Science.gov

Sample records for african cichlid fishes

  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. Contextual chemosensory urine signaling in an African cichlid fish

    PubMed Central

    Maruska, Karen P.; Fernald, Russell D.

    2012-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Chromosome differentiation patterns during cichlid fish evolution

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

    Keck, Benjamin P; Hulsey, C Darrin

    2014-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  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. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Henning, Frederico; Meyer, Axel

    2012-01-01

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

  13. Regulatory gene networks that shape the development of adaptive phenotypic plasticity in a cichlid fish.

    PubMed

    Schneider, Ralf F; Li, Yuanhao; Meyer, Axel; Gunter, Helen M

    2014-09-01

    Phenotypic plasticity is the ability of organisms with a given genotype to develop different phenotypes according to environmental stimuli, resulting in individuals that are better adapted to local conditions. In spite of their ecological importance, the developmental regulatory networks underlying plastic phenotypes often remain uncharacterized. We examined the regulatory basis of diet-induced plasticity in the lower pharyngeal jaw (LPJ) of the cichlid fish Astatoreochromis alluaudi, a model species in the study of adaptive plasticity. Through raising juvenile A. alluaudi on either a hard or soft diet (hard-shelled or pulverized snails) for between 1 and 8 months, we gained insight into the temporal regulation of 19 previously identified candidate genes during the early stages of plasticity development. Plasticity in LPJ morphology was first detected between 3 and 5 months of diet treatment. The candidate genes, belonging to various functional categories, displayed dynamic expression patterns that consistently preceded the onset of morphological divergence and putatively contribute to the initiation of the plastic phenotypes. Within functional categories, we observed striking co-expression, and transcription factor binding site analysis was used to examine the prospective basis of their coregulation. We propose a regulatory network of LPJ plasticity in cichlids, presenting evidence for regulatory crosstalk between bone and muscle tissues, which putatively facilitates the development of this highly integrated trait. Through incorporating a developmental time-course into a phenotypic plasticity study, we have identified an interconnected, environmentally responsive regulatory network that shapes the development of plasticity in a key innovation of East African cichlids.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Shaping development through mechanical strain: the transcriptional basis of diet-induced phenotypic plasticity in a cichlid fish.

    PubMed

    Gunter, Helen M; Fan, Shaohua; Xiong, Fan; Franchini, Paolo; Fruciano, Carmelo; Meyer, Axel

    2013-09-01

    Adaptive phenotypic plasticity, the ability of an organism to change its phenotype to match local environments, is increasingly recognized for its contribution to evolution. However, few empirical studies have explored the molecular basis of plastic traits. The East African cichlid fish Astatoreochromis alluaudi displays adaptive phenotypic plasticity in its pharyngeal jaw apparatus, a structure that is widely seen as an evolutionary key innovation that has contributed to the remarkable diversity of cichlid fishes. It has previously been shown that in response to different diets, the pharyngeal jaws change their size, shape and dentition: hard diets induce an adaptive robust molariform tooth phenotype with short jaws and strong internal bone structures, while soft diets induce a gracile papilliform tooth phenotype with elongated jaws and slender internal bone structures. To gain insight into the molecular underpinnings of these adaptations and enable future investigations of the role that phenotypic plasticity plays during the formation of adaptive radiations, the transcriptomes of the two divergent jaw phenotypes were examined. Our study identified a total of 187 genes whose expression differs in response to hard and soft diets, including immediate early genes, extracellular matrix genes and inflammatory factors. Transcriptome results are interpreted in light of expression of candidate genes-markers for tooth size and shape, bone cells and mechanically sensitive pathways. This study opens up new avenues of research at new levels of biological organization into the roles of phenotypic plasticity during speciation and radiation of cichlid fishes.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  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. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Dietary carotenoids do not improve motility or antioxidant capacity in cichlid fish sperm.

    PubMed

    Sullivan, Melissa; Brown, Alexandria C; Clotfelter, Ethan D

    2014-10-01

    Carotenoids may act as antioxidants under many circumstances. We examined the importance of carotenoids as antioxidants in the gonads of male convict cichlids (Amatitlania nigrofasciata), a species in which males lack the carotenoid-based breeding coloration that characterizes females. Male fish were fed one of four diets that included different combinations of xanthophyll and carotene carotenoids, and then we measured carotenoid concentration of the gonads, gonadosomatic index (GSI), sperm motility, and the antioxidant capacity of the gonads. Significant differences were found in gonadal carotenoid content among treatment groups, suggesting that dietary carotenoids were indeed sequestered in the gonads. There were no differences among diet groups, however, in GSI, sperm motility, or gonadal antioxidant capacity. These findings suggest that carotenoids are required only in small amounts in the testes of male convict cichlids or that they play a limited role in protecting sperm from oxidative damage.

  10. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  12. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Rüber, Lukas; Verheyen, Erik; Meyer, Axel

    1999-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

  15. 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.

  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. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-13

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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  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. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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).

  14. 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).

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  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. 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. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. The genetic and developmental basis of an exaggerated craniofacial trait in East African cichlids.

    PubMed

    Concannon, Moira R; Albertson, R Craig

    2015-12-01

    The evolution of an exaggerated trait can lead to a novel morphology that allows organisms to exploit new niches. The molecular bases of such phenotypes can reveal insights into the evolution of unique traits. Here, we investigate a rare morphological innovation in modern haplochromine cichlids, a flap of fibrous tissue that causes a pronounced projection of the snout, which is limited to a single genus (Labeotropheus) of Lake Malawi cichlids. We compare flap size in our focal species L. fuelleborni (LF) to homologous landmarks in other closely related cichlid species that show a range of ecological overlap with LF, and demonstrate that variation in flap size is discontinuous among Malawi cichlid species. We demonstrate further that flap development in LF begins at early juvenile stages, and scales allometrically with body size. We then used an F2 hybrid mapping population, derived via crossing LF to a close ecological competitor that lacks this trait, Tropheops "red cheek" (TRC), to identify quantitative trait loci (QTL) that underlie flap development. In all, we identified four loci associated with variation in flap size, and for each the LF allele contributed to a larger flap. We next cross-referenced our QTL map with population genomic data, comparing natural populations of LF and TRC, to identify divergent polymorphisms within each QTL interval. Candidate genes for flap development are discussed. Together, these data indicate a relatively simple and tractable genetic basis for this morphological innovation, which is consistent with its apparently sudden and saltatory evolutionary history. J. Exp. Zool. (Mol. Dev. Evol.) 324B: 662-670, 2015. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

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

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  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. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-11-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  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. 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.

  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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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).

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1998-01-01

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

  9. 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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2005-01-01

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

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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)

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-07-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-03

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Lineage-Specific Expansion of Vomeronasal Type 2 Receptor-Like (OlfC) Genes in Cichlids May Contribute to Diversification of Amino Acid Detection Systems

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  8. The Monogenean Parasite Fauna of Cichlids: A Potential Tool for Host Biogeography

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

    We discuss geographical distribution and phylogeny of Dactylogyridea (Monogenea) parasitizing Cichlidae to elucidate their hosts' history. Although mesoparasitic Monogenea (Enterogyrus spp.) show typical vicariant distribution, ectoparasitic representatives from different continents are not considered sister taxa, hence their distribution cannot result from vicariance alone. Because of the close host-parasite relationship, this might indicate that present-day cichlid distribution may also reflect dispersal through coastal or brackish waters. Loss of ectoparasites during transoceanic migration, followed by lateral transfer from other fish families might explain extant host-parasite associations. Because of its mesoparasitic nature, hence not subject to salinity variations of the host's environment, Enterogyrus could have survived marine migrations, intolerable for ectoparasites. Host-switches and salinity transitions may be invoked to explain the pattern revealed by a preliminary morphological phylogeny of monogenean genera from Cichlidae and other selected Monogenea genera, rendering the parasite distribution explicable under both vicariance and dispersal. Testable hypotheses are put forward in this parasitological approach to cichlid biogeography. Along with more comprehensive in-depth morphological phylogeny, comparison with molecular data, clarifying dactylogyridean evolution on different continents and from various fish families, and providing temporal information on host-parasite history, are needed to discriminate between the possible scenarios. PMID:21869935

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

    PubMed

    Schwalbe, Margot A B; Webb, Jacqueline F

    2014-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  12. Adaptive radiation in the Congo River: an ecological speciation scenario for African weakly electric fish (Teleostei; Mormyridae; Campylomormyrus).

    PubMed

    Feulner, Philine G D; Kirschbaum, Frank; Tiedemann, Ralph

    2008-01-01

    The ultimate aim of this study is to better understand the diversification of African weakly electric fish in the Congo River. Based on a robust phylogenetic hypothesis we examined the radiation within the mormyrid genus Campylomormyrus. Morphological traits relevant for the divergence between the identified species were detected. Among them, the variation in the shape of the trunk-like elongated snout suggested the presence of different trophic specializations. Furthermore, the chosen model taxon, the genus Campylomormyrus, exhibits a wide diversity of electric organ discharge (EOD) waveforms. A comparison of EOD waveform types and phylogenetic relationships showed major differences in EOD between closely related species. This indicates that the EOD might function as a reproductive isolation mechanism. In conclusion, we provide a plausible scenario of an adaptive radiation triggered by sexual selection and assortative mating based on EOD characteristics, but caused by a divergent selection on the feeding apparatus. These findings point towards an adaptive radiation of at least some Campylomormyrus species occurring in the Lower Congo River.

  13. Nuclear markers reveal that inter-lake cichlids' similar morphologies do not reflect similar genealogy.

    PubMed

    Kassam, Daud; Seki, Shingo; Horic, Michio; Yamaoka, Kosaku

    2006-08-01

    The apparent inter-lake morphological similarity among East African Great Lakes' cichlid species/genera has left evolutionary biologists asking whether such similarity is due to sharing of common ancestor or mere convergent evolution. In order to answer such question, we first used Geometric Morphometrics, GM, to quantify morphological similarity and then subsequently used Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism, AFLP, to determine if similar morphologies imply shared ancestry or convergent evolution. GM revealed that not all presumed morphological similar pairs were indeed similar, and the dendrogram generated from AFLP data indicated distinct clusters corresponding to each lake and not inter-lake morphological similar pairs. Such results imply that the morphological similarity is due to convergent evolution and not shared ancestry. The congruency of GM and AFLP generated dendrograms imply that GM is capable of picking up phylogenetic signal, and thus GM can be potential tool in phylogenetic systematics.

  14. Non-random brood mixing suggests adoption in a colonial cichlid.

    PubMed

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

    2013-03-01

    Parental care of unrelated offspring is widespread but not well understood. We used 11 polymorphic microsatellite loci to investigate the relatedness of fry and parentally caring adults in a 118-nest colony of the socially and genetically monogamous cichlid fish Neolamprologus caudopunctatus in Lake Tanganyika. There was a high proportion of brood mixing, with 59% of 32 broods containing fry unrelated to both parents, and 18% of all 291 sampled fry being unrelated to the breeding pair. There was no evidence of kin selection for adoption because the genetic and foster parents were not more related than expected by chance. Parentage was assigned to 12 adopted fry from 10 broods. Distances traversed by fry varied markedly, from less than one to over 40 meters. The larger distances suggest that at least some brood mixing was instigated by parents transporting portions of their broods in their mouths, as occurs in some cichlids. Further evidence of non-random brood mixing was that foreign fry did not differ in size from their foster siblings within broods, even though they were significantly larger than fry produced by the tending pairs within the colony. These findings suggest that at least some foreign fry had dispersed non-randomly and were adopted by their foster parents. Enlarged broods are known to provide reduced per capita predation, making it potentially adaptive for breeders to adopt unrelated offspring.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

  16. Inheritance patterns of lateral dimorphism examined through breeding experiments in Tanganyikan cichlid (Julidochromis transcriptus) and Japanese Medaka (Oryzias latipes).

    PubMed

    Hata, Hiroki; Takahashi, Rieko; Ashiwa, Hiroshi; Awata, Satoshi; Takeyama, Tomohiro; Kohda, Masanori; Hori, Michio

    2012-01-01

    The asymmetry of mouth morphology, in which the mouth opens either leftward or rightward, is a unique example of antisymmetry that is widely found in fishes, such as Tanganyikan scale-eating cichlids, herbivorous cichlids, and the Japanese freshwater goby. This dimorphism is thought to be heritable in a Mendelian manner similar to that of the dominance of the lefty allele over righty, with homozygotes of lefty alleles being absent. This study aims to reveal whether this trait is inherited in the same Mendelian manner in fishes other than those examined to date, and whether the absence of the dominant homozygote is due to a lethal effect. We conducted F(1) and F(2) breeding experiments using the Tanganyikan cichlid Julidochromis transcriptus and Japanese medaka Oryzias latipes. For both J. transcriptus and O. latipes, the F(1) generations produced by incrossing lefty parents showed a lefty:righty ratio of 2:1, whereas incrosses of righties produced only righty offspring. Test crosses between lefty and righty produced a 1:1 ratio of lefty and righty offspring. These results are consistent with the inheritance model in which righty is homozygous for a recessive righty allele and lefty is heterozygous for dominant lefty and recessive righty alleles, in agreement with previous observations. The F(2) test cross also confirmed this pattern. Furthermore, no lethal effects on hatchability of O. latipes were detected, refuting the suggestion that the dominant homozygote is embryonic lethal. We conclude that mouth laterality is inherited in the same Mendelian manner in these two species, similar to that other fish species studied previously. However, the reason for absence of the dominant homozygote remains unclear.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  18. Genome-wide RAD sequence data provide unprecedented resolution of species boundaries and relationships in the Lake Victoria cichlid adaptive radiation.

    PubMed

    Wagner, Catherine E; Keller, Irene; Wittwer, Samuel; Selz, Oliver M; Mwaiko, Salome; Greuter, Lucie; Sivasundar, Arjun; Seehausen, Ole

    2013-02-01

    Although population genomic studies using next generation sequencing (NGS) data are becoming increasingly common, studies focusing on phylogenetic inference using these data are in their infancy. Here, we use NGS data generated from reduced representation genomic libraries of restriction-site-associated DNA (RAD) markers to infer phylogenetic relationships among 16 species of cichlid fishes from a single rocky island community within Lake Victoria's cichlid adaptive radiation. Previous attempts at sequence-based phylogenetic analyses in Victoria cichlids have shown extensive sharing of genetic variation among species and no resolution of species or higher-level relationships. These patterns have generally been attributed to the very recent origin (<15,000 years) of the radiation, and ongoing hybridization between species. We show that as we increase the amount of sequence data used in phylogenetic analyses, we produce phylogenetic trees with unprecedented resolution for this group. In trees derived from our largest data supermatrices (3 to >5.8 million base pairs in width), species are reciprocally monophyletic with high bootstrap support, and the majority of internal branches on the tree have high support. Given the difficulty of the phylogenetic problem that the Lake Victoria cichlid adaptive radiation represents, these results are striking. The strict interpretation of the topologies we present here warrants caution because many questions remain about phylogenetic inference with very large genomic data set and because we can with the current analysis not distinguish between effects of shared ancestry and post-speciation gene flow. However, these results provide the first conclusive evidence for the monophyly of species in the Lake Victoria cichlid radiation and demonstrate the power that NGS data sets hold to resolve even the most difficult of phylogenetic challenges.

  19. Repeated intraspecific divergence in life span and aging of African annual fishes along an aridity gradient.

    PubMed

    Blažek, Radim; Polačik, Matej; Kačer, Petr; Cellerino, Alessandro; Řežucha, Radomil; Methling, Caroline; Tomášek, Oldřich; Syslová, Kamila; Terzibasi Tozzini, Eva; Albrecht, Tomáš; Vrtílek, Milan; Reichard, Martin

    2017-02-01

    Life span and aging are substantially modified by natural selection. Across species, higher extrinsic (environmentally related) mortality (and hence shorter life expectancy) selects for the evolution of more rapid aging. However, among populations within species, high extrinsic mortality can lead to extended life span and slower aging as a consequence of condition-dependent survival. Using within-species contrasts of eight natural populations of Nothobranchius fishes in common garden experiments, we demonstrate that populations originating from dry regions (with short life expectancy) had shorter intrinsic life spans and a greater increase in mortality with age, more pronounced cellular and physiological deterioration (oxidative damage, tumor load), and a faster decline in fertility than populations from wetter regions. This parallel intraspecific divergence in life span and aging was not associated with divergence in early life history (rapid growth, maturation) or pace-of-life syndrome (high metabolic rates, active behavior). Variability across four study species suggests that a combination of different aging and life-history traits conformed with or contradicted the predictions for each species. These findings demonstrate that variation in life span and functional decline among natural populations are linked, genetically underpinned, and can evolve relatively rapidly.

  20. The African lungfish (Protopterus dolloi): ionoregulation and osmoregulation in a fish out of water.

    PubMed

    Wilkie, Michael P; Morgan, Tammie P; Galvez, Fernando; Smith, Richard W; Kajimura, Makiko; Ip, Yuen K; Wood, Chris M

    2007-01-01

    Although urea production and metabolism in lungfish have been thoroughly studied, we have little knowledge of how internal osmotic and electrolyte balance are controlled during estivation or in water. We tested the hypothesis that, compared with the body surface of teleosts, the slender African lungfish (Protopterus dolloi) body surface was relatively impermeable to water, Na(+), and Cl(-) due to its greatly reduced gills. Accordingly, we measured the tritiated water ((3)H-H(2)O) flux in P. dolloi in water and during air exposure. In water, (3)H-H(2)O efflux was comparable with the lowest measurements reported in freshwater teleosts, with a rate constant (K) of 17.6% body water h(-1). Unidirectional ion fluxes, measured using (22)Na(+) and (36)Cl(-), indicated that Na(+) and Cl(-) influx was more than 90% lower than values reported in most freshwater teleosts. During air exposure, a cocoon formed within 1 wk that completely covered the dorsolateral body surface. However, there were no disturbances to blood osmotic or ion (Na(+), Cl(-)) balance, despite seven- to eightfold increases in plasma urea after 20 wk. Up to 13-fold increases in muscle urea (on a dry-weight basis) were the likely explanation for the 56% increase in muscle water content observed after 20 wk of air exposure. The possibility that muscle acted as a "water reservoir" during air exposure was supported by the 20% decline in body mass observed during subsequent reimmersion in water. This decline in body mass was equivalent to 28 mL water in a 100-g animal and was very close to the calculated net water gain (approximately 32 mL) observed during the 20-wk period of air exposure. Tritiated water and unidirectional ion fluxes on air-exposed lungfish revealed that the majority of water and ion exchange was via the ventral body surface at rates that were initially similar to aquatic rates. The (3)H-H(2)O flux declined over time but increased upon reimmersion. We conclude that the slender lungfish body

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  2. Proteomics profiling of epidermal mucus secretion of a cichlid (Symphysodon aequifasciata) demonstrating parental care behavior.

    PubMed

    Chong, Kenny; Joshi, Shashikant; Jin, Lam Toong; Shu-Chien, Alexander Chong

    2006-04-01

    The discus fish (Symphysodon aequifasciata) is a cichlid demonstrating advanced mode of parental care towards fry. Both male and female fish utilized epidermal mucus secreted from specialized epidermal cells to feed developing fry. We utilized proteomics to compare protein profile from parental and nonparental fish. Gel analysis revealed a total of 35 spots that were up-regulated in parental mucus. In tandem, another 18 spots were uniquely expressed in parental mucus. MS analysis of these spots identified proteins such as fructose biphosphate aldolase, nucleoside diphosphate kinase, and heat shock proteins, which are essential to support energy provision, cell repair and proliferation, stress mediation, and defense mechanism in parental fish during parental-care period. Concurrently, the detection of several antioxidant-related proteins such as thioredoxin peroxidase and hemopexin suggests a need to overcome oxidative stress during hypermucosal production in parental-care behavior. A C-type lectin was also found to be uniquely expressed in parental mucus and could have important role in providing antimicrobial defense to both parental fish and fry. In summary, our study shows that discus mucus proteome undergoes changes in protein expression during parental-care period.

  3. Can convict Cichlids (Amatitlania siquia) socially learn the degree of predation risk associated with novel visual cues in their environment?

    PubMed

    Barks, Patrick M; Godin, Jean-Guy J

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Grone, Brian P.; Maruska, Karen P.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-01

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

  7. Sexually dimorphic levels of color trait integration and the resolution of sexual conflict in Lake Malawi cichlids.

    PubMed

    Brzozowski, Frances; Roscoe, Jennifer; Parsons, Kevin; Albertson, Craig

    2012-06-01

    East African cichlids are renowned for their propensity to radiate, and variation in color patterns accounts for much of endemic cichlid diversity. Sexual dimorphism in color among cichlid species likely represents the outcome of different selective regimes acting on each sex, and is a classic example of sexual conflict. It is generally assumed that this conflict has been mitigated through the evolution of sex-linked color polymorphisms. Here, we propose that the evolution of sex-specific differences in levels of color trait integration may represent an additional mechanism through which sexual conflict has been resolved in this group. Specifically, we predict: (1) that general patterns of integration are influenced by early developmental events and thus conserved across sexes and (2) that male color is less integrated than females, and thus more evolvable in terms of producing an elaborate palette (i.e., in response to sexual selection), whereas female color is more integrated, facilitating wholesale shifts in color for background matching (i.e., in response to natural selection for crypsis). We tested these hypotheses using an F(2) design to compare the segregation of male and female color patterns. Both exploratory methods and hypothesis-driven analyses of integration demonstrate that the covariance structure of color traits in males and females is distinct, and that males are significantly less integrated than females. We suggest that the ability of species to promote different levels, and to a lesser extent patterns, of phenotypic integration between males and females may have contributed to the evolutionary success of this group.

  8. Separated by sand, fused by dropping water: habitat barriers and fluctuating water levels steer the evolution of rock-dwelling cichlid populations in Lake Tanganyika.

    PubMed

    Koblmüller, Stephan; Salzburger, Walter; Obermüller, Beate; Eigner, Eva; Sturmbauer, Christian; Sefc, Kristina M

    2011-06-01

    The conditions of phenotypic and genetic population differentiation allow inferences about the evolution, preservation and loss of biological diversity. In Lake Tanganyika, water level fluctuations are assumed to have had a major impact on the evolution of stenotopic littoral species, though this hypothesis has not been specifically examined so far. The present study investigates whether subtly differentiated colour patterns of adjacent Tropheus moorii populations are maintained in isolation or in the face of continuous gene flow, and whether the presumed influence of water level fluctuations on lacustrine cichlids can be demonstrated in the small-scale population structure of the strictly stenotopic, littoral Tropheus. Distinct population differentiation was found even across short geographic distances and minor habitat barriers. Population splitting chronology and demographic histories comply with our expectation of old and rather stable populations on steeper sloping shore, and more recently established populations in a shallower region. Moreover, population expansions seem to coincide with lake level rises in the wake of Late Pleistocene megadroughts ~100 KYA. The imprint of hydrologic events on current population structure in the absence of ongoing gene flow suggests that phenotypic differentiation among proximate Tropheus populations evolves and persists in genetic isolation. Sporadic gene flow is effected by lake level fluctuations following climate changes and controlled by the persistence of habitat barriers during lake level changes. Since similar demographic patterns were previously reported for Lake Malawi cichlids, our data furthermore strengthen the hypothesis that major climatic events synchronized facets of cichlid evolution across the East African Great Lakes.

  9. Effects of partial or total fish meal replacement by agricultural by-product diets on gonad maturation, sex steroids and vitellogenin dynamics of African catfish (Clarias gariepinus).

    PubMed

    Nyina-wamwiza, L; Defreyne, P S; Ngendahayo, L; Milla, S; Mandiki, S N M; Kestemont, P

    2012-10-01

    The establishment of the first sexual maturation was characterized in African catfish (Clarias gariepinus) in order to study the efficiency of replacement of fish meal (FM) by diets composed of local vegetable ingredients. Four diets were formulated containing decreasing levels of FM (50-0% for diet 1 to diet 4) and increasing proportions of vegetable ingredients (50-100%). Gonadosomatic index (GSI), diameter and percentages of developmental stages of oocytes, plasma sex steroids and vitellogenin dynamics were investigated from February to June using one-year-old fish. Fish were individually tagged, and 12 individuals from each diet were investigated monthly. Replacement of FM with plant ingredients did not affect the GSI neither in males, nor in females. All males were spermiating, and no abnormal gonads were found. In females, GSI and percentages of advanced stages of oocytes decreased during the dry season, indicating seasonal changes in gonad development. Moreover, oocytes were in late exogenous vitellogenesis, but no final maturation stages were observed, whatever the diet. Higher plasma levels of E2 in females and of androgens (T and 11-KT) in both sexes were observed in fish fed diet 4 than in those receiving diet 1 depending on the season. Levels of plasma E2 and ALP (indicator for vitellogenin) in males did not differ among treatments and seasons suggesting no phytoestrogenic activity. The results showed that total replacement of FM by vegetable diets composed of groundnut oilcakes, bean and sunflower meals has no deleterious effect on the onset of sexual maturation in African catfish but, may stimulate the sex steroid production and in turns may potentially exert some positive actions on reproductive success.

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

    PubMed Central

    Darrin Hulsey, C

    2005-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  14. Hormonal and fitness consequences of behavioral assortative mating in the convict cichlid (Amatitlania siquia).

    PubMed

    Schweitzer, Cécile; Melot, Geoffrey; Laubu, Chloé; Teixeira, Maria; Motreuil, Sébastien; Dechaume-Moncharmont, François-Xavier

    2017-01-01

    In monogamous species, partner compatibility is a key factor influencing pairing and reproductive success. In pairs with biparental care, studies have mostly focused on behavioral compatibility because it is likely to encourage the coordination of parental care within pairs, leading to a better reproductive success. Behavior modulation, throughout the breeding season and as a function of the social context, is under the regulatory feedback control of endocrine mechanisms. From this link, the idea of hormonal partner compatibility as a key component of pair cohesion and maintenance has recently emerged. Here, we investigated the link between partner behavioral assortment and their hormonal response to the pairing context. We formed assortative and disassortative pairs of convict cichlids based on their behavioral type (proactive or reactive) and took hormone and fitness measurements. Testosterone, 11-ketotestosterone, 17β-estradiol and cortisol levels were measured from fish-holding water before and after pair formation. We found no relationship between the behavioral type of individuals and their pre-pairing hormone levels. Only the level of cortisol was affected by the partner but independently of its behavioral type. Reproductive success was not affected by the level of hormonal similarity within pairs, but we found that the variation in 11-ketotestosterone similarity between the isolated context and the pairing context was related to spawning size, and the variation in cortisol similarity to the number of fry. Behavioral compatibility does not reflect hormonal compatibility in the convict cichlid, but the relationship between reproductive success and the flexibility of hormonal similarity between partners suggests hormonal adjustment within pairs in this species.

  15. quaddRAD: a new high-multiplexing and PCR duplicate removal ddRAD protocol produces novel evolutionary insights in a nonradiating cichlid lineage.

    PubMed

    Franchini, Paolo; Monné Parera, Daniel; Kautt, Andreas F; Meyer, Axel

    2017-03-01

    The identification of thousands of variants across the genomes and their accurate genotyping are crucial for estimating the genetic parameters needed to address a host of molecular ecological and evolutionary questions. With rapid advances of massively parallel high-throughput sequencing technologies, several methods have recently been developed to access genomewide data on population variation. One of the most successful and widely used techniques relies on the combination of restriction enzymes and sequencing-by-synthesis: restriction-site-associated DNA sequencing (RADSeq). We developed a new, more time- and cost-efficient double-digest RAD paired-end protocol (quaddRAD) that simplifies and speeds up the identification of PCR duplicates and permits large-scale multiplexing. Assessing its performance on a technical data set, we also applied the quaddRAD method on population samples of a Neotropical cichlid fish lineage (Archocentrus centrarchus) to assess its genetic structure and demographic history. While we identified allopatric interlake genetic divergence, most likely driven by drift, no signature of sympatric divergence was detected. This differs from what has been observed in the clade of Midas cichlids (Amphilophus citrinellus spp.), another cichlid lineage that inhabits the same lakes and shares a similar demographic history, but has evolved into small-scale adaptive radiations via sympatric speciation. We demonstrate that quaddRAD is a robust and efficient method for genotyping a massive number and widely overlapping set of loci with high accuracy. Furthermore, the results on A. centrarchus open new research avenues providing an ideal system to investigate genome-level mechanisms that could alter the speciation potential of different but closely related cichlid lineages.

  16. A nonsynonymous mutation in the transcriptional regulator lbh is associated with cichlid craniofacial adaptation and neural crest cell development.

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  18. Computer animation as a tool to study preferences in the cichlid Pelvicachromis taeniatus.

    PubMed

    Baldauf, S A; Kullmann, H; Thünken, T; Winter, S; Bakker, T C M

    2009-08-01

    Four choice experiments were conducted with both sexes of the cichlid Pelvicachromis taeniatus using computer-manipulated stimuli of digital images differing in movement, body shape or colouration. The results show that computer animations can be useful and flexible tools in studying preferences of a cichlid with complex and variable preferences for different visual cues.

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

    PubMed

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

    2000-05-22

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

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

  1. Symmetry perception in bamboo sharks (Chiloscyllium griseum) and Malawi cichlids (Pseudotropheus sp.).

    PubMed

    Schluessel, V; Beil, O; Weber, T; Bleckmann, H

    2014-09-01

    Several species have been shown to perceive symmetry as a measure of superior genetic quality, useful for assessing potential mates or mediating other visual activities such as the selection of food sources. The current study assessed whether Pseudotropheus sp. and Chiloscyllium griseum, two fish species from distantly related groups, possess symmetry perception. In alternative two choice experiments, individuals were tested for spontaneous preferences and trained to discriminate between abstract symmetrical and asymmetrical stimulus pairs. Pair discriminations were followed by extensive categorization experiments. Transfer tests elucidated whether bilaterally symmetrical and rotationally symmetrical stimuli could be distinguished. Sharks were also tested for the degree of dissimilarity between two symbols that could still be detected. While sharks showed both a spontaneous preference for symmetry as well as remarkable discrimination abilities by succeeding in all of the presented tasks, cichlids showed no spontaneous preference, had difficulties in discriminating between symbols and performed poorly in the categorization experiments. Sharks distinguished between bilaterally and rotationally symmetrical stimuli and easily differentiated between a four-armed cross (all arms 90° apart) and a cross where one of the arms was only 45° spaced from the one next to it. Performance did not decline when the separation was extended to 70°, but was significantly reduced at an 80° separation. Results indicate that the ability for symmetry perception varies across fish species and individuals, whereby some can detect even subtle differences in this respect.

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

    PubMed

    Jungwirth, Arne; Taborsky, Michael

    2015-11-22

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

  5. The functional importance of Acropora austera as nursery areas for juvenile reef fish on South African coral reefs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Floros, C.; Schleyer, M. H.

    2017-03-01

    Many coral reef fish species use mangrove and seagrass beds as nursery areas. However, in certain regions, the absence or scarcity of such habitats suggests that juvenile coral reef fish may be seeking refuge elsewhere. The underlying biogenic substratum of most coral reefs is structurally complex and provides many types of refuge. However, on young or subtropical coral reefs, species may be more reliant on the living coral layer as nursery areas. Such is the case on the high-latitude coral reefs of South Africa where the coral communities consist of a thin veneer of coral overlaying late Pleistocene bedrock. Thus, the morphology of coral species may be a major determinant in the availability of refuge space. Acropora austera is a branching species that forms large patches with high structural complexity. Associated with these patches is a diverse community of fish species, particularly juveniles. Over the past decade, several large (>100 m2) A. austera patches at Sodwana Bay have been diminishing for unknown reasons and there is little evidence of their replacement or regrowth. Seven patches of A. austera (AP) and non- A. austera (NAP) were selected and monitored for 12 months using visual surveys to investigate the importance of AP as refugia and nursery areas. There were significant differences in fish communities between AP and NAP habitats. In total, 110 species were recorded within the patches compared to 101 species outside the patches. Labrids and pomacentrids were the dominant species in the AP habitats, while juvenile scarids, acanthurids, chaetodons and serranids were also abundant. The diversity and abundance of fish species increased significantly with AP size. As the most structurally complex coral species on the reefs, the loss of APs may have significant implications for the recruitment and survival of certain fish species.

  6. The endocrine regulation of cichlids social and reproductive behavior through the eyes of the chanchita, Cichlasoma dimerus (Percomorpha; Cichlidae).

    PubMed

    Ramallo, Martín Roberto; Morandini, Leonel; Alonso, Felipe; Birba, Agustina; Tubert, Cecilia; Fiszbein, Ana; Pandolfi, Matías

    2014-01-01

    Sociobiology, the study of social behavior, calls for a laboratory model with specific requirements. Among the most obvious is the execution of social interactions that need to be readily observable, quantifiable and analyzable. If, in turn, one focuses on the neuroendocrinological basis of social behavior, restrictions grow even tighter. A good laboratory model should then allow easy access to its neurological and endocrine components and processes. During the last years, we have been studying the physiological foundation of social behavior on what we believe fits all the aforementioned requirements: the so called "chanchita", Cichlasoma dimerus. This Neotropical cichlid fish exhibits biparental care of the eggs and larvae and presents a hierarchical social system, established and sustained through agonistic interactions. The aim of the current article is to review new evidence on chanchita's social and reproductive behavior.

  7. Towards understanding the genetic basis of mouth asymmetry in the scale-eating cichlid Perissodus microlepis.

    PubMed

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

    2017-01-01

    How polymorphisms consisting in left-right asymmetries are produced and maintained in natural populations is a tantalizing question, which remains largely unanswered. The scale-eating cichlid fish Perissodus microlepis is a remarkable example of extreme ecological specialization achieved by morphological and behavioural laterality. Its asymmetric mouth is accompanied by a pronounced lateralized foraging behaviour, where a left-bending morph preferentially feeds on the scales of the right side of its prey, while the opposite is true for the right morph. This striking asymmetry made this fish a textbook example of the astounding degree of ecological specialization and negative frequency-dependent selection. Yet, the genetic basis underlying this spectacular laterality remains unknown. We addressed this question through analyses of wild-caught fish using high-throughput DNA sequencing data. A novel array of SNP markers was developed by ddRAD sequencing (ddRADseq) and the use of pooled DNA samples (PoolSeq). We obtained more than 155 000 SNPs using ddRADseq and 3 900 000 SNPs with PoolSeq. Among these, we identified one (ddRAD) SNP, and 38 or 378 (PoolSeq) windows that are differentiated between the left and right morphs accounting for spurious associations due to geographic structuring. This allowed us to uncover candidate genomic regions that potentially contain genes for this trait. Then, this interesting trait has a genetic basis that is likely to be influenced by multiple loci. This result contributes to a greater understanding of the genetic bases of left-right asymmetry and, ultimately, the evolutionary processes governing the maintenance of this striking case of laterality.

  8. Breeding experience and parental behaviour in convict cichlids (Cichlasoma nigrofasciatum ).

    PubMed

    Colgan, P W; Salmon, A B

    1986-06-01

    Changes in the levels of activities by parental female and male convict cichlids were studied over three successive reproductive episodes and within each episode. No evidence was found for behavioural maturation independent of experience. With successive episodes, young survived for longer times, nests were cleaner, males ate less and females more, and males became more aggressive while females focused more on the nest. Within an episode there were also marked variations in activities by each sex. Reproductive behaviour is therefore open in a number of respects both within and across episodes to environmental inputs.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  11. The genetics of mate preferences in hybrids between two young and sympatric Lake Victoria cichlid species.

    PubMed

    Svensson, Ola; Woodhouse, Katie; van Oosterhout, Cock; Smith, Alan; Turner, George F; Seehausen, Ole

    2017-02-22

    The genetic architecture of mate preferences is likely to affect significant evolutionary processes, including speciation and hybridization. Here, we investigate laboratory hybrids between a pair of sympatric Lake Victoria cichlid fish species that appear to have recently evolved from a hybrid population between similar predecessor species. The species demonstrate strong assortative mating in the laboratory, associated with divergent male breeding coloration (red dorsum versus blue). We show in a common garden experiment, using DNA-based paternity testing, that the strong female mate preferences among males of the two species are fully recovered in a large fraction of their F2 hybrid generation. Individual hybrid females often demonstrated consistent preferences in multiple mate choice trials (more than or equal to five) across a year or more. This result suggests that female mate preference is influenced by relatively few major genes or genomic regions. These preferences were not changed by experience of a successful spawning event with a male of the non-preferred species in a no-choice single-male trial. We found no evidence for imprinting in the F2 hybrids, although the F1 hybrid females may have been imprinted on their mothers. We discuss this nearly Mendelian inheritance of consistent innate mate preferences in the context of speciation theory.

  12. Living on the wedge: female control of paternity in a cooperatively polyandrous cichlid.

    PubMed

    Kohda, Masanori; Heg, Dik; Makino, Yoshimi; Takeyama, Tomohiro; Shibata, Jun-ya; Watanabe, Katsutoshi; Munehara, Hiroyuki; Hori, Michio; Awata, Satoshi

    2009-12-07

    Theories suggest that, in cooperatively breeding species, female control over paternity and reproductive output may affect male reproductive skew and group stability. Female paternity control may come about through cryptic female choice or female reproductive behaviour, but experimental studies are scarce. Here, we show a new form of female paternity control in a cooperatively polyandrous cichlid fish (Julidochromis transcriptus), in which females prefer wedge-shaped nesting sites. Wedge-shaped sites allowed females to manipulate the siring success of the group member males by spawning the clutch at the spot where the large males were just able to enter and fertilize the outer part of the clutch. Small males fertilized the inner part of the clutch, protected from the large aggressive males, leading to low male reproductive skew. Small males provided more brood care than large males. Multiple paternity induced both males to provide brood care and reduced female brood care accordingly. This is, to our knowledge, the first documented case in a species with external fertilization showing female mating behaviour leading to multiple male paternity and increased male brood care as a result.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-07

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

  14. Living on the wedge: female control of paternity in a cooperatively polyandrous cichlid

    PubMed Central

    Kohda, Masanori; Heg, Dik; Makino, Yoshimi; Takeyama, Tomohiro; Shibata, Jun-ya; Watanabe, Katsutoshi; Munehara, Hiroyuki; Hori, Michio; Awata, Satoshi

    2009-01-01

    Theories suggest that, in cooperatively breeding species, female control over paternity and reproductive output may affect male reproductive skew and group stability. Female paternity control may come about through cryptic female choice or female reproductive behaviour, but experimental studies are scarce. Here, we show a new form of female paternity control in a cooperatively polyandrous cichlid fish (Julidochromis transcriptus), in which females prefer wedge-shaped nesting sites. Wedge-shaped sites allowed females to manipulate the siring success of the group member males by spawning the clutch at the spot where the large males were just able to enter and fertilize the outer part of the clutch. Small males fertilized the inner part of the clutch, protected from the large aggressive males, leading to low male reproductive skew. Small males provided more brood care than large males. Multiple paternity induced both males to provide brood care and reduced female brood care accordingly. This is, to our knowledge, the first documented case in a species with external fertilization showing female mating behaviour leading to multiple male paternity and increased male brood care as a result. PMID:19726479

  15. Reproductive-tactic-specific variation in sperm swimming speeds in a shell-brooding cichlid.

    PubMed

    Fitzpatrick, J L; Desjardins, J K; Milligan, N; Montgomerie, R; Balshine, S

    2007-08-01

    Theory predicts that males experiencing elevated levels of sperm competition will invest more in gonads and produce faster-swimming sperm. Although there is ample evidence in support of the first prediction, few studies have examined sperm swimming speed in relation to sperm competition. In this study, we tested these predictions from sperm competition theory by examining sperm characteristics in Telmatochromis vittatus, a small shell-brooding cichlid fish endemic to Lake Tanganyika. Males exhibit four different reproductive tactics: pirate, territorial, satellite, and sneaker. Pirate males temporarily displace all other competing males from a shell nest, whereas sneaker males always release sperm in the presence of territorial and satellite males. Due to the fact that sneakers spawn in the presence of another male, sneakers face the highest levels of sperm competition and pirates the lowest, whereas satellites and territorials experience intermediate levels. In accordance with predictions, sperm from sneakers swam faster than sperm from males adopting the other reproductive tactics, whereas sperm from pirates was slowest. Interestingly, we were unable to detect any variation in sperm tail length among these reproductive tactics. Thus, sperm competition appears to have influenced sperm energetics in this species without having any influence on sperm size.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Behavioural variation among conspecifics is typically contingent on individual state or environmental conditions. Sex-specific genetic polymorphisms are enigmatic because they lack conditionality, and genes causing adaptive trait variation in one sex may reduce Darwinian fitness in the other. One way to avoid such genetic antagonism is to control sex-specific traits by inheritance via sex chromosomes. Here, controlled laboratory crossings suggest that in snail-brooding cichlid fish a single locus, two-allele polymorphism located on a sex-linked chromosome of heterogametic males generates an extreme reproductive dimorphism. Both natural and sexual selection are responsible for exceptionally large body size of bourgeois males, creating a niche for a miniature male phenotype to evolve. This extreme intrasexual dimorphism results from selection on opposite size thresholds caused by a single ecological factor, empty snail shells used as breeding substrate. Paternity analyses reveal that in the field parasitic dwarf males sire the majority of offspring in direct sperm competition with large nest owners exceeding their size more than 40 times. Apparently, use of empty snail shells as breeding substrate and single locus sex-linked inheritance of growth are the major ecological and genetic mechanisms responsible for the extreme intrasexual diversity observed in Lamprologus callipterus. PMID:25232141

  17. The eyes have it: regulatory and structural changes both underlie cichlid visual pigment diversity.

    PubMed

    Hofmann, Christopher M; O'Quin, Kelly E; Marshall, N Justin; Cronin, Thomas W; Seehausen, Ole; Carleton, Karen L

    2009-12-01

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

  18. Evolutionary associations between host traits and parasite load: insights from Lake Tanganyika cichlids.

    PubMed

    Hayward, A; Tsuboi, M; Owusu, C; Kotrschal, A; Buechel, S D; Zidar, J; Cornwallis, C K; Løvlie, H; Kolm, N

    2017-02-10

    Parasite diversity and abundance (parasite load) vary greatly among host species. However, the influence of host traits on variation in parasitism remains poorly understood. Comparative studies of parasite load have largely examined measures of parasite species richness and are predominantly based on records obtained from published data. Consequently, little is known about the relationships between host traits and other aspects of parasite load, such as parasite abundance, prevalence and aggregation. Meanwhile, understanding of parasite species richness may be clouded by limitations associated with data collation from multiple independent sources. We conducted a field study of Lake Tanganyika cichlid fishes and their helminth parasites. Using a Bayesian phylogenetic comparative framework, we tested evolutionary associations between five key host traits (body size, gut length, diet breadth, habitat complexity and number of sympatric hosts) predicted to influence parasitism, together with multiple measures of parasite load. We find that the number of host species that a particular host may encounter due to its habitat preferences emerges as a factor of general importance for parasite diversity, abundance and prevalence, but not parasite aggregation. In contrast, body size and gut size are positively related to aspects of parasite load within, but not between species. The influence of host phylogeny varies considerably among measures of parasite load, with the greatest influence exerted on parasite diversity. These results reveal that both host morphology and biotic interactions are key determinants of host-parasite associations and that consideration of multiple aspects of parasite load is required to fully understand patterns in parasitism.

  19. Reduced host-specificity in a parasite infecting non-littoral Lake Tanganyika cichlids evidenced by intraspecific morphological and genetic diversity

    PubMed Central

    Kmentová, Nikol; Gelnar, Milan; Mendlová, Monika; Van Steenberge, Maarten; Koblmüller, Stephan; Vanhove, Maarten P. M.

    2016-01-01

    Lake Tanganyika is well-known for its high species-richness and rapid radiation processes. Its assemblage of cichlid fishes recently gained momentum as a framework to study parasite ecology and evolution. It offers a rare chance to investigate the influence of a deepwater lifestyle in a freshwater fish-parasite system. Our study represents the first investigation of parasite intraspecific genetic structure related to host specificity in the lake. It focused on the monogenean flatworm Cichlidogyrus casuarinus infecting deepwater cichlids belonging to Bathybates and Hemibates. Morphological examination of C. casuarinus had previously suggested a broad host range, while the lake’s other Cichlidogyrus species are usually host specific. However, ongoing speciation or cryptic diversity could not be excluded. To distinguish between these hypotheses, we analysed intraspecific diversity of C. casuarinus. Monogeneans from nearly all representatives of the host genera were examined using morphometrics, geomorphometrics and genetics. We confirmed the low host-specificity of C. casuarinus based on morphology and nuclear DNA. Yet, intraspecific variation of sclerotized structures was observed. Nevertheless, the highly variable mitochondrial DNA indicated recent population expansion, but no ongoing parasite speciation, confirming, for the first time in freshwater, reduced parasite host specificity in the deepwater realm, probably an adaptation to low host availability. PMID:28004766

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-11-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2010-01-01

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

  3. Predator Avoidance in Extremophile Fish

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  4. Differentiation of morphology, genetics and electric signals in a region of sympatry between sister species of African electric fish (Mormyridae).

    PubMed

    Lavoué, S; Sullivan, J P; Arnegard, M E; Hopkins, C D

    2008-07-01

    Mormyrid fishes produce and sense weak electric organ discharges (EODs) for object detection and communication, and they have been increasingly recognized as useful model organisms for studying signal evolution and speciation. EOD waveform variation can provide important clues to sympatric species boundaries between otherwise similar or morphologically cryptic forms. Endemic to the watersheds of Gabon (Central Africa), Ivindomyrus marchei and Ivindomyrus opdenboschi are morphologically similar to one another. Using morphometric, electrophysiological and molecular characters [cytochrome b sequences and amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) genotypes], we investigated to what extent these nominal mormyrid species have diverged into biological species. Our sampling covered the known distribution of each species with a focus on the Ivindo River, where the two taxa co-occur. An overall pattern of congruence among datasets suggests that I. opdenboschi and I. marchei are mostly distinct. Electric signal analysis showed that EODs of I. opdenboschi tend to have a smaller initial head-positive peak than those of I. marchei, and they often possess a small third waveform peak that is typically absent in EODs of I. marchei. Analysis of sympatric I. opdenboschi and I. marchei populations revealed slight, but significant, genetic partitioning between populations based on AFLP data (F(ST) approximately 0.04). Taken separately, however, none of the characters we evaluated allowed us to discriminate two completely distinct or monophyletic groups. Lack of robust separation on the basis of any single character set may be a consequence of incomplete lineage sorting due to recent ancestry and/or introgressive hybridization. Incongruence between genetic datasets in one individual, which exhibited a mitochondrial haplotype characteristic of I. marchei but nevertheless fell within a genetic cluster of I. opdenboschi based on AFLP genotypes, suggests that a low level of recent

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

  6. Helper Response to Experimentally Manipulated Predation Risk in the Cooperatively Breeding Cichlid Neolamprologus pulcher

    PubMed Central

    Heg, Dik; Taborsky, Michael

    2010-01-01

    Background We manipulated predation risk in a field experiment with the cooperatively breeding cichlid Neolamprologus pulcher by releasing no predator, a medium- or a large-sized fish predator inside underwater cages enclosing two to three natural groups. We assessed whether helpers changed their helping behaviour, and whether within-group conflict changed, depending on these treatments, testing three hypotheses: ‘pay-to-stay’ PS, ‘risk avoidance’ RA, or (future) reproductive benefits RB. We also assessed whether helper food intake was reduced under risk, because this might reduce investments in other behaviours to save energy. Methodology/Principal Findings Medium and large helpers fed less under predation risk. Despite this effect helpers invested more in territory defence, but not territory maintenance, under the risk of predation (supporting PS). Experimentally covering only the breeding shelter with sand induced more helper digging under predation risk compared to the control treatment (supporting PS). Aggression towards the introduced predator did not differ between the two predator treatments and increased with group member size and group size (supporting PS and RA). Large helpers increased their help ratio (helping effort/breeder aggression received, ‘punishment’ by the dominant pair in the group) in the predation treatments compared to the control treatment, suggesting they were more willing to PS. Medium helpers did not show such effects. Large helpers also showed a higher submission ratio (submission/ breeder aggression received) in all treatments, compared to the medium helpers (supporting PS). Conclusions/Significance We conclude that predation risk reduces helper food intake, but despite this effect, helpers were more willing to support the breeders, supporting PS. Effects of breeder punishment suggests that PS might be more important for large compared to the medium helpers. Evidence for RA was also detected. Finally, the results were

  7. Food composition and feeding habits of some fresh water fishes in various water systems at Abbassa, Egypt, with special reference to snails transmitting diseases.

    PubMed

    El Gamal, Abd El-Rahman A; Ismail, Nahed M M

    2005-08-01

    Study of feeding habits of freshwater fishes collected from ponds at World Fish Center (ICLARM) showed that the African catfish, Clarias gariepinus and Forskal catfish, Bagras bayad had the highest proportion of full stomachs (31-58% & 44-45% respectively). In cichlid fishes, the rate of full stomachs was much lower, being 0.0-12.5% and showed higher incidence of empty stomachs that varied from 37.5% for Oreochromis niloticus to 78.3% for Sarotherodon galilaeus. Food items were analyzed by the percentage of point assessment (P%), abundance (N%) and frequency of occurrence (F%). Results of the three methods of analyses (Index of relative importance, I.R.I) emphasized the importance of plants (1214.7) as a major food resource in the stomach of Nile tilapia, O. niloticus followed by shell fragments (628.5), whereas, snail soft bodies were the main food category in the diet of hybrid tilapia O. niloticus x O. aureus (2539.3). Shell fragments (652) and snail soft bodies (296.9) were the 1st in relative importance as foods of O. aurea. In case of S. galillae, shell fragments (338) came 2nd in I.R.I. after plants (559). Present investigation shows that shell fragments were represented by 11.1% and 15.1% in the diet of African catfish, C. gariepinus by (N%) and (P%) methods, however, they came as the second food item in its diet by I.R.I (1237.3). According to F% method, both shell fragments and Crustacea were present in the diet of C. gariepinus considerable proportions each of 47.4%. Shell fragments were represented by low proportions in the diet of B. bayad 3.9, 2.1 and 22.2 by N%, P% and F% respectively.

  8. Use of qualitative environmental and phenotypic variables in the context of allele distribution models: detecting signatures of selection in the genome of Lake Victoria cichlids.

    PubMed

    Joost, Stéphane; Kalbermatten, Michael; Bezault, Etienne; Seehausen, Ole

    2012-01-01

    When searching for loci possibly under selection in the genome, an alternative to population genetics theoretical models is to establish allele distribution models (ADM) for each locus to directly correlate allelic frequencies and environmental variables such as precipitation, temperature, or sun radiation. Such an approach implementing multiple logistic regression models in parallel was implemented within a computing program named MATSAM: . Recently, this application was improved in order to support qualitative environmental predictors as well as to permit the identification of associations between genomic variation and individual phenotypes, allowing the detection of loci involved in the genetic architecture of polymorphic characters. Here, we present the corresponding methodological developments and compare the results produced by software implementing population genetics theoretical models (DFDIST: and BAYESCAN: ) and ADM (MATSAM: ) in an empirical context to detect signatures of genomic divergence associated with speciation in Lake Victoria cichlid fishes.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Ota, Kazutaka; Hori, Michio; Kohda, Masanori

    2012-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ota, Kazutaka; Hori, Michio; Kohda, Masanori

    2012-01-01

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

  12. Environmental change explains cichlid adaptive radiation at Lake Malawi over the past 1.2 million years.

    PubMed

    Ivory, Sarah J; Blome, Margaret W; King, John W; McGlue, Michael M; Cole, Julia E; Cohen, Andrew S

    2016-10-18

    Long paleoecological records are critical for understanding evolutionary responses to environmental forcing and unparalleled tools for elucidating the mechanisms that lead to the development of regions of high biodiversity. We use a 1.2-My record from Lake Malawi, a textbook example of biological diversification, to document how climate and tectonics have driven ecosystem and evolutionary dynamics. Before ∼800 ka, Lake Malawi was much shallower than today, with higher frequency but much lower amplitude water-level and oxygenation changes. Since ∼800 ka, the lake has experienced much larger environmental fluctuations, best explained by a punctuated, tectonically driven rise in its outlet location and level. Following the reorganization of the basin, a change in the pacing of hydroclimate variability associated with the Mid-Pleistocene Transition resulted in hydrologic change dominated by precession rather than the high-latitude teleconnections recorded elsewhere. During this time, extended, deep lake phases have abruptly alternated with times of extreme aridity and ecosystem variability. Repeated crossings of hydroclimatic thresholds within the lake system were critical for establishing the rhythm of diversification, hybridization, and extinction that dominate the modern system. The chronology of these changes closely matches both the timing and pattern of phylogenetic history inferred independently for the lake's extraordinary array of cichlid fish species, suggesting a direct link between environmental and evolutionary dynamics.

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

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  16. Distinct Viral Lineages from Fish and Amphibians Reveal the Complex Evolutionary History of Hepadnaviruses

    PubMed Central

    Dill, Jennifer A.; Camus, Alvin C.; Leary, John H.; Di Giallonardo, Francesca; Holmes, Edward C.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Hepadnaviruses (hepatitis B viruses [HBVs]) are the only animal viruses that replicate their DNA by reverse transcription of an RNA intermediate. Until recently, the known host range of hepadnaviruses was limited to mammals and birds. We obtained and analyzed the first amphibian HBV genome, as well as several prototype fish HBVs, which allow the first comprehensive comparative genomic analysis of hepadnaviruses from four classes of vertebrates. Bluegill hepadnavirus (BGHBV) was characterized from in-house viral metagenomic sequencing. The African cichlid hepadnavirus (ACHBV) and the Tibetan frog hepadnavirus (TFHBV) were discovered using in silico analyses of the whole-genome shotgun and transcriptome shotgun assembly databases. Residues in the hydrophobic base of the capsid (core) proteins, designated motifs I, II, and III, are highly conserved, suggesting that structural constraints for proper capsid folding are key to capsid protein evolution. Surface proteins in all vertebrate HBVs contain similar predicted membrane topologies, characterized by three transmembrane domains. Most striking was the fact that BGHBV, ACHBV, and the previously described white sucker hepadnavirus did not form a fish-specific monophyletic group in the phylogenetic analysis of all three hepadnaviral genes. Notably, BGHBV was more closely related to the mammalian hepadnaviruses, indicating that cross-species transmission events have played a major role in viral evolution. Evidence of cross-species transmission was also observed with TFHBV. Hence, these data indicate that the evolutionary history of the hepadnaviruses is more complex than previously realized and combines both virus-host codivergence over millions of years and host species jumping. IMPORTANCE Hepadnaviruses are responsible for significant disease in humans (hepatitis B virus) and have been reported from a diverse range of vertebrates as both exogenous and endogenous viruses. We report the full-length genome of a

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Abdel-Baki, Abdel-Azeem Sh

    2009-08-01

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

  19. Novel evolutionary relationship among four fish model systems.

    PubMed

    Chen, Wei-Jen; Ortí, Guillermo; Meyer, Axel

    2004-09-01

    Knowledge of the correct phylogenetic relationships among animals is crucial for the valid interpretation of evolutionary trends in biology. Zebrafish, medaka, pufferfish and cichilds are fish models for development, genomics and comparative genetics studies, although their phylogenetic relationships have not been tested rigorously. The results of phylogenomic analysis based on 20 nuclear protein-coding genes confirmed the basal placement of zebrafish in the fish phylogeny but revealed an unexpected relationship among the other three species, contrary to traditionally held systematic views based on morphology. Our analyses show that medaka (Beloniformes) and cichlids (Perciformes) appear to be more closely related to each other than either of them is to pufferfish (Tetraodontiformes), suggesting that a re-interpretation of some findings in comparative biology might be required. In addition, phylogenomic analyses show that fish typically have more copies of nuclear genes than land vertebrates, supporting the fish-specific genome duplication hypothesis.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-26

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-06-22

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-22

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

  8. Management implications of the response of two tilapiine cichlids to long-term changes in lake level, allodiversity and exploitation in an equatorial lake.

    PubMed

    Oyugi, Dalmas Oyugi; Harper, David Matthew; Ntiba, Japheth Michemi; Kisia, Seth Marande; Britton, John Robert

    2011-07-01

    The tilapiine cichlids Oreochromis leucostictus and Tilapia zillii were introduced into Lake Naivasha, Kenya, in 1956. Previous studies on data collected to 1987 revealed they were persistent following establishment, despite environmental variability and exploitation. Recent data, however, suggest this persistence is under threat as data indicate some significant declines in aspects of their abundance since 1999. The influence of changes in lake level, allodiversity and fishing effort on this decline was tested and showed that a decline in lake level was a significant causal factor. The recent change in allodiversity, with the establishment and dominance of Cyprinus carpio in the fishery, was not significant on the catch per unit effort of O. leucostictus but was on T. zillii. Since 1999, catches of tilapiines in the fishery have been independent of fishing effort, contrary to between 1975 and 1987, suggesting their management through application of fishery models may no longer be applicable. As it was anthropogenic-mediated lake level changes that were mainly responsible for their decline, then lake management should focus on sustainable water utilization that maximizes lake levels in accordance with the basin-wide water balance.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-09-01

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

  11. Simultaneous delimitation of species and quantification of interspecific hybridization in Amazonian peacock cichlids (genus cichla) using multi-locus data

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Introgression likely plays a significant role in evolution, but understanding the extent and consequences of this process requires a clear identification of species boundaries in each focal group. The delimitation of species, however, is a contentious endeavor. This is true not only because of the inadequacy of current tools to identify species lineages, but also because of the inherent ambiguity between natural populations and species paradigms. The result has been a debate about the supremacy of various species concepts and criteria. Here, we utilized multiple separate sources of molecular data, mtDNA, nuclear sequences, and microsatellites, to delimit species under a polytypic species concept (PTSC) and estimate the frequency and genomic extent of introgression in a Neotropical genus of cichlid fishes (Cichla). We compared our inferences of species boundaries and introgression under this paradigm to those when species are identified under a diagnostic species concept (DSC). Results We find that, based on extensive molecular data and an inclusive species concept, 8 separate biological entities should be recognized rather than the 15 described species of Cichla. Under the PTSC, fewer individuals are expected to exhibit hybrid ancestry than under the DSC (~2% vs. ~12%), but a similar number of the species exhibit introgression from at least one other species (75% vs. 60%). Under either species concept, the phylogenetic breadth of introgression in this group is notable, with both sister species and species from different major mtDNA clades exhibiting introgression. Conclusions Introgression was observed to be a widespread phenomenon for delimited species in this group. While several instances of introgressive hybridization were observed in anthropogenically altered habitats, most were found in undisturbed natural habitats, suggesting that introgression is a natural but ephemeral part of the evolution of many tropical species. Nevertheless, even transient

  12. Range expansion of the Mayan cichlid, cichlasoma urophthalmus (pisces, cichlidae), above 28°N in Florida

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Paperno, R.; Ruiz-Carus, R.; Krebs, J.M.; McIvor, C.C.

    2008-01-01

    Introduced exotic species are a well-recognized problem in Florida's subtropical ecosystems. The presence of the exotic Mayan cichlid (Cichlasoma urophthalmus) was first confirmed in Florida in 1983, when numerous individuals were found in the northeastern Florida Bay. Since then, this species has continued to expand its range northward. The capture, beginning in October 2004 to present, of large numbers of Mayan cichlids from central Florida's east- and west-coast mangrove systems north of 28°N latitude is documented here. Mayan cichlids in a wide range of sizes (estimated ages 0-7 years) at both east- and west-coast sites were collected. In addition, macroscopic examination of gonads showed the presence of developing eggs. The occurrence of multiple age-classes, maturing individuals, cichlid nests, and juveniles, plus repeated collections over a four-year period, indicates that the Mayan cichlid is successfully reproducing and surviving the average winter temperatures in some estuarine waters in central Florida.

  13. [Citogenetic characterization of the tropical freshwater fish Parachromis managuensis (Pisces: Cichlidae)].

    PubMed

    Arias-Rodríguez, Lenin; Páramo-Delgadillo, Salomón; Durán-González, Alicia de la Luz

    2006-03-01

    To describe the cytogenetics of the jaguar cichlid fish Parachromis managuensis, we collected eight males and 13 females in Villahermosa, Tabasco, México. The specimens were processed with standard cytogenetic techniques (slightly modified), and high quality fields of chromosomes in mitosis and meiosis were obtained; 14 of these fields were analyzed by meristics and statistics methods. The specimens presented a diploid modal number of 2n = 48 chromosomes, which is similar to the number reported for others Central American cichlids; five pairs were submetacentric-metacentrics (biarmed) and 19 were subtelocentric-telocentric (uni-armed), giving a fundamental number (NF) of 58. The haploid number was confirmed by counting meiotic fields in metaphase I. There was not evidence of heteromorphism: sexual chromosomes were not identifiable.

  14. Sampling genetic diversity in the sympatrically and allopatrically speciating Midas cichlid species complex over a 16 year time series

    PubMed Central

    Bunje, Paul ME; Barluenga, Marta; Meyer, Axel

    2007-01-01

    Background Speciation often occurs in complex or uncertain temporal and spatial contexts. Processes such as reinforcement, allopatric divergence, and assortative mating can proceed at different rates and with different strengths as populations diverge. The Central American Midas cichlid fish species complex is an important case study for understanding the processes of speciation. Previous analyses have demonstrated that allopatric processes led to species formation among the lakes of Nicaragua as well as sympatric speciation that is occurring within at least one crater lake. However, since speciation is an ongoing process and sampling genetic diversity of such lineages can be biased by collection scheme or random factors, it is important to evaluate the robustness of conclusions drawn on individual time samples. Results In order to assess the validity and reliability of inferences based on different genetic samples, we have analyzed fish from several lakes in Nicaragua sampled at three different times over 16 years. In addition, this time series allows us to analyze the population genetic changes that have occurred between lakes, where allopatric speciation has operated, as well as between different species within lakes, some of which have originated by sympatric speciation. Focusing on commonly used genetic markers, we have analyzed both DNA sequences from the complete mitochondrial control region as well as nuclear DNA variation at ten microsatellite loci from these populations, sampled thrice in a 16 year time period, to develop a robust estimate of the population genetic history of these diversifying lineages. Conclusion The conclusions from previous work are well supported by our comprehensive analysis. In particular, we find that the genetic diversity of derived crater lake populations is lower than that of the source population regardless of when and how each population was sampled. Furthermore, changes in various estimates of genetic diversity within lakes

  15. Variation in Assemblages of Small Fishes and Microcrustaceans After Inundation of Rarely Flooded Wetlands of the Lower Okavango Delta, Botswana

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Siziba, Nqobizitha; Chimbari, Moses J.; Masundire, Hillary; Mosepele, Ketlhatlogile; Ramberg, Lars

    2013-12-01

    Water extraction from floodplain river systems may alter patterns of inundation of adjacent wetlands and lead to loss of aquatic biodiversity. Water reaching the Okavango Delta (Delta), Botswana, may decrease due to excessive water extraction and climate change. However, due to poor understanding of the link between inundation of wetlands and biological responses, it is difficult to assess the impacts of these future water developments on aquatic biota. Large floods from 2009 to 2011 inundated both rarely and frequently flooded wetlands in the Delta, creating an opportunity to examine the ecological significance of flooding of wetlands with widely differing hydrological characteristics. We studied the assemblages of small fishes and microcrustaceans, together with their trophic relationships, in temporary wetlands of the lower Delta. Densities of microcrustaceans in temporary wetlands were generally lower than previously recorded in these habitats. Microcrustacean density varied with wetland types and hydrological phase of inundation. High densities of microcrustaceans were recorded in the 2009 to 2010 flooding season after inundation of rarely flooded sites. Large numbers of small fishes were observed during this study. Community structure of small fishes differed significantly across the studied wetlands, with poeciliids predominant in frequently flooded wetlands and juvenile cichlids most abundant in rarely flooded wetlands (analysis of similarity, P < 0.05). Small fishes of <20 mm fed largely on microcrustaceans and may have led to low microcrustacean densities within the wetlands. This result matched our prediction that rarely flooded wetlands would be more productive; hence, they supported greater populations of microcrustaceans and cichlids, which are aggressive feeders. However, the predominance of microcrustaceans in the guts of small fishes (<20 mm) suggests that predation by fishes may also be an important regulatory mechanism of microcrustacean

  16. Variation in assemblages of small fishes and microcrustaceans after inundation of rarely flooded wetlands of the lower Okavango Delta, Botswana.

    PubMed

    Siziba, Nqobizitha; Chimbari, Moses J; Masundire, Hillary; Mosepele, Ketlhatlogile; Ramberg, Lars

    2013-12-01

    Water extraction from floodplain river systems may alter patterns of inundation of adjacent wetlands and lead to loss of aquatic biodiversity. Water reaching the Okavango Delta (Delta), Botswana, may decrease due to excessive water extraction and climate change. However, due to poor understanding of the link between inundation of wetlands and biological responses, it is difficult to assess the impacts of these future water developments on aquatic biota. Large floods from 2009 to 2011 inundated both rarely and frequently flooded wetlands in the Delta, creating an opportunity to examine the ecological significance of flooding of wetlands with widely differing hydrological characteristics. We studied the assemblages of small fishes and microcrustaceans, together with their trophic relationships, in temporary wetlands of the lower Delta. Densities of microcrustaceans in temporary wetlands were generally lower than previously recorded in these habitats. Microcrustacean density varied with wetland types and hydrological phase of inundation. High densities of microcrustaceans were recorded in the 2009 to 2010 flooding season after inundation of rarely flooded sites. Large numbers of small fishes were observed during this study. Community structure of small fishes differed significantly across the studied wetlands, with poeciliids predominant in frequently flooded wetlands and juvenile cichlids most abundant in rarely flooded wetlands (analysis of similarity, P < 0.05). Small fishes of <20 mm fed largely on microcrustaceans and may have led to low microcrustacean densities within the wetlands. This result matched our prediction that rarely flooded wetlands would be more productive; hence, they supported greater populations of microcrustaceans and cichlids, which are aggressive feeders. However, the predominance of microcrustaceans in the guts of small fishes (<20 mm) suggests that predation by fishes may also be an important regulatory mechanism of microcrustacean

  17. Changes in the acoustic environment alter the foraging and sheltering behaviour of the cichlid Amititlania nigrofasciata.

    PubMed

    McLaughlin, Kirsty Elizabeth; Kunc, Hansjoerg P

    2015-07-01

    Anthropogenic noise can affect behaviour across a wide range of species in both terrestrial and aquatic environments. However, behaviours might not be affected in isolation. Therefore, a more holistic approach investigating how environmental stressors, such as noise pollution, affect different behaviours in concert is necessary. Using tank-based noise exposure experiments, we tested how changes in the acoustic environment affect the behaviour of the cichlid Amatitlania nigrofasciata. We found that exposure to anthropogenic noise affected a couple of behaviours: an increase in sheltering was accompanied by a decrease in foraging. Our results highlight the multiple negative effects of an environmental stressor on an individual's behaviour.

  18. Comparative support for the expensive tissue hypothesis: Big brains are correlated with smaller gut and greater parental investment in Lake Tanganyika cichlids.

    PubMed

    Tsuboi, Masahito; Husby, Arild; Kotrschal, Alexander; Hayward, Alexander; Buechel, Séverine D; Zidar, Josefina; Løvlie, Hanne; Kolm, Niclas

    2015-01-01

    The brain is one of the most energetically expensive organs in the vertebrate body. Consequently, the energetic requirements of encephalization are suggested to impose considerable constraints on brain size evolution. Three main hypotheses concerning how energetic constraints might affect brain evolution predict covariation between brain investment and (1) investment into other costly tissues, (2) overall metabolic rate, and (3) reproductive investment. To date, these hypotheses have mainly been tested in homeothermic animals and the existing data are inconclusive. However, there are good reasons to believe that energetic limitations might play a role in large-scale patterns of brain size evolution also in ectothermic vertebrates. Here, we test these hypotheses in a group of ectothermic vertebrates, the Lake Tanganyika cichlid fishes. After controlling for the effect of shared ancestry and confounding ecological variables, we find a negative association between brain size and gut size. Furthermore, we find that the evolution of a larger brain is accompanied by increased reproductive investment into egg size and parental care. Our results indicate that the energetic costs of encephalization may be an important general factor involved in the evolution of brain size also in ectothermic vertebrates.

  19. Mayarhynchus karlae n. g., n. sp. (Acanthocephala: Neoechinorhynchidae), a parasite of cichlids (Perciformes: Cichlidae) in southeastern Mexico, with comments on the paraphyly of Neoechynorhynchus Stiles & Hassall, 1905.

    PubMed

    Pinacho-Pinacho, Carlos D; Hernández-Orts, Jesús S; Sereno-Uribe, Ana L; Pérez-Ponce de León, Gerardo; García-Varela, Martín

    2017-03-01

    Mayarhynchus n. g. (Acanthocephala: Neoechinorhynchidae) is erected for Mayarhynchus karlae n. g, n. sp. described from the intestine of four species of cichlid fishes distributed from southeastern Mexico. The new genus placed in the family Neoechinorhynchidae (Ward, 1917) Van Cleave, 1928, is readily distinguished from the other 17 genera in the family by having a small proboscis armed with 45-46 relatively weak rooted hooks arranged in nine longitudinal rows of five hooks each. In addition, Mayarhynchus n. g., n. sp. is diagnosed by the presence of a short trunk, body wall with five dorsal and one ventral giant hypodermal nuclei, proboscis receptacle nearly cylindrical with single layered wall, lemnisci broad and flat with large nuclei, testes in tandem, cement gland with eight large nuclei, and eggs elongate to oval. Partial sequences of the cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (cox1), internal transcribed spacers (ITS1 + 5.8S + ITS2), and the D2-D3 domains of the large subunit rRNA gene (28S) were obtained for five specimens of the new species and other species belonging to the Neoechinorhynchidae. Phylogenetic analyses confirmed that the new genus belongs to the Neoechynorhynchidae and indicated that the genus Neoechynorhynchus Stiles & Hassall, 1905 is not monophyletic. Comparison between three populations of the new species yielded nine variable sites for cox1, 11 for ITS and four for 28S.

  20. Redescription of Neoechinorhynchus (Neoechinorhynchus) golvani Salgado-Maldonado, 1978 (Acanthocephala: Neoechinorhynchidae) and description of a new species from freshwater cichlids (Teleostei: Cichlidae) in Mexico.

    PubMed

    Salgado-Maldonado, Guillermo

    2013-05-01

    A redescription of Neoechinorhynchus (Neoechinorhynchus) golvani Salgado-Maldonado (An Inst Biol Univ Nal Autón Méx, Ser Zool 49:35-47, 1978) is presented, based on adult specimens collected from the type host Paraneetroplus fenestratus from the type location, the Lago de Catemaco lake, Veracruz state, Mexico, and its presence is recorded in other cichlids. Detailed studies of N. (N.) golvani using light microscopy revealed some taxonomically important, previously unreported features, such as the size and shape of fully developed adult males and females, and the structure of the eggs. Morphological variability in N. (N.) golvani is described. Based on these data, the geographic distribution of this species is documented. Neoechinorhynchus (Neoechinorhynchus) panucensis n. sp. is described from Herichthys labridens (Pellegrin), Amatitlania nigrofasciata (Günther), and Herichthys cyanoguttatus Baird and Girard (all of them Cichlidae), collected in the Río Atlapexco, a tributary to the upper Río Panuco basin, Hidalgo State, Mexico. This new species stand up alone because of its minute proboscis (♂ 50 × 60, ♀ 42-55 (48.5) × 48-63 (57.7)) and anterior hooks (♂ 27-30 (28.8) × 3-5 (4), ♀ 28-32 (30) × 5 (5)). A key to the species of Neoechinorhynchus recorded from freshwater fishes in Central and South America is included.

  1. Genomewide SNP data reveal cryptic phylogeographic structure and microallopatric divergence in a rapids-adapted clade of cichlids from the Congo River.

    PubMed

    Alter, S Elizabeth; Munshi-South, Jason; Stiassny, Melanie L J

    2017-03-01

    The lower Congo River is a freshwater biodiversity hot spot in Africa characterized by some of the world's largest rapids. However, little is known about the evolutionary forces shaping this diversity, which include numerous endemic fishes. We investigated phylogeographic relationships in Teleogramma, a small clade of rheophilic cichlids, in the context of regional geography and hydrology. Previous studies have been unable to resolve phylogenetic relationships within Teleogramma due to lack of variation in nuclear genes and discrete morphological characters among putative species. To sample more broadly across the genome, we analysed double-digest restriction-associated sequencing (ddRAD) data from 53 individuals across all described species in the genus. We also assessed body shape and mitochondrial variation within and between taxa. Phylogenetic analyses reveal previously unrecognized lineages and instances of microallopatric divergence across as little as ~1.5 km. Species ranges appear to correspond to geographic regions broadly separated by major hydrological and topographic barriers, indicating these features are likely important drivers of diversification. Mitonuclear discordance indicates one or more introgressive hybridization events, but no clear evidence of admixture is present in nuclear genomes, suggesting these events were likely ancient. A survey of female fin patterns hints that previously undetected lineage-specific patterning may be acting to reinforce species cohesion. These analyses highlight the importance of hydrological complexity in generating diversity in certain freshwater systems, as well as the utility of ddRAD-Seq data in understanding diversification processes operating both below and above the species level.

  2. The costs of a big brain: extreme encephalization results in higher energetic demand and reduced hypoxia tolerance in weakly electric African fishes.

    PubMed

    Sukhum, Kimberley V; Freiler, Megan K; Wang, Robert; Carlson, Bruce A

    2016-12-28

    A large brain can offer several cognitive advantages. However, brain tissue has an especially high metabolic rate. Thus, evolving an enlarged brain requires either a decrease in other energetic requirements, or an increase in overall energy consumption. Previous studies have found conflicting evidence for these hypotheses, leaving the metabolic costs and constraints in the evolution of increased encephalization unclear. Mormyrid electric fishes have extreme encephalization comparable to that of primates. Here, we show that brain size varies widely among mormyrid species, and that there is little evidence for a trade-off with organ size, but instead a correlation between brain size and resting oxygen consumption rate. Additionally, we show that increased brain size correlates with decreased hypoxia tolerance. Our data thus provide a non-mammalian example of extreme encephalization that is accommodated by an increase in overall energy consumption. Previous studies have found energetic trade-offs with variation in brain size in taxa that have not experienced extreme encephalization comparable with that of primates and mormyrids. Therefore, we suggest that energetic trade-offs can only explain the evolution of moderate increases in brain size, and that the energetic requirements of extreme encephalization may necessitate increased overall energy investment.

  3. Functional coupling constrains craniofacial diversification in Lake Tanganyika cichlids

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Functional coupling, where a single morphological trait performs multiple functions, is a universal feature of organismal design. Theory suggests that functional coupling may constrain the rate of phenotypic evolution, yet empirical tests of this hypothesis are rare. In fish, the evolutionary transition from guarding the eggs on a sandy/rocky substrate (i.e. substrate guarding) to mouthbrooding introduces a novel function to the craniofacial system and offers an ideal opportunity to test the functional coupling hypothesis. Using a combination of geometric morphometrics and a recently developed phylogenetic comparative method, we found that head morphology evolution was 43% faster in substrate guarding species than in mouthbrooding species. Furthermore, for species in which females were solely responsible for mouthbrooding the males had a higher rate of head morphology evolution than in those with bi-parental mouthbrooding. Our results support the hypothesis that adaptations resulting in functional coupling constrain phenotypic evolution. PMID:25948565

  4. Diet-Morphology Correlations in the Radiation of South American Geophagine Cichlids (Perciformes: Cichlidae: Cichlinae)

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    Genera within the South American cichlid tribe Geophagini display specialized feeding and reproductive strategies, with some taxa specialized for both substrate-sifting and mouth brooding. Several lineages within the clade also possess an epibranchial lobe (EBL), a unique pharyngeal structure that has been proposed to have a function in feeding and/or mouth brooding. A recently published genus-level phylogeny of Neotropical cichlids was used as the evolutionary framework for investigating the evolution of morphological features presumably correlated with diet and mouth brooding in the tribe Geophagini. We tested for possible associations between the geophagine epibranchial lobe and benthic feeding and mouth brooding. We also addressed whether the EBL may be associated with unique patterns of diversification in certain geophagine clades. Tests of binary character correlations revealed the EBL was significantly associated with mouth brooding. We also tested for a relationship between diet and morphology. We analyzed stomach contents and morphometric variation among 21 species, with data for two additional species obtained from the literature. Principal Components Analysis revealed axes of morphological variation significantly correlated with piscivory and benthivory, and both morphology and diet were significantly associated with phylogeny. These results suggest that the EBL could be an adaptation for either feeding or mouth brooding. The EBL, however, was not associated with species richness or accelerated rates of phyletic diversification. PMID:22485154

  5. Male mate preference and size-assortative mating in convict cichlids: A role for female aggression?

    PubMed

    Bloch, A N; Estela, V J; Leese, J M; Itzkowitz, M

    2016-09-01

    Many monogamous species demonstrate size-assortative mating patterns within natural populations. To better understand the role of intersexual selection in this process, we examined the effect of male preference for female body size in the convict cichlid (Amatitlania siquia). We provided males with a choice between females that differed in size, relative to each other and in relation to the focal male. Based on previous work, we expected males to prefer the largest available female mates across all treatments. Surprisingly, males spent more time near the smaller of two available females, but only when the other female was larger than the male. Additionally, males spent little time with either of two potential female mates when both females were larger than the male. We hypothesized that while males might prefer the largest of available females, female behavior might limit males from acting on this preference. To test this, males were force paired with a smaller or larger female. Pair formation only occurred when the female was smaller than the male, and females that were larger than their male counterparts showed significantly more aggression when compared to smaller females. Together, these data suggest that in the absence of intrasexual competition, male mate preference for large females in convict cichlids might be limited by female aggression.

  6. Hedgehog signaling mediates adaptive variation in a dynamic functional system in the cichlid feeding apparatus

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Yinan; Albertson, R. Craig

    2014-01-01

    Adaptive variation in the craniofacial skeleton is a key component of resource specialization and habitat divergence in vertebrates, but the proximate genetic mechanisms that underlie complex patterns of craniofacial variation are largely unknown. Here we demonstrate that the Hedgehog (Hh) signaling pathway mediates widespread variation across a complex functional system that affects the kinematics of lower jaw depression—the opercular four-bar linkage apparatus—among Lake Malawi cichlids. By using a combined quantitative trait locus mapping and population genetics approach, we show that allelic variation in the Hh receptor, ptch1, affects the development of distinct bony elements in the head that represent two of three movable links in this functional system. The evolutionarily derived allele is found in species that feed from the water column, and is associated with shifts in anatomy that translate to a four-bar system capable of faster jaw rotation. Alternatively, the ancestral allele is found in species that feed on attached algae, and is associated with the development of a four-bar system that predicts slower jaw movement. Experimental manipulation of the Hh pathway during cichlid development recapitulates functionally salient natural variation in craniofacial geometry. In all, these results significantly extend our understanding of the mechanisms that fine-tune the craniofacial skeletal complex during adaptation to new foraging niches. PMID:24912175

  7. Hedgehog signaling mediates adaptive variation in a dynamic functional system in the cichlid feeding apparatus.

    PubMed

    Hu, Yinan; Albertson, R Craig

    2014-06-10

    Adaptive variation in the craniofacial skeleton is a key component of resource specialization and habitat divergence in vertebrates, but the proximate genetic mechanisms that underlie complex patterns of craniofacial variation are largely unknown. Here we demonstrate that the Hedgehog (Hh) signaling pathway mediates widespread variation across a complex functional system that affects the kinematics of lower jaw depression--the opercular four-bar linkage apparatus--among Lake Malawi cichlids. By using a combined quantitative trait locus mapping and population genetics approach, we show that allelic variation in the Hh receptor, ptch1, affects the development of distinct bony elements in the head that represent two of three movable links in this functional system. The evolutionarily derived allele is found in species that feed from the water column, and is associated with shifts in anatomy that translate to a four-bar system capable of faster jaw rotation. Alternatively, the ancestral allele is found in species that feed on attached algae, and is associated with the development of a four-bar system that predicts slower jaw movement. Experimental manipulation of the Hh pathway during cichlid development recapitulates functionally salient natural variation in craniofacial geometry. In all, these results significantly extend our understanding of the mechanisms that fine-tune the craniofacial skeletal complex during adaptation to new foraging niches.

  8. Evidence of a specialized feeding niche in a Late Triassic ray-finned fish: evolution of multidenticulate teeth and benthic scraping in † Hemicalypterus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gibson, Sarah Z.

    2015-04-01

    Fishes have evolved to exploit multiple ecological niches. Extant fishes in both marine (e.g., rabbitfishes, surgeonfishes) and freshwater systems (e.g., haplochromine cichlids, characiforms) have evolved specialized, scoop-like, multidenticulate teeth for benthic scraping, feeding primarily on algae. Here, I report evidence of the oldest example of specialized multidenticulate dentition in a ray-finned fish, † Hemicalypterus weiri, from the Upper Triassic Chinle Formation of southeastern Utah (˜210-205 Ma), USA. † H. weiri is a lower actinopterygian species that is phylogenetically remote from modern fishes, and has evolved specialized teeth that converge with those of several living teleost fishes (e.g., characiforms, cichlids, acanthurids, siganids), with a likely function of these teeth being to scrape algae off a rock substrate. This finding contradicts previously held notions that fishes with multicuspid, scoop-like dentition were restricted to teleosts, and indicates that ray-finned fishes were diversifying into different trophic niches and exploring different modes of feeding earlier in their history than previously thought, fundamentally altering our perceptions of the ecological roles of fishes during the Mesozoic.

  9. Evidence of a specialized feeding niche in a Late Triassic ray-finned fish: evolution of multidenticulate teeth and benthic scraping in †Hemicalypterus.

    PubMed

    Gibson, Sarah Z

    2015-04-01

    Fishes have evolved to exploit multiple ecological niches. Extant fishes in both marine (e.g., rabbitfishes, surgeonfishes) and freshwater systems (e.g., haplochromine cichlids, characiforms) have evolved specialized, scoop-like, multidenticulate teeth for benthic scraping, feeding primarily on algae. Here, I report evidence of the oldest example of specialized multidenticulate dentition in a ray-finned fish, †Hemicalypterus weiri, from the Upper Triassic Chinle Formation of southeastern Utah (∼210-205 Ma), USA. †H. weiri is a lower actinopterygian species that is phylogenetically remote from modern fishes, and has evolved specialized teeth that converge with those of several living teleost fishes (e.g., characiforms, cichlids, acanthurids, siganids), with a likely function of these teeth being to scrape algae off a rock substrate. This finding contradicts previously held notions that fishes with multicuspid, scoop-like dentition were restricted to teleosts, and indicates that ray-finned fishes were diversifying into different trophic niches and exploring different modes of feeding earlier in their history than previously thought, fundamentally altering our perceptions of the ecological roles of fishes during the Mesozoic.

  10. One Fish Two Fish.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hoffman, Michele

    1998-01-01

    This activity explains fisheries resource management to seven-year olds. First-grade students learn concepts such as offspring viability, life expectancy, and distribution of species, which help to determine when, where, and how people fish and the importance of fishing responsibly. Lists materials, procedures, and extensions. (SJR)

  11. Phylogeny and biogeography of 91 species of heroine cichlids (Teleostei: Cichlidae) based on sequences of the cytochrome b gene.

    PubMed

    Pérez, Gustavo A Concheiro; Rícan, Oldrich; Ortí, Guillermo; Bermingham, Eldredge; Doadrio, Ignacio; Zardoya, Rafael

    2007-04-01

    Heroini constitute the second largest tribe of Neotropical cichlids and show their greatest diversity in Mesoamerica. Although heroine species are morphologically and ecologically very diverse, they were all historically assigned to one single genus, Cichlasoma that was never formally revised from a phylogenetic point of view. Here, we present the most comprehensive molecular phylogeny of the tribe Heroini to date, based on the complete DNA sequence of the mitochondrial gene cytochrome b, and the analysis of 204 individuals representing 91 species. Phylogenetic analyses did not support the monophyly of heroines because the genus Pterophyllum was placed as the sister group of all remaining heroines plus cichlasomatines. However, the recovered relative position of Pterophyllum was without strong statistical support. Within the remaining heroines, Hyspelecara and Hoplarchus are recovered with low support in a basal position with respect to a clade that includes Heros, Uaru, Mesonauta, and Symphysodon, and the circumamazonian (CAM) heroines. The first clade is restricted to South America. The largest clade of heroines, the CAM heroines, include more than 85% of the species within the tribe. This clade is mostly Mesoamerican, but also contains four species found in the Greater Antilles (Nandopsis), and three genera found in South America (the 'Heros' festae group, Australoheros, and Caquetaia). Up to eight major lineages can be recovered within the CAM heroines, but the phylogenetic relationships among them remain unresolved. Two large suprageneric groups can be distinguished, the amphilophines and the herichthyines. The amphilophines include Amphilophus, Archocentrus, Hypsophrys, Neetroplus, Parachromis, Petenia, and five additional unnamed genera (the 'Heros' istlanus group, the 'Amphilophus' calobrensis group, the 'Heros' urophthalmus group, the 'Heros' wesseli group, and the 'Heros' sieboldii group). The herichthyines include the crown-group herichthyines

  12. Temporal Dynamics of Reproduction of the Neotropical Fish, Crenicichla menezesi (Perciformes: Cichlidae)

    PubMed Central

    de Araújo, Andréa Soares; do Nascimento, Wallace Silva; Yamamoto, Maria Emília; Chellappa, Sathyabama

    2012-01-01

    The reproductive biology and the gonadal development cycle of the Neotropical cichlid fish, Crenicichla menezesi, is described. This species exhibits sexual dimorphism only during the spawning season. First sexual maturity of females is attained earlier than the males. Both macroscopic and histological investigations of ovaries and testes revealed four stages of gonadal maturation. Mean batch fecundity of females was 372 (±10,41) of mature oocytes. This species is a partial spawner, with an extended spawning period. Monthly values of GSI and the condition factor are negatively correlated during the gonadal development cycle of this species. PMID:22919339

  13. Visual prey detection by near-infrared cues in a fish

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meuthen, Denis; Rick, Ingolf P.; Thünken, Timo; Baldauf, Sebastian A.

    2012-12-01

    Many animal species are able to perceive light wavelengths beyond those visible to humans. While numerous species are additionally sensitive to short wavelengths (UV), long wavelengths such as the near-infrared spectrum (NIR) are supposed to be unsuitable for visual perception. Here, we experimentally show that under exclusive NIR illumination, the cichlid fish Pelvicachromis taeniatus displays a clear foraging response towards NIR reflecting prey. Additional control experiments without prey indicate that the observed behavior is not a mere response to the NIR environment. These results give first evidence for NIR visual sensitivity in a functional context and thus challenge the current view about NIR perception.

  14. Temporal dynamics of reproduction of the neotropical fish, Crenicichla menezesi (Perciformes: Cichlidae).

    PubMed

    de Araújo, Andréa Soares; do Nascimento, Wallace Silva; Yamamoto, Maria Emília; Chellappa, Sathyabama

    2012-01-01

    The reproductive biology and the gonadal development cycle of the Neotropical cichlid fish, Crenicichla menezesi, is described. This species exhibits sexual dimorphism only during the spawning season. First sexual maturity of females is attained earlier than the males. Both macroscopic and histological investigations of ovaries and testes revealed four stages of gonadal maturation. Mean batch fecundity of females was 372 (± 10,41) of mature oocytes. This species is a partial spawner, with an extended spawning period. Monthly values of GSI and the condition factor are negatively correlated during the gonadal development cycle of this species.

  15. African Aesthetics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Abiodun, Rowland

    2001-01-01

    No single traditional discipline can adequately supply answers to the many unresolved questions in African art history. Because of the aesthetic, cultural, historical, and, not infrequently, political biases, already built into the conception and development of Western art history, the discipline of art history as defined and practiced in the West…

  16. African Pentecostalism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Garrard, David J.

    2009-01-01

    The diversity of African Pentecostalism, its early colonial and missionary history and its current characteristics are described and analysed. Reference is made to methods of training and forms of leadership, and suggestions are made about the reasons for its growth and persistence. (Contains 19 notes.)

  17. Motivational variables and the sensitization and habituation of aggression in the convict cichlid (Cichlasoma nigrofasciatum).

    PubMed

    Peeke, H V; Avis, H H; Peeke, S C

    1979-12-01

    Four experiments using territorial Convict Cichlids investigated motivational factors involved in the incremental and decremental processes associated with aggression resulting from exposure to conspecifics intruded into the territory. The first three experiments varied some single aspect of the experimental situation (temperature, distance from the nest or size of the intruder). The fourth experiment combined those factors which resulted in faster habituation (small intruder, far from the nest, in cool water) and compared the response to factors which resulted in slower habituation or an increase in response rate (large intruder, close to the nest in warm water). While a combination of higher intensity stimuli did result in slower habituation than the combination of lower intensity stimuli, response rate was not a simple algebraic summation of the factors. Results are discussed in relation to multi-factor theory of habituation and the nature of "drive".

  18. Fish Allergy

    MedlinePlus

    ... can react to touching fish or breathing in vapors from cooking fish. A fish allergy can cause ... hives red spots swelling a drop in blood pressure , causing lightheadedness or loss of consciousness Your child ...

  19. Fish Hearing.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Blaxter, J. H. S.

    1980-01-01

    Provides related information about hearing in fish, including the sensory stimulus of sound in the underwater environment, mechanoreceptors in fish, pressure perception and the swimbladder, specializations in sound conduction peculiar to certain fish families. Includes numerous figures. (CS)

  20. Mammalian metabolic rates in the hottest fish on earth

    PubMed Central

    Wood, Chris M.; Brix, Kevin V.; De Boeck, Gudrun; Bergman, Harold L.; Bianchini, Adalto; Bianchini, Lucas F.; Maina, John N.; Johannsson, Ora E.; Kavembe, Geraldine D.; Papah, Michael B.; Letura, Kisipan M.; Ojoo, Rodi O.

    2016-01-01

    The Magadi tilapia, Alcolapia grahami, a small cichlid fish of Lake Magadi, Kenya lives in one of the most challenging aquatic environments on earth, characterized by very high alkalinity, unusual water chemistry, and extreme O2, ROS, and temperature regimes. In contrast to most fishes which live at temperatures substantially lower than the 36–40 °C of mammals and birds, an isolated population (South West Hot Springs, SWHS) of Magadi tilapia thrives in fast-flowing hotsprings with daytime highs of 43 °C and night-time lows of 32 °C. Another population (Fish Springs Lagoon, FSL) lives in a lagoon with fairly stable daily temperatures (33–36 °C). The upper critical temperatures (Ctmax) of both populations are very high; moreover the SWHS tilapia exhibit the highest Ctmax (45.6 °C) ever recorded for a fish. Routine rates of O2 consumption (MO2) measured on site, together with MO2 and swimming performance at 25, 32, and 39 °C in the laboratory, showed that the SWHS tilapia exhibited the greatest metabolic performance ever recorded in a fish. These rates were in the basal range of a small mammal of comparable size, and were all far higher than in the FSL fish. The SWHS tilapia represents a bellwether organism for global warming. PMID:27257105

  1. Phylogeography, colonization and population history of the Midas cichlid species complex (Amphilophus spp.) in the Nicaraguan crater lakes

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Elucidation of the mechanisms driving speciation requires detailed knowledge about the phylogenetic relationships and phylogeography of the incipient species within their entire ranges as well as their colonization history. The Midas cichlid species complex Amphilophus spp. has been proven to be a powerful model system for the study of ecological specialization, sexual selection and the mechanisms of sympatric speciation. Here we present a comprehensive and integrative phylogeographic analysis of the complete Midas Cichlid species complex in Nicaragua (> 2000 individuals) covering the entire distributional range, using two types of molecular markers (the mitochondrial DNA control region and 15 microsatellites). We investigated the majority of known lake populations of this species complex and reconstructed their colonization history in order to distinguish between alternative speciation scenarios. Results We found that the large lakes contain older and more diverse Midas Cichlid populations, while all crater lakes hold younger and genetically less variable species assemblages. The large lakes appear to have repeatedly acted as source populations for all crater lakes, and our data indicate that faunal exchange among crater lakes is extremely unlikely. Despite their very recent (often only a few thousand years old) and common origin from the two large Nicaraguan lakes, all crater lake Midas Cichlid radiations underwent independent, but parallel, evolution, and comprise distinct genetic units. Indeed several of these crater lakes contain multiple genetically distinct incipient species that most likely arose through sympatric speciation. Several crater lake radiations can be traced back to a single ancestral line, but some appear to have more than one founding lineage. The timing of the colonization(s) of each crater lake differs, although most of them occurred more (probably much more) recently than 20,000 years ago. Conclusion The genetic differentiation

  2. African-American Biography.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Martin, Ron

    1995-01-01

    Suggests sources of information for African American History Month for library media specialists who work with students in grades four through eight. Gale Research's "African-American Reference Library," which includes "African-America Biography,""African-American Chronology," and "African-American Almanac,"…

  3. Evolutionary history of the Lake Tanganyika cichlid tribe Lamprologini (Teleostei: Perciformes) derived from mitochondrial and nuclear DNA data

    PubMed Central

    Sturmbauer, Christian; Salzburger, Walter; Duftner, Nina; Schelly, Robert; Koblmüller, Stephan

    2010-01-01

    Lake Tanganyika comprises a cichlid species flock with substrate-breeding and mouthbrooding lineages. While sexual selection via mate choice on male mating color is thought to boost speciation rates in mouthbrooding cichlids, this is not the case in substrate-breeding lamprologines, which mostly form stable pairs and lack sexual dichromatism. We present a comprehensive reconstruction of the evolution of the cichlid tribe Lamprologini, based upon mtDNA sequences and multilocus nuclear DNA (AFLP) markers. Twelve mtDNA clades were identified, seven of which were corroborated by the AFLP tree. The radiation is likely to have started about 5.3 MYA, contemporarily with that of the mouthbrooding C-lineage, and probably triggered by the onset of deep-water conditions in Lake Tanganyika. Neither the Congo- nor the Malagarazi River species form the most ancestral branch. Several conflicts in the mtDNA phylogeny with taxonomic assignments based upon color, eco-morphology and behavior could be resolved and complemented by the AFLP analysis. Introgressive hybridization upon secondary contact seems to be the most likely cause for paraphyly of taxa due to mtDNA capture in species involving brood-care helpers, while accidental hybridization best explains the para- or polyphyly of several gastropod shell breeders. Taxonomic error or paraphyly due to the survival of ancestral lineages appear responsible for inconsistencies in the genera Lamprologus and Neolamprologus. PMID:20601006

  4. Male convict cichlid 11-ketotestosterone levels throughout the reproductive cycle: an exploratory profile study in laboratory and field populations

    PubMed Central

    Snekser, Jennifer L.; Itzkowitz, Murray

    2015-01-01

    The convict cichlid (Amatitlania nigrofasciata) has been extensively examined in relation to many behavioral topics, such as courtship, pair-bonding, bi-parental care, and territoriality. Recently, this model species has been utilized in studies on genetics, endocrinology, and neuroanatomy, with an ultimate goal of connecting behavior with its underlying mechanisms. The goal of this study was two-fold: (1) profile the circulating levels of plasma 11KT in the male convict cichlid at multiple points during the reproductive cycle and (2) generally compare the hormonal profiles of the widely used laboratory populations and those of a free-living population in the streams of Costa Rica. The results of the field experiment showed that male convict cichlids had higher levels of circulating 11KT during courtship and lower during the parental care and non-breeding phases. The profile of the laboratory population was similar to the profile of the free-living individuals, with significantly higher levels of 11KT occurring during courtship than during parental care, though the level of 11KT during non-breeding phase was elevated in the laboratory. The high levels of 11KT during courtship and low levels of 11KT during parental care found in both the field and the laboratory is similar to what has been reported in other species of teleosts, and may suggest an important function of 11KT in the expression of courtship behavior and the subsequent onset of parental behaviors in this model species. PMID:26020006

  5. Adaptive landscape and functional diversity of Neotropical cichlids: implications for the ecology and evolution of Cichlinae (Cichlidae; Cichliformes).

    PubMed

    Arbour, J H; López-Fernández, H

    2014-11-01

    Morphological, lineage and ecological diversity can vary substantially even among closely related lineages. Factors that influence morphological diversification, especially in functionally relevant traits, can help to explain the modern distribution of disparity across phylogenies and communities. Multivariate axes of feeding functional morphology from 75 species of Neotropical cichlid and a stepwise-AIC algorithm were used to estimate the adaptive landscape of functional morphospace in Cichlinae. Adaptive landscape complexity and convergence, as well as the functional diversity of Cichlinae, were compared with expectations under null evolutionary models. Neotropical cichlid feeding function varied primarily between traits associated with ram feeding vs. suction feeding/biting and secondarily with oral jaw muscle size and pharyngeal crushing capacity. The number of changes in selective regimes and the amount of convergence between lineages was higher than expected under a null model of evolution, but convergence was not higher than expected under a similarly complex adaptive landscape. Functional disparity was compatible with an adaptive landscape model, whereas the distribution of evolutionary change through morphospace corresponded with a process of evolution towards a single adaptive peak. The continentally distributed Neotropical cichlids have evolved relatively rapidly towards a number of adaptive peaks in functional trait space. Selection in Cichlinae functional morphospace is more complex than expected under null evolutionary models. The complexity of selective constraints in feeding morphology has likely been a significant contributor to the diversity of feeding ecology in this clade.

  6. African Trypanosomiasis

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-06-01

    infection by protozoan hemo- flagellates of the Trypanosoma brucei complex, 2 subspe- cies of which cause disease in humans: Trypanosoma bru- cei gambiense...public release; distribution unlimited 13. SUPPLEMENTARY NOTES See also ADA545141. Chapter 3 from e-book, Topics on the Pathology of Protozoan and...the brief ferry crossing. 2 3 • Topics on The paThology of proTozoan and invasive arThropod diseases Three severe epidemics of African trypanosomiasis

  7. Are accessory hearing structures linked to inner ear morphology? Insights from 3D orientation patterns of ciliary bundles in three cichlid species

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Cichlid fishes show considerable diversity in swim bladder morphology. In members of the subfamily Etroplinae, the connection between anterior swim bladder extensions and the inner ears enhances sound transmission and translates into an improved hearing ability. We tested the hypothesis that those swim bladder modifications coincide with differences in inner ear morphology and thus compared Steatocranus tinanti (vestigial swim bladder), Hemichromis guttatus (large swim bladder without extensions), and Etroplus maculatus (intimate connection between swim bladder and inner ears). Methodology and results We applied immunostaining together with confocal imaging and scanning electron microscopy for the investigation of sensory epithelia, and high-resolution, contrast-enhanced microCT imaging for characterizing inner ears in 3D, and evaluated otolith dimensions. Compared to S. tinanti and H. guttatus, inner ears of E. maculatus showed an enlargement of all three maculae, and a particularly large lacinia of the macula utriculi. While our analysis of orientation patterns of ciliary bundles on the three macula types using artificially flattened maculae uncovered rather similar orientation patterns of ciliary bundles, interspecific differences became apparent when illustrating the orientation patterns on the 3D models of the maculae: differences in the shape and curvature of the lacinia of the macula utriculi, and the anterior arm of the macula lagenae resulted in an altered arrangement of ciliary bundles. Conclusions Our results imply that improved audition in E. maculatus is associated not only with swim bladder modifications but also with altered inner ear morphology. However, not all modifications in E. maculatus could be connected to enhanced auditory abilities, and so a potential improvement of the vestibular sense, among others, also needs to be considered. Our study highlights the value of analyzing orientation patterns of ciliary bundles in their intact 3

  8. Fish Inner Ear Otolith Growth Under Real Microgravity (Spaceflight) and Clinorotation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anken, Ralf; Brungs, Sonja; Grimm, Dennis; Knie, Miriam; Hilbig, Reinhard

    2016-06-01

    Using late larval stages of cichlid fish ( Oreochromis mossambicus) we have shown earlier that the biomineralization of otoliths is adjusted towards gravity by means of a neurally guided feedback loop. Centrifuge experiments, e.g., revealed that increased gravity slows down otolith growth. Microgravity thus should yield an opposite effect, i.e., larger than normal otoliths. Consequently, late larval cichlids (stage 14, vestibular system operational) were subjected to real microgravity during the 12 days FOTON-M3 spaceflight mission (OMEGAHAB-hardware). Controls were kept at 1 g on ground within an identical hardware. Animals of another batch were subsequently clinorotated within a submersed fast-rotating clinostat with one axis of rotation (2d-clinostat), a device regarded to simulate microgravity. Temperature and light conditions were provided in analogy to the spaceflight experiment. Controls were maintained at 1 g within the same aquarium. After all experiments, animals had reached late stage 21 (fish can swim freely). Maintenance under real microgravity during spaceflight resulted in significantly larger than normal otoliths (both lapilli and sagittae, involved in sensing gravity and the hearing process, respectively). This result is fully in line with an earlier spaceflight study in the course of which otoliths from late-staged swordtails Xiphophorus helleri were analyzed. Clinorotation resulted in larger than 1 g sagittae. However, no effect on lapilli was obtained. Possibly, an effect was present but too light to be measurable. Overall, spaceflight obviously induces an adaptation of otolith growth, whereas clinorotation does not fully mimic conditions of microgravity regarding late larval cichlids.

  9. Steroid receptor expression in the fish inner ear varies with sex, social status, and reproductive state

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Gonadal and stress-related steroid hormones are known to influence auditory function across vertebrates but the cellular and molecular mechanisms responsible for steroid-mediated auditory plasticity at the level of the inner ear remain unknown. The presence of steroid receptors in the ear suggests a direct pathway for hormones to act on the peripheral auditory system, but little is known about which receptors are expressed in the ear or whether their expression levels change with internal physiological state or external social cues. We used qRT-PCR to measure mRNA expression levels of multiple steroid receptor subtypes (estrogen receptors: ERα, ERβa, ERβb; androgen receptors: ARα, ARβ; corticosteroid receptors: GR2, GR1a/b, MR) and aromatase in the main hearing organ of the inner ear (saccule) in the highly social African cichlid fish Astatotilapia burtoni, and tested whether these receptor levels were correlated with circulating steroid concentrations. Results We show that multiple steroid receptor subtypes are expressed within the main hearing organ of a single vertebrate species, and that expression levels differ between the sexes. We also show that steroid receptor subtype-specific changes in mRNA expression are associated with reproductive phase in females and social status in males. Sex-steroid receptor mRNA levels were negatively correlated with circulating estradiol and androgens in both males and females, suggesting possible ligand down-regulation of receptors in the inner ear. In contrast, saccular changes in corticosteroid receptor mRNA levels were not related to serum cortisol levels. Circulating steroid levels and receptor subtype mRNA levels were not as tightly correlated in males as compared to females, suggesting different regulatory mechanisms between sexes. Conclusions This is the most comprehensive study of sex-, social-, and reproductive-related steroid receptor mRNA expression in the peripheral auditory system of any single

  10. Antarctic Fishes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Eastman, Joseph T.; DeVries, Arthur L.

    1986-01-01

    Explains the adaptations to Antarctic waters that Notothenioidei, a group of advanced bony fishes, have exhibited. Discusses the fishes' mechanisms of production of antifreeze properties and their capacities for neutral buoyancy in water. (ML)

  11. Fish faunal resurgence in Lake Nabugabo, East Africa

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chapman, L.J.; Chapman, Colin A.; Schofield, P.J.; Olowo, J.P.; Kaufman, L.S.; Seehausen, O.; Ogutu-Ohwayo., R.

    2003-01-01

     In Lake Nabugabo, Uganda, a small satellite of the equatorial Lake Victoria, approximately 50% of the indigenous fish species disappeared from the open waters subsequent to establishment of the introduced predatory Nile perch (   Lates niloticus ). However, several of these species persisted in wetland refugia. Over the past decade, Nile perch in Lake Nabugabo have been intensively fished. Herein we report a resurgence of some indigenous species in open waters. In a multiyear study, we used annual transects in inshore and offshore waters of exposed ( no wetland ) and wetland habitats to document the pattern of resurgence. In 1995, haplochromine cichlids were largely confined to inshore areas, particularly wetland ecotones, and were rare in Nile perch stomachs, as were most other indigenous species. By 2000 haplochromine cichlids were abundant in inshore and offshore areas of both exposed and wetland transects. Several indigenous noncichlids also reappeared in the main lake, including three of the four original mormyrid species. Between 1995 and 1999, there was a dramatic increase in the proportion of haplochromines in the diet of Nile perch. When haplochromines were rare ( 1995 ), Nile perch switched from an invertebrate-dominated diet to piscivory at a large size ( 30 cm total length ). In 2000, however, Nile perch were strongly piscivorous by 5–10 cm total length. The pattern of faunal loss and recovery in Lake Nabugabo demonstrates the importance of refugia in providing the seeds of resurgence and provides a model with which to understand some changes in Lake Victoria.

  12. African Outreach Workshop 1974.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schmidt, Nancy J.

    This report discusses the 1974 African Outreach Workshop planned and coordinated by the African Studies Program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Its major aim was to assist teachers in developing curriculum units on African using materials available in their local community. A second aim was for the African Studies Program to…

  13. Africans in America.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hart, Ayanna; Spangler, Earl

    This book introduces African-American history and culture to children. The first Africans in America came from many different regions and cultures, but became united in this country by being black, African, and slaves. Once in America, Africans began a long struggle for freedom which still continues. Slavery, the Civil War, emancipation, and the…

  14. Fish Dishes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Derby, Marie

    2003-01-01

    Describes an art project that was inspired by Greek pottery, specifically dishes shaped as fish. Explains that fourth-grade students drew a fish shape that was later used to create their clay version of the fish. Discusses how the students examined the pottery to make decisions about color and design. (CMK)

  15. An Effect of Landmarks on Territory Shape in a Convict Cichlid.

    PubMed

    Mesterton-Gibbons, Mike; Dai, Yao

    2015-12-01

    We determine size, shape and location for a territory that is optimal in the sense of minimizing defense costs, when a given proportion of the boundary is landmarked and its primary benefit in terms of fitness is greater ease of detecting intruders across it. Increasing the landmarked proportion of boundary causes the optimal configuration to be smaller and more elongated, and to be located with its center further from the nest, so that the nest is closer to the landmarked boundary. These predictions accord with observations in a recent study of the convict cichlid Amatitlania siquia. Our results thus confirm the consistency of the observed behavior with the hypothesis that A. siquia designs its territory to make intruders easier to spot. Our results also lead us to conjecture that moving the landmark proportionately closer to or further away from the nest would have yielded essentially the same outcome in this study, because the optimal configuration depends only on the angle subtended by the landmark at the nest and hence only on the length of the landmark relative to its distance from the nest, as opposed to its absolute value.

  16. Alternative male mating tactics of the substrate brooding cichlid Telmatochromis temporalis in Lake Tanganyika.

    PubMed

    Katoh, Rei; Munehara, Hiroyuki; Kohda, Masanori

    2005-05-01

    Telmatochromis temporalis is a bi-parental substrate brooding cichlid endemic to Lake Tanganyika. Paired males were always larger than their mates and had territories around nests against conspecific males. However, males smaller than the paired females were found in 18% of the nests. Here we report a reproductive tactic of these small males. The small males had as heavy gonads as paired males, and the gonad somatic index (GSI) of the small males was much higher than that of the latter. The examinations of the paternity and maternity using microsatellite-DNA as a genetic marker revealed that the small males were not genetically related to the pair members, and sired some young in 3 of 5 nests. These small males did not guard the broods, suggesting that they are likely to perform reproductive parasitism as sneakers. Paired males could not enter their spawning nests due to their large size, which made it difficult to chase out sneakers once they entered the nest. Some males as small as the sneakers were found outside the territories of paired males, and their gonads were quite small. Circumstantial evidence suggests that small males have two alternative investment patterns: investing in gonad to be sneakers, and investing in growth to probably be territorial males.

  17. Territorial males can sire more offspring in nests with smaller doors in the cichlid Lamprologus lemairii.

    PubMed

    Ota, Kazutaka; Awata, Satoshi; Morita, Masaya; Yokoyama, Ryota; Kohda, Masanori

    2014-01-01

    To examine how territorial males counter reproductive parasites, we examined the paternity of broods guarded by territorial males using 5 microsatellite loci and factors that determine siring success in a wild population of the Lake Tanganyika cichlid Lamprologus lemairii. Females enter rock holes (nests) and spawn inside, and territorial males release milt over the nest openings. Sneakers attempt to dart into the nests, but territorial males often interrupt the attempt. The body size of territorial males (territorial defense ability) and the size of nest opening (the ability to prevent sneakers from nest intrusions) are predicted to be factors that affect paternity at the premating stage, whereas milt quality traits are factors that affect paternity at the postmating stage. Parentage analyses of 477 offspring revealed that most clutches have few or no cuckolders, and territorial males sired >80% of eggs in 7 of the 10 analyzed clutches. Larger territorial males that spawned in nests with narrower openings had greater siring success. In contrast, none of the milt traits affected the siring success. These suggest that territorial male L. lemairii adopt premating strategies whereby they effectively prevent reproductive parasitism.

  18. A Japanese view on speciation: "Sumiwake" explosive speciation of the cichlids in Lake Victoria.

    PubMed

    Kawamiya, Nobuo

    2003-01-01

    Imanishi's "mental" (cerebral) view of speciation is presented, in Mizuhata's revision. The key concept here is the "ethological partition" of the species. Members of each species=society (etho-species) share the same mental (brain) software, irrespective of their genetic structure. Cerebral animals perform active programmed selection, not to be confused with passive, non-programmed "natural selection" as in Neo-Darwinism. The program includes mating-choice of peculiar characters, distinct from the Neo-Darwinian sexual selection supposed due to the specific choosy genes. Speciation can occur, as a "partition of species=society", with bifurcation of mate-choosing program in the parent species. A main promoter for this bifurcation is species-specific "passion" for especially significant characters: long necks, ornamental antlers, ocelli feathers, bright nuptial colors etc. The cichlids in Lake Victoria achieved explosive speciation, while retaining their genetic homogeneity completely. Therefore it is illogical to attribute this divergence to extraordinary mutations in "action controlling genes". The origin of species=society (etho-species) can trace along to the Cambrian Period.

  19. Predation risk is an ecological constraint for helper dispersal in a cooperatively breeding cichlid.

    PubMed Central

    Heg, Dik; Bachar, Zina; Brouwer, Lyanne; Taborsky, Michael

    2004-01-01

    Environmental conditions are thought to be responsible for the extent and benefits of cooperative breeding in many animal societies, but experimental tests are scarce. We manipulated predator pressure in the cooperatively breeding cichlid Neolamprologus pulcher in Lake Tanganyika, where predators have been suggested to influence helper and breeder survival, helper dispersal and group reproductive success. We varied the type and intensity of predation by releasing medium, large, or no predators inside large underwater cages enclosing two or three group territories. Helper and breeder survival, helper dispersal and group reproductive success decreased from the control, to the medium- and large-predator treatments. These effects were modified by helper body size and the number of adults protecting the group from predators, supporting the 'group augmentation hypothesis'. Predators forced helpers to stay closer to, and spend more time inside, protective shelters. The results demonstrate the importance of predators for group living in this species, and support the 'ecological constraints hypothesis' of cooperative breeding, in the sense that subordinates stay at home rather than leave and breed independently under the risk of predation. PMID:15556889

  20. Rearing-group size determines social competence and brain structure in a cooperatively breeding cichlid.

    PubMed

    Fischer, Stefan; Bessert-Nettelbeck, Mathilde; Kotrschal, Alexander; Taborsky, Barbara

    2015-07-01

    Social animals can greatly benefit from well-developed social skills. Because the frequency and diversity of social interactions often increase with the size of social groups, the benefits of advanced social skills can be expected to increase with group size. Variation in social skills often arises during ontogeny, depending on early social experience. Whether variation of social-group sizes affects development of social skills and related changes in brain structures remains unexplored. We investigated whether, in a cooperatively breeding cichlid, early group size (1) shapes social behavior and social skills and (2) induces lasting plastic changes in gross brain structures and (3) whether the development of social skills is confined to a sensitive ontogenetic period. Rearing-group size and the time juveniles spent in these groups interactively influenced the development of social skills and the relative sizes of four main brain regions. We did not detect a sensitive developmental period for the shaping of social behavior within the 2-month experience phase. Instead, our results suggest continuous plastic behavioral changes over time. We discuss how developmental effects on social behavior and brain architecture may adaptively tune phenotypes to their current or future environments.

  1. Genetic divergence among invasive and native populations of the yellow peacock cichlid Cichla kelberi.

    PubMed

    Marques, A C P B; Franco, A C S; Salgueiro, F; García-Berthou, E; Santos, L N

    2016-12-01

    This study used the hypervariable domain of the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) control region (CR) to assess the genetic divergence among native and invasive populations of Cichla kelberi, which is considered the first peacock cichlid introduced and established throughout Brazil and is among the most invasive populations of this genus worldwide. The maximum likelihood tree based on 53 CR sequences with strong bootstrap support revealed that C. kelberi forms a monophyletic clade, confirming that all 30 C. kelberi studied belong to this morphotype. Additionally, the haplotype analysis of the C. kelberi sequences from 11 sampling sites revealed that invasive populations are much less diverse than native ones and largely dominated by a single haplotype that prevailed in reservoirs at the Paraíba do Sul River basin. Two haplotypes were recorded exclusively in an invasive population at Porto Rico, southern Brazil, and one private haplotype was detected in two reservoirs from Paraíba do Sul (Pereira Passos and Paracambi), suggesting more than one introduction event and that native populations should be better evaluated to encompass the entire genetic diversity of native C. kelberi. The possible route and pathways of C. kelberi introduction are also briefly discussed.

  2. Immunocytochemical characterisation of neural stem-progenitor cells from green terror cichlid Aequidens rivulatus.

    PubMed

    Wen, C M; Chen, M M; Nan, F H; Wang, C S

    2017-01-01

    In this study, cultures of neural stem-progenitor cells (NSPC) from the brain of green terror cichlid Aequidens rivulatus were established and various NSPCs were demonstrated using immunocytochemistry. All of the NSPCs expressed brain lipid-binding protein, dopamine- and cAMP-regulated neuronal phosphoprotein 32 (DARPP-32), oligodendrocyte transcription factor 2, paired box 6 and sex determining region Y-box 2. The intensity and localisation of these proteins, however, varied among the different NSPCs. Despite being intermediate cells, NSPCs can be divided into radial glial cells, oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPC) and neuroblasts by expressing the astrocyte marker glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), OPC marker A2B5 and neuronal markers, including acetyl-tubulin, βIII-tubulin, microtubule-associated protein 2 and neurofilament protein. Nevertheless, astrocytes were polymorphic and were the most dominant cells in the NSPC cultures. By using Matrigel, radial glia exhibiting a long GFAP(+) or DARPP-32(+) fibre and neurons exhibiting a significant acetyl-tubulin(+) process were obtained. The results confirmed that NSPCs obtained from A. rivulatus brains can proliferate and differentiate into neurons in vitro. Clonal culture can be useful for further studying the distinct NSPCs.

  3. Quantitative three-dimensional microtextural analyses of tooth wear as a tool for dietary discrimination in fishes

    PubMed Central

    Purnell, Mark; Seehausen, Ole; Galis, Frietson

    2012-01-01

    Resource polymorphisms and competition for resources are significant factors in speciation. Many examples come from fishes, and cichlids are of particular importance because of their role as model organisms at the interface of ecology, development, genetics and evolution. However, analysis of trophic resource use in fishes can be difficult and time-consuming, and for fossil fish species it is particularly problematic. Here, we present evidence from cichlids that analysis of tooth microwear based on high-resolution (sub-micrometre scale) three-dimensional data and new ISO standards for quantification of surface textures provides a powerful tool for dietary discrimination and investigation of trophic resource exploitation. Our results suggest that three-dimensional approaches to analysis offer significant advantages over two-dimensional operator-scored methods of microwear analysis, including applicability to rough tooth surfaces that lack distinct scratches and pits. Tooth microwear textures develop over a longer period of time than is represented by stomach contents, and analyses based on textures are less prone to biases introduced by opportunistic feeding. They are more sensitive to subtle dietary differences than isotopic analysis. Quantitative textural analysis of tooth microwear has a useful role to play, complementing existing approaches, in trophic analysis of fishes—both extant and extinct. PMID:22491979

  4. Cooling water of power plant creates "hot spots" for tropical fishes and parasites.

    PubMed

    Emde, Sebastian; Kochmann, Judith; Kuhn, Thomas; Dörge, Dorian D; Plath, Martin; Miesen, Friedrich W; Klimpel, Sven

    2016-01-01

    Thermally altered water bodies can function as "hot spots" where non-native species are establishing self-sustaining populations beyond their tropical and subtropical native regions. Whereas many tropical fish species have been found in these habitats, the introduction of non-native parasites often remains undetected. Here, n = 77 convict cichlids (Amatitlania nigrofasciata) were sampled by electro-fishing at two sites from a thermally altered stream in Germany and examined for parasite fauna and feeding ecology. Stomach content analysis suggests an opportunistic feeding strategy of A. nigrofasciata: while plant material dominated the diet at the warm water inlet (∼30 °C), relative contributions of insects, plants, and crustaceans were balanced 3 km downstream (∼27 °C). The most abundant non-native parasite species was the tropical nematode Camallanus cotti with P = 11.90 % and P = 80.00 % at the inlet and further downstream, respectively. Additionally, nematode larvae of Anguillicoloides crassus and one specimen of the subtropical species Bothriocephalus acheilognathi were isolated. A. nigrofasciata was also highly infected with the native parasite Acanthocephalus anguillae, which could be linked to high numbers of the parasite's intermediate host Asellus aquaticus. The aim of this study was to highlight the risk and consequences of the release and establishment of ornamental fish species for the introduction and spread of non-indigenous metazoan parasites using the convict cichlid as a model species. Furthermore, the spread of non-native parasites into adjacent fish communities needs to be addressed in the future as first evidence of Camallanus cotti in native fish species was also found.

  5. Multispecies Outcomes of Sympatric Speciation after Admixture with the Source Population in Two Radiations of Nicaraguan Crater Lake Cichlids.

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

    The formation of species in the absence of geographic barriers (i.e. sympatric speciation) remains one of the most controversial topics in evolutionary biology. While theoretical models have shown that this most extreme case of primary divergence-with-gene-flow is possible, only a handful of accepted empirical examples exist. And even for the most convincing examples uncertainties remain; complex histories of isolation and secondary contact can make species falsely appear to have originated by sympatric speciation. This alternative scenario is notoriously difficult to rule out. Midas cichlids inhabiting small and remote crater lakes in Nicaragua are traditionally considered to be one of the best examples of sympatric speciation and lend themselves to test the different evolutionary scenarios that could lead to apparent sympatric speciation since the system is relatively small and the source populations known. Here we reconstruct the evolutionary history of two small-scale radiations of Midas cichlids inhabiting crater lakes Apoyo and Xiloá through a comprehensive genomic data set. We find no signs of differential admixture of any of the sympatric species in the respective radiations. Together with coalescent simulations of different demographic models our results support a scenario of speciation that was initiated in sympatry and does not result from secondary contact of already partly diverged populations. Furthermore, several species seem to have diverged simultaneously, making Midas cichlids an empirical example of multispecies outcomes of sympatric speciation. Importantly, however, the demographic models strongly support an admixture event from the source population into both crater lakes shortly before the onset of the radiations within the lakes. This opens the possibility that the formation of reproductive barriers involved in sympatric speciation was facilitated by genetic variants that evolved in a period of isolation between the initial founding

  6. Multispecies Outcomes of Sympatric Speciation after Admixture with the Source Population in Two Radiations of Nicaraguan Crater Lake Cichlids

    PubMed Central

    Kautt, Andreas F.; Machado-Schiaffino, Gonzalo; Meyer, Axel

    2016-01-01

    The formation of species in the absence of geographic barriers (i.e. sympatric speciation) remains one of the most controversial topics in evolutionary biology. While theoretical models have shown that this most extreme case of primary divergence-with-gene-flow is possible, only a handful of accepted empirical examples exist. And even for the most convincing examples uncertainties remain; complex histories of isolation and secondary contact can make species falsely appear to have originated by sympatric speciation. This alternative scenario is notoriously difficult to rule out. Midas cichlids inhabiting small and remote crater lakes in Nicaragua are traditionally considered to be one of the best examples of sympatric speciation and lend themselves to test the different evolutionary scenarios that could lead to apparent sympatric speciation since the system is relatively small and the source populations known. Here we reconstruct the evolutionary history of two small-scale radiations of Midas cichlids inhabiting crater lakes Apoyo and Xiloá through a comprehensive genomic data set. We find no signs of differential admixture of any of the sympatric species in the respective radiations. Together with coalescent simulations of different demographic models our results support a scenario of speciation that was initiated in sympatry and does not result from secondary contact of already partly diverged populations. Furthermore, several species seem to have diverged simultaneously, making Midas cichlids an empirical example of multispecies outcomes of sympatric speciation. Importantly, however, the demographic models strongly support an admixture event from the source population into both crater lakes shortly before the onset of the radiations within the lakes. This opens the possibility that the formation of reproductive barriers involved in sympatric speciation was facilitated by genetic variants that evolved in a period of isolation between the initial founding

  7. Fish Rhabdoviruses

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kurath, G.; Winton, J.

    2008-01-01

    Many important viral pathogens of fish are members of the family Rhabdoviridae. The viruses in this large group cause significant losses in populations of wild fish as well as among fish reared in aquaculture. Fish rhabdoviruses often have a wide host and geographic range, and infect aquatic animals in both freshwater and seawater. The fish rhabdoviruses comprise a diverse collection of isolates that can be placed in one of two quite different groups: isolates that are members of the established genusNovirhabdovirus, and those that are most similar to members of the genus Vesiculovirus. Because the diseases caused by fish rhabdoviruses are important to aquaculture, diagnostic methods for their detection and identification are well established. In addition to regulations designed to reduce the spread of fish viruses, a significant body of research has addressed methods for the control or prevention of diseases caused by fish rhabdoviruses, including vaccination. The number of reported fish rhabdoviruses continues to grow as a result of the expansion of aquaculture, the increase in global trade, the development of improved diagnostic methods, and heightened surveillance activities. Fish rhabdoviruses serve as useful components of model systems to study vertebrate virus disease, epidemiology, and immunology.

  8. Seasonal variations in fish delta13C and delta15N in two West African reservoirs, Sélingué and Manantali (Mali): modifications of trophic links in relation to water level.

    PubMed

    Perga, Marie-Elodie; Arfi, Robert; Gerdeaux, Daniel

    2005-06-01

    Most regions in the tropics undergo high seasonal precipitation that produces cyclic patterns of riverine discharge, resulting in periods characterized by low and high water levels. Many chemical and bio-logical factors are affected by this hydrologic seasonality, and it therefore appeared to be very likely that aquatic food webs would also differ during the low and high water periods. Available carbon sources for fish are thought to be less varied during low water periods, but flooding during high water periods could bring fish into contact with a greater abundance and diversity of food sources such as terrestrial plants or the biofilms that grow on submerged terrestrial plants. At low water levels, higher fish densities may lead to more piscivory and less omnivory when compared with the high water periods. Therefore, trophic links within the fish communities may then be modified by water level changes in tropical reservoirs. To address this prediction, we performed stable isotope analyses of the most common species in Sélingué and Manantali, two large reservoirs in Mali (West Africa). Allochthonous and littoral carbon sources were shown to support fish production to a significant extent, even during low water periods. However, the allochthonous or littoral carbon contributions that sustained the top-predators production were indeed greater during the high water periods as expected. The expected higher omnivory in the high water period might have shortened the food chain when compared with the low water period. Some carnivorous fish species were shown to feed at lower trophic levels during high water periods in both reservoirs, but this was not a general pattern. Flooding did not, therefore, necessarily result in a shorter food chain when water levels were high.

  9. Two new species of zooplanktivorous haplochromine cichlids from Lake Victoria, Tanzania

    PubMed Central

    de Zeeuw, Marnix P.; Westbroek, Irene; van Oijen, Martien J.P.; Witte, Frans

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Two new species of zooplanktivorous haplochromine cichlids from Lake Victoria, Tanzania, are described and illustrated. These species closely resemble each other. Their affinities to other zooplanktivorous haplochromines from Lake Victoria are discussed. Haplochromis argens sp. n., which featured under nicknames (mainly Haplochromis “argens”) in more than 50 papers, was caught both in the Mwanza Gulf and the Emin Pasha Gulf, whereas Haplochromis goldschmidti sp. n. was only found in the Emin Pasha Gulf. Of the latter species only males are available, but it seems unlikely that it represents a case of male colour polymorphism as several presumably unrelated characters differ in sympatry between the two species, suggesting that there is no gene flow. Statistical analysis revealed that the overall difference between the two species is greater than that between the populations from the two locations. Body depth of the two species in sympatry in the Emin Pasha Gulf was more similar than that of Haplochromis goldschmidti sp. n. and the allopatric population of Haplochromis argens sp. n. from the Mwanza Gulf,which mayindicate an overall environmental effect. However, several measurements related to the width of snout and mouth differed more between the populations of the two species in sympatry than between the allopatric populations. In contrast to a group of zooplanktivorous species that recovered successfully after environmental changes in the lake, Haplochromis argens sp. n. is among a group that became extremely rare and probably is in danger of extinction; the conservation status of Haplochromis goldschmidti sp. n. is currently unknown. PMID:23717179

  10. Phylogenomics of African guenons.

    PubMed

    Moulin, Sibyle; Gerbault-Seureau, Michèle; Dutrillaux, Bernard; Richard, Florence Anne

    2008-01-01

    The karyotypes of 28 specimens belonging to 26 species of Cercopithecinae have been compared with each other and with human karyotype by chromosome banding and, for some of them, by Zoo-FISH (human painting probes) techniques. The study includes the first description of the karyotypes of four species and a synonym of Cercopithecus nictitans. The chromosomal homologies obtained provide us with new data on a large number of rearrangements. This allows us to code chromosomal characters to draw Cercopithecini phylogenetic trees, which are compared to phylogenetic data based on DNA sequences. Our findings show that some of the superspecies proposed by Kingdon (1997 The Kingdon Field Guide to African Mammals, Academic Press.) and Groves (2001 Primates Taxonomy, Smithsonian Institution Press) do not form homogeneous groups and that the genus Cercopithecus is paraphyletic, in agreement with previous molecular analyses. The evolution of Cercopithecini karyotypes is mainly due to non-centromeric chromosome fissions and centromeric shifts or inversions. Non-Robertsonian translocations occurred in C. hamlyni and C. neglectus. The position of chromosomal rearrangements in the phylogenetic tree leads us to propose that the Cercopithecini evolution proceeded by either repeated fission events facilitated by peculiar genomic structures or successive reticulate phases, in which heterozygous populations for few rearranged chromosomes were present, allowing the spreading of chromosomal forms in various combinations, before the speciation process.

  11. African Americans and Glaucoma

    MedlinePlus

    ... Involved News About Us Donate In This Section African Americans and Glaucoma email Send this article to a ... glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness in African Americans. Half of those with glaucoma don't know ...

  12. Black African Traditional Mathematics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zaslavsky, Claudia

    1970-01-01

    Discusses the traditional number systems and the origin of the number names used by several African peoples living south of the Sahara. Also included are limitations in African mathematical development, and possible topics for research. (RP)

  13. Texture Fish

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stone, Julie

    2007-01-01

    In an effort to provide an opportunity for her first graders to explore texture through an engaging subject, the author developed a three-part lesson that features fish in a mixed-media artwork: (1) Exploring Textured Paint; (2) Creating the Fish; and (3) Role Playing. In this lesson, students effectively explore texture through painting, drawing,…

  14. The African Connection

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Oguntoyinbo, Lekan

    2012-01-01

    From student and faculty exchanges to joint research projects, U.S. universities maintain a broad spectrum of collaborative relationships with African universities. It's unclear how many U.S. colleges and universities have partnerships with African universities. The African Studies Association, an organization of scholars, doesn't keep that kind…

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  16. Variability in brain ganglioside content and composition of endothermic mammals, heterothermic hibernators and ectothermic fishes.

    PubMed

    Kappel, T; Hilbig, R; Rahmann, H

    1993-06-01

    Content and composition of brain gangliosides were compared among endothermic mammals, heterothermic hibernators and ectothermic fishes from habitats with extreme ambient temperatures (tropic vs. antarctic waters). In general the content of brain gangliosides in fishes is significantly lower and exhibits a greater variability than in mammals. The composition of brain gangliosides was investigated using both one- and two-dimensional High Performance Thin Layer Chromatography (HPTLC). Both techniques showed a remarkable increase in the number of individual ganglioside fractions and an additional increase of higher polar fractions in fishes as compared with mammals. The 2D-HPTLC revealed a significant decrease in the relative proportion of alkali-labile gangliosides in the course of evolution from fish to mammals. Moreover this decrease in alkali-lability is correlated with the state of thermal adaptation (antarctic fishes, 53-66%; tropical cichlid fish, 35%). These results provide additional evidence for the notion that the extremely high polarity of brain gangliosides, especially of cold-blooded vertebrates, reflects a very efficient mechanism on the molecular level to keep the neuronal membrane functional under low temperature conditions.

  17. Occurrence of a novel acetylated amino acid, N(alpha)-acetylhistidine, in skeletal muscle of freshwater fish and other ectothermic vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Yamada, Shoji; Kawashima, Kazuto; Baba, Kyoko; Oku, Takahiro; Ando, Seiichi

    2009-03-01

    The occurrence of N(alpha)-acetylhistidine (NAH) in skeletal muscle of 91 species of freshwater fish and 9 species of other ectothermic vertebrates was investigated, with consideration of phylogenetic relationships. Of the 91 freshwater fish species examined, 13 species (7 cichlids, 5 anabantids, and 1 catfish) contained considerable amounts (>1 micromol/g) of NAH in their skeletal muscles. The highest level (10.37 micromol/g) of NAH was found in the tissue of Betta splendens (Siamese fighting fish). Moreover, the NAH contents in the tissues of Trichogaster trichopterus (three spot gourami), Kryptopterus bicirrhis (glass catfish), Oreochromis niloticus (Nile tilapia), Mikrogeophagus ramirezi (ram cichlid) and Parachromis managuensis (Guapote tigre) were 3.17-6.16 micromol/g. The skeletal muscle of amphibians (5 species) and reptiles (4 species) had a low level (<0.25 micromol/g) of NAH. The present findings clearly demonstrate NAH as the fifth imidazole-related compound, in addition to histidine, carnosine, anserine and ophidine (balenine), recognized as a major non-protein nitrogenous constituent in the skeletal muscle of vertebrate animals.

  18. One Fish, Two Fish, Redfish, You Fish!

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    White, Katherine; Timmons, Maryellen; Medders, Paul

    2011-01-01

    The recreational fishing activity presented in this article provides a hands-on, problem-based experience for students; it unites biology, math, economics, environmental policy, and population dynamics concepts. In addition, the activity allows students to shape environmental policy in a realistic setting and evaluate their peers' work. By…

  19. Fishing Forecasts

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1988-01-01

    ROFFS stands for Roffer's Ocean Fishing Forecasting Service, Inc. Roffer combines satellite and computer technology with oceanographic information from several sources to produce frequently updated charts sometimes as often as 30 times a day showing clues to the location of marlin, sailfish, tuna, swordfish and a variety of other types. Also provides customized forecasts for racing boats and the shipping industry along with seasonal forecasts that allow the marine industry to formulate fishing strategies based on foreknowledge of the arrival and departure times of different fish. Roffs service exemplifies the potential for benefits to marine industries from satellite observations. Most notable results are reduced search time and substantial fuel savings.

  20. Alternative reproductive tactics in snail shell-brooding cichlids diverge in energy reserve allocation

    PubMed Central

    von Kuerthy, Corinna; Tschirren, Linda; Taborsky, Michael

    2015-01-01

    Life history theory predicts that the amount of resources allocated to reproduction should maximize an individual's lifetime reproductive success. So far, resource allocation in reproduction has been studied mainly in females. Intraspecific variation of endogenous energy storage and utilization patterns of males has received little attention, although these patterns may vary greatly between individuals pursuing alternative reproductive tactics (ARTs). ARTs are characterized by systematic variation of behavioral, physiological, and often morphological traits among same-sex conspecifics. Some individuals may rely on previously accumulated reserves, because of limited foraging opportunities during reproduction. Others may be able to continue foraging during reproduction, thus relying on reserves to a lesser extent. We therefore predicted that, if male tactics involve such divergent limitations and trade-offs within a species, ARTs should correspondingly differ in energy reserve allocation and utilization. To test this prediction, we studied short-term and long-term reserve storage patterns of males in the shell-brooding cichlid Lamprologus callipterus. In this species, bourgeois males investing in territory defense, courtship, and guarding of broods coexist with two distinct parasitic male tactics: (1) opportunistic sneaker males attempting to fertilize eggs by releasing sperm into the shell opening when a female is spawning; and (2) specialized dwarf males attempting to enter the shell past the spawning female to fertilize eggs from inside the shell. Sneaker males differed from other male types by showing the highest amount of accumulated short-term and long-term fat stores, apparently anticipating their upcoming adoption of the nest male status. In contrast, nest males depleted previously accumulated energy reserves with increasing nest holding period, as they invest heavily into costly reproductive behaviors while not taking up any food. This conforms to a capital

  1. Alternative reproductive tactics in snail shell-brooding cichlids diverge in energy reserve allocation.

    PubMed

    von Kuerthy, Corinna; Tschirren, Linda; Taborsky, Michael

    2015-05-01

    Life history theory predicts that the amount of resources allocated to reproduction should maximize an individual's lifetime reproductive success. So far, resource allocation in reproduction has been studied mainly in females. Intraspecific variation of endogenous energy storage and utilization patterns of males has received little attention, although these patterns may vary greatly between individuals pursuing alternative reproductive tactics (ARTs). ARTs are characterized by systematic variation of behavioral, physiological, and often morphological traits among same-sex conspecifics. Some individuals may rely on previously accumulated reserves, because of limited foraging opportunities during reproduction. Others may be able to continue foraging during reproduction, thus relying on reserves to a lesser extent. We therefore predicted that, if male tactics involve such divergent limitations and trade-offs within a species, ARTs should correspondingly differ in energy reserve allocation and utilization. To test this prediction, we studied short-term and long-term reserve storage patterns of males in the shell-brooding cichlid Lamprologus callipterus. In this species, bourgeois males investing in territory defense, courtship, and guarding of broods coexist with two distinct parasitic male tactics: (1) opportunistic sneaker males attempting to fertilize eggs by releasing sperm into the shell opening when a female is spawning; and (2) specialized dwarf males attempting to enter the shell past the spawning female to fertilize eggs from inside the shell. Sneaker males differed from other male types by showing the highest amount of accumulated short-term and long-term fat stores, apparently anticipating their upcoming adoption of the nest male status. In contrast, nest males depleted previously accumulated energy reserves with increasing nest holding period, as they invest heavily into costly reproductive behaviors while not taking up any food. This conforms to a capital

  2. Fish Allergy

    MedlinePlus

    ... been diagnosed with a fish allergy, keep injectable epinephrine on hand in case of a severe reaction. ... mouth or throat or difficulty breathing, give the epinephrine auto-injector right away. Every second counts in ...

  3. Designer Fish.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hall, William R., Jr.

    1990-01-01

    Described is an activity in which students are asked to design a fish that would survive in a natural system. A project to computerize the activity is discussed. The development of this artificial intelligence software is detailed. (CW)

  4. Fish Facts

    MedlinePlus

    ... not eat any fish because they worry about mercury in seafood. Mercury is a metal that, at high levels, can ... many types of seafood have little or no mercury at all. So your risk of mercury exposure ...

  5. Fighting fish

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duchi, E.; Guerrini, V.; Rinaldi, S.; Schaeffer, G.

    2017-01-01

    We introduce new combinatorial structures, called fighting fish, that generalize directed convex polyominoes by allowing them to branch out of the plane into independent substructures. On the one hand the combinatorial structure of fighting fish appears to be particularly rich: we show that their generating function with respect to the perimeter and number of tails is algebraic, and we conjecture a mysterious multivariate equidistribution property with the left ternary trees introduced by Del Lungo et al On the other hand, fighting fish provide a simple and natural model of random branching surfaces which displays original features: in particular, we show that the average area of a uniform random fighting fish with perimeter 2n is of order n 5/4: to the best of our knowledge this behaviour is non-standard and suggests that we have identified a new universality class of random structures. Dedicated to Tony Guttmann on the occasion of his 70th birthday.

  6. Facial Recognition in a Discus Fish (Cichlidae): Experimental Approach Using Digital Models

    PubMed Central

    Satoh, Shun; Tanaka, Hirokazu; Kohda, Masanori

    2016-01-01

    A number of mammals and birds are known to be capable of visually discriminating between familiar and unfamiliar individuals, depending on facial patterns in some species. Many fish also visually recognize other conspecifics individually, and previous studies report that facial color patterns can be an initial signal for individual recognition. For example, a cichlid fish and a damselfish will use individual-specific color patterns that develop only in the facial area. However, it remains to be determined whether the facial area is an especially favorable site for visual signals in fish, and if so why? The monogamous discus fish, Symphysopdon aequifasciatus (Cichlidae), is capable of visually distinguishing its pair-partner from other conspecifics. Discus fish have individual-specific coloration patterns on entire body including the facial area, frontal head, trunk and vertical fins. If the facial area is an inherently important site for the visual cues, this species will use facial patterns for individual recognition, but otherwise they will use patterns on other body parts as well. We used modified digital models to examine whether discus fish use only facial coloration for individual recognition. Digital models of four different combinations of familiar and unfamiliar fish faces and bodies were displayed in frontal and lateral views. Focal fish frequently performed partner-specific displays towards partner-face models, and did aggressive displays towards models of non-partner’s faces. We conclude that to identify individuals this fish does not depend on frontal color patterns but does on lateral facial color patterns, although they have unique color patterns on the other parts of body. We discuss the significance of facial coloration for individual recognition in fish compared with birds and mammals. PMID:27191162

  7. Inter-household and intra-household patterns of fish and meat consumption in fishing communities in two states in Nigeria.

    PubMed

    Gomna, Ahmed; Rana, Krishen

    2007-01-01

    Fish is generally regarded as a primary source of protein for many poor African fishing communities. The present study compared the relative importance of fish as a high-quality dietary protein source with meat in fishing communities in two states in Nigeria. Fifty fishing households in which active fishing was the primary activity and fifty non-fishing households (agriculture being stated as primary activity) in traditional fishing communities were randomly selected in the coastal state of Lagos and the inland state of Niger. A simple weighing balance was designed and given to each household to measure fish or meat entering the household for consumption. A comparison of consumption using this method against the 24h recall method revealed that the recall method accounted for only one third of actual fish consumed. Overall, the price of fish was higher and consumption lower in Lagos compared with Niger State. At the household level in both states, the consumption of fish in fishing households was twice that of non-fishing households, whereas meat consumption was similar. A total of thirty-nine different fish species were consumed, with Tilapia contributing 24% by weight of the fish consumed. In both states, beef was the most frequently consumed meat, followed by goat meat. The study revealed a high preference for fresh fish. The highest fish consumption occurred in March, corresponding to the period of lowest meat consumption. On a unit weight basis, heads of households consumed 59% more fish than their wives or children.

  8. Salinity effects on behavioural response to hypoxia in the non-native Mayan cichlid Cichlasoma urophthalmus from Florida Everglades wetlands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schofield, P.J.; Loftus, W.F.; Fontaine, J.A.

    2009-01-01

    This study quantified the hypoxia tolerance of the Mayan cichlid Cichlasoma urophthalmus over a range of salinities. The species was very tolerant of hypoxia, using aquatic surface respiration (ASR) and buccal bubble holding when oxygen tensions dropped to <20 mmHg (c. 1??0 mg l-1) and 6 mmHg, respectively. Salinity had little effect on the hypoxia tolerance of C. urophthalmus, except that bubble holding was more frequent at the higher salinities tested. Levels of aggression were greatest at the highest salinity. The ASR thresholds of C. urophthalmus were similar to native centrarchid sunfishes from the Everglades, however, aggression levels for C. uropthalmus were markedly higher. ?? 2009 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.

  9. The 'Fish Trader+' model: reducing female fish traders' vulnerability to HIV.

    PubMed

    Hüsken, Saskia Mc; Heck, Simon

    2012-03-01

    Analysis from research and practice in Africa shows that fishing communities are hardly reached by HIV-related services, education, and business services, partly because of the efforts and costs involved and a lack of good practice in reaching out to these often remote areas. At the same time, fish traders, especially women, travel regularly to remote fishing camps to purchase fish. Although female fish traders may be exposed to HIV, violence and abuse in their interactions and relationships with fishermen, economic necessity keeps them in this trade. Good health among fisherfolk is a basic mainstay of productive and sustainable fisheries, providing food and income to fishing communities and the nation at large. However, these benefits are severely at risk as per-capita fish supplies in several African countries are declining, and fisherfolk are among the populations most vulnerable to HIV and AIDS. Under the regional programme 'Fisheries and HIV/AIDS in Africa: Investing in sustainable solutions,' the WorldFish Center conducted a socioeconomic assessment in the Kafue Flats fishery in Zambia to identify factors related to HIV/AIDS vulnerability among people in the fishing communities, particularly female fish traders. The study identified a variety of factors, hence the 'Fish Trader+' model of intervention was developed to reduce female fish traders' vulnerability to HIV by building on their economic rationale through the formation of savings groups. This article outlines the implementation of the Fish Trader+ model in Zambia and examines its potential to empower female fish traders so as to reduce poverty and vulnerability to HIV in fishing communities.

  10. Termite fishing by wild chimpanzees: new data from Ugalla, western Tanzania.

    PubMed

    Stewart, Fiona A; Piel, Alex K

    2014-01-01

    Chimpanzees manufacture flexible fishing probes to fish for termites in Issa, Ugalla, western Tanzania. These termite-fishing tools are similar in size and material to those used by long-studied communities of chimpanzees in western Tanzania (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii) and in West Africa (P. t. verus), but not central African populations (P. t. troglodytes). This report adds to the patchwork of evidence of termite-fishing tool use behaviour by chimpanzees across Africa.

  11. The African superswell

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nyblade, Andrew A.; Robinson, Scott W.

    1994-01-01

    Maps of residual bathymetry in the ocean basins around the African continent reveal a broad bathymetric swell in the southeastern Atlantic Ocean with an amplitude of about 500 m. We propose that this region of anomalously shallow bathymetry, together with the contiguous eastern and southern African plateaus, form a superswell which we refer to as the African superswell. The origin of the African superswell is uncertain. However, rifting and volcanism in eastern Africa, as well as heat flow measurements in southern Africa and the southeastern Atlantic Ocean, suggest that the superswell may be attributed, at least in part, to heating of the lithosphere.

  12. Regional variation in otolith Sr:Ca ratios of African longfinned eel Anguilla mossambica and mottled eel Anguilla marmorata: a challenge to the classic tool for reconstructing migratory histories of fishes.

    PubMed

    Lin, Y-J; Jessop, B M; Weyl, O L F; Iizuka, Y; Lin, S-H; Tzeng, W-N; Sun, C-L

    2012-07-01

    Otolith Sr:Ca ratios of the African longfinned eel Anguilla mossambica and giant mottled eel Anguilla marmorata from nine freshwater sites in four rivers of South Africa were analysed to reconstruct their migratory life histories between freshwater and saltwater habitats. For A. mossambica, the Sr:Ca ratios in the otolith edge differed significantly among rivers and had large effect sizes, but did not differ among sites within a river. Otolith Sr:Ca ratios did not differ among rivers for A. marmorata. When rivers were pooled, the edge Sr:Ca ratios of A. mossambica were not significantly different from those of A. marmorata. According to the river-specific critical Sr:Ca ratio distinguishing freshwater from saltwater residence, most A. mossambica and A. marmorata had saltwater habitat experience after settlement in fresh water. This was primarily during their elver stage or early in the yellow eel stage. During the middle and late yellow eel stage, freshwater residency was preferred and only sporadic visits were made to saltwater habitats. The data also suggest that regional variations in otolith Sr:Ca ratios affect the critical Sr:Ca value and are a challenge for the reconstruction of migratory life histories that should be explicitly considered to avoid bias and uncertainty.

  13. The asymmetrical growth of otoliths in fish is affected by hypergravity.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anken, R. H.; Kappel, T.; Rahmann, H.

    1999-12-01

    Size and asymmetry (size difference between the left and the right side) of inner ear otoliths of larval cichlid fish were determined after a long-term stay at moderate hypergravity conditions (3 g; centrifuge), in the course of which the animals completed their ontogenetic development from hatch to freely swimming. Both the normal morphogenetic development as well as the timely onset and gain of performance of the swimming behaviour was not impaired by the experimental conditions. However, both utricular and saccular otoliths (lapilli and sagittae, respectively) were significantly smaller after hyper- g exposure as compared to parallely raised 1 g control specimens. The asymmetry of sagittae was significantly increased in the experimental animals, whereas the respective asymmetry concerning lapilli was pronouncedly decreased in comparison to the 1 g controls. These findings suggest, that the growth and the development of bilateral asymmetry of otoliths is guided by the environmental gravity vector.

  14. A comparison of biomarker responses in juvenile diploid and triploid African catfish, Clarias gariepinus, exposed to the pesticide butachlor

    EPA Science Inventory

    Influence of waterborne butachlor (BUC), a commonly used pesticide, on morphometric, biochemical, and molecular biomarkers was evaluated in juvenile, full sibling, diploid and triploid African catfish (Clarias gariepinus). Fish were exposed for 21 days to one of three concentrati...

  15. Karuk Fishing.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bennett, Ruth, Ed.; Goodwin, Norman

    A booklet on traditional fishing practices of the Karuk Indians of northwestern California is presented in the formal, literary English speech of Norman Goodwin, a Karuk medicine man involved in preserving ancient tribal traditions. Empirical information and personal narratives are combined in descriptions of different kinds of nets, social rules…

  16. Gone Fishing.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Olson-Demme, Hillary; Kisiel, Jim

    2003-01-01

    Presents a hands-on activity in which students create a model of an ocean ecosystem to gain an understanding of how humans can alter biodiversity through their actions. Uses differing levels of fishing technology to explore the concepts of sustainability and overfishing. (Author/SOE)

  17. Commercial Fishing.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Florida State Dept. of Education, Tallahassee. Div. of Vocational Education.

    This document is a curriculum framework for a program in commercial fishing to be taught in Florida secondary and postsecondary institutions. This outline covers the major concepts/content of the program, which is designed to prepare students for employment in occupations with titles such as net fishers, pot fishers, line fishers, shrimp boat…

  18. Understanding African American Males

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bell, Edward Earl

    2010-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to assess the socialization skills, self-esteem, and academic readiness of African American males in a school environment. Discussions with students and the School Perceptions Questionnaire provided data for this investigation. The intended targets for this investigation were African American students; however, there…

  19. Africans Away from Home.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Clarke, John Henrik

    Africans who were brought across the Atlantic as slaves never fully adjusted to slavery or accepted its inevitability. Resistance began on board the slave ships, where many jumped overboard or committed suicide. African slaves in South America led the first revolts against tyranny in the New World. The first slave revolt in the Caribbean occurred…

  20. Educating African American Males

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bell, Edward E.

    2010-01-01

    Background: Schools across America spend money, invest in programs, and sponsor workshops, offer teacher incentives, raise accountability standards, and even evoke the name of Obama in efforts to raise the academic achievement of African American males. Incarceration and college retention rates point to a dismal plight for many African American…

  1. 16 Extraordinary African Americans.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lobb, Nancy

    This collection for children tells the stories of 16 African Americans who helped make America what it is today. African Americans can take pride in the heritage of these contributors to society. Biographies are given for the following: (1) Sojourner Truth, preacher and abolitionist; (2) Frederick Douglass, abolitionist; (3) Harriet Tubman, leader…

  2. Keeping African Masks Real

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Waddington, Susan

    2012-01-01

    Art is a good place to learn about our multicultural planet, and African masks are prized throughout the world as powerfully expressive artistic images. Unfortunately, multicultural education, especially for young children, can perpetuate stereotypes. Masks taken out of context lose their meaning and the term "African masks" suggests that there is…

  3. Paternal inheritance of growth in fish pursuing alternative reproductive tactics.

    PubMed

    Wirtz-Ocaňa, Sabine; Schütz, Dolores; Pachler, Gudrun; Taborsky, Michael

    2013-06-01

    In species with indeterminate growth, age-related size variation of reproductive competitors within each sex is often high. This selects for divergence in reproductive tactics of same-sex competitors, particularly in males. Where alternative tactics are fixed for life, the causality of tactic choice is often unclear. In the African cichlid Lamprologus callipterus, large nest males collect and present empty snail shells to females that use these shells for egg deposition and brood care. Small dwarf males attempt to fertilize eggs by entering shells in which females are spawning. The bourgeois nest males exceed parasitic dwarf males in size by nearly two orders of magnitude, which is likely to result from greatly diverging growth patterns. Here, we ask whether growth patterns are heritable in this species, or whether and to which extent they are determined by environmental factors. Standardized breeding experiments using unrelated offspring and maternal half-sibs revealed highly divergent growth patterns of male young sired by nest or dwarf males, whereas the growth of female offspring of both male types did not differ. As expected, food had a significant modifying effect on growth, but neither the quantity of breeding substrate in the environment nor ambient temperature affected growth. None of the environmental factors tested influenced the choice of male life histories. We conclude that in L. callipterus growth rates of bourgeois and parasitic males are paternally inherited, and that male and female growth is phenotypically plastic to only a small degree.

  4. Paternal inheritance of growth in fish pursuing alternative reproductive tactics

    PubMed Central

    Wirtz-Ocaňa, Sabine; Schütz, Dolores; Pachler, Gudrun; Taborsky, Michael

    2013-01-01

    In species with indeterminate growth, age-related size variation of reproductive competitors within each sex is often high. This selects for divergence in reproductive tactics of same-sex competitors, particularly in males. Where alternative tactics are fixed for life, the causality of tactic choice is often unclear. In the African cichlid Lamprologus callipterus, large nest males collect and present empty snail shells to females that use these shells for egg deposition and brood care. Small dwarf males attempt to fertilize eggs by entering shells in which females are spawning. The bourgeois nest males exceed parasitic dwarf males in size by nearly two orders of magnitude, which is likely to result from greatly diverging growth patterns. Here, we ask whether growth patterns are heritable in this species, or whether and to which extent they are determined by environmental factors. Standardized breeding experiments using unrelated offspring and maternal half-sibs revealed highly divergent growth patterns of male young sired by nest or dwarf males, whereas the growth of female offspring of both male types did not differ. As expected, food had a significant modifying effect on growth, but neither the quantity of breeding substrate in the environment nor ambient temperature affected growth. None of the environmental factors tested influenced the choice of male life histories. We conclude that in L. callipterus growth rates of bourgeoi