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Sample records for african cichlid fish

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

    PubMed

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

    1998-06-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

    Brawand, David; Wagner, Catherine E; Li, Yang I; 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

    2014-09-18

    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.

  5. 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

  6. Aromatase regulates aggression in the African cichlid fish Astatotilapia burtoni.

    PubMed

    Huffman, Lin S; O'Connell, Lauren A; Hofmann, Hans A

    2013-03-15

    The roles of estrogen and androgens in male social behavior are well studied, but little is known about how these hormones contribute to behavior in a social hierarchy. Here we test the role of aromatase, the enzyme that converts testosterone into estradiol, in mediating aggression and reproductive behavior in male Astatotilapia burtoni, an African cichlid fish that displays remarkable plasticity in social behavior. We first measured aromatase expression in subordinate and dominant males in brain regions that regulate social behavior and found that subordinate males have higher aromatase expression than dominant males in the magnocellular and gigantocellular regions of the preoptic area. Next, we functionally tested the role of aromatase in regulating behavior by intraperitoneally injecting dominant males with either saline or fadrozole (FAD), an aromatase inhibitor, and found that FAD treatment decreases aggressive, but not reproductive, behaviors compared to saline controls. To determine the underlying physiological and molecular consequences of FAD treatment, we measured estradiol and testosterone levels from plasma and brain aromatase expression in FAD and saline treated dominant males. We found that estradiol levels decreased and testosterone levels increased in response to FAD treatment. Moreover, FAD treated males had increased aromatase expression in the gigantocellular portion of the POA, possibly a compensatory response. Overall, our results suggest aromatase is a key enzyme that promotes aggression in A. burtoni males through actions in the preoptic area.

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

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:24917883

  8. Convergence of gut microbiotas in the adaptive radiations of African cichlid fishes.

    PubMed

    Baldo, Laura; Pretus, Joan Lluís; Riera, Joan Lluís; Musilova, Zuzana; Bitja Nyom, Arnold Roger; Salzburger, Walter

    2017-09-01

    Ecoevolutionary dynamics of the gut microbiota at the macroscale level, that is, in across-species comparisons, are largely driven by ecological variables and host genotype. The repeated explosive radiations of African cichlid fishes in distinct lakes, following a dietary diversification in a context of reduced genetic diversity, provide a natural setup to explore convergence, divergence and repeatability in patterns of microbiota dynamics as a function of the host diet, phylogeny and environment. Here we characterized by 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing the gut microbiota of 29 cichlid species from two distinct lakes/radiations (Tanganyika and Barombi Mbo) and across a broad dietary and phylogenetic range. Within each lake, a significant deviation between a carnivorous and herbivorous lifestyle was found. Herbivore species were characterized by an increased bacterial taxonomic and functional diversity and converged in key compositional and functional community aspects. Despite a significant lake effect on the microbiota structure, this process has occurred with remarkable parallels in the two lakes. A metabolic signature most likely explains this trend, as indicated by a significant enrichment in herbivores/omnivores of bacterial taxa and functions associated with fiber degradation and detoxification of plant chemical compounds. Overall, compositional and functional aspects of the gut microbiota individually and altogether validate and predict main cichlid dietary habits, suggesting a fundamental role of gut bacteria in cichlid niche expansion and adaptation.

  9. 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

  10. Divergence in cis-regulatory sequences surrounding the opsin gene arrays of African cichlid fishes

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Divergence within cis-regulatory sequences may contribute to the adaptive evolution of gene expression, but functional alleles in these regions are difficult to identify without abundant genomic resources. Among African cichlid fishes, the differential expression of seven opsin genes has produced adaptive differences in visual sensitivity. Quantitative genetic analysis suggests that cis-regulatory alleles near the SWS2-LWS opsins may contribute to this variation. Here, we sequence BACs containing the opsin genes of two cichlids, Oreochromis niloticus and Metriaclima zebra. We use phylogenetic footprinting and shadowing to examine divergence in conserved non-coding elements, promoter sequences, and 3'-UTRs surrounding each opsin in search of candidate cis-regulatory sequences that influence cichlid opsin expression. Results We identified 20 conserved non-coding elements surrounding the opsins of cichlids and other teleosts, including one known enhancer and a retinal microRNA. Most conserved elements contained computationally-predicted binding sites that correspond to transcription factors that function in vertebrate opsin expression; O. niloticus and M. zebra were significantly divergent in two of these. Similarly, we found a large number of relevant transcription factor binding sites within each opsin's proximal promoter, and identified five opsins that were considerably divergent in both expression and the number of transcription factor binding sites shared between O. niloticus and M. zebra. We also found several microRNA target sites within the 3'-UTR of each opsin, including two 3'-UTRs that differ significantly between O. niloticus and M. zebra. Finally, we examined interspecific divergence among 18 phenotypically diverse cichlids from Lake Malawi for one conserved non-coding element, two 3'-UTRs, and five opsin proximal promoters. We found that all regions were highly conserved with some evidence of CRX transcription factor binding site turnover. We

  11. Divergence in cis-regulatory sequences surrounding the opsin gene arrays of African cichlid fishes.

    PubMed

    O'Quin, Kelly E; Smith, Daniel; Naseer, Zan; Schulte, Jane; Engel, Samuel D; Loh, Yong-Hwee E; Streelman, J Todd; Boore, Jeffrey L; Carleton, Karen L

    2011-05-09

    Divergence within cis-regulatory sequences may contribute to the adaptive evolution of gene expression, but functional alleles in these regions are difficult to identify without abundant genomic resources. Among African cichlid fishes, the differential expression of seven opsin genes has produced adaptive differences in visual sensitivity. Quantitative genetic analysis suggests that cis-regulatory alleles near the SWS2-LWS opsins may contribute to this variation. Here, we sequence BACs containing the opsin genes of two cichlids, Oreochromis niloticus and Metriaclima zebra. We use phylogenetic footprinting and shadowing to examine divergence in conserved non-coding elements, promoter sequences, and 3'-UTRs surrounding each opsin in search of candidate cis-regulatory sequences that influence cichlid opsin expression. We identified 20 conserved non-coding elements surrounding the opsins of cichlids and other teleosts, including one known enhancer and a retinal microRNA. Most conserved elements contained computationally-predicted binding sites that correspond to transcription factors that function in vertebrate opsin expression; O. niloticus and M. zebra were significantly divergent in two of these. Similarly, we found a large number of relevant transcription factor binding sites within each opsin's proximal promoter, and identified five opsins that were considerably divergent in both expression and the number of transcription factor binding sites shared between O. niloticus and M. zebra. We also found several microRNA target sites within the 3'-UTR of each opsin, including two 3'-UTRs that differ significantly between O. niloticus and M. zebra. Finally, we examined interspecific divergence among 18 phenotypically diverse cichlids from Lake Malawi for one conserved non-coding element, two 3'-UTRs, and five opsin proximal promoters. We found that all regions were highly conserved with some evidence of CRX transcription factor binding site turnover. We also found three

  12. 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

  13. The Integrated Genomic Architecture and Evolution of Dental Divergence in East African Cichlid Fishes (Haplochromis chilotes x H. nyererei).

    PubMed

    Hulsey, C Darrin; Machado-Schiaffino, Gonzalo; Keicher, Lara; Ellis-Soto, Diego; Henning, Frederico; Meyer, Axel

    2017-09-07

    The independent evolution of the two toothed jaws of cichlid fishes is thought to have promoted their unparalleled ecological divergence and species richness. However, dental divergence in cichlids could exhibit substantial genetic covariance and this could dictate how traits like tooth numbers evolve in different African Lakes and on their two jaws. To test this hypothesis, we used a hybrid mapping cross of two trophically divergent Lake Victoria species (Haplochromis chilotes × Haplochromis nyererei) to examine genomic regions associated with cichlid tooth diversity. Surprisingly, a similar genomic region was found to be associated with oral jaw tooth numbers in cichlids from both Lake Malawi and Lake Victoria. Likewise, this same genomic location was associated with variation in pharyngeal jaw tooth numbers. Similar relationships between tooth numbers on the two jaws in both our Victoria hybrid population and across the phylogenetic diversity of Malawi cichlids additionally suggests that tooth numbers on the two jaws of haplochromine cichlids might generally coevolve owing to shared genetic underpinnings. Integrated, rather than independent, genomic architectures could be key to the incomparable evolutionary divergence and convergence in cichlid tooth numbers. Copyright © 2017 Hulsey et al.

  14. Phylogeny of the Lake Tanganyika cichlid species flock and its relationship to the Central and East African haplochromine cichlid fish faunas.

    PubMed

    Salzburger, Walter; Meyer, Axel; Baric, Sanja; Verheyen, Erik; Sturmbauer, Christian

    2002-02-01

    Lake Tanganyika, the oldest of the East African Great Lakes, harbors the ecologically, morphologically, and behaviorally most complex of all assemblages of cichlid fishes, consisting of about 200 described species. The evolutionary old age of the cichlid assemblage, its extreme degree of morphological differentiation, the lack of species with intermediate morphologies, and the rapidity of lineage formation have made evolutionary reconstruction difficult. The number and origin of seeding lineages, particularly the possible contribution of riverine haplochromine cichlids to endemic lacustrine lineages, remains unclear. Our phylogenetic analyses, based on mitochondrial DNA sequences of three gene segments of 49 species (25% of all described species, up to 2,400 bp each), yield robust phylogenies that provide new insights into the Lake Tanganyika adaptive radiation as well as into the origin of the Central- and East-African haplochromine faunas. Our data suggest that eight ancient African lineages may have seeded the Tanganyikan cichlid radiation. One of these seeding lineages, probably comprising substrate spawning Lamprologus-like species, diversified into six lineages that evolved mouthbrooding during the initial stage of the radiation. All analyzed haplochromines from surrounding rivers and lakes seem to have evolved within the radiating Tanganyikan lineages. Thus, our findings contradict the current hypothesis that ancestral riverine haplochromines colonized Lake Tanganyika to give rise to at least part of its spectacular endemic cichlid species assemblage. Instead, the early phases of the Tanganyikan radiation affected Central and East African rivers and lakes. The haplochromines may have evolved in the Tanganyikan basin before the lake became a hydrologically and ecologically closed system and then secondarily colonized surrounding rivers. Apparently, therefore, the current diversity of Central and East African haplochromines represents a relatively young and

  15. Lake level fluctuations synchronize genetic divergences of cichlid fishes in African lakes.

    PubMed

    Sturmbauer, C; Baric, S; Salzburger, W; Rüber, L; Verheyen, E

    2001-02-01

    Water level fluctuations are important modulators of speciation processes in tropical lakes, in that they temporarily form or break down barriers to gene flow among adjacent populations and/or incipient species. Time estimates of the most recent major lowstands of the three African Great Lakes are thus crucial to infer the relative timescales of explosive speciation events in cichlid species flocks. Our approach combines geological evidence with genetic divergence data of cichlid fishes from the three Great East African Lakes derived from the fastest-evolving mtDNA segment. Thereby, we show for each of the three lakes that individuals sampled from several populations which are currently isolated by long geographic distances and/or deep water form clusters of equally closely related haplotypes. The distribution of identical or equally closely related haplotypes in a lake basin allows delineation of the extent of lake level fluctuations. Our data suggest that the same climatic phenomenon synchronized the onset of genetic divergence of lineages in all three species flocks, such that their most recent evolutionary history seems to be linked to the same external modulators of adaptive radiation. A calibration of the molecular clock of the control region was elaborated by gauging the age of the Lake Malawi species flock through the divergence among the utaka-cichlid and the mbuna-cichlid lineages to minimally 570,000 years and maximally 1 Myr. This suggests that the low-lake-level period which established the observed patterns of genetic relatedness dates back less than 57,000 years, probably even to 17,000-12,400 years ago, when Lake Victoria dried up and Lakes Malawi and Tanganyika were also low. A rapid rise of all three lakes about 11,000 years ago established the large-scale population subdivisions observed today. Over that period of time, a multitude of species originated in Lakes Malawi and Victoria with an impressive degree of morphological and ecological

  16. 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. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  17. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-22

    Adaptive radiation (AR) is a key process in the origin of organismal diversity. However, the evolution of trait disparity in connection with ecological specialization is still poorly understood. Available models for vertebrate ARs predict that diversification occurs in the form of temporal stages driven by different selective forces. Here, we investigate the AR of cichlid fishes in East African Lake Tanganyika and use macroevolutionary model fitting to evaluate whether diversification happened in temporal stages. Six trait complexes, for which we also provide evidence of their adaptiveness, are analysed with comparative methods: body shape, pharyngeal jaw shape, gill raker traits, gut length, brain weight and body coloration. Overall, we do not find strong evidence for the 'stages model' of AR. However, our results suggest that trophic traits diversify earlier than traits implicated in macrohabitat adaptation and that sexual communication traits (i.e. coloration) diversify late in the radiation. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

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

  20. Hybrid Breakdown in Cichlid Fish

    PubMed Central

    Stelkens, Rike Bahati; Schmid, Corinne; Seehausen, Ole

    2015-01-01

    Studies from a wide diversity of taxa have shown a negative relationship between genetic compatibility and the divergence time of hybridizing genomes. Theory predicts the main breakdown of fitness to happen after the F1 hybrid generation, when heterosis subsides and recessive allelic (Dobzhansky-Muller) incompatibilities are increasingly unmasked. We measured the fitness of F2 hybrids of African haplochromine cichlid fish bred from species pairs spanning several thousand to several million years divergence time. F2 hybrids consistently showed the lowest viability compared to F1 hybrids and non-hybrid crosses (crosses within the grandparental species), in agreement with hybrid breakdown. Especially the short- and long-term survival (2 weeks to 6 months) of F2 hybrids was significantly reduced. Overall, F2 hybrids showed a fitness reduction of 21% compared to F1 hybrids, and a reduction of 43% compared to the grandparental, non-hybrid crosses. We further observed a decrease of F2 hybrid viability with the genetic distance between grandparental lineages, suggesting an important role for negative epistatic interactions in cichlid fish postzygotic isolation. The estimated time window for successful production of F2 hybrids resulting from our data is consistent with the estimated divergence time between the multiple ancestral lineages that presumably hybridized in three major adaptive radiations of African cichlids. PMID:25996870

  1. Phenotypic plasticity is maintained despite geographical isolation in an African cichlid fish, Pseudocrenilabrus multicolor.

    PubMed

    Wiens, Kirsten E; Crispo, Erika; Chapman, Lauren J

    2014-01-01

    Gene flow among populations in different selective environments should favor the evolution of phenotypic plasticity over local adaptation. Plasticity in development is a common response to long-term hypoxia in some widespread African fishes, including Pseudocrenilabrus multicolor, a cichlid that exploits both normoxic (high oxygen) rivers/lakes and hypoxic (low oxygen) swamps. Previous studies have shown that fish from normoxic and hypoxic sites differ in many traits, including gill size, brain size and body shape, and that much of this variation reflects developmental plasticity. However, these earlier studies focused on areas in Uganda where gene flow between swamp and river or lake populations is high. In this study we tested the hypothesis that P. multicolor from a relatively isolated lake population (Lake Saka, Uganda) exhibit low levels of plasticity in traits related to oxygen uptake. Multiple broods of P. multicolor from Lake Saka were reared under low and high dissolved oxygen, and traits related to gill size, brain mass and body shape were quantified. Surprisingly, both gill size and brain mass showed high levels of developmental plasticity. We suggest that high levels of plasticity, particularly in the gill size of P. multicolor, reflects low costs of maintaining the plastic response, even in relatively isolated populations. © 2012 Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd, ISZS and IOZ/CAS.

  2. Genetic and developmental basis for fin shape variation in African cichlid fishes.

    PubMed

    Navon, Dina; Olearczyk, Nathan; Albertson, R Craig

    2017-01-01

    Adaptive radiations are often characterized by the rapid evolution of traits associated with divergent feeding modes. For example, the evolutionary history of African cichlids is marked by repeated and coordinated shifts in skull, trophic, fin and body shape. Here, we seek to explore the molecular basis for fin shape variation in Lake Malawi cichlids. We first described variation within an F2 mapping population derived by crossing two cichlid species with divergent morphologies including fin shape. We then used this population to genetically map loci that influence variation in this trait. We found that the genotype-phenotype map for fin shape is largely distinct from other morphological characters including body and craniofacial shape. These data suggest that key aspects of fin, body and jaw shape are genetically modular and that the coordinated evolution of these traits in cichlids is more likely due to common selective pressures than to pleiotropy or linkage. We next combined genetic mapping data with population-level genome scans to identify wnt7aa and col1a1 as candidate genes underlying variation in the number of pectoral fin ray elements. Gene expression patterns across species with different fin morphologies and small molecule manipulation of the Wnt pathway during fin development further support the hypothesis that variation at these loci underlies divergence in fin shape between cichlid species. In all, our data provide additional insights into the genetic and molecular mechanisms associated with morphological divergence in this important adaptive radiation.

  3. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  5. 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

  6. Ancestral and derived attributes of the dlx gene repertoire, cluster structure and expression patterns in an African cichlid fish

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Cichlid fishes have undergone rapid, expansive evolutionary radiations that are manifested in the diversification of their trophic morphologies, tooth patterning and coloration. Understanding the molecular mechanisms that underlie the cichlids' unique patterns of evolution requires a thorough examination of genes that pattern the neural crest, from which these diverse phenotypes are derived. Among those genes, the homeobox-containing Dlx gene family is of particular interest since it is involved in the patterning of the brain, jaws and teeth. Results In this study, we characterized the dlx genes of an African cichlid fish, Astatotilapia burtoni, to provide a baseline to later allow cross-species comparison within Cichlidae. We identified seven dlx paralogs (dlx1a, -2a, -4a, -3b, -4b, -5a and -6a), whose orthologies were validated with molecular phylogenetic trees. The intergenic regions of three dlx gene clusters (dlx1a-2a, dlx3b-4b, and dlx5a-6a) were amplified with long PCR. Intensive cross-species comparison revealed a number of conserved non-coding elements (CNEs) that are shared with other percomorph fishes. This analysis highlighted additional lineage-specific gains/losses of CNEs in different teleost fish lineages and a novel CNE that had previously not been identified. Our gene expression analyses revealed overlapping but distinct expression of dlx orthologs in the developing brain and pharyngeal arches. Notably, four of the seven A. burtoni dlx genes, dlx2a, dlx3b, dlx4a and dlx5a, were expressed in the developing pharyngeal teeth. Conclusion This comparative study of the dlx genes of A. burtoni has deepened our knowledge of the diversity of the Dlx gene family, in terms of gene repertoire, expression patterns and non-coding elements. We have identified possible cichlid lineage-specific changes, including losses of a subset of dlx expression domains in the pharyngeal teeth, which will be the targets of future functional studies. PMID:21205289

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. No Experimental Evidence for Sneaking in a West African Cichlid Fish with Extremely Long Sperm

    PubMed Central

    Langen, Kathrin; Thünken, Timo; Bakker, Theo C. M.

    2013-01-01

    Alternative reproductive tactics are widespread in fishes, increasing the potential for sperm competition. Sperm competition has enormous impact on both variation in sperm numbers and sperm size. In cichlids, the sperm competition risk is very divergent and longer sperm are usually interpreted as adaptation to sperm competition. Here we examined whether sneaking tactics exist in Pelvicachromis taeniatus, a socially monogamous cichlid with biparental brood care from West Africa. The small testis indicates low gonadal investment which is typical for genetically monogamous species. In contrast, sperm length with up to 85 μm is extraordinarily long. We examined the reproductive behaviour of ten groups with a male-biased sex ratio under semi-natural conditions via continuous video recording. We recorded spawning site preferences and correlates of reproductive success and conducted paternity tests using microsatellites. Safe breeding sites that could be successfully defended were preferred. All offspring could be assigned to their parents and no multiple paternities were detected. Body size of spawning pairs predicted their spawning probability and offspring hatching rate suggesting benefits from mating with large individuals. Our study suggests low risk of sperm competition under the given conditions in P. taeniatus and thus first evidence for genetic monogamy in a substrate breeding cichlid. PMID:24386589

  10. 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

  11. How many species of cichlid fishes are there in African lakes?

    PubMed

    Turner, G F; Seehausen, O; Knight, M E; Allender, C J; Robinson, R L

    2001-03-01

    The endemic cichlid fishes of Lakes Malawi, Tanganyika and Victoria are textbook examples of explosive speciation and adaptive radiation, and their study promises to yield important insights into these processes. Accurate estimates of species richness of lineages in these lakes, and elsewhere, will be a necessary prerequisite for a thorough comparative analysis of the intrinsic and extrinsic factors influencing rates of diversification. This review presents recent findings on the discoveries of new species and species flocks and critically appraises the relevant evidence on species richness from recent studies of polymorphism and assortative mating, generally using behavioural and molecular methods. Within the haplochromines, the most species-rich lineage, there are few reported cases of postzygotic isolation, and these are generally among allopatric taxa that are likely to have diverged a relatively long time in the past. However, many taxa, including many which occur sympatrically and do not interbreed in nature, produce viable, fertile hybrids. Prezygotic barriers are more important, and persist in laboratory conditions in which environmental factors have been controlled, indicating the primary importance of direct mate preferences. Studies to date indicate that estimates of alpha (within-site) diversity appear to be robust. Although within-species colour polymorphisms are common, these have been taken into account in previous estimates of species richness. However, overall estimates of species richness in Lakes Malawi and Victoria are heavily dependent on the assignation of species status to allopatric populations differing in male colour. Appropriate methods for testing the specific status of allopatric cichlid taxa are reviewed and preliminary results presented.

  12. Comparative ocular anatomy in a blind African cichlid fish, Lamprologus lethops.

    PubMed

    Schobert, Charles S; Stiassny, Melanie L J; Schwab, Ivan R; Zeiss, Caroline; Schelly, Robert C; Dubielzig, Richard R

    2013-09-01

    Troglomorphic fishes provide excellent comparative models for studying eye evolution. We describe the gross and microscopic anatomy of ocular structures of the depigmented, blind cichlid, Lamprologus lethops, and its putative sister species, Lamprologus tigripictilis collected from the lower Congo River in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Both species were fixed, paraffin-sectioned and stained. Immunohistochemical staining for rhodopsin markers was also performed. The globe in L. lethops is smaller than its sighted congener and recessed beneath bone and skin. The scleral profile maintains a wrinkled spherical shape, and the choroid is occupied by adipose tissue containing no rete mirabilis. The globe in L. lethops is foreshortened in the anterior-posterior dimension and deviated dorsally toward the midline with no extraocular muscles. At the posterior pole of the globe, there is an open periocular space containing no cell bodies. In L. tigripictilis, no choroidal adipose tissue is seen and a rete mirabilis is present. The retina of L. lethops is thinner compared with L. tigripictilis. Both species have scleral cartilage and fully developed lenses. Rhodopsin is present in the inner and outer segments of both species. Ocular adaptations evolve over time as a response to a life in darkness. Combining ocular anatomy, developmental data, and genetics will lead to insights about evolution in these fishes and contribute to understanding how ocular evolution works in other vertebrates. © 2012 American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists.

  13. Female preference for males depends on reproductive physiology in the African cichlid fish Astatotilapia burtoni.

    PubMed

    Kidd, Michael R; O'Connell, Lauren A; Kidd, Celeste E; Chen, Christine W; Fontenot, Miles R; Williams, Sidney J; Hofmann, Hans A

    2013-01-01

    Mate choice is fundamental to sexual selection, yet little is known about underlying physiological mechanisms that influence female mating decisions. We investigated the endocrine underpinnings of female mate choice in the African cichlid Astatotilapia burtoni, a non-seasonal breeder. In addition to profiling behavioral and hormonal changes across the female reproductive cycle, we tested two hypotheses regarding possible factors influencing female mate choice. We first asked whether female mate choice is influenced by male visual and/or chemical cues. A. burtoni females were housed for one full reproductive cycle in the center of a dichotomous choice apparatus with a large (attractive) or small (unattractive) conspecific male on either side. Females associated mostly with small, less attractive males, but on the day of spawning reversed their preference to large, attractive males, with whom they mated almost exclusively, although this choice depended on the relative amount of androgens released into the water by small males. We next asked whether male behavior or androgen levels change in relation to the stimulus females' reproductive state. We found that stimulus male aggression decreased and reproductive displays increased as the day of spawning approached. Moreover male testosterone levels changed throughout the females' reproductive cycle, with larger males releasing more testosterone into the water than small males. Our data suggest that female association in a dichotomous choice assay is only indicative of the actual mate choice on the day of spawning. Furthermore, we show that male behavior and hormone levels are dependent on the reproductive state of conspecific females.

  14. Expression of arginine vasotocin in distinct preoptic regions is associated with dominant and subordinate behaviour in an African cichlid fish

    PubMed Central

    Greenwood, Anna K; Wark, Abigail R; Fernald, Russell D; Hofmann, Hans A

    2008-01-01

    Neuropeptides have widespread modulatory effects on behaviour and physiology and are associated with phenotypic transitions in a variety of animals. Arginine vasotocin (AVT) is implicated in mediating alternative male phenotypes in teleost fish, but the direction of the association differs among species, with either higher or lower AVT related to more territorial behaviour in different fishes. To clarify the complex relationship between AVT and alternative phenotype, we evaluated AVT expression in an African cichlid in which social status is associated with divergent behaviour and physiology. We compared AVT mRNA expression between territorial and non-territorial (NT) males in both whole brains and microdissected anterior preoptic areas using transcription profiling, and in individual preoptic nuclei using in situ hybridization. These complementary methods revealed that in the posterior preoptic area (gigantocellular nucleus), territorial males exhibit higher levels of AVT expression than NT males. Conversely, in the anterior preoptic area (parvocellular nucleus), AVT expression is lower in territorial males than NT males. We further correlated AVT expression with behavioural and physiological characteristics of social status to gain insight into the divergent functions of individual AVT nuclei. Overall, our findings highlight a complex association between AVT and social behaviour. PMID:18628117

  15. Ecological and Lineage-Specific Factors Drive the Molecular Evolution of Rhodopsin in Cichlid Fishes.

    PubMed

    Torres-Dowdall, Julián; Henning, Frederico; Elmer, Kathryn R; Meyer, Axel

    2015-11-01

    The visual system in the colorful cichlid fishes from the African great lakes is believed to be important for their adaptive radiations. However, few studies have attempted to compare the visual system of radiating cichlid lineages with that of cichlids that have not undergone recent radiations. One such study published in this journal (Schott RK, Refvik SP, Hauser FE, López-Fernández H, Chang BSW. 2014. Divergent positive selection in rhodopsin from lake and riverine cichlid fishes. Mol Biol Evol. 31:1149-1165) found divergent selection on rhodopsin between African lacustrine and riverine cichlid species and riverine Neotropical cichlids, concluding that ecology drives the molecular evolution of this opsin. Here, we expand this analysis by incorporating rhodopsin sequences from Neotropical lacustrine cichlids and show that both ecology and phylogeny are important drivers of the molecular evolution of rhodopsin in cichlids. We found little overlap of sites under selection between African and Neotropical lineages and a faster rate of molecular evolution in African compared with Neotropical cichlids. These results support the notion that genetic or population genetic features particular to African cichlids contributed to their radiations. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

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

    PubMed

    Maruska, K P; Zhang, A; Neboori, A; Fernald, R D

    2013-02-01

    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. Furthermore, because 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 the integration of social salience, stressors, hormonal state and adaptive behaviours. We also demonstrated 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

  17. 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. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  18. 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

  19. Convergent evolution within an adaptive radiation of cichlid fishes.

    PubMed

    Muschick, Moritz; Indermaur, Adrian; Salzburger, Walter

    2012-12-18

    The recurrent evolution of convergent forms is a widespread phenomenon in adaptive radiations (e.g., [1-9]). For example, similar ecotypes of anoles lizards have evolved on different islands of the Caribbean, benthic-limnetic species pairs of stickleback fish emerged repeatedly in postglacial lakes, equivalent sets of spider ecomorphs have arisen on Hawaiian islands, and a whole set of convergent species pairs of cichlid fishes evolved in East African Lakes Malawi and Tanganyika. In all these cases, convergent phenotypes originated in geographic isolation from each other. Recent theoretical models, however, predict that convergence should be common within species-rich communities, such as species assemblages resulting from adaptive radiations. Here, we present the most extensive quantitative analysis to date of an adaptive radiation of cichlid fishes, discovering multiple instances of convergence in body and trophic morphology. Moreover, we show that convergent morphologies are associated with adaptations to specific habitats and resources and that Lake Tanganyika's cichlid communities are characterized by the sympatric occurrence of convergent forms. This prevalent coexistence of distantly related yet ecomorphologically similar species offers an explanation for the greatly elevated species numbers in cichlid species flocks. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Origins of Shared Genetic Variation in African Cichlids

    PubMed Central

    Loh, Yong-Hwee E.; Bezault, Etienne; Muenzel, Frauke M.; Roberts, Reade B.; Swofford, Ross; Barluenga, Marta; Kidd, Celeste E.; Howe, Aimee E.; Di Palma, Federica; Lindblad-Toh, Kerstin; Hey, Jody; Seehausen, Ole; Salzburger, Walter; Kocher, Thomas D.; Streelman, J. Todd

    2013-01-01

    Cichlid fishes have evolved tremendous morphological and behavioral diversity in the waters of East Africa. Within each of the Great Lakes Tanganyika, Malawi, and Victoria, the phenomena of hybridization and retention of ancestral polymorphism explain allele sharing across species. Here, we explore the sharing of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) between the major East African cichlid assemblages. A set of approximately 200 genic and nongenic SNPs was ascertained in five Lake Malawi species and genotyped in a diverse collection of ∼160 species from across Africa. We observed segregating polymorphism outside of the Malawi lineage for more than 50% of these loci; this holds similarly for genic versus nongenic SNPs, as well as for SNPs at putative CpG versus non-CpG sites. Bayesian and principal component analyses of genetic structure in the data demonstrate that the Lake Malawi endemic flock is not monophyletic and that river species have likely contributed significantly to Malawi genomes. Coalescent simulations support the hypothesis that river cichlids have transported polymorphism between lake assemblages. We observed strong genetic differentiation between Malawi lineages for approximately 8% of loci, with contributions from both genic and nongenic SNPs. Notably, more than half of these outlier loci between Malawi groups are polymorphic outside of the lake. Cichlid fishes have evolved diversity in Lake Malawi as new mutations combined with standing genetic variation shared across East Africa. PMID:23275489

  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. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. 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

  3. Water pH during early development influences sex ratio and male morph in a West African cichlid fish, Pelvicachromis pulcher.

    PubMed

    Reddon, Adam R; Hurd, Peter L

    2013-06-01

    Environmental sex determination (ESD) is one of the most striking examples of phenotypic plasticity. Individuals from species that exhibit ESD can develop as either males or females depending on the particular environmental conditions they experience during early development. In fish, ESD species often show a relatively subtle effect of environment, resulting in a substantial number of both sexes being produced in both male- and female-biasing conditions, rather than the unisex clutches that are typical of many reptiles. This less dramatic form of ESD allows the opportunity to study the effects of sexual differentiation on within-sex variation in behavior and morphology by comparing same-sex individuals produced in male- and female-biasing conditions. Here, we confirm that sex determination in the West African cichlid, Pelvicachromis pulcher, is influenced by pH during early development. We show that pH also affects the ratio of two alternative male reproductive types with the polygynous morph being overproduced in male-biasing conditions and the monogamous male morph being overproduced in female-biasing conditions. Our results suggest that the sexual differentiation process may be an important force in maintaining individual variation in behavior and reproductive tactics.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. The fish eye view: are cichlids conspicuous?

    PubMed

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

    2010-07-01

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

  8. Convict cichlids benefit from close proximity to another species of cichlid fish.

    PubMed

    Lehtonen, Topi K

    2008-12-23

    The coexistence of species with overlapping resource use is often thought to involve only negative fitness effects as a consequence of interspecific competition. Furthermore, the scarce empirical research on positive species interactions has predominantly focused on sessile organisms. Here, I experimentally assessed the effect of close proximity of a potential brood predator and competitor on reproductive success of a neotropical cichlid fish. I demonstrate that convict cichlid (Archocentrus nigrofasciatus) broods have a higher survival rate near territories of the Nicaragua cichlid (Hypsophrys nicaraguensis), and that escape from predation and nest takeovers is the most likely explanation for the decreased offspring mortality.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  10. 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

  11. Persistence of neutral polymorphisms in Lake Victoria cichlid fish.

    PubMed

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

    1998-11-24

    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.

  12. Multiple episodic evolution events in V1R receptor genes of East-African cichlids.

    PubMed

    Nikaido, Masato; Ota, Tomoki; Hirata, Tadashi; Suzuki, Hikoyu; Satta, Yoko; Aibara, Mitsuto; Mzighani, Semvua I; Sturmbauer, Christian; Hagino-Yamagishi, Kimiko; Okada, Norihiro

    2014-05-06

    Fish use olfaction to detect a variety of nonvolatile chemical signals, and thus, this sense is key to survival and communication. However, the contribution of the olfactory sense to social-especially reproductive-interactions in cichlids is still controversial. To obtain insights into this issue, we investigated the genes encoding V1Rs-possible candidates for reproductive pheromone receptors-among East-African cichlids. Interestingly, we found an excess of nonsynonymous over synonymous substitutions in four of six V1R genes in multiple cichlid lineages. First, we found that highly dimorphic V1R2 allele groups were shared among the cichlids inhabiting all East-African Great Lakes emerged through the episodic accumulation of the nonsynonymous substitutions prior to the radiation of the Lake Tanganyika species flock. We further detected such episodic events in V1R1 of the tribe Tropheini, and in V1R3 and V1R6 of the tribe Trematocarini. The excess of nonsynonymous substitutions in these examples were indicated as dN/dS > 1, which were all statistically significant by Fisher's exact test. Furthermore, we speculate that the amino acid changes in these episodic events are likely functional switch because they occurred in the putative ligand-binding pocket. Our finding of the occurrence of multiple episodic events and the unexpected gene diversity in one unique gene family is suggestive of the contribution of the V1R to the species diversification and the social interaction in cichlids.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-05-05

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

  15. 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

  16. Hearing in Cichlid Fishes under Noise Conditions

    PubMed Central

    Ladich, Friedrich; Schulz-Mirbach, Tanja

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-10-07

    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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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 18 kb. 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

  1. Phylogenetic analysis of cichlid fishes using nuclear DNA markers.

    PubMed

    Sültmann, H; Mayer, W E; Figueroa, F; Tichy, H; Klein, J

    1995-11-01

    The recent explosive adaptive radiation of cichlids in the great lakes of Africa has attracted the attention of both morphologists and molecular biologists. To decipher the phylogenetic relationships among the various taxa within the family Cichlidae is a prerequisite for answering some fundamental questions about the nature of the speciation process. In the present study, we used the random amplification of polymorphic DNA (RAPD) technique to obtain sequence differences between selected cichlid species. We then designed specific primers based on these sequences and used them to amplify template DNA from a large number of species by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). We sequenced the amplified products and searched the sequences for indels and shared substitutions. We identified a number of such characters at three loci--DXTU1, DXTU2, and DXTU3--and used them for phylogenetic and cladistic analysis of the relationships among the various cichlid groups. Our studies assign an outgroup position to Neotropical cichlids in relation to African cichlids, provide evidence for a sister-group relationship of tilapiines to the haplochromines, group Cyphotilapia frontosa with the lamprologines of Lake Tanganyika, place Astatoreochromis alluaudi to an outgroup position with respect to other haplochromines of Lakes Victoria and Malawi, and provide additional support for the monophyly of the remaining Lake Victoria haplochromines and the Lake Malawi haplochromines. The described approach holds great promise for further resolution of cichlid phylogeny.

  2. Polygenic sex determination in the cichlid fish Astatotilapia burtoni.

    PubMed

    Roberts, Natalie B; Juntti, Scott A; Coyle, Kaitlin P; Dumont, Bethany L; Stanley, M Kaitlyn; Ryan, Allyson Q; Fernald, Russell D; Roberts, Reade B

    2016-10-26

    The East African riverine cichlid species Astatotilapia burtoni serves as an important laboratory model for sexually dimorphic physiology and behavior, and also serves as an outgroup species for the explosive adaptive radiations of cichlid species in Lake Malawi and Lake Victoria. An astounding diversity of genetic sex determination systems have been revealed within the adaptive radiation of East African cichlids thus far, including polygenic sex determination systems involving the epistatic interaction of multiple, independently segregating sex determination alleles. However, sex determination has remained unmapped in A. burtoni. Here we present mapping results supporting the presence of multiple, novel sex determination alleles, and thus the presence of polygenic sex determination in A. burtoni. Using mapping in small families in conjunction with restriction-site associated DNA sequencing strategies, we identify associations with sex at loci on linkage group 13 and linkage group 5-14. Inheritance patterns support an XY sex determination system on linkage group 5-14 (a chromosome fusion relative to other cichlids studied), and an XYW system on linkage group 13, and these associations are replicated in multiple families. Additionally, combining our genetic data with comparative genomic analysis identifies another fusion that is unassociated with sex, with linkage group 8-24 and linkage group 16-21 fused in A. burtoni relative to other East African cichlid species. We identify genetic signals supporting the presence of three previously unidentified sex determination alleles at two loci in the species A. burtoni, strongly supporting the presence of polygenic sex determination system in the species. These results provide a foundation for future mapping of multiple sex determination genes and their interactions. A better understanding of sex determination in A. burtoni provides important context for their use in behavioral studies, as well as studies of the evolution

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-04-01

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

  5. Multiple Episodic Evolution Events in V1R Receptor Genes of East-African Cichlids

    PubMed Central

    Nikaido, Masato; Ota, Tomoki; Hirata, Tadashi; Suzuki, Hikoyu; Satta, Yoko; Aibara, Mitsuto; Mzighani, Semvua I.; Sturmbauer, Christian; Hagino-Yamagishi, Kimiko; Okada, Norihiro

    2014-01-01

    Fish use olfaction to detect a variety of nonvolatile chemical signals, and thus, this sense is key to survival and communication. However, the contribution of the olfactory sense to social—especially reproductive—interactions in cichlids is still controversial. To obtain insights into this issue, we investigated the genes encoding V1Rs—possible candidates for reproductive pheromone receptors—among East-African cichlids. Interestingly, we found an excess of nonsynonymous over synonymous substitutions in four of six V1R genes in multiple cichlid lineages. First, we found that highly dimorphic V1R2 allele groups were shared among the cichlids inhabiting all East-African Great Lakes emerged through the episodic accumulation of the nonsynonymous substitutions prior to the radiation of the Lake Tanganyika species flock. We further detected such episodic events in V1R1 of the tribe Tropheini, and in V1R3 and V1R6 of the tribe Trematocarini. The excess of nonsynonymous substitutions in these examples were indicated as dN/dS > 1, which were all statistically significant by Fisher’s exact test. Furthermore, we speculate that the amino acid changes in these episodic events are likely functional switch because they occurred in the putative ligand-binding pocket. Our finding of the occurrence of multiple episodic events and the unexpected gene diversity in one unique gene family is suggestive of the contribution of the V1R to the species diversification and the social interaction in cichlids. PMID:24803573

  6. Two new species of Cichlidogyrus (Monogenea: Dactylogyridae) parasitizing the gills of African cichlid fishes (Perciformes) from Senegal: morphometric and molecular characterization.

    PubMed

    Rehulková, Eva; Mendlová, Monika; Simková, Andrea

    2013-04-01

    Two new species of Cichlidogyrus are described from the gills of three species of African cichlids collected from the Gambia River basin in the Niokolo-Koba National Park, Senegal: Cichlidogyrus dracolemma n. sp. from Hemichromis letourneuxi and Cichlidogyrus nageus n. sp. from Sarotherodon galilaeus and Tilapia guineensis. The new species are recognized on the basis of morphological differences in the male copulatory organs (MCOs) and apparent differences in the SSU rDNA and ITS1 sequence data. C. dracolemma n. sp. resembles specimens of Cichlidogyrus from Hemichromis bimaculatus, probably misidentified as Cichlidogyrus bychowskii by Paperna in 1965, in having morphologically similar types of haptoral sclerites and MCO. The new species is characterized by possessing an MCO with a kite-shaped termination of the accessory piece and a vagina distally surrounded by a circular superficial sclerotization of the body surface. Molecular phylogenetic analyses showed a strongly supported clade including C. dracolemma n. sp. and two species collected from Hemichromis fasciatus, namely Cichlidogyrus longicirrus Paperna, 1965 and Cichlidogyrus falcifer Dossou and Birgi, 1984. Based on both morphology and molecular phylogeny, C. nageus n. sp. appears to be closely related to Cichlidogyrus acerbus Dossou, 1982 obtained from S. galilaeus. Morphologically, C. nageus n. sp. is readily separated from all known congeners by the characteristic pestle shaped termination of the accessory piece of the MCO. Molecular phylogenetic reconstruction showed that C. dracolemma n. sp. and C. nageus n. sp. cluster with the Cichlidogyrus species possessing the same haptoral configuration and host preferences (on subfamily and tribe level, respectively).

  7. Comparative phylogenomic analyses of teleost fish Hox gene clusters: lessons from the cichlid fish Astatotilapia burtoni

    PubMed Central

    Hoegg, Simone; Boore, Jeffrey L; Kuehl, Jennifer V; Meyer, Axel

    2007-01-01

    Background Teleost fish have seven paralogous clusters of Hox genes stemming from two complete genome duplications early in vertebrate evolution, and an additional genome duplication during the evolution of ray-finned fish, followed by the secondary loss of one cluster. Gene duplications on the one hand, and the evolution of regulatory sequences on the other, are thought to be among the most important mechanisms for the evolution of new gene functions. Cichlid fish, the largest family of vertebrates with about 2500 species, are famous examples of speciation and morphological diversity. Since this diversity could be based on regulatory changes, we chose to study the coding as well as putative regulatory regions of their Hox clusters within a comparative genomic framework. Results We sequenced and characterized all seven Hox clusters of Astatotilapia burtoni, a haplochromine cichlid fish. Comparative analyses with data from other teleost fish such as zebrafish, two species of pufferfish, stickleback and medaka were performed. We traced losses of genes and microRNAs of Hox clusters, the medaka lineage seems to have lost more microRNAs than the other fish lineages. We found that each teleost genome studied so far has a unique set of Hox genes. The hoxb7a gene was lost independently several times during teleost evolution, the most recent event being within the radiation of East African cichlid fish. The conserved non-coding sequences (CNS) encompass a surprisingly large part of the clusters, especially in the HoxAa, HoxCa, and HoxDa clusters. Across all clusters, we observe a trend towards an increased content of CNS towards the anterior end. Conclusion The gene content of Hox clusters in teleost fishes is more variable than expected, with each species studied so far having a different set. Although the highest loss rate of Hox genes occurred immediately after whole genome duplications, our analyses showed that gene loss continued and is still ongoing in all teleost

  8. Microsatellite support for active inbreeding in a cichlid fish.

    PubMed

    Langen, Kathrin; Schwarzer, Julia; Kullmann, Harald; Bakker, Theo C M; Thünken, Timo

    2011-01-01

    In wild animal populations, the degree of inbreeding differs between species and within species between populations. Because mating with kin often results in inbreeding depression, observed inbreeding is usually regarded to be caused by limited outbreeding opportunities due to demographic factors like small population size or population substructuring. However, theory predicts inclusive benefits from mating with kin, and thus part of the observed variation in inbreeding might be due to active inbreeding preferences. Although some recent studies indeed report kin mating preferences, the evidence is still highly ambiguous. Here, we investigate inbreeding in a natural population of the West African cichlid fish Pelvicachromis taeniatus which showed clear kin mating preferences in standardized laboratory experiments but no inbreeding depression. The presented microsatellite analysis reveals that the natural population has, in comparison to two reference populations, a reduced allelic diversity (A = 3) resulting in a low heterozygosity (H(o) = 0.167) pointing to a highly inbred population. Furthermore, we found a significant heterozygote deficit not only at population (F(is) = 0.116) but also at subpopulation level (F(is) = 0.081) suggesting that inbreeding is not only a by-product of population substructuring but possibly a consequence of behavioral kin preferences.

  9. Behavioural isolation may facilitate homoploid hybrid speciation in cichlid fish.

    PubMed

    Selz, O M; Thommen, R; Maan, M E; Seehausen, O

    2014-02-01

    Hybrid speciation is constrained by the homogenizing effects of gene flow from the parental species. In the absence of post-mating isolation due to structural changes in the genome, or temporal or spatial premating isolation, another form of reproductive isolation would be needed for homoploid hybrid speciation to occur. Here, we investigate the potential of behavioural mate choice to generate assortative mating among hybrids and parental species. We made three-first-generation hybrid crosses between different species of African cichlid fish. In three-way mate-choice experiments, we allowed hybrid and nonhybrid females to mate with either hybrid or nonhybrid males. We found that hybrids generally mated nonrandomly and that hybridization can lead to the expression of new combinations of traits and preferences that behaviourally isolate hybrids from both parental species. Specifically, we find that the phenotypic distinctiveness of hybrids predicts the symmetry and extent of their reproductive isolation. Our data suggest that behavioural mate choice among hybrids may facilitate the establishment of isolated hybrid populations, even in proximity to one or both parental species. © 2013 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2013 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-06-01

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

  11. 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. © 2013 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2013 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  12. Proximate and ultimate causes of variable visual sensitivities: insights from cichlid fish radiations

    PubMed Central

    Carleton, Karen L.; Dalton, Brian E.; Escobar-Camacho, Daniel; Nandamuri, Sri Pratima

    2016-01-01

    Animals vary in their sensitivities to different wavelengths of light. Sensitivity differences can have fitness implications in terms of animals’ ability to forage, find mates and avoid predators. As a result, visual systems are likely selected to operate in particular lighting environments and for specific visual tasks. This review focuses on cichlid vision, as cichlids have diverse visual sensitivities, and considerable progress has been made in determining the genetic basis for this variation. We describe both the proximate and ultimate mechanisms shaping cichlid visual diversity using the structure of Tinbergen’s four questions. We describe 1) the molecular mechanisms that tune visual sensitivities including changes in opsin sequence and expression; 2) the evolutionary history of visual sensitivity across the African cichlid flocks; 3) the ontological changes in visual sensitivity and how modifying this developmental program alters sensitivities among species; and 4) the fitness benefits of spectral tuning mechanisms with respect to survival and mating success. We further discuss progress to unravel the gene regulatory networks controlling opsin expression and suggest that a simple genetic architecture contributes to the lability of opsin gene expression. Finally, we identify unanswered questions including whether visual sensitivities are experiencing selection, and whether similar spectral tuning mechanisms shape visual sensitivities of other fishes. PMID:27061347

  13. Microsatellites Cross-Species Amplification across Some African Cichlids

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    The transfer of the genomic resources developed in the Nile tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus, to other Tilapiines sensu lato and African cichlid would provide new possibilities to study this amazing group from genetics, ecology, evolution, aquaculture, and conservation point of view. We tested the cross-species amplification of 32 O. niloticus microsatellite markers in a panel of 15 species from 5 different African cichlid tribes: Oreochromines (Oreochromis, Sarotherodon), Boreotilapiines (Tilapia), Chromidotilapines, Hemichromines, and Haplochromines. Amplification was successfully observed for 29 markers (91%), with a frequency of polymorphic (P95) loci per species around 70%. The mean number of alleles per locus and species was 3.2 but varied from 3.7 within Oreochromis species to 1.6 within the nontilapia species. The high level of cross-species amplification and polymorphism of the microsatellite markers tested in this study provides powerful tools for a wide range of molecular genetic studies within tilapia species as well as for other African cichlids. PMID:22701809

  14. Embryonic and larval development in the Midas cichlid fish species flock (Amphilophus spp.): a new evo-devo model for the investigation of adaptive novelties and species differences.

    PubMed

    Kratochwil, Claudius F; Sefton, Maggie M; Meyer, Axel

    2015-02-26

    Central American crater lake cichlid fish of the Midas species complex (Amphilophus spp.) are a model system for sympatric speciation and fast ecological diversification and specialization. Midas cichlids have been intensively analyzed from an ecological and morphological perspective. Genomic resources such as transcriptomic and genomic data sets, and a high-quality draft genome are available now. Many ecologically relevant species-specific traits and differences such as pigmentation and cranial morphology arise during development. Detailed descriptions of the early development of the Midas cichlid in particular, will help to investigate the ontogeny of species differences and adaptations. We describe the embryonic and larval development of the crater lake cichlid, Amphilophus xiloaensis, until seven days after fertilization. Similar to previous studies on teleost development, we describe six periods of embryogenesis - the zygote, cleavage, blastula, gastrula, segmentation, and post-hatching period. Furthermore, we define homologous stages to well-described teleost models such as medaka and zebrafish, as well as other cichlid species such as the Nile tilapia and the South American cichlid Cichlasoma dimerus. Key morphological differences between the embryos of Midas cichlids and other teleosts are highlighted and discussed, including the presence of adhesive glands and different early chromatophore patterns, as well as variation in developmental timing. The developmental staging of the Midas cichlid will aid researchers in the comparative investigation of teleost ontogenies. It will facilitate comparative developmental biological studies of Neotropical and African cichlid fish in particular. In the past, the species flocks of the African Great Lakes have received the most attention from researchers, but some lineages of the 300-400 species of Central American lakes are fascinating model systems for adaptive radiation and rapid phenotypic evolution. The availability

  15. Parallel evolution in Ugandan crater lakes: repeated evolution of limnetic body shapes in haplochromine cichlid fish.

    PubMed

    Machado-Schiaffino, Gonzalo; Kautt, Andreas F; Kusche, Henrik; Meyer, Axel

    2015-02-04

    The enormous diversity found in East African cichlid fishes in terms of morphology, coloration, and behavior have made them a model for the study of speciation and adaptive evolution. In particular, haplochromine cichlids, by far the most species-rich lineage of cichlids, are a well-known textbook example for parallel evolution. Southwestern Uganda is an area of high tectonic activity, and is home to numerous crater lakes. Many Ugandan crater lakes were colonized, apparently independently, by a single lineage of haplochromine cichlids. Thereby, this system could be considered a natural experiment in which one can study the interaction between geographical isolation and natural selection promoting phenotypic diversification. We sampled 13 crater lakes and six potentially-ancestral older lakes and, using both mitochondrial and microsatellite markers, discovered strong genetic and morphological differentiation whereby (a) geographically close lakes tend to be genetically more similar and (b) three different geographic areas seem to have been colonized by three independent waves of colonization from the same source population. Using a geometric morphometric approach, we found that body shape elongation (i.e. a limnetic morphology) evolved repeatedly from the ancestral deeper-bodied benthic morphology in the clear and deep crater lake habitats. A pattern of strong genetic and morphological differentiation was observed in the Ugandan crater lakes. Our data suggest that body shape changes have repeatedly evolved into a more limnetic-like form in several Ugandan crater lakes after independent waves of colonization from the same source population. The observed morphological changes in crater lake cichlids are likely to result from a common selective regime.

  16. Tempo and mode of diversification of lake Tanganyika cichlid fishes.

    PubMed

    Day, Julia J; Cotton, James A; Barraclough, Timothy G

    2008-03-05

    Understanding the causes of disparities in species diversity across taxonomic groups and regions is a fundamental aim in evolutionary biology. Addressing these questions is difficult because of the need for densely sampled phylogenies and suitable empirical systems. Here we investigate the cichlid fish radiation of Lake Tanganyika and show that per lineage diversification rates have been more than six times slower than in the species flocks of Lakes Victoria and Malawi. The result holds even at peak periods of diversification in Lake Tanganyika, ruling out the age of the lake as an explanation for slow average rates, and is robust to uncertainties over the calibration of cichlid radiations in geological time. Moreover, Lake Tanganyika lineages, irrespective of different biological characteristics (e.g. sexually dichromatic versus sexually monochromatic clades), have diversified at similar rates, falling within typical estimates across a range of plant and animal clades. For example, the mostly sexually dichromatic haplochromines, which have speciated explosively in Lakes Victoria and Malawi, have displayed modest rates in Lake Tanganyika (where they are called Tropheini). Our results show that either the Lake Tanganyika environment is less conducive for cichlid speciation or the remarkable diversifying abilities of the haplochromines were inhibited by the prior occupancy of older radiations. Although the results indicate a dominant role for the environment in shaping cichlid diversification, differences in the timing of diversification among the Tanganyikan tribes indicate that biological differences were still important for the dynamics of species build-up in the lake. While we cannot resolve the timing of the radiation relative to the origin of the lake, because of the lack of robust geological date calibrations for cichlids, our results are consistent with a scenario that the different clades reflect independent adaptive radiations into different broad niches in

  17. Tempo and Mode of Diversification of Lake Tanganyika Cichlid Fishes

    PubMed Central

    Day, Julia J.; Cotton, James A.; Barraclough, Timothy G.

    2008-01-01

    Background Understanding the causes of disparities in species diversity across taxonomic groups and regions is a fundamental aim in evolutionary biology. Addressing these questions is difficult because of the need for densely sampled phylogenies and suitable empirical systems. Methodology/Principal Findings Here we investigate the cichlid fish radiation of Lake Tanganyika and show that per lineage diversification rates have been more than six times slower than in the species flocks of Lakes Victoria and Malawi. The result holds even at peak periods of diversification in Lake Tanganyika, ruling out the age of the lake as an explanation for slow average rates, and is robust to uncertainties over the calibration of cichlid radiations in geological time. Moreover, Lake Tanganyika lineages, irrespective of different biological characteristics (e.g. sexually dichromatic versus sexually monochromatic clades), have diversified at similar rates, falling within typical estimates across a range of plant and animal clades. For example, the mostly sexually dichromatic haplochromines, which have speciated explosively in Lakes Victoria and Malawi, have displayed modest rates in Lake Tanganyika (where they are called Tropheini). Conclusion/Significance Our results show that either the Lake Tanganyika environment is less conducive for cichlid speciation or the remarkable diversifying abilities of the haplochromines were inhibited by the prior occupancy of older radiations. Although the results indicate a dominant role for the environment in shaping cichlid diversification, differences in the timing of diversification among the Tanganyikan tribes indicate that biological differences were still important for the dynamics of species build-up in the lake. While we cannot resolve the timing of the radiation relative to the origin of the lake, because of the lack of robust geological date calibrations for cichlids, our results are consistent with a scenario that the different clades

  18. Total evidence: molecules, morphology, and the phylogenetics of cichlid fishes.

    PubMed

    Farias, I P; Ortí, G; Meyer, A

    2000-04-15

    We present a most comprehensive phylogenetic analysis of the family Cichlidae. New data analyzed include mitochondrial 16S rRNA sequences and two nuclear loci (Tmo-M27 and Tmo-4C4) for a large taxonomic sampling with emphasis on South American species. We also incorporate a published morphological data set for a total evidence analysis. Character congruence among mitochondrial (74 taxa) and nuclear data (50 taxa) was high. However, partition-homogeneity tests suggest significant heterogeneity among molecular and morphological data. In agreement with results obtained from molecular data alone, total evidence analysis (1,460 characters for 34 taxa) supports a robust phylogenetic hypothesis for the family Cichlidae that is congruent with drift-vicariance events associated with the fragmentation of Gondwana. Our analyses confirm the placement of Malagasy/Indian cichlids as the most basal lineages, with a sister-group relationship to the monophyletic African and Neotropical clades. Total evidence suggests that the controversial African genus Heterochromis is at the base of the African radiation. Among more than 50 Neotropical genera analyzed, Retroculus is identified as the basal taxon, with successive branching of Cichla, Astronotus, geophagines (including crenicichlines) + chaetobranchines, and cichlasomines + heroines. Relative rate tests applied to mitochondrial DNA suggest significantly higher rates of genetic variation in Neotropical than in African taxa, and both mitochondrial and nuclear sequences show that rate heterogeneity among Neotropical lineages is confined to the geophagine cichlids.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-07

    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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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. Copyright © 2015

  4. Incipient speciation driven by hypertrophied lips in Midas cichlid fishes?

    PubMed

    Machado-Schiaffino, Gonzalo; Kautt, Andreas F; Torres-Dowdall, Julian; Baumgarten, Lukas; Henning, Frederico; Meyer, Axel

    2017-01-30

    Sympatric speciation has been debated in evolutionary biology for decades. Although it has gained in acceptance recently, still only a handful of empirical examples are seen as valid (e.g. crater lake cichlids). In this study, we disentangle the role of hypertrophied lips in the repeated adaptive radiations of Nicaraguan crater lake cichlid fish. We assessed the role of disruptive selection and assortative mating during the early stages of divergence and found a functional trade-off in feeding behaviour between thick- and thin-lipped ecotypes, suggesting that this trait is a target of disruptive selection. Thick-lipped fish perform better on nonevasive prey at the cost of a poorer performance on evasive prey. Using enclosures in the wild, we found that thick-lipped fish perform significantly better in rocky than in sandy habitats. We found almost no mixed pairs during two breeding seasons and hence significant assortative mating. Genetic differentiation between ecotypes seems to be related to the time since colonization, being subtle in L. Masaya (1600 generations ago) and absent in the younger L. Apoyeque (<600 generations ago). Genome-wide differentiation between ecotypes was higher in the old source lakes than in the young crater lakes. Our results suggest that hypertrophied lips might be promoting incipient sympatric speciation through divergent selection (ecological divergence in feeding performance) and nonrandom mating (assortative mating) in the young Nicaraguan crater lakes. Nonetheless, further manipulative experiments are needed in order to confirm the role of hypertrophied lips as the main cue for assortative mating.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

    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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Isotocin neuronal phenotypes differ among social systems in cichlid fishes

    PubMed Central

    O'Connor, Constance M.; Nesjan, Erin; Cameron, Jason; Hellmann, Jennifer K.; Ligocki, Isaac Y.; Marsh-Rollo, Susan E.; Hamilton, Ian M.; Wylie, Douglas R.; Hurd, Peter L.; Balshine, Sigal

    2017-01-01

    Social living has evolved numerous times across a diverse array of animal taxa. An open question is how the transition to a social lifestyle has shaped, and been shaped by, the underlying neurohormonal machinery of social behaviour. The nonapeptide neurohormones, implicated in the regulation of social behaviours, are prime candidates for the neuroendocrine substrates of social evolution. Here, we examined the brains of eight cichlid fish species with divergent social systems, comparing the number and size of preoptic neurons that express the nonapeptides isotocin and vasotocin. While controlling for the influence of phylogeny and body size, we found that the highly social cooperatively breeding species (n = 4) had fewer parvocellular isotocin neurons than the less social independently breeding species (n = 4), suggesting that the evolutionary transition to group living and cooperative breeding was associated with a reduction in the number of these neurons. In a complementary analysis, we found that the size and number of isotocin neurons significantly differentiated the cooperatively breeding from the independently breeding species. Our results suggest that isotocin is related to sociality in cichlids and may provide a mechanistic substrate for the evolution of sociality. PMID:28573041

  9. Late Pleistocene Desiccation of Lake Victoria and Rapid Evolution of Cichlid Fishes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, Thomas C.; Scholz, Christopher A.; Talbot, Michael R.; Kelts, Kerry; Ricketts, R. D.; Ngobi, Gideon; Beuning, Kristina; Ssemmanda, Immacculate; McGill, J. W.

    1996-08-01

    Lake Victoria is the largest lake in Africa and harbors more than 300 endemic species of haplochromine cichlid fish. Seismic reflection profiles and piston cores show that the lake not only was at a low stand but dried up completely during the Late Pleistocene, before 12,400 carbon-14 years before the present. These results imply that the rate of speciation of cichlid fish in this tropical lake has been extremely rapid.

  10. The adaptive radiation of cichlid fish in lake tanganyika: a morphological perspective.

    PubMed

    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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Ancient hybridization fuels rapid cichlid fish adaptive radiations

    PubMed Central

    Meier, Joana I.; Marques, David A.; Mwaiko, Salome; Wagner, Catherine E.; Excoffier, Laurent; Seehausen, Ole

    2017-01-01

    Understanding why some evolutionary lineages generate exceptionally high species diversity is an important goal in evolutionary biology. Haplochromine cichlid fishes of Africa's Lake Victoria region encompass >700 diverse species that all evolved in the last 150,000 years. How this ‘Lake Victoria Region Superflock' could evolve on such rapid timescales is an enduring question. Here, we demonstrate that hybridization between two divergent lineages facilitated this process by providing genetic variation that subsequently became recombined and sorted into many new species. Notably, the hybridization event generated exceptional allelic variation at an opsin gene known to be involved in adaptation and speciation. More generally, differentiation between new species is accentuated around variants that were fixed differences between the parental lineages, and that now appear in many new combinations in the radiation species. We conclude that hybridization between divergent lineages, when coincident with ecological opportunity, may facilitate rapid and extensive adaptive radiation. PMID:28186104

  14. Genomics of speciation and introgression in Princess cichlid fishes from Lake Tanganyika.

    PubMed

    Gante, Hugo F; Matschiner, Michael; Malmstrøm, Martin; Jakobsen, Kjetill S; Jentoft, Sissel; Salzburger, Walter

    2016-12-01

    How variation in the genome translates into biological diversity and new species originate has endured as the mystery of mysteries in evolutionary biology. African cichlid fishes are prime model systems to address speciation-related questions for their remarkable taxonomic and phenotypic diversity, and the possible role of gene flow in this process. Here, we capitalize on genome sequencing and phylogenomic analyses to address the relative impacts of incomplete lineage sorting, introgression and hybrid speciation in the Neolamprologus savoryi-complex (the 'Princess cichlids') from Lake Tanganyika. We present a time-calibrated species tree based on whole-genome sequences and provide strong evidence for incomplete lineage sorting in the early phases of diversification and multiple introgression events affecting different stages. Importantly, we find that the Neolamprologus chromosomes show centre-to-periphery biases in nucleotide diversity, sequence divergence, GC content, incomplete lineage sorting and rates of introgression, which are likely modulated by recombination density and linked selection. The detection of heterogeneous genomic landscapes has strong implications on the genomic mechanisms involved in speciation. Collinear chromosomal regions can be protected from gene flow and harbour incompatibility genes if they reside in lowly recombining regions, and coupling can evolve between nonphysically linked genomic regions (chromosome centres in particular). Simultaneously, higher recombination towards chromosome peripheries makes these more dynamic, evolvable regions where adaptation polymorphisms have a fertile ground. Hence, differences in genome architecture could explain the levels of taxonomic and phenotypic diversity seen in taxa with collinear genomes and might have contributed to the spectacular cichlid diversity observed today. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  15. A Sensory Bias Has Triggered the Evolution of Egg-Spots in Cichlid Fishes

    PubMed Central

    Theis, Anya; Salzburger, Walter

    2011-01-01

    Although, generally, the origin of sex-limited traits remains elusive, the sensory exploitation hypothesis provides an explanation for the evolution of male sexual signals. Anal fin egg-spots are such a male sexual signal and a key characteristic of the most species-rich group of cichlid fishes, the haplochromines. Males of about 1500 mouth-brooding species utilize these conspicuous egg-dummies during courtship – apparently to attract females and to maximize fertilization success. Here we test the hypothesis that the evolution of haplochromine egg-spots was triggered by a pre-existing bias for eggs or egg-like coloration. To this end, we performed mate-choice experiments in the basal haplochromine Pseudocrenilabrus multicolor, which manifests the plesiomorphic character-state of an egg-spot-less anal fin. Experiments using computer-animated photographs of males indeed revealed that females prefer images of males with virtual (‘in-silico’) egg-spots over images showing unaltered males. In addition, we tested for color preferences (outside a mating context) in a phylogenetically representative set of East African cichlids. We uncovered a strong preference for yellow, orange or reddish spots in all haplochromines tested and, importantly, also in most other species representing more basal lines. This pre-existing female sensory bias points towards high-quality (carotenoids-enriched) food suggesting that it is adaptive. PMID:22028784

  16. A sensory bias has triggered the evolution of egg-spots in cichlid fishes.

    PubMed

    Egger, Bernd; Klaefiger, Yuri; Theis, Anya; Salzburger, Walter

    2011-01-01

    Although, generally, the origin of sex-limited traits remains elusive, the sensory exploitation hypothesis provides an explanation for the evolution of male sexual signals. Anal fin egg-spots are such a male sexual signal and a key characteristic of the most species-rich group of cichlid fishes, the haplochromines. Males of about 1500 mouth-brooding species utilize these conspicuous egg-dummies during courtship--apparently to attract females and to maximize fertilization success. Here we test the hypothesis that the evolution of haplochromine egg-spots was triggered by a pre-existing bias for eggs or egg-like coloration. To this end, we performed mate-choice experiments in the basal haplochromine Pseudocrenilabrus multicolor, which manifests the plesiomorphic character-state of an egg-spot-less anal fin. Experiments using computer-animated photographs of males indeed revealed that females prefer images of males with virtual ('in-silico') egg-spots over images showing unaltered males. In addition, we tested for color preferences (outside a mating context) in a phylogenetically representative set of East African cichlids. We uncovered a strong preference for yellow, orange or reddish spots in all haplochromines tested and, importantly, also in most other species representing more basal lines. This pre-existing female sensory bias points towards high-quality (carotenoids-enriched) food suggesting that it is adaptive.

  17. Distinct population structure in a phenotypically homogeneous rock-dwelling cichlid fish from Lake Tanganyika.

    PubMed

    Duftner, Nina; Sefc, Kristina M; Koblmüller, Stephan; Nevado, Bruno; Verheyen, Erik; Phiri, Harris; Sturmbauer, Christian

    2006-08-01

    Several lineages of cichlid fishes in the East African Great Lakes display stunning levels of morphological diversification. The rapid evolution of rock-dwelling polygynous mouthbrooders in Lake Malawi, for example, was in part ascribed to their allopatric distribution on disjunct stretches of rocky coast, where even short habitat discontinuities reduce gene flow effectively. However, as seen in other cichlids, ecological barriers do not always prevent gene flow, whereas genetic structure can develop along continuous habitat, and morphological diversification does not necessarily accompany genetic differentiation. The present study investigates the population structure of Variabilichromis moorii, a monogamous substrate-brooding lamprologine of rocky coasts in Lake Tanganyika, which occurs over about 1000 km of shoreline almost without phenotypic variation. Phylogeographic analyses of mitochondrial DNA sequences indicated that dispersal is infrequent and generally occurs between adjacent locations only. Exceptions to this pattern are closely related haplotypes from certain locations on opposite lakeshores, a phenomenon which has been observed in other species and is thought to reflect lake crossing along an underwater ridge in times of low water level. Genetic population differentiation, estimated from mitochondrial DNA and microsatellite data in six adjacent populations, was equally high across localities separated by sandy shores and along uninterrupted stretches of rocky shore. Our results suggest that ecological barriers are not required to induce philopatric behavior in Variabilichromis, and that morphological stasis persists in the face of high levels of neutral genetic differentiation.

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

    PubMed

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

    1990-10-11

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

  20. Evolutionary dynamics of rRNA gene clusters in cichlid fish

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Among multigene families, ribosomal RNA (rRNA) genes are the most frequently studied and have been explored as cytogenetic markers to study the evolutionary history of karyotypes among animals and plants. In this report, we applied cytogenetic and genomic methods to investigate the organization of rRNA genes among cichlid fishes. Cichlids are a group of fishes that are of increasing scientific interest due to their rapid and convergent adaptive radiation, which has led to extensive ecological diversity. Results The present paper reports the cytogenetic mapping of the 5S rRNA genes from 18 South American, 22 African and one Asian species and the 18S rRNA genes from 3 African species. The data obtained were comparatively analyzed with previously published information related to the mapping of rRNA genes in cichlids. The number of 5S rRNA clusters per diploid genome ranged from 2 to 15, with the most common pattern being the presence of 2 chromosomes bearing a 5S rDNA cluster. Regarding 18S rDNA mapping, the number of sites ranged from 2 to 6, with the most common pattern being the presence of 2 sites per diploid genome. Furthermore, searching the Oreochromis niloticus genome database led to the identification of a total of 59 copies of 5S rRNA and 38 copies of 18S rRNA genes that were distributed in several genomic scaffolds. The rRNA genes were frequently flanked by transposable elements (TEs) and spread throughout the genome, complementing the FISH analysis that detect only clustered copies of rRNA genes. Conclusions The organization of rRNA gene clusters seems to reflect their intense and particular evolutionary pathway and not the evolutionary history of the associated taxa. The possible role of TEs as one source of rRNA gene movement, that could generates the spreading of ribosomal clusters/copies, is discussed. The present paper reinforces the notion that the integration of cytogenetic data and genomic analysis provides a more complete picture for

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-02-07

    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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Social familiarity modulates personality trait in a cichlid fish.

    PubMed

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

    2012-12-23

    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.

  7. Secondary contact seeds phenotypic novelty in cichlid fishes

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  8. Secondary contact seeds phenotypic novelty in cichlid fishes.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-07

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

  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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-06-01

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

  12. Molecular phylogeny and revised classification of the haplotilapiine cichlid fishes formerly referred to as "Tilapia".

    PubMed

    Dunz, Andreas R; Schliewen, Ulrich K

    2013-07-01

    African cichlids formerly referred to as "Tilapia" represent a paraphyletic species assemblage belonging to the so called haplotilapiine lineage which gave rise to the spectacular East African cichlid radiations (EARs) as well as to globally important aquaculture species. We present a comprehensive molecular phylogeny of representative haplotilapiine cichlids, combining in one data set four mitochondrial and five nuclear loci for 76 species, and compare it with phylogenetic information of a second data set of 378 mitochondrial ND2 haplotypes representing almost all important "Tilapia" or Tilapia-related lineages as well as most EAR lineages. The monophyly of haplotilapiines is supported, as is the nested sister group relationship of Etia and mouthbrooding tilapiines with the remaining haplotilapiines. The latter are consistently placed in eight monophyletic clades over all datasets and analyses, but several dichotomous phylogenetic relationships appear compromised by cytonuclear discordant phylogenetic signal. Based on these results as well as on extensive morphological evidence we propose a novel generic and suprageneric classification including a (re-)diagnosis of 20 haplotilapiine cichlid genera and nine tribes. New tribes are provided for the former subgenera Coptodon Gervais, 1853, HeterotilapiaRegan, 1920 and PelmatolapiaThys van den Audenaerde, 1969, in addition for "Tilapia" joka, Tilapia sensu stricto and Chilochromis, Etia, Steatocranus sensu stricto, the mouthbrooding tilapiines and for a clade of West African tilapiines. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Adult plasticity in African cichlids: Rapid changes in opsin expression in response to environmental light differences.

    PubMed

    Nandamuri, Sri Pratima; Yourick, Miranda R; Carleton, Karen L

    2017-09-19

    Phenotypic plasticity allows organisms to adapt quickly to local environmental conditions and could facilitate adaptive radiations. Cichlids have recently undergone an adaptive radiation in Lake Malawi where they inhabit diverse light environments and tune their visual sensitivity through differences in cone opsin expression. While cichlid opsin expression is known to be plastic over development, whether adults remain plastic is unknown. Adult plasticity in visual tuning could play a role in cichlid radiations by enabling survival in changing environments and facilitating invasion into novel environments. Here we examine the existence of and temporal changes in adult visual plasticity of two closely related species. In complementary experiments, wild adult Metriaclima mbenji from Lake Malawi were moved to the lab under UV-deficient fluorescent lighting; while lab raised M. benetos were placed under UV-rich lighting designed to mimic light conditions in the wild. Surprisingly, adult cichlids in both experiments showed significant changes in the expression of the UV-sensitive single cone opsin, SWS1, in only 3 days. Modeling quantum catches in the light environments revealed a possible link between the light available to the SWS1 visual pigment and SWS1 expression. We conclude that adult cichlids can undergo rapid and significant changes in opsin expression in response to environmental light shifts that are relevant to their habitat and evolutionary history in Lake Malawi. This could have contributed to the rapid divergence characteristic of these fantastic fishes. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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

    PubMed Central

    Steele, Sarah E.; López-Fernández, Hernán

    2014-01-01

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

  15. Bentho-pelagic divergence of cichlid feeding architecture was prodigious and consistent during multiple adaptive radiations within African rift-lakes.

    PubMed

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

    2010-03-08

    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. 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. 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. Characterizing the changes in cichlid trophic morphology that have

  16. Evolution of the ribosomal RNA internal transcribed spacer one (ITS-1) in cichlid fishes of the Lake Victoria region.

    PubMed

    Booton, G C; Kaufman, L; Chandler, M; Oguto-Ohwayo, R; Duan, W; Fuerst, P A

    1999-03-01

    The nucleotide sequences of the first internal transcribed spacer (ITS-1) of the ribosomal RNA gene cluster have been determined for 11 species of closely related endemic cichlid fishes of the Lake Victoria region (LVR) and 6 related East African cichlids. The ITS-1 sequences confirmed independently derived basal phylogenies, but provide limited insight within this species flock. The line leading to Pseudocrenilabrus multicolor arose early, close to the divergence event that separated the tilapiine and haplochromine tribes of the "African Group" of the family Cichlidae. In this phylogeny, Astatoreochromis alluaudi and the riverine Astatotilapia burtoni are sister taxa, which together are a sister group to a monophyletic assemblage including both Lake Victoria and Lake Edward taxa. The ITS-1 data support the monophyly of haplochromine genera across lakes. Since Lake Victoria is believed to have been dry between 14, 500 and 12,400 BPE, the modern assemblage must have been derived from reinvasion by the products of earlier cladogenesis events. Thus, although the regional superflock is monophyletic, the haplochromines of Lake Victoria itself did not evolve in situ from a single ancestor.

  17. Functional groups in the social behavior of a cichlid fish, the Oscar, Astronotus ocellatus.

    PubMed

    Beeching, S C

    1997-01-01

    Dummy conspecifics were presented to isolated adults of the cichlid fish Astronotus ocellatus to investigate the functional organization of cichlid social behavior. Body size and 15 dummy-elicited activities were recorded during 15 min sessions and analyzed by principal components analysis (PCA) to reveal their temporal organization. Five principal components explained almost 80% of the variation in dummy-elicited behavior, and these five factors define functional groups for Nest-oriented and attack modal action patterns are not mutually inhibitory during this time frame, and biting does not appear to function exclusively during an attack on a conspecific. Comparison with previous studies of New and Old World cichlids suggests evolutionary conservation of the functional organization of social behavior.

  18. Genetic architecture sets limits on transgressive segregation in hybrid cichlid fishes.

    PubMed

    Albertson, R Craig; Kocher, Thomas D

    2005-03-01

    The role of hybridization in the evolution of animal species is poorly understood. Transgressive segregation is a mechanism through which hybridization can generate diversity and ultimately lead to speciation. In this report we investigated the capacity of hybridization to generate novel (transgressive) phenotypes in the taxonomically diverse cichlid fishes. We generated a large F2 hybrid population by crossing two closely related cichlid species from Lake Malawi in Africa with differently shaped heads. Our morphometric analysis focused on two traits with different selective histories. The cichlid lower jaw (mandible) has evolved in response to strong directional selection, and does not segregate beyond the parental phenotype. The cichlid neurocranium (skull) has likely diverged in response to forces other than consistent directional selection (e.g., stabilizing selection), and exhibits marked transgressive segregation in our F2 population. We show that the genetic architecture of the cichlid jaw limits transgression, whereas the genetic basis of skull shape is permissive of transgressive segregation. These data suggest that natural selection, acting through the genome, will limit the degree of diversity that may be achieved via hybridization. Results are discussed in the context of the broader question of how phenotypic diversity may be achieved in rapidly evolving systems.

  19. Disentangling Incomplete Lineage Sorting and Introgression to Refine Species-Tree Estimates for Lake Tanganyika Cichlid Fishes.

    PubMed

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

    2017-07-01

    Adaptive radiation is thought to be responsible for the evolution of a great portion of the past and present diversity of life. Instances of adaptive radiation, characterized by the rapid emergence of an array of species as a consequence to their adaptation to distinct ecological niches, are important study systems in evolutionary biology. However, because of the rapid lineage formation in these groups, and occasional gene flow between the participating species, it is often difficult to reconstruct the phylogenetic history of species that underwent an adaptive radiation. In this study, we present a novel approach for species-tree estimation in rapidly diversifying lineages, where introgression is known to occur, and apply it to a multimarker data set containing up to 16 specimens per species for a set of 45 species of East African cichlid fishes (522 individuals in total), with a main focus on the cichlid species flock of Lake Tanganyika. We first identified, using age distributions of most recent common ancestors in individual gene trees, those lineages in our data set that show strong signatures of past introgression. This led us to formulate three hypotheses of introgression between different lineages of Tanganyika cichlids: the ancestor of Boulengerochromini (or of Boulengerochromini and Bathybatini) received genomic material from the derived H-lineage; the common ancestor of Cyprichromini and Perissodini experienced, in turn, introgression from Boulengerochromini and/or Bathybatini; and the Lake Tanganyika Haplochromini and closely related riverine lineages received genetic material from Cyphotilapiini. We then applied the multispecies coalescent model to estimate the species tree of Lake Tanganyika cichlids, but excluded the lineages involved in these introgression events, as the multispecies coalescent model does not incorporate introgression. This resulted in a robust species tree, in which the Lamprologini were placed as sister lineage to the H

  20. 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. © 2016 The Author(s).

  1. Mitochondrial phylogeny of the endemic mouthbrooding lineages of cichlid fishes from Lake Tanganyika in eastern Africa.

    PubMed

    Sturmbauer, C; Meyer, A

    1993-07-01

    be particularly prone to homoplasy, even among members of a single lineage of cichlid fishes.

  2. 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

  3. Rapid and parallel adaptive evolution of the visual system of Neotropical Midas cichlid fishes.

    PubMed

    Torres-Dowdall, Julián; Pierotti, Michele E R; Härer, Andreas; Karagic, Nidal; Woltering, Joost M; Henning, Frederico; Elmer, Kathryn R; Meyer, Axel

    2017-04-21

    Midas cichlid fish are a Central American species flock containing 13 described species that has been dated to only few thousand years old, a historical timescale infrequently associated with speciation. Their radiation involved the colonization of several clear water crater lakes from two turbid great lakes. Therefore, Midas cichlids have been subjected to widely varying photic conditions during their radiation. Being a primary signal relay for information from the environment to the organism, the visual system is under continuing selective pressure and a prime organ system for accumulating adaptive changes during speciation, particularly in the case of dramatic shifts in photic conditions. Here, we characterize the full visual system of Midas cichlids at organismal and genetic levels, to determine what types of adaptive changes evolved within the short time span of their radiation. We show that Midas cichlids have a diverse visual system with unexpectedly high intra- and interspecific variation in color vision sensitivity and lens transmittance. Midas cichlid populations in the clear crater lakes have convergently evolved visual sensitivities shifted towards shorter wavelengths compared to the ancestral populations from the turbid great lakes. This divergence in sensitivity is driven by changes in chromophore usage, differential opsin expression, opsin coexpression, and to a lesser degree by opsin coding sequence variation. The visual system of Midas cichlids has the evolutionary capacity to rapidly integrate multiple adaptations to changing light environments. Our data may indicate that, in early stages of divergence, changes in opsin regulation could precede changes in opsin coding sequence evolution. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  4. B Chromosomes Have a Functional Effect on Female Sex Determination in Lake Victoria Cichlid Fishes

    PubMed Central

    Yoshida, Kohta; Terai, Yohey; Mizoiri, Shinji; Aibara, Mitsuto; Nishihara, Hidenori; Watanabe, Masakatsu; Kuroiwa, Asato; Hirai, Hirohisa; Hirai, Yuriko; Matsuda, Yoichi; Okada, Norihiro

    2011-01-01

    The endemic cichlid fishes in Lake Victoria are a model system for speciation through adaptive radiation. Although the evolution of the sex-determination system may also play a role in speciation, little is known about the sex-determination system of Lake Victoria cichlids. To understand the evolution of the sex-determination system in these fish, we performed cytogenetic analysis in 11 cichlid species from Lake Victoria. B chromosomes, which are present in addition to standard chromosomes, were found at a high prevalence rate (85%) in these cichlids. In one species, B chromosomes were female-specific. Cross-breeding using females with and without the B chromosomes demonstrated that the presence of the B chromosomes leads to a female-biased sex ratio in this species. Although B chromosomes were believed to be selfish genetic elements with little effect on phenotype and to lack protein-coding genes, the present study provides evidence that B chromosomes have a functional effect on female sex determination. FISH analysis using a BAC clone containing B chromosome DNA suggested that the B chromosomes are derived from sex chromosomes. Determination of the nucleotide sequences of this clone (104.5 kb) revealed the presence of several protein-coding genes in the B chromosome, suggesting that B chromosomes have the potential to contain functional genes. Because some sex chromosomes in amphibians and arthropods are thought to be derived from B chromosomes, the B chromosomes in Lake Victoria cichlids may represent an evolutionary transition toward the generation of sex chromosomes. PMID:21876673

  5. B chromosomes have a functional effect on female sex determination in Lake Victoria cichlid fishes.

    PubMed

    Yoshida, Kohta; Terai, Yohey; Mizoiri, Shinji; Aibara, Mitsuto; Nishihara, Hidenori; Watanabe, Masakatsu; Kuroiwa, Asato; Hirai, Hirohisa; Hirai, Yuriko; Matsuda, Yoichi; Okada, Norihiro

    2011-08-01

    The endemic cichlid fishes in Lake Victoria are a model system for speciation through adaptive radiation. Although the evolution of the sex-determination system may also play a role in speciation, little is known about the sex-determination system of Lake Victoria cichlids. To understand the evolution of the sex-determination system in these fish, we performed cytogenetic analysis in 11 cichlid species from Lake Victoria. B chromosomes, which are present in addition to standard chromosomes, were found at a high prevalence rate (85%) in these cichlids. In one species, B chromosomes were female-specific. Cross-breeding using females with and without the B chromosomes demonstrated that the presence of the B chromosomes leads to a female-biased sex ratio in this species. Although B chromosomes were believed to be selfish genetic elements with little effect on phenotype and to lack protein-coding genes, the present study provides evidence that B chromosomes have a functional effect on female sex determination. FISH analysis using a BAC clone containing B chromosome DNA suggested that the B chromosomes are derived from sex chromosomes. Determination of the nucleotide sequences of this clone (104.5 kb) revealed the presence of several protein-coding genes in the B chromosome, suggesting that B chromosomes have the potential to contain functional genes. Because some sex chromosomes in amphibians and arthropods are thought to be derived from B chromosomes, the B chromosomes in Lake Victoria cichlids may represent an evolutionary transition toward the generation of sex chromosomes.

  6. 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. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

    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.

  8. 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

  9. Repeated parallel evolution of parental care strategies within Xenotilapia, a genus of cichlid fishes from Lake Tanganyika.

    PubMed

    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.

  10. 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

  11. 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. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  12. Ecological diversification associated with the pharyngeal jaw diversity of Neotropical cichlid fishes.

    PubMed

    Burress, Edward D

    2016-01-01

    Innovations can facilitate bursts of diversification by increasing access to novel resources and the attainment of novel functional designs. Pharyngognathy, exhibited by highly diverse groups such as wrasses and cichlid fishes, is hypothesized to increase foraging capacity and efficiency. Here, I test the hypothesis that pharyngeal jaw shape and tooth morphology are adaptive in an ecologically diverse radiation of Neotropical cichlid fishes that spans North, Central and South America. I partitioned species into generalized trophic guilds using published stomach content analyses and quantified shape variation of the lower pharyngeal jaw (LPJ) using geometric morphometrics. Additionally, I tested for convergence in LPJ shape and trophic guild by mapping the phylogeny onto the principal components and testing for shifts towards similar evolutionary regimes. Major LPJ shape variation included the length and orientation (i.e. narrow or wide) of the lateral processes and length of the medial process, which varied based on the proportion of fishes and plants consumed. Pharyngeal tooth number, diversity and the frequency of tooth types were not evenly distributed among trophic guilds. There were seven distinct evolutionary regimes that converged upon four optima. Pharyngeal jaw diversification is associated with the exploitation of novel resources among Neotropical cichlids such that pharyngeal specialization has increased access to otherwise poorly accessible resources, such as resources that are difficult to crush (e.g. hard-shelled organisms) and assimilate (e.g. algae). © 2015 The Author. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2015 British Ecological Society.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Meyer, Axel

    2012-01-01

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

  19. Complete mitochondrial DNA replacement in a Lake Tanganyika cichlid fish.

    PubMed

    Nevado, B; Koblmüller, S; Sturmbauer, C; Snoeks, J; Usano-Alemany, J; Verheyen, E

    2009-10-01

    We used nuclear and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences from specimens collected throughout Lake Tanganyika to clarify the evolutionary relationship between Lamprologus callipterus and Neolamprologus fasciatus. The nuclear data support the reciprocal monophyly of these two shell-breeding lamprologine cichlids. However, mtDNA sequences show that (i) L. callipterus includes two divergent and geographically disjunct (North-South) mtDNA lineages; and that (ii) N. fasciatus individuals cluster in a lineage sister group to the northern lineage of L. callipterus. The two mtDNA lineages of L. callipterus diverged c. 684 kya to 1.2 Ma, coinciding with a major water level low stand in Lake Tanganyika, which divided the lake into isolated sub-lakes. This suggests that the two mtDNA lineages originated as the result of the separation of L. callipterus populations in different sub-basins. The incongruent phylogenetic position of N. fasciatus can best be explained by an ancient unidirectional introgression from L. callipterus into N. fasciatus. Remarkably, our data indicate that this event resulted in the complete mtDNA replacement in N. fasciatus. Our data suggest that hybridization occurred soon after the divergence of the two L. callipterus mtDNA lineages, probably still during the water level low stand, and that subsequently the invading mtDNA lineage spread throughout the lake.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Out of Tanganyika: Genesis, explosive speciation, key-innovations and phylogeography of the haplochromine cichlid fishes

    PubMed Central

    Salzburger, Walter; Mack, Tanja; Verheyen, Erik; Meyer, Axel

    2005-01-01

    Background The adaptive radiations of cichlid fishes in East Africa are well known for their spectacular diversity and their astonishingly fast rates of speciation. About 80% of all 2,500 cichlid species in East Africa, and virtually all cichlid species from Lakes Victoria (~500 species) and Malawi (~1,000 species) are haplochromines. Here, we present the most extensive phylogenetic and phylogeographic analysis so far that includes about 100 species and is based on about 2,000 bp of the mitochondrial DNA. Results Our analyses revealed that all haplochromine lineages are ultimately derived from Lake Tanganyika endemics. We find that the three most ancestral lineages of the haplochromines sensu lato are relatively species poor, albeit widely distributed in Africa, whereas a fourth newly defined lineage – the 'modern haplochromines' – contains an unparalleled diversity that makes up more than 7% of the worlds' ~25,000 teleost species. The modern haplochromines' ancestor, most likely a riverine generalist, repeatedly gave rise to similar ecomorphs now found in several of the species flocks. Also, the Tanganyikan Tropheini are derived from that riverine ancestor suggesting that they successfully re-colonized Lake Tanganyika and speciated in parallel to an already established cichlid adaptive radiation. In contrast to most other known examples of adaptive radiations, these generalist ancestors were derived from highly diverse and specialized endemics from Lake Tanganyika. A reconstruction of life-history traits revealed that in an ancestral lineage leading to the modern haplochromines the characteristic egg-spots on anal fins of male individuals evolved. Conclusion We conclude that Lake Tanganyika is the geographic and genetic cradle of all haplochromine lineages. In the ancestors of the replicate adaptive radiations of the 'modern haplochromines', behavioral (maternal mouthbrooding), morphological (egg-spots) and sexually selected (color polymorphism) key

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Lateralized kinematics of predation behavior in a Lake Tanganyika scale-eating cichlid fish.

    PubMed

    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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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. Copyright © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  16. 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

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

    PubMed

    Nolan, Brian C

    2010-01-01

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

  18. Correlated evolution of body and fin morphology in the cichlid fishes.

    PubMed

    Feilich, Kara L

    2016-10-01

    Body and fin shapes are chief determinants of swimming performance in fishes. Different configurations of body and fin shapes can suit different locomotor specializations. The success of any configuration is dependent upon the hydrodynamic interactions between body and fins. Despite the importance of body-fin interactions for swimming, there are few data indicating whether body and fin configurations evolve in concert, or whether these structures vary independently. The cichlid fishes are a diverse family whose well-studied phylogenetic relationships make them ideal for the study of macroevolution of ecomorphology. This study measured body, and caudal and median fin morphology from radiographs of 131 cichlid genera, using morphometrics and phylogenetic comparative methods to determine whether these traits exhibit correlated evolution. Partial least squares canonical analysis revealed that body, caudal fin, dorsal fin, and anal fin shapes all exhibited strong correlated evolution consistent with locomotor ecomorphology. Major patterns included the evolution of deep body profiles with long fins, suggestive of maneuvering specialization; and the evolution of narrow, elongate caudal peduncles with concave tails, a combination that characterizes economical cruisers. These results demonstrate that body shape evolution does not occur independently of other traits, but among a suite of other morphological changes that augment locomotor specialization. © 2016 The Author(s). Evolution © 2016 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

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

    PubMed Central

    Kerschbaumer, Michaela; Sturmbauer, Christian

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    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

  5. 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

  6. Similar morphologies of cichlid fish in Lakes Tanganyika and Malawi are due to convergence.

    PubMed

    Kocher, T D; Conroy, J A; McKaye, K R; Stauffer, J R

    1993-06-01

    The species flocks of cichlid fishes in the lakes of East Africa are the most spectacular example of adaptive radiation among living vertebrates. Similar highly derived morphologies are found among species in different lakes. These similarities have been variously interpreted either as evidence for migration of ancestral species between the lakes, or of striking convergence of morphology. To distinguish among these competing hypotheses we sequenced a portion of the mitochondrial DNA control region from six pairs of morphologically similar taxa from Lakes Malawi and Tanganyika. Our results clearly indicate a separate origin of these morphologies in the two lakes. They also suggest that the Tanganyikan radiation is relatively old, and that the species flocks in lakes Malawi and Victoria are derived from one of the ancient lineages found in Lake Tanganyika. These findings have important implications for understanding the pattern of morphological and behavioral evolution in these fish.

  7. Phylogenomic analysis of Lake Malawi cichlid fishes: Further evidence that the three-stage model of diversification does not fit.

    PubMed

    Hulsey, Christopher Darrin; Zheng, Jimmy; Faircloth, Brant C; Meyer, Axel; Alfaro, Michael E

    2017-09-01

    Adaptive radiations could often occur in discrete stages. For instance, the species flock of ∼1000 species of Lake Malawi cichlid fishes might have only diverged once between rocky and sandy environments during the initial stage of their diversification. All further diversification within the rock-dwelling (mbuna) or sand-dwelling (utaka) cichlids would have occurred during a subsequent second stage of extensive trophic evolution that was followed by a third stage of sexual trait divergence. We provide an improved phylogenetic framework for Malawi cichlids to test this three-stage hypothesis based on newly reconstructed phylogenetic relationships among 32 taxonomically disparate Malawi cichlids species. Using several reconstruction methods and 1037 ultra-conserved element (UCE) markers, we recovered a molecular phylogeny that confidently resolved relationships among most of the Malawi lineages sampled when a bifurcating framework was enforced. These bifurcating reconstructions also indicated that the sand-dwelling species Cyathochromis obliquidens was well-nested within the primarily rock-dwelling radiation known as the mbuna. In contrast to predictions from the three-stage model of vertebrate diversification, the recovered phylogeny reveals an initial colonization of rocky reefs, followed by substantial diversification of rock-dwelling lineages, and then at least one instance of subsequent evolution back into sandy habitats. This repeated evolution into major habitat types provides further evidence that the three-stage model of Malawi cichlid diversification has numerous exceptions. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. Social motivation and conflict resolution tactics as potential building blocks of sociality in cichlid fishes.

    PubMed

    Balshine, Sigal; Wong, Marian Y L; Reddon, Adam R

    2017-01-03

    Even closely related and ecologically similar cichlid species of Lake Tanganyika exhibit an impressive diversity of social systems, and therefore these fishes offer an excellent opportunity to examine the evolution of social behaviour. Sophisticated social relationships are thought to have evolved via a building block design where more fundamental social behaviours and cognitive processes have been combined, incrementally modified, and elaborated over time. Here, we studied two of these putative social building blocks in two closely related species of cichlids: Neolamprologus pulcher, a group-living species, and Telmatochromis temporalis, a non-grouping species. Otherwise well matched in ecology, this pair of species provide an excellent comparison point to understand how behavioural processes may have been modified in relation to the evolution of sociality. Using social assays in both the laboratory and in the field, we explored each species' motivation to interact with conspecifics, and each species' conflict resolution tactics. We found that individuals of the group living species, N. pulcher, displayed higher social motivation and were more likely to produce submission displays than were individuals of the non-grouping species, T. temporalis. We argue that the motivation to interact with conspecifics is a necessary prerequisite for the emergence of group living, and that the use of submission reduces the costs of conflict and facilitates the maintenance of close social proximity. These results suggest that social motivation and conflict resolution tactics are associated with social complexity, and that these behavioural traits may be functionally significant in the evolution and maintenance of sociality.

  11. Major-histocompatibility-complex variation in two species of cichlid fishes from Lake Malawi.

    PubMed

    Ono, H; O'hUigin, C; Tichy, H; Klein, J

    1993-09-01

    Lake Malawi in eastern Africa harbors > 500 endemic species of cichlid fishes, all of which are believed to have emerged from a single founding population in the past 2 Myr. Molecular characterization of differences among the species could provide important information about the nature of speciation in the period of adaptive radiation. Because of the close relationship, however, molecular variation among the species has been difficult to ascertain. In this communication, we provide evidence for extensive differences, in major-histocompatibility-complex (Mhc) class II genes, between two related species, Pseudotropheus zebra and Melanochromis auratus. We used specific primers to amplify and sequence intron 1 and exon 2 of the class II genes from 18 individuals. Although we found 20 different sequences among the 42 that we produced, there was not a single sequence shared by the two species. Thus the study suggests that different cichlid species of Lake Malawi have different profiles of class II alleles, presumably because the polymorphism present in the ancestral founding population segregated differentially into the various species. These results make Mhc genes an important tool for elucidating speciation.

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

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Weadick, Cameron J; Chang, Belinda S W

    2012-10-18

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

  14. The relationship between growth, brain asymmetry and behavioural lateralization in a cichlid fish.

    PubMed

    Reddon, Adam R; Gutiérrez-Ibáñez, Cristián; Wylie, Douglas R; Hurd, Peter L

    2009-07-19

    Cerebral lateralization, the partitioning of cognitive tasks to one cerebral hemisphere, is a widespread phenomenon among vertebrates. Despite this diversity, every species studied to date shows substantial individual variation in the strength of lateralization. The neural basis of this trait is unclear, although asymmetries in cerebral structures have been investigated for over a century. The habenular nuclei, for example, have been shown to present striking neuroanatomical and/or neurochemical asymmetries in species ranging from jawless fish to mammals. In teleost fish, these nuclei are relatively symmetrical in most species. Those teleosts that do have asymmetrical habenular nuclei, show varying patterns of asymmetry in different species. Here we investigate the relationship between individual variation of asymmetry in the habenula of a South American cichlid fish, Geophagus brasiliensis, and behaviour in a commonly used test for visual laterality in fish, the detour task. We show that the strength of asymmetry in the habenula is correlated with strength of behavioural lateralization in the detour task. Both the strength and direction of habenular asymmetry are correlated with individual differences in growth rate. We suggest that this relationship results from processes linking growth rate and sexual differentiation to frequency-dependent variation in life-history strategies. To our knowledge, this is the first study to demonstrate a relationship at the individual level between neural asymmetry and lateralized behaviour in a fish.

  15. An analysis of reproductive behavior in the mouthbreeding cichlid fish, Tilapia macrocephala (Bleeker).

    PubMed

    ARONSON, L R

    1949-01-01

    Qualitative descriptions and quantitative measurements of the patterns of reproductive behavior of the African mouthbreeding cichlid fish, Tilapia macrocephala (Bleeker), have been presented. These patterns have been grouped into three categories. The first, namely courtship, includes head-nods, approach-throat-puffs, body-quivers and tail-slaps. Most the females exhibited these courtship items during the observation periods, and at a relatively high frequency. The males performed these courtship acts at a considerably lower frequency. A high percentage of males showed some tail-slaps and body-quivers, and it is believed that if the entire spans of the pre-spawning activity of the pairs could have observed, all of the males would have performed these courtship patterns. On the other hand, it appears that a measurable portion of males do not head-nod or approach-throat-puff prior to the spawning. It is hypothesized that courtship behavior is an expression of the level of excitability of the individual. It may be thought of as a trophallactic process which through mutual stimulation serves to regulate the behavioral activities and physiological processes of the male and female so that well synchronized spawnings result. Nipping, which is closely related to courtship and which also appears to be mutually stimulating, was performed equally by the male female before the spawning, but nipping on the part of the female rises sharply directly after oviposition. Similar post-spawning increases on the part of the female were noted for all of the courtship patterns. It is suggested that the physiological changes following oviposition plus the presence of eggs are the factors responsible for this heightened activity. During the inter-spawning interval, a low level of courtship is in evidence, especially on the part of the females. The second group of reproductive patterns includes those acts which are concerned with the immediate preparation for spawing. Included here are nest

  16. Genetic basis of male colour dimorphism in a Lake Tanganyika cichlid fish.

    PubMed

    Takahashi, T; Sota, T; Hori, M

    2013-06-01

    Phenotypic polymorphisms can be applied to study the micro-evolutionary forces that maintain genetic variation and can mediate speciation, but it can be difficult to determine the genetic basis of polymorphisms. Recently, restriction-site-associated DNA (RAD) sequencing has become popular, which can easily produce multiple single nucleotide polymorphisms from whole genomes. Here, we combined RAD sequencing, allele-specific PCR and Sanger sequencing to determine the genetic basis underlying male colour dimorphism of a Lake Tanganyika cichlid fish, Cyprichromis leptosoma. Our analyses using both a cross-family (two parents and 12 F2 males) and 64 wild individuals do not contradict a hypothesis that two alleles of one-locus control male colour dimorphism. Also, the locus may be located on a genome region that experiences reduced levels of recombination. Although more analyses will be needed to conclude these findings, this study is the first to suggest the genetic basis of a colour polymorphism using RAD sequencing.

  17. Sequential female assessment drives complex sexual selection on bower shape in a cichlid fish.

    PubMed

    Young, Kyle A; Genner, Martin J; Haesler, Marcel P; Joyce, Domino A

    2010-08-01

    In many animals, sexual selection on male traits results from female mate choice decisions made during a sequence of courtship behaviors. We use a bower-building cichlid fish, Nyassachromis cf. microcephalus, to show how applying standard selection analysis to data on sequential female assessment provides new insights into sexual selection by mate choice. We first show that the cumulative selection differentials confirm previous results suggesting female choice favors males holding large volcano-shaped sand bowers. The sequential assessment analysis reveals these cumulative differentials are the result of selection acting on different bower dimensions during the courtship sequence; females choose to follow males courting from tall bowers, but choose to engage in premating circling with males holding bowers with large diameter platforms. The approach we present extends standard selection analysis by partitioning the variances of increasingly accurate estimates of male reproductive fitness and is applicable to systems in which sequential female assessment drives sexual selection on male traits.

  18. 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

  19. The function of anal fin egg-spots in the cichlid fish Astatotilapia burtoni.

    PubMed

    Theis, Anya; Salzburger, Walter; Egger, Bernd

    2012-01-01

    Color and pigmentation patterns of animals are often targets of sexual selection because of their role in communication. Although conspicuous male traits are typically implicated with intersexual selection, there are examples where sex-specific displays play a role in an intrasexual context, e.g. when they serve as signals for aggression level and/or status. Here, we focus on the function of a conspicuous male ornament in the most species-rich tribe of cichlid fishes, the haplochromines. A characteristic feature of these ca. 1500 species are so-called egg-spots in form of ovoid markings on the anal fins of males, which are made up of carotenoid based pigment cells. It has long been assumed that these yellow, orange or reddish egg-spots play an important role in the courtship and spawning behavior of these maternal mouth-brooding fishes by mimicking the eggs of a conspecific female. The exact function of egg-spots remains unknown, however, and there are several hypotheses about their mode of action. To uncover the function of this cichlid-specific male ornament, we used female mate choice experiments and a male aggression test in the haplochromine species Astatotilapia burtoni. We manipulated the number and arrangement of egg-spots on the anal fins of males, or removed them entirely, and tested (1) female preference with visual contact only using egg-traps, (2) female preference with free contact using paternity testing with microsatellites and (3) male aggression. We found that females did not prefer males with many egg-spots over males with fewer egg-spots and that females tended to prefer males without egg-spots over males with egg-spots. Importantly, males without egg-spots sired clutches with the same fertilization rate as males with egg-spots. In male aggression trials, however, males with fewer egg-spots received significantly more attacks, suggesting that egg-spots are an important signal in intrasexual communication.

  20. Specialized morphology for a generalist diet: evidence for Liem's Paradox in a cichlid fish.

    PubMed

    Binning, S A; Chapman, L J; Cosandey-Godin, A

    2009-11-01

    The stable isotope ratio and seasonal changes in diet of Alluaud's haplo Astatoreochromis alluaudi, a cichlid fish with massive pharyngeal jaws well known for its ability to process hard-bodied prey, are described. The diet of A. alluaudi was quantified in Lake Saka, Uganda, over a period of 30 months. Variation in physico-chemical variables (mean monthly rainfall, water temperature, turbidity and dissolved oxygen), as well as potential competitor density and food abundance, was measured throughout the second half of the study (14 months). Stomach contents and isotope analysis revealed a diet comprised mainly of fishes and insects, with a low contribution of molluscs (0-33%) in any given month. No correlation was detected between diet and either macroinvertebrate abundance or competitor abundance. The running average rainfall was positively related to the percentage of fish consumed per month. Although A. alluaudi exhibits an apparent molluscivorous trophic morphology in Lake Saka, molluscs did not appear to compose a major portion of its diet. Gradients of rainfall seemed to be the most important environmental predictor of diet choice in Lake Saka. These results are discussed with reference to Liem's Paradox that apparently morphologically specialized fishes often function as generalist feeders in the wild.

  1. 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. Copyright © 2010 Australian Society for Parasitology Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Population-structure and genetic diversity in a haplochromine cichlid fish [corrected] of a satellite lake of Lake Victoria.

    PubMed

    Abila, Romulus; Barluenga, Marta; Engelken, Johannes; Meyer, Axel; Salzburger, Walter

    2004-09-01

    The approximately 500 species of the cichlid fish species flock of Lake Victoria, East Africa, have evolved in a record-setting 100,000 years and represent one of the largest adaptive radiations. We examined the population structure of the endangered cichlid species Xystichromis phytophagus from Lake Kanyaboli, a satellite lake to Lake Victoria in the Kenyan Yala wetlands. Two sets of molecular markers were analysed--sequences of the mitochondrial control region as well as six microsatellite loci--and revealed surprisingly high levels of genetic variability in this species. Mitochondrial DNA sequences failed to detect population structuring among the three sample populations. A model-based population assignment test based on microsatellite data revealed that the three populations most probably aggregate into a larger panmictic population. However, values of population pairwise FST indicated moderate levels of genetic differentiation for one population. Eleven distinct mitochondrial haplotypes were found among 205 specimens of X. phytophagus, a relatively high number compared to the total number of 54 haplotypes that were recovered from hundreds of specimens of the entire cichlid species flock of Lake Victoria. Most of the X. phytophagus mitochondrial DNA haplotypes were absent from the main Lake Victoria, corroborating the putative importance of satellite lakes as refugia for haplochromine cichlids that went extinct from the main lake in the last decades and possibly during the Late Pleistocene desiccation of Lake Victoria.

  3. Guanine-based structural coloration as an indicator of oxidative stress in a cichlid fish.

    PubMed

    Cahn, Matthew D; Brown, Alexandria C; Clotfelter, Ethan D

    2015-07-01

    Vertebrate pigmentation is known to be influenced by oxidative stress, but few studies have tested the hypothesis that structural coloration can be similarly affected. We tested whether fish iridophores, which produce structural color using guanine stacks, might be affected by the prooxidant-antioxidant balance of the animal. Specifically, we hypothesized that convict cichlids (Amatitlania nigrofasciata) metabolize guanine present in iridophores to uric acid, an antioxidant, in response to oxidative damage. We used Hunter's contrast gloss and high performance liquid chromatography to determine whether dietary guanine supplementation allows fish to maintain their structural coloration despite oxidative stress induced via ultraviolet-B (UV-B) radiation. We found that dietary guanine was associated with greater skin gloss, and that exposure to UV-B light reduced glossiness. UV-B exposure did not increase oxidative damage (acrolein) or total antioxidant capacity in the skin or liver. Our experiment did not detect effects of dietary guanine or UV-B light on uric acid, but uric acid was positively related to antioxidant capacity. Our results support the hypothesis that structural color in fish may be altered by environmental stressors such as exposure to UV light, and highlight the need for future studies to consider the role of iridophores in condition-dependent visual signaling.

  4. Quantifying mating success of territorial males and sneakers in a bower-building cichlid fish

    PubMed Central

    Magalhaes, I. S.; Smith, A. M.; Joyce, D. A.

    2017-01-01

    The strategies and traits males evolve to mate with females are incredible in their diversity. Theory on the evolution of secondary sexual characters suggests that evolving any costly trait or strategy will pay off and stabilise in the population if it is advantageous compared to the alternative less costly strategy, but quantifying the relative success of the two can be difficult. In Lake Malawi, Africa, there are >200 species of cichlid fish in which the males form leks and spend several weeks per year building sand-castle “bowers” several times their size. We tested the idea that a less costly “sneaking” strategy could be successful by quantifying the mating success of bower-holding versus non-bower-holding males. We PIT-tagged every fish in a semi-natural experimental set-up and placed tag-readers on the side of bowers to determine which fish held a bower. We then genotyped the eggs removed from females’ mouths to assign paternity of each egg. Broods were fathered by up to 3 different males. Although paternity was mostly assigned to males that held a bower, a small number of males who did not own a bower were more successful than some of those that did, indicating a role for an alternative strategy in these bower builders. PMID:28128313

  5. Quantifying mating success of territorial males and sneakers in a bower-building cichlid fish.

    PubMed

    Magalhaes, I S; Smith, A M; Joyce, D A

    2017-01-27

    The strategies and traits males evolve to mate with females are incredible in their diversity. Theory on the evolution of secondary sexual characters suggests that evolving any costly trait or strategy will pay off and stabilise in the population if it is advantageous compared to the alternative less costly strategy, but quantifying the relative success of the two can be difficult. In Lake Malawi, Africa, there are >200 species of cichlid fish in which the males form leks and spend several weeks per year building sand-castle "bowers" several times their size. We tested the idea that a less costly "sneaking" strategy could be successful by quantifying the mating success of bower-holding versus non-bower-holding males. We PIT-tagged every fish in a semi-natural experimental set-up and placed tag-readers on the side of bowers to determine which fish held a bower. We then genotyped the eggs removed from females' mouths to assign paternity of each egg. Broods were fathered by up to 3 different males. Although paternity was mostly assigned to males that held a bower, a small number of males who did not own a bower were more successful than some of those that did, indicating a role for an alternative strategy in these bower builders.

  6. Social modulation of sex steroid concentrations in the urine of male cichlid fish Oreochromis mossambicus.

    PubMed

    Oliveira, R F; Almada, V C; Canario, A V

    1996-03-01

    The relationship between urinary concentrations (free + sulfates + glucuronides) of the steroids testosterone (T), 11-ketotestosterone (11KT), 17 alpha, 20 beta-dihydroxy-4-pregnen-3-one (17, 20 beta-P) and 17 alpha, 20 alpha-dihydroxy-4-pregnen-3-one (17, 20 alpha-P), and the social behavior of males of the cichlid fish Oreochromis mossambicus was investigated. After 8 days of isolation none of the steroids were good predictors of social dominance developed after subsequent formation of all-male groups. One day after group formation dominance indexes were good predictors of the urine concentrations of all sex steroids. Dominance indexes and androgen concentrations measured after all-male group formation were positively correlated with territoriality, courtship rate, and nest size. Similar relationships were found for progestins with the exception that they were not correlated with courtship rate. All-male group formation was also accompanied by an increase in urinary sex steroid concentrations in fish that became territorial and a decrease in non-territorial fish with the exception of T, which increased in both groups. Addition of ovulating females caused steroid concentrations to return to levels near isolation, except for 17, 20 alpha-P in territorials, which underwent a large increase. Thus, social interactions may have an important modulatory effect on sex steroid concentrations in O. mossambicus.

  7. Foraging environment determines the genetic architecture and evolutionary potential of trophic morphology in cichlid fishes.

    PubMed

    Parsons, Kevin J; Concannon, Moira; Navon, Dina; Wang, Jason; Ea, Ilene; Groveas, Kiran; Campbell, Calum; Albertson, R Craig

    2016-12-01

    Phenotypic plasticity allows organisms to change their phenotype in response to shifts in the environment. While a central topic in current discussions of evolutionary potential, a comprehensive understanding of the genetic underpinnings of plasticity is lacking in systems undergoing adaptive diversification. Here, we investigate the genetic basis of phenotypic plasticity in a textbook adaptive radiation, Lake Malawi cichlid fishes. Specifically, we crossed two divergent species to generate an F3 hybrid mapping population. At early juvenile stages, hybrid families were split and reared in alternate foraging environments that mimicked benthic/scraping or limnetic/sucking modes of feeding. These alternate treatments produced a variation in morphology that was broadly similar to the major axis of divergence among Malawi cichlids, providing support for the flexible stem theory of adaptive radiation. Next, we found that the genetic architecture of several morphological traits was highly sensitive to the environment. In particular, of 22 significant quantitative trait loci (QTL), only one was shared between the environments. In addition, we identified QTL acting across environments with alternate alleles being differentially sensitive to the environment. Thus, our data suggest that while plasticity is largely determined by loci specific to a given environment, it may also be influenced by loci operating across environments. Finally, our mapping data provide evidence for the evolution of plasticity via genetic assimilation at an important regulatory locus, ptch1. In all, our data address long-standing discussions about the genetic basis and evolution of plasticity. They also underscore the importance of the environment in affecting developmental outcomes, genetic architectures, morphological diversity and evolutionary potential.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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).

  11. 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).

  12. Clinorotation Increases the Growth of Utricular Otoliths of Developing Cichlid Fish

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anken, Ralf H.; Baur, Ulrich; Hilbig, Reinhard

    2010-04-01

    It has been shown earlier that hypergravity slows down inner ear otolith growth in developing fish as an adaptation towards increased environmental gravity. Suggesting that otolith growth is regulated by the central nervous system, thus adjusting otolithic weight to produce a test mass, applying functional weightlessness should yield an opposite effect, i.e. larger than normal otoliths. Therefore, larval siblings of cichlid fish ( Oreochromis mossambicus) were housed for 7 days in a submersed, two-dimensional clinostat, which provided a residual gravity of approximately 0.007g. After the experiment, otoliths were dissected and their size (area grown during the experiment) was determined. Maintenance in the clinostat resulted in significantly larger utricular otoliths (lapilli, involved in graviperception). There were no statistical significant differences regarding saccular otoliths obtained (sagittae, involved in transmitting linear acceleration and, especially, in the hearing process). These results indicated, that the animals had in fact received functional weightlessness. In line and contrasting results on the otoliths of other teleost species kept at actual microgravity (spaceflight) or within rotating wall vessels are discussed.

  13. Body size evolution of a shell-brooding cichlid fish from Lake Tanganyika.

    PubMed

    Takahashi, T; Ota, K

    2016-12-01

    The substrate-brooding cichlid fish Telmatochromis temporalis in Lake Tanganyika demonstrates a simple example of ecological speciation between normal and dwarf morphs through divergent natural selection on body size. The dwarf morph most likely evolved from the ancestral normal morph; therefore, elucidating the evolution of its small body size is a key to understanding this ecological speciation event. Previous studies suggest that the small body size of the dwarf morph is an adaptation to the use of empty snail shells as shelters (males) and spawning sites (females), but this idea has not been fully evaluated. Combining original and previously published information, this study compared likelihood values to determine the primary factor that would be responsible for regulating the body size of the dwarf morph. Male body size is most likely regulated by the ability to turn within shells, which may influence the predation avoidance of adult fish. Females are smaller than males, and their body size is most likely regulated by the ability to lay eggs in the small spaces within shells close to the shell apices where predation risk on eggs is lower. This study provides new evidence supporting the hypothesis that different natural selection factors affected body size of the different sexes of the dwarf morph, which has not been reported in other animal species. © 2016 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2016 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  14. A test of male infanticide as a reproductive tactic in a cichlid fish

    PubMed Central

    Bose, Aneesh P. H.; O'Connor, Constance M.; Balshine, Sigal

    2017-01-01

    Infanticide and offspring cannibalism are taxonomically widespread phenomena. In some group-living species, a new dominant individual taking over a group can benefit from infanticide if doing so induces potential mates to become reproductively available sooner. Despite widespread observations of infanticide (i.e. egg cannibalism) among fishes, no study has investigated whether egg cannibalism occurs in fishes as a result of group takeovers, or how this type of cannibalism might be adaptive. Using the cooperatively breeding cichlid, Neolamprologus pulcher, we tested whether new unrelated males entering the dominant position in a social group were more likely to cannibalize eggs, and whether such cannibalism would shorten the interval until the female's next spawning. Females spawned again sooner if their broods were removed than if they were cared for. Egg cannibalism occurred frequently after a group takeover event, and was rarer if the original male remained with the group. While dominant breeder females were initially highly aggressive towards newcomer males that took over the group, the degree of resistance depended on relative body size differences between the new pair and, ultimately, female aggression did not prevent egg cannibalism. Egg cannibalism, however, did not shorten the duration until subsequent spawning, or increase fecundity during subsequent breeding in our laboratory setting. Our results show that infanticide as mediated through group takeovers is a taxonomically widespread behaviour. PMID:28405376

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

    PubMed

    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.

  16. 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.

  17. A gene expression study of dorso-ventrally restricted pigment pattern in adult fins of Neolamprologus meeli, an African cichlid species

    PubMed Central

    Sefc, Kristina M.

    2017-01-01

    Fish color patterns are among the most diverse phenotypic traits found in the animal kingdom. Understanding the molecular and cellular mechanisms that control in chromatophore distribution and pigmentation underlying this diversity is a major goal in developmental and evolutionary biology, which has predominantly been pursued in the zebrafish model system. Here, we apply results from zebrafish work to study a naturally occurring color pattern phenotype in the fins of an African cichlid species from Lake Tanganyika. The cichlid fish Neolamprologus meeli displays a distinct dorsal color pattern, with black and white stripes along the edges of the dorsal fin and of the dorsal half of the caudal fin, corresponding with differences in melanophore density. To elucidate the molecular mechanisms controlling the differences in dorsal and ventral color patterning in the fins, we quantitatively assessed the expression of 15 candidate target genes involved in adult zebrafish pigmentation and stripe formation. For reference gene validation, we screened the expression stability of seven widely expressed genes across the investigated tissue samples and identified tbp as appropriate reference. Relative expression levels of the candidate target genes were compared between the dorsal, striped fin regions and the corresponding uniform, grey-colored regions in the anal and ventral caudal fin. Dorso-ventral expression differences, with elevated levels in both white and black stripes, were observed in two genes, the melanosome protein coding gene pmel and in igsf11, which affects melanophore adhesion, migration and survival. Next, we predicted potential shared upstream regulators of pmel and igsf11. Testing the expression patterns of six predicted transcriptions factors revealed dorso-ventral expression difference of irf1 and significant, negative expression correlation of irf1 with both pmel and igsf11. Based on these results, we propose pmel, igsf11 and irf1 as likely components of

  18. The Function of Anal Fin Egg-Spots in the Cichlid Fish Astatotilapia burtoni

    PubMed Central

    Theis, Anya; Salzburger, Walter; Egger, Bernd

    2012-01-01

    Color and pigmentation patterns of animals are often targets of sexual selection because of their role in communication. Although conspicuous male traits are typically implicated with intersexual selection, there are examples where sex-specific displays play a role in an intrasexual context, e.g. when they serve as signals for aggression level and/or status. Here, we focus on the function of a conspicuous male ornament in the most species-rich tribe of cichlid fishes, the haplochromines. A characteristic feature of these ca. 1500 species are so-called egg-spots in form of ovoid markings on the anal fins of males, which are made up of carotenoid based pigment cells. It has long been assumed that these yellow, orange or reddish egg-spots play an important role in the courtship and spawning behavior of these maternal mouth-brooding fishes by mimicking the eggs of a conspecific female. The exact function of egg-spots remains unknown, however, and there are several hypotheses about their mode of action. To uncover the function of this cichlid-specific male ornament, we used female mate choice experiments and a male aggression test in the haplochromine species Astatotilapia burtoni. We manipulated the number and arrangement of egg-spots on the anal fins of males, or removed them entirely, and tested (1) female preference with visual contact only using egg-traps, (2) female preference with free contact using paternity testing with microsatellites and (3) male aggression. We found that females did not prefer males with many egg-spots over males with fewer egg-spots and that females tended to prefer males without egg-spots over males with egg-spots. Importantly, males without egg-spots sired clutches with the same fertilization rate as males with egg-spots. In male aggression trials, however, males with fewer egg-spots received significantly more attacks, suggesting that egg-spots are an important signal in intrasexual communication. PMID:22242184

  19. Depth segregation and diet disparity revealed by stable isotope analyses in sympatric herbivorous cichlids in Lake Tanganyika.

    PubMed

    Hata, Hiroki; Shibata, Jyunya; Omori, Koji; Kohda, Masanori; Hori, Michio

    2015-01-01

    Lake Tanganyika in the African Great Rift Valley is known as a site of adaptive radiation in cichlid fishes. Diverse herbivorous fishes coexist on a rocky littoral of the lake. Herbivorous cichlids have acquired multiple feeding ecomorphs, including grazer, browser, scraper, and scooper, and are segregated by dietary niche. Within each ecomorph, however, multiple species apparently coexist sympatrically on a rocky slope. Previous observations of their behavior show that these cichlid species inhabit discrete depths separated by only a few meters. In this paper, using carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) stable isotope ratios as markers, we followed the nutritional uptake of cichlid fishes from periphyton in their feeding territories at various depths. δ(15)N of fish muscles varied among cichlid ecomorphs; this was significantly lower in grazers than in browsers and scoopers, although δ(15)N levels in periphyton within territories did not differ among territorial species. This suggests that grazers depend more directly on primary production of periphyton, while others ingest animal matter from higher trophic levels. With respect to δ(13)C, only plankton eaters exhibited lower values, suggesting that these fishes depend on production of phytoplankton, while the others depend on production of periphyton. Irrespective of cichlid ecomorph, δ(13)C of periphyton correlated significantly with habitat depth, and decreased as habitat depth became deeper. δ(13)C in territorial fish muscles was significantly related to that of periphyton within their territories, regardless of cichlid ecomorph, which suggests that these herbivorous cichlids depend on primary production of periphyton within their territories. Carbon and nitrogen stable isotope ratios varied among ecomorphs and among cichlid species in the same ecomorphs sympatrically inhabiting a littoral area of Lake Tanganyika, suggesting that these cichlids are segregated by nutrient source due to varying dependency on

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-07-01

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

  3. Dynamic Sequence Evolution of a Sex-Associated B Chromosome in Lake Malawi Cichlid Fish.

    PubMed

    Clark, Frances E; Conte, Matthew A; Ferreira-Bravo, Irani A; Poletto, Andreia B; Martins, Cesar; Kocher, Thomas D

    2017-01-01

    B chromosomes are extra chromosomes found in many species of plants, animals, and fungi. B chromosomes often manipulate common cellular processes to increase their frequency, sometimes to the detriment of organismal fitness. Here, we characterize B chromosomes in several species of Lake Malawi cichlid fish. Whole genome sequencing of Metriaclima zebra "Boadzulu" individuals revealed blocks of sequence with unusually high sequence coverage, indicative of increased copy number of those sequences. These regions of high sequence coverage were found only in females. SNPs unique to the high copy number sequences permitted the design of specific amplification primers. These primers amplified fragments only in Metriaclima lombardoi individuals that carried a cytologically identified B chromosome (B-carriers), indicating these extra copies are located on the B chromosome. These same primers were used to identify B-carrying individuals in additional species from Lake Malawi. Across 7 species, a total of 43 B-carriers were identified among 323 females. B-carriers were exclusively female; no B chromosomes were observed in the 317 males surveyed from these species. Quantitative analysis of the copy number variation of B-specific sequence blocks suggests that B-carriers possess a single B chromosome, consistent with previous karyotyping of M. lombardoi A single B chromosome in B-carriers is consistent with 2 potential drive mechanisms: one involving nondisjunction and preferential segregation in a mitotic division prior to the germ-line, and the other involving preferential segregation during meiosis I.

  4. Niche divergence facilitated by fine‐scale ecological partitioning in a recent cichlid fish adaptive radiation

    PubMed Central

    Ford, Antonia G. P.; Rüber, Lukas; Newton, Jason; Dasmahapatra, Kanchon K.; Balarin, John D.; Bruun, Kristoffer; Day, Julia J.

    2016-01-01

    Ecomorphological differentiation is a key feature of adaptive radiations, with a general trend for specialization and niche expansion following divergence. Ecological opportunity afforded by invasion of a new habitat is thought to act as an ecological release, facilitating divergence, and speciation. Here, we investigate trophic adaptive morphology and ecology of an endemic clade of oreochromine cichlid fishes (Alcolapia) that radiated along a herbivorous trophic axis following colonization of an isolated lacustrine environment, and demonstrate phenotype‐environment correlation. Ecological and morphological divergence of the Alcolapia species flock are examined in a phylogenomic context, to infer ecological niche occupation within the radiation. Species divergence is observed in both ecology and morphology, supporting the importance of ecological speciation within the radiation. Comparison with an outgroup taxon reveals large‐scale ecomorphological divergence but shallow genomic differentiation within the Alcolapia adaptive radiation. Ancestral morphological reconstruction suggests lake colonization by a generalist oreochromine phenotype that diverged in Lake Natron to varied herbivorous morphologies akin to specialist herbivores in Lakes Tanganyika and Malawi. PMID:27659769

  5. Female promiscuity promotes the evolution of faster sperm in cichlid fishes.

    PubMed

    Fitzpatrick, John L; Montgomerie, Robert; Desjardins, Julie K; Stiver, Kelly A; Kolm, Niclas; Balshine, Sigal

    2009-01-27

    Sperm competition, the contest among ejaculates from rival males to fertilize ova of a female, is a common and powerful evolutionary force influencing ejaculate traits. During competitive interactions between ejaculates, longer and faster spermatozoa are expected to have an edge; however, to date, there has been mixed support for this key prediction from sperm competition theory. Here, we use the spectacular radiation of cichlid fishes from Lake Tanganyika to examine sperm characteristics in 29 closely related species. We provide phylogenetically robust evidence that species experiencing greater levels of sperm competition have faster-swimming sperm. We also show that sperm competition selects for increases in the number, size, and longevity of spermatozoa in the ejaculate of a male, and, contrary to expectations from theory, we find no evidence of trade-offs among sperm traits in an interspecific analysis. Also, sperm swimming speed is positively correlated with sperm length among, but not within, species. These different responses to sperm competition at intra- and interspecific levels provide a simple, powerful explanation for equivocal results from previous studies. Using phylogenetic analyses, we also reconstructed the probable evolutionary route of trait evolution in this taxon, and show that, in response to increases in the magnitude of sperm competition, the evolution of sperm traits in this clade began with the evolution of faster (thus, more competitive) sperm.

  6. Population genomic tests of models of adaptive radiation in Lake Victoria region cichlid fish.

    PubMed

    Bezault, Etienne; Mwaiko, Salome; Seehausen, Ole

    2011-12-01

    Adaptive radiation is usually thought to be associated with speciation, but the evolution of intraspecific polymorphisms without speciation is also possible. The radiation of cichlid fish in Lake Victoria (LV) is perhaps the most impressive example of a recent rapid adaptive radiation, with 600+ very young species. Key questions about its origin remain poorly characterized, such as the importance of speciation versus polymorphism, whether species persist on evolutionary time scales, and if speciation happens more commonly in small isolated or in large connected populations. We used 320 individuals from 105 putative species from Lakes Victoria, Edward, Kivu, Albert, Nabugabo and Saka, in a radiation-wide amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) genome scan to address some of these questions. We demonstrate pervasive signatures of speciation supporting the classical model of adaptive radiation associated with speciation. A positive relationship between the age of lakes and the average genomic differentiation of their species, and a significant fraction of molecular variance explained by above-species level taxonomy suggest the persistence of species on evolutionary time scales, with radiation through sequential speciation rather than a single starburst. Finally the large gene diversity retained from colonization to individual species in every radiation suggests large effective population sizes and makes speciation in small geographical isolates unlikely.

  7. 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

  8. Female promiscuity promotes the evolution of faster sperm in cichlid fishes

    PubMed Central

    Fitzpatrick, John L.; Montgomerie, Robert; Desjardins, Julie K.; Stiver, Kelly A.; Kolm, Niclas; Balshine, Sigal

    2009-01-01

    Sperm competition, the contest among ejaculates from rival males to fertilize ova of a female, is a common and powerful evolutionary force influencing ejaculate traits. During competitive interactions between ejaculates, longer and faster spermatozoa are expected to have an edge; however, to date, there has been mixed support for this key prediction from sperm competition theory. Here, we use the spectacular radiation of cichlid fishes from Lake Tanganyika to examine sperm characteristics in 29 closely related species. We provide phylogenetically robust evidence that species experiencing greater levels of sperm competition have faster-swimming sperm. We also show that sperm competition selects for increases in the number, size, and longevity of spermatozoa in the ejaculate of a male, and, contrary to expectations from theory, we find no evidence of trade-offs among sperm traits in an interspecific analysis. Also, sperm swimming speed is positively correlated with sperm length among, but not within, species. These different responses to sperm competition at intra- and interspecific levels provide a simple, powerful explanation for equivocal results from previous studies. Using phylogenetic analyses, we also reconstructed the probable evolutionary route of trait evolution in this taxon, and show that, in response to increases in the magnitude of sperm competition, the evolution of sperm traits in this clade began with the evolution of faster (thus, more competitive) sperm. PMID:19164576

  9. The melanocortin system regulates body pigmentation and social behaviour in a colour polymorphic cichlid fish.

    PubMed

    Dijkstra, Peter D; Maguire, Sean M; Harris, Rayna M; Rodriguez, Agosto A; DeAngelis, Ross S; Flores, Stephanie A; Hofmann, Hans A

    2017-03-29

    The melanocortin system is a neuroendocrine system that regulates a range of physiological and behavioural processes. We examined the extent to which the melanocortin system simultaneously regulates colour and behaviour in the cichlid fish Astatotilapia burtoni We found that yellow males are more aggressive than blue males, in line with previous studies. We then found that exogenous α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH) increases yellowness of the body and dispersal of xanthophore pigments in both morphs. However, α-MSH had a morph-specific effect on aggression, with only blue males showing an increase in the rate of aggression. Exogenous agouti signalling peptide (ASIP), a melanocortin antagonist, did not affect coloration but reduced the rate of aggression in both colour morphs. Blue males had higher cortisol levels than yellow males. Neural gene expression of melanocortin receptors (mcr) and ligands was not differentially regulated between colour morphs. In the skin, however, mc1r and pro-opiomelanocortin (pomc) β were upregulated in blue males, while asip 1 was upregulated in yellow males. The effects of α-MSH on behaviour and body coloration, combined with morph-specific regulation of the stress response and the melanocortin system, suggest that the melanocortin system contributes to the polymorphism in behaviour and coloration in A. burtoni.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

    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.

  13. Pleistocene desiccation in East Africa bottlenecked but did not extirpate the adaptive radiation of Lake Victoria haplochromine cichlid fishes.

    PubMed

    Elmer, Kathryn R; Reggio, Chiara; Wirth, Thierry; Verheyen, Erik; Salzburger, Walter; Meyer, Axel

    2009-08-11

    The Great Lakes region of East Africa, including Lake Victoria, is the center of diversity of the mega-diverse cichlid fishes (Perciformes: Teleostei). Paleolimnological evidence indicates dramatic desiccation of this lake ca. 18,000-15,000 years ago. Consequently, the hundreds of extant endemic haplochromine species in the lake must have either evolved since then or refugia must have existed, within that lake basin or elsewhere, from which Lake Victoria was recolonized. We studied the population history of the Lake Victoria region superflock (LVRS) of haplochromine cichlids based on nuclear genetic analysis (12 microsatellite loci from 400 haplochomines) of populations from Lake Kivu, Lake Victoria, and the connected and surrounding rivers and lakes. Population genetic analyses confirmed that Lake Kivu haplochromines colonized Lake Victoria. Coalescent analyses show a 30- to 50-fold decline in the haplochromine populations of Lake Victoria, Lake Kivu, and the region ca. 18,000-15,000 years ago. We suggest that this coincides with drastic climatic and geological changes in the late Pleistocene. The most recent common ancestor of the Lake Victoria region haplochromines was estimated to have existed about 4.5 million years ago, which corresponds to the first radiation of cichlids in Lake Tanganyika and the origin of the tribe Haplochrominii. This relatively old evolutionary origin may explain the high levels of polymorphism still found in modern haplochromines. This degree of polymorphism might have acted as a "genetic reservoir" that permitted the explosive radiation of hundreds of haplochromines and their array of contemporary adaptive morphologies.

  14. Phylogenetic relationships among East African haplochromine fish as revealed by short interspersed elements (SINEs).

    PubMed

    Terai, Yohey; Takezaki, Naoko; Mayer, Werner E; Tichy, Herbert; Takahata, Naoyuki; Klein, Jan; Okada, Norihiro

    2004-01-01

    Genomic DNA libraries were prepared from two endemic species of Lake Victoria haplochromine (cichlid) fish and used to isolate and characterize a set of short interspersed elements (SINEs). The distribution and sequences of the SINEs were used to infer phylogenetic relationships among East African haplochromines. The SINE-based classification divides the fish into four groups, which, in order of their divergence from a stem lineage, are the endemic Lake Tanganyika flock (group 1); fish of the nonendemic, monotypic, widely distributed genus Astatoreochromis (group 2); the endemic Lake Malawi flock (group 3); and group 4, which contains fish from widely dispersed East African localities including Lakes Victoria, Edward, George, Albert, and Rukwa, as well as many rivers. The group 4 haplochromines are characterized by a subset of polymorphic SINEs, each of which is present in some individuals and absent in others of the same population at a given locality, the same morphologically defined species, and the same mtDNA-defined haplogroup. SINE-defined group 4 contains six of the seven previously described mtDNA haplogroups. One of the polymorphic SINEs appears to be fixed in the endemic Lake Victoria flock; four others display the presence-or-absence polymorphism within the species of this flock. These findings have implications for the origin of Lake Victoria cichlids and for their founding population sizes.

  15. 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

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

    PubMed

    O'Quin, Claire T; Drilea, Alexi C; Conte, Matthew A; Kocher, Thomas D

    2013-04-27

    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. 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. 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.

  17. 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. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Quantitative molecular phenotyping of gill remodeling in a cichlid fish responding to salinity stress.

    PubMed

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

    2013-12-01

    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

  19. The oldest fossil cichlids (Teleostei: Perciformes): indication of a 45 million-year-old species flock.

    PubMed Central

    Murray, A. M.

    2001-01-01

    Five closely related species of fossil cichlids collected from an Eocene site in Tanzania, East Africa, represent the oldest known cichlids. The specimens are whole-body, articulated fishes that are extremely well preserved and, therefore, have the potential to add to our knowledge of the history of this family. Modern cichlids are particularly well known for the numerous species flocks of the East African Great Lakes. A great deal of research is ongoing regarding all aspects of the fishes in these flocks, including their evolutionary history The new collection of fossils reported here is interpreted as representing a species flock that arose in a small crater lake. These fossils indicate that cichlids' ability to form species flocks evolved early in the history of this family. PMID:11321055

  20. 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

  1. Developmental effects of visual environment on species-assortative mating preferences in Lake Victoria cichlid fish.

    PubMed

    Wright, D S; Demandt, N; Alkema, J T; Seehausen, O; Groothuis, T G G; Maan, M E

    2017-02-01

    Local adaptation can be a potent force in speciation, with environmental heterogeneity leading to niche specialization and population divergence. However, local adaption often requires nonrandom mating to generate reproductive isolation. Population divergence in sensory properties can be particularly consequential in speciation, affecting both ecological adaptation and sexual communication. Pundamilia pundamila and Pundamilia nyererei are two closely related African cichlid species that differ in male coloration, blue vs. red. They co-occur at rocky islands in southern Lake Victoria, but inhabit different depth ranges with different light environments. The species differ in colour vision properties, and females exert species-specific preferences for blue vs. red males. Here, we investigated the mechanistic link between colour vision and preference, which could provide a rapid route to reproductive isolation. We tested the behavioural components of this link by experimentally manipulating colour perception - we raised both species and their hybrids under light conditions mimicking shallow and deep habitats - and tested female preference for blue and red males under both conditions. We found that rearing light significantly affected female preference: shallow-reared females responded more strongly to P. pundamilia males and deep-reared females favoured P. nyererei males - implying that visual development causally affects mate choice. These results are consistent with sensory drive predictions, suggesting that the visual environment is key to behavioural isolation of these species. However, the observed plasticity could also make the species barrier vulnerable to environmental change: species-assortative preferences were weaker in females that were reared in the other species' light condition.

  2. Rapid adaptation to a novel light environment: The importance of ontogeny and phenotypic plasticity in shaping the visual system of Nicaraguan Midas cichlid fish (Amphilophus citrinellus spp.).

    PubMed

    Härer, Andreas; Torres-Dowdall, Julián; Meyer, Axel

    2017-08-09

    Colonization of novel habitats is typically challenging to organisms. In the initial stage after colonization, approximation to fitness optima in the new environment can occur by selection acting on standing genetic variation, modification of developmental patterns or phenotypic plasticity. Midas cichlids have recently colonized crater Lake Apoyo from great Lake Nicaragua. The photic environment of crater Lake Apoyo is shifted towards shorter wavelengths compared to great Lake Nicaragua and Midas cichlids from both lakes differ in visual sensitivity. We investigated the contribution of ontogeny and phenotypic plasticity in shaping the visual system of Midas cichlids after colonizing this novel photic environment. To this end, we measured cone opsin expression both during development and after experimental exposure to different light treatments. Midas cichlids from both lakes undergo ontogenetic changes in cone opsin expression, but visual sensitivity is consistently shifted towards shorter wavelengths in crater lake fish, which leads to a paedomorphic retention of their visual phenotype. This shift might be mediated by lower levels of thyroid hormone in crater lake Midas cichlids (measured indirectly as dio2 and dio3 gene expression). Exposing fish to different light treatments revealed that cone opsin expression is phenotypically plastic in both species during early development, with short and long wavelength light slowing or accelerating ontogenetic changes, respectively. Notably, this plastic response was maintained into adulthood only in the derived crater lake Midas cichlids. We conclude that the rapid evolution of Midas cichlids' visual system after colonizing crater Lake Apoyo was mediated by a shift in visual sensitivity during ontogeny and was further aided by phenotypic plasticity during development. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Deshpande, Ketki V; Jadhao, Arun G

    2015-09-01

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

  9. 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

  10. Distribution of Endomorphin-like-immunoreactive neurones in the brain of the cichlid fish Oreochromis mossambicus.

    PubMed

    Vijayalaxmi; Ganesh, C B

    2017-02-08

    Endomorphins are tetrapeptides involved in pain and neuroendocrine responses with high affinity for mu opioid receptors in mammals. In the present investigation, we studied the distribution of endomorphin-like-immunoreactive (EM-L-ir) neurones in the brain of the cichlid fish Oreochromis mossambicus. Application of antisera against endomorphin 1 and 2 (EM-1-2) revealed the presence of EM-L-ir somata and fibres throughout the different subdivisions of the olfactory bulb such as the olfactory nerve layer and the granule cell layer. While the extensions of EM-L-ir fibres were seen along the medial olfactory tract, intensely labeled EM-L-ir somata were found in different subdivisions of the telencephalon. In the diencephalon, intensely stained EM-L-ir neurones were noticed in the preoptic area, the nucleus preopticus pars magnocellularis, the suprachiasmatic nucleus, the nucleus lateralis tuberis pars lateralis (NLTl) and the nucleus lateralis tuberis pars medialis (NLTm) regions, whereas projections of EM-L-ir fibres were also seen along the hypothalamo-hypophyseal tract suggested a possible hypophysiotrophic role for these neurones. Intense to moderately stained EM-L-ir neurones were noticed in different subdivisions of thalamic nucleus such as the dorsal posterior thalamic nucleus, commissura posterior, ventromedial thalamic nucleus, nucleus posterior tuberis, ventrolateral thalamic nucleus and medial preglomerular nucleus. Numerous intensely stained perikarya and axonal fibres were also noticed throughout the inferior lobe, along the periventricular margin of the reccessus lateralis, and in the nucleus recesus lateralis regions. In addition, numerous moderately labeled EM-like neuronal populations were found in the secondary gustatory nucleus and rostral spinal cord. The widespread distribution of EM-L-ir neurones throughout the brain and spinal cord indicate diverse roles for these cells in neuroendocrine and neuromodulatory responses for the first time in fish

  11. 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

  12. An allelic series at pax7a is associated with colour polymorphism diversity in Lake Malawi cichlid fish.

    PubMed

    Roberts, Reade B; Moore, Emily C; Kocher, Thomas D

    2016-12-27

    Despite long-standing interest in the evolution and maintenance of discrete phenotypic polymorphisms, the molecular genetic basis of such polymorphism in the wild is largely unknown. Female sex-associated blotched colour polymorphisms found in cichlids of Lake Malawi, East Africa, represent a highly successful polymorphic phenotype, found and maintained in four genera across the geographic expanse of the lake. Previously, we identified an association with an allelic variant of the paired-box transcription factor gene pax7a and blotched colour morphs in Lake Malawi cichlid fishes. Although a diverse range of blotched phenotypes are present in Lake Malawi cichlid species, they all appeared to result from an allele of pax7a that produces increased levels of transcript. Here, we examine the developmental and genetic basis of variation among blotched morphs. First, we confirm that pax7a-associated blotch morphs result primarily from modulation of melanophore development and survival. From laboratory crosses and natural population studies, we identify at least three alleles of pax7a associated with discrete subtypes of blotched morphs, in addition to the ancestral pax7a allele. Genotypes at pax7a support initial evolution of a novel pax7a allele to produce the blotched class of morphs, followed by subsequent evolution of that pax7a blotched allele to produce additional alleles associated with discrete colour morphs. Variant alleles of pax7a produce different levels of pax7a transcript, correlating with pigmentation phenotype at the cellular level. This naturally selected allelic series should serve as a case study for understanding the molecular genetic control of pax7a expression and the evolution of sex-associated alleles.

  13. Pleistocene desiccation in East Africa bottlenecked but did not extirpate the adaptive radiation of Lake Victoria haplochromine cichlid fishes

    PubMed Central

    Elmer, Kathryn R.; Reggio, Chiara; Wirth, Thierry; Verheyen, Erik; Salzburger, Walter; Meyer, Axel

    2009-01-01

    The Great Lakes region of East Africa, including Lake Victoria, is the center of diversity of the mega-diverse cichlid fishes (Perciformes: Teleostei). Paleolimnological evidence indicates dramatic desiccation of this lake ca. 18,000–15,000 years ago. Consequently, the hundreds of extant endemic haplochromine species in the lake must have either evolved since then or refugia must have existed, within that lake basin or elsewhere, from which Lake Victoria was recolonized. We studied the population history of the Lake Victoria region superflock (LVRS) of haplochromine cichlids based on nuclear genetic analysis (12 microsatellite loci from 400 haplochomines) of populations from Lake Kivu, Lake Victoria, and the connected and surrounding rivers and lakes. Population genetic analyses confirmed that Lake Kivu haplochromines colonized Lake Victoria. Coalescent analyses show a 30- to 50-fold decline in the haplochromine populations of Lake Victoria, Lake Kivu, and the region ca. 18,000–15,000 years ago. We suggest that this coincides with drastic climatic and geological changes in the late Pleistocene. The most recent common ancestor of the Lake Victoria region haplochromines was estimated to have existed about 4.5 million years ago, which corresponds to the first radiation of cichlids in Lake Tanganyika and the origin of the tribe Haplochrominii. This relatively old evolutionary origin may explain the high levels of polymorphism still found in modern haplochromines. This degree of polymorphism might have acted as a “genetic reservoir” that permitted the explosive radiation of hundreds of haplochromines and their array of contemporary adaptive morphologies. PMID:19651614

  14. An Evaluation of the Role of Sensory Drive in the Evolution of Lake Malawi Cichlid Fishes

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Adam R.; van Staaden, Moira J.; Carleton, Karen L.

    2012-01-01

    Although the cichlids of Lake Malawi are an important model system for the study of sensory evolution and sexual selection, the evolutionary processes linking these two phenomena remain unclear. Prior works have proposed that evolutionary divergence is driven by sensory drive, particularly as it applies to the visual system. While evidence suggests that sensory drive has played a role in the speciation of Lake Victoria cichlids, the findings from several lines of research on cichlids of Lake Malawi are not consistent with the primary tenets of this hypothesis. More specifically, three observations make the sensory drive model implausible in Malawi: (i) a lack of environmental constraint due to a broad and intense ambient light spectrum in species rich littoral habitats, (ii) pronounced variation in receiver sensory characteristics, and (iii) pronounced variability in male courtship signal characteristics. In the following work, we synthesize the results from recent studies to draw attention to the importance of sensory variation in cichlid evolution and speciation, and we suggest possible avenues of future research. PMID:22779029

  15. An evaluation of the role of sensory drive in the evolution of lake Malawi cichlid fishes.

    PubMed

    Smith, Adam R; van Staaden, Moira J; Carleton, Karen L

    2012-01-01

    Although the cichlids of Lake Malawi are an important model system for the study of sensory evolution and sexual selection, the evolutionary processes linking these two phenomena remain unclear. Prior works have proposed that evolutionary divergence is driven by sensory drive, particularly as it applies to the visual system. While evidence suggests that sensory drive has played a role in the speciation of Lake Victoria cichlids, the findings from several lines of research on cichlids of Lake Malawi are not consistent with the primary tenets of this hypothesis. More specifically, three observations make the sensory drive model implausible in Malawi: (i) a lack of environmental constraint due to a broad and intense ambient light spectrum in species rich littoral habitats, (ii) pronounced variation in receiver sensory characteristics, and (iii) pronounced variability in male courtship signal characteristics. In the following work, we synthesize the results from recent studies to draw attention to the importance of sensory variation in cichlid evolution and speciation, and we suggest possible avenues of future research.

  16. Comparative cytogenetic mapping of Sox2 and Sox14 in cichlid fishes and inferences on the genomic organization of both genes in vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Mazzuchelli, Juliana; Yang, Fengtang; Kocher, Thomas D.; Martins, Cesar

    2011-01-01

    To better understand the genomic organization and evolution of Sox genes in vertebrates, we cytogenetically mapped Sox2 and Sox14 genes in cichlid fishes and performed comparative analyses of their orthologs in several vertebrate species. The genomic regions neighbouring Sox2 and Sox14 have been conserved during vertebrate diversification. Although cichlids seem to have undergone high rates of genomic rearrangements, Sox2 and Sox14 are linked in the same chromosome in the Etroplinae Etroplus maculatus that represents the sister group of all remaining cichlids. However, this genes are located on different chromosomes in several species of the sister group Pseudocrenilabrinae. Similarly the ancestral synteny of Sox2 and Sox14 has been maintained in several vertebrates, but this synteny has been broken independently in all major groups as a consequence of karyotype rearrangements that took place during the vertebrate evolution. PMID:21691861

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

    Lehtonen, Topi K; Meyer, Axel

    2011-08-07

    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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Recent speciation between sympatric Tanganyikan cichlid colour morphs.

    PubMed

    Wagner, Catherine E; McCune, Amy R; Lovette, Irby J

    2012-07-01

    Lake Tanganyika, Africa's oldest lake, harbours an impressive diversity of cichlid fishes. Although diversification in its radiating groups is thought to have been initially rapid, cichlids from Lake Tanganyika show little evidence for ongoing speciation. In contrast, examples of recent divergence among sympatric colour morphs are well known in haplochromine cichlids from Lakes Malawi and Victoria. Here, we report genetic evidence for recent divergence between two sympatric Tanganyikan cichlid colour morphs. These Petrochromis morphs share mitochondrial haplotypes, yet microsatellite loci reveal that their sympatric populations form distinct genetic groups. Nuclear divergence between the two morphs is equivalent to that which arises geographically within one of the morphs over short distances and is substantially smaller than that among other sympatric species in this genus. These patterns suggest that these morphs diverged only recently, yet that barriers to gene flow exist which prevent extensive admixture despite their sympatric distribution. The morphs studied here provide an unusual example of active diversification in Lake Tanganyika's generally ancient cichlid fauna and enable comparisons of speciation processes between Lake Tanganyika and other African lakes.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Salzburger, Walter; Braasch, Ingo; Meyer, Axel

    2007-11-15

    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. 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. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Population genomic signatures of divergent adaptation, gene flow and hybrid speciation in the rapid radiation of Lake Victoria cichlid fishes.

    PubMed

    Keller, I; Wagner, C E; Greuter, L; Mwaiko, S; Selz, O M; Sivasundar, A; Wittwer, S; Seehausen, O

    2013-06-01

    Adaptive radiations are an important source of biodiversity and are often characterized by many speciation events in very short succession. It has been proposed that the high speciation rates in these radiations may be fuelled by novel genetic combinations produced in episodes of hybridization among the young species. The role of such hybridization events in the evolutionary history of a group can be investigated by comparing the genealogical relationships inferred from different subsets of loci, but such studies have thus far often been hampered by shallow genetic divergences, especially in young adaptive radiations, and the lack of genome-scale molecular data. Here, we use a genome-wide sampling of SNPs identified within restriction site-associated DNA (RAD) tags to investigate the genomic consistency of patterns of shared ancestry and adaptive divergence among five sympatric cichlid species of two genera, Pundamilia and Mbipia, which form part of the massive adaptive radiation of cichlids in the East African Lake Victoria. Species pairs differ along several axes: male nuptial colouration, feeding ecology, depth distribution, as well as the morphological traits that distinguish the two genera and more subtle morphological differences. Using outlier scan approaches, we identify signals of divergent selection between all species pairs with a number of loci showing parallel patterns in replicated contrasts either between genera or between male colour types. We then create SNP subsets that we expect to be characterized to different extents by selection history and neutral processes and describe phylogenetic and population genetic patterns across these subsets. These analyses reveal very different evolutionary histories for different regions of the genome. To explain these results, we propose at least two intergeneric hybridization events (between Mbipia spp. and Pundamilia spp.) in the evolutionary history of these five species that would have lead to the evolution

  17. Retroposition of the AFC family of SINEs (short interspersed repetitive elements) before and during the adaptive radiation of cichlid fishes in Lake Malawi and related inferences about phylogeny.

    PubMed

    Takahashi, K; Nishida, M; Yuma, M; Okada, N

    2001-01-01

    Lake Malawi is home to more than 450 species of endemic cichlids, which provide a spectacular example of adaptive radiation. To clarify the phylogenetic relationships among these fish, we examined the presence and absence of SINEs (short interspersed repetitive elements) at orthologous loci. We identified six loci at which a SINE sequence had apparently been specifically inserted by retroposition in the common ancestor of all the investigated species of endemic cichlids in Lake Malawi. At another locus, unique sharing of a SINE sequence was evident among all the investigated species of endemic non-Mbuna cichlids with the exception of Rhamphochromis sp. The relationships were in good agreement with those deduced in previous studies with various different markers, demonstrating that the SINE method is useful for the elucidation of phylogenetic relationships among cichlids in Lake Malawi. We also characterized a locus that exhibited transspecies polymorphism with respect to the presence or absence of the SINE sequence among non-Mbuna species. This result suggests that incomplete lineage sorting and/or interspecific hybridization might have occurred or be occurring among the species in this group, which might potentially cause misinterpretation of phylogenetic data, in particular when a single-locus marker, such as a sequence in the mitochondrial DNA, is used for analysis.

  18. Sensory drive in cichlid speciation.

    PubMed

    Maan, Martine E; Hofker, Kees D; van Alphen, Jacques J M; Seehausen, Ole

    2006-06-01

    The role of selection in speciation is a central yet poorly understood problem in evolutionary biology. The rapid radiations of extremely colorful cichlid fish in African lakes have fueled the hypothesis that sexual selection can drive species divergence without geographical isolation. Here we present experimental evidence for a mechanism by which sexual selection becomes divergent: in two sibling species from Lake Victoria, female mating preferences for red and blue male nuptial coloration coincide with their context-independent sensitivities to red and blue light, which in turn correspond to a difference in ambient light in the natural habitat of the species. These results suggest that natural selection on visual performance, favoring different visual properties in different spectral environments, may lead to divergent sexual selection on male nuptial coloration. This interplay of ecological and sexual selection along a light gradient may provide a mechanism of rapid speciation through divergent sensory drive.

  19. 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.

  20. Evidence for the involvement of dopamine in stress-induced suppression of reproduction in the cichlid fish Oreochromis mossambicus.

    PubMed

    Chabbi, A; Ganesh, C B

    2015-05-01

    In the present study, we examined whether stress-induced suppression of reproduction is mediated through the catecholaminergic neurotransmitter dopamine (DA) in the female cichlid fish Oreochromis mossambicus. In the first experiment, application of antibody against tyrosine hydroxylase (TH; a marker for DA) in brain sections revealed the presence of intensely stained TH immunoreactive cells in the preoptic area (POA) and nucleus preopticus (NPO) during the previtellogenic phase. These cells showed weak immunoreactivity during the vitellogenic and prespawning phases concomitant with darkly stained luteinising hormone (LH) immunoreactive content in the proximal pars distalis (PPD) of the pituitary gland and fully ripened follicles (stage V) in the ovary of control fish. However, in fish exposed to aquacultural stressors, TH secreting cells remained intensely stained in POA and NPO regions during the prespawning phase, indicating increased synthetic and secretory activity, which was reflected by a significantly higher DA content compared to controls. Increased DA activity as a result of stress was associated with a decrease in the LH immunoreactive content in the PPD and an absence of stage V follicles in the ovary. In the second experiment, administration of DA caused effects similar to those in stressed fish, whereas DA receptor antagonist domperidone (DOM) treatment significantly increased the LH content in the PPD and the number of stage V follicles in unstressed fish. On the other hand, treatment of stressed fish with DOM resulted in dark accumulations of LH immunoreactive content in the PPD accompanied by the presence of stage V follicles in the ovary. Taken together, these results suggest an additional pathway for the inhibitory effects of stress through dopaminergic neurones along the reproductive axis.

  1. 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. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  2. Evolutionary relationships of the limnochromini, a tribe of benthic deepwater cichlid fish endemic to Lake Tanganyika, East Africa.

    PubMed

    Duftner, Nina; Koblmüller, Stephan; Sturmbauer, Christian

    2005-03-01

    Lake Tanganyika harbors an enormous diversity of cichlid fish that stem from eight distinct ancestral lineages, which colonized the lake after its formation 9 to 12 million years ago. Six of twelve currently described tribes are assigned to the "H-lineage," an assemblage of exclusively mouthbrood-ing cichlids, all of which evolved during a short period of time during the course of the primary radiation of lacustrine species. Our study focuses on the deepwater tribe Limnochromini, comprising bi-parental mouthbrooders, and is based on phylogenetic analysis of two mitochondrial gene segments. We confirm the polyphyletic origin of the Limnochromini as they are defined to date, in that Gnathochromis pfefferi is placed among the Tropheini, whereas the genus Benthochromis is presented as an independent lineage. The remaining nine species were unambiguously resolved as monophyletic and should be redefined as the tribe Limnochromini. Concerning generic assignments, the genus Greenwoodochromis appeared as monophyletic, Limnochromis as paraphyletic, and the genera Reganochromis and Baileychromis as monophyletic sister genera. The linearized tree analysis and the comparison of average sequence divergences to that of the remaining tribes of the H-lineage revealed a relatively recent but simultaneous proliferation of the Limnochromini, suggesting that the same environmental changes triggered the radiation of particular deepwater, benthic, pelagic, and littoral lineages. By using a preliminary calibration of a molecular clock based on gamma-corrected amino acid distances of the NADH2 gene, the diversification of the Limnochromini could tentatively be dated to 2.9-3.5 MYA, coinciding with a period of aridification in East Africa between 2.5 and 3 MYA. The lack of geographic color morphs and the structural uniformity and resource scarcity of deepwater habitats suggest that competition and resource partitioning leading to differential trophic specialization promoted speciation

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-09

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

  4. Genetic Structure of Pelagic and Littoral Cichlid Fishes from Lake Victoria

    PubMed Central

    Takeda, Miyuki; Kusumi, Junko; Mizoiri, Shinji; Aibara, Mitsuto; Mzighani, Semvua Isa; Sato, Tetsu; Terai, Yohey; Okada, Norihiro; Tachida, Hidenori

    2013-01-01

    The approximately 700 species of cichlids found in Lake Victoria in East Africa are thought to have evolved over a short period of time, and they represent one of the largest known examples of adaptive radiation. To understand the processes that are driving this spectacular radiation, we must determine the present genetic structure of these species and elucidate how this structure relates to the ecological conditions that caused their adaptation. We analyzed the genetic structure of two pelagic and seven littoral species sampled from the southeast area of Lake Victoria using sequences from the mtDNA control region and 12 microsatellite loci as markers. Using a Bayesian model-based clustering method to analyze the microsatellite data, we separated these nine species into four groups: one group composed of pelagic species and another three groups composed mainly of rocky-shore species. Furthermore, we found significant levels of genetic variation between species within each group at both marker loci using analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA), although the nine species often shared mtDNA haplotypes. We also found significant levels of genetic variation between populations within species. These results suggest that initial groupings, some of which appear to have been related to habitat differences, as well as divergence between species within groups took place among the cichlid species of Lake Victoria. PMID:24040175

  5. Genetic structure of pelagic and littoral cichlid fishes from Lake Victoria.

    PubMed

    Takeda, Miyuki; Kusumi, Junko; Mizoiri, Shinji; Aibara, Mitsuto; Mzighani, Semvua Isa; Sato, Tetsu; Terai, Yohey; Okada, Norihiro; Tachida, Hidenori

    2013-01-01

    The approximately 700 species of cichlids found in Lake Victoria in East Africa are thought to have evolved over a short period of time, and they represent one of the largest known examples of adaptive radiation. To understand the processes that are driving this spectacular radiation, we must determine the present genetic structure of these species and elucidate how this structure relates to the ecological conditions that caused their adaptation. We analyzed the genetic structure of two pelagic and seven littoral species sampled from the southeast area of Lake Victoria using sequences from the mtDNA control region and 12 microsatellite loci as markers. Using a Bayesian model-based clustering method to analyze the microsatellite data, we separated these nine species into four groups: one group composed of pelagic species and another three groups composed mainly of rocky-shore species. Furthermore, we found significant levels of genetic variation between species within each group at both marker loci using analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA), although the nine species often shared mtDNA haplotypes. We also found significant levels of genetic variation between populations within species. These results suggest that initial groupings, some of which appear to have been related to habitat differences, as well as divergence between species within groups took place among the cichlid species of Lake Victoria.

  6. Patterns in fish radiation are compatible with Pleistocene desiccation of Lake Victoria and 14,600 year history for its cichlid species flock.

    PubMed Central

    Seehausen, Ole

    2002-01-01

    Geophysical data are currently being interpreted as evidence for a late Pleistocene desiccation of Lake Victoria and its refilling 14,600 years ago. This implies that between 500 and 1000 endemic cichlid fish species must have evolved in 14,600 years, the fastest large-scale species radiation known. A recent review concludes that biological evidence clearly rejects the postulated Pleistocene desiccation of the lake: a 14,600 year history would imply exceptionally high speciation rates across a range of unrelated fish taxa. To test this suggestion, I calculated speciation rates for all 41 phylogenetic lineages of fish in the lake. Except for one cichlid lineage, accepting a 14 600 year history does not require any speciation rates that fall outside the range observed in fishes in other young lakes around the world. The exceptional taxon is a lineage of haplochromine cichlids that is also known for its rapid speciation elsewhere. Moreover, since it is unknown how many founding species it has, it is not certain that its speciation rates are really outside the range observed in fishes in other young lakes. Fish speciation rates are generally faster in younger than in older lakes, and those in Lake Victoria, by far the largest of the young lakes of the world, are no exception. From the speciation rates and from biogeographical observations that Lake Victoria endemics, which lack close relatives within the lake basin, have such relatives in adjacent drainage systems that may have had Holocene connections to Lake Victoria, I conclude that the composition of the fish assemblage does not provide biological evidence against Pleistocene desiccation. It supports a hypothesis of recent colonization from outside the lake basin rather than survival of a diverse assemblage within the basin. PMID:11886641

  7. 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.

  8. Chalinochromis cyanophleps, a new species of cichlid fish (Teleostei: Cichlidae) from Lake Tanganyika.

    PubMed

    Kullander, Sven O; Karlsson, Mikael; Karlsson, Magnus; Norén, Michael

    2014-04-22

    Chalinochromis cyanophleps is described from nine specimens, the largest 129 mm SL, from Namansi. It differs from other species of Chalinochromis in plain trunk colouration, absence of black stripes on the head, relatively narrow lips, presence of tricuspid jaw teeth, and presence of five rather than four dentary lateralis foramina. The blue iridescent stripe below the eye is shared with other lamprologin cichlids, but is broader and more conspicuous in C. cyanophleps. Chalinochromis cyanophleps occurs at depths between 6 and 45 m in rocky habitats along the Tanzanian coast of Lake Tanganyika, from Mvuna Island south to Kalala Island, a stretch of about 90 km. Field observations were made of specimens up to 18 cm total length. The COI DNA barcode sequence differs by 1.8% from that of C. popelini.

  9. A new cichlid fish in the Sahara: The Ounianga Serir lakes (Chad), a biodiversity hotspot in the desert.

    PubMed

    Trape, Sébastien

    In the rare perennial bodies of water of the Sahara desert, only a few fish species have survived to increasing aridification since the end of the last humid period at the Holocene, approximately 5000 years BP. Here, I report the occurrence of an undescribed haplochomine cichlid fish in Lake Boukou, one of the seven Ounianga Serir lakes (Chad). These lakes are located in one of the most arid areas of the Sahara desert, but they persist by virtue of subsurface inflow of fresh groundwater from a large fossil aquifer. Astatotilapia tchadensis sp. nov. is characterized by a black bar between eye and corner of mouth, rounded orange spots on anal fin, scales ctenoid, lower limb of first gill arch with 7-8 gill rackers, dorsal fin with 13-14 spines and 9-11 soft rays, anal fin with 3 spines and 8-9 soft rays, 29 or 30 lateral line scales, and lower pharyngeal dentition with enlarged molariform teeth. The new species is easily distinguished from A. desfontainii and A. flaviijosephii, the northernmost haplochromine species currently isolated from its other group members, and appears close to an unnamed species of Lake Chad basin. Ounianga Serir lakes and especially Lake Boukou present a remarkable diversity of fish, the highest known in the Sahara desert with a total of at least six fish species belonging to six genera and three families. They also constitute an exceptional natural landscape inscribed on the UNESCO world heritage list in 2012 and a biodiversity hotspot for desert vertebrate species.

  10. 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

  11. Isolation and sequencing of cDNA clones coding for the catalytic unit of glucose-6-phosphatase from two haplochromine cichlid fishes.

    PubMed

    Nagl, S; Mayer, W E; Klein, J

    1999-01-01

    Complementary DNA clones coding for the catalytic unit of the enzyme glucose-6-phosphatase (G6Pase) were obtained from Haplochromis nubilus and Haplochromis xenognathus, two cichlid fish species from Lake Victoria. The translated sequence of these two cDNAs identifies a polypeptide consisting of 352 amino acid residues and showing a 54.4% similarity to the human form of G6Pase. The amino acid sequences of the two fish species are identical. The comparison of the fish amino acid sequence with the corresponding sequences of rat, mouse, and human G6Pase revealed that the amino acid residues, which are involved in G6Pase catalysis in humans, are also conserved in fish G6Pase. Northern blot analysis showed that G6Pase is expressed at the same level in 6- and 10-day-old fish. A three base pair insertion/deletion polymorphism was found in the 3'-untranslated region of the fish G6Pase gene. The polymorphism will be a useful marker in a phylogenetic study of Lake Victoria cichlids.

  12. Variation in glucocorticoid levels in relation to direct and third-party interactions in a social cichlid fish.

    PubMed

    Ligocki, Isaac Y; Earley, Ryan L; Hellmann, Jennifer K; Hamilton, Ian M

    2015-11-01

    In complex animal societies, direct interactions between group members can influence the behavior and glucocorticoid levels of individuals involved. Recently, it has become apparent that third-party group members can influence dyadic interactions, and vice versa. Thus, glucocorticoid levels may vary depending on interactions of other members of the social group. Using the social cichlid fish Neolamprologus pulcher, we examined the relationship between levels of the glucocorticoid hormone cortisol in subordinate females and 1) direct interactions with dominant group members, as well as 2) dyadic interactions between the dominant male and female, in which the subordinate female was not directly involved. Subordinate females that frequently engaged in non-aggressive interactions with dominant females had lower cortisol levels. There was no relationship between subordinate female cortisol and agonistic interactions between the subordinate female and either dominant. Subordinate females had higher cortisol levels when in groups in which the dominant breeding pair behaved agonistically towards each other and performed fewer courtship behaviors. For subordinate females in this species, variation in cortisol levels is associated with their own affiliative behavior, but also can be explained by the broader social context of interactions between dominant members of the group.

  13. The interrenal gland in males of the cichlid fish Cichlasoma dimerus: relationship with stress and the establishment of social hierarchies.

    PubMed

    Morandini, Leonel; Honji, Renato Massaaki; Ramallo, Martín Roberto; Moreira, Renata Guimarães; Pandolfi, Matías

    2014-01-01

    In teleosts, cortisol is the primary glucocorticoid secreted by the steroidogenic cells of the interrenal gland and an increase in its plasma concentration is a frequent indicator of stress. Cortisol has been postulated as an endogenous mediator involved in the regulation of reproduction and aggression related to social dynamics. The cichlid fish Cichlasoma dimerus, is a monogamous species that exhibits complex social hierarchies; males appear in one of two basic alternative phenotypes: non-territorial and territorial males. In this work, we postulated as a general hypothesis that the morphometry of the interrenal gland cells and the plasma levels of cortisol and 11-ketotestosterone (11-KT) are related to the social rank in adult males of C. dimerus. First, the location and distribution of the interrenal gland with respect to its context - the kidney - was studied. Plasma levels of cortisol and 11-KT in territorial and non-territorial males were established by ELISA. Finally, a morphometric analysis of steroidogenic and chromaffin cells of the interrenal gland was performed. Results showed that the interrenal gland was exclusively located in the posterior portion of the cephalic kidney. Non-territorial males presented a greater nuclear area of their steroidogenic cells. Additionally, plasma cortisol and 11-KT levels were lower and higher, respectively, in territorial males. Finally, plasma cortisol levels positively correlated with the nuclear area of interrenal steroidogenic cells. Thus, the interrenal gland, by means of one of its products, cortisol, may be fulfilling an important role in the establishment of social hierarchies and their stability.

  14. 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

  15. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-10-01

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

  17. Genetic dissection of adaptive form and function in rapidly-speciating cichlid fishes.

    PubMed

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

    2017-02-17

    Genes of major phenotypic effects and strong genetic correlations can facilitate adaptation, direct selective responses and potentially lead to phenotypic convergence. However, the preponderance of this type of genetic architecture in repeatedly-evolved adaptations remains unknown. Using hybrids between Haplochromis chilotes (thick-lipped) and H. nyererei (thin-lipped) we investigated the genetics underlying hypertrophied lips and elongated heads, traits that evolved repeatedly in cichlids. At least 25 loci of small-to-moderate and mainly additive effects were detected. Phenotypic variation in lip and head morphology was largely independent. Although several QTL overlapped for lip and head morphology traits, they were often of opposite effects. The distribution of effect signs suggests strong selection on lips. The fitness implications of several detected loci were demonstrated using a laboratory assay testing for the association between genotype and variation in foraging performance. The persistence of low fitness alleles in head morphology appears to be maintained through antagonistic pleiotropy/close linkage with positive-effect lip morphology alleles. Rather than being based on few major loci with strong positive genetic correlations, our results indicate that the evolution of the Lake Victoria thick-lipped ecomorph is the result of selection on numerous loci distributed throughout the genome. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  18. Genetic population structure indicates sympatric speciation of Lake Malawi pelagic cichlids.

    PubMed Central

    Shaw, P W; Turner, G F; Idid, M R; Robinson, R L; Carvalho, G R

    2000-01-01

    Allopatric processes of speciation have routinely been presented to explain the extraordinary radiation of the East African Great Lakes cichlid fish species flocks. The 21 or more species of pelagic cichlids within the Lake Malawi flock appear to have lake-wide distributions that challenge such a concept. Data from six microsatellite DNA loci indicate single, panmictic populations across the lake of three Diplotaxodon species. Levels of variability at these loci suggest that populations have been large and stable. Mitochondrial DNA sequence data (872 bp of control region + 981 bp of the NADH-2) from 90 species, representing all major clades within the Lake Malawi flock, indicate reciprocal monophyly of the pelagic clade. We suggest that these data support a hypothesis that speciation in sympatry is more plausible (and widespread) within the cichlid species flocks than previously thought. PMID:11413643

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  1. Fighting and assessment in male cichlid fish: the effects of asymmetries in gonadal state and body size.

    PubMed

    Neat; Huntingford; Beveridge

    1998-04-01

    In fights between animals over limited resources, the larger contestant often wins. Game theoretical models of animal fighting predict that relative body size is assessed during the fight and thus determines fight duration and intensity. In addition, if the contestants differ in the value they place on the disputed resource, this can also influence the outcome, duration and intensity of the fight. We studied territorial fighting in a cichlid fish, Tilapia zillii, in relation to relative body size and gonad weight. Relative gonad weight was a much stronger predictor of fight outcome than relative body size, even when body weight asymmetries were as large as 30%. This suggested that males with large gonads were fighting harder to defend their territory, perhaps because the value of a territory correlates with the gonadal state of the individual. A detailed analysis of mouth wrestling observed during fighting suggested that relative body size is assessed. However, contestants smaller than their opponent often continued to fight in spite of their size disadvantage. Weight disadvantaged winners appeared to fight more fiercely as suggested by a negative correlation between weight asymmetry and the proportion of bites inflicted by the winner. During escalated fighting, winners and losers differed consistently with regard to a behaviour termed mouth locking. Although neither biting nor persistence in mouth locking was related to gonad weight, we propose that the fish may have been assessing asymmetries unrelated to relative body size and possibly more related to levels of cost and the motivation to persist. Copyright 1998 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour. Copyright 1998 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour.

  2. 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

  3. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2010-01-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. The role of rare morph advantage and conspicuousness in the stable gold-dark colour polymorphism of a crater lake Midas cichlid fish.

    PubMed

    Torres-Dowdall, Julián; Golcher-Benavides, Jimena; Machado-Schiaffino, Gonzalo; Meyer, Axel

    2017-09-01

    Genetically based stable colour polymorphisms provide a unique opportunity to study the evolutionary processes that preserve genetic variability in the wild. Different mechanisms are proposed to promote the stability of polymorphisms, but only few empirical examples have been documented, resulting in an incomplete understanding of these mechanisms. A remarkable genetically determined stable colour polymorphism is found in the Nicaraguan Midas cichlid species complex (Amphilophus cf. citrinellus). All Midas cichlids start their life with a dark-grey coloration (dark morph), but individuals carrying the dominant "gold" allele (c. 10%) lose their melanophores later in life, revealing the underlying orange coloration (gold morph). How this polymorphism is maintained remains unclear. Two main hypotheses have been proposed, both suggesting differential predation upon colour morphs as the proximate mechanism. One predicts that the conspicuous gold morph is more likely to be preyed upon, but this disadvantage is balanced by their competitive dominance over the dark morph. The second hypothesis suggests a rare morph advantage where the rarer gold morph experiences less predation. Empirical evidence for either of these mechanisms is still circumstantial and inconclusive. We conducted two field experiments in a Nicaraguan crater lake using wax models simulating both morphs to determine predation pressure upon Midas cichlid colour morphs. First, we tested the interaction of coloration and depth on attack rate. Second, we tested the interaction of fish size and coloration. We contrasted the pattern of attacks from these experiments to the predicted predation patterns from the hypotheses proposed to explain the colour polymorphism's stability. Large models imitating colour morphs were attacked at similar rates irrespectively of their position in the water column. Yet, attacks upon small models resembling juveniles were directed mainly towards dark models. This resulted in a

  8. Community assembly in Lake Tanganyika cichlid fish: quantifying the contributions of both niche-based and neutral processes.

    PubMed

    Janzen, Thijs; Alzate, Adriana; Muschick, Moritz; Maan, Martine E; van der Plas, Fons; Etienne, Rampal S

    2017-02-01

    The cichlid family features some of the most spectacular examples of adaptive radiation. Evolutionary studies have highlighted the importance of both trophic adaptation and sexual selection in cichlid speciation. However, it is poorly understood what processes drive the composition and diversity of local cichlid species assemblages on relatively short, ecological timescales. Here, we investigate the relative importance of niche-based and neutral processes in determining the composition and diversity of cichlid communities inhabiting various environmental conditions in the littoral zone of Lake Tanganyika, Zambia. We collected data on cichlid abundance, morphometrics, and local environments. We analyzed relationships between mean trait values, community composition, and environmental variation, and used a recently developed modeling technique (STEPCAM) to estimate the contributions of niche-based and neutral processes to community assembly. Contrary to our expectations, our results show that stochastic processes, and not niche-based processes, were responsible for the majority of cichlid community assembly. We also found that the relative importance of niche-based and neutral processes was constant across environments. However, we found significant relationships between environmental variation, community trait means, and community composition. These relationships were caused by niche-based processes, as they disappeared in simulated, purely neutrally assembled communities. Importantly, these results can potentially reconcile seemingly contrasting findings in the literature about the importance of either niche-based or neutral-based processes in community assembly, as we show that significant trait relationships can already be found in nearly (but not completely) neutrally assembled communities; that is, even a small deviation from neutrality can have major effects on community patterns.

  9. Brain levels of arginine-vasotocin and isotocin in dominant and subordinate males of a cichlid fish.

    PubMed

    Almeida, Olinda; Gozdowska, Magdalena; Kulczykowska, Ewa; Oliveira, Rui F

    2012-02-01

    The nonapeptides arginine-vasotocin (AVT) and isotocin (IT), which are the teleost homologues of arginine-vasopressin and oxytocin in mammals, have well established peripheral effects on osmoregulation and stress response, and central effects on social behavior. However, all studies that have looked so far into the relationship between these nonapeptides and social behavior have used indirect measures of AVT/IT activity (i.e. immunohistochemistry of AVT/IT immunoreactive neurons, or AVT/IT or their receptors mRNA expression with in situ hybridization or qPCR) and therefore direct measures of peptide levels in relation to social behavior are still lacking. Here we use a recently developed high-performance liquid chromatography analysis with fluorescence detection (HPLC-FL) method to quantify the levels of both AVT and IT in macro-dissected brain areas [i.e. olfactory bulbs, telencephalon, diencephalon, optic tectum, cerebellum, and hindbrain (= rhombencephalon minus cerebellum)] and pituitary of dominant and subordinate male cichlid fish (Oreochromis mossambicus). The pituitary shows higher levels of both peptides than any of the brain macroareas, and the olfactory bulbs have the highest AVT among all brain areas. Except for IT in the telencephalon there is a lack of correlations between central levels and pituitary peptide levels, suggesting an independent control of hypophysial and CNS nonapeptide secretion. There were also no correlations between AVT and IT levels either for each brain region or for the pituitary gland, suggesting a decoupled activity of the AVT and IT systems at the CNS level. Subordinate AVT pituitary levels are significantly higher than those of dominants, and dominant hindbrain IT levels are significantly higher than those of subordinates, suggesting a potential involvement of AVT in social stress in subordinate fish and of IT in the regulation of dominant behavior at the level of the hindbrain. Since in this species dominant males use urine

  10. Reproductive ecology of a neotropical cichlid fish, Cichla monoculus (Osteichthyes: Cichlidae).

    PubMed

    Chellappa, S; Câmara, M R; Chellappa, N T; Beveridge, M C; Huntingford, F A

    2003-02-01

    The reproductive ecology of the freshwater fish Cichla monoculus Spix, 1831 (Osteichthyes: Cichlidae) was investigated in the Campo Grande Reservoir, Northeast Brazil. Rainfall, temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen and electrical conductivity of the water were recorded monthly. Fish collected on a monthly basis were measured, weighted, dissected, sexed and the stage of maturation of the gonads were assessed by macro and microscopic means. The semi-arid study region has short spells of rain of 2-3 months duration interspersed with dry seasons. A positive correlation was observed between rainfall and air and water temperatures and conductivity of the water. The study population had an extended spawning season, with peak reproductive activity coinciding with low water temperatures. Males were longer and heavier than females on average and were larger at onset of sexual maturity. The size frequency distributions of the oocytes indicate that C. monoculus is a multiple spawner with an estimated batch fecundity of 3100. Condition factor showed an inverse relationship in relation to gonad size during maturation in both sexes and spent fish were in poor condition. In mature males, lipid stores in the post-occipital cephalic protuberance, a secondary sexual characteristic developed during the reproductive phase, which depleted in spent individuals. The success of this fish is attributed to its reproductive capacity and to the phenotypic plasticity that allows it to adapt to the harsh ecological conditions that prevail in the semi-arid region of Northeast Brazil.

  11. Whole-body calcium flux rates in cichlid teleost fish Oreochromis mossambicus adapted to freshwater

    SciTech Connect

    Flik, G.; Fenwick, J.C.; Kolar, Z.; Mayer-Gostan, N.; Wendelaar Bonga, S.E.

    1985-10-01

    Radiotracer techniques were used to measure influx and efflux rates of CaS in freshwater-adapted Oreochromis mossambicus. The influx rate of CaS is related to body weight (W) as Fin = 50W0.805 nmol CaS /h. For a 20-g fish the calculated influx rate was 558 nmol CaS /h, and this was attributed largely to extraintestinal uptake since the drinking rate was estimated to be only 28 microliter water/h, which corresponds to an intake of 22.4 nmol CaS /h. The CaS efflux rate was calculated using the initial rate of appearance of radiotracer in the ambient water and the specific activity of plasma CaS . Tracer efflux rates were constant over 6-8 h, which indicated that there was no substantial loss of tracer in either the urine or the feces because this would have resulted in random bursts of tracer loss. Efflux rates then primarily represent integumentary and presumably branchial efflux rates. The efflux rate of CaS is related to body weight as Fout = 30W0.563 nmol CaS /h, which means an efflux rate of 162 nmol CaS /h for a 20-g fish. The net whole-body CaS influx, calculated as Fnet = Fin - Fout, was 396 nmol/h for a 20-g fish, which proves that the ambient water is an important source of CaS .

  12. Genetic mapping of horizontal stripes in Lake Victoria cichlid fishes: benefits and pitfalls of using RAD markers for dense linkage mapping.

    PubMed

    Henning, Frederico; Lee, Hyuk Je; Franchini, Paolo; Meyer, Axel

    2014-11-01

    The genetic dissection of naturally occurring phenotypes sheds light on many fundamental and longstanding questions in speciation and adaptation and is a central research topic in evolutionary biology. Until recently, forward-genetic approaches were virtually impossible to apply to nonmodel organisms, but the development of next-generation sequencing techniques eases this difficulty. Here, we use the ddRAD-seq method to map a colour trait with a known adaptive function in cichlid fishes, well-known textbook examples for rapid rates of speciation and astonishing phenotypic diversification. A suite of phenotypic key innovations is related to speciation and adaptation in cichlids, among which body coloration features prominently. The focal trait of this study, horizontal stripes, evolved in parallel in several cichlid radiations and is associated with piscivorous foraging behaviour. We conducted interspecific crosses between Haplochromis sauvagei and H. nyererei and constructed a linkage map with 867 SNP markers distributed on 22 linkage groups and total size of 1130.63 cM. Lateral stripes are inherited as a Mendelian trait and map to a single genomic interval that harbours a paralog of a gene with known function in stripe patterning. Dorsolateral and mid-lateral stripes were always coinherited and are thus under the same genetic control. Additionally, we directly quantify the genotyping error rates in RAD markers and offer guidelines for identifying and dealing with errors. Uncritical marker selection was found to severely impact linkage map construction. Fortunately, by applying appropriate quality control steps, a genotyping accuracy of >99.9% can be reached, thus allowing for efficient linkage mapping of evolutionarily relevant traits.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-02-01

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

  14. Influence of altered gravity on the cytochemical localization of cytochrome oxidase activity in central and peripheral gravisensory systems in developing cichlid fish

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paulus, U.; Nindl, G.; Körtje, K. H.; Slenzka, K.; Neubert, J.; Rahmann, H.

    Cichlid fish larvae were reared from hatching to active free swimming under different gravity conditions: natural environment, increased acceleration in a centrifuge, simulated weightlessness in a clinostat and near weightlessness during space flight. Cytochrome oxidase activity was analyzed semiquantitatively on the ultrastructural level as a marker of regional neuronal activity in a primary, vestibular brainstem nucleus and in gravity receptive epithelia in the inner ear. Our results show, that gravity seems to be positively correlated with cytochrome oxidase activity in the magnocellular nucleus of developing fish brain. In the inner ear the energy metabolism is decreased under microgravity concerning utricle but not saccule. Hypergravity has not effect on cytochrome oxidase activity in sensory inner ear epithelia.

  15. Some unusual features of mycobacteriosis in the cichlid fish Oreochromis mossambicus.

    PubMed

    Noga, E J; Wright, J F; Pasarell, L

    1990-04-01

    Adult, aquarium-reared Oreochromis mossambicus (Tilapia mossambica), which were naturally infected with Mycobacterium marinum, displayed non-healing skin ulcers and other clinical signs considered to be typical of piscine mycobacteriosis. However, in addition, they frequently had melanotic foci in the skin and spleen, due to the presence of pigment cells surrounding the cutaneous and splenic inflammation. Such melanotic foci have never been reported in response to mycobacteriosis. All fish also have variable numbers of melanomacrophages which appeared to replace pancreatic acini. The relationship of the pancreatic melanomacrophages to the pathogenesis of mycobacteriosis is uncertain, but such lesions may have contributed to the chronic cachexia associated with this case.

  16. Ancyrocephalidae (Monogenea) of Lake Tanganyika: III: Cichlidogyrus infecting the world's biggest cichlid and the non-endemic tribes Haplochromini, Oreochromini and Tylochromini (Teleostei, Cichlidae).

    PubMed

    Muterezi Bukinga, Fidel; Vanhove, Maarten P M; Van Steenberge, Maarten; Pariselle, Antoine

    2012-11-01

    Lake Tanganyika is the deepest and oldest African Great Lake and of economic importance. While the diversity of its endemic cichlid radiations yielded scientific interest, a number of cichlid tribes have few representatives in the lake. Some of those, namely Oreochromini (ex-Tilapiini), Haplochromini and Tylochromini, reach higher species numbers in riverine systems. Conversely, the phylogenetic position of the monospecific and endemic Boulengerochromini is unclear. The oreochromines Oreochromis tanganicae and Oreochromis niloticus, the haplochromine Astatotilapia burtoni, the tylochromine Tylochromis polylepis and the boulengerochromine Boulengerochromis microlepis, the largest cichlid species worldwide, were surveyed for ancyrocephalid monogenean gill parasites. Five new species are proposed. Cichlidogyrus gillardinae sp. n. is described from A. burtoni, Cichlidogyrus mbirizei sp. n. from O. tanganicae and Cichlidogyrus nshomboi sp. n. from B. microlepis. T. polylepis harbours Cichlidogyrus mulimbwai sp. n., Cichlidogyrus muzumanii sp. n. and a third, presently undescribed species. Four species known from outside the Tanganyika Basin were retrieved on the oreochromines. The host species are scientific models or important in the sectors of fisheries or ornamental fish trade. Moreover, their phylogenetic positions render them well-suited to help elucidate the historic relationships between riverine and lacustrine African cichlids. In this framework, their Cichlidogyrus fauna is compared to congeners known from African rivers and to the few Tanganyika representatives described. While the parasites of Oreochromis, A. burtoni and T. polylepis are reminiscent of those infecting related hosts throughout Africa, B. microlepis hosts a Cichlidogyrus morphotype typical of Lake Tanganyika. This supports its placement within an endemic cichlid radiation.

  17. A New Genus and Two New Species of Proteocephalidean Tapeworms (Cestoda) from Cichlid Fish (Perciformes: Cichlidae) in the Neotropics.

    PubMed

    de Chambrier, Alain; Pinacho-Pinacho, Carlos Daniel; Hernández-Orts, Jesus Servando; Scholz, Tomáš

    2017-02-01

    Cichlidocestus n. gen. is proposed to accommodate 2 new species of proteocephalidean cestodes, Cichlidocestus gillesi n. sp. from Cichlasoma amazonarum in Peru (type species) and Cichlidocestus janikae n. sp. from Hypsophrys nicaraguensis (all Perciformes: Cichlidae) in Costa Rica. The new genus is unique among all but 1 proteocephalidean genera in the position of the ovary that occupies the middle and posterior thirds of the median region of proglottids (vs. the ovary in the posterior third of proglottids near their posterior margin in all but 1 remaining taxa). In addition, Cichlidocestus is typified by the presence of a voluminous, spherical, internal seminal vesicle, several pairs of ventral excretory canals in the medulla, a pyramidal, quadrilobed scolex with an apical muscular sucker, and the posterior extent of the testes that may reach almost to the posterior margin of proglottids. The new genus shares the position of the ovary and its extension with Sciadocephalus (also a parasite of cichlids in the Neotropics as the new taxon); in all remaining proteocephalideans the ovary occupies the posterior third only. Sciadocephalus differs from Cichlidocestus by a different morphology of the scolex, which possesses an umbrella-like metascolex that is markedly wider than the strobila, the number of ventral osmoregulatory canals, and development of the uterus, which forms capsule-like formations filled with eggs in Sciadocephalus megalodiscus (vs. simple lateral diverticula in Cichlidocestus spp.). Both new species of Cichlidocestus can be easily distinguished from one another by the anterior extent of the poral vitelline follicles (anterior to the cirrus-sac, i.e., preporal, in C. gillesi vs. posterior, i.e., only postporal in C. janikae), size of the eggs (diameter of the external layer of the embryophore of C. gillesi 30-33 μm vs. 44-46 μm in C. janikae), and the number of uterine lateral diverticula (16-21 on 1 side in C. gillesi vs. only 8-12 in C. janikae

  18. Genetic and morphological population differentiation in the rock-dwelling and specialized shrimp-feeding cichlid fish species Altolamprologus compressiceps from Lake Tanganyika, East Africa.

    PubMed

    Spreitzer, Maria Luise; Mautner, Selma; Makasa, Lawrence; Sturmbauer, Christian

    With about 250 endemic species, Lake Tanganyika contains an extraordinarily diverse cichlid fish fauna, and thus represents an ideal model system for the study of pathways and processes of speciation. The Lamprologini form the most species-rich tribe in Lake Tanganyika comprising about 100 species in seven genera, most of which are endemic to the lake. They are territorial substrate-breeders and represent a monophyletic tribe. By combined analysis of population genetics and geometric morphometric markers, we assessed gene flow among three populations of the highly specialized shrimp-feeding rock-dweller Altolamprologus compressiceps, separated by geographic distance and ecological barriers. Five highly polymorphic microsatellite markers were analyzed in conjunction with 17 landmarks in order to compare genetic differences to body shape differences among populations. Both genetic and morphological analyses revealed significant differentiation among the three studied populations. A significant, but overall relatively low degree of genetic differentiation supports a very recent divergence. Phenotypic differentiation was primarily found in the head region of A. compressiceps. In agreement with findings in other cichlid species, similar adaptations to specialized feeding mechanisms can consequently lead to marginal shape changes in the trophic apparatus.

  19. The effect of selection on a long wavelength-sensitive (LWS) opsin gene of Lake Victoria cichlid fishes

    PubMed Central

    Terai, Yohey; Mayer, Werner E.; Klein, Jan; Tichy, Herbert; Okada, Norihiro

    2002-01-01

    In East African Lake Victoria >200 endemic species of haplochromine fishes have been described on the basis of morphological and behavioral differences. Yet molecular analysis has failed to reveal any species-specific differences among these fishes in either mitochondrial or nuclear genes. Although the genes could be shown to vary, the variations represent trans-species polymorphisms not yet assorted along species lines. Nevertheless, fixed genetic differences must exist between the species at loci responsible for the adaptive characters distinguishing the various forms from one another. Here we describe variation and fixation at the long wavelength-sensitive (LWS) opsin locus, which is selection-driven, adaptive, and if not species- then at least population-specific. Because color is one of the characters distinguishing species of haplochromine fishes and color perception plays an important part in food acquisition and mate choice, we suggest that the observed variation and fixation at the LWS opsin locus may have been involved in the process that has led to the spectacular species divergence of haplochromine fishes in Lake Victoria. PMID:12438648

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

    Markert, Jeffrey A; Schelly, Robert C; Stiassny, Melanie Lj

    2010-05-19

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

  2. Induced cytochrome P450 1A activity in cichlid fishes from Guandu River and Jacarepaguá Lake, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Parente, Thiago E M; De-Oliveira, Ana C A X; Paumgartten, Francisco J R

    2008-03-01

    The induction of cytochrome P4501A-mediated activity (e.g. ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylation, EROD) has been used as a biomarker for monitoring fish exposure to AhR-receptor ligands such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) and polychlorinated dibenzo-dioxins/furans (PCDD/Fs). In this study we found that hepatic EROD is induced in fish ("Nile tilapia", Oreochromis niloticus and "acará", Geophagus brasiliensis) from the Guandu River (7-17-fold) and Jacarepaguá Lake (7-fold), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Since both cichlid fish are consumed by the local population and the Guandu River is the main source of the drinking water supply for the greater Rio de Janeiro metropolitan area, pollution by cytochrome P4501A-inducing chemicals is a cause for concern and should be further investigated in sediments, water and biota. We additionally showed that EROD activity in the fish liver post-mitochondrial supernatant-simpler, cheaper and less time consuming to prepare than the microsomal fraction-is sufficiently sensitive for monitoring purposes.

  3. Cichlid genomics and phenotypic diversity in a comparative context.

    PubMed

    Hulsey, C Darrin

    2009-12-01

    Cichlid fishes provide an excellent natural system for integrating studies of genomics and adaptive radiation. Cichlids are unique in comprising a substantial fraction of all vertebrate species, possessing unique jaw structures, displaying an exceptional range of breeding systems, and exhibiting rampant phenotypic convergence. The rate of divergence in cichlid jaws, teeth, color patterns, visual systems, reproductive biology, and mating behaviors is unparalleled among vertebrates. I discuss ways rapid divergence in cichlids and other adaptive radiations make understanding the genomic basis of adaptive divergence more tractable. Then, I briefly overview some major findings and insights into vertebrate adaptation that have been gained through cichlid genetic studies. Finally, I discuss the extensive evolutionary replication provided by cichlid adaptive radiations and their potential for studies of genotype-to-phenotype mapping.

  4. Genetic sex determination in Astatotilapia calliptera, a prototype species for the Lake Malawi cichlid radiation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peterson, Erin N.; Cline, Maggie E.; Moore, Emily C.; Roberts, Natalie B.; Roberts, Reade B.

    2017-06-01

    East African cichlids display extensive variation in sex determination systems. The species Astatotilapia calliptera is one of the few cichlids that reside both in Lake Malawi and in surrounding waterways. A. calliptera is of interest in evolutionary studies as a putative immediate outgroup species for the Lake Malawi species flock and possibly as a prototype ancestor-like species for the radiation. Here, we use linkage mapping to test association of sex in A. calliptera with loci that have been previously associated with genetic sex determination in East African cichlid species. We identify a male heterogametic XY system segregating at linkage group (LG) 7 in an A. calliptera line that originated from Lake Malawi, at a locus previously shown to act as an XY sex determination system in multiple species of Lake Malawi cichlids. Significant association of genetic markers and sex produce a broad genetic interval of approximately 26 megabases (Mb) using the Nile tilapia genome to orient markers; however, we note that the marker with the strongest association with sex is near a gene that acts as a master sex determiner in other fish species. We demonstrate that alleles of the marker are perfectly associated with sex in Metriaclima mbenjii, a species from the rock-dwelling clade of Lake Malawi. While we do not rule out the possibility of other sex determination loci in A. calliptera, this study provides a foundation for fine mapping of the cichlid sex determination gene on LG7 and evolutionary context regarding the origin and persistence of the LG7 XY across diverse, rapidly evolving lineages.

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

    PubMed

    Miyagi, Ryutaro; Terai, Yohey

    2013-01-01

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

  6. Deep-water parasite diversity in Lake Tanganyika: description of two new monogenean species from benthopelagic cichlid fishes.

    PubMed

    Kmentová, Nikol; Gelnar, Milan; Koblmüller, Stephan; Vanhove, Maarten P M

    2016-08-03

    Lake Tanganyika is the world's second deepest lake. Its diverse cichlid assemblage offers a unique opportunity for studying a deep-water host-parasite model in freshwater. Low host specificity and a broad host range including representatives of the Bathybatini tribe in the only monogenean parasite described from this habitat, Cichlidogyrus casuarinus Pariselle, Muterezi Bukinga & Vanhove, 2015 suggest a link between lower specificity and lower host density. Conversely, high host specificity and species richness are reported for monogeneans of the lake's littoral cichlids. We further investigated whether the deep-water environment in Lake Tanganyika is really monogenean species-depauperate by investigating the monogenean fauna of Trematocara unimaculatum (a representative of the tribe Trematocarini, the sister lineage of the Bathybatini) and Benthochromis horii, a member of the tribe Benthochromini, found in the same deep-water habitat as the already known hosts of C. casuarinus. Sclerotised structures of the collected monogenean individuals were characterised morphologically using light microscopy and morphometrics. Both examined cichlid species are infected by a single monogenean species each, which are new to science. They are described as Cichlidogyrus brunnensis n. sp., infecting T. unimaculatum, and Cichlidogyrus attenboroughi n. sp., parasitising on B. horii. Diagnostic characteristics include the distal bifurcation of the accessory piece in C. brunnensis n. sp. and the combination of long auricles and no heel in C. attenboroughi n. sp. In addition C. brunnensis n. sp. does not resemble C. casuarinus, the only species of Cichlidogyrus thus far reported from the Bathybatini. Also Cichlidogyrus attenboroughi n. sp. does not resemble any of the monogenean species documented from the pelagic zone of the lake and is among the few described species of Cichlidogyrus without heel. As two new and non-resembling Cichlidogyrus species are described from T. unimaculatum

  7. 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. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  8. Water-level fluctuations and metapopulation dynamics as drivers of genetic diversity in populations of three Tanganyikan cichlid fish species

    PubMed Central

    Nevado, B; Mautner, S; Sturmbauer, C; Verheyen, E

    2013-01-01

    Understanding how genetic variation is generated and maintained in natural populations, and how this process unfolds in a changing environment, remains a central issue in biological research. In this work, we analysed patterns of genetic diversity from several populations of three cichlid species from Lake Tanganyika in parallel, using the mitochondrial DNA control region. We sampled populations inhabiting the littoral rocky habitats in both very deep and very shallow areas of the lake. We hypothesized that the former would constitute relatively older, more stable and genetically more diverse populations, because they should have been less severely affected by the well-documented episodes of dramatic water-level fluctuations. In agreement with our predictions, populations of all three species sampled in very shallow shorelines showed traces of stronger population growth than populations of the same species inhabiting deep shorelines. However, contrary to our working hypothesis, we found a significant trend towards increased genetic diversity in the younger, demographically less stable populations inhabiting shallow areas, in comparison with the older and more stable populations inhabiting the deep shorelines. We interpret this finding as the result of the establishment of metapopulation dynamics in the former shorelines, by the frequent perturbation and reshuffling of individuals between populations due to the lake-level fluctuations. The repeated succession of periods of allopatric separation and secondary contact is likely to have further increased the rapid pace of speciation in lacustrine cichlids. PMID:23837841

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Hodaňová, Lucie; Kalous, Lukáš; Musilová, Zuzana

    2014-01-01

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

  13. 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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. 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.

  15. Audience Effects in Territorial Defense of Male Cichlid Fish Are Associated with Differential Patterns of Activation of the Brain Social Decision-Making Network

    PubMed Central

    Roleira, António; Oliveira, Gonçalo A.; Lopes, João S.; Oliveira, Rui F.

    2017-01-01

    Animals communicate by exchanging signals frequently in the proximity of other conspecifics that may detect and intercept signals not directed to them. There is evidence that the presence of these bystanders modulates the signaling behavior of interacting individuals, a phenomenon that has been named audience effect. Research on the audience effect has predominantly focused on its function rather than on its proximate mechanisms. Here, we have investigated the physiological and neuromolecular correlates of the audience effect in a cichlid fish (Mozambique tilapia, Oreochromis mossambicus). A male was exposed to a territorial intrusion in the presence or absence of a female audience. Results showed that the presence of the female audience increased territorial defense, but elicited a lower androgen and cortisol response to the territorial intrusion. Furthermore, analysis of the expression of immediate early genes, used as markers of neuronal activity, in brain areas belonging to the social decision-making network (SDMN) revealed different patterns of network activity and connectivity across the different social contexts (i.e., audience × intrusion). Overall, these results suggest that socially driven plasticity in the expression of territorial behavior is accommodated in the central nervous system by rapid changes in functional connectivity between nodes of relevant networks (SDMN) rather than by localized changes of activity in specific brain nuclei. PMID:28620286

  16. Temporal variation of Mexiconema cichlasomae (Nematoda: Daniconematidae) in the Mayan cichlid fish Cichlasoma urophthalmus and its intermediate host Argulus yucatanus from a tropical coastal lagoon.

    PubMed

    May-Tec, A L; Pech, D; Aguirre-Macedo, M L; Lewis, J W; Vidal-Martínez, V M

    2013-03-01

    The aim of the present investigation was to determine whether temporal variation in environmental factors such as rainfall or temperature influence long-term fluctuations in the prevalence and mean abundance of the nematode Mexiconema cichlasomae in the cichlid fish Cichlasoma uropthalmus and its crustacean intermediate host, Argulus yucatanus. The study was undertaken in a tropical coastal lagoon in the Yucatan Peninsula (south-eastern Mexico) over an 8-year period. Variations in temperature, rainfall and monthly infection levels for both hosts were analysed using time series and cross-correlations to detect possible recurrent patterns. Infections of M. cichlasomae in A. yucatanus showed annual peaks, while in C. urophthalmus peaks were bi-annual. The latter appear to be related to the accumulation of several generations of this nematode in C. urophthalmus. Rainfall and temperature appear to be key environmental factors in influencing temporal variation in the infection of M. cichlasomae over periods longer than a year together with the accumulation of larval stages throughout time.

  17. Audience Effects in Territorial Defense of Male Cichlid Fish Are Associated with Differential Patterns of Activation of the Brain Social Decision-Making Network.

    PubMed

    Roleira, António; Oliveira, Gonçalo A; Lopes, João S; Oliveira, Rui F

    2017-01-01

    Animals communicate by exchanging signals frequently in the proximity of other conspecifics that may detect and intercept signals not directed to them. There is evidence that the presence of these bystanders modulates the signaling behavior of interacting individuals, a phenomenon that has been named audience effect. Research on the audience effect has predominantly focused on its function rather than on its proximate mechanisms. Here, we have investigated the physiological and neuromolecular correlates of the audience effect in a cichlid fish (Mozambique tilapia, Oreochromis mossambicus). A male was exposed to a territorial intrusion in the presence or absence of a female audience. Results showed that the presence of the female audience increased territorial defense, but elicited a lower androgen and cortisol response to the territorial intrusion. Furthermore, analysis of the expression of immediate early genes, used as markers of neuronal activity, in brain areas belonging to the social decision-making network (SDMN) revealed different patterns of network activity and connectivity across the different social contexts (i.e., audience × intrusion). Overall, these results suggest that socially driven plasticity in the expression of territorial behavior is accommodated in the central nervous system by rapid changes in functional connectivity between nodes of relevant networks (SDMN) rather than by localized changes of activity in specific brain nuclei.

  18. Gyrodactylus species (Monogenea: Gyrodactylidae) on the cichlid fishes of Senegal, with the description of Gyrodactylus ergensi n. sp. from Mango tilapia, Sarotherodon galilaeus L. (Teleostei: Cichilidae).

    PubMed

    Prikrylová, Iva; Matejusová, Iveta; Musilová, Nad'a; Gelnar, Milan

    2009-12-01

    The first record of Gyrodactylus species Nordmann, 1832 on the cichlid fish from Senegal is reported. Gyrodactylus parasites were found on four host species studied, Hemichromis fasciatus, Hemichromis letournaeuxi, Oreochromis niloticus, and Sarotherodon galilaeus. Gyrodactylus cichlidarum Paperna (Bamidgeh 13:14-29, 1968) were collected from H. fasciatus, and its identity was confirmed based on the morphometrical comparison with the holotype specimens of G. cichlidarum. Only one specimen of Gyrodactylus sp. was noted on H. letournaeuxi. The gyrodactylid specimens on O. niloticus and S. galilaeus were described as Gyrodactylus ergensi n. sp. based on the detailed morphometrical analysis supported by sequencing. The haptoral sclerites of G. ergensi n. sp., which closely resemble those of Gyrodactylus nyanzae Paperna, 1973, are compared with the type material and discussed. A partial sequence of the internal transcribed spacer recombinant DNA (ITS rDNA) was obtained from two specimens of G. ergensi, and a close relationship between G. ergensi n. sp. and G. cichlidarum is suggested based on 92% similarity in ITS rDNA region.

  19. Linking adults and immatures of South African marine fishes.

    PubMed

    Steinke, Dirk; Connell, Allan D; Hebert, Paul D N

    2016-11-01

    The early life-history stages of fishes are poorly known, impeding acquisition of the identifications needed to monitor larval recruitment and year-class strength. A comprehensive database of COI sequences, linked to authoritatively identified voucher specimens, promises to change this situation, representing a significant advance for fisheries science. Barcode records were obtained from 2526 early larvae and pelagic eggs of fishes collected on the inshore shelf within 5 km of the KwaZulu-Natal coast, about 50 km south of Durban, South Africa. Barcodes were also obtained from 3215 adults, representing 946 South African fish species. Using the COI reference library on BOLD based on adults, 89% of the immature fishes could be identified to a species level; they represented 450 species. Most of the uncertain sequences could be assigned to a genus, family, or order; only 92 specimens (4%) were unassigned. Accumulation curves based on inference of phylogenetic diversity indicate near-completeness of the collecting effort. The entire set of adult and larval fishes included 1006 species, representing 43% of all fish species known from South African waters. However, this total included 189 species not previously recorded from this region. The fact that almost 90% of the immatures gained a species identification demonstrates the power and completeness of the DNA barcode reference library for fishes generated during the 10 years of FishBOL.

  20. Social odors conveying dominance and reproductive information induce rapid physiological and neuromolecular changes in a cichlid fish.

    PubMed

    Simões, José M; Barata, Eduardo N; Harris, Rayna M; O'Connell, Lauren A; Hofmann, Hans A; Oliveira, Rui F

    2015-02-22

    brain as a genomic mechanism underlying behavioral plasticity and reinforce the idea of an extensive transcriptional plasticity of cichlid genomes, especially in response to rapid changes in their social environment.

  1. 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

  2. Temporal diversification of Central American cichlids

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Cichlid fishes are classic examples of adaptive radiation because of their putative tendency to explosively diversify after invading novel environments. To examine whether ecological opportunity increased diversification (speciation minus extinction) early in a species-rich cichlid radiation, we determined if Heroine cichlids experienced a burst of diversification following their invasion of Central America. Results We first reconstructed the Heroine phylogeny and determined the basal node to use as the root of Central American Heroine diversification. We then examined the influence of incomplete taxon sampling on this group's diversification patterns. First, we added missing species randomly to the phylogeny and assessed deviations from a constant rate of lineage accumulation. Using a range of species numbers, we failed to recover significant deviations from a pure-birth process and found little support for an early burst of diversification. Then, we examined patterns of lineage accumulation as nodes were increasingly truncated. We assumed that as we removed more recently diverged lineages that sampling would become more complete thereby increasing the power to detect deviations from a pure-birth model. However, truncation of nodes provided even less support for an early burst of diversification. Conclusions Contrary to expectations, our analyses suggest Heroine cichlids did not undergo a burst of diversification when they invaded from South America. Throughout their history in Central America, Heroine cichlids appear to have diversified at a constant rate. PMID:20840768

  3. The status of fish conservation in South African estuaries.

    PubMed

    Whitfield, A K; Cowley, P D

    2010-06-01

    Estuary-dependent fish species are defined as those taxa whose populations would be adversely affected by the loss of estuarine habitats. Of the 155 species regularly recorded in South African estuaries, only 32 (21%) are completely dependent on these systems, but this figure increases to 103 species (66%) if partially dependent taxa are included in the analysis. The conservation of fishes in estuaries on the subcontinent is threatened by a number of factors, including habitat degradation, disruption of essential ecological processes, hydrological manipulations, environmental pollution, overexploitation due to fishing activities and, more recently, climate change and the effects of introduced aquatic animals. Although major threats to fishes are usually linked to environmental degradation, there is increasing evidence that the stocks of certain fish species are overexploited or collapsed. Fish conservation and fisheries management does not depend on the implementation of a single action, but rather the co-ordination of a detailed plan, often in a multidisciplinary context. Some examples of innovative means of contributing to estuarine fish conservation in a South African context include the determination and implementation of the ecological freshwater requirements for estuaries, the zoning of estuaries for different uses and the recognition that the maintenance of ecological processes are vital to aquatic ecosystem health. Apart from the designation of protected areas, the main direct means of conserving fish species and stocks include habitat conservation, controls over fishing methods, effort, efficiency and seasonality, pollution control and the prevention of artificial manipulation of estuary mouths. Since becoming a democracy in 1994, environmental legislation, policy and institutional arrangements in South Africa have undergone some major changes, which, if fully implemented, will be very positive for fish conservation in estuaries on the subcontinent.

  4. Biochemical stress responses in tissues of the cichlid fish Cichlasoma dimerus exposed to a commercial formulation of endosulfan.

    PubMed

    Bacchetta, Carla; Cazenave, Jimena; Parma, María Julieta; Biancucci, Gabriela Fiorenza

    2011-10-01

    Median lethal concentration (LC(50)) and sublethal effects of the commercial endosulfan formulation Zebra Ciagro(®) on the fish Cichlasoma dimerus were studied. The 96-h LC(50) was estimated as 17.7 μg/L. In order to investigate sublethal effects, fish were exposed to 25% and 50% LC(1) (3.4 and 6.8 μg/L, respectively). Endosulfan (ED) significantly increased the hemoglobin concentration and white blood cell count after 96 h. Differential leukocytes count was also altered, due to an increase in the percentage of neutrophils in exposed fish. The hepatopancreatic tissue of fish under ED treatment showed a decrease in aspartate aminotransferase and alanine aminotransferase and an increase in alkaline phosphatase. Lipid peroxidation levels in the 6.8-μg/L ED-containing group were higher than those in control fish for all organs tested (gills, hepatopancreas, and brain). © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. A multidisciplinary study on social status and the relationship between inter-individual variation in hormone levels and agonistic behavior in a Neotropical cichlid fish.

    PubMed

    Ramallo, Martín R; Birba, Agustina; Honji, Renato M; Morandini, Leonel; Moreira, Renata G; Somoza, Gustavo M; Pandolfi, Matías

    2015-03-01

    Social animals with hierarchal dominance systems are particularly susceptible to their social environment. There, interactions with conspecifics and hierarchal position can greatly affect an individual's behavior, physiology and reproductive success. Our experimental model, Cichlasoma dimerus, is a serially-monogamous Neotropical cichlid fish with a hierarchical social system, established and sustained through agonistic interactions. In this work, we aimed to describe C. dimerus social structure and its association with hormonal profiles and testicular cellular composition. We recorded and quantified agonistic interactions from the territorial pair, i.e. the top ranked male and female, and the lowest ranked male of stable social groups. Plasma levels of 11-ketotestosterone (11-KT), testosterone, 17β-estradiol (E2) and cortisol were measured by ELISA. Results show that territorial pairs cooperatively guarded the territory, but rarely attacked in synchrony. Territorial males had higher testosterone and 11-KT plasma levels than non-territorial males, while E2 and an index of its metabolization from testosterone were higher in non-territorial males. No difference was observed in cortisol levels. Plasma 11-KT and an index of the conversion of testosterone to 11-KT, positively correlated with the frequency of aggressiveness, while E2 showed the opposite pattern. Territorial males had a higher gonadosomatic index than non-territorial males. The quantification of testicular cellular types revealed that the percentage of spermatocytes and spermatids was higher in non-territorial males, while territorial males showed a greater percentage of spermatozoa. Thus, C. dimerus male social position within a stable hierarchy is associated with distinct behaviors, steroid levels and testicular degree of development.

  9. 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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Constraint and diversification of developmental trajectories in cichlid facial morphologies.

    PubMed

    Powder, Kara E; Milch, Kayla; Asselin, Garrett; Albertson, R Craig

    2015-01-01

    A major goal of evolutionary biology is to understand the origins of phenotypic diversity. Changes in development, for instance heterochrony, can be a potent source of phenotypic variation. On the other hand, development can also constrain the spectrum of phenotypes that can be produced. In order to understand these dual roles of development in evolution, we examined the developmental trajectory of a trait central to the extensive adaptive radiation of East African cichlid fishes: craniofacial adaptations that allow optimal exploitation of ecological niches. Specifically, we use geometric morphometric analysis to compare morphological ontogenies among six species of Lake Malawi cichlids (n > 500 individuals) that span a major ecomorphological axis. We further evaluate how modulation of Wnt signaling impacts the long-term developmental trajectory of facial development. We find that, despite drastic differences in adult craniofacial morphologies, there are general similarities in the path of craniofacial ontogeny among species, suggesting that natural selection is working within a conserved developmental program. However, we also detect species-specific differences in the timing, direction, and/or duration of particular developmental trajectories, including evidence of heterochrony. Previous work in cichlids and other systems suggests that species-specific differences in adult morphology are due to changes in molecular signaling pathways that regulate early craniofacial development. In support of this, we demonstrate that modulation of Wnt signaling at early stages can shift a developmental trajectory into morphospace normally occupied by another species. However, without sustained modulation, craniofacial shape can recover by juvenile stages. This underscores the idea that craniofacial development is robust and that adult head shapes are the product of many molecular changes acting over extended periods of development. Our results are consistent with the

  11. The SSRI fluoxetine exhibits mild effects on the reproductive axis in the cichlid fish Cichlasoma dimerus (Teleostei, Cichliformes).

    PubMed

    Dorelle, Luciana S; Da Cuña, Rodrigo H; Rey Vázquez, Graciela; Höcht, Christian; Shimizu, Akio; Genovese, Griselda; Lo Nostro, Fabiana L

    2017-03-01

    Among the wide variety of pharmaceuticals released into the environment, Fluoxetine (FLX), a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, is one of the most prescribed for the treatment of major depression. It inhibits serotonin (5-HT) reuptake at the presinaptic membrane, increasing serotonergic activity. In vertebrates, including fish, the serotonergic system is closely related to the Hypothalamic Pituitary Gonadal (HPG) axis which regulates reproduction. As FLX can act as an endocrine disrupting compound (EDC) by affecting several reproductive parameters in fish, the aim of this study was to provide an integral assessment of the potential effect of FLX on the reproductive axis of the Neotropical freshwater fish Cichlasoma dimerus. Adult fish were intraperitoneally injected with 2 μg g(-1) FLX or saline every third day for 15 days. No significant differences were found on serotonergic turnover (5-HIAA/5-HT ratio). Pituitary βLH content in FLX injected females was significantly higher than control females; no significant differences were seen for βFSH content. Sex steroids remained unaltered, both in males and females fish, after FLX treatment. No plasma vitellogenin was induced in treated males. Some alterations were seen in testes of FLX injected males, such as the presence of foam cells and an acidophilic PAS positive, Alcian-Blue negative secretion in the lobular lumen. Although there is no clear consensus about the effect of this drug on reproductive physiology, these results indicate that FLX is acting as a mild EDC in adults of C. dimerus.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Parallelism of amino acid changes at the RH1 affecting spectral sensitivity among deep-water cichlids from Lakes Tanganyika and Malawi.

    PubMed

    Sugawara, Tohru; Terai, Yohey; Imai, Hiroo; Turner, George F; Koblmüller, Stephan; Sturmbauer, Christian; Shichida, Yoshinori; Okada, Norihiro

    2005-04-12

    Many examples of the appearance of similar traits in different lineages are known during the evolution of organisms. However, the underlying genetic mechanisms have been elucidated in very few cases. Here, we provide a clear example of evolutionary parallelism, involving changes in the same genetic pathway, providing functional adaptation of RH1 pigments to deep-water habitats during the adaptive radiation of East African cichlid fishes. We determined the RH1 sequences from 233 individual cichlids. The reconstruction of cichlid RH1 pigments with 11-cis-retinal from 28 sequences showed that the absorption spectra of the pigments of nine species were shifted toward blue, tuned by two particular amino acid replacements. These blue-shifted RH1 pigments might have evolved as adaptations to the deep-water photic environment. Phylogenetic evidence indicates that one of the replacements, A292S, has evolved several times independently, inducing similar functional change. The parallel evolution of the same mutation at the same amino acid position suggests that the number of genetic changes underlying the appearance of similar traits in cichlid diversification may be fewer than previously expected.

  15. Recovery of the Reproductive Capability Following Exposure to 4-tert-Octylphenol in the Neotropical Cichlid Fish Cichlasoma dimerus.

    PubMed

    Rey Vázquez, G; Meijide, F J; Lo Nostro, F L

    2016-05-01

    Here, we analyzed the recovery of the reproductive capability in male Cichlasoma dimerus after exposure to sublethal concentrations of 4-tert-octylphenol (OP), a demonstrated estrogenic chemical. Adult fish were exposed to 0, 30, 150 and 300 μg/L OP during 60 days and subsequently transferred to OP-free water for another 60 days. At 150 and 300 μg/L, absence of fertilized spawnings were recorded during the first 4 weeks following OP exposure, which could be explained by the impairment of testis architecture recorded at the highest OP concentrations. The restoration of the testicular organization began by day 14 in OP-free water, when the germinal epithelium re-started to proliferate. Testicular functionality was recovered by day 28, yielding fertilized eggs and viable F1 embryos. These results show that pathological features induced in the testes of C. dimerus by OP exposure are not permanent since fish recover their fertilization capacity after an adequate depuration period.

  16. 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).

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

    PubMed Central

    Arnegard, Matthew E.

    2011-01-01

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

  18. Comparative phylogenetic analyses of the adaptive radiation of Lake Tanganyika cichlid fish: nuclear sequences are less homoplasious but also less informative than mitochondrial DNA.

    PubMed

    Clabaut, Céline; Salzburger, Walter; Meyer, Axel

    2005-11-01

    Over 200 described endemic species make up the adaptive radiation of cichlids in Lake Tanganyika. This species assemblage has been viewed as both an evolutionary reservoir of old cichlid lineages and an evolutionary hotspot from which the modern cichlid lineages arose, seeding the adaptive radiations in Lakes Victoria and Malawi. Here we report on a phylogenetic analysis of Lake Tanganyika cichlids combining the previously determined sequences of the mitochondrial ND2 gene (1047 bp) with newly derived sequences of the nuclear RAG1 gene (approximately 700 bp of intron 2 and approximately 1100 bp of exon 3). The nuclear data-in agreement with mitochondrial DNA-suggest that Lake Tanganyika harbors several ancient lineages that did not undergo rampant speciation (e.g., Bathybatini, Trematocarini). We find strong support for the monophyly of the most species-rich Tanganyikan group, the Lamprologini, and we propose a new taxonomic group that we term the C-lineage. The Haplochromini and Tropheini both have an 11-bp deletion in the intron of RAG1, strongly supporting the monophyly of this clade and its derived position. Mapping the phylogenetically informative positions revealed that, for certain branches, there are six times fewer apomorphies in RAG1. However, the consistency index of these positions is higher compared to the mitochondrial ND2 gene. Nuclear data therefore provide, on a per-base pair basis, less but more reliable phylogenetic information. Even if in our case RAG1 has not provided as much phylogenetic information as we expected, we suggest that this marker might be useful in the resolution of the phylogeny of older groups.

  19. Mitochondrial phylogeny and phylogeography of East African squeaker catfishes (Siluriformes: Synodontis)

    PubMed Central

    Koblmüller, Stephan; Sturmbauer, Christian; Verheyen, Erik; Meyer, Axel; Salzburger, Walter

    2006-01-01

    Background Squeaker catfishes (Pisces, Mochokidae, Synodontis) are widely distributed throughout Africa and inhabit a biogeographic range similar to that of the exceptionally diverse cichlid fishes, including the three East African Great Lakes and their surrounding rivers. Since squeaker catfishes also prefer the same types of habitats as many of the cichlid species, we hypothesized that the East African Synodontis species provide an excellent model group for comparative evolutionary and phylogeographic analyses. Results Our analyses reveal the existence of six major lineages of Synodontis in East Africa that diversified about 20 MYA from a Central and/or West African ancestor. The six lineages show a clear geographic patterning. Two lineages are endemic to Lake Tanganyika (plus one non-endemic representative), and these are the only two Synodontis lineages that diversified further into a small array of species. One of these species is the cuckoo catfish (S. multipunctatus), a unique brood parasite of mouthbrooding haplochromine cichlids, which seems to have evolved in parallel with the radiation of its cichlid host lineage, the Tropheini. We also detect an accelerated rate of molecular evolution in S. multipunctatus, which might be the consequence of co-evolutionary dynamics. Conclusion We conclude that the ancestral lineage of today's East African squeaker catfish fauna has colonized the area before the Great Lakes have formed. This ancestor diversified rapidly into at least six lineages that inhabit lakes and rivers in East Africa. Lake Tanganyika is the only lake harboring a small species flock of squeaker catfishes. PMID:16784525

  20. Mitochondrial phylogeny and phylogeography of East African squeaker catfishes (Siluriformes: Synodontis).

    PubMed

    Koblmüller, Stephan; Sturmbauer, Christian; Verheyen, Erik; Meyer, Axel; Salzburger, Walter

    2006-06-19

    Squeaker catfishes (Pisces, Mochokidae, Synodontis) are widely distributed throughout Africa and inhabit a biogeographic range similar to that of the exceptionally diverse cichlid fishes, including the three East African Great Lakes and their surrounding rivers. Since squeaker catfishes also prefer the same types of habitats as many of the cichlid species, we hypothesized that the East African Synodontis species provide an excellent model group for comparative evolutionary and phylogeographic analyses. Our analyses reveal the existence of six major lineages of Synodontis in East Africa that diversified about 20 MYA from a Central and/or West African ancestor. The six lineages show a clear geographic patterning. Two lineages are endemic to Lake Tanganyika (plus one non-endemic representative), and these are the only two Synodontis lineages that diversified further into a small array of species. One of these species is the cuckoo catfish (S. multipunctatus), a unique brood parasite of mouthbrooding haplochromine cichlids, which seems to have evolved in parallel with the radiation of its cichlid host lineage, the Tropheini. We also detect an accelerated rate of molecular evolution in S. multipunctatus, which might be the consequence of co-evolutionary dynamics. We conclude that the ancestral lineage of today's East African squeaker catfish fauna has colonized the area before the Great Lakes have formed. This ancestor diversified rapidly into at least six lineages that inhabit lakes and rivers in East Africa. Lake Tanganyika is the only lake harboring a small species flock of squeaker catfishes.

  1. 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

  2. Climatic variability in combination with eutrophication drives adaptive responses in the gills of Lake Victoria cichlids.

    PubMed

    van Rijssel, Jacco C; Hecky, Robert E; Kishe-Machumu, Mary A; Meijer, Saskia E; Pols, Johan; van Tienderen, Kaj M; Ververs, Jan D; Wanink, Jan H; Witte, Frans

    2016-12-01

    Textbook examples of adaptive radiation often show rapid morphological changes in response to environmental perturbations. East Africa's Lake Victoria, famous for its stunning adaptive radiation of cichlids, has suffered from human-induced eutrophication over the past decades. This cultural eutrophication is thought to be partly responsible for the dramatically reduced cichlid biodiversity, but climatic variability in itself might also have contributed to the eutrophication which resulted in low oxygen levels and decreased water transparency. To determine how recent environmental changes have influenced the lake and its cichlids over the past 50 years, we gathered environmental and meteorological variables and compared these with gill surface area of four cichlid species. We found that during the period of severe eutrophication and temperature increase (1980s), reduced wind speeds coincided with a reduction in oxygen levels and a decrease in both water temperature and transparency. The gill surface area in three out of the four cichlid species increased during this period which is consistent with adaptive change in response to increased hypoxia. During the 2000s, wind speeds, oxygen levels, water transparency and water temperature increased again, while cichlid gill surface area decreased. Our results imply that climatic changes and especially wind speed and direction might play a crucial role in tropical lake dynamics. The changes in Lake Victoria's water quality coincide with fluctuations in cichlid gill surface area, suggesting that these fish can respond rapidly to environmental perturbations, but also that climatic variability, together with continued eutrophication, might be detrimental to the lake's cichlid biodiversity.

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

    PubMed Central

    Sefc, Kristina M.

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Sefc, Kristina M

    2011-01-01

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

  5. Triple trouble? Invasive poeciliid fishes carry the introduced tilapia pathogen Gyrodactylus cichlidarum in the Mexican highlands.

    PubMed

    García-Vásquez, Adriana; Razo-Mendivil, Ulises; Rubio-Godoy, Miguel

    2017-02-15

    As part of ongoing surveys of the gyrodactylid parasite fauna of freshwater fishes in Mexico, we recorded the infection of three species of poeciliids (Poecilia mexicana, Poeciliopsis gracilis, and Pseudoxiphophorus bimaculatus [syn.=Heterandria bimaculata]) with Gyrodactylus cichlidarum, a monogenean parasite of cichlid fishes, which has been co-introduced globally with its translocated, African "tilapia" hosts. This tilapia pathogen was found on poeciliid fishes both within their native distribution range in the Gulf of Mexico slope, as well as on invasive species artificially introduced to the Mexican highlands, to rivers draining into the Pacific Ocean. Identity of G. cichlidarum was confirmed by morphological and molecular analyses. Prevalence and abundance of infection were low, but this is the first record of G. cichlidarum infecting poeciliids (Cyprinodontiformes), which are distantly related to this parasite's primary cichlid fish hosts (Perciformes). This study provides evidence that G. cichlidarum, a recognized pathogen which has been co-introduced globally with its cichlid fish hosts for aquacultural purposes, is able to infect non-related poeciliid fishes inhabiting water bodies adjacent to tilapia farms, thereby potentially increasing its ability to disperse between farms and different river basins. It is of particular concern that G. cichlidarum was found on poeciliids, as these invasive fishes have been introduced worldwide and could act as carriers for this parasite known to induce significant mortality of farmed tilapias - globally, the second most important freshwater aquaculture fish group, after the carps.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-11-01

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

  7. Visual adaptation in Lake Victoria cichlid fishes: depth-related variation of color and scotopic opsins in species from sand/mud bottoms.

    PubMed

    Terai, Yohey; Miyagi, Ryutaro; Aibara, Mitsuto; Mizoiri, Shinji; Imai, Hiroo; Okitsu, Takashi; Wada, Akimori; Takahashi-Kariyazono, Shiho; Sato, Akie; Tichy, Herbert; Mrosso, Hillary D J; Mzighani, Semvua I; Okada, Norihiro

    2017-08-22

    For Lake Victoria cichlid species inhabiting rocky substrates with differing light regimes, it has been proposed that adaptation of the long-wavelength-sensitive (LWS) opsin gene triggered speciation by sensory drive through color signal divergence. The extensive and continuous sand/mud substrates are also species-rich, and a correlation between male nuptial coloration and the absorption of LWS pigments has been reported. However, the factors driving genetic and functional diversity of LWS pigments in sand/mud habitats are still unresolved. To address this issue, nucleotide sequences of eight opsin genes were compared in ten Lake Victoria cichlid species collected from sand/mud bottoms. Among eight opsins, the LWS and rod-opsin (RH1) alleles were diversified and one particular allele was dominant or fixed in each species. Natural selection has acted on and fixed LWS alleles in each species. The functions of LWS and RH1 alleles were measured by absorption of reconstituted A1- and A2-derived visual pigments. The absorption of pigments from RH1 alleles most common in deep water were largely shifted toward red, whereas those of LWS alleles were largely shifted toward blue in both A1 and A2 pigments. In both RH1 and LWS pigments, A2-derived pigments were closer to the dominant light in deep water, suggesting the possibility of the adaptation of A2-derived pigments to depth-dependent light regimes. The RH1 and LWS sequences may be diversified for adaptation of A2-derived pigments to different light environments in sand/mud substrates. Diversification of the LWS alleles may have originally taken place in riverine environments, with a new mutation occurring subsequently in Lake Victoria.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

    Cichlid fishes in the African Great Lakes are known as a spectacular example of adaptive radiation in vertebrates. Four linkage maps have been constructed to identify the genes responsible for adaptation and speciation, and the genetic linkages of those genes are assumed to play an important role during adaptive evolution. However, it is difficult to analyze such linkages because the linkage groups of one species do not match well with those of the other species. Chromosome markers are a powerful tool for the direct identification of linkage homology between different species. We used information about the linkage map of the Lake Malawi cichlid (Labeotropheus fuelleborni/Metriaclima zebra) to isolate bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) clones from the BAC library of Paralabidochromis chilotes, Lake Victoria. We identified 18 of 22 P. chilotes chromosomes by single- and multi-color BAC fluorescence in situ hybridization using 19 BAC clones. Comparative mapping with the chromosome markers of P. chilotes in Astatotilapia burtoni (2n = 40) from Lake Tanganyika revealed the chromosome rearrangements that have occurred in this lineage. These chromosome markers will be useful for delineating the process of genome and chromosome evolution in African species. © 2013 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  9. A neural basis for control of cichlid female reproductive behavior by prostaglandin F2α

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. Molecular phylogeny of monogeneans parasitizing African freshwater Cichlidae inferred from LSU rDNA sequences.

    PubMed

    Mendlová, Monika; Pariselle, Antoine; Vyskočilová, Martina; Simková, Andrea

    2010-11-01

    The African freshwater fish of Cichlidae are parasitized by five genera of monogeneans belonging to Dactylogyridea. Ectoparasitic Scutogyrus, Onchobdella, and the highly diversified Cichlidogyrus represent three genera located on the gills, while the endoparasitic Enterogyrus and Urogyrus are located in the stomach and the urinary bladder, respectively. Representatives of four dactylogyridean genera (except for Urogyrus) were collected from seven cichlid species in West Africa. The aim of this study was to investigate the phylogenetic relationships between ectoparasitic and endoparasitic dactylogyridaen monogeneans specific to African freshwater Cichlidae and other representatives of Dactylogyridae, including a wide range of species from both freshwater and marine environments. All phylogenetic analyses point to the polyphyletic origin of the subfamily Ancyrocephalinae. Both Enterogyrus and Onchobdella were found to be monophyletic. The phylogenetic position of Scutogyrus longicornis was placed within the Cichlidogyrus species, which suggests the non-monophyly of Cichlidogyrus. Therefore, we have proposed a taxonomical revision of the species recently considered to be Scutogyrus. However, these four dactylogyridean genera-specific to cichlids do not form a monophyletic group. Using LSU rDNA analyses, we found that Enterogyrus and Onchobdella form a clade with Protogyrodactylus, i.e., the parasite species does not live in cichlids, which suggests that endoparasitism in cichlid monogeneans is not an ancestral feature.

  11. 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. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  12. Population structure and colour variation of the cichlid fishes Labeotropheus fuelleborni Ahl along a recently formed archipelago of rocky habitat patches in southern Lake Malawi

    PubMed Central

    Arnegard, M. E.; Markert, J. A.; Danley, P. D.; Stauffer, J. R.; Ambali, A. J.; Kocher, T. D.

    1999-01-01

    Extremely fine-scale genetic partitioning has recently been detected among populations of Lake Malawi's rock-dwelling cichlids through the study of microsatellite loci. Understanding the mechanisms of genetic differentiation that operate in this rapidly speciating group requires further investigation of the geographic patterns of gene flow and the congruence between morphological and genetic divergence. In pursuit of this goal, genetic variation at four microsatellite loci and variation in male breeding coloration were examined in several populations of Labeotropheus fuelleborni from southern Lake Malawi. Significant genetic differentiation exists among populations (overall FST = 0.063; p = 0.0002). While migration appears unrestricted within continuous rocky patches, deep waters and sandy bays more than 2 km wide act as strong barriers to gene flow. Dispersal of L. fuelleborni appears to follow a stepping-stone model in which the distribution of habitats often constrains migration to one dimension. It is hypothesized that clinal colour variation in the study area has resulted from the secondary contact of divergent lineages, although reproductive isolation between colour variants is not apparent. Relative to shoreline populations, reduced levels of gene flow among populations inhabiting isolated, deep-water islands provides greater opportunities for drift, adaptation to local conditions, or sexual selection to effect genetic differentiation in this species.

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-04-06

    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.

  15. 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. Copyright © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  16. From molecule to behavior: Brain aromatase (cyp19a1b) characterization, expression analysis and its relation with social status and male agonistic behavior in a Neotropical cichlid fish.

    PubMed

    Ramallo, Martín R; Morandini, Leonel; Birba, Agustina; Somoza, Gustavo M; Pandolfi, Matías

    2017-03-01

    The enzyme aromatase, responsible for the conversion of C19 androgens to C18 estrogens, exists as two paralogue copies in teleost fish: Cyp19a1a mostly expressed in the gonads, referred as gonadal aromatase, and Cyp19a1b, mostly expressed in the brain, accordingly known as brain aromatase. The neural localization of Cyp19a1b is greatly contained within the social behavior network and mesolimbic reward system in fish, suggesting a strong role of estrogen synthesis in the regulation of social behavior. In this work we aimed to analyze the variation in cyp19a1b expression in brain and pituitary of males of a highly social cichlid, Cichlasoma dimerus (locally known as chanchita), and its relation with inter-individual variability in agonistic behavior in a communal social environment. We first characterized chanchita's cyp19a1b mRNA and deduced amino acid sequence, which showed a high degree of conservation when compared to other teleost brain aromatase sequences, and its tissue expression patterns. Within the brain, Cyp19a1b was solely detected at putative radial glial cells of the forebrain, close to the brain ventricles. We then studied the relative expression levels of cyp19a1b by Real Time PCR in the brain and pituitary of males of different social status, territorial vs. non-territorial, and its relationship with an index of agonistic behavior. We found that even though, brain aromatase expression did not differ between types of males, pituitary cyp19a1b expression levels positively correlated with the index of agonistic behavior. This suggests a novel role of the pituitary in the regulation of social behavior by local estrogen synthesis.

  17. 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.

  18. First description of monogenean parasites in Lake Tanganyika: the cichlid Simochromis diagramma (Teleostei, Cichlidae) harbours a high diversity of Gyrodactylus species (Platyhelminthes, Monogenea).

    PubMed

    Vanhove, Maarten P M; Snoeks, Jos; Volckaert, Filip A M; Huyse, Tine

    2011-03-01

    Lake Tanganyika harbours the most diverse endemic cichlid fish assemblage of Africa, but its monogenean fish parasites have not been investigated. Here we report, for the first time, on the Gyrodactylus parasites in this hotspot of fish biodiversity. Haptor morphometrics and nuclear ribosomal DNA sequences revealed 3 new species on Zambian Simochromis diagramma: Gyrodactylus sturmbaueri n. sp., G. thysi n. sp. and G. zimbae n. sp. Their distinct morphology and strong genetic differentiation suggest that they belong to distant lineages within the genus Gyrodactylus, and phylogenetic reconstructions suggest affinities with other genera of gyrodactylids. Additional U-shaped haptoral plates in G. thysi n. sp. and a second large spine-like structure in the male copulatory organ of G. zimbae seem to represent new features for the genus. Such large diversity on a single host species can probably be explained by host-switching events during the course of evolution, in agreement with the generally accepted concept that ecological transfer is an important aspect of gyrodactylid speciation. Additional parasitological surveys on other host species, covering a broader phylogenetic and geographical range, should clarify the evolutionary history of Gyrodactylidae on cichlids in the African Great Lake and other parts of Africa.

  19. 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

  20. Biomass and productivity of fishes in estuaries: a South African case study.

    PubMed

    Whitfield, A K

    2016-10-01

    Estuaries are well known for their role as nutrient and detrital sinks that stimulate high levels of both primary and secondary production which, in turn, support a large biomass of fishes per unit area. This study reviews available information on coastal fish biomasses (g m(-2) wet mass) and productivity (g m(-2) wet mass year(-1) ) in order to place South African data on these topics into a global perspective. Using biogeographic fish productivity estimates, together with estuarine water area, the approximate annual teleost production in South African estuaries was calculated at 585, 1706 and 13 904 t in the cool temperate, warm temperate and subtropical regions, respectively. Total annual fish production in estuaries on the subcontinent is conservatively estimated at 16 195 t, but this figure is likely to fluctuate widely, depending on recruitment success and annual environmental conditions pertaining to these systems. Approximately 2000 t of fish are estimated to be harvested by fishing activities in South African estuaries each year, which represents c. 12% of annual fish production. Although this figure may appear sustainable, the reality is that there are a few heavily targeted estuary-associated marine species at the top of the food chain that are being overexploited by both anglers and subsistence fishermen. Natural mortalities due to piscivorous fish and bird predation has been estimated at c. 3% of total fish biomass per month in the East Kleinemonde Estuary, but this figure will vary considerably depending on bird abundance and foraging patterns along the coast. In contrast to catches made by the fishermen, piscivorous fishes and birds are targeting mainly juvenile marine fish and small estuarine resident species that are very abundant and generally low down in the food web. © 2016 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.

  1. The effect of light intensity on prey detection behavior in two Lake Malawi cichlids, Aulonocara stuartgranti and Tramitichromis sp.

    PubMed

    Schwalbe, Margot A B; Webb, Jacqueline F

    2015-04-01

    Two sand-dwelling cichlids from Lake Malawi (Aulonocara stuartgranti, Tramitichromis sp.) that feed on benthic invertebrates, but have different lateral line phenotypes, use lateral line and/or visual cues to detect prey under light versus dark conditions. The current study examined how ecologically relevant variation in light intensity [0-800 lux (lx)] influences detection of prey (mobile, immobile) in each species by analyzing six behavioral parameters. Both species fed at light intensities ≥1 lx and trends in behavior among light intensities were informative. However, prey type and/or time of day (but not light intensity) predicted all four parameters analyzed with generalized linear mixed models in A. stuartgranti, whereas the interaction of light intensity and time of day predicted three of these parameters in Tramitichromis sp. Data suggest that the critical light intensity is 1-12 lx for both species, that the integration of visual and lateral line input explains differences in detection of mobile and immobile prey and behavioral changes at the transition from 1 to 0 lx in A. stuartgranti, and that Tramitichromis sp. likely uses binocular vision to locate prey. Differences in the sensory biology of species that exploit similar prey will have important implications for the trophic ecology of African cichlid fishes.

  2. The schistosome intermediate host, Bulinus nyassanus, is a 'preferred' food for the cichlid fish, Trematocranus placodon, at Cape Maclear, Lake Malawi.

    PubMed

    Evers, B N; Madsen, H; McKaye, K M; Stauffer, J R

    2006-01-01

    Over the last decade, transmission of the schistosome parasites of humans has increased in parts of Lake Malawi, possibly because over-fishing has led to a decline in the numbers of molluscivorous fish. The stomach contents of 51 wild-caught Trematocranus placodon from the Cape Maclear area of Lake Malawi have now been investigated and compared with the field abundance of snail species at two sites, close to where the fish were caught. The snails found in the fish stomachs were identified to genus or species on the basis of their shell fragments and/or opercula. The sizes of the prosobranchs consumed by the T. placodon were determined from their operculum sizes whereas the Bulinus nyassanus ingested by the fish were categorized as small (<4 mm) or large (> or =4 mm) on the basis of their shell fragments. The proportion of the Bu. nyassanus ingested that were categorized as large increased with fish size. Furthermore, the relative abundance of Bu. nyassanus in the guts of the fish was considerably higher than in the field, indicating that the T. placodon had a 'preference' for Bu. nyassanus over the Melanoides species that dominated the snail fauna. Small specimens of Bellamya species were also consumed in a greater proportion than found in field.

  3. Introgressive hybridization in a trophically polymorphic cichlid.

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-01

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

  4. Introgressive hybridization in a trophically polymorphic cichlid

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  5. The correlation between subordinate fish eye colour and received attacks: a negative social feedback mechanism for the reduction of aggression during the formation of dominance hierarchies.

    PubMed

    Miyai, Caio A; Carretero Sanches, Fábio H; Costa, Tânia M; Colpo, Karine Delevati; Volpato, Gilson L; Barreto, Rodrigo E

    2011-12-01

    Eye darkening has been linked to social status in fish. The subordinate's eyes darken, while the eyes of the dominant fish become pale. Although this phenomenon has been described in salmonid fishes and in the African cichlid Nile tilapia Oreochromis niloticus, it is unclear whether eye darkening correlates with a reduction in aggressive behaviour. Thus, we evaluated the link between social status and eye darkening. We evaluated whether the eye colours of subordinate fish correlate with the frequency of received attacks in a neotropical fish, the pearl cichlid Geophagus brasiliensis. We paired pearl cichlids and quantified both the aggressive behaviour and the eye darkening of each fish. As has been described for Nile tilapia and Atlantic salmon, a clear-cut hierarchical relationship formed, where dominance and subordination were associated with pale and dark eye colours, respectively. Initially, eye colour darkening was positively correlated with the frequency of received attacks; however, a negative association occurred following eye darkening, in which the intensity of aggressive interactions decreased. Thus, fish that initially received a high number of attacks signalled subordination more rapidly and intensely (rapid and dramatic eye darkening), thereby inducing a negative social feedback mechanism that led to reduced aggression.

  6. Lead exposure in young school children in South African subsistence fishing communities.

    PubMed

    Mathee, Angela; Khan, Taskeen; Naicker, Nisha; Kootbodien, Tahira; Naidoo, Shan; Becker, Piet

    2013-10-01

    Lead is an established toxic substance, with wide-ranging health effects, including neurodevelopmental decrements and behavioural problems, even at low levels in blood. Anecdotal reports of lead melting to make fishing sinkers in South African subsistence fishing communities prompted the conduct of an epidemiological study in two South African fishing villages to investigate the extent of lead melting and the associated risks in children. The objectives of the study were to determine the extent of lead melting, and the blood lead distributions and associated risk factors in children. Cross-sectional, analytical studies were undertaken among 160 young school children in the fishing villages of Struis Bay and Elands Bay located along the south-eastern and western South African coastline, respectively. Blood samples were collected for lead content analysis, and anthropometric and hemoglobin measurements were taken. Questionnaires were administered to obtain information about socio-economic status and risk factors for lead exposure. Blood lead levels ranged from 2.2 to 22.4 µg/dl, with the mean blood lead level equalling 7.4. Around 74% of the children had blood lead levels ≥5 µg/dl and 16% had blood lead levels ≥10 µg/dl. Socio-economic factors, and lead melting practices were strongly associated with elevated blood lead levels. Blood lead levels in these remote subsistence fishing communities were unexpectedly elevated, given the absence of local lead industries or other obvious sources of lead exposure. Lead exposure and poisoning is an important, yet neglected, public health concern in South African subsistence fishing communities, and potentially on the entire African continent. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Sudthongkong, Chaiwud; Miyata, Masato; Miyazaki, Teruo

    2002-04-05

    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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

  10. 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

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

    PubMed

    Raeymaekers, Joost A M; Hablützel, Pascal I; Grégoir, Arnout F; Bamps, Jolien; Roose, Anna K; Vanhove, Maarten P M; Van Steenberge, Maarten; Pariselle, Antoine; Huyse, Tine; Snoeks, Jos; Volckaert, Filip A M

    2013-02-14

    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. 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 differentiation were

  12. 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. © 2015 The Author. New Phytologist © 2015 New Phytologist Trust.

  13. Ancyrocephalidae (Monogenea) of Lake Tanganyika: II: description of the first Cichlidogyrus spp. parasites from Tropheini fish hosts (Teleostei, Cichlidae).

    PubMed

    Gillardin, Céline; Vanhove, Maarten P M; Pariselle, Antoine; Huyse, Tine; Volckaert, Filip A M

    2012-01-01

    Although Lake Tanganyika hosts the most diverse endemic cichlid fish assemblage, its monogenean parasite fauna has hardly been documented. The cichlid tribe Tropheini has generated great interest because of its systematic position within the Haplochromini s.l. and its diversity in trophic morphology, reproductive behaviour and population structure. It has the potential to host a diverse Monogenea fauna. Here, we describe the first Cichlidogyrus spp.: Cichlidogyrus steenbergei sp. n., Cichlidogyrus irenae sp. n. and Cichlidogyrus gistelincki sp. n. The three host species, Limnotilapia dardennii, Ctenochromis horei and Gnathochromis pfefferi, are all infected by a single unique Cichlidogyrus sp. The genital and haptoral structure of the new species suggests a close relationship, which might mirror the close affinities between the hosts within the Tropheini. Based on haptoral configuration, the new species belong to a morphological group within the genus containing parasites both of West African cichlids and of Haplochromini, and hence, do not represent a new organisation of the attachment organ (as has recently been described of congeners infecting the ectodine cichlid Ophthalmotilapia).

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

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

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

  15. Magic trait electric organ discharge (EOD): Dual function of electric signals promotes speciation in African weakly electric fish.

    PubMed

    Feulner, Philine Gd; Plath, Martin; Engelmann, Jacob; Kirschbaum, Frank; Tiedemann, Ralph

    2009-07-01

    A unique evolutionary specialization of African weakly electric fish (Mormyridae) is their ability to produce and perceive electric signals. Mormyrids use their electric organs discharge (EOD) for electrolocation and electrocommunication. Here we discuss the adaptive significance of the EOD in foraging (electric prey detection) in light of recent results demonstrating that mormyrid fish mate assortatively according to EOD waveform characteristics (electric mate choice). Therefore the EOD as a single trait pleiotropically combines natural divergent selection and reproductive isolation. Consequently we postulate the EOD as a "magic trait" promoting the diversification of African weakly electric fish.

  16. Using Cichlids for Illustrating Mendel's Laws

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gennaro, Eugene D.; Winters, Charlotte M.

    1978-01-01

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

  17. 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)

  18. Time and origin of cichlid colonization of the lower Congo rapids.

    PubMed

    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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Strategic growth decisions in helper cichlids.

    PubMed Central

    Heg, Dik; Bender, Nicole; Hamilton, Ian

    2004-01-01

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

  2. 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.

  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. © 2013 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2013 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  4. Adjusting a light dispersion model to fit measurements from vertebrate ocular media as well as ray-tracing in fish lenses.

    PubMed

    Gagnon, Yakir L; Kröger, Ronald H H; Söderberg, Bo

    2010-04-21

    Color dispersion, i.e., the dependency of refractive index of any transparent material on the wavelength of light, has important consequences for the function of optical instruments and animal eyes. Using a multi-objective goal attainment optimization algorithm, a dispersion model was successfully fitted to measured refractive indices of various ocular media and the longitudinal chromatic aberration determined by laser-scanning in the crystalline lens of the African cichlid fish, Astatotilapia burtoni. The model describes the effects of color dispersion in fish lenses and may be applicable to the eyes of other vertebrates as well.

  5. The "infantilization" of a cichlid fish.

    PubMed

    Shaw, E; Innes, K

    1980-03-01

    This paper reports a rather remarkable phenomenon, which we have termed "infantilization." Young acaras, 7 to 17 days postspawning age and normally freely swimming, will resume their nesting phase when placed with foster parents' brooding embryos or wrigglers. The foster parents do not eat these alien young when the young assume a behavior pattern similar to that of their own brood, namely, nest-bound and quiescent.

  6. The cusp of evolution and development: a model of cichlid tooth shape diversity.

    PubMed

    Streelman, J T; Webb, J F; Albertson, R C; Kocher, T D

    2003-01-01

    Tooth shape is a hallmark of repeated evolutionary radiations among cichlid fishes from East Africa. Cusp shape and number vary both within populations and among closely related species with different feeding behaviors and ecologies. Here, we use histology and scanning electron microscopy to chart the developmental trajectory of tooth shape differences in fishes from Lake Malawi. We demonstrate that species with bi- or tricuspid adult (replacement) teeth initially possess a first-generation unicuspid dentition. Notably, the timing of turnover from first-generation to replacement teeth differs among species and is correlated with feeding ecology. Next, we use field data for cichlid species with adult unicuspid, bicuspid, and tricuspid teeth to demonstrate a strong and positive relationship between the number of teeth in a row and tooth shape. We discuss cichlid tooth ontogeny in the context of morphogenetic models designed to explain the developmental basis of tooth shape variation in mammals. We suggest that the dramatic differences in cichlid dentitions can be explained by variation in the expression of common activators and inhibitors acting at multiple stages of odontogenesis.

  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. 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. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. The potency of curing fish waste pellet for growth and protein level of African sharptooth catfish (Clarias gariepinus)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nurhayati, Awik Puji Dyah; Febiyani, Asti R.

    2017-06-01

    Fish curing in Kenjeran, Surabaya produces waste such as fish offal, tail and fins which still has some nutrients, especially protein content, so it can be used as fish feed. Fish feed is an important factor in fish growth. Farmers usually use commercial fish pellets, but the price is relatively more expensive. Curing fish waste which is less expensive can be used as materials for pellets. The purpose of this study is to utilize curing fish waste as a material fish pellets for growth African catfish. Experimental design of this research is Completely Randomized Design (CRD) with 1 factorial. The pellets varieties were of K.0, K.1, K.2, K.3, and K.4. The pellets were given to the fish for 30 days. Data of growth rate, survival rate and FCR and protein level data of the pellet and the fish flesh were analyzed by one-way ANOVA statistical method. The analysis shows that the K.4 treatment has a best result of relatively growth of length (72.64%)and relatively growth of weight (488,97%). Protein level of fish flesh is 20.97%. The survival rate of 98%, FCR most efficient pellets exist is K.4.

  10. Alternative Reproductive Tactics in the Shell-Brooding Lake Tanganyika Cichlid Neolamprologus brevis

    PubMed Central

    Ota, Kazutaka; Aibara, Mitsuto; Morita, Masaya; Awata, Satoshi; Hori, Michio; Kohda, Masanori

    2012-01-01

    Alternative reproductive tactics (ARTs) are found in several Lake Tanganyika shell-brooding cichlids. Field studies were conducted in the Wonzye population to examine reproductive ecology and ARTs in the Lake Tanganyika shell-brooding cichlid Neolamprologus brevis. We discovered that this fish occurred in both rocky- and sandy-bottom habitats, but in rocky habitats, brood-caring females exclusively occurred in shell-patches that another cichlid species created. All N. brevis of both sexes in the patches were sexually mature, whereas immature males and females with unripe eggs were found frequently in sandy-bottom habitats. Males in sandy-bottom habitats were smaller, but fed more frequently and were in better somatic condition than males in the patches. Similar tendency was found in females. This indicates that N. brevis uses different habitats depending on the stage of its life history, with migration from sandy-bottom habitats to the shell-patches for reproduction. Males in the patches exhibited different behavior patterns: floating above the patches and lying in the patches. The former was larger, more aggressive, and invested less in gonads (relative to body size) than the latter. These results accord with those of other shell-brooding Lake Tanganyika cichlids with ARTs, and they therefore suggest the presence of ARTs in N. brevis. PMID:22888463

  11. Depth and substratum differentiations among coexisting herbivorous cichlids in Lake Tanganyika.

    PubMed

    Hata, Hiroki; Ochi, Haruki

    2016-11-01

    Cichlid fish in Lake Tanganyika represent a system of adaptive radiation in which eight ancestral lineages have diversified into hundreds of species through adaptation to various niches. However, Tanganyikan cichlids have been thought to be oversaturated, that is, the species number exceeds the number of niches and ecologically equivalent and competitively even species coexist. However, recent studies have shed light on niche segregation on a finer scale among apparently equivalent species. We observed depth and substratum preferences of 15 herbivorous cichlids from four ecomorphs (i.e. grazer, browser, scraper and scooper) on a rocky littoral slope for 14 years. Depth differentiation was detected among grazers that defended feeding territories and among browsers with feeding territories. Cichlid species having no feeding territory also showed specificity on depth and substratum, resulting in habitat segregation among species that belong to the same ecomorph. Phylogenetically close species did not occupy adjacent depths, nor the opposite depth zones. Our findings suggest that apparently equivalent species of the same ecomorph coexist parapatrically along depth on a few-metre scale, or coexist with different substratum preferences on the rocky shore, and this niche segregation may have been acquired by competition between encountering equivalent species through repetitive lake-level fluctuations.

  12. Alternative Reproductive Tactics in the Shell-Brooding Lake Tanganyika Cichlid Neolamprologus brevis.

    PubMed

    Ota, Kazutaka; Aibara, Mitsuto; Morita, Masaya; Awata, Satoshi; Hori, Michio; Kohda, Masanori

    2012-01-01

    Alternative reproductive tactics (ARTs) are found in several Lake Tanganyika shell-brooding cichlids. Field studies were conducted in the Wonzye population to examine reproductive ecology and ARTs in the Lake Tanganyika shell-brooding cichlid Neolamprologus brevis. We discovered that this fish occurred in both rocky- and sandy-bottom habitats, but in rocky habitats, brood-caring females exclusively occurred in shell-patches that another cichlid species created. All N. brevis of both sexes in the patches were sexually mature, whereas immature males and females with unripe eggs were found frequently in sandy-bottom habitats. Males in sandy-bottom habitats were smaller, but fed more frequently and were in better somatic condition than males in the patches. Similar tendency was found in females. This indicates that N. brevis uses different habitats depending on the stage of its life history, with migration from sandy-bottom habitats to the shell-patches for reproduction. Males in the patches exhibited different behavior patterns: floating above the patches and lying in the patches. The former was larger, more aggressive, and invested less in gonads (relative to body size) than the latter. These results accord with those of other shell-brooding Lake Tanganyika cichlids with ARTs, and they therefore suggest the presence of ARTs in N. brevis.

  13. Depth and substratum differentiations among coexisting herbivorous cichlids in Lake Tanganyika

    PubMed Central

    Ochi, Haruki

    2016-01-01

    Cichlid fish in Lake Tanganyika represent a system of adaptive radiation in which eight ancestral lineages have diversified into hundreds of species through adaptation to various niches. However, Tanganyikan cichlids have been thought to be oversaturated, that is, the species number exceeds the number of niches and ecologically equivalent and competitively even species coexist. However, recent studies have shed light on niche segregation on a finer scale among apparently equivalent species. We observed depth and substratum preferences of 15 herbivorous cichlids from four ecomorphs (i.e. grazer, browser, scraper and scooper) on a rocky littoral slope for 14 years. Depth differentiation was detected among grazers that defended feeding territories and among browsers with feeding territories. Cichlid species having no feeding territory also showed specificity on depth and substratum, resulting in habitat segregation among species that belong to the same ecomorph. Phylogenetically close species did not occupy adjacent depths, nor the opposite depth zones. Our findings suggest that apparently equivalent species of the same ecomorph coexist parapatrically along depth on a few-metre scale, or coexist with different substratum preferences on the rocky shore, and this niche segregation may have been acquired by competition between encountering equivalent species through repetitive lake-level fluctuations. PMID:28018609

  14. Partial and total fish meal replacement by agricultural products in the diets improve sperm quality in African catfish (Clarias gariepinus).

    PubMed

    Nyina-Wamwiza, L; Milla, S; Pierrard, M-A; Rurangwa, E; Mandiki, S N M; Van Look, K J W; Kestemont, P

    2012-01-01

    This study investigated the long-term effects of total and partial replacement of dietary fish meal (FM) by a mixture of agricultural products on sperm quality of African catfish Clarias gariepinus. Four isonitrogenous and isoenergetic diets were formulated containing graded levels of either 50% FM and maize meal (diet 1); 25% FM mixed with crude sunflower oil cake (SFOC) and bean meal (BM) (diet 2); 12.5% FM mixed with sunflower oil cake, BM and ground nut oil cake (GOC) (diet 3) and 0% FM mixed with de-hulled sunflower oil cake (SFOCD), BM and ground nut oil cake (diet 4). Gonadosomatic index (GSI), sperm quality, plasma sex steroids (11-keto testosterone [11-KT]; testosterone [T]; estradiol-17beta [E2]) were evaluated on 10 to 24 fish fed on each diet. Sperm quality was assessed using computer-assisted sperm analysis (CASA). Total replacement of fish meal by plant products markedly increased sperm volume, spermatocrit, spermatozoa integrity, and sperm motility. Fish fed diet 3 (12.5% fish meal) provided intermediate results on sperm quality whereas the lowest values were obtained in fish fed diets 1 and 2. In fish fed 0% fish meal (diet 4), androgen levels were higher and estrogen levels were lower than in fish fed fish meal diets. Based on dietary lipid and fatty acid analyses, these results suggest a positive impact of short chain n-6 fatty acids on androgen synthesis and sperm quality. In conclusion, a combination of ground nut oil cake, bean meal and sunflower oil cake (preferably when the sunflower is dehulled) in African catfish diet improves the sperm quality.

  15. Additive genetic variance of quantitative traits in natural and pond-bred populations of the Lake Tanganyika cichlid Tropheus moorii.

    PubMed

    Koch, Martin; Wilson, Alastair J; Kerschbaumer, Michaela; Wiedl, Thomas; Sturmbauer, Christian

    Quantitative genetic studies in natural populations are of growing interest to speciation research since divergence is often believed to arise through micro-evolutionary change, caused by natural selection on functional morphological traits. The species flock of cichlid fishes in Africa's oldest lake, Lake Tanganyika, offers a rare opportunity to study this process. Using the cichlid species Tropheus moorii, we assessed the potential for microevolution in a set of morphological traits by estimating their quantitative genetic basis of variation. Two approaches were employed: (1) estimation of trait heritabilities (h(2)) in situ from a sample of wild caught fish, and (2) estimation of h(2) from first generation offspring produced in a semi-natural breeding experiment. In both cases, microsatellite data were used to infer pedigree structure among the sampled individuals and estimates of h(2) were made using an animal model approach. Although power was limited by the pedigree structures estimated (particularly in the wild caught sample), we nonetheless demonstrate the presence of significant additive genetic variance for aspects of morphology that, in the cichlid species Tropheus moorii, are expected to be functionally and ecologically important, and therefore likely targets of natural selection. We hypothesize that traits showing significant additive genetic variance, such as the mouth position have most likely played a key role in the adaptive evolution of the cichlid fish Tropheus moorii.

  16. Interruption of pacemaker signals by a diencephalic nucleus in the African electric fish, Gymnarchus niloticus.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Ying; Kawasaki, Masashi

    2006-05-01

    The African electric fish Gymnarchus niloticus rhythmically emits electric organ discharges (EODs) for communication and navigation. The EODs are generated by the electric organ in the tail in response to the command signals from the medullary pacemaker complex, which consists of a pacemaker nucleus (PN), two lateral relay nuclei (LRN) and a medial relay nucleus (MRN). The premotor structure and its modulatory influences on the pacemaker complex have been investigated in this paper. A bilateral prepacemaker nucleus (PPn) was found in the area of the dorsal posterior nucleus (DP) of the thalamus by retrograde labeling from the PN. No retrogradely labeled neurons outside the pacemaker complex were found after tracer injection into the LRN or MRN. Accordingly, anterogradely labeled terminal fibers from PPn neurons were found only in the PN. Iontophoresis of L-glutamate into the region of the PPn induced EOD interruptions. Despite the exclusive projection of the PPn neurons to the PN, extracellular and intracellular recordings showed that PN neurons continue their firing while MRN neurons ceased their firing during EOD interruption. This mode of EOD interruption differs from those found in any other weakly electric fishes in which EOD cessation mechanisms have been known.

  17. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  19. Speciation within genomic networks: a case study based on Steatocranus cichlids of the lower Congo rapids.

    PubMed

    Schwarzer, Julia; Misof, B; Schliewen, U K

    2012-01-01

    Hybridization in animals is a much more common phenomenon as previously thought and may have profound implications for speciation research. The cichlid genus Steatocranus (Teleostei: Cichlidae), a close relative to members of the East African cichlid radiations, radiated under riverine conditions in the lower Congo rapids and produced a small species flock. Previous phylogenetic analyses suggested that hybridization occurred and contributed to speciation in this genus. A re-analysis of an already published 2000 loci-AFLP data set explicitly testing for patterns of ancient gene flow provided strong evidence for a highly reticulate phylogenetic history of the genus. We provide, to our knowledge, the first example of a complex reticulate network in vertebrates, including multiple closely related species connected through ancient as well as recent gene flow. In this context, the limited validity of strictly bifurcating tree hypotheses as a phylogenetic basis for hypothesis testing in evolutionary biology is discussed.

  20. A game of two? Gene expression analysis of brain (cyp19a1b) and gonadal (cyp19a1a) aromatase in females of a Neotropical cichlid fish through the parental care period and removal of the offspring.

    PubMed

    Ramallo, Martín R; Honji, Renato M; Birba, Agustina; Morandini, Leonel; Varela, María L; Genovese, Griselda; Moreira, Renata G; Somoza, Gustavo M; Pandolfi, Matías

    2017-10-01

    For many species parental behavior is essential for the survival of the offspring. While the ultimate causes of teleost parental behavior have been widely studied, comparatively little is known about its proximate causes. The aim of this study was to analyze the yet unexplored, potential dual role of brain and gonadal aromatases, the enzymes responsible for the conversion of androgens to estrogens in the brains and gonads of teleosts, respectively, on the different stages of the maternal care period of the biparental cichlid Cichlasoma dimerus, locally known as chanchita. By immunohistochemistry we analyzed the neural distribution of brain aromatase and observed it exclusively within the forebrain, including areas involved in the regulation of parental behavior. We next analyzed the gene expression of brain aromatase in the brain, and gonadal aromatase in the ovary, of female chanchitas through the parental care period. To further characterize the physiological environment associated to maternal care, we also evaluated sex steroid levels (17β-estradiol, testosterone and 11-ketotestoterone) and ovarian follicle percentage. The onset of parental behavior specifically downregulated sex steroids synthesis and the rate of ovarian maturation, as denoted by a more than 10-fold decrease in steroid levels and delayed detection of mature follicles in females with offspring, compared to females which eggs were removed. Gene expression levels of both aromatases were independent of maternal care at the evaluated time points, even though they varied during the parental care period. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-01-01

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

  5. Intraspecific cone opsin expression variation in the cichlids of Lake Malawi.

    PubMed

    Smith, Adam R; D'Annunzio, Lindsay; Smith, Abbi E; Sharma, Anit; Hofmann, Christopher M; Marshall, N J; Carleton, Karen L

    2011-01-01

    The expression of cone opsin genes is a primary determinant of the characteristics of colour vision. Interspecific variation in opsin expression is common in African cichlids. It is correlated with foraging among cichlids from Lake Malawi, and with ambient light environment among cichlids from Lake Victoria. In this study, we tested whether gene expression varied within species such that it might be important in contributing to divergence. We hypothesized that light attenuation with depth would be correlated with predictable changes in gene expression in Lake Malawi, and that this variation would tune visual sensitivities to match the ambient light environment. We observed significant differences in cone opsin expression in three different comparisons among populations of the same species. Higher LWS expression was found in shallow versus deep Copadichromis eucinostomus. In Metriaclima zebra, individuals from Zimbawe Rock expressed significantly more SWS2B than those from Thumbi West Island, although these locales have similar ambient light environments. Finally, Tropheops gracilior from deeper water had significantly more variation in expression than their shallow counterparts. These results support that gene expression varies significantly between populations of the same species. Surprisingly, these results could not be explained by predicted visual performance as models predicted that differential expression patterns did not confer sensitivity advantages at different depths. This suggested that expression variation did not confer a local sensitivity advantage. Therefore, our findings were contrary to a primary requirement of the sensory bias hypothesis. As such, other explanations for intraspecific gene expression variation need to be tested.

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

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

    PubMed

    Tsuboi, Masahito; Gonzalez-Voyer, Alejandro; Kolm, Niclas

    2014-03-04

    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. 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. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Trophic redundancy among fishes in an East African nearshore seagrass community inferred from stable-isotope analysis.

    PubMed

    Matich, P; Kiszka, J J; Gastrich, K R; Heithaus, M R

    2017-08-01

    Stable-isotope analysis supplemented with stomach contents data from published sources was used to quantify the trophic niches, trophic niche overlaps and potential trophic redundancy for the most commonly caught fish species from an East African nearshore seagrass community. This assessment is an important first step in quantifying food-web structure in a region subject to intense fishing activities. Nearshore food webs were driven by at least two isotopically distinct trophic pathways, algal and seagrass, with a greater proportion of the sampled species feeding within the seagrass food web (57%) compared with the algal food web (33%). There was considerable isotopic niche overlap among species (92% of species overlapped with at least one other species). Narrow isotopic niche widths of most (83%) species sampled, low isotopic similarity (only 23% of species exhibited no differences in δ(13) C and δ(15) N) and low predicted trophic redundancy among fishes most commonly caught by fishermen (15%), however, suggest that adjustments to resource management concerning harvesting and gear selectivity may be needed for the persistence of artisanal fishing in northern Tanzania. More detailed trophic studies paired with information on spatio-temporal variation in fish abundance, especially for heavily targeted species, will assist in the development and implementation of management strategies to maintain coastal food-web integrity. © 2017 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.

  12. Diet disparity among sympatric herbivorous cichlids in the same ecomorphs in Lake Tanganyika: amplicon pyrosequences on algal farms and stomach contents.

    PubMed

    Hata, Hiroki; Tanabe, Akifumi S; Yamamoto, Satoshi; Toju, Hirokazu; Kohda, Masanori; Hori, Michio

    2014-10-29

    Lake Tanganyika, an ancient lake in the Great Rift Valley, is famous for the adaptive radiation of cichlids. Five tribes of the Cichlidae family have acquired herbivory, with five ecomorphs: grazers, browsers, scrapers, biters and scoopers. Sixteen species of the herbivorous cichlids coexist on a rocky littoral slope in the lake. Seven of them individually defend feeding territories against intruding herbivores to establish algal farms. We collected epiphyton from these territories at various depths and also gathered fish specimens. Algal and cyanobacteria community structures were analysed using the amplicon-metagenomic method. Based on 454-pyrosequencing of SSU rRNA gene sequences, we identified 300 phototrophic taxa, including 197 cyanobacteria, 57 bacillariophytes, and 31 chlorophytes. Algal farms differed significantly in their composition among cichlid species, even in the same ecomorph, due in part to their habitat-depth segregation. The algal species composition of the stomach contents and algal farms of each species differed, suggesting that cichlids selectively harvest their farms. The stomach contents were highly diverse, even between species in the same tribe, in the same feeding ecomorph. In this study, the amplicon-metagenomic approach revealed food niche separation based on habitat-depth segregation among coexisting herbivorous cichlids in the same ecomorphs in Lake Tanganyika.

  13. A phylogeny of Cichlidogyrus spp. (Monogenea, Dactylogyridea) clarifies a host-switch between fish families and reveals an adaptive component to attachment organ morphology of this parasite genus.

    PubMed

    Messu Mandeng, Françoise D; Bilong Bilong, Charles F; Pariselle, Antoine; Vanhove, Maarten P M; Bitja Nyom, Arnold R; Agnèse, Jean-François

    2015-11-10

    Parasite switches to new host species are of fundamental scientific interest and may be considered an important speciation mechanism. For numerous monogenean fish parasites, infecting different hosts is associated with morphological adaptations, in particular of the attachment organ (haptor). However, haptoral morphology in Cichlidogyrus spp. (Monogenea, Dactylogyridea), parasites of African cichlids, has been mainly linked to phylogenetic rather than to host constraints. Here we determined the position of Cichlidogyrus amieti, a parasite of species of Aphyosemion (Cyprinodontiformes, Nothobranchiidae) in the phylogeny of its congeners in order to infer its origin and assess the morphological changes associated with host-switching events. The DNA of specimens of C. amieti isolated from Aphyosemion cameronense in Cameroon was sequenced and analyzed together with that of Cichlidogyrus spp. from cichlid hosts. In order to highlight the influence of the lateral transfer of C. amieti on the haptoral sclerotised parts we performed a Principal Component Analysis (PCA) to compare the attachment organ structure of C. amieti to that of congeners infecting cichlids. Cichlidogyrus amieti was found to be nested within a strongly supported clade of species described from Hemichromis spp. (i.e. C. longicirrus and C. dracolemma). This clade is located at a derived position of the tree, suggesting that C. amieti transferred from cichlids to Cyprinodontiformes and not inversely. The morphological similarity between features of their copulatory organs suggested that C. amieti shares a recent ancestor with C. dracolemma. It also indicates that in this case, these organs do not seem subjected to strong divergent selection pressure. On the other hand, there are substantial differences in haptoral morphology between C. amieti and all of its closely related congeners described from Hemichromis spp.. Our study provides new evidence supporting the hypothesis of the adaptive nature of haptor

  14. 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

    2008-12-03

    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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-06

    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.

  16. Karyotype and Mapping of Repetitive DNAs in the African Butterfly Fish Pantodon buchholzi, the Sole Species of the Family Pantodontidae.

    PubMed

    Ráb, Petr; Yano, Cassia F; Lavoué, Sébastien; Jegede, Oladele I; Bertollo, Luiz A C; Ezaz, Tariq; Majtánová, Zuzana; de Oliveira, Ezequiel A; Cioffi, Marcelo B

    2016-01-01

    The monophyletic order Osteoglossiformes represents one of the most ancestral groups of teleosts and has at least 1 representative in all continents of the southern hemisphere, with the exception of Antarctica. However, despite its phylogenetic and biogeographical importance, cytogenetic data in Osteoglossiformes are scarce. Here, karyotype and chromosomal characteristics of the lower Niger River population of the African butterfly fish Pantodon buchholzi, the sole species of the family Pantodontidae (Osteoglossiformes), were examined using conventional and molecular cytogenetic approaches. All specimens examined had 2n = 46 chromosomes, with a karyotype composed of 5 pairs of metacentric, 5 pairs of submetacentric, and 13 pairs of acrocentric chromosomes in both sexes. No morphologically differentiated sex chromosomes were identified. C-bands were located in the centromeric/pericentromeric region of all chromosomes and were associated with the single AgNOR site. FISH with ribosomal DNA probes revealed that both 5S and 18S rDNA were present in only 1 pair of chromosomes each, but did not colocalize. CMA3+ bands were observed near the telomeres in several chromosome pairs and also at the 18S rDNA sites. The mapping of di- and trinucleotide repeat motifs, Rex6 transposable element, and U2 snRNA showed a scattered distribution over most of the chromosomes, but for some microsatellites and the U2 snRNA also a preferential accumulation at telomeric regions. This study presents the first detailed cytogenetic analysis in the African butterfly fish by both conventional and molecular cytogenetic protocols. This is the first of a series of further cytogenetic and cytogenomic studies on osteoglossiforms, aiming to comprehensively examine the chromosomal evolution in this phylogenetically important fish order.

  17. 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

  18. Baited camera survey of deep-sea demersal fishes of the West African oil provinces off Angola: 1200-2500m depth, East Atlantic Ocean.

    PubMed

    Jamieson, Alan J; Linley, Thomas D; Craig, Jessica

    2017-08-01

    Deep-sea demersal fish surveys using baited cameras were undertaken in the West African oil provinces between 1297 m and 2453 m depth in 2002, 2005 and 2008. A total of 29 deployments amounting to 16,175 images encountered 31 species of bait attending deep-sea fish from 17 families. The extrapolated species richness was 34, indicating that the survey encountered over 90% of bait attending fish species in this area. The dominant species in the area were the morid Antimora rostrata, the synaphobranchids Synaphobranchus cf. kaupii and Simenchelys parasitica, the somniosid Centroscymnus coelolepis and the zoarcid Pachycara crassiceps. An unusually high diversity of bait attending macrourids was observed in addition to patchy aggregations of zoarcids. This study serves as baseline survey data on which to base future long-term environmental monitoring of fish populations in the vicinity of the West African oil provinces. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Solar drying and organoleptic characteristics of two tropical African fish species using improved low-cost solar driers.

    PubMed

    Mustapha, Moshood K; Ajibola, Taiye B; Salako, Abdulbashir F; Ademola, Sunmola K

    2014-05-01

    This study was done to evaluate the drying performance, efficiency, and effectiveness of five different types of improved low-cost solar driers in terms of moisture loss from two tropical African fish species Clarias gariepinus (African sharp tooth catfish) and Oreochromis niloticus (Nile tilapia) and testing the organoleptic characteristics of the dried samples. The driers used were made from plastic, aluminum, glass, glass with black igneous stone, and mosquito net, with traditional direct open-sun drying as a control. A significant (P < 0.05) decrease in weight resulting from moisture loss in the two fish species was observed in all the driers, with the highest reduction occurring in the glass drier containing black stone. The rate of weight loss was faster in the first 4 days of drying with black stone-inserted glass drier showing the fastest drying rate with a constant weight in C. gariepinus attained on the 11th day and in O. niloticus on the eighth day. The slowest drier was plastic where a constant weight of the species were recorded on and 13th day and 11th day, respectively. Volunteers were used to assess the organoleptic characteristics of the dried samples and they showed lowest acceptability for the open-sun drying, while samples from the glass drier containing black stone had the highest acceptability in terms of the taste, flavor, appearance, texture, odor, palatability, and shelf-life. The low-cost solar driers were effective found in removing water from the fish resulting in significant loss of weight and moisture. The highest drying time, efficient performance, drying effectiveness, and high acceptability of the organoleptic parameters of the dried products from the black stone-inserted glass drier were due to the ability of the glass and the black stone to retain, transmit, and radiate heat to the fish sample all the time (day and night). These low-cost driers are simple to construct, materials for its construction readily available, easy to

  20. Asymmetric evolution in two fish-specifically duplicated receptor tyrosine kinase paralogons involved in teleost coloration.

    PubMed

    Braasch, Ingo; Salzburger, Walter; Meyer, Axel

    2006-06-01

    The occurrence of a fish-specific genome duplication (FSGD) in the lineage leading to teleost fishes is widely accepted, but the consequences of this event remain elusive. Teleosts, and the cichlid fishes from the species flocks in the East African Great Lakes in particular, evolved a unique complexity and diversity of body coloration and color patterning. Several genes involved in pigment cell development have been retained in duplicate copies in the teleost genome after the FSGD. Here we investigate the evolutionary fate of one of these genes, the type III receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) colony-stimulating factor 1 receptor (csf1r). We isolated and shotgun sequenced two paralogous csf1r genes from a bacterial artificial chromosome library of the cichlid fish Astatotilapia burtoni that are both linked to paralogs of the pdgfr beta gene, another type III RTK. Two pdgfr beta-csf1r paralogons were also identified in the genomes of pufferfishes and medaka, and our phylogenetic analyses suggest that the pdgfr beta-csf1r locus was duplicated during the course of the FSGD. Comparisons of teleosts and tetrapods suggest asymmetrical divergence at different levels of genomic organization between the teleost-specific pdgfr beta-csf1r paralogons, which seem to have evolved as coevolutionary units. The high-evolutionary rate in the teleost B-paralogon, consisting of csf1rb and pdgfr betab, further suggests neofunctionalization by functional divergence of the extracellular, ligand-binding region of these cell-surface receptors. Finally, we hypothesize that genome duplications and the associated expansion of the RTK family might be causally linked to the evolution of coloration in vertebrates and teleost fishes in particular.

  1. 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-switc