit maxillary geometries that closely resemble those of the suction feeding species, consistent with a dominant mode of inheritance. This was supported by the results of a genetic mapping experiment, where suction feeding alleles were dominant to biting alleles at two loci that affect bone architecture. Overall, these data suggest that the internal structure of the cichlid maxilla has a tractable genetic basis and that discrete shifts in this trait have accompanied the evolution of alternate feeding modes. PMID:22666625

  15. The monogenean parasite fauna of cichlids: a potential tool for host biogeography.

    PubMed

    Pariselle, Antoine; Boeger, Walter A; Snoeks, Jos; Bilong Bilong, Charles F; Morand, Serge; Vanhove, Maarten P M

    2011-01-01

    We discuss geographical distribution and phylogeny of Dactylogyridea (Monogenea) parasitizing Cichlidae to elucidate their hosts' history. Although mesoparasitic Monogenea (Enterogyrus spp.) show typical vicariant distribution, ectoparasitic representatives from different continents are not considered sister taxa, hence their distribution cannot result from vicariance alone. Because of the close host-parasite relationship, this might indicate that present-day cichlid distribution may also reflect dispersal through coastal or brackish waters. Loss of ectoparasites during transoceanic migration, followed by lateral transfer from other fish families might explain extant host-parasite associations. Because of its mesoparasitic nature, hence not subject to salinity variations of the host's environment, Enterogyrus could have survived marine migrations, intolerable for ectoparasites. Host-switches and salinity transitions may be invoked to explain the pattern revealed by a preliminary morphological phylogeny of monogenean genera from Cichlidae and other selected Monogenea genera, rendering the parasite distribution explicable under both vicariance and dispersal. Testable hypotheses are put forward in this parasitological approach to cichlid biogeography. Along with more comprehensive in-depth morphological phylogeny, comparison with molecular data, clarifying dactylogyridean evolution on different continents and from various fish families, and providing temporal information on host-parasite history, are needed to discriminate between the possible scenarios.

  16. Fish as a proxy for African paleogeography: results from both extant and fossil taxa and prospects to constrain faunal exchange pathway through time

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Otero, Olga; Joordens, Josephine; Dettai, Agnès; Christ, Leemans; Pinton, Aurélie

    2016-04-01

    We assume that basin boundaries constitute barriers to dispersal for freshwater fish and as a consequence that basin geomorphology and connectivity, and its changes through time, can be reconstructed thanks to fish evolutionary history. Firstly, this primary intuitive hypothesis is supported by patterns of fish distribution in the different basins and sub-basins of modern Africa, at both a specific and a generic level, and in certain cases at a family level. This is illustrated by the fact that hydrographical basin boundaries are reflected in the ichthyological provinces as defined and used by ichthyologists for a long time. Moreover, we show that at a continental scale, the hierarchical fish distribution patterns fit with main geological and climatic events according to their depth in time and amplitude [1]. Secondly, we further tested this hypothesis in several ways: (1) through the phylogeographical study of the catfish genus Synodontis [2], chosen because of its modern distribution and its rich fossil record, and (2) through the examination of the fossil record and systematics of the African lungfish Protopterus [3], of the catfish Calarius and of an extinct acanthomorph fish called Semlikiichthys [4,5]. We were then able to correlate these fish histories with quaternary climate change and with geological events throughout the Tertiary in Africa. Our conclusions are also corroborated by existing fish phylogenies that overlap with our region of interest, and elsewhere. While in the last years an increasing number of molecular phylogenetical studies support correlation between fish evolution and basin history at shallow time scales, our studies (and a few other studies) also demonstrate the relevance of fish evolution to work at deeper time and larger geological scales, depending on the taxon distribution and age. Moreover, we plead for the inclusion of fossils when available. Indeed, for extant taxa they are useful to calibrate molecular clocks but also to

  17. Complex histories of repeated gene flow in Cameroon crater lake cichlids cast doubt on one of the clearest examples of sympatric speciation.

    PubMed

    Martin, Christopher H; Cutler, Joseph S; Friel, John P; Dening Touokong, Cyrille; Coop, Graham; Wainwright, Peter C

    2015-06-01

    One of the most celebrated examples of sympatric speciation in nature are monophyletic radiations of cichlid fishes endemic to Cameroon crater lakes. However, phylogenetic inference of monophyly may not detect complex colonization histories involving some allopatric isolation, such as double invasions obscured by genome-wide gene flow. Population genomic approaches are better suited to test hypotheses of sympatric speciation in these cases. Here, we use comprehensive sampling from all four sympatric crater lake cichlid radiations in Cameroon and outgroups across Africa combined with next-generation sequencing to genotype tens of thousands of SNPs. We find considerable evidence of gene flow between all four radiations and neighboring riverine populations after initial colonization. In a few cases, some sympatric species are more closely related to outgroups than others, consistent with secondary gene flow facilitating their speciation. Our results do not rule out sympatric speciation in Cameroon cichlids, but rather reveal a complex history of speciation with gene flow, including allopatric and sympatric phases, resulting in both reproductively isolated species and incipient species complexes. The best remaining non-cichlid examples of sympatric speciation all involve assortative mating within microhabitats. We speculate that this feature may be necessary to complete the process of sympatric speciation in nature.

  18. Complex histories of repeated gene flow in Cameroon crater lake cichlids cast doubt on one of the clearest examples of sympatric speciation.

    PubMed

    Martin, Christopher H; Cutler, Joseph S; Friel, John P; Dening Touokong, Cyrille; Coop, Graham; Wainwright, Peter C

    2015-06-01

    One of the most celebrated examples of sympatric speciation in nature are monophyletic radiations of cichlid fishes endemic to Cameroon crater lakes. However, phylogenetic inference of monophyly may not detect complex colonization histories involving some allopatric isolation, such as double invasions obscured by genome-wide gene flow. Population genomic approaches are better suited to test hypotheses of sympatric speciation in these cases. Here, we use comprehensive sampling from all four sympatric crater lake cichlid radiations in Cameroon and outgroups across Africa combined with next-generation sequencing to genotype tens of thousands of SNPs. We find considerable evidence of gene flow between all four radiations and neighboring riverine populations after initial colonization. In a few cases, some sympatric species are more closely related to outgroups than others, consistent with secondary gene flow facilitating their speciation. Our results do not rule out sympatric speciation in Cameroon cichlids, but rather reveal a complex history of speciation with gene flow, including allopatric and sympatric phases, resulting in both reproductively isolated species and incipient species complexes. The best remaining non-cichlid examples of sympatric speciation all involve assortative mating within microhabitats. We speculate that this feature may be necessary to complete the process of sympatric speciation in nature. PMID:25929355

  19. Economic values of growth and feed efficiency for fish farming in recirculating aquaculture system with density and nitrogen output limitations: a case study with African catfish (Clarias gariepinus).

    PubMed

    Besson, M; Komen, H; Aubin, J; de Boer, I J M; Poelman, M; Quillet, E; Vancoillie, C; Vandeputte, M; van Arendonk, J A M

    2014-12-01

    In fish farming, economic values (EV) of breeding goal traits are lacking, even though they are key parameters when defining selection objectives. The aim of this study was to develop a bioeconomic model to estimate EV of 2 traits representing production performances in fish farming: the thermal growth coefficient (TGC) and the feed conversion ratio (FCR). This approach was applied to a farm producing African catfish (Clarias gariepinus) in a recirculating aquaculture system (RAS). In the RAS, 2 factors could limit production level: the nitrogen treatment capacity of the biofilter or the fish density in rearing tanks at harvest. Profit calculation includes revenue from fish sales, cost of juveniles, cost of feed, cost of waste water treatment, and fixed costs. In the reference scenario, profit was modeled to zero. EV were calculated as the difference in profit per kilogram of fish between the current population mean for both traits (µt) and the next generation of selective breeding (µt+Δt) for either TGC or FCR. EV of TGC and FCR were calculated for three generations of hypothetical selection on either TGC or FCR (respectively 6.8% and 7.6% improvement per generation). The results show that changes in TGC and FCR can affect both the number of fish that can be stocked (number of batches per year and number of fish per batch) and the factor limiting production. The EV of TGC and FCR vary and depend on the limiting factors. When dissolved NH3-N is the limiting factor for both µt and µt+Δt, increasing TGC decreases the number of fish that can be stocked but increases the number of batches that can be grown. As a result, profit remains constant and EVTGC is zero. Increasing FCR, however, increases the number of fish stocked and the ratio of fish produced per kilogram of feed consumed ("economic efficiency"). The EVFCR is 0.14 €/kg of fish, and profit per kilogram of fish increases by about 10%. When density is the limiting factor for both µt and µt+Δt, the

  20. Economic values of growth and feed efficiency for fish farming in recirculating aquaculture system with density and nitrogen output limitations: a case study with African catfish (Clarias gariepinus).

    PubMed

    Besson, M; Komen, H; Aubin, J; de Boer, I J M; Poelman, M; Quillet, E; Vancoillie, C; Vandeputte, M; van Arendonk, J A M

    2014-12-01

    In fish farming, economic values (EV) of breeding goal traits are lacking, even though they are key parameters when defining selection objectives. The aim of this study was to develop a bioeconomic model to estimate EV of 2 traits representing production performances in fish farming: the thermal growth coefficient (TGC) and the feed conversion ratio (FCR). This approach was applied to a farm producing African catfish (Clarias gariepinus) in a recirculating aquaculture system (RAS). In the RAS, 2 factors could limit production level: the nitrogen treatment capacity of the biofilter or the fish density in rearing tanks at harvest. Profit calculation includes revenue from fish sales, cost of juveniles, cost of feed, cost of waste water treatment, and fixed costs. In the reference scenario, profit was modeled to zero. EV were calculated as the difference in profit per kilogram of fish between the current population mean for both traits (µt) and the next generation of selective breeding (µt+Δt) for either TGC or FCR. EV of TGC and FCR were calculated for three generations of hypothetical selection on either TGC or FCR (respectively 6.8% and 7.6% improvement per generation). The results show that changes in TGC and FCR can affect both the number of fish that can be stocked (number of batches per year and number of fish per batch) and the factor limiting production. The EV of TGC and FCR vary and depend on the limiting factors. When dissolved NH3-N is the limiting factor for both µt and µt+Δt, increasing TGC decreases the number of fish that can be stocked but increases the number of batches that can be grown. As a result, profit remains constant and EVTGC is zero. Increasing FCR, however, increases the number of fish stocked and the ratio of fish produced per kilogram of feed consumed ("economic efficiency"). The EVFCR is 0.14 €/kg of fish, and profit per kilogram of fish increases by about 10%. When density is the limiting factor for both µt and µt+Δt, the

  1. Dealing with Food and Eggs in Mouthbrooding Cichlids: Structural and Functional Trade-Offs in Fitness Related Traits

    PubMed Central

    tkint, Tim; Verheyen, Erik; De Kegel, Barbara; Helsen, Philippe; Adriaens, Dominique

    2012-01-01

    Background As in any vertebrate, heads of fishes are densely packed with functions. These functions often impose conflicting mechanical demands resulting in trade-offs in the species-specific phenotype. When phenotypical traits are linked to gender-specific parental behavior, we expect sexual differences in these trade-offs. This study aims to use mouthbrooding cichlids as an example to test hypotheses on evolutionary trade-offs between intricately linked traits that affect different aspects of fitness. We focused on the oral apparatus, which is not only equipped with features used to feed and breathe, but is also used for the incubation of eggs. We used this approach to study mouthbrooding as part of an integrated functional system with diverging performance requirements and to explore gender-specific selective environments within a species. Methodology/Principal Findings Because cichlids are morphologically very diverse, we hypothesize that the implications of the added constraint of mouthbrooding will primarily depend on the dominant mode of feeding of the studied species. To test this, we compared the trade-off for two maternal mouthbrooding cichlid species: a “suction feeder” (Haplochromis piceatus) and a “biter” (H. fischeri). The comparison of morphology and performance of both species revealed clear interspecific and intersex differences. Our observation that females have larger heads was interpreted as a possible consequence of the fact that in both the studied species mouthbrooding is done by females only. As hypothesized, the observed sexual dimorphism in head shape is inferred as being suboptimal for some aspects of the feeding performance in each of the studied species. Our comparison also demonstrated that the suction feeding species had smaller egg clutches and more elongated eggs. Conclusions/Significance Our findings support the hypothesis that there is a trade-off between mouthbrooding and feeding performance in the two studied

  2. Pitching stabilization via caudal fin-wave propagation in a forward-sinking parrot cichlid (Cichlasoma citrinellum x Cichlasoma synspilum).

    PubMed

    Ting, S C; Yang, J T

    2008-10-01

    Caudal fin-wave propagation (CFP) is a commonly observed behavior in a fish but has been little investigated. Our objective is to understand the function of a CFP for a forward-sinking parrot cichlid that adopts a tilted-down swimming posture. We utilized stereoscopic digital particle-image velocimetry to measure the velocity fields in the wake of both the caudal fin and the pectoral fins and to evaluate the corresponding hydrodynamic forces. The tilted-down posture of this fish is inherently unstable because of the presence of the head-down pitching moment induced from the buoyant force of the body. The down-stroke of the pectoral fins results also in a head-down pitching moment that destabilizes the fish. Our results indicate that a CFP facilitates the pitching stabilization of a fish. In a forward-sinking parrot cichlid, a CFP produces periodic jets (CFP jets) that are oriented laterally and posterodorsally, which result in both thrust and negative lift that induce a head-up pitching moment. The CFP jets are initially trapped by the ventral part of the caudal fin, strengthened and reoriented by the dorsally propagating fin wave, and expelled near the dorsal part of the caudal fin. PMID:18805814

  3. Crater lake cichlids individually specialize along the benthic-limnetic axis.

    PubMed

    Kusche, Henrik; Recknagel, Hans; Elmer, Kathryn Rebecca; Meyer, Axel

    2014-04-01

    A common pattern of adaptive diversification in freshwater fishes is the repeated evolution of elongated open water (limnetic) species and high-bodied shore (benthic) species from generalist ancestors. Studies on phenotype-diet correlations have suggested that population-wide individual specialization occurs at an early evolutionary and ecological stage of divergence and niche partitioning. This variable restricted niche use across individuals can provide the raw material for earliest stages of sympatric divergence. We investigated variation in morphology and diet as well as their correlations along the benthic-limnetic axis in an extremely young Midas cichlid species, Amphilophus tolteca, endemic to the Nicaraguan crater lake Asososca Managua. We found that A. tolteca varied continuously in ecologically relevant traits such as body shape and lower pharyngeal jaw morphology. The correlation of these phenotypes with niche suggested that individuals are specialized along the benthic-limnetic axis. No genetic differentiation within the crater lake was detected based on genotypes from 13 microsatellite loci. Overall, we found that individual specialization in this young crater lake species encompasses the limnetic-as well as the benthic macro-habitat. Yet there is no evidence for any diversification within the species, making this a candidate system for studying what might be the early stages preceding sympatric divergence. A common pattern of adaptive diversification in freshwater fishes is the repeated evolution of open water (limnetic) species and of shore (benthic) species. Individual specialization can reflect earliest stages of evolutionary and ecological divergence. We here demonstrate individual specialization along the benthic-limnetic axis in a young adaptive radiation of crater lake cichlid fishes.

  4. Crater lake cichlids individually specialize along the benthic–limnetic axis

    PubMed Central

    Kusche, Henrik; Recknagel, Hans; Elmer, Kathryn Rebecca; Meyer, Axel

    2014-01-01

    A common pattern of adaptive diversification in freshwater fishes is the repeated evolution of elongated open water (limnetic) species and high-bodied shore (benthic) species from generalist ancestors. Studies on phenotype-diet correlations have suggested that population-wide individual specialization occurs at an early evolutionary and ecological stage of divergence and niche partitioning. This variable restricted niche use across individuals can provide the raw material for earliest stages of sympatric divergence. We investigated variation in morphology and diet as well as their correlations along the benthic-limnetic axis in an extremely young Midas cichlid species, Amphilophus tolteca, endemic to the Nicaraguan crater lake Asososca Managua. We found that A. tolteca varied continuously in ecologically relevant traits such as body shape and lower pharyngeal jaw morphology. The correlation of these phenotypes with niche suggested that individuals are specialized along the benthic-limnetic axis. No genetic differentiation within the crater lake was detected based on genotypes from 13 microsatellite loci. Overall, we found that individual specialization in this young crater lake species encompasses the limnetic-as well as the benthic macro-habitat. Yet there is no evidence for any diversification within the species, making this a candidate system for studying what might be the early stages preceding sympatric divergence. A common pattern of adaptive diversification in freshwater fishes is the repeated evolution of open water (limnetic) species and of shore (benthic) species. Individual specialization can reflect earliest stages of evolutionary and ecological divergence. We here demonstrate individual specialization along the benthic–limnetic axis in a young adaptive radiation of crater lake cichlid fishes. PMID:24772288

  5. Introduced predator elicits deficient brood defence behaviour in a crater lake fish.

    PubMed

    Lehtonen, Topi K; McCrary, Jeffrey K; Meyer, Axel

    2012-01-01

    Introduced species represent one of the most serious global threats to biodiversity. In this field-based study, we assessed behavioural responses of brood tending cichlid fish to an invasive predator of their offspring. This was achieved by comparing parental defence responses of the endangered arrow cichlid (Amphilophus zaliosus), a fish species endemic to the crater lake Apoyo in Nicaragua, towards the bigmouth sleeper (Gobiomorus dormitor), a formidable predator of cichlid fry, and all other potential fish predators of offspring. The bigmouth sleeper was recently introduced into Apoyo but naturally co-exists with cichlids in a few other Nicaraguan lakes. Arrow cichlid parents allowed bigmouth sleepers to advance much closer to their fry than other predators before initiating aggressive brood defence behaviours. Interestingly, parents of a very closely related species, A. sagittae, which has coevolved with bigmouth sleepers in crater lake Xiloá, reacted to approaching bigmouth sleepers at comparable distances as to other predators of cichlid fry. These results provide a novel demonstration of the specific mechanism (i.e. naive parental behaviour) by which invasive predators may negatively affect species that lack the adequate behavioural repertoire.

  6. Introduced Predator Elicits Deficient Brood Defence Behaviour in a Crater Lake Fish

    PubMed Central

    Lehtonen, Topi K.; McCrary, Jeffrey K.; Meyer, Axel

    2012-01-01

    Introduced species represent one of the most serious global threats to biodiversity. In this field-based study, we assessed behavioural responses of brood tending cichlid fish to an invasive predator of their offspring. This was achieved by comparing parental defence responses of the endangered arrow cichlid (Amphilophus zaliosus), a fish species endemic to the crater lake Apoyo in Nicaragua, towards the bigmouth sleeper (Gobiomorus dormitor), a formidable predator of cichlid fry, and all other potential fish predators of offspring. The bigmouth sleeper was recently introduced into Apoyo but naturally co-exists with cichlids in a few other Nicaraguan lakes. Arrow cichlid parents allowed bigmouth sleepers to advance much closer to their fry than other predators before initiating aggressive brood defence behaviours. Interestingly, parents of a very closely related species, A. sagittae, which has coevolved with bigmouth sleepers in crater lake Xiloá, reacted to approaching bigmouth sleepers at comparable distances as to other predators of cichlid fry. These results provide a novel demonstration of the specific mechanism (i.e. naive parental behaviour) by which invasive predators may negatively affect species that lack the adequate behavioural repertoire. PMID:22253881

  7. Phylogenetic relationships of Middle American cichlids (Cichlidae, Heroini) based on combined evidence from nuclear genes, mtDNA, and morphology.

    PubMed

    Rícan, Oldrich; Zardoya, Rafael; Doadrio, Ignacio

    2008-12-01

    of Australoheros within CAM heroines. The new phylogeny of the tribe Heroini provides robust framework to stabilize the taxonomy of the group and for future comparative studies on these morphologically and ecologically diverse freshwater fishes. Morphology was mostly informative at the genus level and aid in determining the monophyly and composition of heroine genera. Upon acceptance of all putative genera, as recovered in this study, the Heroini would be with 35 genera the most genus-rich clade of Neotropical cichlids.

  8. Redescription of Clinostomum phalacrocoracis metacercariae (Digenea: Clinostomidae) in cichlids from Lake Kinneret, Israel

    PubMed Central

    Caffara, Monica; Davidovich, Nadav; Falk, Rama; Smirnov, Margarita; Ofek, Tamir; Cummings, David; Gustinelli, Andrea; Fioravanti, Maria L.

    2014-01-01

    Clinostomidae are digeneans characterized by a complex taxonomic history, continuously under revision based on both morphological and molecular analysis. Among the 14 species considered valid so far Clinostomum phalacrocoracis has been well described only at the adult stage, whereas the morphology of the metacercarial stage has been reported only once. During a parasitological survey carried out on 262 wild cichlids sampled from Lake Kinneret (Israel) metacercariae referable to C. phalacrocoracis were found in 18 fingerlings. In this study, we report this clinostomid species for the first time in wild fish from Israel describing the metacercarial stage of Clinostomum phalacrocoracis, coupling its morphological description with molecular analysis carried out on ITS rDNA and COI mtDNA sequences. PMID:24986336

  9. Divergent evolution of two corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) genes in teleost fishes

    PubMed Central

    Grone, Brian P.; Maruska, Karen P.

    2015-01-01

    Genome duplication, thought to have happened twice early in vertebrate evolution and a third time in teleost fishes, gives rise to gene paralogs that can evolve subfunctions or neofunctions via sequence and regulatory changes. To explore the evolution and functions of corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), we searched sequenced teleost genomes for CRH paralogs. Our phylogenetic and synteny analyses indicate that two CRH genes, crha and crhb, evolved via duplication of crh1 early in the teleost lineage. We examined the expression of crha and crhb in two teleost species from different orders: an African cichlid, Burton's mouthbrooder, (Astatotilapia burtoni; Order Perciformes) and zebrafish (Danio rerio; Order Cypriniformes). Furthermore, we compared expression of the teleost crha and crhb genes with the crh1 gene of an outgroup to the teleost clade: the spotted gar (Lepisosteus oculatus). In situ hybridization for crha and crhb mRNA in brains and eyes revealed distinct expression patterns for crha in different teleost species. In the cichlid, crha mRNA was found in the retina but not in the brain. In zebrafish, however, crha mRNA was not found in the retina, but was detected in the brain, restricted to the ventral hypothalamus. Spotted gar crh1 was found in the retina as well as the brain, suggesting that the ancestor of teleost fishes likely had a crh1 gene expressed in both retina and brain. Thus, genome duplication may have freed crha from constraints, allowing it to evolve distinct sequences, expression patterns, and likely unique functions in different lineages. PMID:26528116

  10. Dactylogyrids (Monogenea) parasitic on cichlids from northern Brazil, with description of two new species of Sciadicleithrum and new host and geographical records.

    PubMed

    Paschoal, Fabiano; Scholz, Tomáš; Tavares-Dias, Marcos; Luque, José L

    2016-01-01

    Two new species of Sciadicleithrum Kritsky, Thatcher and Boeger, 1989 are described from two cichlids from the Araguarí River, State of Amapá, northern Brazil. Sciadicleithrum edgari n. sp. from Satanoperca jurupari (Heckel, 1840) differs from all congeneric species in the morphology (hook-shaped, with middle process and distally bifurcate) of the accessory piece of the male copulatory organ (MCO). Sciadiclethrum araguariensis n. sp. from Crenicichla labrina (Spix and Agassiz, 1831) can be distinguished from all other species by a Y-shaped accessory piece of MCO. In addition to the description of two new species, new host and geographical records of six dactylogyrid monogeneans from cichlid fishes are presented.

  11. Gross morphology and histology of the alimentary tract of the convict cichlid Amatitlania nigrofasciata.

    PubMed

    Hopperdietzel, C; Hirschberg, R M; Hünigen, H; Wolter, J; Richardson, K; Plendl, J

    2014-11-01

    The primary objectives of this study were to document the macroscopic and histological structure of the alimentary tract (AT) of the convict cichlid Amatitlania nigrofasciata, because there are no data available for this omnivorous freshwater fish of the family Cichlidae. The morphology of the AT of A. nigrofasciata resembles that of related species. While having morphological criteria of the AT typical of most omnivorous fishes, such as a blind sac stomach and medium length intestine, A. nigrofasciata also has some structural peculiarities: the oesophagus is lined by a uniform stratified squamous epithelial layer with interspersed goblet cells along its entire length. Additionally, it has well-developed layers of the tunica muscularis including muscle fibre bundles that ascend into its mucosal folds. Occasionally, taste buds are present. In the transitional area between oesophagus and stomach, a prominent torus-like closure device is present. The mucosa of the stomach cannot be divided into different regions according to mucosal and morphological properties. The simple pattern of intestinal loops of A. nigrofasciata has few variations, irrespective of sex, mass and length of the individual fish. The first segment of the intestine is characterized by the largest mucososerosal ratio and the most complex mucosal surface architecture. A distinction of midgut and hindgut was not possible in A. nigrofasciata due to lack of defining structural components as described for other fish species.

  12. Fish as a proxy for African paleogeography: results from both extant and fossil taxa and prospects to constrain faunal exchange pathway through time

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Otero, Olga; Joordens, Josephine; Dettai, Agnès; Christ, Leemans; Pinton, Aurélie

    2016-04-01

    We assume that basin boundaries constitute barriers to dispersal for freshwater fish and as a consequence that basin geomorphology and connectivity, and its changes through time, can be reconstructed thanks to fish evolutionary history. Firstly, this primary intuitive hypothesis is supported by patterns of fish distribution in the different basins and sub-basins of modern Africa, at both a specific and a generic level, and in certain cases at a family level. This is illustrated by the fact that hydrographical basin boundaries are reflected in the ichthyological provinces as defined and used by ichthyologists for a long time. Moreover, we show that at a continental scale, the hierarchical fish distribution patterns fit with main geological and climatic events according to their depth in time and amplitude [1]. Secondly, we further tested this hypothesis in several ways: (1) through the phylogeographical study of the catfish genus Synodontis [2], chosen because of its modern distribution and its rich fossil record, and (2) through the examination of the fossil record and systematics of the African lungfish Protopterus [3], of the catfish Calarius and of an extinct acanthomorph fish called Semlikiichthys [4,5]. We were then able to correlate these fish histories with quaternary climate change and with geological events throughout the Tertiary in Africa. Our conclusions are also corroborated by existing fish phylogenies that overlap with our region of interest, and elsewhere. While in the last years an increasing number of molecular phylogenetical studies support correlation between fish evolution and basin history at shallow time scales, our studies (and a few other studies) also demonstrate the relevance of fish evolution to work at deeper time and larger geological scales, depending on the taxon distribution and age. Moreover, we plead for the inclusion of fossils when available. Indeed, for extant taxa they are useful to calibrate molecular clocks but also to

  13. 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

  14. Chromosomal distribution of microsatellite repeats in Amazon cichlids genome (Pisces, Cichlidae)

    PubMed Central

    Schneider, Carlos Henrique; Gross, Maria Claudia; Terencio, Maria Leandra; de Tavares, Édika Sabrina Girão Mitozo; Martins, Cesar; Feldberg, Eliana

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Fish of the family Cichlidae are recognized as an excellent model for evolutionary studies because of their morphological and behavioral adaptations to a wide diversity of explored ecological niches. In addition, the family has a dynamic genome with variable structure, composition and karyotype organization. Microsatellites represent the most dynamic genomic component and a better understanding of their organization may help clarify the role of repetitive DNA elements in the mechanisms of chromosomal evolution. Thus, in this study, microsatellite sequences were mapped in the chromosomes of Cichla monoculus Agassiz, 1831, Pterophyllum scalare Schultze, 1823, and Symphysodon discus Heckel, 1840. Four microsatellites demonstrated positive results in the genome of Cichla monoculus and Symphysodon discus, and five demonstrated positive results in the genome of Pterophyllum scalare. In most cases, the microsatellite was dispersed in the chromosome with conspicuous markings in the centromeric or telomeric regions, which suggests that sequences contribute to chromosome structure and may have played a role in the evolution of this fish family. The comparative genome mapping data presented here provide novel information on the structure and organization of the repetitive DNA region of the cichlid genome and contribute to a better understanding of this fish family’s genome. PMID:26753076

  15. Origin and speciation of haplochromine fishes in East African crater lakes investigated by the analysis of their mtDNA, Mhc genes, and SINEs.

    PubMed

    Sato, Akie; Takezaki, Naoko; Tichy, Herbert; Figueroa, Felipe; Mayer, Werner E; Klein, Jan

    2003-09-01

    The Western Branch of the East African Great Rift Valley is pocketed with craters of extinct or dormant volcanoes. Many of the craters are filled with water, and the lakes are inhabited by fishes. The objective of the present study was to determine the amount and nature of genetic variation in haplochromine fishes inhabiting two of these crater lakes, Lake Lutoto and Lake Nshere, and to use this information to infer the origin and history of the two populations. To this end, sequences of mitochondrial (mt) DNA control region, exon 2 of major histocompatibility complex (Mhc) class II B genes, and short interspersed elements (SINEs) were analyzed. The results indicate that the Lake Nshere and Lake Lutoto fishes originated from different but related large founding populations derived from the Kazinga Channel, which connects Lake Edward and Lake George. Some of the genetic polymorphism that existed in the ancestral populations was lost in the populations of the two lakes. The polymorphism that has been retained has persisted for some 50000 generations (years). During this time, new mutations arose and became fixed in each of the two populations in the mtDNA, giving rise to sets of diagnostic substitutions. Each population evolved in isolation after the colonization of the lakes less than 50000 years ago. There appears to be no population structure within the crater lake fishes, and their present effective population sizes are in the order of 104 to 105 individuals. Comparisons with the endemic haplochromine species of Lake Victoria reveal interesting parallels, as well as differences, which may help to understand the nature of the speciation process.

  16. Biomarkers of Oxidative Stress and Heavy Metal Levels as Indicators of Environmental Pollution in African Cat Fish (Clarias gariepinus) from Nigeria Ogun River

    PubMed Central

    Farombi, E. O.; Adelowo, O. A.; Ajimoko, Y. R.

    2007-01-01

    Levels of Zn, Cu, Cd, As, and Pb in the kidney, Liver, Gills and Heart of African cat fish (Clarias gariepinus) from the Ogun River in Ogun State located close to six major industries in the South Western part of Nigeria, were determined using Bulk Scientific Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer. Fishes were also collected from Government owned fish farm in Agodi, Ibadan which was considered a reference site. The activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione S-transferase (GST), glutathione (GSH) concentration and malondialdehyde (MDA) formation were also determined. The trend of accumulation of the metals in the organs is as follows: Heart - Zn > Cu > Pb > As > Cd; Gills - Zn > Cu > Pb > Cd > As; Kidney - Zn > Cu > Pb > As > Cd; Liver -Zn > Cu > Pb > As > Cd. The order of concentration of the metals in the organs is as follows: Arsenite - Kidney > Liver > Gills > Heart; Zinc - Gills > Liver > Kidney > Heart; Lead- Liver > Kidney > Gills > Heart; Copper- Kidney > Liver > Gills > Heart; Cadmium > Liver > Gills > Kidney > Heart. The levels of heavy metals ranged between 0.25–8.96 ppm in the heart, 0.69– 19.05 ppm in the kidneys, 2.10–19.75 ppm in the liver and 1.95–20.35 ppm in the gills. SOD activity increased by 61% in the liver, 50% in the kidney and in the heart by 28 % while a significant decrease (44%) was observed in the gill of Clarias gariepinus from Ogun river compared to that Agodi fish farm (P<0.001). On the contrary there was 46%, 41%, 50% and 19% decrease in CAT activity in the liver, kidney, gills and heart respectively. The levels of GST activities in the liver, kidney and heart of Clarias gariepinus from Ogun river increased by 62%, 72% and 37% respectively (P<0.001) whereas there was a significant decrease (41%) in the gills (P<0.05) compared to that from the Agodi fish farm. GSH concentration increased by 81%, 83% and 53% in the liver, kidney and heart respectively but decreased by 44% in the gills. MDA levels of

  17. Cognitive Abilities in Malawi Cichlids (Pseudotropheus sp.): Matching-to-Sample and Image/Mirror-Image Discriminations

    PubMed Central

    Gierszewski, Stefanie; Bleckmann, Horst; Schluessel, Vera

    2013-01-01

    The ability to recognize and distinguish between visual stimuli is fundamental for everyday survival of many species. While diverse aspects of cognition, including complex visual discrimination tasks were previously successfully assessed in fish, it remains unknown if fish can learn a matching-to-sample concept using geometrical shapes and discriminate between images and their mirror-image counterparts. For this purpose a total of nine Malawi cichlids (Pseudotropheus sp.) were trained in two matching-to-sample (MTS) and three two-choice discrimination tasks using geometrical, two-dimensional visual stimuli. Two out of the three discrimination experiments focused on the ability to discriminate between images and their mirror-images, the last was a general discrimination test. All fish showed quick associative learning but were unable to perform successfully in a simultaneous MTS procedure within a period of 40 sessions. Three out of eight fish learned to distinguish between an image and its mirror-image when reflected vertically; however none of the fish mastered the task when the stimulus was reflected horizontally. These results suggest a better discrimination ability of vertical compared to horizontal mirror-images, an observation that is widespread in literature on mirror-image discrimination in animals. All fish performed well in the general visual discrimination task, thereby supporting previous results obtained for this species. PMID:23437376

  18. A Nonsynonymous Mutation in the Transcriptional Regulator lbh Is Associated with Cichlid Craniofacial Adaptation and Neural Crest Cell Development

    PubMed Central

    Powder, Kara E.; Cousin, Hélène; McLinden, Gretchen P.; Craig Albertson, R.

    2014-01-01

    Since the time of Darwin, biologists have sought to understand the origins and maintenance of life’s diversity of form. However, the nature of the exact DNA mutations and molecular mechanisms that result in morphological differences between species remains unclear. Here, we characterize a nonsynonymous mutation in a transcriptional coactivator, limb bud and heart homolog (lbh), which is associated with adaptive variation in the lower jaw of cichlid fishes. Using both zebrafish and Xenopus, we demonstrate that lbh mediates migration of cranial neural crest cells, the cellular source of the craniofacial skeleton. A single amino acid change that is alternatively fixed in cichlids with differing facial morphologies results in discrete shifts in migration patterns of this multipotent cell type that are consistent with both embryological and adult craniofacial phenotypes. Among animals, this polymorphism in lbh represents a rare example of a coding change that is associated with continuous morphological variation. This work offers novel insights into the development and evolution of the craniofacial skeleton, underscores the evolutionary potential of neural crest cells, and extends our understanding of the genetic nature of mutations that underlie divergence in complex phenotypes. PMID:25234704

  19. The origin and age of haplochromine fishes in Lake Victoria, east Africa.

    PubMed Central

    Nagl, S; Tichy, H; Mayer, W E; Takezaki, N; Takahata, N; Klein, J

    2000-01-01

    According to a widely held view, the more than 300 species of haplochromine cichlid fishes in Lake Victoria (LV), East Africa, originated from a single founder species in less than 12,000 years. This view, however, does not follow from the published geological and molecular evidence. The former does indeed suggest that the LV basin dried out less than 15,000 years ago, but it does not provide any information about the species that re-colonized the new lake or that remained in the rivers draining the area. The molecular evidence is inconclusive with respect to the origin of the LV haplochromines because cichlids from critical regions around LV were not adequately sampled; and as far as the age of the LV haplochromines is concerned, it in fact led to an estimate of 250,000-750,000 years old. In the present study, mitochondrial DNA (control region) variation was determined by heteroduplex and sequencing analyses of more than 670 specimens collected at widely distributed East African riverine and lacustrine localities. The analyses revealed the existence of seven haplogroups (I-VII) distinguishable by characteristic substitutions. All endemic LV samples tested fell into one of these haplogroups (V) which, however, was also found to be present at various other localities, both riverine and lacustrine, outside LV. Within this haplogroup, four subgroups (VA through VD) could be distinguished, two of which (VB and VC) were represented in LV and at other localities. The great majority of the LV haplochromine species could be classified as belonging to the VC subgroup, which was found only in LV and in the rivers draining into it. Hence, while the endemic haplochromine species of LV could not have originated from a single founding population, the lake does harbour a large species flock which probably arose in situ. PMID:10874756

  20. First- and second-order sociality determine survival and reproduction in cooperative cichlids.

    PubMed

    Jungwirth, Arne; Taborsky, Michael

    2015-11-22

    Cooperative breeders serve as a model to study the evolution of cooperation, where costs and benefits of helping are typically scrutinized at the level of group membership. However, cooperation is often observed in multi-level social organizations involving interactions among individuals at various levels. Here, we argue that a full understanding of the adaptive value of cooperation and the evolution of complex social organization requires identifying the effect of different levels of social organization on direct and indirect fitness components. Our long-term field data show that in the cooperatively breeding, colonial cichlid fish Neolamprologus pulcher, both large group size and high colony density significantly raised group persistence. Neither group size nor density affected survival at the individual level, but they had interactive effects on reproductive output; large group size raised productivity when local population density was low, whereas in contrast, small groups were more productive at high densities. Fitness estimates of individually marked fish revealed indirect fitness benefits associated with staying in large groups. Inclusive fitness, however, was not significantly affected by group size, because the direct fitness component was not increased in larger groups. Together, our findings highlight that the reproductive output of groups may be affected in opposite directions by different levels of sociality, and that complex forms of sociality and costly cooperation may evolve in the absence of large indirect fitness benefits and the influence of kin selection.

  1. First- and second-order sociality determine survival and reproduction in cooperative cichlids.

    PubMed

    Jungwirth, Arne; Taborsky, Michael

    2015-11-22

    Cooperative breeders serve as a model to study the evolution of cooperation, where costs and benefits of helping are typically scrutinized at the level of group membership. However, cooperation is often observed in multi-level social organizations involving interactions among individuals at various levels. Here, we argue that a full understanding of the adaptive value of cooperation and the evolution of complex social organization requires identifying the effect of different levels of social organization on direct and indirect fitness components. Our long-term field data show that in the cooperatively breeding, colonial cichlid fish Neolamprologus pulcher, both large group size and high colony density significantly raised group persistence. Neither group size nor density affected survival at the individual level, but they had interactive effects on reproductive output; large group size raised productivity when local population density was low, whereas in contrast, small groups were more productive at high densities. Fitness estimates of individually marked fish revealed indirect fitness benefits associated with staying in large groups. Inclusive fitness, however, was not significantly affected by group size, because the direct fitness component was not increased in larger groups. Together, our findings highlight that the reproductive output of groups may be affected in opposite directions by different levels of sociality, and that complex forms of sociality and costly cooperation may evolve in the absence of large indirect fitness benefits and the influence of kin selection. PMID:26582022

  2. Experimentally increased temperature and hypoxia affect stability of social hierarchy and metabolism of the Amazonian cichlid Apistogramma agassizii.

    PubMed

    Kochhann, Daiani; Campos, Derek Felipe; Val, Adalberto Luis

    2015-12-01

    The primary goal of this study was to understand how changes in temperature and oxygen could influence social behaviour and aerobic metabolism of the Amazonian dwarf cichlid Apistogramma agassizii. Social hierarchies were established over a period of 96h by observing the social interactions, feeding behaviour and shelter use in groups of four males. In the experimental environment, temperature was increased to 29°C in the high-temperature treatment, and oxygen lowered to 1.0mg·L(-1)O2 in the hypoxia treatment. Fish were maintained at this condition for 96h. The control was maintained at 26°C and 6.6mg·L(-1)O2. After the experimental exposure, metabolism was measured as routine metabolic rate (RMR) and electron transport system (ETS) activity. There was a reduction in hierarchy stability at high-temperature. Aggression changed after environmental changes. Dominant and subdominant fish at high temperatures increased their biting, compared with control-dominant. In contrast, hypoxia-dominant fish decreased their aggressive acts compared with all other fish. Shelter use decreased in control and hypoxic dominant fish. Dominant fish from undisturbed environments eat more than their subordinates. There was a decrease of RMR in fish exposed to the hypoxic environment when compared with control or high-temperature fish, independent of social position. Control-dominant fish had higher RMR than their subordinates. ETS activity increased in fish exposed to high temperatures; however, there was no effect on social rank. Our study reinforces the importance of environmental changes for the maintenance of hierarchies and their characteristics and highlights that most of the changes occur in the dominant position. PMID:26387464

  3. [Comparison of platelet activity, fibrinolysis and environmental factors in 50 Africans and 50 Europeans. Role of fish consumption].

    PubMed

    Bertrand, E; Cloitre, B; Ticolat, R; Darracq, R; Rain, S F

    1987-01-01

    The authors have studied 50 Ivorians and 50 Europeans people, all living in Abidjan for at least 10 years. Platelet aggregability with increasing ADP concentration (0.6, 1.2, 2.4 mumoles/l), collagen (0.4 mg/l), or ristocetin (1 g/l) was examined. Fibrinolysis and the euglobulin test were also studied before and after anoxia. Other blood parameters measured were: hematocrit, hemoglobin level, platelet count, bleeding time, Howell coagulation test, cephalin tests, prothrombin activity ratio, fibrinogen level. Metabolic tests included: glycemia, cholesterolemia, triglyceridemia, uricemia, A1 and B apoproteins, protidemia, gamma globulinemia. Environmental factors such as physical activity, alcohol and smoking habits, fish consumption, chloroquine prophylaxis were evaluated. The most evident result was lower platelet aggregability in Ivorian people as compared to Europeans. A more precocious and important fibrinolysis activity, either spontaneous or after anoxia was noted in the Ivorian group. Lower platelet number, fibrinogen level, and prothrombin activity were present in the Ivorian group as compared to the European people. The authors eliminated the influence of age, and considered environmental factors as predominant in the genesis of such difference, i.e., hypocholesterolemia, lower smoking and drinking levels. They emphasized the higher fish consumption in Ivorian people. PMID:2827101

  4. Development of digestive enzymes in larvae of Mayan cichlid Cichlasoma urophthalmus.

    PubMed

    López-Ramírez, G; Cuenca-Soria, C A; Alvarez-González, C A; Tovar-Ramírez, D; Ortiz-Galindo, J L; Perales-García, N; Márquez-Couturier, G; Arias-Rodríguez, L; Indy, J R; Contreras-Sánchez, W M; Gisbert, E; Moyano, F J

    2011-03-01

    The development of digestive enzymes during the early ontogeny of the Mayan cichlid (Cichlasoma urophthalmus) was studied using biochemical and electrophoretic techniques. From yolk absorption (6 days after hatching: dah), larvae were fed Artemia nauplii until 15 dah, afterward they were fed with commercial microparticulated trout food (45% protein and 16% lipids) from 16 to 60 dah. Several samples were collected including yolk-sac larvae (considered as day 1 after hatching) and specimens up to 60 dah. Most digestive enzymes were present from yolk absorption (5-6 dah), except for the specific acid proteases activity (pepsin-like), which increase rapidly from 8 dah up to 20 dah. Three alkaline proteases isoforms (24.0, 24.8, 84.5 kDa) were detected at 8 dah using SDS-PAGE zymogram, corresponding to trypsin, chymotrypsin and probably leucine aminopeptidase enzymes, and only one isoform was detected (relative electromobility, Rf = 0.54) for acid proteases (pepsin-like) from 3 dah onwards using PAGE zymogram. We concluded that C. urophthamus is a precocious fish with a great capacity to digest all kinds of food items, including artificial diets provided from 13 dah.

  5. The Eyes Have It: Regulatory and Structural Changes Both Underlie Cichlid Visual Pigment Diversity

    PubMed Central

    Marshall, N. Justin; Cronin, Thomas W.; Seehausen, Ole; Carleton, Karen L.

    2009-01-01

    A major goal of evolutionary biology is to unravel the molecular genetic mechanisms that underlie functional diversification and adaptation. We investigated how changes in gene regulation and coding sequence contribute to sensory diversification in two replicate radiations of cichlid fishes. In the clear waters of Lake Malawi, differential opsin expression generates diverse visual systems, with sensitivities extending from the ultraviolet to the red regions of the spectrum. These sensitivities fall into three distinct clusters and are correlated with foraging habits. In the turbid waters of Lake Victoria, visual sensitivity is constrained to longer wavelengths, and opsin expression is correlated with ambient light. In addition to regulatory changes, we found that the opsins coding for the shortest- and longest-wavelength visual pigments have elevated numbers of potentially functional substitutions. Thus, we present a model of sensory evolution in which both molecular genetic mechanisms work in concert. Changes in gene expression generate large shifts in visual pigment sensitivity across the collective opsin spectral range, but changes in coding sequence appear to fine-tune visual pigment sensitivity at the short- and long-wavelength ends of this range, where differential opsin expression can no longer extend visual pigment sensitivity. PMID:20027211

  6. Phylogeographic Diversity of the Lower Central American Cichlid Andinoacara coeruleopunctatus (Cichlidae).

    PubMed

    McCafferty, S Shawn; Martin, Andrew; Bermingham, Eldredge

    2012-01-01

    It is well appreciated that historical and ecological processes are important determinates of freshwater biogeographic assemblages. Phylogeography can potentially lend important insights into the relative contribution of historical processes in biogeography. However, the extent that phylogeography reflects historical patterns of drainage connection may depend in large part on the dispersal capability of the species. Here, we test the hypothesis that due to their relatively greater dispersal capabilities, the neotropical cichlid species Andinoacara coeruleopunctatus will display a phylogeographic pattern that differs from previously described biogeographic assemblages in this important region. Based on an analysis of 318 individuals using mtDNA ATPase 6/8 sequence and restriction fragment length polymorphism data, we found eight distinct clades that are closely associated with biogeographic patterns. The branching patterns among the clades and a Bayesian clock analysis suggest a relatively rapid colonization and diversification among drainages in the emergent Isthmus of Panama followed by the coalescing of some drainages due to historical connections. We also present evidence for extensive cross-cordillera sharing of clades in central Panama and the Canal region. Our results suggest that contemporary phylogeographic patterns and diversification in Lower Central American fishes reflect an interaction of historical drainage connections, dispersal, and demographic processes. PMID:23008800

  7. Y-linked Mendelian inheritance of giant and dwarf male morphs in shell-brooding cichlids.

    PubMed

    Wirtz Ocana, Sabine; Meidl, Patrick; Bonfils, Danielle; Taborsky, Michael

    2014-11-01

    Behavioural variation among conspecifics is typically contingent on individual state or environmental conditions. Sex-specific genetic polymorphisms are enigmatic because they lack conditionality, and genes causing adaptive trait variation in one sex may reduce Darwinian fitness in the other. One way to avoid such genetic antagonism is to control sex-specific traits by inheritance via sex chromosomes. Here, controlled laboratory crossings suggest that in snail-brooding cichlid fish a single locus, two-allele polymorphism located on a sex-linked chromosome of heterogametic males generates an extreme reproductive dimorphism. Both natural and sexual selection are responsible for exceptionally large body size of bourgeois males, creating a niche for a miniature male phenotype to evolve. This extreme intrasexual dimorphism results from selection on opposite size thresholds caused by a single ecological factor, empty snail shells used as breeding substrate. Paternity analyses reveal that in the field parasitic dwarf males sire the majority of offspring in direct sperm competition with large nest owners exceeding their size more than 40 times. Apparently, use of empty snail shells as breeding substrate and single locus sex-linked inheritance of growth are the major ecological and genetic mechanisms responsible for the extreme intrasexual diversity observed in Lamprologus callipterus.

  8. Recruitment patterns of young-of-the-year mugilid fishes in a West African estuary impacted by climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trape, Sébastien; Durand, Jean-Dominique; Guilhaumon, François; Vigliola, Laurent; Panfili, Jacques

    2009-11-01

    With the persistence of the sub-Saharan drought since the 1970s, the Sine Saloum estuary (Senegal) - the second largest coastal Biosphere Reserve of West-Africa - has become an "inverse estuary" and hypersaline (salinity > 60) in its upstream part. A one-year survey was conducted from April 2007 to March 2008 at eight sites distributed along the salinity gradient, to investigate the recruitment patterns of young-of-the-year mugilids in such an impacted ecosystem. Fishes were sampled monthly with a conical net and a beach seine in salinities ranging from 31 to 104. Samples were identified to the species level. For the smallest individuals (<20 mm SL) a PCR-RFLP technique, developed on the mitochondrial 16S ribosomal RNA region, was used for identification. A total of 8438 juveniles belonging to six of the eight species of mugilids known for the tropical Eastern Atlantic were collected: Mugil bananensis, Mugil cephalus, Mugil curema, Liza dumerili, Liza falcipinnis and Liza grandisquamis. One species, L. dumerili, represented 89% of the total catch. Length-frequency distributions revealed that M. cephalus and L. dumerili preferentially recruited during the dry season whereas the recruitment of M. curema, M. bananensis and L. falcipinnis generally occurred during the wet season. Minimal size at recruitment ranged from 9 to 19 mm SL depending on the species, the smallest size being that of L. dumerili. Despite the general salinity increase in the estuary, most parts of the Sine Saloum were suitable for the juveniles. Only the hypersaline area in the uppermost part of the estuary presented very low fish abundance for all species. According to the species, small recruits (12-20 mm SL) were collected at salinities up to 47-78, suggesting that osmoregulatory capacities had been gained early during ontogenesis, possibly resulting from an adaptation of these populations to changing environmental conditions.

  9. 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

  10. Cobalt Chloride Treatment Used to Ablate the Lateral Line System Also Impairs the Olfactory System in Three Freshwater Fishes

    PubMed Central

    Butler, Julie M.; Field, Karen E.; Maruska, Karen P.

    2016-01-01

    Fishes use multimodal signals during both inter- and intra-sexual displays to convey information about their sex, reproductive state, and social status. These complex behavioral displays can include visual, auditory, olfactory, tactile, and hydrodynamic signals, and the relative role of each sensory channel in these complex multi-sensory interactions is a common focus of neuroethology. The mechanosensory lateral line system of fishes detects near-body water movements and is implicated in a variety of behaviors including schooling, rheotaxis, social communication, and prey detection. Cobalt chloride is commonly used to chemically ablate lateral line neuromasts, thereby eliminating water-movement cues to test for mechanosensory-mediated behavioral functions. However, cobalt acts as a nonspecific calcium channel antagonist and could potentially disrupt function of all superficially located sensory receptor cells, including those for chemosensing. Here, we examined whether CoCl2 treatment used to ablate the lateral line system also impairs olfaction in three freshwater fishes, the African cichlid fish Astatotilapia burtoni, goldfish Carassius auratus, and the Mexican blind cavefish Astyanax mexicanus. To examine the impact of CoCl2 on the activity of peripheral receptors, we quantified DASPEI fluorescence intensity of the olfactory epithelium from fish exposed to control and CoCl2 solutions. In addition, we examined brain activation in olfactory processing regions of A. burtoni immersed in either control or cobalt solutions. All three species exposed to CoCl2 had decreased DASPEI staining of the olfactory epithelium, and in A. burtoni, cobalt treatment caused reduced neural activation in olfactory processing regions of the brain. To our knowledge this is the first empirical evidence demonstrating that the same CoCl2 treatment used to ablate the lateral line system also impairs olfactory function. These data have important implications for the use of CoCl2 in future

  11. Cobalt Chloride Treatment Used to Ablate the Lateral Line System Also Impairs the Olfactory System in Three Freshwater Fishes.

    PubMed

    Butler, Julie M; Field, Karen E; Maruska, Karen P

    2016-01-01

    Fishes use multimodal signals during both inter- and intra-sexual displays to convey information about their sex, reproductive state, and social status. These complex behavioral displays can include visual, auditory, olfactory, tactile, and hydrodynamic signals, and the relative role of each sensory channel in these complex multi-sensory interactions is a common focus of neuroethology. The mechanosensory lateral line system of fishes detects near-body water movements and is implicated in a variety of behaviors including schooling, rheotaxis, social communication, and prey detection. Cobalt chloride is commonly used to chemically ablate lateral line neuromasts, thereby eliminating water-movement cues to test for mechanosensory-mediated behavioral functions. However, cobalt acts as a nonspecific calcium channel antagonist and could potentially disrupt function of all superficially located sensory receptor cells, including those for chemosensing. Here, we examined whether CoCl2 treatment used to ablate the lateral line system also impairs olfaction in three freshwater fishes, the African cichlid fish Astatotilapia burtoni, goldfish Carassius auratus, and the Mexican blind cavefish Astyanax mexicanus. To examine the impact of CoCl2 on the activity of peripheral receptors, we quantified DASPEI fluorescence intensity of the olfactory epithelium from fish exposed to control and CoCl2 solutions. In addition, we examined brain activation in olfactory processing regions of A. burtoni immersed in either control or cobalt solutions. All three species exposed to CoCl2 had decreased DASPEI staining of the olfactory epithelium, and in A. burtoni, cobalt treatment caused reduced neural activation in olfactory processing regions of the brain. To our knowledge this is the first empirical evidence demonstrating that the same CoCl2 treatment used to ablate the lateral line system also impairs olfactory function. These data have important implications for the use of CoCl2 in future

  12. Cryptic speciation within the Neotropical cichlid Geophagus brasiliensis (Quoy & Gaimard, 1824) (Teleostei Cichlidae): a new paradigm in karyotypical and molecular evolution.

    PubMed

    Alves-Silva, Ana Paula; Dergam, Jorge Abdala

    2015-02-01

    The family Cichlidae is one of the most species-rich taxa in the Neotropics. However, the factors that determine these high levels of biodiversity remain unexplored. We have analyzed the morphological, cytogenetic, and molecular data from 62 specimens of a widespread cichlid, Geophagus brasiliensis, from three adjacent basins in southeastern Brazil. Morphological analyses did not show differences among specimens. The cytogenetic data indicate the occurrence of multiple nucleolar organizer regions and four sympatric karyotypes that differ in the first pair of chromosome morphology, in the Doce River Basin; whereas the karyotype from the Paraíba do Sul Basin is widely divergent. The molecular data--616 bp fragment of cytochrome oxidase subunit I--revealed two haplogroups with the deepest genetic divergence (6.4%) ever reported within a nominal species in the Neotropical Region: One of the haplogroups is restricted to the quaternary lakes in the middle portion of the Doce Basin and the Mucuri River, whereas the other haplogroup is composed of haplotypes from elsewhere in the Doce Basin and the Paraíba do Sul Basin. These patterns suggest that G. brasiliensis undergoes a cryptic speciation process involving three major lineages that differ from the African explosive cichlid radiation.

  13. Ichthyoplankton in a southern african surf zone: Nursery area for the postlarvae of estuarine associated fish species?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Whitfield, A. K.

    1989-12-01

    The surf zone ichthyoplankton of Swartvlei Bay was studied between February 1986 and June 1987, with particular emphasis on its potential role as a nursery area for estuarine associated marine fish species. Larvae and/or postlarvae of 16 families were identified from the surf zone, with the Gobiidae, Soleidae, Sparidae and Mugilidae comprising 85·7% of all teleosts sampled. The postlarvae of several taxa (including the six most common species), which utilize the Swartvlei estuary as a juvenile nursery area, were abundant in the surf zone. Conversely, species which are common in nearshore marine waters as juveniles and adults, but seldom enter estuaries, totalled less than 8% of the surf zone ichthyoplankton assemblage. Larval and postlarval densities peaked during summer when water temperatures exceeded 19°C and the estuary mouth was open. Concentrations of ichthyoplankton were highest at those sampling stations closest to the estuary mouth during the summer period. Diel changes in total catches revealed no significant difference between day and night densities; but of the four major taxa, the Mugilidae and Sparidae tended to be more abundant during the day, the Gobiidae at night and the Soleidae showed no distinct pattern. Results from a 24 h sampling session indicated that tidal phase may also be important in governing ichthyoplankton abundance in the surf zone.

  14. Aggressive interactions between the invasive Rio Grande cichlid (Herichthys cyanoguttatus) and native bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus), with notes on redspotted sunfish (Lepomis miniatus)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lorenz, O. Thomas; O' Connell, Martin T.; Schofield, Pamela J.

    2010-01-01

    The Rio Grande cichlid (Herichthys cyanoguttatus) has been established in the Greater New Orleans Metropolitan area for at least 20 years, and its effect on native fishes is unknown. Behavioral trials were performed to determine if aggressive interactions occur between invasive H. cyanoguttatus and native bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus). When defending a territory as the resident, L. macrochirus were markedly aggressive, averaging 11.6 aggressive actions per lO-min behavioral trial. In contrast, L. macrochirus were extremely passive as invaders, with 0.5 aggressive actions per trial. Herichthys cyanoguttatus were equally aggressive as residents and as invaders, averaging 4.9 and 6.0 aggressive actions per trial, respectively. Herichthys cyanoguttatus interacted aggressively with native species whether they held territory or not, indicating that this invasive species may have fundamentally different strategies of aggression compared with native L. macrochirus. These differences may explain the continued success of H. cyanoguttatus as an invasive fish in southeastern Louisiana.

  15. Enigmatic orthology relationships between Hox clusters of the African butterfly fish and other teleosts following ancient whole-genome duplication.

    PubMed

    Martin, Kyle J; Holland, Peter W H

    2014-10-01

    Numerous ancient whole-genome duplications (WGD) have occurred during eukaryote evolution. In vertebrates, duplicated developmental genes and their functional divergence have had important consequences for morphological evolution. Although two vertebrate WGD events (1R/2R) occurred over 525 Ma, we have focused on the more recent 3R or TGD (teleost genome duplication) event which occurred approximately 350 Ma in a common ancestor of over 26,000 species of teleost fishes. Through a combination of whole genome and bacterial artificial chromosome clone sequencing we characterized all Hox gene clusters of Pantodon buchholzi, a member of the early branching teleost subdivision Osteoglossomorpha. We find 45 Hox genes organized in only five clusters indicating that Pantodon has suffered more Hox cluster loss than other known species. Despite strong evidence for homology of the five Pantodon clusters to the four canonical pre-TGD vertebrate clusters (one HoxA, two HoxB, one HoxC, and one HoxD), we were unable to confidently resolve 1:1 orthology relationships between four of the Pantodon clusters and the eight post-TGD clusters of other teleosts. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that many Pantodon genes segregate outside the conventional "a" and "b" post-TGD orthology groups, that extensive topological incongruence exists between genes physically linked on a single cluster, and that signal divergence causes ambivalence in assigning 1:1 orthology in concatenated Hox cluster analyses. Out of several possible explanations for this phenomenon we favor a model which keeps with the prevailing view of a single TGD prior to teleost radiation, but which also considers the timing of diploidization after duplication, relative to speciation events. We suggest that although the duplicated hoxa clusters diploidized prior to divergence of osteoglossomorphs, the duplicated hoxb, hoxc, and hoxd clusters concluded diploidization independently in osteoglossomorphs and other teleosts. We use the

  16. Predator Avoidance in Extremophile Fish

    PubMed Central

    Bierbach, David; Schulte, Matthias; Herrmann, Nina; Zimmer, Claudia; Arias-Rodriguez, Lenin; Indy, Jeane Rimber; Riesch, Rüdiger; Plath, Martin

    2013-01-01

    Extreme habitats are often characterized by reduced predation pressures, thus representing refuges for the inhabiting species. The present study was designed to investigate predator avoidance of extremophile populations of Poecilia mexicana and P. sulphuraria that either live in hydrogen sulfide-rich (sulfidic) springs or cave habitats, both of which are known to have impoverished piscine predator regimes. Focal fishes that inhabited sulfidic springs showed slightly weaker avoidance reactions when presented with several naturally occurring predatory cichlids, but strongest differences to populations from non-sulfidic habitats were found in a decreased shoaling tendency with non-predatory swordtail (Xiphophorus hellerii) females. When comparing avoidance reactions between P. mexicana from a sulfidic cave (Cueva del Azufre) and the adjacent sulfidic surface creek (El Azufre), we found only slight differences in predator avoidance, but surface fish reacted much more strongly to the non-predatory cichlid Vieja bifasciata. Our third experiment was designed to disentangle learned from innate effects of predator recognition. We compared laboratory-reared (i.e., predator-naïve) and wild-caught (i.e., predator-experienced) individuals of P. mexicana from a non-sulfidic river and found no differences in their reaction towards the presented predators. Overall, our results indicate (1) that predator avoidance is still functional in extremophile Poecilia spp. and (2) that predator recognition and avoidance reactions have a strong genetic basis. PMID:25371337

  17. Predator avoidance in extremophile fish.

    PubMed

    Bierbach, David; Schulte, Matthias; Herrmann, Nina; Zimmer, Claudia; Arias-Rodriguez, Lenin; Indy, Jeane Rimber; Riesch, Rüdiger; Plath, Martin

    2013-01-01

    Extreme habitats are often characterized by reduced predation pressures, thus representing refuges for the inhabiting species. The present study was designed to investigate predator avoidance of extremophile populations of Poecilia mexicana and P. sulphuraria that either live in hydrogen sulfide-rich (sulfidic) springs or cave habitats, both of which are known to have impoverished piscine predator regimes. Focal fishes that inhabited sulfidic springs showed slightly weaker avoidance reactions when presented with several naturally occurring predatory cichlids, but strongest differences to populations from non-sulfidic habitats were found in a decreased shoaling tendency with non-predatory swordtail (Xiphophorus hellerii) females. When comparing avoidance reactions between P. mexicana from a sulfidic cave (Cueva del Azufre) and the adjacent sulfidic surface creek (El Azufre), we found only slight differences in predator avoidance, but surface fish reacted much more strongly to the non-predatory cichlid Vieja bifasciata. Our third experiment was designed to disentangle learned from innate effects of predator recognition. We compared laboratory-reared (i.e., predator-naïve) and wild-caught (i.e., predator-experienced) individuals of P. mexicana from a non-sulfidic river and found no differences in their reaction towards the presented predators. Overall, our results indicate (1) that predator avoidance is still functional in extremophile Poecilia spp. and (2) that predator recognition and avoidance reactions have a strong genetic basis.

  18. Yolk-sac larval development of the substrate-brooding cichlid Archocentrus nigrofasciatus in relation to temperature.

    PubMed

    Vlahos, Nikolaos; Vasilopoulos, Michael; Mente, Eleni; Hotos, George; Katselis, George; Vidalis, Kosmas

    2015-09-01

    In order to conserve and culture the cichlid fish Archocentrus nigrofasciatus, more information about its reproductive biology and its larval behavior and morphogenesis is necessary. Currently, temperatures ranging from 21 to 27 °C are used in ornamental aquaculture hatcheries. Lower temperatures are preferred to reduce the costs of water heating, and 23 °C is usually the selected temperature. However, there is limited information on culturing protocols for ornamental species and most of the information generated on this topic remains scarce. Thus, the present study examines the morphological development of Archocentrus nigrofasciatus during the yolk-sac period up to the age of 100 h post-hatching in relation to 2 temperature regimes used in ornamental aquaculture: a temperature of 27 °C (thermal optimum) and a decreased temperature of 23 °C (thermal tolerance). The results of this study suggest that the 27 °C temperature generates intense morphological changes in yolk-sac development in a shorter period. This has advantages as it reduces the time of yolk-sac larval development, and, thus, minimizes the transition phase to exogenous feeding and maximizes the efficiency at which yolk is converted into body tissues. The present paper provides necessary information to produce freshwater ornamental fish with better practices so as to increase larval survival and capitalize on time for growth. PMID:26201370

  19. Social Opportunity Rapidly Regulates Expression of CRF and CRF Receptors in the Brain during Social Ascent of a Teleost Fish, Astatotilapia burtoni

    PubMed Central

    Carpenter, Russ E.; Maruska, Karen P.; Becker, Lisa; Fernald, Russell D.

    2014-01-01

    In social animals, hierarchical rank governs food availability, territorial rights and breeding access. Rank order can change rapidly and typically depends on dynamic aggressive interactions. Since the neuromodulator corticotrophin releasing factor (CRF) integrates internal and external cues to regulate the hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis, we analyzed the CRF system during social encounters related to status. We used a particularly suitable animal model, African cichlid fish, Astatotilapia burtoni, whose social status regulates reproduction. When presented with an opportunity to rise in rank, subordinate A. burtoni males rapidly change coloration, behavior, and their physiology to support a new role as dominant, reproductively active fish. Although changes in gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH1), the key reproductive molecular actor, have been analyzed during social ascent, little is known about the roles of CRF and the HPA axis during transitions. Experimentally enabling males to ascend in social rank, we measured changes in plasma cortisol and the CRF system in specific brain regions 15 minutes after onset of social ascent. Plasma cortisol levels in ascending fish were lower than subordinate conspecifics, but similar to levels in dominant animals. In the preoptic area (POA), where GnRH1 cells are located, and in the pituitary gland, CRF and CRF1 receptor mRNA levels are rapidly down regulated in ascending males compared to subordinates. In the Vc/Vl, a forebrain region where CRF cell bodies are located, mRNA coding for both CRFR1 and CRFR2 receptors is lower in ascending fish compared to stable subordinate conspecifics. The rapid time course of these changes (within minutes) suggests that the CRF system is involved in the physiological changes associated with shifts in social status. Since CRF typically has inhibitory effects on the neuroendocrine reproductive axis in vertebrates, this attenuation of CRF activity may allow rapid activation of the

  20. Effect of steaming process on new formulation and physical properties of earthworm-based fish pellets for African catfish (Clarias gariepinus).

    PubMed

    Liam, Kulaab; Zakaria, Zarina; Gunny, Ahmad Anas Nagoor; Ishak, Mohd Azlan Mohd

    2014-09-01

    Fish feed has been recognized as one of main part/unit in aquaculture industry. However, current fish feed faces few challenges in terms of health aspects and cost issues. Alternatively, new nutritional and economical/low cost formulation of fish pellets was designed by combination of earthworm powder and other economical ingredients such as fishmeal, soybean waste, rice bran and tapioca flour. The formulation was calculated using Pearson's square and optimized by One-Factor-At-Time (OFAT) method. The effect of steaming processing on the water stability, soaking experiment, protein leaching test and breaking force of the earthworm-based fish pellets was investigated. Results indicate steam pellet at 80 degrees C for 40 min has higher water stability, less protein leaching and more durable than unsteam pellets. Introduction of this new formulation of fish meal is expected to provide essential nutrient, energy and improved the quality of pellets to fuel the growth of aquaculture industry.

  1. Effect of steaming process on new formulation and physical properties of earthworm-based fish pellets for African catfish (Clarias gariepinus).

    PubMed

    Liam, Kulaab; Zakaria, Zarina; Gunny, Ahmad Anas Nagoor; Ishak, Mohd Azlan Mohd

    2014-09-01

    Fish feed has been recognized as one of main part/unit in aquaculture industry. However, current fish feed faces few challenges in terms of health aspects and cost issues. Alternatively, new nutritional and economical/low cost formulation of fish pellets was designed by combination of earthworm powder and other economical ingredients such as fishmeal, soybean waste, rice bran and tapioca flour. The formulation was calculated using Pearson's square and optimized by One-Factor-At-Time (OFAT) method. The effect of steaming processing on the water stability, soaking experiment, protein leaching test and breaking force of the earthworm-based fish pellets was investigated. Results indicate steam pellet at 80 degrees C for 40 min has higher water stability, less protein leaching and more durable than unsteam pellets. Introduction of this new formulation of fish meal is expected to provide essential nutrient, energy and improved the quality of pellets to fuel the growth of aquaculture industry. PMID:26031027

  2. Outgroup effects on root position and tree topology in the AFLP phylogeny of a rapidly radiating lineage of cichlid fish☆

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Phylogenetic analyses of rapid radiations are particularly challenging as short basal branches and incomplete lineage sorting complicate phylogenetic inference. Multilocus data of presence-absence polymorphisms such as obtained by AFLP genotyping overcome some of the difficulties, but also present their own intricacies. Here we analyze >1000 AFLP markers to address the evolutionary history of the Limnochromini, a cichlid fish lineage endemic to Lake Tanganyika, and to test for potential effects of outgroup composition on tree topology. The data support previous mitochondrial evidence on the tribe’s taxonomy by confirming the polyphyly of the genus Limnochromis and – in contradiction to a recent taxonomic revision – nesting the genus Greenwoodochromis within the Limnochromini. Species relationships suggest that ecological segregation occurred during the rapid basal radiation of the Limnochromini. The large phylogenetic distance between candidate outgroup taxa and the Limnochromini radiation caused random outgroup effects. Bootstrap support for ingroup nodes was lower in outgroup-rooted than in midpoint-rooted trees, and root positions and ingroup tree topologies varied in response to the composition of the outgroup. These observations suggest that the predisposition for homoplastic evolution makes AFLP-based phylogenetic analyses particularly susceptible to random biases introduced by too-distant outgroup taxa. PMID:24055738

  3. Changes in reproductive life-history strategies in response to nest density in a shell-brooding cichlid, Telmatochromis vittatus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ota, Kazutaka; Hori, Michio; Kohda, Masanori

    2012-01-01

    To determine whether the appearance of a reproductively parasitic tactic varies, and how this variation affects territorial males of the Lake Tanganyika cichlid fish Telmatochromis vittatus, we examined the reproductive ecology of territorial males in Mtondwe and compared it with that of a neighboring Wonzye population, where nest density differs from that at Mtondwe. In Wonzye, with high nest density, male tactics change with their body size from a territorial to a non-territorial parasitic tactic called piracy in which they conquer several nests defended by territorial males and take over the nests while females are spawning. These "pirate" males could decrease the costs incurred by travelling among nests by exclusively targeting aggregations of nests in close proximity while avoiding separate nests. Territorial males in Wonzye sacrifice the potential higher attractiveness offered by large nests and instead compete for nests farther from neighbors on which pirates less frequently intrude. In contrast, the Mtondwe population had lower nest density and piracy was absent. Given that the success of piracy depends on the close proximity of nests, nest density is likely responsible for the observed variation in the occurrence of piracy between the two populations. Furthermore, in Mtondwe, territorial males competed for larger nests and were smaller than the territorial males in Wonzye. Thus, this lower nest density may free territorial males from the selection pressures for increased size caused by both defense against nest piracy and the need to develop into pirates as they grow.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Retention of neophobic predator recognition in juvenile convict cichlids: effects of background risk and recent experience.

    PubMed

    Brown, Grant E; Demers, Ebony E; Joyce, Brendan J; Ferrari, Maud C O; Chivers, Douglas P

    2015-11-01

    Exposure to conditions of elevated predation risk, even for relatively short periods, has been shown to induce neophobic responses to novel predators. Such phenotypically plastic responses should allow prey to exhibit costly anti-predator behaviour to novel cues only in situations where the risk of predation is high. While there is evidence that the level of background risk shapes the strength of induced neophobia, we know little about how long neophobic responses are retained. Here we exposed juvenile convict cichlids (Amatitlania nigrofasciata) to three background levels of short-term background risk and then tested their responses to novel predator odours. Cichlids exposed to low risk did not show neophobic responses, while those exposed to intermediate and high risk did. Using extinction trials, we demonstrate that the retention of neophobic responses is greater among cichlids exposed to high versus intermediate predation risk conditions. Moreover, we found much longer retention of the neophobic responses when cichlids were tested a single time compared to when they were tested repeatedly in the extinction trials. This work supports the prediction that neophobic responses to specific odours are relatively long lasting but can quickly wane if the cues are experienced repeatedly without them being associated with risk. It is clear that background level of risk and the frequency of exposure to novel cues are crucial factors in determining the retention of risk-related information among prey.

  7. 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

  8. Deficiency of zebrafish fgf20a results in aberrant skull remodeling that mimics both human cranial disease and evolutionarily important fish skull morphologies.

    PubMed

    Cooper, W James; Wirgau, Rachel M; Sweet, Elly M; Albertson, R Craig

    2013-01-01

    The processes that direct skull remodeling are of interest to both human-oriented studies of cranial dysplasia and evolutionary studies of skull divergence. There is increasing awareness that these two fields can be mutually informative when natural variation mimics pathology. Here we describe a zebrafish mutant line, devoid of blastema (dob), which does not have a functional fgf20a protein, and which also presents cranial defects similar to both adaptive and clinical variation. We used geometric morphometric methods to provide quantitative descriptions of the effects of the dob mutation on skull morphogenesis. In combination with "whole-mount in situ hybridization" labeling of normal fgf20a expression and assays for osteoblast and osteoclast activity, the results of these analyses indicate that cranial dysmorphologies in dob zebrafish are generated by aberrations in post-embryonic skull remodeling via decreased osteoblasotgenesis and increased osteoclastogenesis. Mutational effects include altered skull vault geometries and midfacial hypoplasia that are consistent with key diagnostic signs for multiple human craniofacial syndromes. These phenotypic shifts also mimic changes in the functional morphology of fish skulls that have arisen repeatedly in several highly successful radiations (e.g., damselfishes and East-African rift-lake cichlids). Our results offer the dob/fgf20a mutant as an experimentally tractable model with which to examine post-embryonic skull development as it relates to human disease and vertebrate evolution.

  9. Deficiency of zebrafish fgf20a results in aberrant skull remodeling that mimics both human cranial disease and evolutionarily important fish skull morphologies

    PubMed Central

    Cooper, W. James; Wirgau, Rachel M.; Sweet, Elly M.; Albertson, R. Craig

    2013-01-01

    The processes that direct skull remodeling are of interest to both human-oriented studies of cranial dysplasia and evolutionary studies of skull divergence. There is increasing awareness that these two fields can be mutually informative when natural variation mimics pathology. Here we describe a zebrafish mutant line, devoid of blastema(dob), which does not have a functional fgf20a protein, and which also presents cranial defects similar to both adaptive and clinical variation. We used geometric morphometric methods to provide quantitative descriptions of the effects of the dob mutation on skull morphogenesis. In combination with whole-mount in situ hybridization labeling of normal fgf20a expression and assays for osteoblast and osteoclast activity, the results of these analyses indicate that cranial dysmorphologies in dob zebrafish are generated by aberrations in post-embryonic skull remodeling via decreased osteoblasotgenesis and increased osteoclastogenesis. Mutational effects include altered skull vault geometries and midfacial hypoplasia that are consistent with key diagnostic signs for multiple human craniofacial syndromes. These phenotypic shifts also mimic changes in the functional morphology of fish skulls that have arisen repeatedly in several highly successful radiations (e.g., damselfishes and East-African rift-lake cichlids). Our results offer the dob/fgf20a mutant as an experimentally tractable model with which to examine post-embryonic skull development as it relates to human disease and evolution. PMID:24261444

  10. Group composition affects male reproductive partitioning in a cooperatively breeding cichlid.

    PubMed

    Heg, Dik; Jutzeler, Eva; Bonfils, Danielle; Mitchell, Jeremy S

    2008-10-01

    Individuals within groups of cooperatively breeding species may partition reproduction, with the dominant pair often taking the largest share. The dominant's ability to reproductively control subordinates may depend on differences in competitive ability, due to, e.g. body size differences, but may also depend on the number of same-sex competitors inside the group. We tested experimentally whether subordinates reproduce more when these subordinates are large or when a second subordinate of the same sex need to be controlled by the dominants, using the cooperatively breeding cichlid Neolamprologus pulcher. Dominant pairs were assisted by a large and a small unrelated subordinate; sexes of these fish were varied in a full-factorial design (giving four treatments). Dominant males lost significantly more parentage to the large subordinate male when a small subordinate male was also present, compared to when a small subordinate female was present. However, subordinate paternity was generally low and did not significantly curb total dominant male reproductive output, which was more affected by the sizes and numbers of reproductive females present inside his group. Dominant female maternity, clutch sizes and total output did not depend on the treatments. Subordinate-subordinate reproduction was virtually absent (one out of 874 offspring). Female subordinates were more likely to provide care for their own broods. In contrast, male subordinates did not adjust their level of care to their parentage. Variability in female subordinate alloparental brood care was particularly high, with females showing more care than males in general. We also detected effects of growth rate and food ration on parentage independent of the treatments, most notably: (i) a trade-off between dominant male growth rate and paternity; (ii) a decrease in dominant male paternity with increasing food ration; (iii) a positive effect of growth rate on paternity in small males. We conclude that dominant males

  11. Hypoxia tolerance of two centrarchid sunfishes and an introduced cichlid from karstic Everglades wetlands of southern Florida, U.S.A.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schofield, P.J.; Loftus, W.F.; Brown, M.E.

    2007-01-01

    In this study, the hypoxia tolerance of three Everglades fishes, two native centrarchids (Lepomis gulosus and Lepomis marginatus) and a recently introduced cichlid (Hemichromis letourneuxi), were documented. Aquatic surface respiration (ASR) thresholds were lowest for H. letourneuxi, followed by L. gulosus, then L. marginatus. The ASR thresholds for L. marginatus were within ranges reported for small, freshwater tropical fishes, while those for L. gulosus were similar to swamp-adapted fishes. For H. letourneuxi, ASR thresholds were some of the lowest reported. All three species showed excellent tolerance of low dissolved oxygen levels when allowed access to the surface. When denied surface access, L. marginatus lost equilibrium at a higher oxygen tension than the other species. Overall, although all species easily tolerated hypoxia, H. letourneuxi appeared to be best equipped to deal with hypoxia, followed by L. gulosus, then L. marginatus. Hemichromis letourneuxi also exhibited more aggressive behaviours than the centrarchids. These results suggest that hypoxia is not likely to prevent H. letourneuxi from exploiting the seasonally inundated wetlands of south Florida while expanding its range there.

  12. Two new Myxidium species (Myxosporea: Myxidiidae) infecting the gallbladder of African flying fish, Cheilopogon nigricans and Suez fusilier, Caesio suevicus from the Red Sea, Egypt: a morphological and morphometric study.

    PubMed

    Abdel-Baki, Abdel-Azeem Sh

    2009-08-01

    Myxidium maamouni sp. n. and Myxidium aydai sp. n. were described from the gallbladder of the African flying fish Cheilopogon nigricans and Suez fusilier Caesio suevicus, respectively. Fishes were collected from the Red Sea at Al-Quseir, Egypt. M. maamouni have irregular to mostly rounded polysporous plasmodia with diameter of 27 microm. Spores were sigmoid or S-shaped and sometimes spindle-shaped in the frontal view with smooth valves. They measured 13.5 x 8.0 x 8.2 microm in size. Their polar capsules were equal pyriform and measured 7.0 x 3.2 microm in size with nine to 12 coils. Spores of M. aydai were spindle-shaped in the frontal view with thin smooth valves. They measured 23.0 x 5.6 x 5.5 microm in size. Their polar capsules were pyriform and measured 7.2 x 3.4 microm in size with eight to nine coils.

  13. Two new Myxidium species (Myxosporea: Myxidiidae) infecting the gallbladder of African flying fish, Cheilopogon nigricans and Suez fusilier, Caesio suevicus from the Red Sea, Egypt: a morphological and morphometric study.

    PubMed

    Abdel-Baki, Abdel-Azeem Sh

    2009-08-01

    Myxidium maamouni sp. n. and Myxidium aydai sp. n. were described from the gallbladder of the African flying fish Cheilopogon nigricans and Suez fusilier Caesio suevicus, respectively. Fishes were collected from the Red Sea at Al-Quseir, Egypt. M. maamouni have irregular to mostly rounded polysporous plasmodia with diameter of 27 microm. Spores were sigmoid or S-shaped and sometimes spindle-shaped in the frontal view with smooth valves. They measured 13.5 x 8.0 x 8.2 microm in size. Their polar capsules were equal pyriform and measured 7.0 x 3.2 microm in size with nine to 12 coils. Spores of M. aydai were spindle-shaped in the frontal view with thin smooth valves. They measured 23.0 x 5.6 x 5.5 microm in size. Their polar capsules were pyriform and measured 7.2 x 3.4 microm in size with eight to nine coils. PMID:19347364

  14. Mate choice and genetic monogamy in a biparental, colonial fish

    PubMed Central

    van Dongen, Wouter F.D.; Wagner, Richard H.

    2015-01-01

    In socially monogamous species, in which both sexes provide essential parental care, males as well as females are expected to be choosy. Whereas hundreds of studies have examined monogamy in biparental birds, only several such studies exist in fish. We examined mate choice in the biparental, colonial cichlid fish Neolamprologus caudopunctatus in Lake Tanganyika, Zambia. We genotyped more than 350 individuals at 11 microsatellite loci to investigate their mating system. We found no extrapair paternity, identifying this biparental fish as genetically monogamous. Breeders paired randomly according to their genetic similarity, suggesting a lack of selection against inbreeding avoidance. We further found that breeders paired assortatively by body size, a criterion of quality in fish, suggesting mutual mate choice. In a subsequent mate preference test in an aquarium setup, females showed a strong preference for male size by laying eggs near the larger of 2 males in 13 of 14 trials. PMID:26023276

  15. Brains over brawn: experience overcomes a size disadvantage in fish social hierarchies

    PubMed Central

    Alcazar, Rosa M.; Hilliard, Austin T.; Becker, Lisa; Bernaba, Michael; Fernald, Russell D.

    2014-01-01

    Life experiences can alter cognitive abilities and subsequent behavior. Here we asked whether differences in experience could affect social status. In hierarchical animal societies, high-ranking males that typically win aggressive encounters gain territories and hence access to mates. To understand the relative contributions of social experience and physical environment on status, we used a highly territorial African cichlid fish species, Astatotilapia burtoni, that lives in a dynamic lek-like social hierarchy. Astatotilapia burtoni males are either dominant or submissive and can switch status rapidly depending on the local environment. Although dominant males are innately aggressive, we wondered whether they modulated their aggression based on experience. We hypothesized that as males mature they might hone their fighting tactics based on observation of other males fighting. We compared males of different ages and sizes in distinctly different physical environments and subsequently tested their fighting skills. We found that a size difference previously thought negligible (<10% body length) gave a significant advantage to the larger opponent. In contrast, we found no evidence that increasing environmental complexity affected status outcomes. Surprisingly, we found that males only a few days older than their opponents had a significant advantage during territorial disputes so that being older compensated for the disadvantage of being smaller. Moreover, the slightly older winners exploited a consistent fighting strategy, starting with lower levels of aggression on the first day that significantly increased on the second day, a pattern absent in younger winners. These data suggest that experience is an advantage during fights for status, and that social learning provides more relevant experience than the physical complexity of the territory. PMID:24436381

  16. Castration affects reproductive but not aggressive behavior in a cichlid fish.

    PubMed

    Almeida, Olinda; Canário, Adelino V M; Oliveira, Rui F

    2014-10-01

    Gonads are the main source of sex steroids, which have been implicated in the regulation of sexually differentiated behavior, such as reproductive and aggressive displays. In the Mozambique tilapia (Oreochromis mossambicus) territorial males have higher androgen levels than non-territorials, express reproductive behavior and use a urine-borne pheromone to signal their social status towards conspecifics. Here we investigated the effects of gonadectomy on the circulating levels of androgens and cortisol, and on the expression of aggressive and reproductive behavior (nest building, courtship behavior, and nuptial coloration). Males were either castrated, urine bladder damaged, or sham-operated and visually exposed to a group of females during 8 consecutive days and subsequently to a male on day 9. The urine bladder damaged treatment was included in the experimental design because a full castration procedure in this species causes quite often damage to the urine bladder. Gonadectomy lowers dramatically the circulating levels of androgens measured at 4 and 8days post-castration and abolishes the expression of nest building, courtship behavior and nuptial coloration, but has no effect on the expression of aggressive behavior. These results confirm the gonads as the main source of androgens in this species and show that androgens are necessary for the expression of reproductive behaviors. However, the expression of aggressive behavior seems to be decoupled from gonadal steroids, namely androgens, suggesting the action of independent central mechanisms. PMID:24681190

  17. Testing mitochondrial capture and deep coalescence in Amazonian cichlid fishes (Cichlidae: Cichla).

    PubMed

    Willis, Stuart C; Farias, Izeni P; Ortí, Guillermo

    2014-01-01

    Hybridization and introgression have important consequences in evolution, such as increasing the genetic diversity and adaptive potential of a species. One of their most conspicuous footprints is discordance among gene trees or between genes and phenotypes. However, most studies that report introgression fail to disprove the null hypothesis that genetic incongruence may result from stochastic sorting of ancestral allelic polymorphisms. In the case of ancient introgression, these two processes may be especially difficult to distinguish topologically, but they make different predictions about the patterns of coalescence among loci. Here we apply three methods, molecular dating, multispecies coalescent models, and gene tree simulation under coalescence, to compare these two hypotheses that explain the polyphyletic mtDNA of the butterfly peacock bass, Cichla orinocensis. In comparison with a species tree based on 20 unlinked nuclear loci, we determined that mtDNA divergences were too recent to be explained by ancestral polymorphism. Similarly, coalescent species tree branches were significantly shorter when putative introgressed mtDNA was incorporated, and simulations showed the mtDNA topology to be unlikely under lineage sorting only. We conclude that introgression approximately 1.5 million years ago resulted in capture by C. orinocensis of an mtDNA lineage ancestral to the modern subspecies C. oc. monoculus.

  18. Retroculus acherontos, a new species of cichlid fish (Teleostei) from the Rio Tocantins basin.

    PubMed

    Landim, Maria Isabel; Moreira, Cristiano R; Figueiredo, Carlos A

    2015-01-01

    Retroculus acherontos is described from the Rio Tocantins basin, Brazil. It is distinguished from all congeners by the presence of a nuchal hump in large specimens, an irregular black blotch located on the middle of the anterior soft dorsal-fin rays, fewer pectoral-fin rays (15-16), a deeper body, a convex ventral profile, a more transversely convex ventral surface of the body, and by chest scales similar in size to the scales on the side. An expanded diagnosis for the genus Retroculus is provided.

  19. Social status differences regulate the serotonergic system of a cichlid fish, Astatotilapia burtoni.

    PubMed

    Loveland, Jasmine L; Uy, Natalie; Maruska, Karen P; Carpenter, Russ E; Fernald, Russell D

    2014-08-01

    Serotonin (5-HT) inhibits aggression and modulates aspects of sexual behaviour in many species, but the mechanisms responsible are not well understood. Here, we exploited the social dominance hierarchy of Astatotilapia burtoni to understand the role of the serotonergic system in long-term maintenance of social status. We identified three populations of 5-HT cells in dorsal and ventral periventricular pretectal nuclei (PPd, PPv), the nucleus of the paraventricular organ (PVO) and raphe. Dominant males had more 5-HT cells than subordinates in the raphe, but the size of these cells did not differ between social groups. Subordinates had higher serotonergic turnover in the raphe and preoptic area (POA), a nucleus essential for hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis function. The relative abundance of mRNAs for 5-HT receptor (5-HTR) subtypes 1A and 2A (htr1a, htr2a) was higher in subordinates, a difference restricted to the telencephalon. Because social status is tightly linked to reproductive capacity, we asked whether serotonin turnover and the expression of its receptors correlated with testes size and circulating levels of 11-ketotestosterone (11-KT). We found negative correlations between both raphe and POA serotonin turnover and testes size, as well as between htr1a mRNA levels and circulating 11-KT. Thus, increased serotonin turnover in non-aggressive males is restricted to specific brain nuclei and is associated with increased expression of 5-HTR subtypes 1A and 2A exclusively in the telencephalon.

  20. Social status differences regulate the serotonergic system of a cichlid fish, Astatotilapia burtoni

    PubMed Central

    Loveland, Jasmine L.; Uy, Natalie; Maruska, Karen P.; Carpenter, Russ E.; Fernald, Russell D.

    2014-01-01

    Serotonin (5-HT) inhibits aggression and modulates aspects of sexual behaviour in many species, but the mechanisms responsible are not well understood. Here, we exploited the social dominance hierarchy of Astatotilapia burtoni to understand the role of the serotonergic system in long-term maintenance of social status. We identified three populations of 5-HT cells in dorsal and ventral periventricular pretectal nuclei (PPd, PPv), the nucleus of the paraventricular organ (PVO) and raphe. Dominant males had more 5-HT cells than subordinates in the raphe, but the size of these cells did not differ between social groups. Subordinates had higher serotonergic turnover in the raphe and preoptic area (POA), a nucleus essential for hypothalamic-pituitary–gonadal (HPG) axis function. The relative abundance of mRNAs for 5-HT receptor (5-HTR) subtypes 1A and 2A (htr1a, htr2a) was higher in subordinates, a difference restricted to the telencephalon. Because social status is tightly linked to reproductive capacity, we asked whether serotonin turnover and the expression of its receptors correlated with testes size and circulating levels of 11-ketotestosterone (11-KT). We found negative correlations between both raphe and POA serotonin turnover and testes size, as well as between htr1a mRNA levels and circulating 11-KT. Thus, increased serotonin turnover in non-aggressive males is restricted to specific brain nuclei and is associated with increased expression of 5-HTR subtypes 1A and 2A exclusively in the telencephalon. PMID:24855673

  1. Why do winners keep winning? Androgen mediation of winner but not loser effects in cichlid fish

    PubMed Central

    Oliveira, Rui F.; Silva, Ana; Canário, Adelino V.M.

    2009-01-01

    Animal conflicts are influenced by social experience such that a previous winning experience increases the probability of winning the next agonistic interaction, whereas a previous losing experience has the opposite effect. Since androgens respond to social interactions, increasing in winners and decreasing in losers, we hypothesized that socially induced transient changes in androgen levels could be a causal mediator of winner/loser effects. To test this hypothesis, we staged fights between dyads of size-matched males of the Mozambique tilapia (Oreochromis mossambicus). After the first contest, winners were treated with the anti-androgen cyproterone acetate and losers were supplemented with 11-ketotestosterone. Two hours after the end of the first fight, two contests were staged simultaneously between the winner of the first fight and a naive male and between the loser of first fight and another naive male. The majority (88%) of control winners also won the second interaction, whereas the majority of control losers (87%) lost their second fight, thus confirming the presence of winner/loser effects in this species. As predicted, the success of anti-androgen-treated winners in the second fight decreased significantly to chance levels (44%), but the success of androgenized losers (19%) did not show a significant increase. In summary, the treatment with anti-androgen blocks the winner effect, whereas androgen administration fails to reverse the loser effect, suggesting an involvement of androgens on the winner but not on the loser effect. PMID:19324741

  2. Molecular phylogeny and evidence for an adaptive radiation of geophagine cichlids from South America (Perciformes: Labroidei).

    PubMed

    López-Fernández, Hernán; Honeycutt, Rodney L; Winemiller, Kirk O

    2005-01-01

    Nucleotide sequences from the mitochondrial ND4 gene and the nuclear RAG2 gene were used to derive the most extensive molecular phylogeny to date for the Neotropical cichlid subfamily Geophaginae. Previous hypotheses of relationships were tested in light of these new data and a synthesis of all existing molecular information was provided. Novel phylogenetic findings included support for : (1) a 'Big Clade' containing the genera Geophagus sensu lato, Gymnogeophagus, Mikrogeophagus, Biotodoma, Crenicara, and Dicrossus; (2) a clade including the genera Satanoperca, Apistogramma, Apistogrammoides, and Taeniacara; and (3) corroboration for Kullander's clade Acarichthyini. ND4 demonstrated saturation effects at the third code position and lineage-specific rate heterogeneity, both of which influenced phylogeny reconstruction when only equal weighted parsimony was employed. Both branch lengths and internal branch tests revealed extremely short basal nodes that add support to the idea that geophagine cichlids have experienced an adaptive radiation sensu Schluter that involved ecomorphological specializations and life history diversification.

  3. 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

  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. Comparative studies on the influence of "simulated weigthlessness" on fish otolith growth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brungs, Sonja; Hendrik Anken, Ralf; Li, Xiao-Yan; Hauslage, Jens; Wang, Gaohong; Liu, Yongding; Hilbig, Reinhard; Hemmersbach, Ruth

    Stimulus dependence is a general feature of all developing sensory systems. Concerning the vestibular organ of fish, it has been shown earlier that the growth of inner ear otoliths of developing Cichlid fish (Oreochromis mossambicus) and Zebrafish (Danio rerio) is slowed down by increased gravity (hypergravity) as an adaptation. Several studies proposed that otolith growth actively is adjusted via a feedback mechanism to produce a test mass of the appropriate physical capacity. Applying diminished gravity such as microgravity during spaceflight yielded an opposite effect, i.e., larger than normal otoliths in swordtails Xiphophorus helleri. Since there are no data on spaceflown early larval stages of the Cichlid fish and the Zebrafish available, these model organisms were subjected to simulated weightlessness using a submersed clinostat with one axis of rotation (O. mossambicus) and rotating-wall vessels (RWVs; O. mossambicus was maintained within a submersed RWV, which was recently developed at DLR, whereas D. rerio was kept within a modified RWV, developed by NASA). Developmental stages were subjected to clinorotation (60 rpm) and wall vessel rotation (Cichlid fish: 44 rpm; Zebrafish: 12.5 rpm; at these speeds, the larvae did neither sediment nor were they centrifuged away from the center of the RWVs) at a point of time when inner ear otolith mineralisation began. The experimental runs were discontinued when the animals hatched (O. mossambicus, stage 12, reached after 2-3 days at 22° C) or when they began to actively move within the devices (D. rerio, after 6 days at 28° C). After clinostat exposure, both utricular and saccular otoliths (Lapilli and Sagittae, respectively) of the Cichlids were significantly larger as compared to otoliths from the 1g controls. A similar result was obtained after wall vessel rotation for 3 and 6 days of the Zebrafish. These results support the idea that a feedback mechanism correlates the gravity level with the physical capacity

  6. Effects of simulated weightlessness on fish otolith growth: Clinostat versus Rotating-Wall Vessel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brungs, Sonja; Hauslage, Jens; Hilbig, Reinhard; Hemmersbach, Ruth; Anken, Ralf

    2011-09-01

    Stimulus dependence is a general feature of developing sensory systems. It has been shown earlier that the growth of inner ear heavy stones (otoliths) of late-stage Cichlid fish ( Oreochromis mossambicus) and Zebrafish ( Danio rerio) is slowed down by hypergravity, whereas microgravity during space flight yields an opposite effect, i.e. larger than 1 g otoliths, in Swordtail ( Xiphophorus helleri) and in Cichlid fish late-stage embryos. These and related studies proposed that otolith growth is actively adjusted via a feedback mechanism to produce a test mass of the appropriate physical capacity. Using ground-based techniques to apply simulated weightlessness, long-term clinorotation (CR; exposure on a fast-rotating Clinostat with one axis of rotation) led to larger than 1 g otoliths in late-stage Cichlid fish. Larger than normal otoliths were also found in early-staged Zebrafish embryos after short-term Wall Vessel Rotation (WVR; also regarded as a method to simulate weightlessness). These results are basically in line with the results obtained on Swordtails from space flight. Thus, the growth of fish inner ear otoliths seems to be an appropriate parameter to assess the quality of "simulated weightlessness" provided by a particular simulation device. Since CR and WVR are in worldwide use to simulate weightlessness conditions on ground using small-sized specimens, we were prompted to directly compare the effects of CR and WVR on otolith growth using developing Cichlids as model organism. Animals were simultaneously subjected to CR and WVR from a point of time when otolith primordia had begun to calcify both within the utricle (gravity perception) and the saccule (hearing); the respective otoliths are the lapilli and the sagittae. Three such runs were subsequently carried out, using three different batches of fish. The runs were discontinued when the animals began to hatch. In the course of all three runs performed, CR led to larger than normal lapilli, whereas WVR

  7. 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

    2015-12-22

    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.

  8. Simultaneous delimitation of species and quantification of interspecific hybridization in Amazonian peacock cichlids (genus cichla) using multi-locus data

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Introgression likely plays a significant role in evolution, but understanding the extent and consequences of this process requires a clear identification of species boundaries in each focal group. The delimitation of species, however, is a contentious endeavor. This is true not only because of the inadequacy of current tools to identify species lineages, but also because of the inherent ambiguity between natural populations and species paradigms. The result has been a debate about the supremacy of various species concepts and criteria. Here, we utilized multiple separate sources of molecular data, mtDNA, nuclear sequences, and microsatellites, to delimit species under a polytypic species concept (PTSC) and estimate the frequency and genomic extent of introgression in a Neotropical genus of cichlid fishes (Cichla). We compared our inferences of species boundaries and introgression under this paradigm to those when species are identified under a diagnostic species concept (DSC). Results We find that, based on extensive molecular data and an inclusive species concept, 8 separate biological entities should be recognized rather than the 15 described species of Cichla. Under the PTSC, fewer individuals are expected to exhibit hybrid ancestry than under the DSC (~2% vs. ~12%), but a similar number of the species exhibit introgression from at least one other species (75% vs. 60%). Under either species concept, the phylogenetic breadth of introgression in this group is notable, with both sister species and species from different major mtDNA clades exhibiting introgression. Conclusions Introgression was observed to be a widespread phenomenon for delimited species in this group. While several instances of introgressive hybridization were observed in anthropogenically altered habitats, most were found in undisturbed natural habitats, suggesting that introgression is a natural but ephemeral part of the evolution of many tropical species. Nevertheless, even transient

  9. [Citogenetic characterization of the tropical freshwater fish Parachromis managuensis (Pisces: Cichlidae)].

    PubMed

    Arias-Rodríguez, Lenin; Páramo-Delgadillo, Salomón; Durán-González, Alicia de la Luz

    2006-03-01

    To describe the cytogenetics of the jaguar cichlid fish Parachromis managuensis, we collected eight males and 13 females in Villahermosa, Tabasco, México. The specimens were processed with standard cytogenetic techniques (slightly modified), and high quality fields of chromosomes in mitosis and meiosis were obtained; 14 of these fields were analyzed by meristics and statistics methods. The specimens presented a diploid modal number of 2n = 48 chromosomes, which is similar to the number reported for others Central American cichlids; five pairs were submetacentric-metacentrics (biarmed) and 19 were subtelocentric-telocentric (uni-armed), giving a fundamental number (NF) of 58. The haploid number was confirmed by counting meiotic fields in metaphase I. There was not evidence of heteromorphism: sexual chromosomes were not identifiable. PMID:18457172

  10. A multigeneration fish toxicity test as an aid in the hazard evaluation of aquatic pollutants

    SciTech Connect

    Newsome, C.S.

    1980-12-01

    A multigeneration toxicity study to assess the effects of pollutants on fish breeding and all the life stages is described. The convict cichlid (Cichlasoma nigrofasciatum) was used to test the toxicity of trisodium carboxymethyloxysuccinate, a new sequestering agent being evaluated as a detergent builder. Results show that 100 mg/l of the chemical has no effect on fish fecundity, survival of eggs and fry, or adult breeding behavior. This concentration is two orders of magnitude greater than the predicted aquatic environmental concentration under the most unfavorable conditions of its use, sewage treatment, and discharge. (4 diagrams, 2 photos, 23 references, 1 tables)

  11. Sampling genetic diversity in the sympatrically and allopatrically speciating Midas cichlid species complex over a 16 year time series

    PubMed Central

    Bunje, Paul ME; Barluenga, Marta; Meyer, Axel

    2007-01-01

    Background Speciation often occurs in complex or uncertain temporal and spatial contexts. Processes such as reinforcement, allopatric divergence, and assortative mating can proceed at different rates and with different strengths as populations diverge. The Central American Midas cichlid fish species complex is an important case study for understanding the processes of speciation. Previous analyses have demonstrated that allopatric processes led to species formation among the lakes of Nicaragua as well as sympatric speciation that is occurring within at least one crater lake. However, since speciation is an ongoing process and sampling genetic diversity of such lineages can be biased by collection scheme or random factors, it is important to evaluate the robustness of conclusions drawn on individual time samples. Results In order to assess the validity and reliability of inferences based on different genetic samples, we have analyzed fish from several lakes in Nicaragua sampled at three different times over 16 years. In addition, this time series allows us to analyze the population genetic changes that have occurred between lakes, where allopatric speciation has operated, as well as between different species within lakes, some of which have originated by sympatric speciation. Focusing on commonly used genetic markers, we have analyzed both DNA sequences from the complete mitochondrial control region as well as nuclear DNA variation at ten microsatellite loci from these populations, sampled thrice in a 16 year time period, to develop a robust estimate of the population genetic history of these diversifying lineages. Conclusion The conclusions from previous work are well supported by our comprehensive analysis. In particular, we find that the genetic diversity of derived crater lake populations is lower than that of the source population regardless of when and how each population was sampled. Furthermore, changes in various estimates of genetic diversity within lakes

  12. Variation in Assemblages of Small Fishes and Microcrustaceans After Inundation of Rarely Flooded Wetlands of the Lower Okavango Delta, Botswana

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Siziba, Nqobizitha; Chimbari, Moses J.; Masundire, Hillary; Mosepele, Ketlhatlogile; Ramberg, Lars

    2013-12-01

    Water extraction from floodplain river systems may alter patterns of inundation of adjacent wetlands and lead to loss of aquatic biodiversity. Water reaching the Okavango Delta (Delta), Botswana, may decrease due to excessive water extraction and climate change. However, due to poor understanding of the link between inundation of wetlands and biological responses, it is difficult to assess the impacts of these future water developments on aquatic biota. Large floods from 2009 to 2011 inundated both rarely and frequently flooded wetlands in the Delta, creating an opportunity to examine the ecological significance of flooding of wetlands with widely differing hydrological characteristics. We studied the assemblages of small fishes and microcrustaceans, together with their trophic relationships, in temporary wetlands of the lower Delta. Densities of microcrustaceans in temporary wetlands were generally lower than previously recorded in these habitats. Microcrustacean density varied with wetland types and hydrological phase of inundation. High densities of microcrustaceans were recorded in the 2009 to 2010 flooding season after inundation of rarely flooded sites. Large numbers of small fishes were observed during this study. Community structure of small fishes differed significantly across the studied wetlands, with poeciliids predominant in frequently flooded wetlands and juvenile cichlids most abundant in rarely flooded wetlands (analysis of similarity, P < 0.05). Small fishes of <20 mm fed largely on microcrustaceans and may have led to low microcrustacean densities within the wetlands. This result matched our prediction that rarely flooded wetlands would be more productive; hence, they supported greater populations of microcrustaceans and cichlids, which are aggressive feeders. However, the predominance of microcrustaceans in the guts of small fishes (<20 mm) suggests that predation by fishes may also be an important regulatory mechanism of microcrustacean

  13. Variation in assemblages of small fishes and microcrustaceans after inundation of rarely flooded wetlands of the lower Okavango Delta, Botswana.

    PubMed

    Siziba, Nqobizitha; Chimbari, Moses J; Masundire, Hillary; Mosepele, Ketlhatlogile; Ramberg, Lars

    2013-12-01

    Water extraction from floodplain river systems may alter patterns of inundation of adjacent wetlands and lead to loss of aquatic biodiversity. Water reaching the Okavango Delta (Delta), Botswana, may decrease due to excessive water extraction and climate change. However, due to poor understanding of the link between inundation of wetlands and biological responses, it is difficult to assess the impacts of these future water developments on aquatic biota. Large floods from 2009 to 2011 inundated both rarely and frequently flooded wetlands in the Delta, creating an opportunity to examine the ecological significance of flooding of wetlands with widely differing hydrological characteristics. We studied the assemblages of small fishes and microcrustaceans, together with their trophic relationships, in temporary wetlands of the lower Delta. Densities of microcrustaceans in temporary wetlands were generally lower than previously recorded in these habitats. Microcrustacean density varied with wetland types and hydrological phase of inundation. High densities of microcrustaceans were recorded in the 2009 to 2010 flooding season after inundation of rarely flooded sites. Large numbers of small fishes were observed during this study. Community structure of small fishes differed significantly across the studied wetlands, with poeciliids predominant in frequently flooded wetlands and juvenile cichlids most abundant in rarely flooded wetlands (analysis of similarity, P < 0.05). Small fishes of <20 mm fed largely on microcrustaceans and may have led to low microcrustacean densities within the wetlands. This result matched our prediction that rarely flooded wetlands would be more productive; hence, they supported greater populations of microcrustaceans and cichlids, which are aggressive feeders. However, the predominance of microcrustaceans in the guts of small fishes (<20 mm) suggests that predation by fishes may also be an important regulatory mechanism of microcrustacean

  14. Intraspecific variability of the pulse-type discharges of the African electric fishes, Pollimyrus isidori and Petrocephalus bovei (Mormyridae, Teleostei), and their dependence on water conductivity.

    PubMed

    Bratton, B O; Kramer, B

    1988-01-01

    The electric organ discharge (EOD) of the mormyrid Pollimyrus isidori is a short pulse with three phases: (1) weak head positive (P1); (2) strong head negative (N); (3) weak head positive (P2). 1. At a stable water conductivity (100 microS/cm), which is near the upper end of the natural range in tropical Africa, there was a statistically significant difference between the sexes only in one of five EOD parameters, the P-ratio. The P1-amplitude was lower than the P2-amplitude (i.e. P1/P2 less than 1) in males (N = 10), while, on average, the opposite (P1/P2 greater than 1) was true for females (N = 14). Because of wide overlapping we do not consider this sex difference to be a sexual dimorphism. The difference between males and females could be due to well-known biophysical and physiological reasons (discussed later) and need not be the result of intraspecific selection (such as female choice). 2. Water conductivity seriously affected the EOD waveform. The P-ratio decreased in 2/3 of our fish (16 out of 24), as conductivity increased from 5 to 200 microS/cm, causing 6 out of 14 females to change from a P-ratio of greater than 1 to a P-ratio of less than 1, becoming more "male-like". P1 amplitude increased with decreasing conductivity in the EODs of 5 out of 10 males to a more "female-like" shape (P-ratio greater than 1). The P-ratio changed only slightly when above a conductivity of 200 microS/cm. The N-wave duration increased with decreasing conductivity, while the peak amplitude frequency of an EOD amplitude spectrum decreased. 3. Long-term stability was found to be poor in the EOD of 1 female (better in 2 other fish), which changed from a "female-like" waveform (P-ratio greater than 1) to a "male-like" waveform (P-ratio less than 1 over the whole conductivity range) without apparent reason within 120 days. 4. The EOD waveform of Petrocephalus bovei did not show a sex difference. Decreasing conductivity affected the EOD of P. bovei in a similar way to most P

  15. Fish Allergy

    MedlinePlus

    ... Story" 5 Things to Know About Zika & Pregnancy Fish Allergy KidsHealth > For Parents > Fish Allergy Print A ... From Home en español Alergia al pescado About Fish Allergy A fish allergy is not exactly the ...

  16. Changes in the acoustic environment alter the foraging and sheltering behaviour of the cichlid Amititlania nigrofasciata.

    PubMed

    McLaughlin, Kirsty Elizabeth; Kunc, Hansjoerg P

    2015-07-01

    Anthropogenic noise can affect behaviour across a wide range of species in both terrestrial and aquatic environments. However, behaviours might not be affected in isolation. Therefore, a more holistic approach investigating how environmental stressors, such as noise pollution, affect different behaviours in concert is necessary. Using tank-based noise exposure experiments, we tested how changes in the acoustic environment affect the behaviour of the cichlid Amatitlania nigrofasciata. We found that exposure to anthropogenic noise affected a couple of behaviours: an increase in sheltering was accompanied by a decrease in foraging. Our results highlight the multiple negative effects of an environmental stressor on an individual's behaviour.

  17. Comparative support for the expensive tissue hypothesis: Big brains are correlated with smaller gut and greater parental investment in Lake Tanganyika cichlids

    PubMed Central

    Tsuboi, Masahito; Husby, Arild; Kotrschal, Alexander; Hayward, Alexander; Buechel, Séverine D; Zidar, Josefina; Løvlie, Hanne; Kolm, Niclas

    2015-01-01

    The brain is one of the most energetically expensive organs in the vertebrate body. Consequently, the energetic requirements of encephalization are suggested to impose considerable constraints on brain size evolution. Three main hypotheses concerning how energetic constraints might affect brain evolution predict covariation between brain investment and (1) investment into other costly tissues, (2) overall metabolic rate, and (3) reproductive investment. To date, these hypotheses have mainly been tested in homeothermic animals and the existing data are inconclusive. However, there are good reasons to believe that energetic limitations might play a role in large-scale patterns of brain size evolution also in ectothermic vertebrates. Here, we test these hypotheses in a group of ectothermic vertebrates, the Lake Tanganyika cichlid fishes. After controlling for the effect of shared ancestry and confounding ecological variables, we find a negative association between brain size and gut size. Furthermore, we find that the evolution of a larger brain is accompanied by increased reproductive investment into egg size and parental care. Our results indicate that the energetic costs of encephalization may be an important general factor involved in the evolution of brain size also in ectothermic vertebrates. PMID:25346264

  18. Redescription of Neoechinorhynchus (Neoechinorhynchus) golvani Salgado-Maldonado, 1978 (Acanthocephala: Neoechinorhynchidae) and description of a new species from freshwater cichlids (Teleostei: Cichlidae) in Mexico.

    PubMed

    Salgado-Maldonado, Guillermo

    2013-05-01

    A redescription of Neoechinorhynchus (Neoechinorhynchus) golvani Salgado-Maldonado (An Inst Biol Univ Nal Autón Méx, Ser Zool 49:35-47, 1978) is presented, based on adult specimens collected from the type host Paraneetroplus fenestratus from the type location, the Lago de Catemaco lake, Veracruz state, Mexico, and its presence is recorded in other cichlids. Detailed studies of N. (N.) golvani using light microscopy revealed some taxonomically important, previously unreported features, such as the size and shape of fully developed adult males and females, and the structure of the eggs. Morphological variability in N. (N.) golvani is described. Based on these data, the geographic distribution of this species is documented. Neoechinorhynchus (Neoechinorhynchus) panucensis n. sp. is described from Herichthys labridens (Pellegrin), Amatitlania nigrofasciata (Günther), and Herichthys cyanoguttatus Baird and Girard (all of them Cichlidae), collected in the Río Atlapexco, a tributary to the upper Río Panuco basin, Hidalgo State, Mexico. This new species stand up alone because of its minute proboscis (♂ 50 × 60, ♀ 42-55 (48.5) × 48-63 (57.7)) and anterior hooks (♂ 27-30 (28.8) × 3-5 (4), ♀ 28-32 (30) × 5 (5)). A key to the species of Neoechinorhynchus recorded from freshwater fishes in Central and South America is included. PMID:23532542

  19. Redescription of Neoechinorhynchus (Neoechinorhynchus) golvani Salgado-Maldonado, 1978 (Acanthocephala: Neoechinorhynchidae) and description of a new species from freshwater cichlids (Teleostei: Cichlidae) in Mexico.

    PubMed

    Salgado-Maldonado, Guillermo

    2013-05-01

    A redescription of Neoechinorhynchus (Neoechinorhynchus) golvani Salgado-Maldonado (An Inst Biol Univ Nal Autón Méx, Ser Zool 49:35-47, 1978) is presented, based on adult specimens collected from the type host Paraneetroplus fenestratus from the type location, the Lago de Catemaco lake, Veracruz state, Mexico, and its presence is recorded in other cichlids. Detailed studies of N. (N.) golvani using light microscopy revealed some taxonomically important, previously unreported features, such as the size and shape of fully developed adult males and females, and the structure of the eggs. Morphological variability in N. (N.) golvani is described. Based on these data, the geographic distribution of this species is documented. Neoechinorhynchus (Neoechinorhynchus) panucensis n. sp. is described from Herichthys labridens (Pellegrin), Amatitlania nigrofasciata (Günther), and Herichthys cyanoguttatus Baird and Girard (all of them Cichlidae), collected in the Río Atlapexco, a tributary to the upper Río Panuco basin, Hidalgo State, Mexico. This new species stand up alone because of its minute proboscis (♂ 50 × 60, ♀ 42-55 (48.5) × 48-63 (57.7)) and anterior hooks (♂ 27-30 (28.8) × 3-5 (4), ♀ 28-32 (30) × 5 (5)). A key to the species of Neoechinorhynchus recorded from freshwater fishes in Central and South America is included.

  20. One Fish Two Fish.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hoffman, Michele

    1998-01-01

    This activity explains fisheries resource management to seven-year olds. First-grade students learn concepts such as offspring viability, life expectancy, and distribution of species, which help to determine when, where, and how people fish and the importance of fishing responsibly. Lists materials, procedures, and extensions. (SJR)

  1. Lesser known aquarium fish tumor models.

    PubMed

    Harshbarger, J C; Slatick, M S

    2001-06-01

    The repeated use of particular species for experimental oncology in fish increases their future value by accumulating background information for these models and justifies the establishment of genetic stock centers. However, the wide diversity that exists within the class Osteichthyes and Chondrichthyes suggests that the ideal surrogate models for studying some types of neoplasms might be found among lesser known species. To help assess cultured fish as surrogates for some other types of human neoplasia, we examined cases in the archives of the Registry of Tumors in Lower Animals and reviewed reports in the literature. Spontaneous and induced neoplasms originating from a spectrum of cell types were seen in more than 215 fish species commonly raised in aquaria or cultured for study among 69 families. Prominent families include the Poeciliidae (livebearers), Cyprinidae (carps and minnows), Cichlidae (cichlids), Cyprinodontidae (killifish), Characidae (tetras), Adrianichthyidae (medakas), Aplocheilidae (rivulins), and Salmonidae (salmon and trout). The following are examples of potential fish tumor models that have received less consideration than some others: papilloma and carcinoma of the urinary bladder in oscar (Astronotus ocellatus); osteogenic neoplasms, peripheral nerve sheath tumors, and ependymoblastoma in coho salmon fingerlings (Oncorhynchus kisutch); and nephroblastoma resembling Wilms' tumor in Japanese eels (Anguilla japonica). PMID:14961307

  2. Francisella infections in fish and shellfish.

    PubMed

    Birkbeck, T H; Feist, S W; Verner-Jeffreys, D W

    2011-03-01

    A series of recent reports have implicated bacteria from the family Francisellaceae as the cause of disease in farmed and wild fish and shellfish species such as Atlantic cod, Gadus morhua L., tilapia, Oreochromis spp., Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar L., three-line grunt, Parapristipoma trilineatum (Thunberg), ornamental cichlid species, hybrid striped bass Morone chrysops x M. saxatilis and, recently, a shellfish species, the giant abalone, Haliotisgigantea Gmelin. The range of taxa affected will very probably rise as it is likely that there has been considerable under-reporting to date of these disease agents. In common with other Francisella species, their isolation and culture require specialized solid and liquid media containing cysteine and a source of iron. This likely restricted earlier efforts to identify them correctly as the cause of disease in aquatic animals. The most information to date relates to disease in cod, caused by F. noatunensis and tilapia, caused by F. noatunensis subsp. orientalis (also termed F. asiatica), both causing granulomatous inflammatory reactions. Mortalities in both species can be high and, as the disease can likely be transferred via live fish movements, they pose a significant threat to tilapia and cod aquaculture operations. Although the fish-pathogenic Francisella species are classified in the same genus as the human pathogens F. tularensis, causative agent of tularemia, and F. philomiragia, the risk to humans from the fish and shellfish pathogenic Francisella species is considered very low. PMID:21306585

  3. Evidence of a specialized feeding niche in a Late Triassic ray-finned fish: evolution of multidenticulate teeth and benthic scraping in † Hemicalypterus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gibson, Sarah Z.

    2015-04-01

    Fishes have evolved to exploit multiple ecological niches. Extant fishes in both marine (e.g., rabbitfishes, surgeonfishes) and freshwater systems (e.g., haplochromine cichlids, characiforms) have evolved specialized, scoop-like, multidenticulate teeth for benthic scraping, feeding primarily on algae. Here, I report evidence of the oldest example of specialized multidenticulate dentition in a ray-finned fish, † Hemicalypterus weiri, from the Upper Triassic Chinle Formation of southeastern Utah (˜210-205 Ma), USA. † H. weiri is a lower actinopterygian species that is phylogenetically remote from modern fishes, and has evolved specialized teeth that converge with those of several living teleost fishes (e.g., characiforms, cichlids, acanthurids, siganids), with a likely function of these teeth being to scrape algae off a rock substrate. This finding contradicts previously held notions that fishes with multicuspid, scoop-like dentition were restricted to teleosts, and indicates that ray-finned fishes were diversifying into different trophic niches and exploring different modes of feeding earlier in their history than previously thought, fundamentally altering our perceptions of the ecological roles of fishes during the Mesozoic.

  4. Evidence of a specialized feeding niche in a Late Triassic ray-finned fish: evolution of multidenticulate teeth and benthic scraping in †Hemicalypterus.

    PubMed

    Gibson, Sarah Z

    2015-04-01

    Fishes have evolved to exploit multiple ecological niches. Extant fishes in both marine (e.g., rabbitfishes, surgeonfishes) and freshwater systems (e.g., haplochromine cichlids, characiforms) have evolved specialized, scoop-like, multidenticulate teeth for benthic scraping, feeding primarily on algae. Here, I report evidence of the oldest example of specialized multidenticulate dentition in a ray-finned fish, †Hemicalypterus weiri, from the Upper Triassic Chinle Formation of southeastern Utah (∼210-205 Ma), USA. †H. weiri is a lower actinopterygian species that is phylogenetically remote from modern fishes, and has evolved specialized teeth that converge with those of several living teleost fishes (e.g., characiforms, cichlids, acanthurids, siganids), with a likely function of these teeth being to scrape algae off a rock substrate. This finding contradicts previously held notions that fishes with multicuspid, scoop-like dentition were restricted to teleosts, and indicates that ray-finned fishes were diversifying into different trophic niches and exploring different modes of feeding earlier in their history than previously thought, fundamentally altering our perceptions of the ecological roles of fishes during the Mesozoic.

  5. Male mate preference and size-assortative mating in convict cichlids: A role for female aggression?

    PubMed

    Bloch, A N; Estela, V J; Leese, J M; Itzkowitz, M

    2016-09-01

    Many monogamous species demonstrate size-assortative mating patterns within natural populations. To better understand the role of intersexual selection in this process, we examined the effect of male preference for female body size in the convict cichlid (Amatitlania siquia). We provided males with a choice between females that differed in size, relative to each other and in relation to the focal male. Based on previous work, we expected males to prefer the largest available female mates across all treatments. Surprisingly, males spent more time near the smaller of two available females, but only when the other female was larger than the male. Additionally, males spent little time with either of two potential female mates when both females were larger than the male. We hypothesized that while males might prefer the largest of available females, female behavior might limit males from acting on this preference. To test this, males were force paired with a smaller or larger female. Pair formation only occurred when the female was smaller than the male, and females that were larger than their male counterparts showed significantly more aggression when compared to smaller females. Together, these data suggest that in the absence of intrasexual competition, male mate preference for large females in convict cichlids might be limited by female aggression.

  6. Male mate preference and size-assortative mating in convict cichlids: A role for female aggression?

    PubMed

    Bloch, A N; Estela, V J; Leese, J M; Itzkowitz, M

    2016-09-01

    Many monogamous species demonstrate size-assortative mating patterns within natural populations. To better understand the role of intersexual selection in this process, we examined the effect of male preference for female body size in the convict cichlid (Amatitlania siquia). We provided males with a choice between females that differed in size, relative to each other and in relation to the focal male. Based on previous work, we expected males to prefer the largest available female mates across all treatments. Surprisingly, males spent more time near the smaller of two available females, but only when the other female was larger than the male. Additionally, males spent little time with either of two potential female mates when both females were larger than the male. We hypothesized that while males might prefer the largest of available females, female behavior might limit males from acting on this preference. To test this, males were force paired with a smaller or larger female. Pair formation only occurred when the female was smaller than the male, and females that were larger than their male counterparts showed significantly more aggression when compared to smaller females. Together, these data suggest that in the absence of intrasexual competition, male mate preference for large females in convict cichlids might be limited by female aggression. PMID:27444247

  7. Polymorphism in developmental timing: intraspecific heterochrony in a Lake Victoria cichlid.

    PubMed

    de Jong, Ilse M L; Colbert, Matthew W; Witte, Frans; Richardson, Michael K

    2009-01-01

    Biologists measure developmental time by dividing development into arbitrary time blocks called "stages." This is a reasonable approach, provided that developmental timing is precisely controlled within a species. However, the degree of this precision is unknown. This is unfortunate because precision in developmental timing at the population level is a central issue to the whole research program of heterochrony. To examine this issue, we apply Ontogenetic Sequence Analysis to 261 embryos of the Lake Victoria cichlid Haplochromis piceatus. The result of our analysis can be mapped as a complex web of 26,880 equally parsimonious developmental sequences. This topology reflects timing polymorphism (intraspecific heterochrony) among embryos of this species. Because of this timing polymorphism, it is not possible to define discrete "stages" in this cichlid (although there is sufficient sequence signal to assess the maturity of embryos). More generally, we show that sequence polymorphism creates uncertainty about how a given embryo will develop implying that the mechanisms controlling developmental timing in embryos lack precision. For this reason, it is imperative to consider patterns of embryonic variability when measuring developmental time.

  8. Hedgehog signaling mediates adaptive variation in a dynamic functional system in the cichlid feeding apparatus

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Yinan; Albertson, R. Craig

    2014-01-01

    Adaptive variation in the craniofacial skeleton is a key component of resource specialization and habitat divergence in vertebrates, but the proximate genetic mechanisms that underlie complex patterns of craniofacial variation are largely unknown. Here we demonstrate that the Hedgehog (Hh) signaling pathway mediates widespread variation across a complex functional system that affects the kinematics of lower jaw depression—the opercular four-bar linkage apparatus—among Lake Malawi cichlids. By using a combined quantitative trait locus mapping and population genetics approach, we show that allelic variation in the Hh receptor, ptch1, affects the development of distinct bony elements in the head that represent two of three movable links in this functional system. The evolutionarily derived allele is found in species that feed from the water column, and is associated with shifts in anatomy that translate to a four-bar system capable of faster jaw rotation. Alternatively, the ancestral allele is found in species that feed on attached algae, and is associated with the development of a four-bar system that predicts slower jaw movement. Experimental manipulation of the Hh pathway during cichlid development recapitulates functionally salient natural variation in craniofacial geometry. In all, these results significantly extend our understanding of the mechanisms that fine-tune the craniofacial skeletal complex during adaptation to new foraging niches. PMID:24912175

  9. A qualitative exploration of fishing and fish consumption in the Gullah/Geechee culture.

    PubMed

    Ellis, Jamelle H; Friedman, Daniela B; Puett, Robin; Scott, Geoffrey I; Porter, Dwayne E

    2014-12-01

    The Gullah/Geechee (G/G) heritage is rooted in a culture largely dependent on fish and seafood as a primary food source. Research suggests that African-American (AA) fishers in the Southeastern US consume larger amounts of fish, potentially exposing them to higher environmental contaminant levels. This in-depth study was conducted to explore G/G and AA Sea Island attitudes, perceptions, and cultural beliefs about fishing in one urban and two rural South Carolina coastal counties. Results indicated that study participants in rural counties had slightly different perspectives of fishing (e.g. fishing as an essential dietary supplement) than in urban counties where fishing was viewed more as relaxation. Major misperceptions existed in all counties between fish consumption advisories related to pollution versus harvesting restrictions associated with fishing regulations. Providing clear, culturally tailored health messages regarding fish advisories will promote more informed choices about fish consumption that will minimize potential exposures to environmental pollutants.

  10. Phylogeny and biogeography of 91 species of heroine cichlids (Teleostei: Cichlidae) based on sequences of the cytochrome b gene.

    PubMed

    Pérez, Gustavo A Concheiro; Rícan, Oldrich; Ortí, Guillermo; Bermingham, Eldredge; Doadrio, Ignacio; Zardoya, Rafael

    2007-04-01

    Heroini constitute the second largest tribe of Neotropical cichlids and show their greatest diversity in Mesoamerica. Although heroine species are morphologically and ecologically very diverse, they were all historically assigned to one single genus, Cichlasoma that was never formally revised from a phylogenetic point of view. Here, we present the most comprehensive molecular phylogeny of the tribe Heroini to date, based on the complete DNA sequence of the mitochondrial gene cytochrome b, and the analysis of 204 individuals representing 91 species. Phylogenetic analyses did not support the monophyly of heroines because the genus Pterophyllum was placed as the sister group of all remaining heroines plus cichlasomatines. However, the recovered relative position of Pterophyllum was without strong statistical support. Within the remaining heroines, Hyspelecara and Hoplarchus are recovered with low support in a basal position with respect to a clade that includes Heros, Uaru, Mesonauta, and Symphysodon, and the circumamazonian (CAM) heroines. The first clade is restricted to South America. The largest clade of heroines, the CAM heroines, include more than 85% of the species within the tribe. This clade is mostly Mesoamerican, but also contains four species found in the Greater Antilles (Nandopsis), and three genera found in South America (the 'Heros' festae group, Australoheros, and Caquetaia). Up to eight major lineages can be recovered within the CAM heroines, but the phylogenetic relationships among them remain unresolved. Two large suprageneric groups can be distinguished, the amphilophines and the herichthyines. The amphilophines include Amphilophus, Archocentrus, Hypsophrys, Neetroplus, Parachromis, Petenia, and five additional unnamed genera (the 'Heros' istlanus group, the 'Amphilophus' calobrensis group, the 'Heros' urophthalmus group, the 'Heros' wesseli group, and the 'Heros' sieboldii group). The herichthyines include the crown-group herichthyines

  11. City Fishing.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lange, Robert E.

    1979-01-01

    A program of supplying opportunities for fishing at locations within and near urban areas was developed. This effort included stocking, management of bodies of water for fishing, and presentation of fishing clinics for urban fishermen. (RE)

  12. Fish Hearing.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Blaxter, J. H. S.

    1980-01-01

    Provides related information about hearing in fish, including the sensory stimulus of sound in the underwater environment, mechanoreceptors in fish, pressure perception and the swimbladder, specializations in sound conduction peculiar to certain fish families. Includes numerous figures. (CS)

  13. African Aesthetics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Abiodun, Rowland

    2001-01-01

    No single traditional discipline can adequately supply answers to the many unresolved questions in African art history. Because of the aesthetic, cultural, historical, and, not infrequently, political biases, already built into the conception and development of Western art history, the discipline of art history as defined and practiced in the West…

  14. "African Connection."

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Adelman, Cathy; And Others

    This interdisciplinary unit provides students in grades kindergarten through seventh grade an opportunity to understand diversity through a study of Africa as a diverse continent. The project is designed to provide all elementary students with cultural enrichment by exposing them to African music, art, storytelling, and movement. This project can…

  15. Visual prey detection by near-infrared cues in a fish.

    PubMed

    Meuthen, Denis; Rick, Ingolf P; Thünken, Timo; Baldauf, Sebastian A

    2012-12-01

    Many animal species are able to perceive light wavelengths beyond those visible to humans. While numerous species are additionally sensitive to short wavelengths (UV), long wavelengths such as the near-infrared spectrum (NIR) are supposed to be unsuitable for visual perception. Here, we experimentally show that under exclusive NIR illumination, the cichlid fish Pelvicachromis taeniatus displays a clear foraging response towards NIR reflecting prey. Additional control experiments without prey indicate that the observed behavior is not a mere response to the NIR environment. These results give first evidence for NIR visual sensitivity in a functional context and thus challenge the current view about NIR perception.

  16. Visual prey detection by near-infrared cues in a fish

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meuthen, Denis; Rick, Ingolf P.; Thünken, Timo; Baldauf, Sebastian A.

    2012-12-01

    Many animal species are able to perceive light wavelengths beyond those visible to humans. While numerous species are additionally sensitive to short wavelengths (UV), long wavelengths such as the near-infrared spectrum (NIR) are supposed to be unsuitable for visual perception. Here, we experimentally show that under exclusive NIR illumination, the cichlid fish Pelvicachromis taeniatus displays a clear foraging response towards NIR reflecting prey. Additional control experiments without prey indicate that the observed behavior is not a mere response to the NIR environment. These results give first evidence for NIR visual sensitivity in a functional context and thus challenge the current view about NIR perception.

  17. Temporal Dynamics of Reproduction of the Neotropical Fish, Crenicichla menezesi (Perciformes: Cichlidae)

    PubMed Central

    de Araújo, Andréa Soares; do Nascimento, Wallace Silva; Yamamoto, Maria Emília; Chellappa, Sathyabama

    2012-01-01

    The reproductive biology and the gonadal development cycle of the Neotropical cichlid fish, Crenicichla menezesi, is described. This species exhibits sexual dimorphism only during the spawning season. First sexual maturity of females is attained earlier than the males. Both macroscopic and histological investigations of ovaries and testes revealed four stages of gonadal maturation. Mean batch fecundity of females was 372 (±10,41) of mature oocytes. This species is a partial spawner, with an extended spawning period. Monthly values of GSI and the condition factor are negatively correlated during the gonadal development cycle of this species. PMID:22919339

  18. Mammalian metabolic rates in the hottest fish on earth.

    PubMed

    Wood, Chris M; Brix, Kevin V; De Boeck, Gudrun; Bergman, Harold L; Bianchini, Adalto; Bianchini, Lucas F; Maina, John N; Johannsson, Ora E; Kavembe, Geraldine D; Papah, Michael B; Letura, Kisipan M; Ojoo, Rodi O

    2016-01-01

    The Magadi tilapia, Alcolapia grahami, a small cichlid fish of Lake Magadi, Kenya lives in one of the most challenging aquatic environments on earth, characterized by very high alkalinity, unusual water chemistry, and extreme O2, ROS, and temperature regimes. In contrast to most fishes which live at temperatures substantially lower than the 36-40 °C of mammals and birds, an isolated population (South West Hot Springs, SWHS) of Magadi tilapia thrives in fast-flowing hotsprings with daytime highs of 43 °C and night-time lows of 32 °C. Another population (Fish Springs Lagoon, FSL) lives in a lagoon with fairly stable daily temperatures (33-36 °C). The upper critical temperatures (Ctmax) of both populations are very high; moreover the SWHS tilapia exhibit the highest Ctmax (45.6 °C) ever recorded for a fish. Routine rates of O2 consumption (MO2) measured on site, together with MO2 and swimming performance at 25, 32, and 39 °C in the laboratory, showed that the SWHS tilapia exhibited the greatest metabolic performance ever recorded in a fish. These rates were in the basal range of a small mammal of comparable size, and were all far higher than in the FSL fish. The SWHS tilapia represents a bellwether organism for global warming. PMID:27257105

  19. Mammalian metabolic rates in the hottest fish on earth

    PubMed Central

    Wood, Chris M.; Brix, Kevin V.; De Boeck, Gudrun; Bergman, Harold L.; Bianchini, Adalto; Bianchini, Lucas F.; Maina, John N.; Johannsson, Ora E.; Kavembe, Geraldine D.; Papah, Michael B.; Letura, Kisipan M.; Ojoo, Rodi O.

    2016-01-01

    The Magadi tilapia, Alcolapia grahami, a small cichlid fish of Lake Magadi, Kenya lives in one of the most challenging aquatic environments on earth, characterized by very high alkalinity, unusual water chemistry, and extreme O2, ROS, and temperature regimes. In contrast to most fishes which live at temperatures substantially lower than the 36–40 °C of mammals and birds, an isolated population (South West Hot Springs, SWHS) of Magadi tilapia thrives in fast-flowing hotsprings with daytime highs of 43 °C and night-time lows of 32 °C. Another population (Fish Springs Lagoon, FSL) lives in a lagoon with fairly stable daily temperatures (33–36 °C). The upper critical temperatures (Ctmax) of both populations are very high; moreover the SWHS tilapia exhibit the highest Ctmax (45.6 °C) ever recorded for a fish. Routine rates of O2 consumption (MO2) measured on site, together with MO2 and swimming performance at 25, 32, and 39 °C in the laboratory, showed that the SWHS tilapia exhibited the greatest metabolic performance ever recorded in a fish. These rates were in the basal range of a small mammal of comparable size, and were all far higher than in the FSL fish. The SWHS tilapia represents a bellwether organism for global warming. PMID:27257105

  20. Motivational variables and the sensitization and habituation of aggression in the convict cichlid (Cichlasoma nigrofasciatum).

    PubMed

    Peeke, H V; Avis, H H; Peeke, S C

    1979-12-01

    Four experiments using territorial Convict Cichlids investigated motivational factors involved in the incremental and decremental processes associated with aggression resulting from exposure to conspecifics intruded into the territory. The first three experiments varied some single aspect of the experimental situation (temperature, distance from the nest or size of the intruder). The fourth experiment combined those factors which resulted in faster habituation (small intruder, far from the nest, in cool water) and compared the response to factors which resulted in slower habituation or an increase in response rate (large intruder, close to the nest in warm water). While a combination of higher intensity stimuli did result in slower habituation than the combination of lower intensity stimuli, response rate was not a simple algebraic summation of the factors. Results are discussed in relation to multi-factor theory of habituation and the nature of "drive".

  1. Wnt signalling underlies the evolution of new phenotypes and craniofacial variability in Lake Malawi cichlids

    PubMed Central

    Parsons, Kevin J.; Taylor, A. Trent; Powder, Kara E.; Albertson, R. Craig

    2014-01-01

    Progress towards understanding adaptive radiations at the mechanistic level is still limited with regard to the proximate molecular factors that both promote and constrain evolution. Here we focus on the craniofacial skeleton and show that expanded Wnt/β-catenin signalling early in ontogeny is associated with the evolution of phenotypic novelty and ecological opportunity in Lake Malawi cichlids. We demonstrate that the mode of action of this molecular change is to effectively lock into place an early larval phenotype, likely through accelerated rates of bone deposition. However, we demonstrate further that this change toward phenotypic novelty may in turn constrain evolutionary potential through the corresponding reduction in craniofacial plasticity at later stages of ontogeny. In all, our data implicate the Wnt pathway as an important mediator of craniofacial form and offer new insights into how developmental systems can evolve to both promote and constrain evolutionary change. PMID:24699776

  2. Molecular Evolution of the Neural Crest Regulatory Network in Ray-Finned Fish.

    PubMed

    Kratochwil, Claudius F; Geissler, Laura; Irisarri, Iker; Meyer, Axel

    2015-11-01

    Gene regulatory networks (GRN) are central to developmental processes. They are composed of transcription factors and signaling molecules orchestrating gene expression modules that tightly regulate the development of organisms. The neural crest (NC) is a multipotent cell population that is considered a key innovation of vertebrates. Its derivatives contribute to shaping the astounding morphological diversity of jaws, teeth, head skeleton, or pigmentation. Here, we study the molecular evolution of the NC GRN by analyzing patterns of molecular divergence for a total of 36 genes in 16 species of bony fishes. Analyses of nonsynonymous to synonymous substitution rate ratios (dN/dS) support patterns of variable selective pressures among genes deployed at different stages of NC development, consistent with the developmental hourglass model. Model-based clustering techniques of sequence features support the notion of extreme conservation of NC-genes across the entire network. Our data show that most genes are under strong purifying selection that is maintained throughout ray-finned fish evolution. Late NC development genes reveal a pattern of increased constraints in more recent lineages. Additionally, seven of the NC-genes showed signs of relaxation of purifying selection in the famously species-rich lineage of cichlid fishes. This suggests that NC genes might have played a role in the adaptive radiation of cichlids by granting flexibility in the development of NC-derived traits-suggesting an important role for NC network architecture during the diversification in vertebrates. PMID:26475317

  3. Phylogeography, colonization and population history of the Midas cichlid species complex (Amphilophus spp.) in the Nicaraguan crater lakes

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Elucidation of the mechanisms driving speciation requires detailed knowledge about the phylogenetic relationships and phylogeography of the incipient species within their entire ranges as well as their colonization history. The Midas cichlid species complex Amphilophus spp. has been proven to be a powerful model system for the study of ecological specialization, sexual selection and the mechanisms of sympatric speciation. Here we present a comprehensive and integrative phylogeographic analysis of the complete Midas Cichlid species complex in Nicaragua (> 2000 individuals) covering the entire distributional range, using two types of molecular markers (the mitochondrial DNA control region and 15 microsatellites). We investigated the majority of known lake populations of this species complex and reconstructed their colonization history in order to distinguish between alternative speciation scenarios. Results We found that the large lakes contain older and more diverse Midas Cichlid populations, while all crater lakes hold younger and genetically less variable species assemblages. The large lakes appear to have repeatedly acted as source populations for all crater lakes, and our data indicate that faunal exchange among crater lakes is extremely unlikely. Despite their very recent (often only a few thousand years old) and common origin from the two large Nicaraguan lakes, all crater lake Midas Cichlid radiations underwent independent, but parallel, evolution, and comprise distinct genetic units. Indeed several of these crater lakes contain multiple genetically distinct incipient species that most likely arose through sympatric speciation. Several crater lake radiations can be traced back to a single ancestral line, but some appear to have more than one founding lineage. The timing of the colonization(s) of each crater lake differs, although most of them occurred more (probably much more) recently than 20,000 years ago. Conclusion The genetic differentiation

  4. Obesity and African Americans

    MedlinePlus

    ... Data > Minority Population Profiles > Black/African American > Obesity Obesity and African Americans African American women have the ... ss6304.pdf [PDF | 3.38MB] HEALTH IMPACT OF OBESITY More than 80 percent of people with type ...

  5. Male convict cichlid 11-ketotestosterone levels throughout the reproductive cycle: an exploratory profile study in laboratory and field populations

    PubMed Central

    Snekser, Jennifer L.; Itzkowitz, Murray

    2015-01-01

    The convict cichlid (Amatitlania nigrofasciata) has been extensively examined in relation to many behavioral topics, such as courtship, pair-bonding, bi-parental care, and territoriality. Recently, this model species has been utilized in studies on genetics, endocrinology, and neuroanatomy, with an ultimate goal of connecting behavior with its underlying mechanisms. The goal of this study was two-fold: (1) profile the circulating levels of plasma 11KT in the male convict cichlid at multiple points during the reproductive cycle and (2) generally compare the hormonal profiles of the widely used laboratory populations and those of a free-living population in the streams of Costa Rica. The results of the field experiment showed that male convict cichlids had higher levels of circulating 11KT during courtship and lower during the parental care and non-breeding phases. The profile of the laboratory population was similar to the profile of the free-living individuals, with significantly higher levels of 11KT occurring during courtship than during parental care, though the level of 11KT during non-breeding phase was elevated in the laboratory. The high levels of 11KT during courtship and low levels of 11KT during parental care found in both the field and the laboratory is similar to what has been reported in other species of teleosts, and may suggest an important function of 11KT in the expression of courtship behavior and the subsequent onset of parental behaviors in this model species. PMID:26020006

  6. Evolutionary history of the Lake Tanganyika cichlid tribe Lamprologini (Teleostei: Perciformes) derived from mitochondrial and nuclear DNA data

    PubMed Central

    Sturmbauer, Christian; Salzburger, Walter; Duftner, Nina; Schelly, Robert; Koblmüller, Stephan

    2010-01-01

    Lake Tanganyika comprises a cichlid species flock with substrate-breeding and mouthbrooding lineages. While sexual selection via mate choice on male mating color is thought to boost speciation rates in mouthbrooding cichlids, this is not the case in substrate-breeding lamprologines, which mostly form stable pairs and lack sexual dichromatism. We present a comprehensive reconstruction of the evolution of the cichlid tribe Lamprologini, based upon mtDNA sequences and multilocus nuclear DNA (AFLP) markers. Twelve mtDNA clades were identified, seven of which were corroborated by the AFLP tree. The radiation is likely to have started about 5.3 MYA, contemporarily with that of the mouthbrooding C-lineage, and probably triggered by the onset of deep-water conditions in Lake Tanganyika. Neither the Congo- nor the Malagarazi River species form the most ancestral branch. Several conflicts in the mtDNA phylogeny with taxonomic assignments based upon color, eco-morphology and behavior could be resolved and complemented by the AFLP analysis. Introgressive hybridization upon secondary contact seems to be the most likely cause for paraphyly of taxa due to mtDNA capture in species involving brood-care helpers, while accidental hybridization best explains the para- or polyphyly of several gastropod shell breeders. Taxonomic error or paraphyly due to the survival of ancestral lineages appear responsible for inconsistencies in the genera Lamprologus and Neolamprologus. PMID:20601006

  7. Adaptive landscape and functional diversity of Neotropical cichlids: implications for the ecology and evolution of Cichlinae (Cichlidae; Cichliformes).

    PubMed

    Arbour, J H; López-Fernández, H

    2014-11-01

    Morphological, lineage and ecological diversity can vary substantially even among closely related lineages. Factors that influence morphological diversification, especially in functionally relevant traits, can help to explain the modern distribution of disparity across phylogenies and communities. Multivariate axes of feeding functional morphology from 75 species of Neotropical cichlid and a stepwise-AIC algorithm were used to estimate the adaptive landscape of functional morphospace in Cichlinae. Adaptive landscape complexity and convergence, as well as the functional diversity of Cichlinae, were compared with expectations under null evolutionary models. Neotropical cichlid feeding function varied primarily between traits associated with ram feeding vs. suction feeding/biting and secondarily with oral jaw muscle size and pharyngeal crushing capacity. The number of changes in selective regimes and the amount of convergence between lineages was higher than expected under a null model of evolution, but convergence was not higher than expected under a similarly complex adaptive landscape. Functional disparity was compatible with an adaptive landscape model, whereas the distribution of evolutionary change through morphospace corresponded with a process of evolution towards a single adaptive peak. The continentally distributed Neotropical cichlids have evolved relatively rapidly towards a number of adaptive peaks in functional trait space. Selection in Cichlinae functional morphospace is more complex than expected under null evolutionary models. The complexity of selective constraints in feeding morphology has likely been a significant contributor to the diversity of feeding ecology in this clade. PMID:25302771

  8. Lateralisation in agonistic encounters: do mirror tests reflect aggressive behaviour? A study on a West African cichlid.

    PubMed

    Scherer, U; Buck, M; Schuett, W

    2016-09-01

    In this study, population level lateralisation and the suitability of mirror tests as a test of natural aggressive behaviour in male rainbow kribs Pelvicachromis pulcher was investigated. Aggressive behaviour in live agonistic trials correlated positively with behaviours towards a mirror image and no visual lateralisation was detected. PMID:27329496

  9. Are accessory hearing structures linked to inner ear morphology? Insights from 3D orientation patterns of ciliary bundles in three cichlid species

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Cichlid fishes show considerable diversity in swim bladder morphology. In members of the subfamily Etroplinae, the connection between anterior swim bladder extensions and the inner ears enhances sound transmission and translates into an improved hearing ability. We tested the hypothesis that those swim bladder modifications coincide with differences in inner ear morphology and thus compared Steatocranus tinanti (vestigial swim bladder), Hemichromis guttatus (large swim bladder without extensions), and Etroplus maculatus (intimate connection between swim bladder and inner ears). Methodology and results We applied immunostaining together with confocal imaging and scanning electron microscopy for the investigation of sensory epithelia, and high-resolution, contrast-enhanced microCT imaging for characterizing inner ears in 3D, and evaluated otolith dimensions. Compared to S. tinanti and H. guttatus, inner ears of E. maculatus showed an enlargement of all three maculae, and a particularly large lacinia of the macula utriculi. While our analysis of orientation patterns of ciliary bundles on the three macula types using artificially flattened maculae uncovered rather similar orientation patterns of ciliary bundles, interspecific differences became apparent when illustrating the orientation patterns on the 3D models of the maculae: differences in the shape and curvature of the lacinia of the macula utriculi, and the anterior arm of the macula lagenae resulted in an altered arrangement of ciliary bundles. Conclusions Our results imply that improved audition in E. maculatus is associated not only with swim bladder modifications but also with altered inner ear morphology. However, not all modifications in E. maculatus could be connected to enhanced auditory abilities, and so a potential improvement of the vestibular sense, among others, also needs to be considered. Our study highlights the value of analyzing orientation patterns of ciliary bundles in their intact 3

  10. Antarctic Fishes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Eastman, Joseph T.; DeVries, Arthur L.

    1986-01-01

    Explains the adaptations to Antarctic waters that Notothenioidei, a group of advanced bony fishes, have exhibited. Discusses the fishes' mechanisms of production of antifreeze properties and their capacities for neutral buoyancy in water. (ML)

  11. Fish Dishes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Derby, Marie

    2003-01-01

    Describes an art project that was inspired by Greek pottery, specifically dishes shaped as fish. Explains that fourth-grade students drew a fish shape that was later used to create their clay version of the fish. Discusses how the students examined the pottery to make decisions about color and design. (CMK)

  12. Africans in America.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hart, Ayanna; Spangler, Earl

    This book introduces African-American history and culture to children. The first Africans in America came from many different regions and cultures, but became united in this country by being black, African, and slaves. Once in America, Africans began a long struggle for freedom which still continues. Slavery, the Civil War, emancipation, and the…

  13. Therapy with African Families.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nwadiora, Emeka

    1996-01-01

    Informs helping professionals about the unique history and challenges of African families to guide them toward providing ethnically sensitive psychological services to African immigrant families in need. African families undergo great stress when faced with the alienation of being Black and African in a Euro-American culture. (SLD)

  14. African Outreach Workshop 1974.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schmidt, Nancy J.

    This report discusses the 1974 African Outreach Workshop planned and coordinated by the African Studies Program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Its major aim was to assist teachers in developing curriculum units on African using materials available in their local community. A second aim was for the African Studies Program to…

  15. Fish faunal resurgence in Lake Nabugabo, East Africa

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chapman, L.J.; Chapman, Colin A.; Schofield, P.J.; Olowo, J.P.; Kaufman, L.S.; Seehausen, O.; Ogutu-Ohwayo., R.

    2003-01-01

     In Lake Nabugabo, Uganda, a small satellite of the equatorial Lake Victoria, approximately 50% of the indigenous fish species disappeared from the open waters subsequent to establishment of the introduced predatory Nile perch (   Lates niloticus ). However, several of these species persisted in wetland refugia. Over the past decade, Nile perch in Lake Nabugabo have been intensively fished. Herein we report a resurgence of some indigenous species in open waters. In a multiyear study, we used annual transects in inshore and offshore waters of exposed ( no wetland ) and wetland habitats to document the pattern of resurgence. In 1995, haplochromine cichlids were largely confined to inshore areas, particularly wetland ecotones, and were rare in Nile perch stomachs, as were most other indigenous species. By 2000 haplochromine cichlids were abundant in inshore and offshore areas of both exposed and wetland transects. Several indigenous noncichlids also reappeared in the main lake, including three of the four original mormyrid species. Between 1995 and 1999, there was a dramatic increase in the proportion of haplochromines in the diet of Nile perch. When haplochromines were rare ( 1995 ), Nile perch switched from an invertebrate-dominated diet to piscivory at a large size ( 30 cm total length ). In 2000, however, Nile perch were strongly piscivorous by 5–10 cm total length. The pattern of faunal loss and recovery in Lake Nabugabo demonstrates the importance of refugia in providing the seeds of resurgence and provides a model with which to understand some changes in Lake Victoria.

  16. Cooling water of power plant creates "hot spots" for tropical fishes and parasites.

    PubMed

    Emde, Sebastian; Kochmann, Judith; Kuhn, Thomas; Dörge, Dorian D; Plath, Martin; Miesen, Friedrich W; Klimpel, Sven

    2016-01-01

    Thermally altered water bodies can function as "hot spots" where non-native species are establishing self-sustaining populations beyond their tropical and subtropical native regions. Whereas many tropical fish species have been found in these habitats, the introduction of non-native parasites often remains undetected. Here, n = 77 convict cichlids (Amatitlania nigrofasciata) were sampled by electro-fishing at two sites from a thermally altered stream in Germany and examined for parasite fauna and feeding ecology. Stomach content analysis suggests an opportunistic feeding strategy of A. nigrofasciata: while plant material dominated the diet at the warm water inlet (∼30 °C), relative contributions of insects, plants, and crustaceans were balanced 3 km downstream (∼27 °C). The most abundant non-native parasite species was the tropical nematode Camallanus cotti with P = 11.90 % and P = 80.00 % at the inlet and further downstream, respectively. Additionally, nematode larvae of Anguillicoloides crassus and one specimen of the subtropical species Bothriocephalus acheilognathi were isolated. A. nigrofasciata was also highly infected with the native parasite Acanthocephalus anguillae, which could be linked to high numbers of the parasite's intermediate host Asellus aquaticus. The aim of this study was to highlight the risk and consequences of the release and establishment of ornamental fish species for the introduction and spread of non-indigenous metazoan parasites using the convict cichlid as a model species. Furthermore, the spread of non-native parasites into adjacent fish communities needs to be addressed in the future as first evidence of Camallanus cotti in native fish species was also found. PMID:26374537

  17. Cooling water of power plant creates "hot spots" for tropical fishes and parasites.

    PubMed

    Emde, Sebastian; Kochmann, Judith; Kuhn, Thomas; Dörge, Dorian D; Plath, Martin; Miesen, Friedrich W; Klimpel, Sven

    2016-01-01

    Thermally altered water bodies can function as "hot spots" where non-native species are establishing self-sustaining populations beyond their tropical and subtropical native regions. Whereas many tropical fish species have been found in these habitats, the introduction of non-native parasites often remains undetected. Here, n = 77 convict cichlids (Amatitlania nigrofasciata) were sampled by electro-fishing at two sites from a thermally altered stream in Germany and examined for parasite fauna and feeding ecology. Stomach content analysis suggests an opportunistic feeding strategy of A. nigrofasciata: while plant material dominated the diet at the warm water inlet (∼30 °C), relative contributions of insects, plants, and crustaceans were balanced 3 km downstream (∼27 °C). The most abundant non-native parasite species was the tropical nematode Camallanus cotti with P = 11.90 % and P = 80.00 % at the inlet and further downstream, respectively. Additionally, nematode larvae of Anguillicoloides crassus and one specimen of the subtropical species Bothriocephalus acheilognathi were isolated. A. nigrofasciata was also highly infected with the native parasite Acanthocephalus anguillae, which could be linked to high numbers of the parasite's intermediate host Asellus aquaticus. The aim of this study was to highlight the risk and consequences of the release and establishment of ornamental fish species for the introduction and spread of non-indigenous metazoan parasites using the convict cichlid as a model species. Furthermore, the spread of non-native parasites into adjacent fish communities needs to be addressed in the future as first evidence of Camallanus cotti in native fish species was also found.

  18. Immune activation is inversely related to, but does not cause variation in androgen levels in a cichlid fish species.

    PubMed

    Ros, Albert F H; Oliveira, Rui F; Dijkstra, Peter D; Groothuis, Ton G G

    2012-07-01

    Studies on birds and mammals indicate that sexual traits may signal superior health because active immunity, like inflammatory responses to infections, is suppressive to the production of androgens that facilitate the expression of these traits. Here we test this possible pathway for honest signaling in a teleost species, Sarotherodon galilaeus, by activating the immune system with sheep red blood cells (SRBC), which is a non-pathogenic T- and B-cell stimulating antigen. Two weeks after the start of treatment adult males injected with SRBC showed a significant increase in antibody production in comparison with control males. The variation in specific antibody production was negatively related with variation in both testosterone and 11-ketotestosterone levels. This suggests that investment in immune protection is incompatible with increased activity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis. However, opposite to our expectation no difference in androgen levels was found between placebo and SRBC treatment suggesting that immune activation did not cause androgen suppression in our studied species.

  19. Apistogramma ortegai (Teleostei: Cichlidae), a new species of cichlid fish from the Ampyiacu River in the Peruvian Amazon basin.

    PubMed

    Britzke, Ricardo; Oliveira, Claudio; Kullander, Sven O

    2014-10-02

    Apistogramma ortegai, new species, is described from small streams tributaries of the Ampiyacu River near Pebas, in eastern Peru. It belongs to the Apistogramma regani species group and is distinguished from all other species of Apistogramma by the combination of contiguous caudal spot to bar 7, presence of abdominal stripes, short dorsal-fin lappets in both sexes, absence of vertical stripes on the caudal fin, and reduced number of predorsal and prepelvic scales.

  20. Crenicichla gillmorlisi, a new species of cichlid fish (Teleostei: Cichlidae) from the Paraná river drainage in Paraguay.

    PubMed

    Kullander, Sven O; De Lucena, Carlos A Santos

    2013-01-01

    Crenicichla gillmorlisi, new species, is described from the río Acaray, a right bank tributary to the río Paraná. It is most similar to C. mandelburgeri in proportional measurements and meristics, but differs in colour pattern, adults having the body covered with small spots.

  1. Rearing-group size determines social competence and brain structure in a cooperatively breeding cichlid.

    PubMed

    Fischer, Stefan; Bessert-Nettelbeck, Mathilde; Kotrschal, Alexander; Taborsky, Barbara

    2015-07-01

    Social animals can greatly benefit from well-developed social skills. Because the frequency and diversity of social interactions often increase with the size of social groups, the benefits of advanced social skills can be expected to increase with group size. Variation in social skills often arises during ontogeny, depending on early social experience. Whether variation of social-group sizes affects development of social skills and related changes in brain structures remains unexplored. We investigated whether, in a cooperatively breeding cichlid, early group size (1) shapes social behavior and social skills and (2) induces lasting plastic changes in gross brain structures and (3) whether the development of social skills is confined to a sensitive ontogenetic period. Rearing-group size and the time juveniles spent in these groups interactively influenced the development of social skills and the relative sizes of four main brain regions. We did not detect a sensitive developmental period for the shaping of social behavior within the 2-month experience phase. Instead, our results suggest continuous plastic behavioral changes over time. We discuss how developmental effects on social behavior and brain architecture may adaptively tune phenotypes to their current or future environments. PMID:26098344

  2. Sex, ecology and the brain: evolutionary correlates of brain structure volumes in Tanganyikan cichlids.

    PubMed

    Gonzalez-Voyer, Alejandro; Kolm, Niclas

    2010-12-17

    Analyses of the macroevolutionary correlates of brain structure volumes allow pinpointing of selective pressures influencing specific structures. Here we use a multiple regression framework, including phylogenetic information, to analyze brain structure evolution in 43 Tanganyikan cichlid species. We analyzed the effect of ecological and sexually selected traits for species averages, the effect of ecological traits for each sex separately and the influence of sexual selection on structure dimorphism. Our results indicate that both ecological and sexually selected traits have influenced brain structure evolution. The patterns observed in males and females generally followed those observed at the species level. Interestingly, our results suggest that strong sexual selection is associated with reduced structure volumes, since all correlations between sexually selected traits and structure volumes were negative and the only statistically significant association between sexual selection and structure dimorphism was also negative. Finally, we previously found that monoparental female care was associated with increased brain size. However, here cerebellum and hypothalamus volumes, after controlling for brain size, associated negatively with female-only care. Thus, in accord with the mosaic model of brain evolution, brain structure volumes may not respond proportionately to changes in brain size. Indeed selection favoring larger brains can simultaneously lead to a reduction in relative structure volumes.

  3. Sex, Ecology and the Brain: Evolutionary Correlates of Brain Structure Volumes in Tanganyikan Cichlids

    PubMed Central

    Gonzalez-Voyer, Alejandro; Kolm, Niclas

    2010-01-01

    Analyses of the macroevolutionary correlates of brain structure volumes allow pinpointing of selective pressures influencing specific structures. Here we use a multiple regression framework, including phylogenetic information, to analyze brain structure evolution in 43 Tanganyikan cichlid species. We analyzed the effect of ecological and sexually selected traits for species averages, the effect of ecological traits for each sex separately and the influence of sexual selection on structure dimorphism. Our results indicate that both ecological and sexually selected traits have influenced brain structure evolution. The patterns observed in males and females generally followed those observed at the species level. Interestingly, our results suggest that strong sexual selection is associated with reduced structure volumes, since all correlations between sexually selected traits and structure volumes were negative and the only statistically significant association between sexual selection and structure dimorphism was also negative. Finally, we previously found that monoparental female care was associated with increased brain size. However, here cerebellum and hypothalamus volumes, after controlling for brain size, associated negatively with female-only care. Thus, in accord with the mosaic model of brain evolution, brain structure volumes may not respond proportionately to changes in brain size. Indeed selection favoring larger brains can simultaneously lead to a reduction in relative structure volumes. PMID:21179407

  4. Predation risk is an ecological constraint for helper dispersal in a cooperatively breeding cichlid.

    PubMed Central

    Heg, Dik; Bachar, Zina; Brouwer, Lyanne; Taborsky, Michael

    2004-01-01

    Environmental conditions are thought to be responsible for the extent and benefits of cooperative breeding in many animal societies, but experimental tests are scarce. We manipulated predator pressure in the cooperatively breeding cichlid Neolamprologus pulcher in Lake Tanganyika, where predators have been suggested to influence helper and breeder survival, helper dispersal and group reproductive success. We varied the type and intensity of predation by releasing medium, large, or no predators inside large underwater cages enclosing two or three group territories. Helper and breeder survival, helper dispersal and group reproductive success decreased from the control, to the medium- and large-predator treatments. These effects were modified by helper body size and the number of adults protecting the group from predators, supporting the 'group augmentation hypothesis'. Predators forced helpers to stay closer to, and spend more time inside, protective shelters. The results demonstrate the importance of predators for group living in this species, and support the 'ecological constraints hypothesis' of cooperative breeding, in the sense that subordinates stay at home rather than leave and breed independently under the risk of predation. PMID:15556889

  5. A Japanese view on speciation: "Sumiwake" explosive speciation of the cichlids in Lake Victoria.

    PubMed

    Kawamiya, Nobuo

    2003-01-01

    Imanishi's "mental" (cerebral) view of speciation is presented, in Mizuhata's revision. The key concept here is the "ethological partition" of the species. Members of each species=society (etho-species) share the same mental (brain) software, irrespective of their genetic structure. Cerebral animals perform active programmed selection, not to be confused with passive, non-programmed "natural selection" as in Neo-Darwinism. The program includes mating-choice of peculiar characters, distinct from the Neo-Darwinian sexual selection supposed due to the specific choosy genes. Speciation can occur, as a "partition of species=society", with bifurcation of mate-choosing program in the parent species. A main promoter for this bifurcation is species-specific "passion" for especially significant characters: long necks, ornamental antlers, ocelli feathers, bright nuptial colors etc. The cichlids in Lake Victoria achieved explosive speciation, while retaining their genetic homogeneity completely. Therefore it is illogical to attribute this divergence to extraordinary mutations in "action controlling genes". The origin of species=society (etho-species) can trace along to the Cambrian Period.

  6. Territorial males can sire more offspring in nests with smaller doors in the cichlid Lamprologus lemairii.

    PubMed

    Ota, Kazutaka; Awata, Satoshi; Morita, Masaya; Yokoyama, Ryota; Kohda, Masanori

    2014-01-01

    To examine how territorial males counter reproductive parasites, we examined the paternity of broods guarded by territorial males using 5 microsatellite loci and factors that determine siring success in a wild population of the Lake Tanganyika cichlid Lamprologus lemairii. Females enter rock holes (nests) and spawn inside, and territorial males release milt over the nest openings. Sneakers attempt to dart into the nests, but territorial males often interrupt the attempt. The body size of territorial males (territorial defense ability) and the size of nest opening (the ability to prevent sneakers from nest intrusions) are predicted to be factors that affect paternity at the premating stage, whereas milt quality traits are factors that affect paternity at the postmating stage. Parentage analyses of 477 offspring revealed that most clutches have few or no cuckolders, and territorial males sired >80% of eggs in 7 of the 10 analyzed clutches. Larger territorial males that spawned in nests with narrower openings had greater siring success. In contrast, none of the milt traits affected the siring success. These suggest that territorial male L. lemairii adopt premating strategies whereby they effectively prevent reproductive parasitism.

  7. Fish Rhabdoviruses

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kurath, G.; Winton, J.

    2008-01-01

    Many important viral pathogens of fish are members of the family Rhabdoviridae. The viruses in this large group cause significant losses in populations of wild fish as well as among fish reared in aquaculture. Fish rhabdoviruses often have a wide host and geographic range, and infect aquatic animals in both freshwater and seawater. The fish rhabdoviruses comprise a diverse collection of isolates that can be placed in one of two quite different groups: isolates that are members of the established genusNovirhabdovirus, and those that are most similar to members of the genus Vesiculovirus. Because the diseases caused by fish rhabdoviruses are important to aquaculture, diagnostic methods for their detection and identification are well established. In addition to regulations designed to reduce the spread of fish viruses, a significant body of research has addressed methods for the control or prevention of diseases caused by fish rhabdoviruses, including vaccination. The number of reported fish rhabdoviruses continues to grow as a result of the expansion of aquaculture, the increase in global trade, the development of improved diagnostic methods, and heightened surveillance activities. Fish rhabdoviruses serve as useful components of model systems to study vertebrate virus disease, epidemiology, and immunology.

  8. Fish flavor.

    PubMed

    Kawai, T

    1996-02-01

    This article reviews features of flavor in three groups of fishes and summarizes them as follows: (1) fresh saltwater fish are nearly odorless because they contain a small quantity of volatiles; (2 freshwater fish give off pyrrolidine and earthy-odor compounds, which are responsible for their maturity and surrounding water pollution, and (3) euryhaline fish exhibit a variety of unsaturated carbonyls and alcohols derived from enzymatic and nonenzymatic oxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PAs). These features are discussed, as are the effects of different enzymatic activities on PA oxidation and the effects of pH on mechanisms of formation of the volatiles. The monotonous volatile constitution of saltwater fish is likely caused by an unknown antioxidation system restraining the fish from oxidizing. The variety of constitution of euryhaline fish, especially that of anadromous fish under spawning conditions, could result from the loss of that system. The thermal environments of heated foods are also reviewed. The basic environment of fish, which allows the formation of flavor compounds, is discussed to confirm the volatiles found in unheated fish.

  9. Multispecies Outcomes of Sympatric Speciation after Admixture with the Source Population in Two Radiations of Nicaraguan Crater Lake Cichlids.

    PubMed

    Kautt, Andreas F; Machado-Schiaffino, Gonzalo; Meyer, Axel

    2016-06-01

    The formation of species in the absence of geographic barriers (i.e. sympatric speciation) remains one of the most controversial topics in evolutionary biology. While theoretical models have shown that this most extreme case of primary divergence-with-gene-flow is possible, only a handful of accepted empirical examples exist. And even for the most convincing examples uncertainties remain; complex histories of isolation and secondary contact can make species falsely appear to have originated by sympatric speciation. This alternative scenario is notoriously difficult to rule out. Midas cichlids inhabiting small and remote crater lakes in Nicaragua are traditionally considered to be one of the best examples of sympatric speciation and lend themselves to test the different evolutionary scenarios that could lead to apparent sympatric speciation since the system is relatively small and the source populations known. Here we reconstruct the evolutionary history of two small-scale radiations of Midas cichlids inhabiting crater lakes Apoyo and Xiloá through a comprehensive genomic data set. We find no signs of differential admixture of any of the sympatric species in the respective radiations. Together with coalescent simulations of different demographic models our results support a scenario of speciation that was initiated in sympatry and does not result from secondary contact of already partly diverged populations. Furthermore, several species seem to have diverged simultaneously, making Midas cichlids an empirical example of multispecies outcomes of sympatric speciation. Importantly, however, the demographic models strongly support an admixture event from the source population into both crater lakes shortly before the onset of the radiations within the lakes. This opens the possibility that the formation of reproductive barriers involved in sympatric speciation was facilitated by genetic variants that evolved in a period of isolation between the initial founding

  10. Multispecies Outcomes of Sympatric Speciation after Admixture with the Source Population in Two Radiations of Nicaraguan Crater Lake Cichlids.

    PubMed

    Kautt, Andreas F; Machado-Schiaffino, Gonzalo; Meyer, Axel

    2016-06-01

    The formation of species in the absence of geographic barriers (i.e. sympatric speciation) remains one of the most controversial topics in evolutionary biology. While theoretical models have shown that this most extreme case of primary divergence-with-gene-flow is possible, only a handful of accepted empirical examples exist. And even for the most convincing examples uncertainties remain; complex histories of isolation and secondary contact can make species falsely appear to have originated by sympatric speciation. This alternative scenario is notoriously difficult to rule out. Midas cichlids inhabiting small and remote crater lakes in Nicaragua are traditionally considered to be one of the best examples of sympatric speciation and lend themselves to test the different evolutionary scenarios that could lead to apparent sympatric speciation since the system is relatively small and the source populations known. Here we reconstruct the evolutionary history of two small-scale radiations of Midas cichlids inhabiting crater lakes Apoyo and Xiloá through a comprehensive genomic data set. We find no signs of differential admixture of any of the sympatric species in the respective radiations. Together with coalescent simulations of different demographic models our results support a scenario of speciation that was initiated in sympatry and does not result from secondary contact of already partly diverged populations. Furthermore, several species seem to have diverged simultaneously, making Midas cichlids an empirical example of multispecies outcomes of sympatric speciation. Importantly, however, the demographic models strongly support an admixture event from the source population into both crater lakes shortly before the onset of the radiations within the lakes. This opens the possibility that the formation of reproductive barriers involved in sympatric speciation was facilitated by genetic variants that evolved in a period of isolation between the initial founding

  11. Multispecies Outcomes of Sympatric Speciation after Admixture with the Source Population in Two Radiations of Nicaraguan Crater Lake Cichlids

    PubMed Central

    Kautt, Andreas F.; Machado-Schiaffino, Gonzalo; Meyer, Axel

    2016-01-01

    The formation of species in the absence of geographic barriers (i.e. sympatric speciation) remains one of the most controversial topics in evolutionary biology. While theoretical models have shown that this most extreme case of primary divergence-with-gene-flow is possible, only a handful of accepted empirical examples exist. And even for the most convincing examples uncertainties remain; complex histories of isolation and secondary contact can make species falsely appear to have originated by sympatric speciation. This alternative scenario is notoriously difficult to rule out. Midas cichlids inhabiting small and remote crater lakes in Nicaragua are traditionally considered to be one of the best examples of sympatric speciation and lend themselves to test the different evolutionary scenarios that could lead to apparent sympatric speciation since the system is relatively small and the source populations known. Here we reconstruct the evolutionary history of two small-scale radiations of Midas cichlids inhabiting crater lakes Apoyo and Xiloá through a comprehensive genomic data set. We find no signs of differential admixture of any of the sympatric species in the respective radiations. Together with coalescent simulations of different demographic models our results support a scenario of speciation that was initiated in sympatry and does not result from secondary contact of already partly diverged populations. Furthermore, several species seem to have diverged simultaneously, making Midas cichlids an empirical example of multispecies outcomes of sympatric speciation. Importantly, however, the demographic models strongly support an admixture event from the source population into both crater lakes shortly before the onset of the radiations within the lakes. This opens the possibility that the formation of reproductive barriers involved in sympatric speciation was facilitated by genetic variants that evolved in a period of isolation between the initial founding

  12. Texture Fish

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stone, Julie

    2007-01-01

    In an effort to provide an opportunity for her first graders to explore texture through an engaging subject, the author developed a three-part lesson that features fish in a mixed-media artwork: (1) Exploring Textured Paint; (2) Creating the Fish; and (3) Role Playing. In this lesson, students effectively explore texture through painting, drawing,…

  13. The African Connection

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Oguntoyinbo, Lekan

    2012-01-01

    From student and faculty exchanges to joint research projects, U.S. universities maintain a broad spectrum of collaborative relationships with African universities. It's unclear how many U.S. colleges and universities have partnerships with African universities. The African Studies Association, an organization of scholars, doesn't keep that kind…

  14. Linguistic Imperialism: African Perspectives.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Phillipson, Robert

    1996-01-01

    Responds to an article on aspects of African language policy and discusses the following issues: multilingualism and monolingualism, proposed changes in language policy from the Organization for African Unity and South African initiatives, the language of literature, bilingual education, and whose interests English-language teaching is serving.…

  15. One Fish, Two Fish, Redfish, You Fish!

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    White, Katherine; Timmons, Maryellen; Medders, Paul

    2011-01-01

    The recreational fishing activity presented in this article provides a hands-on, problem-based experience for students; it unites biology, math, economics, environmental policy, and population dynamics concepts. In addition, the activity allows students to shape environmental policy in a realistic setting and evaluate their peers' work. By…

  16. Fishing Forecasts

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1988-01-01

    ROFFS stands for Roffer's Ocean Fishing Forecasting Service, Inc. Roffer combines satellite and computer technology with oceanographic information from several sources to produce frequently updated charts sometimes as often as 30 times a day showing clues to the location of marlin, sailfish, tuna, swordfish and a variety of other types. Also provides customized forecasts for racing boats and the shipping industry along with seasonal forecasts that allow the marine industry to formulate fishing strategies based on foreknowledge of the arrival and departure times of different fish. Roffs service exemplifies the potential for benefits to marine industries from satellite observations. Most notable results are reduced search time and substantial fuel savings.

  17. 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

  18. Variation in the visual habitat may mediate the maintenance of color polymorphism in a poeciliid fish.

    PubMed

    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

  19. Occurrence of a novel acetylated amino acid, N(alpha)-acetylhistidine, in skeletal muscle of freshwater fish and other ectothermic vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Yamada, Shoji; Kawashima, Kazuto; Baba, Kyoko; Oku, Takahiro; Ando, Seiichi

    2009-03-01

    The occurrence of N(alpha)-acetylhistidine (NAH) in skeletal muscle of 91 species of freshwater fish and 9 species of other ectothermic vertebrates was investigated, with consideration of phylogenetic relationships. Of the 91 freshwater fish species examined, 13 species (7 cichlids, 5 anabantids, and 1 catfish) contained considerable amounts (>1 micromol/g) of NAH in their skeletal muscles. The highest level (10.37 micromol/g) of NAH was found in the tissue of Betta splendens (Siamese fighting fish). Moreover, the NAH contents in the tissues of Trichogaster trichopterus (three spot gourami), Kryptopterus bicirrhis (glass catfish), Oreochromis niloticus (Nile tilapia), Mikrogeophagus ramirezi (ram cichlid) and Parachromis managuensis (Guapote tigre) were 3.17-6.16 micromol/g. The skeletal muscle of amphibians (5 species) and reptiles (4 species) had a low level (<0.25 micromol/g) of NAH. The present findings clearly demonstrate NAH as the fifth imidazole-related compound, in addition to histidine, carnosine, anserine and ophidine (balenine), recognized as a major non-protein nitrogenous constituent in the skeletal muscle of vertebrate animals. PMID:19100335

  20. Fish Allergy

    MedlinePlus

    ... specific fish used on the label. Read all product labels carefully before purchasing and consuming any item. Ingredients ... Getting Started Newly Diagnosed Emergency Care Plan Food Labels Mislabeled Products Tips for Managing Food Allergies Resources For... Most ...

  1. Fish Facts

    MedlinePlus

    ... not eat any fish because they worry about mercury in seafood. Mercury is a metal that, at high levels, can ... many types of seafood have little or no mercury at all. So your risk of mercury exposure ...

  2. Designer Fish.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hall, William R., Jr.

    1990-01-01

    Described is an activity in which students are asked to design a fish that would survive in a natural system. A project to computerize the activity is discussed. The development of this artificial intelligence software is detailed. (CW)

  3. Facial Recognition in a Discus Fish (Cichlidae): Experimental Approach Using Digital Models.

    PubMed

    Satoh, Shun; Tanaka, Hirokazu; Kohda, Masanori

    2016-01-01

    A number of mammals and birds are known to be capable of visually discriminating between familiar and unfamiliar individuals, depending on facial patterns in some species. Many fish also visually recognize other conspecifics individually, and previous studies report that facial color patterns can be an initial signal for individual recognition. For example, a cichlid fish and a damselfish will use individual-specific color patterns that develop only in the facial area. However, it remains to be determined whether the facial area is an especially favorable site for visual signals in fish, and if so why? The monogamous discus fish, Symphysopdon aequifasciatus (Cichlidae), is capable of visually distinguishing its pair-partner from other conspecifics. Discus fish have individual-specific coloration patterns on entire body including the facial area, frontal head, trunk and vertical fins. If the facial area is an inherently important site for the visual cues, this species will use facial patterns for individual recognition, but otherwise they will use patterns on other body parts as well. We used modified digital models to examine whether discus fish use only facial coloration for individual recognition. Digital models of four different combinations of familiar and unfamiliar fish faces and bodies were displayed in frontal and lateral views. Focal fish frequently performed partner-specific displays towards partner-face models, and did aggressive displays towards models of non-partner's faces. We conclude that to identify individuals this fish does not depend on frontal color patterns but does on lateral facial color patterns, although they have unique color patterns on the other parts of body. We discuss the significance of facial coloration for individual recognition in fish compared with birds and mammals.

  4. Facial Recognition in a Discus Fish (Cichlidae): Experimental Approach Using Digital Models

    PubMed Central

    Satoh, Shun; Tanaka, Hirokazu; Kohda, Masanori

    2016-01-01

    A number of mammals and birds are known to be capable of visually discriminating between familiar and unfamiliar individuals, depending on facial patterns in some species. Many fish also visually recognize other conspecifics individually, and previous studies report that facial color patterns can be an initial signal for individual recognition. For example, a cichlid fish and a damselfish will use individual-specific color patterns that develop only in the facial area. However, it remains to be determined whether the facial area is an especially favorable site for visual signals in fish, and if so why? The monogamous discus fish, Symphysopdon aequifasciatus (Cichlidae), is capable of visually distinguishing its pair-partner from other conspecifics. Discus fish have individual-specific coloration patterns on entire body including the facial area, frontal head, trunk and vertical fins. If the facial area is an inherently important site for the visual cues, this species will use facial patterns for individual recognition, but otherwise they will use patterns on other body parts as well. We used modified digital models to examine whether discus fish use only facial coloration for individual recognition. Digital models of four different combinations of familiar and unfamiliar fish faces and bodies were displayed in frontal and lateral views. Focal fish frequently performed partner-specific displays towards partner-face models, and did aggressive displays towards models of non-partner’s faces. We conclude that to identify individuals this fish does not depend on frontal color patterns but does on lateral facial color patterns, although they have unique color patterns on the other parts of body. We discuss the significance of facial coloration for individual recognition in fish compared with birds and mammals. PMID:27191162

  5. Alternative reproductive tactics in snail shell-brooding cichlids diverge in energy reserve allocation.

    PubMed

    von Kuerthy, Corinna; Tschirren, Linda; Taborsky, Michael

    2015-05-01

    Life history theory predicts that the amount of resources allocated to reproduction should maximize an individual's lifetime reproductive success. So far, resource allocation in reproduction has been studied mainly in females. Intraspecific variation of endogenous energy storage and utilization patterns of males has received little attention, although these patterns may vary greatly between individuals pursuing alternative reproductive tactics (ARTs). ARTs are characterized by systematic variation of behavioral, physiological, and often morphological traits among same-sex conspecifics. Some individuals may rely on previously accumulated reserves, because of limited foraging opportunities during reproduction. Others may be able to continue foraging during reproduction, thus relying on reserves to a lesser extent. We therefore predicted that, if male tactics involve such divergent limitations and trade-offs within a species, ARTs should correspondingly differ in energy reserve allocation and utilization. To test this prediction, we studied short-term and long-term reserve storage patterns of males in the shell-brooding cichlid Lamprologus callipterus. In this species, bourgeois males investing in territory defense, courtship, and guarding of broods coexist with two distinct parasitic male tactics: (1) opportunistic sneaker males attempting to fertilize eggs by releasing sperm into the shell opening when a female is spawning; and (2) specialized dwarf males attempting to enter the shell past the spawning female to fertilize eggs from inside the shell. Sneaker males differed from other male types by showing the highest amount of accumulated short-term and long-term fat stores, apparently anticipating their upcoming adoption of the nest male status. In contrast, nest males depleted previously accumulated energy reserves with increasing nest holding period, as they invest heavily into costly reproductive behaviors while not taking up any food. This conforms to a capital

  6. Alternative reproductive tactics in snail shell-brooding cichlids diverge in energy reserve allocation

    PubMed Central

    von Kuerthy, Corinna; Tschirren, Linda; Taborsky, Michael

    2015-01-01

    Life history theory predicts that the amount of resources allocated to reproduction should maximize an individual's lifetime reproductive success. So far, resource allocation in reproduction has been studied mainly in females. Intraspecific variation of endogenous energy storage and utilization patterns of males has received little attention, although these patterns may vary greatly between individuals pursuing alternative reproductive tactics (ARTs). ARTs are characterized by systematic variation of behavioral, physiological, and often morphological traits among same-sex conspecifics. Some individuals may rely on previously accumulated reserves, because of limited foraging opportunities during reproduction. Others may be able to continue foraging during reproduction, thus relying on reserves to a lesser extent. We therefore predicted that, if male tactics involve such divergent limitations and trade-offs within a species, ARTs should correspondingly differ in energy reserve allocation and utilization. To test this prediction, we studied short-term and long-term reserve storage patterns of males in the shell-brooding cichlid Lamprologus callipterus. In this species, bourgeois males investing in territory defense, courtship, and guarding of broods coexist with two distinct parasitic male tactics: (1) opportunistic sneaker males attempting to fertilize eggs by releasing sperm into the shell opening when a female is spawning; and (2) specialized dwarf males attempting to enter the shell past the spawning female to fertilize eggs from inside the shell. Sneaker males differed from other male types by showing the highest amount of accumulated short-term and long-term fat stores, apparently anticipating their upcoming adoption of the nest male status. In contrast, nest males depleted previously accumulated energy reserves with increasing nest holding period, as they invest heavily into costly reproductive behaviors while not taking up any food. This conforms to a capital

  7. Salinity effects on behavioural response to hypoxia in the non-native Mayan cichlid Cichlasoma urophthalmus from Florida Everglades wetlands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schofield, P.J.; Loftus, W.F.; Fontaine, J.A.

    2009-01-01

    This study quantified the hypoxia tolerance of the Mayan cichlid Cichlasoma urophthalmus over a range of salinities. The species was very tolerant of hypoxia, using aquatic surface respiration (ASR) and buccal bubble holding when oxygen tensions dropped to <20 mmHg (c. 1??0 mg l-1) and 6 mmHg, respectively. Salinity had little effect on the hypoxia tolerance of C. urophthalmus, except that bubble holding was more frequent at the higher salinities tested. Levels of aggression were greatest at the highest salinity. The ASR thresholds of C. urophthalmus were similar to native centrarchid sunfishes from the Everglades, however, aggression levels for C. uropthalmus were markedly higher. ?? 2009 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.

  8. The African superswell

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nyblade, Andrew A.; Robinson, Scott W.

    1994-01-01

    Maps of residual bathymetry in the ocean basins around the African continent reveal a broad bathymetric swell in the southeastern Atlantic Ocean with an amplitude of about 500 m. We propose that this region of anomalously shallow bathymetry, together with the contiguous eastern and southern African plateaus, form a superswell which we refer to as the African superswell. The origin of the African superswell is uncertain. However, rifting and volcanism in eastern Africa, as well as heat flow measurements in southern Africa and the southeastern Atlantic Ocean, suggest that the superswell may be attributed, at least in part, to heating of the lithosphere.

  9. Regional variation in otolith Sr:Ca ratios of African longfinned eel Anguilla mossambica and mottled eel Anguilla marmorata: a challenge to the classic tool for reconstructing migratory histories of fishes.

    PubMed

    Lin, Y-J; Jessop, B M; Weyl, O L F; Iizuka, Y; Lin, S-H; Tzeng, W-N; Sun, C-L

    2012-07-01

    Otolith Sr:Ca ratios of the African longfinned eel Anguilla mossambica and giant mottled eel Anguilla marmorata from nine freshwater sites in four rivers of South Africa were analysed to reconstruct their migratory life histories between freshwater and saltwater habitats. For A. mossambica, the Sr:Ca ratios in the otolith edge differed significantly among rivers and had large effect sizes, but did not differ among sites within a river. Otolith Sr:Ca ratios did not differ among rivers for A. marmorata. When rivers were pooled, the edge Sr:Ca ratios of A. mossambica were not significantly different from those of A. marmorata. According to the river-specific critical Sr:Ca ratio distinguishing freshwater from saltwater residence, most A. mossambica and A. marmorata had saltwater habitat experience after settlement in fresh water. This was primarily during their elver stage or early in the yellow eel stage. During the middle and late yellow eel stage, freshwater residency was preferred and only sporadic visits were made to saltwater habitats. The data also suggest that regional variations in otolith Sr:Ca ratios affect the critical Sr:Ca value and are a challenge for the reconstruction of migratory life histories that should be explicitly considered to avoid bias and uncertainty.

  10. Commercial Fishing.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Florida State Dept. of Education, Tallahassee. Div. of Vocational Education.

    This document is a curriculum framework for a program in commercial fishing to be taught in Florida secondary and postsecondary institutions. This outline covers the major concepts/content of the program, which is designed to prepare students for employment in occupations with titles such as net fishers, pot fishers, line fishers, shrimp boat…

  11. Gone Fishing.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Olson-Demme, Hillary; Kisiel, Jim

    2003-01-01

    Presents a hands-on activity in which students create a model of an ocean ecosystem to gain an understanding of how humans can alter biodiversity through their actions. Uses differing levels of fishing technology to explore the concepts of sustainability and overfishing. (Author/SOE)

  12. 16 Extraordinary African Americans.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lobb, Nancy

    This collection for children tells the stories of 16 African Americans who helped make America what it is today. African Americans can take pride in the heritage of these contributors to society. Biographies are given for the following: (1) Sojourner Truth, preacher and abolitionist; (2) Frederick Douglass, abolitionist; (3) Harriet Tubman, leader…

  13. African Studies Computer Resources.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kuntz, Patricia S.

    African studies computer resources that are readily available in the United States with linkages to Africa are described, highlighting those most directly corresponding to African content. Africanists can use the following four fundamental computer systems: (1) Internet/Bitnet; (2) Fidonet; (3) Usenet; and (4) dial-up bulletin board services. The…

  14. Understanding African American Males

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bell, Edward Earl

    2010-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to assess the socialization skills, self-esteem, and academic readiness of African American males in a school environment. Discussions with students and the School Perceptions Questionnaire provided data for this investigation. The intended targets for this investigation were African American students; however, there…

  15. Africans Away from Home.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Clarke, John Henrik

    Africans who were brought across the Atlantic as slaves never fully adjusted to slavery or accepted its inevitability. Resistance began on board the slave ships, where many jumped overboard or committed suicide. African slaves in South America led the first revolts against tyranny in the New World. The first slave revolt in the Caribbean occurred…

  16. Keeping African Masks Real

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Waddington, Susan

    2012-01-01

    Art is a good place to learn about our multicultural planet, and African masks are prized throughout the world as powerfully expressive artistic images. Unfortunately, multicultural education, especially for young children, can perpetuate stereotypes. Masks taken out of context lose their meaning and the term "African masks" suggests that there is…

  17. Educating African American Males

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bell, Edward E.

    2010-01-01

    Background: Schools across America spend money, invest in programs, and sponsor workshops, offer teacher incentives, raise accountability standards, and even evoke the name of Obama in efforts to raise the academic achievement of African American males. Incarceration and college retention rates point to a dismal plight for many African American…

  18. African horse sickness and African carnivores.

    PubMed

    Alexander, K A; Kat, P W; House, J; House, C; O'Brien, S J; Laurenson, M K; McNutt, J W; Osburn, B I

    1995-11-01

    African horse sickness (AHS) is a disease that affects equids, and is principally transmitted by Culicoides spp. that are biological vectors of AHS viruses (AHSV). The repeated spread of AHSV from sub-Saharan Africa to the Middle East, northern Africa and the Iberian peninsula indicate that a better understanding of AHS epizootiology is needed. African horse sickness has long been known to infect and cause mortality among domestic dogs that ingest virus contaminated meat, but it is uncertain what role carnivores play in transmission of the virus. We present evidence of widespread natural AHS infection among a diversity of African carnivore species. We hypothesize that such infection resulted from ingestion of meat and organs from AHS-infected prey species. The effect of AHS on the carnivores is unknown, as is their role in the maintenance cycle of the disease.

  19. Diabetes in African Americans

    PubMed Central

    Marshall, M

    2005-01-01

    African Americans have a high risk for type 2 diabetes. Genetic traits, the prevalence of obesity, and insulin resistance all contribute to the risk of diabetes in the African American community. African Americans have a high rate of diabetic complications, because of poor glycaemic control and racial disparities in health care in the USA. African Americans with diabetes may have an atypical presentation that simulates type 1 diabetes, but then their subsequent clinical course is typical of type 2 diabetes. Culturally sensitive strategies, structured disease management protocols, and the assistance of nurses, diabetic educators, and other health care professionals are effective in improving the outcome of diabetes in the African American community. PMID:16344294

  20. African bees to control African elephants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vollrath, Fritz; Douglas-Hamilton, Iain

    2002-11-01

    Numbers of elephants have declined in Africa and Asia over the past 30 years while numbers of humans have increased, both substantially. Friction between these two keystone species is reaching levels which are worryingly high from an ecological as well as a political viewpoint. Ways and means must be found to keep the two apart, at least in areas sensitive to each species' survival. The aggressive African bee might be one such method. Here we demonstrate that African bees deter elephants from damaging the vegetation and trees which house their hives. We argue that bees can be employed profitably to protect not only selected trees, but also selected areas, from elephant damage.

  1. Fish gelatin.

    PubMed

    Boran, Gokhan; Regenstein, Joe M

    2010-01-01

    Gelatin is a multifunctional ingredient used in foods, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and photographic films as a gelling agent, stabilizer, thickener, emulsifier, and film former. As a thermoreversible hydrocolloid with a narrower gap between its melting and gelling temperatures, both of which are below human body temperature, gelatin provides unique advantages over carbohydrate-based gelling agents. Gelatin is mostly produced from pig skin, and cattle hides and bones. Some alternative raw materials have recently gained attention from both researchers and the industry not just because they overcome religious concerns shared by Jews and Muslims but also because they provide, in some cases, technological advantages over mammalian gelatins. Fish skins from a number of fish species are among the other sources that have been comprehensively studied as sour