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Sample records for african cichlid species

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1998-06-01

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

  6. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  14. 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

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

    PubMed

    Miyagi, Ryutaro; Terai, Yohey

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Barluenga, Marta; Meyer, Axel

    2004-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2003-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Klett, Vera; Meyer, Axel

    2002-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

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

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Takahashi, Tetsumi; Sota, Teiji

    2016-07-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Keck, Benjamin P; Hulsey, C Darrin

    2014-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2003-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2003-01-22

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-06-01

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

  15. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-22

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

  17. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  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. Sex-linked markers and microsatellite locus duplication in the cichlid species Oreochromis tanganicae.

    PubMed

    Cnaani, Avner; Kocher, Thomas D

    2008-12-23

    Cichlid species of the genus Oreochromis vary in their genetic sex-determination systems. In this study, we used microsatellite DNA markers to characterize the sex-determination system in Oreochromis tanganicae. Markers on linkage group 3 were associated with phenotypic sex, with an inheritance pattern typical of a female heterogametic species (WZ-ZZ). Further, locus duplication was observed for two separate microsatellite markers on the sex chromosome. These results further advance our understanding of the rapidly evolving sex-determination systems among these closely related tilapia species. PMID:18700198

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

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

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

  5. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Maruska, Karen P.; Fernald, Russell D.

    2013-01-01

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

  7. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-13

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Fryer, G

    2001-06-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Fryer, G.

    2001-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-10-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  15. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-04-01

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

  17. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-18

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2003-04-11

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

  1. 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

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. 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

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  8. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  10. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    Two new species of Sciadicleithrum Kritsky, Thatcher and Boeger, 1989 are described from two cichlids from the Araguarí River, State of Amapá, northern Brazil. Sciadicleithrum edgari n. sp. from Satanoperca jurupari (Heckel, 1840) differs from all congeneric species in the morphology (hook-shaped, with middle process and distally bifurcate) of the accessory piece of the male copulatory organ (MCO). Sciadiclethrum araguariensis n. sp. from Crenicichla labrina (Spix and Agassiz, 1831) can be distinguished from all other species by a Y-shaped accessory piece of MCO. In addition to the description of two new species, new host and geographical records of six dactylogyrid monogeneans from cichlid fishes are presented. PMID:26751887

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-05-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  15. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  18. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

  1. 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

  2. Trophic radiation through polymorphism in cichlid fishes.

    PubMed

    Sage, R D; Selander, R K

    1975-11-01

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

  3. Trophic radiation through polymorphism in cichlid fishes

    PubMed Central

    Sage, Richard D.; Selander, Robert K.

    1975-01-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. Male mating preferences pre-date the origin of a female trait polymorphism in an incipient species complex of Lake Victoria cichlids.

    PubMed

    Pierotti, M E R; Seehausen, O

    2007-01-01

    Disruptive sexual selection on colour patterns has been suggested as a major cause of diversification in the cichlid species flock of Lake Victoria. In Neochromis omnicaeruleus, a colour and sex determination polymorphism is associated with a polymorphism in male and female mating preferences. Theoretical work on this incipient species complex found conditions for rapid sympatric speciation by selection on sex determination and sexual selection on male and female colour patterns, under restrictive assumptions. Here we test the biological plausibility of a key assumption of such models, namely, the existence of a male preference against a novel female colour morph before its appearance in the population. We show that most males in a population that lacks the colour polymorphism exhibit a strong mating preference against the novel female colour morph and that reinforcement is not a likely explanation for the origin of such male preferences. Our results show that a specific condition required for the combined action of selection on sex determination and sexual selection to drive sympatric speciation is biologically justified. Finally, we suggest that Lake Victoria cichlids might share an ancestral female recognition scheme, predisposing colour monomorphic populations/species to similar evolutionary pathways leading to divergence of colour morphs in sympatry. PMID:17210017

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1996-06-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Maruska, Karen P.; Fernald, Russell D.

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Kuraku, Shigehiro; Meyer, Axel

    2008-12-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  13. Repeated trans-watershed hybridization among haplochromine cichlids (Cichlidae) was triggered by Neogene landscape evolution

    PubMed Central

    Schwarzer, Julia; Swartz, Ernst Roelof; Vreven, Emmanuel; Snoeks, Jos; Cotterill, Fenton Peter David; Misof, Bernhard; Schliewen, Ulrich Kurt

    2012-01-01

    The megadiverse haplochromine cichlid radiations of the East African lakes, famous examples of explosive speciation and adaptive radiation, are according to recent studies, introgressed by different riverine lineages. This study is based on the first comprehensive mitochondrial and nuclear DNA dataset from extensive sampling of riverine haplochromine cichlids. It includes species from the lower River Congo and Angolan (River Kwanza) drainages. Reconstruction of phylogenetic hypotheses revealed the paradox of clearly discordant phylogenetic signals. Closely related mtDNA haplotypes are distributed thousands of kilometres apart and across major African watersheds, whereas some neighbouring species carry drastically divergent mtDNA haplotypes. At shallow and deep phylogenetic layers, strong signals of hybridization are attributed to the complex Late Miocene/Early Pliocene palaeohistory of African rivers. Hybridization of multiple lineages across changing watersheds shaped each of the major haplochromine radiations in lakes Tanganyika, Victoria, Malawi and the Kalahari Palaeolakes, as well as a miniature species flock in the Congo basin (River Fwa). On the basis of our results, introgression occurred not only on a spatially restricted scale, but massively over almost the whole range of the haplochromine distribution. This provides an alternative view on the origin and exceptional high diversity of this enigmatic vertebrate group. PMID:22951733

  14. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

  17. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1990-10-11

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

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

    PubMed

    Powder, Kara E; Albertson, R Craig

    2016-07-15

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-15

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Darrin Hulsey, C

    2005-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  4. 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

  5. Genome Size Variations in Diploid African Coffea Species

    PubMed Central

    NOIROT, M.; PONCET, V.; BARRE, P.; HAMON, P.; HAMON, S.; DE KOCHKO, A.

    2003-01-01

    Flow cytometry was conducted to evaluate genome size diversity among African diploid species of the Coffea genus. The study included 15 species and six new taxa from Congolese and Cameroonian forest regions which have yet to be botanically characterized. Between‐population differences were also recorded in some cases. These evaluations using an internal standard were highly correlated with previous results obtained with an external standard, but differences of up to 18 % existed for some species, involving stoichiometric errors. Consequently, genome size variation between species and within species are discussed as true genome size differences or stoichiometric errors. Environmental and phenotypic correlations with genome size are also discussed. PMID:14573524

  6. New species of African Plume moths (Lepidoptera, Pterophoridae).

    PubMed

    Ustjuzhanin, P; Kovtunovich, V; Ustjuzhanina, A

    2015-01-01

    This article describes four new Pterophoridae species from Africa (Zambia, Tanzania and the Republic of South African): Platyptilia junkeri Ustjuzhanin & Kovtunovich sp. nov., Pselnophorus huntii Ustjuzhanin & Kovtunovich sp. nov., Pselnophorus tanzanicus Ustjuzhanin & Kovtunovich sp. nov., Merrifieldia aurea Ustjuzhanin & Kovtunovich sp. nov. PMID:26249061

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  8. The fish eye view: are cichlids conspicuous?

    PubMed

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

    2010-07-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Sefc, Kristina M.

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Sefc, Kristina M

    2011-01-01

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

  11. Psallops niedzwiedzkii, a new species from Ghana with a key to African species (Heteroptera, Miridae, Psallopinae)

    PubMed Central

    Herczek, Aleksander; Popov, Yuri A.; Gorczyca, Jacek

    2016-01-01

    Abstract A new species from Ghana, Psallops niedzwiedzkii Herczek & Popov, sp. n. is described. The dorsal habitus, head and male genitalia are presented and some morphological features are discussed. A key, short descriptions and map of the distribution of the African species of the genus are also provided. PMID:27551202

  12. Psallops niedzwiedzkii, a new species from Ghana with a key to African species (Heteroptera, Miridae, Psallopinae).

    PubMed

    Herczek, Aleksander; Popov, Yuri A; Gorczyca, Jacek

    2016-01-01

    A new species from Ghana, Psallops niedzwiedzkii Herczek & Popov, sp. n. is described. The dorsal habitus, head and male genitalia are presented and some morphological features are discussed. A key, short descriptions and map of the distribution of the African species of the genus are also provided. PMID:27551202

  13. 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

  14. Nomenclature of African species of the genus Stenodactylus (Squamata: Gekkonidae).

    PubMed

    Metallinou, Margarita; Crochet, Pierre-André

    2013-01-01

    The statuses of proposed nomina of the North African species of the genus Stenodactylus have been revised based on the study of their original descriptions and the examination of their name-bearing types. Important nomenclatural actions proposed include the designation of a lectotype for the nomen Stenodactylus guttatus ensuring continuity of the prevailing usage of S. petrii, and the proposal of maintaining prevailing usage of Stenodactylus sthenodactylus by applying to the International Commission of Zoological Nomenclature to set aside the existing name-bearing type and replace it with a neotype corresponding with that usage. PMID:26167591

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  16. Functional Diversification within a Predatory Species Flock

    PubMed Central

    Burress, Edward D.; Duarte, Alejandro; Serra, Wilson S.; Loueiro, Marcelo; Gangloff, Michael M.; Siefferman, Lynn

    2013-01-01

    Ecological speciation is well-known from adaptive radiations in cichlid fishes inhabiting lentic ecosystems throughout the African rift valley and Central America. Here, we investigate the ecological and morphological diversification of a recently discovered lotic predatory Neotropical cichlid species flock in subtropical South America. We document morphological and functional diversification using geometric morphometrics, stable C and N isotopes, stomach contents and character evolution. This species flock displays species-specific diets and skull and pharyngeal jaw morphology. Moreover, this lineage appears to have independently evolved away from piscivory multiple times and derived forms are highly specialized morphologically and functionally relative to ancestral states. Ecological speciation played a fundamental role in this radiation and our data reveal novel conditions of ecological speciation including a species flock that evolved: 1) in a piscivorous lineage, 2) under lotic conditions and 3) with pronounced morphological novelties, including hypertrophied lips that appear to have evolved rapidly. PMID:24278349

  17. Functional diversification within a predatory species flock.

    PubMed

    Burress, Edward D; Duarte, Alejandro; Serra, Wilson S; Loueiro, Marcelo; Gangloff, Michael M; Siefferman, Lynn

    2013-01-01

    Ecological speciation is well-known from adaptive radiations in cichlid fishes inhabiting lentic ecosystems throughout the African rift valley and Central America. Here, we investigate the ecological and morphological diversification of a recently discovered lotic predatory Neotropical cichlid species flock in subtropical South America. We document morphological and functional diversification using geometric morphometrics, stable C and N isotopes, stomach contents and character evolution. This species flock displays species-specific diets and skull and pharyngeal jaw morphology. Moreover, this lineage appears to have independently evolved away from piscivory multiple times and derived forms are highly specialized morphologically and functionally relative to ancestral states. Ecological speciation played a fundamental role in this radiation and our data reveal novel conditions of ecological speciation including a species flock that evolved: 1) in a piscivorous lineage, 2) under lotic conditions and 3) with pronounced morphological novelties, including hypertrophied lips that appear to have evolved rapidly. PMID:24278349

  18. 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

  19. Introgressive hybridization in a trophically polymorphic cichlid

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  20. Introgressive hybridization in a trophically polymorphic cichlid.

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-15

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-11-01

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

  3. Chromosome comparison of 17 species / sub-species of African Goliathini (Coleoptera, Scarabaeidae, Cetoniinae)

    PubMed Central

    Dutrillaux, Anne-Marie; Dutrillaux, Bernard

    2016-01-01

    Abstract The mitotic karyotypes of 17 species of African Goliathini (Cetoniinae) are described using various chromosome banding techniques. All but one are composed of 20 chromosomes, mostly metacentric, forming a karyotype assumed to be close to that of the Polyphaga ancestor. The most derived karyotypes are those of Goliathus goliatus Drury, 1770, with eight pairs of acrocentrics and Chlorocana africana Drury, 1773, with only14 chromosomes. In species of the genera Cyprolais Burmeister, 1842, Megalorhina Westwood, 1847, Stephanocrates Kolbe, 1894 and Stephanorrhina Burmeister, 1842, large additions of variable heterochromatin are observed on both some particular autosomes and the X chromosome. Species of the genera Eudicella White, 1839 and Dicronorrhina Burmeister, 1842 share the same sub-metacentric X. Although each species possesses its own karyotype, it remains impossible to propose robust phylogenetic relationships on the basis of chromosome data only. PMID:27551348

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

    PubMed

    Salzburger, Walter

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

  6. Quality assessment and antiplasmodial activity of West African Cochlospermum species.

    PubMed

    Lamien-Meda, Aline; Kiendrebeogo, Martin; Compaoré, Moussa; Meda, Roland N T; Bacher, Markus; Koenig, Karin; Pacher, Thomas; Fuehrer, Hans-Peter; Noedl, Harald; Willcox, Merlin; Novak, Johannes

    2015-11-01

    The present study focuses on development of phytochemical methods for quality assessment of two West-African Cochlospermum species (Cochlospermum planchonii and Cochlospermum tinctorium) traditionally used for malaria treatment in Burkina Faso. Antimalarial activity of preparations from dried rhizomes (decoction) was tested against the chloroquine-sensitive Plasmodium strain 3D7 using the histidine-rich protein II (HRP2) drug susceptibility assay and compared with extract preparations using organic solvents of different polarity. Two main apocarotenoids were isolated from rhizomes of C. planchonii and unambiguously identified as dihydrocochloxanthine and cochloxanthine by spectroscopic methods. Comparative HPLC analyses of thirty-nine (39) samples from markets and from collections in natural habitats of both species showed a high variability in the accumulation of cochloxanthines and related carotenoids which were proven to be characteristic for rhizomes of both species and generally absent in leaves. Furthermore, content of total phenolics and antioxidant activities (DPPH and FRAP) as well as haemolytic activity of various extracts was tested. The HPLC method presented here was validated and provides a good separation of both compounds including 10 minor carotenoids. Extracts from both species and pure cochloxanthine offered pronounced antioxidant activities and weak haemolytic activity while, in contrast, dihydrocochloxanthine had a strong haemolytic effect at the highest concentration analysed. However, cochloxanthine as well as dihydrocochloxanthine showed erythroprotective effects against the haemolytic activity of the reference saponin. Moderate antiplasmodial activity between 16 and 63 μg/ml were observed with all tested extracts, and lower IC50 values were obtained with pure dihydrocochloxanthine (IC50=6.9 μg/ml), cochloxanthine (IC50=6.8 μg/ml), the DCM fraction (IC50=2.4 μg/ml) and the ethyl acetate fraction (IC50=11.5μg/ml) derived from a methanolic

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

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

  10. 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. Transcriptomics of morphological color change in polychromatic Midas cichlids

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-05-01

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

  13. CpDNA-based species identification and phylogeography: application to African tropical tree species.

    PubMed

    Duminil, J; Heuertz, M; Doucet, J-L; Bourland, N; Cruaud, C; Gavory, F; Doumenge, C; Navascués, M; Hardy, O J

    2010-12-01

    Despite the importance of the African tropical rainforests as a hotspot of biodiversity, their history and the processes that have structured their biodiversity are understood poorly. With respect to past demographic processes, new insights can be gained through characterizing the distribution of genetic diversity. However, few studies of this type have been conducted in Central Africa, where the identification of species in the field can be difficult. We examine here the distribution of chloroplast DNA (cpDNA) diversity in Lower Guinea in two tree species that are difficult to distinguish, Erythrophleum ivorense and Erythrophleum suaveolens (Fabaceae). By using a blind-sampling approach and comparing molecular and morphological markers, we first identified retrospectively all sampled individuals and determined the limits of the distribution of each species. We then performed a phylogeographic study using the same genetic data set. The two species displayed essentially parapatric distributions that were correlated well with the rainfall gradient, which indicated different ecological requirements. In addition, a phylogeographic structure was found for E. suaveolens and, for both species, substantially higher levels of diversity and allelic endemism were observed in the south (Gabon) than in the north (Cameroon) of the Lower Guinea region. This finding indicated different histories of population demographics for the two species, which might reflect different responses to Quaternary climate changes. We suggest that a recent period of forest perturbation, which might have been caused by humans, favoured the spread of these two species and that their poor recruitment at present results from natural succession in their forest formations. PMID:21091558

  14. 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)

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-11

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

  3. Bayesian species delimitation in West African forest geckos (Hemidactylus fasciatus)

    PubMed Central

    Leaché, Adam D.; Fujita, Matthew K.

    2010-01-01

    Genealogical data are an important source of evidence for delimiting species, yet few statistical methods are available for calculating the probabilities associated with different species delimitations. Bayesian species delimitation uses reversible-jump Markov chain Monte Carlo (rjMCMC) in conjunction with a user-specified guide tree to estimate the posterior distribution for species delimitation models containing different numbers of species. We apply Bayesian species delimitation to investigate the speciation history of forest geckos (Hemidactylus fasciatus) from tropical West Africa using five nuclear loci (and mtDNA) for 51 specimens representing 10 populations. We find that species diversity in H. fasciatus is currently underestimated, and describe three new species to reflect the most conservative estimate for the number of species in this complex. We examine the impact of the guide tree, and the prior distributions on ancestral population sizes (θ) and root age (τ0), on the posterior probabilities for species delimitation. Mis-specification of the guide tree or the prior distribution for θ can result in strong support for models containing more species. We describe a new statistic for summarizing the posterior distribution of species delimitation models, called speciation probabilities, which summarize the posterior support for each speciation event on the starting guide tree. PMID:20519219

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

    PubMed

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

    2000-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-27

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

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

    Snellgrove, Donna L; Alexander, Lucille G

    2011-10-01

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

  8. 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

  9. Genome-wide Evidence Reveals that African and Eurasian Golden Jackals Are Distinct Species.

    PubMed

    Koepfli, Klaus-Peter; Pollinger, John; Godinho, Raquel; Robinson, Jacqueline; Lea, Amanda; Hendricks, Sarah; Schweizer, Rena M; Thalmann, Olaf; Silva, Pedro; Fan, Zhenxin; Yurchenko, Andrey A; Dobrynin, Pavel; Makunin, Alexey; Cahill, James A; Shapiro, Beth; Álvares, Francisco; Brito, José C; Geffen, Eli; Leonard, Jennifer A; Helgen, Kristofer M; Johnson, Warren E; O'Brien, Stephen J; Van Valkenburgh, Blaire; Wayne, Robert K

    2015-08-17

    The golden jackal of Africa (Canis aureus) has long been considered a conspecific of jackals distributed throughout Eurasia, with the nearest source populations in the Middle East. However, two recent reports found that mitochondrial haplotypes of some African golden jackals aligned more closely to gray wolves (Canis lupus), which is surprising given the absence of gray wolves in Africa and the phenotypic divergence between the two species. Moreover, these results imply the existence of a previously unrecognized phylogenetically distinct species despite a long history of taxonomic work on African canids. To test the distinct-species hypothesis and understand the evolutionary history that would account for this puzzling result, we analyzed extensive genomic data including mitochondrial genome sequences, sequences from 20 autosomal loci (17 introns and 3 exon segments), microsatellite loci, X- and Y-linked zinc-finger protein gene (ZFX and ZFY) sequences, and whole-genome nuclear sequences in African and Eurasian golden jackals and gray wolves. Our results provide consistent and robust evidence that populations of golden jackals from Africa and Eurasia represent distinct monophyletic lineages separated for more than one million years, sufficient to merit formal recognition as different species: C. anthus (African golden wolf) and C. aureus (Eurasian golden jackal). Using morphologic data, we demonstrate a striking morphologic similarity between East African and Eurasian golden jackals, suggesting parallelism, which may have misled taxonomists and likely reflects uniquely intense interspecific competition in the East African carnivore guild. Our study shows how ecology can confound taxonomy if interspecific competition constrains size diversification. PMID:26234211

  10. Vector Competence of Selected African Mosquito (Diptera: Culicidae) Species for Rift Valley Fever Virus

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Outbreaks of Rift Valley fever (RVF) in Egypt, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia have indicated the potential for this disease to spread from its enzootic areas in sub-Saharan Africa. Because little is known about the potential for most African mosquito species to transmit RVF virus (RVFV), we conducted stud...

  11. Draft Genome Sequences of Three Bacillus Species from South African Marine Sponges

    PubMed Central

    Matobole, Relebohile; Augustin Nsole Biteghe, Fleury; Klein, Timothy; Kirby, Bronwyn; Trindade, Marla

    2016-01-01

    The rise in antibiotic-resistant bacteria has spurred efforts to identify novel compounds with antimicrobial activity. This brief report describes the genome sequence of three Bacillus species isolates from South African marine sponges, which produce compounds with antimicrobial activity. A search for secondary metabolite clusters revealed several secondary metabolite pathways in these genomes, which may hold promise as novel antibiotics. PMID:27056214

  12. A new species of trichostrongyloid in African buffalo (Syncerus caffer) (Artiodactyla: Bovinae) from Uganda

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Africanastrongylus giganticus n. sp. is described based on large ostertagiine nematodes occurring in the abomasum of African buffalo, Syncerus caffer, from Uganda; this represents the second species recognized in the genus. Specimens of A. giganticus are characterized by large size (15-19 mm in tot...

  13. A new brachypterous scarab species, Orphnus longicornis (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Orphninae), from the East African Rift.

    PubMed

    Frolov, Andrey; Akhmetova, Lilia

    2015-01-01

    The Afrotropical Region is the center of the diversity of the scarab beetle genus Orphnus MacLeay, 1819 (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Orphninae), with 94 species occurring from Sahel in the north to Little Karoo in the south (Paulian, 1948; Petrovitz, 1971; Frolov, 2008). The East African Rift is one of the richest regions of the Afrotropics housing more than 20 species of Orphnus (Paulian, 1948; Frolov, 2013), most of which are endemic to this region. Yet the scarab beetle fauna of the East African Rift, and especially the Eastern Arc Mountains, is still inadequately studied. Examination of the material housed in the Museum of Natural History of Humboldt-Universität, Berlin, Germany (ZMHUB), revealed a series of brachypterous Orphnus beetles belonging to an undescribed species. The new species is described and illustrated below. PMID:26624632

  14. Characterization of serum phospholipase a(2) activity in three diverse species of west african crocodiles.

    PubMed

    Merchant, Mark; Juneau, Kate; Gemillion, Jared; Falconi, Rodolfo; Doucet, Aaron; Shirley, Matthew H

    2011-01-01

    Secretory phospholipase A(2), an enzyme that exhibits substantial immunological activity, was measured in the serum of three species of diverse West African crocodiles. Incubation of different volumes of crocodile serum with bacteria labeled with a fluorescent fatty acid in the sn-2 position of membrane lipids resulted in a volume-dependent liberation of fluorescent probe. Serum from the Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus) exhibited slightly higher activity than that of the slender-snouted crocodile (Mecistops cataphractus) and the African dwarf crocodile (Osteolaemus tetraspis). Product formation was inhibited by BPB, a specific PLA(2) inhibitor, confirming that the activity was a direct result of the presence of serum PLA(2). Kinetic analysis showed that C. niloticus serum produced product more rapidly than M. cataphractus or O. tetraspis. Serum from all three species exhibited temperature-dependent PLA(2) activities but with slightly different thermal profiles. All three crocodilian species showed high levels of activity against eight different species of bacteria. PMID:22110960

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

    PubMed

    Seehausen, Ole

    2015-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

  17. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

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

  20. New African species of Helina Robineau-Desvoidy (Diptera, Muscidae).

    PubMed

    Couri, Márcia; Pont, Adrian

    2016-01-01

    The study of Afrotropical Muscidae deposited in the Natural History Museum (BMNH), London, United Kingdom, revealed four new species of Helina Robineau-Desvoidy, herein described and illustrated. Helina duocolorata sp. nov. is described from Kenya, Helina longicerca sp. nov. and Helina sexnotata sp. nov. from Nigeria, and Helina mediomaculata sp. nov. from Angola. All types are deposited in the collection of the BMNH. Some corrections are made to the entries under Helina in the Catalogue of the Diptera of the Afrotropical Region (Pont 1980). PMID:27394742

  1. Molecular characterization of Babesia and Cytauxzoon species in wild South-African meerkats.

    PubMed

    Leclaire, Sarah; Menard, Sandie; Berry, Antoine

    2015-04-01

    Piroplasms, including Babesia, Cytauxzoon and Theileria species, frequently infect domestic and wild mammals. At present, there is no information on the occurrence and molecular identity of these tick-borne blood parasites in the meerkat, one of South Africa's most endearing wildlife celebrities. Meerkats live in territorial groups, which may occur on ranchland in close proximity to humans, pets and livestock. Blood collected from 46 healthy meerkats living in the South-African Kalahari desert was screened by microscopy and molecular methods, using PCR and DNA sequencing of 18S rRNA and ITS1 genes. We found that meerkats were infected by 2 species: one species related to Babesia sp. and one species related to Cytauxzoon sp. Ninety one percent of the meerkats were infected by the Cytauxzoon and/or the Babesia species. Co-infection occurred in 46% of meerkats. The pathogenicity and vectors of these two piroplasm species remains to be determined. PMID:25374302

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

    PubMed Central

    Francis, R C; Barlow, G W

    1993-01-01

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

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. A new species of Eurytoma (Hymenoptera: Eurytomidae) attacking, Quadrastichus spp. (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae) galling Erythrina spp. (Fabaceae) with a summary of African Eurytoma spp. biology and species checklist

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Eurytoma erythrinae Gates and Delvare, new species, is described and illustrated. This species was reared from field-collected galls induced on Erythrina spp. by Quadrastichus spp. (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae), in Tanzania, Ghana, and South Africa. It is compared to a closely related African species. W...

  6. Uncovering cryptic species diversity of a termite community in a West African savanna.

    PubMed

    Hausberger, Barbara; Kimpel, Dorothea; van Neer, Abbo; Korb, Judith

    2011-12-01

    To uncover the termite species diversity of a natural African savanna ecosystem, we combined morphological analyses and sequencing of three gene fragments (cytochrome oxidase I, cytochrome oxidase II and 28SrDNA, total length about 2450 bp) to infer putative species from phylogenetic trees. We identified 18 putative species clusters with high support values and which we retrieved consistently. Samples from two genera (Ancistrotermes and Microcerotermes) were excluded from the mitochondrial phylogenetic analyses as they might represent nuclear mitochondrial sequences (NUMTs). In total, our data suggest a species richness of at least 20 species, all but one belonging to the Termitidae (higher termites), and among them the fungus-growing Macrotermitinae were most prevalent with at least nine putative species. Within the fungus-growers the most species-rich genus was Microtermes and its four putative species were all cryptic species. Their abundance in the samples suggests that they play an important ecological role which is completely unstudied also due to the lack of reliable identification means. Our study shows that morphological traits are unreliable means of species identification for several termite taxa. Yet reliable and consistent identification is necessary for studying the functional role of termites in ecosystem and global processes. PMID:21896335

  7. Seasonal patterns of mixed species groups in large East African mammals.

    PubMed

    Kiffner, Christian; Kioko, John; Leweri, Cecilia; Krause, Stefan

    2014-01-01

    Mixed mammal species groups are common in East African savannah ecosystems. Yet, it is largely unknown if co-occurrences of large mammals result from random processes or social preferences and if interspecific associations are consistent across ecosystems and seasons. Because species may exchange important information and services, understanding patterns and drivers of heterospecific interactions is crucial for advancing animal and community ecology. We recorded 5403 single and multi-species clusters in the Serengeti-Ngorongoro and Tarangire-Manyara ecosystems during dry and wet seasons and used social network analyses to detect patterns of species associations. We found statistically significant associations between multiple species and association patterns differed spatially and seasonally. Consistently, wildebeest and zebras preferred being associated with other species, whereas carnivores, African elephants, Maasai giraffes and Kirk's dik-diks avoided being in mixed groups. During the dry season, we found that the betweenness (a measure of importance in the flow of information or disease) of species did not differ from a random expectation based on species abundance. In contrast, in the wet season, we found that these patterns were not simply explained by variations in abundances, suggesting that heterospecific associations were actively formed. These seasonal differences in observed patterns suggest that interspecific associations may be driven by resource overlap when resources are limited and by resource partitioning or anti-predator advantages when resources are abundant. We discuss potential mechanisms that could drive seasonal variation in the cost-benefit tradeoffs that underpin the formation of mixed-species groups. PMID:25470495

  8. Seasonal Patterns of Mixed Species Groups in Large East African Mammals

    PubMed Central

    Kiffner, Christian; Kioko, John; Leweri, Cecilia; Krause, Stefan

    2014-01-01

    Mixed mammal species groups are common in East African savannah ecosystems. Yet, it is largely unknown if co-occurrences of large mammals result from random processes or social preferences and if interspecific associations are consistent across ecosystems and seasons. Because species may exchange important information and services, understanding patterns and drivers of heterospecific interactions is crucial for advancing animal and community ecology. We recorded 5403 single and multi-species clusters in the Serengeti-Ngorongoro and Tarangire-Manyara ecosystems during dry and wet seasons and used social network analyses to detect patterns of species associations. We found statistically significant associations between multiple species and association patterns differed spatially and seasonally. Consistently, wildebeest and zebras preferred being associated with other species, whereas carnivores, African elephants, Maasai giraffes and Kirk's dik-diks avoided being in mixed groups. During the dry season, we found that the betweenness (a measure of importance in the flow of information or disease) of species did not differ from a random expectation based on species abundance. In contrast, in the wet season, we found that these patterns were not simply explained by variations in abundances, suggesting that heterospecific associations were actively formed. These seasonal differences in observed patterns suggest that interspecific associations may be driven by resource overlap when resources are limited and by resource partitioning or anti-predator advantages when resources are abundant. We discuss potential mechanisms that could drive seasonal variation in the cost-benefit tradeoffs that underpin the formation of mixed-species groups. PMID:25470495

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

  10. Vector Competence in West African Aedes aegypti Is Flavivirus Species and Genotype Dependent

    PubMed Central

    Dickson, Laura B.; Sanchez-Vargas, Irma; Sylla, Massamba; Fleming, Karen; Black, William C.

    2014-01-01

    Background Vector competence of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes is a quantitative genetic trait that varies among geographic locations and among different flavivirus species and genotypes within species. The subspecies Ae. aegypti formosus, found mostly in sub-Saharan Africa, is considered to be refractory to both dengue (DENV) and yellow fever viruses (YFV) compared to the more globally distributed Ae. aegypti aegypti. Within Senegal, vector competence varies with collection site and DENV-2 viral isolate, but knowledge about the interaction of West African Ae. aegypti with different flaviviruses is lacking. The current study utilizes low passage isolates of dengue-2 (DENV-2-75505 sylvatic genotype) and yellow fever (YFV BA-55 -West African Genotype I, or YFV DAK 1279-West African Genotype II) from West Africa and field derived Ae. aegypti collected throughout Senegal to determine whether vector competence is flavivirus or virus genotype dependent. Methodology/Principal Findings Eight collections of 20–30 mosquitoes from different sites were fed a bloodmeal containing either DENV-2 or either isolate of YFV. Midgut and disseminated infection phenotypes were determined 14 days post infection. Collections varied significantly in the rate and intensity of midgut and disseminated infection among the three viruses. Conclusions/Significance Overall, vector competence was dependent upon both viral and vector strains. Importantly, contrary to previous studies, sylvatic collections of Ae. aegypti showed high levels of disseminated infection for local isolates of both DENV-2 and YFV. PMID:25275366

  11. Desertification and a shift of forest species in the West African Sahel

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gonzalez, P.

    2001-01-01

    Original field data show that forest species richness and tree density in the West African Sahel declined in the last half of the 20th century. Average forest species richness of areas of 4 km2 in Northwest Senegal fell from 64 ?? 2 species ca 1945 to 43 ?? 2 species in 1993, a decrease significant at p < 0.001. Densities of trees of height ???3 m declined from 10 ?? 0.3 trees ha-1 in 1954 to 7.8 ?? 0.3 trees ha-1 in 1989, also significant at p < 0.001. Standing wood biomass fell 2.1 t ha-1 in the period 1956-1993, releasing CO2 at a rate of 60 kgC person-1 yr-1. These changes have shifted vegetation zones toward areas of higher rainfall at an average rate of 500 to 600 m yr-1. Arid Sahel species have expanded in the north, tracking a concomitant retraction of mesic Sudan and Guinean species to the south. Multivariate analyses identify latitude and longitude, proxies for rainfall and temperature, as the most significant factors explaining tree and shrub distribution. The changes also decreased human carrying capacity to below actual population densities. The rural population of 45 people km-2 exceeded the 1993 carrying capacity, for firewood from shrubs, of 13 people km-2 (range 1 to 21 people km-2). As an adaptation strategy, ecological and socioeconomic factors favor the natural regeneration of local species over the massive plantation of exotic species. Natural regeneration is a traditional practice in which farmers select small field trees that they wish to raise to maturity, protect them, and prune them to promote rapid growth of the apical meristem. The results of this research provide evidence for desertification in the West African Sahel. These documented impacts of desertification foreshadow possible future effects of climate change.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  13. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

  15. New and remarkable Asian and North African species of Colletes Latreille (Hymenoptera: Colletidae).

    PubMed

    Kuhlmann, Michael; Proshchalykin, Maxim Yu

    2015-01-01

    In addition to previous studies on Asian and North African species of Colletes Latreille, we here further report records of 25 rarely collected and little known species. Six new species are described: Colletes comaticus Kuhlmann, sp. nov. (♂, Iran), C. uzbekus Kuhlmann & Proshchalykin, sp. nov. (♀, Uzbekistan), C. kazakhus Kuhlmann & Proshchalykin, sp. nov. (♂, Kazakhstan), C. tibestensis Kuhlmann, sp. nov. (♀, Chad, Sudan), C. packeri Kuhlmann, sp. nov. (♀, ♂, Thailand, Laos) and C. jemeniticus Kuhlmann, sp. nov. (♂, Yemen). The female of C. issykkuli Kuhlmann 2003 and the male of C. kaline Kuhlmann & Proshchalykin 2013 are here described for the first time. New synonymies are established for Colletes uralensis Noskiewicz 1936 (=C. kipyatkovi Kuhlmann & Proshchalykin 2013, syn. nov.) and C. salsolae Cockerell 1934 (=C. omanus Kuhlmann 2003, syn. nov.). PMID:26624297

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  17. Not a simple case - A first comprehensive phylogenetic hypothesis for the Midas cichlid complex in Nicaragua (Teleostei: Cichlidae: Amphilophus).

    PubMed

    Geiger, Matthias F; McCrary, Jeffrey K; Schliewen, Ulrich K

    2010-09-01

    Nicaraguan Midas cichlids from crater lakes have recently attracted attention as potential model systems for speciation research, but no attempt has been made to comprehensively reconstruct phylogenetic relationships of this highly diverse and recently evolved species complex. We present a first AFLP (2793 loci) and mtDNA based phylogenetic hypothesis including all described and several undescribed species from six crater lakes (Apoyeque, Apoyo, Asososca Leon, Masaya, Tiscapa and Xiloá), the two great Lakes Managua and Nicaragua and the San Juan River. Our analyses demonstrate that the relationships between the Midas cichlid members are complex, and that phylogenetic information from different markers and methods do not always yield congruent results. Nevertheless, monophyly support for crater lake assemblages from Lakes Apoyeque, Apoyo, A. Leon is high as compared to those from L. Xiloá indicating occurrence of sympatric speciation. Further, we demonstrate that a 'three species' concept for the Midas cichlid complex is inapplicable and consequently that an individualized and voucher based approach in speciation research of the Midas cichlid complex is necessary at least as long as there is no comprehensive revision of the species complex available. PMID:20580847

  18. 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

  19. High level of mislabeling in Spanish and Greek hake markets suggests the fraudulent introduction of African species.

    PubMed

    Garcia-Vazquez, Eva; Perez, Juliana; Martinez, Jose L; Pardiñas, Antonio F; Lopez, Belen; Karaiskou, Nikoletta; Casa, Mary F; Machado-Schiaffino, Gonzalo; Triantafyllidis, Alexander

    2011-01-26

    DNA analysis of hake products commercialized in southern European (Spanish and Greek) market chains have demonstrated more than 30% mislabeling, on the basis of species substitution. Tails and fillets were more mislabeled than other products, such as slices and whole pieces. African species were substitute species for products labeled as American and European species, and we suggest it is a case of deliberate economically profitable mislabeling because real market prices of European and American hake products are higher than those of African in Spanish market chains. The presented results suggest fraud detection that disadvantages African producers. Government-mandated genetic surveys of commercial hakes and the use of subsequent statements of fair trade on labels of seafood products could help to reduce fraud levels in a global market of increasingly conscious consumers sensitive to ethical issues. PMID:21175190

  20. Derivation of South African water quality guidelines for Roundup(®) using species sensitivity distribution.

    PubMed

    Mensah, Paul K; Palmer, Caroline G; Muller, Wilhelmine J

    2013-10-01

    Glyphosate-based herbicides are among the leading products used in South Africa to control weeds and invading alien plant species. Although these herbicides ultimately find their way into aquatic ecosystems, South Africa has no water quality guideline based on indigenous species to protect the country's aquatic biota against these biocides. In this study, South African water quality guidelines (SAWQGs) for Roundup(®) based on species sensitivity distribution (SSD) using indigenous aquatic biota were developed. Short-term and long-term toxicity tests were conducted with eight different aquatic species belonging to five different taxonomic groups. Static non-renewal experimental methods were employed for short-term lethal tests (≤4 days), and static renewal for long-term sublethal tests (≥4 days ≤21 days). LC50 values for animal exposure and EC50 values for algae were calculated using probit analysis and linear regression of transformed herbicide concentration as natural logarithm data against percentage growth inhibition, respectively. No effect concentration (NEC) was determined based on the dynamic energy budget model, using survival data. The LC50, EC50 and NEC values were used to develop species sensitivity distribution (SSD) concentrations for Roundup(®). Based on the SSD concentrations, the short-term and long-term SAWQGs for Roundup(®) were derived as 0.250 (0.106-0.589) mg/L, and 0.002 (0.000-0.021) mg/L, respectively. These WQGs may be useful in protecting South African aquatic life against transient or long-term exposure to glyphosate-based chemicals as part of integrated water resources management. PMID:23856119

  1. Culicoides species composition and environmental factors influencing African horse sickness distribution at three sites in Namibia.

    PubMed

    Liebenberg, Danica; Piketh, Stuart; Labuschagne, Karien; Venter, Gert; Greyling, Telane; Mienie, Charlotte; de Waal, Tania; van Hamburg, Huib

    2016-11-01

    African horse sickness (AHS) is one of the most lethal infectious, non-contagious, vector-borne disease of equids. The causative agent, African horse sickness virus (AHSV) is transmitted via Culicoides midges (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae). AHS is endemic to Namibia but detailed studies of Culicoides communities and influencing environmental parameters are limited. This study aims to determine the Culicoides species composition at three different sites and to assess environmental parameters influencing the geographical distribution of AHS in Namibia. Weekly collections of Culicoides were made during the AHS peak season from January to May for 2013 and 2014 using the Onderstepoort 220V UV-light trap. Out of 397 collections made, 124 collections (3287 Culicoides) were analysed for AHSV presence with RT-qPCR. A total of 295 collections were analysed for total Culicoides (all collected Culicoides individuals) and in 75% of these collections the Culicoides were identified to species level. C. imicola was the dominant species with proportional representation of 29.9%. C. subschultzei, C. exspectator and C. ravus each contribute more than 10% to the species composition. The lowest number of Culicoides was collected at Aus 9980, a total of 21819 at Windhoek and the highest number at Okahandja 47343. AHSV was present at all three sites during 2013 but only in Windhoek and Okahandja during 2014. Multivariate analyses of data from the two year survey indicate the environmental parameters in order of importance for the distribution of AHS in Namibia as precipitation>temperature>clay>relative humidity>NDVI. The implication of these findings is that any precipitation event increases Culicoides numbers significantly. Together with these results the high number of species found of which little is known regarding their vector competence, add to the complexity of the distribution of AHS in Namibia. PMID:27491343

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. Identification of naturally occurring hybrids between two overexploited sciaenid species along the South African coast.

    PubMed

    Mirimin, L; Kerwath, S E; Macey, B M; Bester-van der Merwe, A E; Lamberth, S J; Bloomer, P; Roodt-Wilding, R

    2014-07-01

    Hybridisation between fish species can play a significant role in evolutionary processes and can influence management and conservation planning, however, this phenomenon has been widely understudied, especially in marine organisms. The distribution limits of two sciaenid species (silver kob, Argyrosomus inodorus, and dusky kob, A. japonicus) partly overlap along the South African coast, where both species have undergone severe depletion due to overfishing. Following the identification of a number of possible cases of species misidentification or hybridisation (21 out of 422 individuals), nuclear and mitochondrial DNA data (12microsatellite loci and 562bp of the COI gene) were analysed to investigate the genetic composition of these individuals. Results indicated a field-based species misidentification rate of approximately 2.8% and a rate of natural hybridisation of 0.7%. Interestingly, all hybrid fish resulted from first-generation (F1) hybridisation events, which occurred exclusively between silver kob females and dusky kob males. Whether hybridisation is the result of natural events (such as secondary contact following a shift in distribution range), or anthropogenic activities (size-selective pressure due to overfishing), these findings have important implications for critical recovery and future management of these species in the wild. PMID:24582737

  6. Species delimitation in the Central African herbs Haumania (Marantaceae) using georeferenced nuclear and chloroplastic DNA sequences.

    PubMed

    Ley, A C; Hardy, O J

    2010-11-01

    Species delimitation is a fundamental biological concept which is frequently discussed and altered to integrate new insights. These revealed that speciation is not a one step phenomenon but an ongoing process and morphological characters alone are not sufficient anymore to properly describe the results of this process. Here we want to assess the degree of speciation in two closely related lianescent taxa from the tropical African genus Haumania which display distinct vegetative traits despite a high similarity in reproductive traits and a partial overlap in distribution area which might facilitate gene flow. To this end, we combined phylogenetic and phylogeographic analyses using nuclear (nr) and chloroplast (cp) DNA sequences in comparison to morphological species descriptions. The nuclear dataset unambiguously supports the morphological species concept in Haumania. However, the main chloroplastic haplotypes are shared between species and, although a geographic analysis of cpDNA diversity confirms that individuals from the same taxon are more related than individuals from distinct taxa, cp-haplotypes display correlated geographic distributions between species. Hybridization is the most plausible reason for this pattern. A scenario involving speciation in geographic isolation followed by range expansion is outlined. The study highlights the gain of information on the speciation process in Haumania by adding georeferenced molecular data to the morphological characteristics. It also shows that nr and cp sequence data might provide different but complementary information, questioning the reliability of the unique use of chloroplast data for species recognition by DNA barcoding. PMID:20813193

  7. Insights into the skeletal muscle characteristics of three southern African antelope species

    PubMed Central

    Kohn, Tertius Abraham

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT Skeletal muscle fibre type, cross-sectional area (CSA), maximum enzyme capacities and fibre oxidative capacities were investigated in three southern African antelope species. Muscle samples from blesbok (Damaliscus pygargus phillipsi), mountain reedbuck (Redunca fulvorufula) and greater kudu (Tragelaphus strepsiceros) were collected post mortem from the Vastus lateralis and analysed for myosin heavy chain (MHC) isoform content, citrate synthase (CS), 3-hydroxyacyl Co A dehydrogenase (3-HAD), phosphofructokinase (PFK), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and creatine kinase (CK) activities. Histochemistry and immunohistochemistry were performed to determine relative fibre oxidative capacity, fibre type and cross-sectional area (CSA). Type IIX fibres were the most abundant fibre type in all three species, ranging from 43 to 57%. Kudu had less type IIX fibres than mountain reedbuck and blesbok (P<0.05), values confirmed by their respective MHC isoform content. Blesbok had the smallest fibres, followed by mountain reedbuck and finally kudu (P<0.001). Overall, all three species had high oxidative and glycolytic capacities, but species differences were found. Kudu had the lowest CS activity, followed by blesbok and mountain reedbuck, but the highest PFK, LDH and CK activities. This study confirmed large variation in oxidative capacities within a single fibre type, as well as overlap between the fibre types with no distinct differences between the three species. The fibre type profile of each species is discussed and confirms some of their physical attributes and capabilities. PMID:25326514

  8. Laboratory evaluation of pathogenicity of entomogenous nematodes to African tick species.

    PubMed

    Kaaya, G P; Samish, M; Glazer, I

    2000-01-01

    Five strains of entomogenous nematodes, Steinernema carpocapsae strains DD, Mexican, SR, and Heterorhabditis bacteriophora strains 1S5 and HP88, were tested for their pathogenicity to various developmental stages of five African tick species namely; Rhipicephalus appendiculatus, R. evertsi, Amblyomma variegatum, A. gemma, and Boophilus decoloratus. In engorged female R. appendiculatus, all nematodes at a concentration of 1,000 infective juveniles (IJ)/dish, except S. carpocapsae Mexican strain, induced high mortalities (56-100%), whereas in engorged female R. evertsi, only S. carpocapsae DD and H. bacteriophora HP88 induced high mortalities (78% and 56%, respectively). In engorged B. decoloratus, S. carpocapsae DD, Mexican, SR and H. bacteriophora HP88 (100 IJ/dish) induced mortalities of 85%, 65%, 80%, and 100%, respectively. In all cases, except for S. carpocapsae Mexican strain, a higher concentration (5,000 IJ/dish) did not result in higher mortality than occurred with 1,000 IJ/dish. Unfed females and immature stages of ticks were found to be generally resistant to the nematodes. The feasibility of using entomogenous nematodes for biological control of African tick species are briefly discussed. PMID:11193637

  9. Animal African Trypanosomiasis: Time to Increase Focus on Clinically Relevant Parasite and Host Species.

    PubMed

    Morrison, Liam J; Vezza, Laura; Rowan, Tim; Hope, Jayne C

    2016-08-01

    Animal African trypanosomiasis (AAT), caused by Trypanosoma congolense and Trypanosoma vivax, remains one of the most important livestock diseases in sub-Saharan Africa, particularly affecting cattle. Despite this, our detailed knowledge largely stems from the human pathogen Trypanosoma brucei and mouse experimental models. In the postgenomic era, the genotypic and phenotypic differences between the AAT-relevant species of parasite or host and their model organism counterparts are increasingly apparent. Here, we outline the timeliness and advantages of increasing the research focus on both the clinically relevant parasite and host species, given that improved tools and resources for both have been developed in recent years. We propose that this shift of emphasis will improve our ability to efficiently develop tools to combat AAT. PMID:27167665

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

    PubMed

    Genner, Martin J; Turner, George F

    2012-01-01

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

  11. Geological Substrates Shape Tree Species and Trait Distributions in African Moist Forests

    PubMed Central

    Fayolle, Adeline; Engelbrecht, Bettina; Freycon, Vincent; Mortier, Frédéric; Swaine, Michael; Réjou-Méchain, Maxime; Doucet, Jean-Louis; Fauvet, Nicolas; Cornu, Guillaume; Gourlet-Fleury, Sylvie

    2012-01-01

    Background Understanding the factors that shape the distribution of tropical tree species at large scales is a central issue in ecology, conservation and forest management. The aims of this study were to (i) assess the importance of environmental factors relative to historical factors for tree species distributions in the semi-evergreen forests of the northern Congo basin; and to (ii) identify potential mechanisms explaining distribution patterns through a trait-based approach. Methodology/Principal Findings We analyzed the distribution patterns of 31 common tree species in an area of more than 700,000 km2 spanning the borders of Cameroon, the Central African Republic, and the Republic of Congo using forest inventory data from 56,445 0.5-ha plots. Spatial variation of environmental (climate, topography and geology) and historical factors (human disturbance) were quantified from maps and satellite records. Four key functional traits (leaf phenology, shade tolerance, wood density, and maximum growth rate) were extracted from the literature. The geological substrate was of major importance for the distribution of the focal species, while climate and past human disturbances had a significant but lesser impact. Species distribution patterns were significantly related to functional traits. Species associated with sandy soils typical of sandstone and alluvium were characterized by slow growth rates, shade tolerance, evergreen leaves, and high wood density, traits allowing persistence on resource-poor soils. In contrast, fast-growing pioneer species rarely occurred on sandy soils, except for Lophira alata. Conclusions/Significance The results indicate strong environmental filtering due to differential soil resource availability across geological substrates. Additionally, long-term human disturbances in resource-rich areas may have accentuated the observed patterns of species and trait distributions. Trait differences across geological substrates imply pronounced

  12. 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.

  13. The evolutionary dynamics of ancient and recent polyploidy in the African semiaquatic species of the legume genus Aeschynomene.

    PubMed

    Chaintreuil, Clémence; Gully, Djamel; Hervouet, Catherine; Tittabutr, Panlada; Randriambanona, Herizo; Brown, Spencer C; Lewis, Gwilym P; Bourge, Mickaël; Cartieaux, Fabienne; Boursot, Marc; Ramanankierana, Heriniaina; D'Hont, Angélique; Teaumroong, Neung; Giraud, Eric; Arrighi, Jean-François

    2016-08-01

    The legume genus Aeschynomene is notable in the ability of certain semiaquatic species to develop nitrogen-fixing stem nodules. These species are distributed in two clades. In the first clade, all the species are characterized by the use of a unique Nod-independent symbiotic process. In the second clade, the species use a Nod-dependent symbiotic process and some of them display a profuse stem nodulation as exemplified in the African Aeschynomene afraspera. To facilitate the molecular analysis of the symbiotic characteristics of such legumes, we took an integrated molecular and cytogenetic approach to track occurrences of polyploidy events and to analyze their impact on the evolution of the African species of Aeschynomene. Our results revealed two rounds of polyploidy: a paleopolyploid event predating the African group and two neopolyploid speciations, along with significant chromosomal variations. Hence, we found that A. afraspera (8x) has inherited the contrasted genomic properties and the stem-nodulation habit of its parental lineages (4x). This study reveals a comprehensive picture of African Aeschynomene diversification. It notably evidences a history that is distinct from the diploid Nod-independent clade, providing clues for the identification of the specific determinants of the Nod-dependent and Nod-independent symbiotic processes, and for comparative analysis of stem nodulation. PMID:27061605

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

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background The Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) is the second most farmed fish species worldwide. It is also an important model for studies of fish physiology, particularly because of its broad tolerance to an array of environments. It is a good model to study evolutionary mechanisms in vertebrates, because of its close relationship to haplochromine cichlids, which have undergone rapid speciation in East Africa. The existing genomic resources for Nile tilapia include a genetic map, BAC end sequences and ESTs, but comparative genome analysis and maps of quantitative trait loci (QTL) are still limited. Results We have constructed a high-resolution radiation hybrid (RH) panel for the Nile tilapia and genotyped 1358 markers consisting of 850 genes, 82 markers corresponding to BAC end sequences, 154 microsatellites and 272 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). From these, 1296 markers could be associated in 81 RH groups, while 62 were not linked. The total size of the RH map is 34,084 cR3500 and 937,310 kb. It covers 88% of the entire genome with an estimated inter-marker distance of 742 Kb. Mapping of microsatellites enabled integration to the genetic map. We have merged LG8 and LG24 into a single linkage group, and confirmed that LG16-LG21 are also merged. The orientation and association of RH groups to each chromosome and LG was confirmed by chromosomal in situ hybridizations (FISH) of 55 BACs. Fifty RH groups were localized on the 22 chromosomes while 31 remained small orphan groups. Synteny relationships were determined between Nile tilapia, stickleback, medaka and pufferfish. Conclusion The RH map and associated FISH map provide a valuable gene-ordered resource for gene mapping and QTL studies. All genetic linkage groups with their corresponding RH groups now have a corresponding chromosome which can be identified in the karyotype. Placement of conserved segments indicated that multiple inter-chromosomal rearrangements have occurred between Nile tilapia

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Concordant genetic structure in two species of woodpecker distributed across the primary West African biogeographic barriers.

    PubMed

    Fuchs, Jérôme; Bowie, Rauri C K

    2015-07-01

    The lowland forests of western and central tropical Africa are separated by several potential biogeographic barriers to dispersal for forest adapted vertebrates. The two primary barriers are (1) the Dahomey Gap, a savanna corridor that reaches the coast of southern Ghana, Togo and Benin, and separates the West African rainforest into the Upper (Ghana west to Guinea) and Lower Guinea (Nigeria to Uganda and Angola) forest blocks, and (2) the Lower Niger River, a large delta that separates Western and Eastern Nigeria. Previous studies on terrestrial vertebrates (lizards, mammals and birds) have highlighted a genetic break in the Dahomey Gap/Lower Niger River area although the relative importance of each barrier has not been assessed due to limitations in geographic sampling. We compared the phylogeographic history of two co-distributed sister-species of woodpeckers (Campethera caroli and C. nivosa) using data from three loci representing all inheritance modes. Our analyses revealed that both the Dahomey Gap and possibly the Lower Niger River acted as strong biogeographic barriers for the two woodpecker species, with the Lower Niger River being the first barrier to have formed, leading to three distinct populations of C. nivosa. Our divergence time analyses revealed that both these biogeographic barriers formed during the Pleistocene, supporting the Pleistocene refuge hypothesis, with the Dahomey Gap likely appearing about 0.5 myr BP. No genetic structure was recovered among sampled populations in either the Upper or the Lower Guinea Forest Block for both species, despite the considerable geographic area covered. PMID:25800284

  18. Analyses of volatiles produced by the African fruit fly species complex (Diptera, Tephritidae)

    PubMed Central

    Břízová, Radka; Vaníčková, Lucie; Faťarová, Mária; Ekesi, Sunday; Hoskovec, Michal; Kalinová, Blanka

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Ceratitis fasciventris, Ceratitis anonae and Ceratitis rosa are polyphagous agricultural pests originating from the African continent. The taxonomy of this group (the so-called Ceratitis FAR complex) is unclear. To clarify the taxonomic relationships, male and female-produced volatiles presumably involved in pre-mating communication were studied using comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography with time-of-flight mass spectrometry (GC×GC-TOFMS) followed by multivariate analysis, and gas chromatography combined with electroantennographic detection (GC-EAD). GC×GC-TOFMS analyses revealed sex specific differences in produced volatiles. Male volatiles are complex mixtures that differ both qualitatively and quantitatively but share some common compounds. GC-EAD analyses of male volatiles revealed that the antennal sensitivities of females significantly differ in the studied species. No female volatiles elicited antennal responses in males. The results show clear species-specific differences in volatile production and provide complementary information for the distinct delimitation of the putative species by chemotaxonomic markers. PMID:26798269

  19. Standardizing Visual Control Devices for Tsetse Flies: East African Species Glossina fuscipes fuscipes and Glossina tachinoides

    PubMed Central

    Oloo, Francis; Sciarretta, Andrea; Kröber, Thomas; McMullin, Andrew; Mihok, Steve; Guerin, Patrick M.

    2014-01-01

    Background Riverine species of tsetse are responsible for most human African trypanosomiasis (HAT) transmission and are also important vectors of animal trypanosomiasis. This study concerns the development of visual control devices for two such species, Glossina fuscipes fuscipes and Glossina tachinoides, at the eastern limits of their continental range. The goal was to determine the most long-lasting, practical and cost-effective visually attractive device that induces the strongest landing responses in these species for use as insecticide-impregnated tools in vector population suppression. Methods and Findings Field trials were conducted in different seasons on G. f. fuscipes in Kenya, Ethiopia and the Sudan and on G. tachinoides in Ethiopia to measure the performance of traps and 2D targets of different sizes and colours, with and without chemical baits, at different population densities and under different environmental conditions. Adhesive film was used to enumerate flies at these remote locations to compare trapping efficiencies. The findings show that targets made from black and blue fabrics (either phthalogen or turquoise) covered with adhesive film render them equal to or more efficient than traps at capturing G. f. fuscipes and G. tachinoides. Biconical trap efficiency varied between 25% and 33% for the two species. Smaller 0.25 m×0.25 m phthalogen blue-black targets proved more efficient than the regular 1 m2 target for both species, by over six times for Glossina f. fuscipes and two times for G. tachinoides based on catches per m2. Overall, targets with a higher edge/surface area ratio were more efficient at capturing flies. Conclusions/Significance Taking into account practical considerations and fly preferences for edges and colours, we propose a 0.5×0.75 m blue-black target as a simple cost-effective device for management of G. f. fuscipes and G. tachinoides, impregnated with insecticide for control and covered with adhesive film for population

  20. Microsatellite cross-species amplification and utility in southern African elasmobranchs: A valuable resource for fisheries management and conservation

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Similarly to the rest of the world, southern Africa’s diverse chondrichthyan fauna is currently experiencing high fishing pressures from direct and non-direct fisheries to satisfy market demands for shark products such as fins and meat. In this study, the development of microsatellite markers through cross-species amplification of primer sets previously developed for closely related species is reported as an alternative approach to de novo marker development. This included the design of four microsatellite multiplex assays and their cross-species utility in genetic diversity analysis of southern African elasmobranchs. As this study forms part of a larger project on the development of genetic resources for commercially important and endemic southern African species, Mustelus mustelus was used as a candidate species for testing these multiplex assays in down-stream applications. Results Thirty five microsatellite primer sets previously developed for five elasmobranch species were selected from literature for testing cross-species amplification in 16 elasmobranch species occurring in southern Africa. Cross-species amplification success rates ranged from 28.6%-71.4%. From the successfully amplified microsatellites, 22 loci were selected and evaluated for levels of polymorphism, and four multiplex assays comprising of the 22 microsatellites were successfully constructed, optimised and characterised in a panel of 87 Mustelus mustelus individuals. A total of 125 alleles were observed across all loci, with the number of alleles ranging from 3–12 alleles. Cross-species amplification of the four optimised multiplex assays was further tested on 11 commercially important and endemic southern African elasmobranch species. Percentage of polymorphism ranged from 31.8%-95.5% in these species with polymorphic information content decreasing exponentially with evolutionary distance from the source species. Conclusions Cross-species amplification of the 35

  1. Affinities between Asian non-human Schistosoma species, the S. indicum group, and the African human schistosomes.

    PubMed

    Agatsuma, T; Iwagami, M; Liu, C X; Rajapakse, R P V J; Mondal, M M H; Kitikoon, V; Ambu, S; Agatsuma, Y; Blair, D; Higuchi, T

    2002-03-01

    Schistosoma species have traditionally been arranged in groups based on egg morphology, geographical origins, and the genus or family of snail intermediate host. One of these groups is the 'S. indicum group' comprising species from Asia that use pulmonate snails as intermediate hosts. DNA sequences were obtained from the four members of this group (S. indicum, S. spindale, S. nasale and S. incognitum) to provide information concerning their phylogenetic relationships with other Asian and African species and species groups. The sequences came from the second internal transcribed spacer (ITS2) of the ribosomal gene repeat, part of the 28S ribosomal RNA gene (28S), and part of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (CO1) gene. Tree analyses using both distance and parsimony methods showed the S. indicum group not to be monophyletic. Schistosoma indicum, S. spindale and S. nasale were clustered among African schistosomes, while S. incognitum was placed as sister to the African species (using ITS2 and 28S nucleotide sequences and CO1 amino acid sequences), or as sister to all other species of Schistosoma (CO1 nucleotide sequences). Based on the present molecular data, a scenario for the evolution of the S. indicum group is discussed. PMID:12018199

  2. Biogeographical and phylogenetic origins of African fig species (Ficus section Galoglychia).

    PubMed

    Rønsted, Nina; Salvo, Gabriele; Savolainen, Vincent

    2007-04-01

    Ficus section Galoglychia (subgenus Urostigma; Moraceae) includes 72 species restricted to the African floristic region (a few extending to the Arabian Peninsula and Socotra). We present the first molecular phylogenetic analysis of the section including 56 ingroup (representing 44 species) and three outgroup taxa, to investigate its monophyly, classification and evolution. We used sequence data from the nuclear ribosomal internal and external transcribed spacers (ITS and ETS). Our results suggest that section Galoglychia is paraphyletic to the neotropical section Americana, although this is not supported by bootstrap analysis and only weakly supported by Bayesian posterior probabilities. Maximum parsimony analysis conflict with maximum likelihood and Bayesian analyses with respect to the closest relatives of section Americana in Africa. The subsections of section Galoglychia proposed by Berg [Berg, C.C., 1986. Subdivision of Ficus subg. Urostigma sect. Galoglychia (Moraceae). Proc. Kon. Ned. Akad. Wetensch., Ser. C, 89, 121-127] are generally supported. We find two major clades of section Galoglychia within Africa possibly corresponding to two main centres of diversity. One clade comprises members of subsections Platyphyllae and Chlamydodorae, which are more concentrated in Eastern Africa, and extend to Madagascar and neighbouring archipelagos (Comores, Mascarenes, Aldabra Islands and Seychelles). The other main clade includes members of subsections Caulocarpae, Cyathistipulae, Crassicostae and Galoglychia, which are concentrated in West and Central Africa. PMID:17275348

  3. Assessment of the repellent effect of citronella and lemon eucalyptus oil against South African Culicoides species.

    PubMed

    Venter, Gert J; Labuschagne, Karien; Boikanyo, Solomon N B; Morey, Liesl

    2014-01-01

    The use of insect repellents to reduce the attack rate of Culicoides species (Diptera:Ceratopogonidae) should form part of an integrated control programme to combat African horse sickness and other diseases transmitted by these blood-feeding midges. In the present study the repellent effects of a commercially available mosquito repellent, a combination of citronella and lemon eucalyptus oils, on Culicoides midges was determined. The number of midges collected with two 220 V Onderstepoort traps fitted with 8 W 23 cm white light tubes and baited with peel-stick patches, each containing 40 mg of active ingredient, was compared with that of two unbaited traps. Two trials were conducted and in each trial the four traps were rotated in two replicates of a 4 x 4 randomised Latin square design. Although more midges were collected in the baited traps, the mean number in the baited and unbaited traps was not significantly different. This mosquito repellent did not influence either the species composition or the physiological groups of Culicoides imicola Kieffer. The higher mean numbers in the baited traps, although not statistically significant, may indicate that this mosquito repellent might even attract Culicoides midges under certain conditions. PMID:25686204

  4. 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

  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

    2015-01-01

    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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Schwalbe, Margot A B; Webb, Jacqueline F

    2014-04-01

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

  8. Secondary contact seeds phenotypic novelty in cichlid fishes.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  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. Tree Density and Species Decline in the African Sahel Attributable to Climate

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gonzalez, Patrick; Tucker, Compton J.; Sy, H.

    2012-01-01

    Increased aridity and human population have reduced tree cover in parts of the African Sahel and degraded resources for local people. Yet, tree cover trends and the relative importance of climate and population remain unresolved. From field measurements, aerial photos, and Ikonos satellite images, we detected significant 1954-2002 tree density declines in the western Sahel of 18 +/- 14% (P = 0.014, n = 204) and 17 +/- 13% (P = 0.0009, n = 187). From field observations, we detected a significant 1960-2000 species richness decline of 21 +/- 11% (P = 0.0028, n = 14) across the Sahel and a southward shift of the Sahel, Sudan, and Guinea zones. Multivariate analyses of climate, soil, and population showed that temperature most significantly (P < 0.001) explained tree cover changes. Multivariate and bivariate tests and field observations indicated the dominance of temperature and precipitation, supporting attribution of tree cover changes to climate variability. Climate change forcing of Sahel climate variability, particularly the significant (P < 0.05) 1901-2002 temperature increases and precipitation decreases in the research areas, connects Sahel tree cover changes to global climate change. This suggests roles for global action and local adaptation to address ecological change in the Sahel.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-01-01

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

  13. 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. PMID:25937344

  14. 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

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

    PubMed

    van Breukelen, Natalie April; 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

  16. 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

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

    PubMed

    Lorin, Thibault; Salzburger, Walter; Böhne, Astrid

    2015-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-09-12

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

  19. Taxonomy of Atlantic Central African orchids 5. A new species of Angraecum sect. Conchoglossum (Orchidaceae, Angraecinae) from Gabon and Cameroon

    PubMed Central

    Ječmenica, Vladimir; Droissart, Vincent; Noret, Nausicaa; Stévart, Tariq

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Recent field inventories and taxonomic research in Central Africa have resulted in the discovery of many new orchid species. Five specimens of an apparently new Angraecum species were collected in Gabon and Cameroon. They stand out for their hanging habit and short zig-zag stem. Morphology of leaves and habit is somewhat comparable to Angraecum cultriforme and Angraecum stolzii, two species from East Africa. Flowers of the novelty share the general morphology of Angraecum pyriforme from which the new species is distinguished by being smaller and with a different lip-spur ratio. Here we show that these five specimens represent a new species, described here as Angraecum lanceolatum. The distinguishing traits include thin lanceolate leaves, convolute distally, with a rhombic lip shape. Dichotomous key to four Central African species of sect. Conchoglossum and a table of the diagnostic characters of the seven related Continental African Angraecum taxa are included here. A preliminary assessment of the conservation status of Angraecum lanceolatum is provided, using the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria. PMID:27081350

  20. Taxonomy of Atlantic Central African orchids 5. A new species of Angraecum sect. Conchoglossum (Orchidaceae, Angraecinae) from Gabon and Cameroon.

    PubMed

    Ječmenica, Vladimir; Droissart, Vincent; Noret, Nausicaa; Stévart, Tariq

    2016-01-01

    Recent field inventories and taxonomic research in Central Africa have resulted in the discovery of many new orchid species. Five specimens of an apparently new Angraecum species were collected in Gabon and Cameroon. They stand out for their hanging habit and short zig-zag stem. Morphology of leaves and habit is somewhat comparable to Angraecum cultriforme and Angraecum stolzii, two species from East Africa. Flowers of the novelty share the general morphology of Angraecum pyriforme from which the new species is distinguished by being smaller and with a different lip-spur ratio. Here we show that these five specimens represent a new species, described here as Angraecum lanceolatum. The distinguishing traits include thin lanceolate leaves, convolute distally, with a rhombic lip shape. Dichotomous key to four Central African species of sect. Conchoglossum and a table of the diagnostic characters of the seven related Continental African Angraecum taxa are included here. A preliminary assessment of the conservation status of Angraecum lanceolatum is provided, using the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria. PMID:27081350

  1. Ecomorphology of the African felid ensemble: the role of the skull and postcranium in determining species segregation and assembling history.

    PubMed

    Morales, M M; Giannini, N P

    2013-05-01

    Morphology of extant felids is regarded as highly conservative. Most previous studies have focussed on skull morphology, so a vacuum exists about morphofunctional variation in postcranium and its role in structuring ensembles of felids in different continents. The African felid ensemble is particularly rich in ecologically specialized felids. We studied the ecomorphology of this ensemble using 31 cranial and 93 postcranial morphometric variables measured in 49 specimens of all 10 African species. We took a multivariate approach controlling for phylogeny, with and without body size correction. Postcranial and skull + postcranial analyses (but not skull-only analyses) allowed for a complete segregation of species in morphospace. Morphofunctional factors segregating species included body size, bite force, zeugopodial lengths and osteological features related to parasagittal leg movement. A general gradient of bodily proportions was recovered: lightly built, long-legged felids with small heads and weak bite forces vs. the opposite. Three loose groups were recognized: small terrestrial felids, mid-to-large sized scansorial felids and specialized Acinonyx jubatus and Leptailurus serval. As predicted from a previous study, the assembling of the African felid ensemble during the Plio-Pleistocene occurred by the arrival of distinct felid lineages that occupied then vacant areas of morphospace, later diversifying in the continent. PMID:23496381

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

  6. Sexual dimorphism in a trophically polymorphic cichlid fish?

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

  7. A novel synthetic odorant blend for trapping of malaria and other African mosquito species.

    PubMed

    Mukabana, Wolfgang R; Mweresa, Collins K; Otieno, Bruno; Omusula, Philemon; Smallegange, Renate C; van Loon, Joop J A; Takken, Willem

    2012-03-01

    Estimating the biting fraction of mosquitoes is of critical importance for risk assessment of malaria transmission. Here, we present a novel odor-based tool that has been rigorously assessed in semi-field assays and traditional African villages for estimating the number of mosquitoes that enter houses in search of a blood meal. A standard synthetic blend (SB) consisting of ammonia, (S)-lactic acid, tetradecanoic acid, and carbon dioxide was complemented with isovaleric acid, 4,5 dimethylthiazole, 2-methyl-1-butanol, and 3-methyl-1-butanol in various combinations and concentrations, and tested for attractiveness to the malaria mosquito Anopheles gambiae. Compounds were released through low density polyethylene (LDPE) material or from nylon strips (nylon). Studies were done in a semi-field facility and two traditional villages in western Kenya. The alcohol 3-methyl-1-butanol significantly increased the attraction of SB. The other compounds proved less effective or inhibitory. Tested in a village, 3-methyl-1-butanol, released from LDPE, increased the attraction of SB. Further studies showed a significantly enhanced attraction of adding 3-methyl-1-butanol to SB compared to previously-published attractive blends both under semi-field and village conditions. Other mosquito species with relevance for public health were collected with this blend in significantly higher numbers as well. These results demonstrate the advent of a novel, reliable odor-based sampling tool for the collection of malaria and other mosquitoes. The advantage of this odor-based tool over existing mosquito sampling tools is its reproducibility, objectiveness, and relatively low cost compared to current standards of CDC light traps or the human landing catch. PMID:22426893

  8. Paralyzing Action from a Distance in an Arboreal African Ant Species

    PubMed Central

    Rifflet, Aline; Tene, Nathan; Orivel, Jerome; Treilhou, Michel; Dejean, Alain; Vetillard, Angelique

    2011-01-01

    Due to their prowess in interspecific competition and ability to catch a wide range of arthropod prey (mostly termites with which they are engaged in an evolutionary arms race), ants are recognized as a good model for studying the chemicals involved in defensive and predatory behaviors. Ants' wide diversity of nesting habits and relationships with plants and prey types implies that these chemicals are also very diverse. Using the African myrmicine ant Crematogaster striatula as our focal species, we adopted a three-pronged research approach. We studied the aggressive and predatory behaviors of the ant workers, conducted bioassays on the effect of their Dufour gland contents on termites, and analyzed these contents. (1) The workers defend themselves or eliminate termites by orienting their abdominal tip toward the opponent, stinger protruded. The chemicals emitted, apparently volatile, trigger the recruitment of nestmates situated in the vicinity and act without the stinger having to come into direct contact with the opponent. Whereas alien ants competing with C. striatula for sugary food sources are repelled by this behavior and retreat further and further away, termites defend their nest whatever the danger. They face down C. striatula workers and end up by rolling onto their backs, their legs batting the air. (2) The bioassays showed that the toxicity of the Dufour gland contents acts in a time-dependent manner, leading to the irreversible paralysis, and, ultimately, death of the termites. (3) Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analyses showed that the Dufour gland contains a mixture of mono- or polyunsaturated long-chain derivatives, bearing functional groups like oxo-alcohols or oxo-acetates. Electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry showed the presence of a molecule of 1584 Da that might be a large, acetylated alkaloid capable of splitting into smaller molecules that could be responsible for the final degree of venom toxicity. PMID:22194854

  9. Paralyzing action from a distance in an arboreal African ant species.

    PubMed

    Rifflet, Aline; Tene, Nathan; Orivel, Jerome; Treilhou, Michel; Dejean, Alain; Vetillard, Angelique

    2011-01-01

    Due to their prowess in interspecific competition and ability to catch a wide range of arthropod prey (mostly termites with which they are engaged in an evolutionary arms race), ants are recognized as a good model for studying the chemicals involved in defensive and predatory behaviors. Ants' wide diversity of nesting habits and relationships with plants and prey types implies that these chemicals are also very diverse. Using the African myrmicine ant Crematogaster striatula as our focal species, we adopted a three-pronged research approach. We studied the aggressive and predatory behaviors of the ant workers, conducted bioassays on the effect of their Dufour gland contents on termites, and analyzed these contents. (1) The workers defend themselves or eliminate termites by orienting their abdominal tip toward the opponent, stinger protruded. The chemicals emitted, apparently volatile, trigger the recruitment of nestmates situated in the vicinity and act without the stinger having to come into direct contact with the opponent. Whereas alien ants competing with C. striatula for sugary food sources are repelled by this behavior and retreat further and further away, termites defend their nest whatever the danger. They face down C. striatula workers and end up by rolling onto their backs, their legs batting the air. (2) The bioassays showed that the toxicity of the Dufour gland contents acts in a time-dependent manner, leading to the irreversible paralysis, and, ultimately, death of the termites. (3) Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analyses showed that the Dufour gland contains a mixture of mono- or polyunsaturated long-chain derivatives, bearing functional groups like oxo-alcohols or oxo-acetates. Electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry showed the presence of a molecule of 1584 Da that might be a large, acetylated alkaloid capable of splitting into smaller molecules that could be responsible for the final degree of venom toxicity. PMID:22194854

  10. Drivers of extinction risk in African mammals: the interplay of distribution state, human pressure, conservation response and species biology

    PubMed Central

    Di Marco, Moreno; Buchanan, Graeme M.; Szantoi, Zoltan; Holmgren, Milena; Grottolo Marasini, Gabriele; Gross, Dorit; Tranquilli, Sandra; Boitani, Luigi; Rondinini, Carlo

    2014-01-01

    Although conservation intervention has reversed the decline of some species, our success is outweighed by a much larger number of species moving towards extinction. Extinction risk modelling can identify correlates of risk and species not yet recognized to be threatened. Here, we use machine learning models to identify correlates of extinction risk in African terrestrial mammals using a set of variables belonging to four classes: species distribution state, human pressures, conservation response and species biology. We derived information on distribution state and human pressure from satellite-borne imagery. Variables in all four classes were identified as important predictors of extinction risk, and interactions were observed among variables in different classes (e.g. level of protection, human threats, species distribution ranges). Species biology had a key role in mediating the effect of external variables. The model was 90% accurate in classifying extinction risk status of species, but in a few cases the observed and modelled extinction risk mismatched. Species in this condition might suffer from an incorrect classification of extinction risk (hence require reassessment). An increased availability of satellite imagery combined with improved resolution and classification accuracy of the resulting maps will play a progressively greater role in conservation monitoring. PMID:24733953

  11. Pre-Clinical Assays Predict Pan-African Echis Viper Efficacy for a Species-Specific Antivenom

    PubMed Central

    Casewell, Nicholas R.; Cook, Darren A. N.; Wagstaff, Simon C.; Nasidi, Abdulsalami; Durfa, Nandul; Wüster, Wolfgang; Harrison, Robert A.

    2010-01-01

    Background Snakebite is a significant cause of death and disability in subsistent farming populations of sub-Saharan Africa. Antivenom is the most effective treatment of envenoming and is manufactured from IgG of venom-immunised horses/sheep but, because of complex fiscal reasons, there is a paucity of antivenom in sub-Saharan Africa. To address the plight of thousands of snakebite victims in savannah Nigeria, the EchiTAb Study Group organised the production, testing and delivery of antivenoms designed to treat envenoming by the most medically-important snakes in the region. The Echis saw-scaled vipers have a wide African distribution and medical importance. In an effort to maximise the clinical utility of scarce antivenom resources in Africa, we aimed to ascertain, at the pre-clinical level, to what extent the E. ocellatus-specific EchiTAbG antivenom, which was designed specifically for Nigeria, neutralised the lethal activity of venom from two other African species, E. pyramidum leakeyi and E. coloratus. Methodology/Principal Findings Despite apparently quite distinctive venom protein profiles, we observed extensive cross-species similarity in the immuno-reactivity profiles of Echis species-specific antisera. Using WHO standard pre-clinical in vivo tests, we determined that the monospecific EchiTAbG antivenom was as effective at neutralising the venom-induced lethal effects of E. pyramidum leakeyi and E. coloratus as it was against E. ocellatus venom. Under the restricted conditions of this assay, the antivenom was ineffective against the lethal effects of venom from the non-African Echis species, E. carinatus sochureki. Conclusions/Significance Using WHO-recommended pre-clinical tests we have demonstrated that the new anti-E. ocellatus monospecific antivenom EchiTAbG, developed in response to the considerable snakebite-induced mortality and morbidity in Nigeria, neutralised the lethal effects of venoms from Echis species representing each taxonomic group of this

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

    PubMed

    Ladich, Friedrich

    2016-01-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. Petrocephalus leo, a new species of African electric fish (Osteoglossomorpha: Mormyridae) from the Oubangui River basin (Congo basin).

    PubMed

    Lavoué, Sébastien

    2016-01-01

    A new species of the African weakly electric fish genus Petrocephalus (Osteoglossomorpha: Mormyridae: Petrocephalinae) is described from the Oubangui (Ubangi) River basin, the principal right-bank tributary of the Congo River. Petrocephalus leo sp. nov. is one of the most distinctive species of Petrocephalus as it combines (among other characteristics) the absence of electroreceptive rosettes on the head with a unique melanin pattern. Only four other species of Petrocephalus lack all electroreceptive rosettes: Petrocephalus microphthalmus, Petrocephalus haullevillii, Petrocephalus schoutedeni, and Petrocephalus zakoni. Petrocephalus leo sp. nov. can be distinguished from these four species in having a distinctive black mark at the base of the pectoral fins (versus absent in P. microphthalmus, P. haullevillii and P. schoutedeni) and no subdorsal black mark (versus present in P. zakoni). A phylogenetic analysis using mitochondrial cytochrome b gene sequences shows haplotypes of P. leo sp. nov. are distinct, but are unexpectedly nested within P. zakoni haplotypes, making this latter species paraphyletic. To investigate this conflict between morphology and mitochondrial cytochrome b, a nuclear marker, the first intron of the gene coding for the S7 ribosomal protein, was sequenced. The presence of four diagnostic indels between P. zakoni and P. leo sp. nov. sequences supports the reciprocal monophyly of these two species. This is the first reported case of conflict between morphology and mitochondrial phylogeny within the genus Petrocephalus. Finally, three species of Petrocephalus are reported for the first time from the Oubangui region bringing the total of Petrocephalus species in this region to 12. PMID:27395226

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

    PubMed Central

    Meyer, Axel

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Oldfield, Ronald G

    2011-01-01

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

  17. 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

  18. Contrasting patterns of gene flow between sister plant species in the understorey of African moist forests - the case of sympatric and parapatric Marantaceae species.

    PubMed

    Ley, A C; Hardy, O J

    2014-08-01

    Gene flow within and between species is a fundamental process shaping the evolutionary history of taxa. However, the extent of hybridization and reinforcement is little documented in the tropics. Here we explore the pattern of gene flow between three sister species from the herbaceous genus Marantochloa (Marantaceae), sympatrically distributed in the understorey of the African rainforest, using data from the chloroplast and nuclear genomes (DNA sequences and AFLP). We found highly contrasting patterns: while there was no evidence of gene flow between M. congensis and M. monophylla, species identity between M. monophylla and M. incertifolia was maintained despite considerable gene flow. We hypothesize that M. incertifolia originated from an ancient hybridization event between M. congensis and M. monophylla, considering the current absence of hybridization between the two assumed parent species, the rare presence of shared haplotypes between all three species and the high percentage of haplotypes shared by M. incertifolia with each of the two parent species. This example is contrasted with two parapatrically distributed species from the same family in the genus Haumania forming a hybrid zone restricted to the area of overlap. This work illustrates the diversity of speciation/introgression patterns that can potentially occur in the flora of tropical Africa. PMID:24792083

  19. Pathological changes in African hyperoliid frogs due to a myxosporidian infection with a new species of Hoferellus (Myxozoa).

    PubMed

    Mutschmann, F

    2004-09-01

    A proliferous, polycystic and sometimes fatal kidney disease due to an infection with myxosporidia is reported in 24 of 28 hyperoliid frogs (Afrixalus dorsalis, Hyperolius concolor, Hyperolius sp.) from Nigeria, Ghana and Tanzania. In line with pathological changes in fish, the disease is described as 'frog kidney enlargement disease' (FKED). Myxosporidian plasmodia, different developmental stages and spores occurred in the kidney, ureter, and urinary bladder and in the intestine of the frogs. The parasite belongs to the genus Hoferellus and is presented as a new species: H. anurae n. sp. Spores are similar in size and structure to other Hoferellus species in fish but differ by the presence of a more prominent suture line and shorter caudal appendages. This is the first report on a Hoferellus species in amphibians as well as the first report of the genus Hoferellus in African vertebrates. PMID:15521320

  20. Evidence of novel plant-species specific ammonia oxidizing bacterial clades in acidic South African fynbos soils.

    PubMed

    Ramond, Jean-Baptiste; Lako, Joseph D W; Stafford, William H L; Tuffin, Marla I; Cowan, Don A

    2015-08-01

    Ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) are essential in the biogeochemical cycling of nitrogen as they catalyze the rate-limiting oxidation of ammonia into nitrite. Since their first isolation in the late 19th century, chemolithoautotrophic AOBs have been identified in a wide range of natural (e.g., soils, sediments, estuarine, and freshwaters) and man created or impacted habitats (e.g., wastewater treatment plants and agricultural soils). However, little is known on the plant-species association of AOBs, particularly in the nutrient-starved fynbos terrestrial biome. In this study, we evaluated the diversity of AOBs in the plant canopy of three South African fynbos-specific plant species, namely Leucadendron xanthoconus, Leucospermum truncatulum and Leucadendron microcephalum, through the construction of amoA-gene clone libraries. Our results clearly demonstrate that plant-species specific and monophyletic AOB clades are present in fynbos canopy soils. PMID:25721729

  1. Analysis of host genetic factors influencing African trypanosome species infection in a cohort of Tanzanian Bos indicus cattle.

    PubMed

    Karimuribo, Esron D; Morrison, Liam J; Black, Alana; Turner, C Michael R; Kambarage, Dominic M; Ballingall, Keith T

    2011-06-30

    Trypanosomosis caused by infection with protozoan parasites of the genus Trypanosoma is a major health constraint to cattle production in many African countries. One hundred and seventy one Bos indicus cattle from traditional pastoral Maasai (87) and more intensively managed Boran (84) animals in Tanzania were screened by PCR for the presence of African animal trypanosomes (Trypanosoma congolense, Trypanosoma vivax and Trypanosoma brucei), using blood samples archived on FTA cards. All cattle screened for trypanosomes were also genotyped at the highly polymorphic major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II DRB3 locus to investigate possible associations between host MHC and trypanosome infection. Overall, 23.4% of the 171 cattle tested positive for at least one of the three trypanosome species. The prevalence of individual trypanosome species was 8.8% (T. congolense), 4.7% (T. vivax) and 15.8% (T. brucei). The high prevalence of T. brucei compared with T. congolense and T. vivax was unexpected as this species has previously been considered to be of lesser importance in terms of African bovine trypanosomosis. Significantly higher numbers of Maasai cattle were infected with T. brucei (23.0%, p=0.009) and T. congolense (13.8%, p=0.019) compared with Boran cattle (8.3% and 3.6%, respectively). Analysis of BoLA-DRB3 diversity in this cohort identified extensive allelic diversity. Thirty-three BoLA-DRB3 PCR-RFLP defined alleles were identified. One allele (DRB3*15) was significantly associated with an increased risk (odds ratio, OR=2.71, p=0.034) of T. brucei infection and three alleles (DRB3*35, *16 and *23) were associated with increased risk of T. congolense infection. While further work is required to dissect the role of these alleles in susceptibility to T. brucei and T. congolense infections, this study demonstrates the utility of FTA archived blood samples in combined molecular analyses of both host and pathogen. PMID:21377802

  2. 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

  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. Draft Genome Sequences of Three Bacillus Species from South African Marine Sponges.

    PubMed

    van Zyl, Leonardo Joaquim; Matobole, Relebohile; Augustin Nsole Biteghe, Fleury; Klein, Timothy; Kirby, Bronwyn; Trindade, Marla

    2016-01-01

    The rise in antibiotic-resistant bacteria has spurred efforts to identify novel compounds with antimicrobial activity. This brief report describes the genome sequence of threeBacillusspecies isolates from South African marine sponges, which produce compounds with antimicrobial activity. A search for secondary metabolite clusters revealed several secondary metabolite pathways in these genomes, which may hold promise as novel antibiotics. PMID:27056214

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  6. Predator-induced neophobia in juvenile cichlids.

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

  7. Species delimitation and phylogenetic relationships in a genus of African weakly-electric fishes (Osteoglossiformes, Mormyridae, Campylomormyrus).

    PubMed

    Lamanna, Francesco; Kirschbaum, Frank; Ernst, Anja R R; Feulner, Philine G D; Mamonekene, Victor; Paul, Christiane; Tiedemann, Ralph

    2016-08-01

    African weakly-electric fishes (Mormyridae) are able to communicate through species-specific electric signals; this feature might have favoured the evolutionary radiation observed in this family (over 200 species) by acting as an effective pre-zygotic isolation mechanism. In the present study we used mitochondrial (cytb) and nuclear (rps7, scn4aa) markers in order to reconstruct a species-phylogeny and identify species boundaries for the genus Campylomormyrus, by applying inference methods based on the multispecies coalescent model. Additionally, we employed 16 microsatellite markers, landmark-based morphometric measurements, and electro-physiological analyses as independent lines of evidence to the results obtained from the sequence data. The results show that groups that are morphologically different are also significantly divergent at the genetic level, whereas morphologically similar groups, displaying dissimilar electric signals, do not show enough genetic diversity to be considered separate species. Furthermore, the data confirm the presence of a yet undescribed species within the genus Campylomormyrus. PMID:27143239

  8. Pharmacokinetics of Amitriptyline HCl and Its Metabolites in Healthy African Grey Parrots ( Psittacus erithacus ) and Cockatoos (Cacatua Species).

    PubMed

    Visser, Marike; Ragsdale, Michelle M; Boothe, Dawn M

    2015-12-01

    Amitriptyline, a tricyclic antidepressant, is used clinically to treat feather-destructive behavior in psittacine birds at a recommended dosage of 1-5 mg/kg PO q12-24h, which has been extrapolated from human medicine and based on anecdotal reports. The purpose of this pilot study was to describe the individual and population pharmacokinetic parameters of amitriptyline after a single oral dose at 1.5 mg/kg, 4.5 mg/kg, and 9 mg/kg in healthy African grey parrots ( Psittacus erithacus , n = 3) and cockatoos (Cacatua species, n = 3). Three birds received an initial 1.5 mg/kg oral dose, and blood samples were collected for 24 hours at fixed time intervals. Serum concentrations of amitriptyline and its metabolites were determined by polarized immunofluorescence. After determining the initial parameters and a 14-day washout period, 2 African grey parrots and 1 cockatoo received a single oral dose at 4.5 mg/kg, and 3 cockatoos and 1 African grey parrot received a single oral dose at 9 mg/kg. Concentrations reached the minimum therapeutic range reported in people (60 ng/mL) in 4 of 10 birds (4.5 and 9.0 mg/kg). Concentrations were within the toxic range in 1 African grey parrot (9 mg/kg), with regurgitation, ataxia, and dullness noted. Serum concentrations were nondetectable in 3 birds (1.5 and 4.5 mg/kg) and detectable but below the human therapeutic range in 3 birds (1.5 mg/kg and 9 mg/kg). Drug concentrations were continuing to increase at the end of the study (24 hours) in 1 bird. Elimination half-life varied from 1.6 to 91.2 hours. Population pharmacokinetics indicated significantly varied absorption, and elimination constants varied between species. Although amitriptyline appeared to be tolerated in most birds, disposition varies markedly among and within species, between the 2 genera, and within individual birds. The current recommended dosage of 1-5 mg/kg q12h in psittacine birds appears insufficient to achieve serum concentrations within the human therapeutic range

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

    Many monogamous species demonstrate size-assortative mating patterns within natural populations. To better understand the role of intersexual selection in this process, we examined the effect of male preference for female body size in the convict cichlid (Amatitlania siquia). We provided males with a choice between females that differed in size, relative to each other and in relation to the focal male. Based on previous work, we expected males to prefer the largest available female mates across all treatments. Surprisingly, males spent more time near the smaller of two available females, but only when the other female was larger than the male. Additionally, males spent little time with either of two potential female mates when both females were larger than the male. We hypothesized that while males might prefer the largest of available females, female behavior might limit males from acting on this preference. To test this, males were force paired with a smaller or larger female. Pair formation only occurred when the female was smaller than the male, and females that were larger than their male counterparts showed significantly more aggression when compared to smaller females. Together, these data suggest that in the absence of intrasexual competition, male mate preference for large females in convict cichlids might be limited by female aggression. PMID:27444247

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  13. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

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

  15. Wild Termitomyces Species Collected from Ondo and Ekiti States Are More Related to African Species as Revealed by ITS Region of rDNA

    PubMed Central

    Oyetayo, Victor Olusegun

    2012-01-01

    Molecular identification of eighteen Termitomyces species collected from two states, Ondo and Ekiti in Nigeria was carried out using the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region. The amplicons obtained from rDNA of Termitomyces species were compared with existing sequences in the NCBI GenBank. The results of the ITS sequence analysis discriminated between all the Termitomyces species (obtained from Ondo and Ekiti States) and Termitomyces sp. sequences obtained from NCBI GenBank. The degree of similarity of T1 to T18 to gene of Termitomyces sp. obtained from NCBI ranges between 82 and 99 percent. Termitomyces species from Garbon with ascension number AF321374 was the closest relative of T1 to T18 except T12 that has T. eurhizus and T. striatus as the closet relative. Phylogenetic tree generated with ITS sequences obtained from NCBI GenBank data revealed that T1 to T18 are more related to Termitomyces species indigenous to African countries such as Senegal, Congo, and Gabon. PMID:22649309

  16. Large Spatial Scale of the Phenotype-Environment Color Matching in Two Cryptic Species of African Desert Jerboas (Dipodidae: Jaculus)

    PubMed Central

    Boratyński, Zbyszek; Brito, José Carlos; Campos, João Carlos; Karala, Maija; Mappes, Tapio

    2014-01-01

    We tested the camouflage hypothesis, or the linkage between animal (Saharan rodent) and habitat coloration, on the largest geographical scale yet conducted. We aimed to determine whether phenotypic variation is explained by micro-habitat variation and/or genetic polymorphism to determine 1) the strength of linkage between fur color and local substrate color, and 2) the divergence in fur coloration between two genetic clades, representing cryptic species, throughout the complete range of the African desert jerboas (Jaculus jaculus). We used a combination of museum and field-collected specimens, remote sensing tools, satellite and digital photography and molecular genetic and phylogenetic methods to investigate the above hypotheses. Along with showing that the two divergent genetic clades of jerboas occur sympatrically throughout their African distribution, we showed significant covariation between dorsal fur coloration of the animals and the color of their habitat. We also described significant phenotypic divergence in fur color, consistent with genetic divergence between the sympatric clades. The linkage between environment and phenotype supports the idea that the selection promoting cryptic coloration is persistent in contemporary populations of jerboas, however the phenotypic divergence indicates that it has different strengths (or optima) in the two clades. The mosaic distribution of micro-habitats occupied by geographically sympatric clades suggests that it may influence both ecological and evolutionary dynamics between these two cryptic species. PMID:24714509

  17. Hierarchical multi-species modeling of carnivore responses to hunting, habitat and prey in a West African protected area.

    PubMed

    Burton, A Cole; Sam, Moses K; Balangtaa, Cletus; Brashares, Justin S

    2012-01-01

    Protected areas (PAs) are a cornerstone of global efforts to shield wildlife from anthropogenic impacts, yet their effectiveness at protecting wide-ranging species prone to human conflict--notably mammalian carnivores--is increasingly in question. An understanding of carnivore responses to human-induced and natural changes in and around PAs is critical not only to the conservation of threatened carnivore populations, but also to the effective protection of ecosystems in which they play key functional roles. However, an important challenge to assessing carnivore communities is the often infrequent and imperfect nature of survey detections. We applied a novel hierarchical multi-species occupancy model that accounted for detectability and spatial autocorrelation to data from 224 camera trap stations (sampled between October 2006 and January 2009) in order to test hypotheses about extrinsic influences on carnivore community dynamics in a West African protected area (Mole National Park, Ghana). We developed spatially explicit indices of illegal hunting activity, law enforcement patrol effort, prey biomass, and habitat productivity across the park, and used a Bayesian model selection framework to identify predictors of site occurrence for individual species and the entire carnivore community. Contrary to our expectation, hunting pressure and edge proximity did not have consistent, negative effects on occurrence across the nine carnivore species detected. Occurrence patterns for most species were positively associated with small prey biomass, and several species had either positive or negative associations with riverine forest (but not with other habitat descriptors). Influences of sampling design on carnivore detectability were also identified and addressed within our modeling framework (e.g., road and observer effects), and the multi-species approach facilitated inference on even the rarest carnivore species in the park. Our study provides insight for the conservation

  18. Hierarchical Multi-Species Modeling of Carnivore Responses to Hunting, Habitat and Prey in a West African Protected Area

    PubMed Central

    Burton, A. Cole; Sam, Moses K.; Balangtaa, Cletus; Brashares, Justin S.

    2012-01-01

    Protected areas (PAs) are a cornerstone of global efforts to shield wildlife from anthropogenic impacts, yet their effectiveness at protecting wide-ranging species prone to human conflict – notably mammalian carnivores – is increasingly in question. An understanding of carnivore responses to human-induced and natural changes in and around PAs is critical not only to the conservation of threatened carnivore populations, but also to the effective protection of ecosystems in which they play key functional roles. However, an important challenge to assessing carnivore communities is the often infrequent and imperfect nature of survey detections. We applied a novel hierarchical multi-species occupancy model that accounted for detectability and spatial autocorrelation to data from 224 camera trap stations (sampled between October 2006 and January 2009) in order to test hypotheses about extrinsic influences on carnivore community dynamics in a West African protected area (Mole National Park, Ghana). We developed spatially explicit indices of illegal hunting activity, law enforcement patrol effort, prey biomass, and habitat productivity across the park, and used a Bayesian model selection framework to identify predictors of site occurrence for individual species and the entire carnivore community. Contrary to our expectation, hunting pressure and edge proximity did not have consistent, negative effects on occurrence across the nine carnivore species detected. Occurrence patterns for most species were positively associated with small prey biomass, and several species had either positive or negative associations with riverine forest (but not with other habitat descriptors). Influences of sampling design on carnivore detectability were also identified and addressed within our modeling framework (e.g., road and observer effects), and the multi-species approach facilitated inference on even the rarest carnivore species in the park. Our study provides insight for the

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Laboratory Investigations of African Pouched Rats (Cricetomys gambianus) as a Potential Reservoir Host Species for Monkeypox Virus.

    PubMed

    Hutson, Christina L; Nakazawa, Yoshinori J; Self, Joshua; Olson, Victoria A; Regnery, Russell L; Braden, Zachary; Weiss, Sonja; Malekani, Jean; Jackson, Eddie; Tate, Mallory; Karem, Kevin L; Rocke, Tonie E; Osorio, Jorge E; Damon, Inger K; Carroll, Darin S

    2015-01-01

    Monkeypox is a zoonotic disease endemic to central and western Africa, where it is a major public health concern. Although Monkeypox virus (MPXV) and monkeypox disease in humans have been well characterized, little is known about its natural history, or its maintenance in animal populations of sylvatic reservoir(s). In 2003, several species of rodents imported from Ghana were involved in a monkeypox outbreak in the United States with individuals of three African rodent genera (Cricetomys, Graphiurus, Funisciurus) shown to be infected with MPXV. Here, we examine the course of MPXV infection in Cricetomys gambianus (pouched Gambian rats) and this rodent species' competence as a host for the virus. We obtained ten Gambian rats from an introduced colony in Grassy Key, Florida and infected eight of these via scarification with a challenge dose of 4X104 plaque forming units (pfu) from either of the two primary clades of MPXV: Congo Basin (C-MPXV: n = 4) or West African (W-MPXV: n = 4); an additional 2 animals served as PBS controls. Viral shedding and the effect of infection on activity and physiological aspects of the animals were measured. MPXV challenged animals had significantly higher core body temperatures, reduced activity and increased weight loss than PBS controls. Viable virus was found in samples taken from animals in both experimental groups (C-MPXV and W-MPXV) between 3 and 27 days post infection (p.i.) (up to 1X108 pfu/ml), with viral DNA found until day 56 p.i. The results from this work show that Cricetomys gambianus (and by inference, probably the closely related species, Cricetomys emini) can be infected with MPXV and shed viable virus particles; thus suggesting that these animals may be involved in the maintenance of MPXV in wildlife mammalian populations. More research is needed to elucidate the epidemiology of MPXV and the role of Gambian rats and other species. PMID:26517724

  2. [Ontogenetic Mechanisms of Explosive Morphological Divergence in the Lake Tana (Ethiopia) Species Flock of Large African Barbs (Labeobarbus; Cyprinidae; Teleostei)].

    PubMed

    Shkila, F N; Lazebny, O E; Kapitanova, D V; Abdissa, Belay; Borisov, V B; Smirnov, S V

    2015-01-01

    Species flock of Lake Tana (Ethiopia) large African barbs (Labeobarbus; Cyprinidae; Teleostei) was studied as a model system for investigating ontogenetic mechanisms of the explosive morphological divergence often accompanying sympatric speciation in bony fishes. Comparative morphological analysis carried out with the use ofgeometric morphometric techniques revealed quantitative differences in the head shapes of species under study. Comparative analysis of skull development revealed significant interspecies differences in the temporal characteristics of craniogenesis in these species. These two lines of evidence suggest that heterochronies in craniogenesis underlie divergence in the head shapes of adult Tana barbs. This prediction was verified via experimental changes of temporal characteristics of craniogenesis in L. intermedius, a putative ancestor for the Lake Tana species flock. For this aim, timing and rate of skull development were changed by artificial manipulation of thyroid hormone levels. In sum, it was shown that it is heterochronies that underlie an explosive morphological divergence of the Lake Tana barbs species flock. Our findings together with those reported in the literature suggest variability in the activity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis to contribute to these heterochronies. PMID:26606829

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1998-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1998-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  7. Strategic growth decisions in helper cichlids.

    PubMed

    Heg, Dik; Bender, Nicole; Hamilton, Ian

    2004-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-06-01

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

  9. A new species of the rare African wool carder bee genus Anthidioma (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A new species of the genus Anthidioma Pasteels (Megachilidae: Anthidiini) is described and figured from a female collected in the Obib Dunes in Namibia. Anthidioma obibense, new species, is differentieated from the only other species of the genus, A. chalicodomoides, on the basis of its integumenta...

  10. Laboratory Investigations of African Pouched Rats (Cricetomys gambianus) as a Potential Reservoir Host Species for Monkeypox Virus

    PubMed Central

    Hutson, Christina L.; Nakazawa, Yoshinori J.; Self, Joshua; Olson, Victoria A.; Regnery, Russell L.; Braden, Zachary; Weiss, Sonja; Malekani, Jean; Jackson, Eddie; Tate, Mallory; Karem, Kevin L.; Rocke, Tonie E.; Osorio, Jorge E.; Damon, Inger K.; Carroll, Darin S.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Monkeypox is a zoonotic disease endemic to central and western Africa, where it is a major public health concern. Although Monkeypox virus (MPXV) and monkeypox disease in humans have been well characterized, little is known about its natural history, or its maintenance in animal populations of sylvatic reservoir(s). In 2003, several species of rodents imported from Ghana were involved in a monkeypox outbreak in the United States with individuals of three African rodent genera (Cricetomys, Graphiurus, Funisciurus) shown to be infected with MPXV. Here, we examine the course of MPXV infection in Cricetomys gambianus (pouched Gambian rats) and this rodent species’ competence as a host for the virus. We obtained ten Gambian rats from an introduced colony in Grassy Key, Florida and infected eight of these via scarification with a challenge dose of 4X104 plaque forming units (pfu) from either of the two primary clades of MPXV: Congo Basin (C-MPXV: n = 4) or West African (W-MPXV: n = 4); an additional 2 animals served as PBS controls. Viral shedding and the effect of infection on activity and physiological aspects of the animals were measured. MPXV challenged animals had significantly higher core body temperatures, reduced activity and increased weight loss than PBS controls. Viable virus was found in samples taken from animals in both experimental groups (C-MPXV and W-MPXV) between 3 and 27 days post infection (p.i.) (up to 1X108 pfu/ml), with viral DNA found until day 56 p.i. The results from this work show that Cricetomys gambianus (and by inference, probably the closely related species, Cricetomys emini) can be infected with MPXV and shed viable virus particles; thus suggesting that these animals may be involved in the maintenance of MPXV in wildlife mammalian populations. More research is needed to elucidate the epidemiology of MPXV and the role of Gambian rats and other species. PMID:26517724

  11. The African buffalo: a villain for inter-species spread of infectious diseases in southern Africa.

    PubMed

    Michel, Anita L; Bengis, Roy G

    2012-01-01

    The African buffalo (Syncerus caffer) is a large wild bovid which until recently ranged across all but the driest parts of sub-Saharan Africa, and their local range being limited to about 20 km from surface water. They are of high ecological value due to their important role as bulk feeders in the grazing hierarchy. They also have high economic value, because they are one of the sought after 'Big Five' in the eco-tourism industry. In Africa, buffaloes have been recognised for some time as an important role player in the maintenance and transmission of a variety of economically important livestock diseases at the wildlife and/or livestock interface. These include African strains of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), Corridor disease (theileriosis), bovine tuberculosis and bovine brucellosis. For a number of other diseases of veterinary importance, African buffaloes may also serve as amplifier or incidental host, whereby infection with the causative pathogens may cause severe clinical signs such as death or abortion as in the case of anthrax and Rift Valley fever, or remain mild or subclinical for example heartwater. The long term health implications of most of those infections on the buffalo at a population level is usually limited, and they do not pose a threat on the population's survival. Because of their ability to harbour and transmit important diseases to livestock, their sustainable future in ecotourism, trade and transfrontier conservation projects become complex and costly and reliable diagnostic tools are required to monitor these infections in buffalo populations. PMID:23327373

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

    PubMed Central

    Lehtonen, Topi K.; Meyer, Axel

    2011-01-01

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

  13. 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

  14. The Influence of Interspecific Competition and Host Preference on the Phylogeography of Two African Ixodid Tick Species

    PubMed Central

    Cangi, Nídia; Horak, Ivan G.; Apanaskevich, Dmitry A.; Matthee, Sonja; das Neves, Luís C. B. G.; Estrada-Peña, Agustín; Matthee, Conrad A.

    2013-01-01

    A comparative phylogeographic study on two economically important African tick species, Amblyomma hebraeum and Hyalomma rufipes was performed to test the influence of host specificity and host movement on dispersion. Pairwise AMOVA analyses of 277 mtDNA COI sequences supported significant population differentiation among the majority of sampling sites. The geographic mitochondrial structure was not supported by nuclear ITS-2 sequencing, probably attributed to a recent divergence. The three-host generalist, A. hebraeum, showed less mtDNA geographic structure, and a lower level of genetic diversity, while the more host-specific H. rufipes displayed higher levels of population differentiation and two distinct mtDNA assemblages (one predominantly confined to South Africa/Namibia and the other to Mozambique and East Africa). A zone of overlap is present in southern Mozambique. A mechanistic climate model suggests that climate alone cannot be responsible for the disruption in female gene flow. Our findings furthermore suggest that female gene dispersal of ticks is more dependent on the presence of juvenile hosts in the environment than on the ability of adult hosts to disperse across the landscape. Documented interspecific competition between the juvenile stages of H. rufipes and H. truncatum is implicated as a contributing factor towards disrupting gene flow between the two southern African H. rufipes genetic assemblages. PMID:24130813

  15. Two decades of historical phenology observations of African tropical tree species: exploring the past to predict the futur

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hufkens, K.; Kosmala, M.; Ewango, C.; Richardson, A. D.; Beeckman, H.

    2015-12-01

    African tropical forests cover ~630 million ha, store up to 66 Pg of carbon and represent a significant carbon sink (0.34Pg C yr-1 ). As such African tropical forests provide an important negative feedback to the global carbon cycle. Unlike temperate forests, tropical forests lack sharp temperature and photoperiod cues to constrain phenology and growth. Therefore, events such as seasonal leaf abscission and reproductive life cycles are often driven by changes in water availability. With future climate predictions expecting a warmer, and especially drier tropical Africa, it is likely we will see concomitant changes in tree growth and phenology.As tropical trees show a high degree of phenological plasticity depending on the severity of the dry season, intermittent water stress or the location of an individual in the canopy structure. As such, frequent and long term observations are key to characterize tropical tree phenology. Here I use two long term historical phenology records of weekly observations, some digitized within the context of a citizen science project (http://junglerhythms.org/), to explore differences in tree phenology between two sites (Luki and Yangambi, DR Congo) with contrasting climate regimes within the Congo basin. I describe variation in leaf, flower and fruit phenology across similar species at both locations in relation to complementary historical climatological observations. I further discuss the potential implications of changing phenology under future climate conditions as phenological changes could alter both ecosystem demography and growing season length providing important feedbacks to the climate system.

  16. Rigorous approaches to species delimitation have significant implications for African crocodilian systematics and conservation

    PubMed Central

    Shirley, Matthew H.; Vliet, Kent A.; Carr, Amanda N.; Austin, James D.

    2014-01-01

    Accurate species delimitation is a central assumption of biology that, in groups such as the Crocodylia, is often hindered by highly conserved morphology and frequent introgression. In Africa, crocodilian systematics has been hampered by complex regional biogeography and confounded taxonomic history. We used rigorous molecular and morphological species delimitation methods to test the hypothesis that the slender-snouted crocodile (Mecistops cataphractus) is composed of multiple species corresponding to the Congolian and Guinean biogeographic zones. Speciation probability was assessed by using 11 mitochondrial and nuclear genes, and cranial morphology for over 100 specimens, representing the full geographical extent of the species distribution. Molecular Bayesian and phylogenetic species delimitation showed unanimous support for two Mecistops species isolated to the Upper Guinean and Congo (including Lower Guinean) biomes that were supported by 13 cranial characters capable of unambiguously diagnosing each species. Fossil-calibrated phylogenetic reconstruction estimated that the species split ± 6.5–7.5 Ma, which is congruent with intraspecies divergence within the sympatric crocodile genus Osteolaemus and the formation of the Cameroon Volcanic Line. Our results underscore the necessity of comprehensive phylogeographic analyses within currently recognized taxa to detect cryptic species within the Crocodylia. We recommend that the community of crocodilian researchers reconsider the conceptualization of crocodilian species especially in the light of the conservation ramifications for this economically and ecologically important group. PMID:24335982

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

    PubMed

    Oldfield, Ronald G

    2011-01-01

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

  18. A revision of African helmeted terrapins (Testudines: Pelomedusidae: Pelomedusa), with descriptions of six new species.

    PubMed

    Petzold, Alice; Vargas-Ramírez, Mario; Kehlmaier, Christian; Vamberger, Melita; Branch, William R; Preez, Louis Du; Hofmeyr, Margaretha D; Meyer, Leon; Schleicher, Alfred; Siroký, Pavel; Fritz, Uwe

    2014-01-01

    Using nearly range-wide sampling, we analyze up to 1848 bp of mitochondrial DNA of 183             helmeted terrapins and identify a minimum of 12 deeply divergent species-level clades. Uncorrected p distances of these clades equal or clearly exceed those between the currently recognized species of Pelusios, the genus most closely related to Pelomedusa. We correlate genetic discontinuities of Pelomedusa with data on morphology and endoparasites and describe six new Pelomedusa species. Moreover, we restrict the name Pelomedusa subrufa (Bonnaterre, 1789) to one genetic lineage and resurrect three further species from its synonymy, namely P. galeata (Schoepff, 1792), P. gehafie (Rüppell, 1835), and P. olivacea (Schweigger, 1812). In addition to these ten Pelomedusa species, we identify two further clades from Cameroon and Sudan with similar levels of genetic divergence that remain unnamed candidate species. We also note that some problematical terrapins from South Africa and Somalia may represent two additional candidate species. Some of the Pelomedusa species are morphologically distinctive, whilst others can only be identified by molecular markers and are therefore morphologically cryptic taxa. PMID:24870496

  19. Impact of temperature on performance in two species of South African dwarf chameleon, Bradypodion pumilum and B. occidentale.

    PubMed

    Segall, Marion; Tolley, Krystal A; Vanhooydonck, Bieke; Measey, G John; Herrel, Anthony

    2013-10-15

    Temperature is an extrinsic factor that influences reptile behavior because of its impact on reptile physiology. Understanding the impact of temperature on performance traits is important as it may affect the ecology and fitness of ectothermic animals such as reptiles. Here, we examined the temperature dependence of performance in two species of South African dwarf chameleon (Bradypodion): one adapted to a semi-arid environment and one to a mesic environment. Ecologically relevant performance traits were tested at different temperatures to evaluate their thermal dependence, and temperature-performance breadths for 80% and 90% of each performance trait were calculated. Our results show distinct differences in the thermal dependence of speed- versus force-related performance traits. Moreover, our results show that the semi-arid species is better adapted to higher temperatures and as such has a better chance of coping with the predicted increases in environmental temperature. The mesic area-adapted species seems to be more sensitive to an increase in temperature and could therefore potentially be threatened by the predicted future climate change. However, further studies investigating the potential for acclimation in chameleons are needed to better understand how animals may respond to future climate change. PMID:23868845

  20. Assessing the potential of multi-seasonal WorldView-2 imagery for mapping West African agroforestry tree species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karlson, Martin; Ostwald, Madelene; Reese, Heather; Bazié, Hugues Roméo; Tankoano, Boalidioa

    2016-08-01

    High resolution satellite systems enable efficient and detailed mapping of tree cover, with high potential to support both natural resource monitoring and ecological research. This study investigates the capability of multi-seasonal WorldView-2 imagery to map five dominant tree species at the individual tree crown level in a parkland landscape in central Burkina Faso. The Random Forest algorithm is used for object based tree species classification and for assessing the relative importance of WorldView-2 predictors. The classification accuracies from using wet season, dry season and multi-seasonal datasets are compared to gain insights about the optimal timing for image acquisition. The multi-seasonal dataset produced the most accurate classifications, with an overall accuracy (OA) of 83.4%. For classifications based on single date imagery, the dry season (OA = 78.4%) proved to be more suitable than the wet season (OA = 68.1%). The predictors that contributed most to the classification success were based on the red edge band and visible wavelengths, in particular green and yellow. It was therefore concluded that WorldView-2, with its unique band configuration, represents a suitable data source for tree species mapping in West African parklands. These results are particularly promising when considering the recently launched WorldView-3, which provides data both at higher spatial and spectral resolution, including shortwave infrared bands.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-11-01

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

  2. Otoliths of Five Extant Species of the Annual Killifish Nothobranchius from the East African Savannah

    PubMed Central

    Reichenbacher, Bettina; Reichard, Martin

    2014-01-01

    This study presents, for the first time, a comprehensive dataset that documents the range of inter- and intraspecific otolith variation in aplocheiloid killifish, based on a total of 86 individuals representing five extant species of Nothobranchius PETERS, 1868, from East Africa: the sympatric pairs N. rubripinnis SEEGERS, 1986 and N. ruudwildekampi COSTA, 2009 (Eastern Tanzania), and N. orthonotus (PETERS, 1844) and N. furzeri JUBB, 1971 (Southern Mozambique), and two isolated populations of N. korthausae MEINKEN, 1973 (Eastern Tanzania). Otolith characters were analysed based on SEM images, and otolith morphometry was conducted using uni- and multivariate statistics. Two ancient clades of probably Early to Middle Miocene age in eastern Tanzania and southern Mozambique can be recognized based on otolith morphologies, which is consistent with previous work based on molecular data. The distinctive sulcus morphologies in the otoliths of sympatric species may be linked to species-specific hearing capabilities, perhaps constituting a case of character displacement in an area of secondary sympatry. The otoliths of the studied species of Nothobranchius are diagnostic at the species level, even in the case of closely related species diagnosable otherwise only by minor differences in coloration. The two populations of N. korthausae also displayed some differences in their otolith characters. The new data may facilitate future recognition of fossil species of Nothobranchius. As no fossil remains of extant aplocheiloid killifishes have yet been described, the discovery of fossil otoliths of Nothobranchius would significantly advance understanding of the evolutionary history of this interesting group of fishes. PMID:25383789

  3. Libanasa kilomeni, a new species of East African Lutosinae (Orthoptera: Anostostomatidae).

    PubMed

    Hemp, Claudia; Johns, Peter M

    2015-01-01

    A new species of Libanasa, L. kilomeni, is described. In contrast to L. brachyura, an inhabitant of lowland wet to submontane forest along the Tanzanian coast and part of the Eastern Arc Mountains of Tanzania, this new species is found in montane forest in the North Pare Mountains. L. kilomeni n. sp. is restricted to a small forest reserve and due to forest clearing at lower elevations probably driven to its upper ecological border. Therefore this species is considered endangered and should be included in the IUCN red list. PMID:26624379

  4. Microsatellite primers for a species of South African everlasting daisy (Helichrysum odoratissimum; Gnaphalieae, Asteraceae)1

    PubMed Central

    Glennon, Kelsey L.; Cron, Glynis V.

    2016-01-01

    Premise of the study: Microsatellites were developed for the widespread Helichrysum odoratissimum (Asteraceae) to estimate gene flow across diploid populations and to test if gene flow occurs among other closely related lineages within this genus. Methods and Results: Ten primer pairs were developed and tested using populations across South Africa; however, only seven primer pairs were polymorphic for the target species. The seven polymorphic primers amplified di- and trinucleotide repeats with up to 16 alleles per locus among 125 diploid individuals used for analyses. Conclusions: These markers can be used to estimate gene flow among populations of known ploidy level of H. odoratissimum to test evolutionary hypotheses. Furthermore, these markers amplify successfully in other Helichrysum species, including the other three taxonomic Group 4 species, and therefore can be used to inform taxonomic work on these species. PMID:27213125

  5. Species-specific loss of sexual dimorphism in vocal effectors accompanies vocal simplification in African clawed frogs (Xenopus)

    PubMed Central

    Leininger, Elizabeth C.; Kitayama, Ken; Kelley, Darcy B.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Phylogenetic studies can reveal patterns of evolutionary change, including the gain or loss of elaborate courtship traits in males. Male African clawed frogs generally produce complex and rapid courtship vocalizations, whereas female calls are simple and slow. In a few species, however, male vocalizations are also simple and slow, suggesting loss of male-typical traits. Here, we explore features of the male vocal organ that could contribute to loss in two species with simple, slow male calls. In Xenopus boumbaensis, laryngeal morphology is more robust in males than in females. Larynges are larger, have a more complex cartilaginous morphology and contain more muscle fibers. Laryngeal muscle fibers are exclusively fast-twitch in males but are both fast- and slow-twitch in females. The laryngeal electromyogram, a measure of neuromuscular synaptic strength, shows greater potentiation in males than in females. Male-specific physiological features are shared with X. laevis, as well as with a species of the sister clade, Silurana tropicalis, and thus are likely ancestral. In X. borealis, certain aspects of laryngeal morphology and physiology are sexually monomorphic rather than dimorphic. In both sexes, laryngeal muscle fibers are of mixed-twitch type, which limits the production of muscle contractions at rapid intervals. Muscle activity potentiation and discrete tension transients resemble female rather than male X. boumbaensis. The de-masculinization of these laryngeal features suggests an alteration in sensitivity to the gonadal hormones that are known to control the sexual differentiation of the larynx in other Xenopus and Silurana species. PMID:25788725

  6. Two new species of African Haemaphysalis ticks (Acari: Ixodidae), carnivore parasites of the H. (Rhipistoma) leachi group.

    PubMed

    Apanaskevich, Dmitry A; Horak, Ivan G

    2008-06-01

    Two new tick species belonging to the African Haemaphysalis (Rhipistoma) leachi subgroup, namely H. (R.) colesbergensis n. sp. and H. (R.) oliveri n. sp., are described. Haemaphysalis (R.) colesbergensis adults are easily differentiated from the other species of the H. (R.) leachi subgroup, including H. (R.) oliveri, by the spur on coxa IV, which is considerably longer than that on coxa III. The adults of the 2 new species are equal in size, but the dental formula of the hypostome of H. (R.) colesbergensis is 4/4 compared to 5/5 for H. (R.) oliveri. The dental formula of H. (R.) oliveri also distinguishes it from other ticks in the subgroup, namely H. (R.) leachi, H. (R.) elliptica, H. (R.) moreli, and H. (R.) punctaleachi (4/4 in these species), but not from H. (R.) paraleachi, which has a 5/5 dental arrangement. However, the average total length and width of H. (R.) oliveri males (2.47 x 1.20 mm) are considerably shorter and narrower than those of H. (R.) paraleachi males (3.81 x 1.79 mm). Similar differences in size apply to the females. Nymphs and larvae of H. (R.) colesbergensis and H. (R.) oliveri can be distinguished from those of other members of the H. (R.) leachi subgroup, as well as from each other, by a combination of the following characters: size and measurement ratios, length of posterodorsal and posteroventral spurs on palpal segment II, and number of denticles per file on the hypostome. Haemaphysalis (R.) colesbergensis is known only from South Africa, where it has been collected from domestic cats and dogs and medium-sized wild felids. Haemaphysalis (R.) oliveri is recorded only from Sudan, where it has been collected from small- to medium-sized wild felids and canids and an antelope. The hosts of the immature stages of H. (R.) colesbergensis are unknown, while nymphs of H. (R.) oliveri have been collected from rodents. PMID:18605788

  7. Shifts in climate foster exceptional opportunities for species radiation: the case of South african geraniums.

    PubMed

    Martínez-Cabrera, Hugo I; Peres-Neto, Pedro R

    2013-01-01

    Climate change is often assumed to be a major driver of biodiversity loss. However, it can also set the stage for novel diversification in lineages with the evolutionary ability to colonize new environments. Here we tested if the extraordinary evolutionary success of the genus Pelargonium was related to the ability of its species to capitalize on the climate niche variation produced by the historical changes in southern Africa. We evaluated the relationship between rates of climate niche evolution and diversification rates in the main Pelargonium lineages and disentangled the roles of deep and recent historical events in the modification of species niches. Pelargonium clades exhibiting higher ecological differentiation along summer precipitation (SPP) gradients also experienced higher diversification rates. Faster rates of niche differentiation in spatially structured variables, along with lower levels of niche overlap among closely related species, suggest recent modification in species niches (e.g. dispersal or range shift) and niche lability. We suggest that highly structured SPP gradients established during the aridification process within southern Africa, in concert with niche lability and low niche overlap, contributed to species divergence. These factors are likely to be responsible for the extensive diversification of other lineages in this diversity hot spot. PMID:24358250

  8. Laboratory investigations of African Pouched Rats (Cricetomys gambianus) as a potential reservoir host species for Monkeypox Virus

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hutson, Christina L.; Nakazawa, Yoshinori J.; Self, Joshua; Olson, Victoria A.; Regnery, Russell L.; Braden, Zachary; Weiss, Sonja; Malekani, Jean; Jackson, Eddie; Tate, Mallory; Karem, Kevin L.; Rocke, Tonie E.; Osorio, Jorge E.; Damon, Inger K.; Carroll, Darin S.

    2015-01-01

    Monkeypox is a zoonotic disease endemic to central and western Africa, where it is a major public health concern. Although Monkeypox virus (MPXV) and monkeypox disease in humans have been well characterized, little is known about its natural history, or its maintenance in animal populations of sylvatic reservoir(s). In 2003, several species of rodents imported from Ghana were involved in a monkeypox outbreak in the United States with individuals of three African rodent genera (Cricetomys, Graphiurus, Funisciurus) shown to be infected with MPXV. Here, we examine the course of MPXV infection in Cricetomys gambianus (pouched Gambian rats) and this rodent species’ competence as a host for the virus. We obtained ten Gambian rats from an introduced colony in Grassy Key, Florida and infected eight of these via scarification with a challenge dose of 4X104 plaque forming units (pfu) from either of the two primary clades of MPXV: Congo Basin (C-MPXV: n = 4) or West African (W-MPXV: n = 4); an additional 2 animals served as PBS controls. Viral shedding and the effect of infection on activity and physiological aspects of the animals were measured. MPXV challenged animals had significantly higher core body temperatures, reduced activity and increased weight loss than PBS controls. Viable virus was found in samples taken from animals in both experimental groups (C-MPXV and W-MPXV) between 3 and 27 days post infection (p.i.) (up to 1X108pfu/ml), with viral DNA found until day 56 p.i. The results from this work show that Cricetomys gambianus (and by inference, probably the closely related species, Cricetomys emini) can be infected with MPXV and shed viable virus particles; thus suggesting that these animals may be involved in the maintenance of MPXV in wildlife mammalian populations. More research is needed to elucidate the epidemiology of MPXV and the role of Gambian rats and other species.

  9. NASA and USGS invest in invasive species modeling to evaluate habitat for Africanized Honey Bees

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    2009-01-01

    Invasive non-native species, such as plants, animals, and pathogens, have long been an interest to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and NASA. Invasive species cause harm to our economy (around $120 B/year), the environment (e.g., replacing native biodiversity, forest pathogens negatively affecting carbon storage), and human health (e.g., plague, West Nile virus). Five years ago, the USGS and NASA formed a partnership to improve ecological forecasting capabilities for the early detection and containment of the highest priority invasive species. Scientists from NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) and the Fort Collins Science Center developed a longterm strategy to integrate remote sensing capabilities, high-performance computing capabilities and new spatial modeling techniques to advance the science of ecological invasions [Schnase et al., 2002].

  10. Multiple vectors and their differing ecologies: observations on two bluetongue and African horse sickness vector Culicoides species in South Africa.

    PubMed

    Meiswinkel, R; Labuschagne, K; Baylis, M; Mellor, P S

    2004-01-01

    Blacklight traps were used to collect Culicoides biting midges weekly between September 1996 and August 1998 at 40 sites distributed equidistantly across South Africa. The seasonal and geographic prevalences of 86 species of Culicoides were elucidated simultaneously, and included C. imicola Kieffer and C. bolitinos Meiswinkel the principal vectors of bluetongue (BT) and African horse sickness (AHS) in the region. These two species were amongst the most prevalent Culicoides to be found and, together, comprised >50% of the more than three million biting midges captured. The data are presented as coloured matrices, and are transformed also into inverse distance weighting (IDW) interpolative maps. The data reveal that the prevalence of each vector is somewhat fractured and it is posited that this is (in part) due to significant differences in their respective breeding habitats. The results illustrate also that the presence of multiple vectors (in any region of the world) will complicate both the epidemiology of the orbiviral diseases they transmit and the formulation of rational livestock movement and disease control strategies. This is especially true for southern Europe where the recent devastating cycle of BT has been shown to involve at least three vectors. Finally, the influence that man has on the development of large foci of vector Culicoides around livestock may be less important than previously suggested but must be investigated further. PMID:20419682

  11. Discovery and phylogenetic analysis of a riverine species flock of African electric fishes (Mormyridae: Teleostei).

    PubMed

    Sullivan, John P; Lavoué, Sébastien; Hopkins, Carl D

    2002-03-01

    The evolution of species-specific mate recognition signals is of particular interest within speciose monophyletic groups with restricted distributions (known as "species flocks"). However, the explosive nature of speciation in these clades makes difficult the reconstruction of their phylogenetic history. Here we describe a species flock of riverine mormyrid fishes from west-central Africa in which electric signals may play a role in the reproductive isolation of sympatric species. In our recent field collections, totaling more than 1400 specimens from many localities, we recognize 38 forms that are distinct in their morphologies and electric organ discharge (EOD) characteristics. Of these 38, only four clearly correspond to described species. Here we treat these forms as operational taxonomic units (OTUs) in a phylogenetic analysis of cytochrome b sequence data from a sample of 86 specimens. We examined support in the molecular data for the monophyly of these 38 OTUs considered together, the monophyly of each phenotypically delimited OTU considered individually, and for relationships among OTUs congruent with those inferred from the distribution of morphological and EOD character states. Trees obtained by both maximum-parsimony and maximum-likelihood analyses, rooted with sequence data from outgroup taxa, provide evidence for the monophyly of these 38 OTUs with respect to other mormyrid fishes. The small genetic distances between many distinct forms suggest their recent divergence. However, in many instances the cytochrome b tree topology fails to support the monophyly of individual OTUs and close relationships between OTUs that are similar in morphology and EOD characteristics. In other cases, individuals from distinct OTUs share identical or nearly identical haplotypes. Close examination of these cases suggests that unnatural OTU definition is not the sole cause of this pattern, and we infer an incongruence between the mitochondrial gene tree and the organismal

  12. Landscape-scale variation in plant community composition of an African savanna from airborne species mapping.

    PubMed

    Baldeck, C A; Colgan, M S; Féret, J B; Levick, S R; Martin, R E; Asner, G P

    2014-01-01

    Information on landscape-scale patterns in species distributions and community types is vital for ecological science and effective conservation assessment and planning. However, detailed maps of plant community structure at landscape scales seldom exist due to the inability of field-based inventories to map a sufficient number of individuals over large areas. The Carnegie Airborne Observatory (CAO) collected hyperspectral and lidar data over Kruger National Park, South Africa, and these data were used to remotely identify > 500 000 tree and shrub crowns over a 144-km2 landscape using stacked support vector machines. Maps of community compositional variation were produced by ordination and clustering, and the importance of hillslope-scale topo-edaphic variation in shaping community structure was evaluated with redundancy analysis. This remote species identification approach revealed spatially complex patterns in woody plant communities throughout the landscape that could not be directly observed using field-based methods alone. We estimated that topo-edaphic variables representing catenal sequences explained 21% of species compositional variation, while we also uncovered important community patterns that were unrelated to catenas, indicating a large role for other soil-related factors in shaping the savanna community. Our results demonstrate the ability of airborne species identification techniques to map biodiversity for the evaluation of ecological controls on community composition over large landscapes. PMID:24640536

  13. Climate and Species Richness Predict the Phylogenetic Structure of African Mammal Communities

    PubMed Central

    Kamilar, Jason M.; Beaudrot, Lydia; Reed, Kaye E.

    2015-01-01

    We have little knowledge of how climatic variation (and by proxy, habitat variation) influences the phylogenetic structure of tropical communities. Here, we quantified the phylogenetic structure of mammal communities in Africa to investigate how community structure varies with respect to climate and species richness variation across the continent. In addition, we investigated how phylogenetic patterns vary across carnivores, primates, and ungulates. We predicted that climate would differentially affect the structure of communities from different clades due to between-clade biological variation. We examined 203 communities using two metrics, the net relatedness (NRI) and nearest taxon (NTI) indices. We used simultaneous autoregressive models to predict community phylogenetic structure from climate variables and species richness. We found that most individual communities exhibited a phylogenetic structure consistent with a null model, but both climate and species richness significantly predicted variation in community phylogenetic metrics. Using NTI, species rich communities were composed of more distantly related taxa for all mammal communities, as well as for communities of carnivorans or ungulates. Temperature seasonality predicted the phylogenetic structure of mammal, carnivoran, and ungulate communities, and annual rainfall predicted primate community structure. Additional climate variables related to temperature and rainfall also predicted the phylogenetic structure of ungulate communities. We suggest that both past interspecific competition and habitat filtering have shaped variation in tropical mammal communities. The significant effect of climatic factors on community structure has important implications for the diversity of mammal communities given current models of future climate change. PMID:25875361

  14. Culicoides species abundance and potential over-wintering of African horse sickness virus in the Onderstepoort area, Gauteng, South Africa.

    PubMed

    Venter, Gert J; Labuschagne, Karien; Majatladi, Daphney; Boikanyo, Solomon N B; Lourens, Carina; Ebersohn, Karen; Venter, Estelle H

    2014-01-01

    In South Africa, outbreaks of African horse sickness (AHS) occur in summer; no cases are reported in winter, from July to September. The AHS virus (AHSV) is transmitted almost exclusively by Culicoides midges (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae), of which Culicoides imicola is considered to be the most important vector. The over-wintering mechanism of AHSV is unknown. In this study, more than 500 000 Culicoides midges belonging to at least 26 species were collected in 88 light traps at weekly intervals between July 2010 and September 2011 near horses in the Onderstepoort area of South Africa. The dominant species was C. imicola. Despite relatively low temperatures and frost, at least 17 species, including C. imicola, were collected throughout winter (June-August). Although the mean number of midges per night fell from > 50 000 (March) to < 100 (July and August), no midge-free periods were found. This study, using virus isolation on cell cultures and a reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay, confirmed low infection prevalence in field midges and that the detection of virus correlated to high numbers. Although no virus was detected during this winter period, continuous adult activity indicated that transmission can potentially occur. The absence of AHSV in the midges during winter can be ascribed to the relatively low numbers collected coupled to low infection prevalence, low virus replication rates and low virus titres in the potentially infected midges. Cases of AHS in susceptible animals are likely to start as soon as Culicoides populations reach a critical level. PMID:25686125

  15. The spatial distribution of African savannah herbivores: species associations and habitat occupancy in a landscape context.

    PubMed

    Anderson, T Michael; White, Staci; Davis, Bryant; Erhardt, Rob; Palmer, Meredith; Swanson, Alexandra; Kosmala, Margaret; Packer, Craig

    2016-09-19

    Herbivores play an important role in determining the structure and function of tropical savannahs. Here, we (i) outline a framework for how interactions among large mammalian herbivores, carnivores and environmental variation influence herbivore habitat occupancy in tropical savannahs. We then (ii) use a Bayesian hierarchical model to analyse camera trap data to quantify spatial patterns of habitat occupancy for lions and eight common ungulates of varying body size across an approximately 1100 km(2) landscape in the Serengeti ecosystem. Our results reveal strong positive associations among herbivores at the scale of the entire landscape. Lions were positively associated with migratory ungulates but negatively associated with residents. Herbivore habitat occupancy differed with body size and migratory strategy: large-bodied migrants, at less risk of predation and able to tolerate lower quality food, were associated with high NDVI, while smaller residents, constrained to higher quality forage, avoided these areas. Small herbivores were strongly associated with fires, likely due to the subsequent high-quality regrowth, while larger herbivores avoided burned areas. Body mass was strongly related to herbivore habitat use, with larger species more strongly associated with riverine and woodlands than smaller species. Large-bodied migrants displayed diffuse habitat occupancy, whereas smaller species demonstrated fine-scale occupancy reflecting use of smaller patches of high-quality habitat. Our results demonstrate the emergence of strong positive spatial associations among a diverse group of savannah herbivores, while highlighting species-specific habitat selection strongly determined by herbivore body size.This article is part of the themed issue 'Tropical grassy biomes: linking ecology, human use and conservation'. PMID:27502379

  16. Distribution of lipophosphoglycan-associated epitopes in different Leishmania species and in African trypanosomes.

    PubMed

    Tolson, D L; Schnur, L F; Jardim, A; Pearson, T W

    1994-01-01

    Monoclonal antibody (mAb) CA7AE binds specifically to the phosphorylated Gal-beta 1,4-Man disaccharide repeat epitope of Leishmania donovani lipophosphoglycan (LPG). This mAb detected the repeat epitope in most but not all of a wide variety of Leishmania species and strains examined. MAb CA7AE also bound to both glycoprotein and carbohydrate antigens in medium from L. donovani promastigote cultures. Specifically, mAb CA7AE bound the delipidated form of LPG, the phosphoglycan, and a glycoprotein both of which are released into the medium by the parasite indicating that both share a specific phosphorylated carbohydrate epitope. The epitope was detected in sera from L. donovani-infected (kala-azar positive) patients when mAb CA7AE was used in an antigen-capture enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). MAb L157 is specific for a protein that is found associated with L. donovani LPG, the lipophosphoglycan-associated protein (LPGAP). This mAb bound to molecules in all 19 strains (representing 9 species) of Leishmania promastigotes and to molecules in 2 species of Trypanosoma procyclic culture forms. This wide distribution of the LPGAP epitope implies that it may have a conserved function, for example, in the biochemistry or arrangement of parasite surface molecules. In addition, since the LPGAP is involved in the stimulation of T lymphocyte proliferation, its wide distribution amongst different Leishmania species suggests that it may be an ideal molecule for testing as a vaccine for leishmaniasis. PMID:7528916

  17. Species boundaries and taxonomy of the African river frogs (Amphibia: Pyxicephalidae: Amietia).

    PubMed

    Channing, A; Dehling, J M; Lötters, S; Ernst, R

    2016-01-01

    A molecular phylogeny of the Afrotropical anuran genus Amietia based on 323 16S sequences indicates that there are 19 species, including four not yet described. No genetic material was available for the nominal A. inyangae. We consider them to represent full species, and define them based on 16S genetic distances, as well as differences in morphology, tadpoles and advertisement call where known. An analysis based on two mitochondrial and two nuclear genes (12S, 16S, 28S and tyrosinase exon 1), from 122 samples, confirmed the phylogenetic relationships suggested by the 16S tree. We recognise and (re-) describe the following species: Amietia angolensis (Bocage, 1866), A. chapini (Noble, 1924), A. delalandii (Duméril & Bibron, 1841), A. desaegeri (Laurent, 1972), A. fuscigula (Duméril & Bibron, 1841), A. hymenopus (Boulenger, 1920), A. inyangae (Poynton, 1966), A. johnstoni (Günther, 1893), A. moyerorum sp. nov., A. nutti (Boulenger, 1896), A. poyntoni Channing & Baptista, 2013, A. ruwenzorica (Laurent, 1972), A. tenuoplicata (Pickersgill, 2007), A. vandijki (Visser & Channing, 1997), A. vertebralis (Hewitt, 1927), and A. wittei (Angel, 1924). Three further candidate species of Larson et al. (2016) await formal naming. We provisionally regard A. amieti (Laurent, 1976) as a junior synonym of A. chapini (Noble, 1924). Amietia lubrica (Pickersgill, 2007) is shown to be a junior synonym of A. nutti, while A. quecketti (Boulenger, 1895) is shown to be a junior synonym of A. delalandii (Duméril & Bibron, 1841), and A. viridireticulata (Pickersgill, 2007) is placed as a junior synonym of A. tenuoplicata (Pickersgill, 2007). On the basis of similarity of 16S sequences, we assign A. sp. 1, A. sp. 3 and A. sp. 6 of Larson et al (2016) to the nomina A. chapini (Noble, 1924), A. desaegeri (Laurent, 1972), and A. nutti (Boulenger, 1896) respectively. PMID:27615865

  18. Patterns of sequence divergence and evolution of the S orthologous regions between Asian and African cultivated rice species.

    PubMed

    Guyot, Romain; Garavito, Andrea; Gavory, Frédérick; Samain, Sylvie; Tohme, Joe; Ghesquière, Alain; Lorieux, Mathias

    2011-01-01

    A strong postzygotic reproductive barrier separates the recently diverged Asian and African cultivated rice species, Oryza sativa and O. glaberrima. Recently a model of genetic incompatibilities between three adjacent loci: S(1)A, S(1) and S(1)B (called together the S(1) regions) interacting epistatically, was postulated to cause the allelic elimination of female gametes in interspecific hybrids. Two candidate factors for the S(1) locus (including a putative F-box gene) were proposed, but candidates for S(1)A and S(1)B remained undetermined. Here, to better understand the basis of the evolution of regions involved in reproductive isolation, we studied the genic and structural changes accumulated in the S(1) regions between orthologous sequences. First, we established an 813 kb genomic sequence in O. glaberrima, covering completely the S(1)A, S(1) and the majority of the S(1)B regions, and compared it with the orthologous regions of O. sativa. An overall strong structural conservation was observed, with the exception of three isolated regions of disturbed collinearity: (1) a local invasion of transposable elements around a putative F-box gene within S(1), (2) the multiple duplication and subsequent divergence of the same F-box gene within S(1)A, (3) an interspecific chromosomal inversion in S(1)B, which restricts recombination in our O. sativa×O. glaberrima crosses. Beside these few structural variations, a uniform conservative pattern of coding sequence divergence was found all along the S(1) regions. Hence, the S(1) regions have undergone no drastic variation in their recent divergence and evolution between O. sativa and O. glaberrima, suggesting that a small accumulation of genic changes, following a Bateson-Dobzhansky-Muller (BDM) model, might be involved in the establishment of the sterility barrier. In this context, genetic incompatibilities involving the duplicated F-box genes as putative candidates, and a possible strengthening step involving the

  19. Patterns of Sequence Divergence and Evolution of the S1 Orthologous Regions between Asian and African Cultivated Rice Species

    PubMed Central

    Gavory, Frédérick; Samain, Sylvie; Tohme, Joe; Ghesquière, Alain; Lorieux, Mathias

    2011-01-01

    A strong postzygotic reproductive barrier separates the recently diverged Asian and African cultivated rice species, Oryza sativa and O. glaberrima. Recently a model of genetic incompatibilities between three adjacent loci: S1A, S1 and S1B (called together the S1 regions) interacting epistatically, was postulated to cause the allelic elimination of female gametes in interspecific hybrids. Two candidate factors for the S1 locus (including a putative F-box gene) were proposed, but candidates for S1A and S1B remained undetermined. Here, to better understand the basis of the evolution of regions involved in reproductive isolation, we studied the genic and structural changes accumulated in the S1 regions between orthologous sequences. First, we established an 813 kb genomic sequence in O. glaberrima, covering completely the S1A, S1 and the majority of the S1B regions, and compared it with the orthologous regions of O. sativa. An overall strong structural conservation was observed, with the exception of three isolated regions of disturbed collinearity: (1) a local invasion of transposable elements around a putative F-box gene within S1, (2) the multiple duplication and subsequent divergence of the same F-box gene within S1A, (3) an interspecific chromosomal inversion in S1B, which restricts recombination in our O. sativa×O. glaberrima crosses. Beside these few structural variations, a uniform conservative pattern of coding sequence divergence was found all along the S1 regions. Hence, the S1 regions have undergone no drastic variation in their recent divergence and evolution between O. sativa and O. glaberrima, suggesting that a small accumulation of genic changes, following a Bateson-Dobzhansky-Muller (BDM) model, might be involved in the establishment of the sterility barrier. In this context, genetic incompatibilities involving the duplicated F-box genes as putative candidates, and a possible strengthening step involving the chromosomal inversion might participate to

  20. Using Social Media to Measure the Contribution of Red List Species to the Nature-Based Tourism Potential of African Protected Areas.

    PubMed

    Willemen, Louise; Cottam, Andrew J; Drakou, Evangelia G; Burgess, Neil D

    2015-01-01

    Cultural ecosystem services are defined by people's perception of the environment, which make them hard to quantify systematically. Methods to describe cultural benefits from ecosystems typically include resource-demanding survey techniques, which are not suitable to assess cultural ecosystem services for large areas. In this paper we explore a method to quantify cultural benefits through the enjoyment of natured-based tourism, by assessing the potential tourism attractiveness of species for each protected area in Africa using the IUCN's Red List of Threatened Species. We use the number of pictures of wildlife posted on a photo sharing website as a proxy for charisma, popularity, and ease of observation, as these factors combined are assumed to determine how attractive species are for the global wildlife tourist. Based on photo counts of 2473 African animals and plants, species that seem most attractive to nature-based tourism are the Lion, African Elephant and Leopard. Combining the photo counts with species range data, African protected areas with the highest potential to attract wildlife tourists based on attractive species occurrence were Samburu National Reserve in Kenya, Mukogodo Forest Reserve located just north of Mount Kenya, and Addo Elephant National Park in South-Africa. The proposed method requires only three data sources which are freely accessible and available online, which could make the proposed index tractable for large scale quantitative ecosystem service assessments. The index directly links species presence to the tourism potential of protected areas, making the connection between nature and human benefits explicit, but excludes other important contributing factors for tourism, such as accessibility and safety. This social media based index provides a broad understanding of those species that are popular globally; in many cases these are not the species of highest conservation concern. PMID:26068111

  1. Using Social Media to Measure the Contribution of Red List Species to the Nature-Based Tourism Potential of African Protected Areas

    PubMed Central

    Drakou, Evangelia G.; Burgess, Neil D.

    2015-01-01

    Cultural ecosystem services are defined by people’s perception of the environment, which make them hard to quantify systematically. Methods to describe cultural benefits from ecosystems typically include resource-demanding survey techniques, which are not suitable to assess cultural ecosystem services for large areas. In this paper we explore a method to quantify cultural benefits through the enjoyment of natured-based tourism, by assessing the potential tourism attractiveness of species for each protected area in Africa using the IUCN’s Red List of Threatened Species. We use the number of pictures of wildlife posted on a photo sharing website as a proxy for charisma, popularity, and ease of observation, as these factors combined are assumed to determine how attractive species are for the global wildlife tourist. Based on photo counts of 2473 African animals and plants, species that seem most attractive to nature-based tourism are the Lion, African Elephant and Leopard. Combining the photo counts with species range data, African protected areas with the highest potential to attract wildlife tourists based on attractive species occurrence were Samburu National Reserve in Kenya, Mukogodo Forest Reserve located just north of Mount Kenya, and Addo Elephant National Park in South-Africa. The proposed method requires only three data sources which are freely accessible and available online, which could make the proposed index tractable for large scale quantitative ecosystem service assessments. The index directly links species presence to the tourism potential of protected areas, making the connection between nature and human benefits explicit, but excludes other important contributing factors for tourism, such as accessibility and safety. This social media based index provides a broad understanding of those species that are popular globally; in many cases these are not the species of highest conservation concern. PMID:26068111

  2. Three African antelope species with varying water dependencies exhibit similar selective brain cooling.

    PubMed

    Strauss, W Maartin; Hetem, Robyn S; Mitchell, Duncan; Maloney, Shane K; Meyer, Leith C R; Fuller, Andrea

    2016-05-01

    The use of selective brain cooling, where warm arterial blood destined for the brain is cooled in the carotid rete via counter-current heat exchange when in close proximity to cooler venous blood, contributes to the conservation of body water. We simultaneously measured carotid blood and hypothalamic temperature in four gemsbok, five red hartebeest and six blue wildebeest to assess the extent to which these free-living animals, with varying water dependency, routinely rely on selective brain cooling. We investigated the hypothesis that innate differences in selective brain cooling exist in large, sympatric artiodactyls with varying water dependency. All three species used selective brain cooling, without any discernible differences in three selective brain cooling indices. GLMMs revealed no species differences in the threshold temperature for selective brain cooling (z = 0.79, P = 0.43), the magnitude (z = -0.51, P = 0.61), or the frequency of selective brain cooling use (z = -0.47, P = 0.64), after controlling for carotid blood temperature and black globe temperature. Comparison of anatomical attributes of the carotid retes of the three species revealed that the volume (F 2,9 = 5.54, P = 0.03) and height (F 2,9 = 5.43, P = 0.03) of the carotid rete, per kilogram body mass, were greater in the red hartebeest than in the blue wildebeest. Nevertheless, intraspecific variability in the magnitude, the frequency of use, and the threshold temperature for selective brain cooling exceeded any interspecific variability in the three indices of selective brain cooling. We conclude that the three species have similar underlying ability to make use of selective brain cooling in an environment with freely available water. It remains to be seen to what extent these three species would rely on selective brain cooling, as a water conservation mechanism, when challenged by aridity, a condition likely to become prevalent throughout much of southern Africa under

  3. Genospecies and virulence factors of Aeromonas species in different sources in a North African country

    PubMed Central

    Ghenghesh, Khalifa Sifaw; Ahmed, Salwa F.; Cappuccinelli, Piero; Klena, John D.

    2014-01-01

    Introduction Aeromonads of medical importance have been reported from numerous clinical, food, and water sources, but identification of genospecies and virulence factors of Aeromonas species from countries in North Africa and the Middle East are few. Methods In total 99 Aeromonas species isolates from different sources (diarrheal children [n=23], non-diarrheal children [n=16], untreated drinking water from wells [n=32], and chicken carcasses [n=28]) in Tripoli, Libya, were included in the present investigation. Genus identification was confirmed by biochemical analysis, and genospecies were determined using a combination of 16S rDNA variable region and gyrB sequence analysis. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was used to detect genes encoding toxins from 52 of the isolates. Results We identified 44 isolates (44%) as A. hydrophila (3 [3.0%] subspecies anaerogenes, 23 [23%] subspecies dhakensis, and 18 [18%] subspecies ranae); 27 isolates (27%) as A. veronii; 23 isolates (23%) as A. caviae; and 5 isolates (5.0%) as other genospecies. The genes encoding aerolysin (aer), cytolytic enterotoxin (act), and A. hydrophila isolate SSU enterotoxin (ast) were detected in 45 (87%), 4 (7.7%), and 9 (17%) of the 52 isolates tested, respectively. The gene encoding an extracellular lipase (alt) was not detected. Conclusion The majority of aeromonads from Libya fall within three genospecies (i.e. A. hydrophila, A. veronii, and A. caviae), and genes coding for toxin production are common among them. PMID:25216211

  4. Molecular basis of the remarkable species selectivity of an insecticidal sodium channel toxin from the African spider Augacephalus ezendami

    PubMed Central

    Herzig, Volker; Ikonomopoulou, Maria; Smith, Jennifer J.; Dziemborowicz, Sławomir; Gilchrist, John; Kuhn-Nentwig, Lucia; Rezende, Fernanda Oliveira; Moreira, Luciano Andrade; Nicholson, Graham M.; Bosmans, Frank; King, Glenn F.

    2016-01-01

    The inexorable decline in the armament of registered chemical insecticides has stimulated research into environmentally-friendly alternatives. Insecticidal spider-venom peptides are promising candidates for bioinsecticide development but it is challenging to find peptides that are specific for targeted pests. In the present study, we isolated an insecticidal peptide (Ae1a) from venom of the African spider Augacephalus ezendami (family Theraphosidae). Injection of Ae1a into sheep blowflies (Lucilia cuprina) induced rapid but reversible paralysis. In striking contrast, Ae1a was lethal to closely related fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) but induced no adverse effects in the recalcitrant lepidopteran pest Helicoverpa armigera. Electrophysiological experiments revealed that Ae1a potently inhibits the voltage-gated sodium channel BgNaV1 from the German cockroach Blattella germanica by shifting the threshold for channel activation to more depolarized potentials. In contrast, Ae1a failed to significantly affect sodium currents in dorsal unpaired median neurons from the American cockroach Periplaneta americana. We show that Ae1a interacts with the domain II voltage sensor and that sensitivity to the toxin is conferred by natural sequence variations in the S1–S2 loop of domain II. The phyletic specificity of Ae1a provides crucial information for development of sodium channel insecticides that target key insect pests without harming beneficial species. PMID:27383378

  5. Molecular basis of the remarkable species selectivity of an insecticidal sodium channel toxin from the African spider Augacephalus ezendami.

    PubMed

    Herzig, Volker; Ikonomopoulou, Maria; Smith, Jennifer J; Dziemborowicz, Sławomir; Gilchrist, John; Kuhn-Nentwig, Lucia; Rezende, Fernanda Oliveira; Moreira, Luciano Andrade; Nicholson, Graham M; Bosmans, Frank; King, Glenn F

    2016-01-01

    The inexorable decline in the armament of registered chemical insecticides has stimulated research into environmentally-friendly alternatives. Insecticidal spider-venom peptides are promising candidates for bioinsecticide development but it is challenging to find peptides that are specific for targeted pests. In the present study, we isolated an insecticidal peptide (Ae1a) from venom of the African spider Augacephalus ezendami (family Theraphosidae). Injection of Ae1a into sheep blowflies (Lucilia cuprina) induced rapid but reversible paralysis. In striking contrast, Ae1a was lethal to closely related fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) but induced no adverse effects in the recalcitrant lepidopteran pest Helicoverpa armigera. Electrophysiological experiments revealed that Ae1a potently inhibits the voltage-gated sodium channel BgNaV1 from the German cockroach Blattella germanica by shifting the threshold for channel activation to more depolarized potentials. In contrast, Ae1a failed to significantly affect sodium currents in dorsal unpaired median neurons from the American cockroach Periplaneta americana. We show that Ae1a interacts with the domain II voltage sensor and that sensitivity to the toxin is conferred by natural sequence variations in the S1-S2 loop of domain II. The phyletic specificity of Ae1a provides crucial information for development of sodium channel insecticides that target key insect pests without harming beneficial species. PMID:27383378

  6. Tiny worms from a mighty continent: high diversity and new phylogenetic lineages of African monogeneans.

    PubMed

    Přikrylová, Iva; Vanhove, Maarten P M; Janssens, Steven B; Billeter, Paul A; Huyse, Tine

    2013-04-01

    The family Gyrodactylidae contains one of the most significant radiations of platyhelminth fish parasites. The so-called hyperviviparity is very rare in the animal kingdom, and the rapid generation time can lead to an explosive population growth, which can cause massive losses in farmed fish. Here we present the first molecular phylogeny including all-but-one African genera, inferred from ITS and 18S rDNA sequences. The validity of nominal genera is discussed in relation to the systematic value of morphological characters traditionally used for generic identification. New complete 18S rDNA sequences of 18 gyrodactylid species of eight genera together with ITS rDNA gene sequences of eight species representing seven genera were generated and complemented with GenBank sequences. The maximum likelihood and Bayesian analyses pointed to a paraphyletic nature of African Gyrodactylus species. They formed well-supported clades possibly indicating speciation within host taxa: (1) parasites of cichlids (Cichlidae); (2) parasites of catfishes (Siluriformes), consisting of a lineage infecting mochokids and one infecting clariids. Macrogyrodactylus spp. firmly clustered into a monophyletic group. We found that Swingleus and Fundulotrema are very closely related and clearly cluster within Gyrodactylus. This supports earlier claims as to the paraphyly of the nominal genus Gyrodactylus as it is currently defined, and necessitates a revision of Swingleus and Fundulotrema. Molecular dating estimates confirmed a relatively young, certainly post-Gondwanan, origin of gyrodactylid lineages. Building on the previously suggested South-American origin of viviparous gyrodactylids, the dataset suggests subsequent intercontinental dispersal to Africa and from there repeated colonisation of the Holarctic. Even though the African continent has been heavily under sampled, the present diversity is far greater than in the intensively studied European fauna, probably because of the high endemicity

  7. Contribution to the knowledge of Afrotropical Dryinidae, Embolemidae and Sclerogibbidae (Hymenoptera), with description of new species from Central African Republic and Uganda.

    PubMed

    Olmi, Massimo; van Noort, Simon; Guglielmino, Adalgisa

    2016-01-01

    An updated checklist of Dryinidae, Embolemidae and Sclerogibbidae from Central African Republic and Uganda is presented. The following new species of Dryinidae are described: from Central African Republic: Anteon dzanganum sp. n. (Anteoninae); from Uganda: Anteon granulatum sp. n., Anteon kibalense sp. n., Anteon makererense sp. n., Anteon mubfs sp. n. (Anteoninae); Bocchus kibalensis sp. n. (Bocchinae); Dryinus kibalus sp. n. (Dryininae); Gonatopus kanyawarus sp. n. (Gonatopodinae). The following species have been recorded for the first time from Central African Republic: Embolemidae: Ampulicomorpha madecassa Olmi, 1999a; Embolemus capensis Olmi, 1997; Dryinidae: Aphelopus mediocarinatus (Benoit, 1951d), Aphelopus testaceus Olmi, 1991, Aphelopus wittei Benoit, 1951c (Aphelopinae); Anteon cautum Olmi, 1994a, Anteon evertsi Olmi, 1989, Anteon gutturnium (Benoit, 1951b), Anteon inflatrix Benoit, 1951b, Anteon kivuanum (Benoit, 1951c), Anteon semajanna Olmi, Copeland & Guglielmino, 2015, Anteon zairense Benoit, 1951d (Anteoninae); Pseudodryinus townesi (Olmi, 1984) (Dryininae); Echthrodelphax tauricus Ponomarenko, 1970, Gonatopus camerounensis Olmi, 2011, Gonatopus kolyadai Olmi, 2007b, Neodryinus antiquus Benoit, 1954, Neodryinus tussaci Olmi, 2004b (Gonatopodinae); Sclerogibbidae: Probethylus callani Richards, 1939b; Sclerogibba algerica Benoit, 1963, Sclerogibba rapax Olmi, 2005a. The following species have been recorded for the first time from Uganda: Embolemidae: Ampulicomorpha magna Olmi, 1996; Dryinidae: Anteon cautum Olmi, 1994a, Anteon fisheri Olmi, 2003, Anteon hoyoi Olmi, 1984, Anteon kivuanum (Benoit, 1951c), Anteon townesi Olmi, 1984, Anteon zairense Benoit, 1951d (Anteoninae); Bocchus bini Olmi, 1984 (Bocchinae); Dryinus saussurei (Ceballos, 1936) (Dryininae); Echthrodelphax migratorius Benoit, 1954, Neodryinus tussaci Olmi, 2004b (Gonatopodinae). The following further species has been recorded for the first time from Mali: Sclerogibba algerica Benoit

  8. Contribution to the knowledge of Afrotropical Dryinidae, Embolemidae and Sclerogibbidae (Hymenoptera), with description of new species from Central African Republic and Uganda

    PubMed Central

    Olmi, Massimo; van Noort, Simon; Guglielmino, Adalgisa

    2016-01-01

    Abstract An updated checklist of Dryinidae, Embolemidae and Sclerogibbidae from Central African Republic and Uganda is presented. The following new species of Dryinidae are described: from Central African Republic: Anteon dzanganum sp. n. (Anteoninae); from Uganda: Anteon granulatum sp. n., Anteon kibalense sp. n., Anteon makererense sp. n., Anteon mubfs sp. n. (Anteoninae); Bocchus kibalensis sp. n. (Bocchinae); Dryinus kibalus sp. n. (Dryininae); Gonatopus kanyawarus sp. n. (Gonatopodinae). The following species have been recorded for the first time from Central African Republic: Embolemidae: Ampulicomorpha madecassa Olmi, 1999a; Embolemus capensis Olmi, 1997; Dryinidae: Aphelopus mediocarinatus (Benoit, 1951d), Aphelopus testaceus Olmi, 1991, Aphelopus wittei Benoit, 1951c (Aphelopinae); Anteon cautum Olmi, 1994a, Anteon evertsi Olmi, 1989, Anteon gutturnium (Benoit, 1951b), Anteon inflatrix Benoit, 1951b, Anteon kivuanum (Benoit, 1951c), Anteon semajanna Olmi, Copeland & Guglielmino, 2015, Anteon zairense Benoit, 1951d (Anteoninae); Pseudodryinus townesi (Olmi, 1984) (Dryininae); Echthrodelphax tauricus Ponomarenko, 1970, Gonatopus camerounensis Olmi, 2011, Gonatopus kolyadai Olmi, 2007b, Neodryinus antiquus Benoit, 1954, Neodryinus tussaci Olmi, 2004b (Gonatopodinae); Sclerogibbidae: Probethylus callani Richards, 1939b; Sclerogibba algerica Benoit, 1963, Sclerogibba rapax Olmi, 2005a. The following species have been recorded for the first time from Uganda: Embolemidae: Ampulicomorpha magna Olmi, 1996; Dryinidae: Anteon cautum Olmi, 1994a, Anteon fisheri Olmi, 2003, Anteon hoyoi Olmi, 1984, Anteon kivuanum (Benoit, 1951c), Anteon townesi Olmi, 1984, Anteon zairense Benoit, 1951d (Anteoninae); Bocchus bini Olmi, 1984 (Bocchinae); Dryinus saussurei (Ceballos, 1936) (Dryininae); Echthrodelphax migratorius Benoit, 1954, Neodryinus tussaci Olmi, 2004b (Gonatopodinae). The following further species has been recorded for the first time from Mali: Sclerogibba algerica

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

    PubMed

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

    1995-05-01

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

  10. A new African soft scale genus, Pseudocribrolecanium gen. nov. (Hemiptera: Coccoidea: Coccidae), erected for two species, including the citrus pest P. andersoni (Newstead) comb. nov.

    PubMed

    Kondo, Takumasa

    2006-01-01

    A new African genus of soft scale insects, Pseudocribrolecanium gen. nov. is erected to accommodate Akermes colae Green & Laing and Cribrolecanium andersoni (Newstead). The adult females and first-instar nymphs of the two species are redescribed and illustrated. Taxonomic keys to separate the adult females and first-instar nymphs are provided. The affinity of Pseudocribrolecanium with the tribe Paralecaniini in the subfamily Coccinae is discussed. PMID:19537997

  11. A new African soft scale genus, Pseudocribrolecanium gen. nov. (Hemiptera: Coccoidea: Coccidae), erected for two species, including the citrus pest P. andersoni (Newstead) comb. nov

    PubMed Central

    Kondo, Takumasa

    2006-01-01

    A new African genus of soft scale insects, Pseudocribrolecanium gen. nov. is erected to accommodate Akermes colae Green & Laing and Cribrolecanium andersoni (Newstead). The adult females and first-instar nymphs of the two species are redescribed and illustrated. Taxonomic keys to separate the adult females and first-instar nymphs are provided. The affinity of Pseudocribrolecanium with the tribe Paralecaniini in the subfamily Coccinae is discussed. PMID:19537997

  12. 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

  13. A hybrid phylogenetic-phylogenomic approach for species tree estimation in African Agama lizards with applications to biogeography, character evolution, and diversification.

    PubMed

    Leaché, Adam D; Wagner, Philipp; Linkem, Charles W; Böhme, Wolfgang; Papenfuss, Theodore J; Chong, Rebecca A; Lavin, Brian R; Bauer, Aaron M; Nielsen, Stuart V; Greenbaum, Eli; Rödel, Mark-Oliver; Schmitz, Andreas; LeBreton, Matthew; Ineich, Ivan; Chirio, Laurent; Ofori-Boateng, Caleb; Eniang, Edem A; Baha El Din, Sherif; Lemmon, Alan R; Burbrink, Frank T

    2014-10-01

    Africa is renowned for its biodiversity and endemicity, yet little is known about the factors shaping them across the continent. African Agama lizards (45 species) have a pan-continental distribution, making them an ideal model for investigating biogeography. Many species have evolved conspicuous sexually dimorphic traits, including extravagant breeding coloration in adult males, large adult male body sizes, and variability in social systems among colorful versus drab species. We present a comprehensive time-calibrated species tree for Agama, and their close relatives, using a hybrid phylogenetic-phylogenomic approach that combines traditional Sanger sequence data from five loci for 57 species (146 samples) with anchored phylogenomic data from 215 nuclear genes for 23 species. The Sanger data are analyzed using coalescent-based species tree inference using (*)BEAST, and the resulting posterior distribution of species trees is attenuated using the phylogenomic tree as a backbone constraint. The result is a time-calibrated species tree for Agama that includes 95% of all species, multiple samples for most species, strong support for the major clades, and strong support for most of the initial divergence events. Diversification within Agama began approximately 23 million years ago (Ma), and separate radiations in Southern, East, West, and Northern Africa have been diversifying for >10Myr. A suite of traits (morphological, coloration, and sociality) are tightly correlated and show a strong signal of high morphological disparity within clades, whereby the subsequent evolution of convergent phenotypes has accompanied diversification into new biogeographic areas. PMID:24973715

  14. Non-equilibrium estimates of gene flow inferred from nuclear genealogies suggest that Iberian and North African wall lizards (Podarcis spp.) are an assemblage of incipient species

    PubMed Central

    2008-01-01

    Background The study of recently-diverged species offers significant challenges both in the definition of evolutionary entities and in the estimation of gene flow among them. Iberian and North African wall lizards (Podarcis) constitute a cryptic species complex for which previous assessments of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and allozyme variation are concordant in describing the existence of several highly differentiated evolutionary units. However, these studies report important differences suggesting the occurrence of gene flow among forms. Here we study sequence variation in two nuclear introns, β-fibint7 and 6-Pgdint7, to further investigate overall evolutionary dynamics and test hypotheses related to species delimitation within this complex. Results Both nuclear gene genealogies fail to define species as monophyletic. To discriminate between the effects of incomplete lineage sorting and gene flow in setting this pattern, we estimated migration rates among species using both FST-based estimators of gene flow, which assume migration-drift equilibrium, and a coalescent approach based on a model of divergence with gene flow. Equilibrium estimates of gene flow suggest widespread introgression between species, but coalescent estimates describe virtually zero admixture between most (but not all) species pairs. This suggests that although gene flow among forms may have occurred the main cause for species polyphyly is incomplete lineage sorting, implying that most forms have been isolated since their divergence. This observation is therefore in accordance with previous reports of strong differentiation based on mtDNA and allozyme data. Conclusion These results corroborate most forms of Iberian and North African Podarcis as differentiated, although incipient, species, supporting a gradual view of speciation, according to which species may persist as distinct despite some permeability to genetic exchange and without having clearly definable genetic boundaries. Additionally

  15. North African hybrid sparrows (Passer domesticus, P. hispaniolensis) back from oblivion - ecological segregation and asymmetric mitochondrial introgression between parental species.

    PubMed

    Ait Belkacem, Abdelkrim; Gast, Oliver; Stuckas, Heiko; Canal, David; LoValvo, Mario; Giacalone, Gabriele; Päckert, Martin

    2016-08-01

    A stabilized hybrid form of the house sparrow (Passer domesticus) and the Spanish sparrow (P. hispaniolensis) is known as Passer italiae from the Italian Peninsula and a few Mediterranean islands. The growing attention for the Italian hybrid sparrow and increasing knowledge on its biology and genetic constitution greatly contrast the complete lack of knowledge of the long-known phenotypical hybrid sparrow populations from North Africa. Our study provides new data on the breeding biology and variation of mitochondrial DNA in three Algerian populations of house sparrows, Spanish sparrows, and phenotypical hybrids. In two field seasons, the two species occupied different breeding habitats: Spanish sparrows were only found in rural areas outside the cities and bred in open-cup nests built in large jujube bushes. In contrast, house sparrows bred only in the town centers and occupied nesting holes in walls of buildings. Phenotypical hybrids were always associated with house sparrow populations. House sparrows and phenotypical hybrids started breeding mid of March, and most pairs had three successive clutches, whereas Spanish sparrows started breeding almost one month later and had only two successive clutches. Mitochondrial introgression is strongly asymmetric because about 75% of the rural Spanish sparrow population carried house sparrow haplotypes. In contrast, populations of the Italian hybrid form, P. italiae, were genetically least diverse among all study populations and showed a near-fixation of house sparrow haplotypes that elsewhere were extremely rare or that were even unique for the Italian Peninsula. Such differences between mitochondrial gene pools of Italian and North African hybrid sparrow populations provide first evidence that different demographic histories have shaped the extant genetic diversity observed on both continents. PMID:27551376

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

  18. Genetics, Morphology, Advertisement Calls, and Historical Records Distinguish Six New Polyploid Species of African Clawed Frog (Xenopus, Pipidae) from West and Central Africa

    PubMed Central

    Evans, Ben J.; Carter, Timothy F.; Greenbaum, Eli; Gvoždík, Václav; Kelley, Darcy B.; McLaughlin, Patrick J.; Pauwels, Olivier S. G.; Portik, Daniel M.; Stanley, Edward L.; Tinsley, Richard C.; Tobias, Martha L.; Blackburn, David C.

    2015-01-01

    African clawed frogs, genus Xenopus, are extraordinary among vertebrates in the diversity of their polyploid species and the high number of independent polyploidization events that occurred during their diversification. Here we update current understanding of the evolutionary history of this group and describe six new species from west and central sub-Saharan Africa, including four tetraploids and two dodecaploids. We provide information on molecular variation, morphology, karyotypes, vocalizations, and estimated geographic ranges, which support the distinctiveness of these new species. We resurrect Xenopus calcaratus from synonymy of Xenopus tropicalis and refer populations from Bioko Island and coastal Cameroon (near Mt. Cameroon) to this species. To facilitate comparisons to the new species, we also provide comments on the type specimens, morphology, and distributions of X. epitropicalis, X. tropicalis, and X. fraseri. This includes significantly restricted application of the names X. fraseri and X. epitropicalis, the first of which we argue is known definitively only from type specimens and possibly one other specimen. Inferring the evolutionary histories of these new species allows refinement of species groups within Xenopus and leads to our recognition of two subgenera (Xenopus and Silurana) and three species groups within the subgenus Xenopus (amieti, laevis, and muelleri species groups). PMID:26672747

  19. Genetics, Morphology, Advertisement Calls, and Historical Records Distinguish Six New Polyploid Species of African Clawed Frog (Xenopus, Pipidae) from West and Central Africa.

    PubMed

    Evans, Ben J; Carter, Timothy F; Greenbaum, Eli; Gvoždík, Václav; Kelley, Darcy B; McLaughlin, Patrick J; Pauwels, Olivier S G; Portik, Daniel M; Stanley, Edward L; Tinsley, Richard C; Tobias, Martha L; Blackburn, David C

    2015-01-01

    African clawed frogs, genus Xenopus, are extraordinary among vertebrates in the diversity of their polyploid species and the high number of independent polyploidization events that occurred during their diversification. Here we update current understanding of the evolutionary history of this group and describe six new species from west and central sub-Saharan Africa, including four tetraploids and two dodecaploids. We provide information on molecular variation, morphology, karyotypes, vocalizations, and estimated geographic ranges, which support the distinctiveness of these new species. We resurrect Xenopus calcaratus from synonymy of Xenopus tropicalis and refer populations from Bioko Island and coastal Cameroon (near Mt. Cameroon) to this species. To facilitate comparisons to the new species, we also provide comments on the type specimens, morphology, and distributions of X. epitropicalis, X. tropicalis, and X. fraseri. This includes significantly restricted application of the names X. fraseri and X. epitropicalis, the first of which we argue is known definitively only from type specimens and possibly one other specimen. Inferring the evolutionary histories of these new species allows refinement of species groups within Xenopus and leads to our recognition of two subgenera (Xenopus and Silurana) and three species groups within the subgenus Xenopus (amieti, laevis, and muelleri species groups). PMID:26672747

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-06-01

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

  1. Divergent ontogenies of trophic morphology in two closely related haplochromine cichlids.

    PubMed

    Santos-Santos, Javier H; Audenaert, Leen; Verheyen, Erik; Adriaens, Dominique

    2015-07-01

    Fish develop morphological specializations in their trophic and locomotor systems as a result of varying functional demands in response to environmental pressures at different life stages. These specializations should maximize particular performances in specialists, adapting them to their trophic and habitat niches at each ontogenetic stage. Because differential growth rates of the structural components comprised in the head are likely to be linked to the diet of a fish throughout its development, we investigated the ontogenetic development of two haplochromine cichlid species belonging to different trophic guilds. We employed geometric morphometric techniques to evaluate whether starting from morphologically similar fry they diverge into phenotypes that characterize trophic guilds and locomotor types. Our examination of overall body shape shows that certain specialized morphological features are already present in fry, whereas other traits diverge through ontogeny due to differences in species-specific allometric variation. Allometric shape variation was found to be more relevant for the biter specialist than for the sucker morphotype. Our results confirm that phenotypic changes during ontogeny can be linked to dietary and habitat shifts in these fish. Furthermore, evidence for an integrated development of trophic and locomotor specializations in morphology was observed. PMID:25820599

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  3. Differential uptake of zinc, copper, and lead in Texas cichlid (Cichlasoma cyanoguttatum)

    SciTech Connect

    Villegas-Navarro, A.; Villarreal-Trevino, C.M. )

    1989-05-01

    It has been documented that the bioaccumulation of metals in fishes is higher in soft water ponds than in hard water lakes. The same authors found that Zn is the most efficiently taken up metal in livers and whole fish in all species studied. Thus, several factors seem to determine different degrees of affinity for a metal than for another (differential uptake), and different degrees of accumulation in each organ (differential accumulation). The purpose of this study was to determine the differential uptake between Zn, Cu, and Pb by Texas cichlid (Cichlasoma cyanoguttatum) and differential accumulation of these metals between muscle, viscera, gill and bone. These metals were selected because most studies on heavy metal concentrations in fishes have examined one or more of these elements and because they are found in aquatic environments as natural and industrial contaminants. The fish species was chosen on the basis of its relative abundance in Nuevo Leon State, its importance as a sport fish, as a source of food, and their frequent use in laboratory studies.

  4. 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

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Mustapha, Moshood K

    2009-09-01

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

  9. 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

  10. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  12. From Lake Malawi Drilling: East African Climate May Have Caused Major Evolutionary Turnover in Mammalian Species During MIS 14

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, Thomas; Werne, Josef

    2016-04-01

    Hominin evolution underwent important changes in the last 1.3 million years, including the extinction of Paranthropus at about 1.2 Ma, leaving Homo as the sole hominin genus. Our genus experienced a major increase in cranial capacity at about 500 ka, and our species, H. sapiens, first appeared at ~200 ka. There was a major turnover in mammalian species in East Africa between 540 and 400 ka, favoring descendants of smaller size and less specialized diet. An understanding of what drove evolution in these directions is fundamental to understanding the development of modern H. sapiens. Climate certainly played a role, for it is the principal factor that influences the distribution of vegetation and habitability on the landscape. We present a 1.3 million year record of temperature and hydroclimate in the basin of Lake Malawi, the second deepest lake in Africa, derived from a 380 m sediment sequence taken from a water depth of 590 m by the Lake Malawi Drilling Project. Seismic reflection profiles used to select the site portray an undisturbed sedimentary section that was not impacted by erosion, turbidity currents or mass wasting events. Sediment samples were analyzed to produce records of temperature (TEX86) and aridity (Ca content and leaf wax δ13C). The temperature record displays progressively larger amplitude glacial-interglacial variations from MIS 13 (~500 ka) to MIS 5 (~125 ka). Intervals of low Ca abundance, which reflect lake high stands, correlate with times of depleted δ13Cwax and relatively warm temperatures. The Malawi basin experienced warm, wet interglacials and cooler (by about 2 - 4°C), dry glacial periods, with roughly a 100 ky periodicity since the Mid-Pleistocene Transition (MPT), about 900 ka. The paleoclimate record from Lake Malawi sediments portrays a transition from a highly variable and predominantly arid climate prior to 900 ka to a progressively more humid environment after the MPT dominated by 100 ky cycles consisting of warm, wet

  13. 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.

  14. 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

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

    PubMed

    Hodaňová, Lucie; Kalous, Lukáš; Musilová, Zuzana

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Gómez-Laplaza, Luis M; Morgan, Elfed

    2005-09-30

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

  17. 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. PMID:17460159

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

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

  1. Occurrence of nodulation in unexplored leguminous trees native to the West African tropical rainforest and inoculation response of native species useful in reforestation.

    PubMed

    Diabate, Moussa; Munive, Antonio; de Faria, Sérgio Miana; Ba, Amadou; Dreyfus, Bernard; Galiana, Antoine

    2005-04-01

    Despite the abundance and diversity of timber tree legumes in the West African rainforest, their ability to form nitrogen-fixing nodules in symbiosis with rhizobia, and their response to rhizobial inoculation, remain poorly documented. In the first part of this study the occurrence of nodulation was determined in 156 leguminous species growing in six natural forest areas in Guinea, mostly mature trees. In the second part, an in situ experiment of rhizobial inoculation was performed on eight selected tree species belonging to three genera: Albizia, Erythrophleum and Millettia. Of the 97 plant species and 14 genera that had never been examined before this study, 31 species and four genera were reported to be nodulated. After 4 months of growing in a nursery and a further 11 months after transplantation of plants to the field, we observed a highly significant (P < 0.001) and positive effect of inoculation with Bradyrhizobium sp. strains on the growth of the eight tree species tested. The importance of determining the nodulation ability of unexplored local trees and subsequently using this information for inoculation in reforestation programmes was demonstrated. PMID:15760366

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-02-01

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

  3. Enterotoxins and emetic toxins production by Bacillus cereus and other species of Bacillus isolated from Soumbala and Bikalga, African alkaline fermented food condiments.

    PubMed

    Ouoba, Labia Irene I; Thorsen, Line; Varnam, Alan H

    2008-06-10

    The ability of various species of Bacillus from fermented seeds of Parkia biglobosa known as African locust bean (Soumbala) and fermented seeds of Hibiscus sabdariffa (Bikalga) was investigated. The study included screening of the isolates by haemolysis on blood agar, detection of toxins in broth and during the fermentation of African locust bean using the Bacillus cereus Enterotoxin Reverse Passive Latex Agglutination test kit (BCET-RPLA) and the Bacillus Diarrhoeal Enterotoxin Visual Immunoassay (BDEVIA). Detection of genes encoding cytotoxin K (CytK), haemolysin BL (Hbl A, Hbl C, Hbl D), non-hemolytic enterotoxin (NheA, NheB, NheC) and EM1 specific of emetic toxin producers was also investigated using PCR with single pair and multiplex primers. Of 41 isolates, 29 Bacillus belonging to the species of B. cereus, Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus licheniformis and Bacillus pumilus showed haemolysis on blood agar. Using RPLA, enterotoxin production was detected for three isolates of B. cereus in broth and all B. cereus (9) in fermented seeds. Using BDEVIA, enterotoxin production was detected in broth as well as in fermented seeds for all B. cereus isolates. None of the isolates belonging to the other Bacillus species was able to produce enterotoxins either by RPLA or BDEVIA. Nhe genes were detected in all B. cereus while Hbl and CytK genes were detected respectively in five and six B. cereus strains. A weak presence of Hbl (A, D) and CytK genes was detected in two isolates of B. subtilis and one of B. licheniformis but results were inconsistent, especially for Hbl genes. The emetic specific gene fragment EM1 was not detected in any of the isolates studied. PMID:18474404

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Arbour, Jessica Hilary; López-Fernández, Hernán

    2016-08-17

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

  6. A genetic demographic analysis of Lake Malawi rock-dwelling cichlids using spatio-temporal sampling.

    PubMed

    Husemann, Martin; Nguyen, Rachel; Ding, Baoqing; Danley, Patrick D

    2015-06-01

    We estimated the effective population sizes (Ne ) and tested for short-term temporal demographic stability of populations of two Lake Malawi cichlids: Maylandia benetos, a micro-endemic, and Maylandia zebra, a widespread species found across the lake. We sampled a total of 351 individuals, genotyped them at 13 microsatellite loci and sequenced their mitochondrial D-loop to estimate genetic diversity, population structure, demographic history and effective population sizes. At the microsatellite loci, genetic diversity was high in all populations. Yet, genetic diversity was relatively low for the sequence data. Microsatellites yielded mean Ne estimates of 481 individuals (±99 SD) for M. benetos and between 597 (±106.3 SD) and 1524 (±483.9 SD) individuals for local populations of M. zebra. The microsatellite data indicated no deviations from mutation-drift equilibrium. Maylandia zebra was further found to be in migration-drift equilibrium. Temporal fluctuations in allele frequencies were limited across the sampling period for both species. Bayesian Skyline analyses suggested a recent expansion of M. zebra populations in line with lake-level fluctuations, whereas the demographic history of M. benetos could only be estimated for the very recent past. Divergence time estimates placed the origin of M. benetos within the last 100 ka after the refilling of the lake and suggested that it split off the sympatric M. zebra population. Overall, our data indicate that micro-endemics and populations in less favourable habitats have smaller Ne , indicating that drift may play an important role driving their divergence. Yet, despite small population sizes, high genetic variation can be maintained. PMID:25891855

  7. Structure and dynamics of myxosporean parasites component communities in two freshwater Cichlids in the Chari River (Republic of Chad).

    PubMed

    Ousman, Abakar; Félix, Bilong Bilong Charles; Thomas, Njiné; Abraham, Fomena

    2007-03-01

    Myxosporean parasites of two freshwater Tilapia species from the Chari River, Chad Republic, Oreochromis niloticus and Sarotherodon galilaeus, were investigated from November 2001 to October 2002. A total of 360 specimens per Cichlid species were examined. Eleven parasite species were found in both cases with different prevalences. Myxobolus agolus, M. brachysporus, M. clarii, M. cichlidarum, M. heterosporus, M. tilapiae and M. camerounensis in O. niloticus) appeared common while M. equatorialis, M. nyongana (and M. camerounensis in S. galilaeus) were secondary; lastly M. israelensis (and M. kainjiae in O. niloticus) were rare. The gills, fins, eyes and teguments were preferential locations of cysts building pathogens while the kidneys then the gall bladder were most commonly infected by myxosporean spores. In the Chari ecosystem, no significant host sex and size effects were found for the parasite cystic load. A clear seasonal occurrence was observed for most of these pathogens. In the view of pathogenic control, this study raised the necessity in a farm fish station to identify the most important myxosporean species and the period of their potential demographic explosion. PMID:19069850

  8. Perceptual and acoustic evidence for species-level differences in meow vocalizations by domestic cats (Felis catus) and African wild cats (Felis silvestris lybica).

    PubMed

    Nicastro, Nicholas

    2004-09-01

    To test for possible anthropogenic selection effects on meows in domestic felids, vocalizations by domestic cats (Felis catus) were compared with cries by their closest wild relative, the African wild cat (Felis silvestris lybica). Comparisons included analysis of acoustic characteristics and perceptual studies with human (Homo sapiens) listeners. The perceptual studies obtained human listener ratings of call pleasantness. Both the acoustic and perceptual comparisons revealed clear species-level differences: The domestic cat meows were significantly shorter in mean duration than the wild cat meows, showed higher mean formant frequencies, and exhibited higher mean fundamental frequencies. Human listeners at all levels of experience and affinity for cats rated domestic cat meows as far more pleasant sounding than wild cat vocalizations. These results are consistent with a model of cat domestication that posits selective pressure on meows based on human perceptual biases. PMID:15482056

  9. African bees to control African elephants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vollrath, Fritz; Douglas-Hamilton, Iain

    2002-11-01

    Numbers of elephants have declined in Africa and Asia over the past 30 years while numbers of humans have increased, both substantially. Friction between these two keystone species is reaching levels which are worryingly high from an ecological as well as a political viewpoint. Ways and means must be found to keep the two apart, at least in areas sensitive to each species' survival. The aggressive African bee might be one such method. Here we demonstrate that African bees deter elephants from damaging the vegetation and trees which house their hives. We argue that bees can be employed profitably to protect not only selected trees, but also selected areas, from elephant damage.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

  11. Crotalarieae and Genisteae of the South African Great Escarpment are nodulated by novel Bradyrhizobium species with unique and diverse symbiotic loci.

    PubMed

    Beukes, Chrizelle W; Stępkowski, Tomasz; Venter, Stephanus N; Cłapa, Tomasz; Phalane, Francina L; le Roux, Marianne M; Steenkamp, Emma T

    2016-07-01

    The genus Bradyrhizobium contains predominantly nitrogen-fixing legume symbionts. Phylogenetic analysis of the genes responsible for their symbiotic abilities (i.e., those encoded on the nodulation [nod] and nitrogen-fixation [nif] loci) has facilitated the development of an extensive phylogeographic framework for the genus. This framework however contains only a few nodulating isolates from Africa. Here we focused on nodulating Bradyrhizobium isolates associated with native southern African legumes in the tribes Genisteae and Crotalarieae found along the Great Escarpment in the Mpumalanga Province of South Africa. The aims of this study were to: (1) obtain rhizobial isolates from legumes in the Genisteae and Crotalarieae; (2) verify their nodulation ability; (3) characterize them to species level based on phylogenetic analyses of several protein coding gene regions (atpD, dnaK, glnII, recA, rpoB and gyrB) and (4) determine their placement in the phylogeographic framework inferred from the sequences of the symbiotic loci nodA and nifD. Twenty of the 21 Bradyrhizobium isolates belonged to six novel species, while one was conspecific with the recently described B. arachidis. Among these isolates, the nodA phylogeny revealed several new clades, with 18 of our isolates found in Clades XIV and XV, and only three forming part of the cosmopolitan Clade III. These strains formed predominantly the same groups in the nifD phylogeny although with slight differences; indicating that both vertical and horizontal inheritance of the symbiotic loci occurred. These findings suggest that the largely unexplored diversity of indigenous African rhizobia are characterized by unique ancestries that might mirror the distribution of their hosts and the environmental factors driving their evolution. PMID:27068839

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

  13. Subordinate male cichlids retain reproductive competence during social suppression

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  14. Muhaka icipeins, an enigmatic new genus and species of Kleidotomini (Hymenoptera: Figitidae: Eucoilinae) from an East African coastal forest

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A remarkable new eucoiline genus and species, Muhaka icipeins, is described herein. The genus is clearly a Kleidotomini, but is distinguished from other genera in the tribe by the unique head and scutellar morphology of Muhaka. The genus belongs to the ‘wedge-head’-syndrome group of species that, ...

  15. Competition between a Lawn-Forming Cynodon dactylon and a Tufted Grass Species Hyparrhenia hirta on a South-African Dystrophic Savanna

    PubMed Central

    Zwerts, J. A.; Prins, H. H. T.; Bomhoff, D.; Verhagen, I.; Swart, J. M.; de Boer, W. F.

    2015-01-01

    South African savanna grasslands are often characterised by indigestible tufted grass species whereas lawn grasses are far more desirable in terms of herbivore sustenance. We aimed to investigate the role of nutrients and/or the disturbance (grazing, trampling) by herbivores on the formation of grazing lawns. We conducted a series of common garden experiments to test the effect of nutrients on interspecific competition between a typical lawn-forming grass species (Cynodon dactylon) and a species that is frequently found outside grazing lawns (Hyparrhenia hirta), and tested for the effect of herbivore disturbance in the form of trampling and clipping. We also performed a vegetation and herbivore survey to apply experimentally derived insights to field observations. Our results showed that interspecific competition was not affected by soil nutrient concentrations. C. dactylon did show much more resilience to disturbance than H. hirta, presumably due to the regenerative capacity of its rhizomes. Results from the field survey were in line with these findings, describing a correlation between herbivore pressure and C. dactylon abundance. We conclude that herbivore disturbance, and not soil nutrients, provide C. dactylon with a competitive advantage over H. hirta, due to vegetative regeneration from its rhizomes. This provides evidence for the importance of concentrated, high herbivore densities for the creation and maintenance of grazing lawns. PMID:26510157

  16. Competition between a Lawn-Forming Cynodon dactylon and a Tufted Grass Species Hyparrhenia hirta on a South-African Dystrophic Savanna.

    PubMed

    Zwerts, J A; Prins, H H T; Bomhoff, D; Verhagen, I; Swart, J M; de Boer, W F

    2015-01-01

    South African savanna grasslands are often characterised by indigestible tufted grass species whereas lawn grasses are far more desirable in terms of herbivore sustenance. We aimed to investigate the role of nutrients and/or the disturbance (grazing, trampling) by herbivores on the formation of grazing lawns. We conducted a series of common garden experiments to test the effect of nutrients on interspecific competition between a typical lawn-forming grass species (Cynodon dactylon) and a species that is frequently found outside grazing lawns (Hyparrhenia hirta), and tested for the effect of herbivore disturbance in the form of trampling and clipping. We also performed a vegetation and herbivore survey to apply experimentally derived insights to field observations. Our results showed that interspecific competition was not affected by soil nutrient concentrations. C. dactylon did show much more resilience to disturbance than H. hirta, presumably due to the regenerative capacity of its rhizomes. Results from the field survey were in line with these findings, describing a correlation between herbivore pressure and C. dactylon abundance. We conclude that herbivore disturbance, and not soil nutrients, provide C. dactylon with a competitive advantage over H. hirta, due to vegetative regeneration from its rhizomes. This provides evidence for the importance of concentrated, high herbivore densities for the creation and maintenance of grazing lawns. PMID:26510157

  17. A comparative evaluation of PCR- based methods for species- specific determination of African animal trypanosomes in Ugandan cattle

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background In recent years, PCR has been become widely applied for the detection of trypanosomes overcoming many of the constraints of parasitological and serological techniques, being highly sensitive and specific for trypanosome detection. Individual species-specific multi-copy trypanosome DNA sequences can be targeted to identify parasites. Highly conserved ribosomal RNA (rRNA) genes are also useful for comparisons between closely related species. The internal transcribed spacer regions (ITS) in particular are relatively small, show variability among related species and are flanked by highly conserved segments to which PCR primers can be designed. Individual variations in inter-species length makes the ITS region a useful marker for identification of multiple trypanosome species within a sample. Methods Six hundred blood samples from cattle collected in Uganda on FTA cards were screened using individual species-specific primers for Trypanosoma congolense, Trypanosoma brucei and Trypanosoma vivax and compared to a modified (using eluate extracted using chelex) ITS-PCR reaction. Results The comparative analysis showed that the species-specific primer sets showed poor agreement with the ITS primer set. Using species-specific PCR for Trypanozoon, a prevalence of 10.5% was observed as compared to 0.2% using ITS PCR (Kappa = 0.03). For Trypanosoma congolense, the species-specific PCR reaction indicated a prevalence of 0% compared to 2.2% using ITS PCR (Kappa = 0). For T. vivax, species-specific PCR detected prevalence of 5.7% compared to 2.8% for ITS PCR (Kappa = 0.29). Conclusions When selecting PCR based tools to apply to epidemiological surveys for generation of prevalence data for animal trypanosomiasis, it is recommended that species-specific primers are used, being the most sensitive diagnostic tool for screening samples to identify members of Trypanozoon (T. b. brucei s.l). While ITS primers are useful for studying the prevalence of trypanosomes

  18. Regionally-defined niche-breadth of tropical African freshwater plant species predicts their global latitudinal range

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kennedy, Michael; Lang, Pauline; Tapia-Grimaldo, Julissa; Varandas-Martins, Sara; Bruce, Allanah; Moore, Isabel; Sichingabula, Henry; Bottino, Flávia; Murphy, Kevin

    2016-04-01

    This study tested the hypothesis that the measured niche-breadth of river plant species (macrophytes) occurring within a closely-defined geographical area in southern tropical Africa (Zambia), may predict the larger-scale biogeographical range of these species. Two measures of niche-breadth were calculated for 44 riverine macrophyte species commonly occurring in Zambia, using an approach based on PCA ordination with bio-physico-chemical ordination input variables: altitude, stream order, stream flow, pH, conductivity, soluble reactive phosphate concentration (SRP), benthic macroinvertebrate Average Score per Taxon (ASPT), and individual abundance of nine benthic macroinvertebrate families showing differing water quality tolerance, as indicated by their Sensitivity Weightings within the Zambian Invertebrate Scoring System (ZISS). Macrophyte large-scale latitudinal range was derived from world geopositional records held by online databases, supplemented by records held by the authors. The two niche-breadth metrics divided the species into narrow-niche and intermediate/broad-niche categories, showing significant variation in altitude, stream flow, conductivity, SRP and ASPT, but not stream order or pH. There was no evidence to suggest that macrophyte alpha-diversity (as a measure of number of individual niches that may co-exist in a given habitat) showed any significant relationship with individual species niche-breadth. However, macrophyte alpha-diversity was significantly positively correlated with altitude, and significantly negatively related to conductivity, pH, ASPT, SRP, stream flow, and stream order. Narrow-niche macrophyte species included a higher proportion of Afrotropical endemics than did species with broader niche size. There were significant predictive relationships between macrophyte niche breadth and latitudinal range of the target species at global and Afrotropical scales, but not for the Neotropical range of species which occurred in both the

  19. Molecular identification and safety of Bacillus species involved in the fermentation of African oil beans (Pentaclethra macrophylla Benth) for production of Ugba.

    PubMed

    Ahaotu, I; Anyogu, A; Njoku, O H; Odu, N N; Sutherland, J P; Ouoba, L I I

    2013-03-01

    Molecular identification of Bacillus spp. involved in the fermentation of African oil bean seeds for production of Ugba, as well as ability of the Bacillus spp. isolated to produce toxins, were investigated. Forty-nine bacteria were isolated from Ugba produced in different areas of South Eastern Nigeria and identified by phenotyping and sequencing of 16S rRNA, gyrB and rpoB genes. Genotypic diversities at interspecies and intraspecies level of the isolates were screened by PCR amplification of the 16S-23S rDNA intergenic transcribed spacer (ITS-PCR) and repetitive sequence-based PCR (rep-PCR). The ability of the bacteria to produce toxins was also investigated by detection of genes encoding production of haemolysin BL (HblA, HblC, HblD), non-haemolytic enterotoxin (NheA, NheB, NheC), cytotoxin K (CytK) and emetic toxin (EM1) using PCR with specific primers. Moreover, a Bacillus cereus Enterotoxin Reverse Passive Latex Agglutination test kit (BCET-RPLA) was used to screen ability of the isolates to produce haemolysin in broth and during fermentation of African oil bean seeds. The isolates were characterized as motile, rod-shaped, endospore forming, catalase positive, Gram-positive bacteria. They were identified as Bacillus cereus sensu lato (42), Lysinibacillus xylanilyticus (3), Bacillus clausii (1), Bacillus licheniformis (1), Bacillus subtilis (1), and Bacillus safensis (1). B. cereus was the predominant Bacillus species and was present in all samples studied. Using ITS-PCR, interspecies diversity was observed among isolates, with six clusters representing each of the pre-cited species. Rep-PCR was more discriminatory (eight clusters) and allowed further differentiation at intraspecies level for the B. cereus and L. xylanilyticus isolates with two genotypes for each species. Genes encoding production of non-haemolytic enterotoxin (NheA, NheB, NheC) and cytotoxin K (CytK) genes were detected in all B. cereus isolates, while Hbl genes (HblA, HblC, HblD) were

  20. Wood Specific Gravity Variations and Biomass of Central African Tree Species: The Simple Choice of the Outer Wood

    PubMed Central

    Bastin, Jean-François; Fayolle, Adeline; Tarelkin, Yegor; Van den Bulcke, Jan; de Haulleville, Thales; Mortier, Frederic; Beeckman, Hans; Van Acker, Joris; Serckx, Adeline; Bogaert, Jan; De Cannière, Charles

    2015-01-01

    Context Wood specific gravity is a key element in tropical forest ecology. It integrates many aspects of tree mechanical properties and functioning and is an important predictor of tree biomass. Wood specific gravity varies widely among and within species and also within individual trees. Notably, contrasted patterns of radial variation of wood specific gravity have been demonstrated and related to regeneration guilds (light demanding vs. shade-bearing). However, although being repeatedly invoked as a potential source of error when estimating the biomass of trees, both intraspecific and radial variations remain little studied. In this study we characterized detailed pith-to-bark wood specific gravity profiles among contrasted species prominently contributing to the biomass of the forest, i.e., the dominant species, and we quantified the consequences of such variations on the biomass. Methods Radial profiles of wood density at 8% moisture content were compiled for 14 dominant species in the Democratic Republic of Congo, adapting a unique 3D X-ray scanning technique at very high spatial resolution on core samples. Mean wood density estimates were validated by water displacement measurements. Wood density profiles were converted to wood specific gravity and linear mixed models were used to decompose the radial variance. Potential errors in biomass estimation were assessed by comparing the biomass estimated from the wood specific gravity measured from pith-to-bark profiles, from global repositories, and from partial information (outer wood or inner wood). Results Wood specific gravity profiles from pith-to-bark presented positive, neutral and negative trends. Positive trends mainly characterized light-demanding species, increasing up to 1.8 g.cm-3 per meter for Piptadeniastrum africanum, and negative trends characterized shade-bearing species, decreasing up to 1 g.cm-3 per meter for Strombosia pustulata. The linear mixed model showed the greater part of wood specific

  1. Rapid radiation, ancient incomplete lineage sorting and ancient hybridization in the endemic Lake Tanganyika cichlid tribe Tropheini.

    PubMed

    Koblmüller, Stephan; Egger, Bernd; Sturmbauer, Christian; Sefc, Kristina M

    2010-04-01

    The evolutionary history of the endemic Lake Tanganyika cichlid tribe Tropheini, the sister group of the species flocks of Lake Malawi and the Lake Victoria region, was reconstructed from 2009 bp DNA sequence of two mitochondrial genes (ND2 and control region) and from 1293 AFLP markers. A period of rapid cladogenesis at the onset of the diversification of the Tropheini produced a multitude of specialized, predominantly rock-dwelling aufwuchs-feeders that now dominate in Lake Tanganyika's shallow habitat. Nested within the stenotopic rock-dwellers is a monophyletic group of species, which also utilize more sediment-rich habitat. Most of the extant species date back to at least 0.7 million years ago. Several instances of disagreement between AFLP and mtDNA tree topology are attributed to ancient incomplete lineage sorting, introgression and hybridization. A large degree of correspondence between AFLP clustering and trophic types indicated fewer cases of parallel evolution of trophic ecomorphology than previously inferred from mitochondrial data. PMID:19853055

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

    PubMed

    Rupp, Maxwell F; Hulsey, C Darrin

    2014-09-01

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

  3. The effects of different predator species on antipredator behavior in the Trinidadian guppy, Poecilia reticulata

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Botham, M. S.; Kerfoot, C. J.; Louca, V.; Krause, J.

    2006-09-01

    Different types of predators often elicit different antipredator responses in a common type of prey. Alternatively, some prey species may adopt a general response, which provides limited protection from many different types of predator. The Trinidadian guppy, Poecilia reticulata, is faced with a wide range of different predators throughout its range and is known to display varying levels of antipredator behavior depending on the predator assemblage. Pike cichlids, Crenicichla frenata, are regarded as the primary aquatic guppy predator in streams in the northern mountain range in Trinidad. As such, they are seen to be responsible for many of the differences in morphology, life history traits, and behavior between guppy populations from areas with few predators and those from areas with many pike cichlids. In this study we investigated how guppies responded when faced with different predator species using three common aquatic predators. We exposed shoals of ten guppies to one out of four treatments: no predator (control), pike cichlid, acara cichlid ( Aequidens pulcher), and wolf fish ( Hoplias malabaricus); and we made behavioral observations on both focal individuals and the shoal as a whole. Guppies showed significantly greater levels of predator inspection and shoaling behavior, foraged less, spent more time in the surface water, and stayed in significantly larger shoals when faced with pike cichlids than in other treatments. We discuss these results in the context of multiple predator effects.

  4. Documenting biogeographical patterns of African timber species using herbarium records: a conservation perspective based on native trees from Angola.

    PubMed

    Romeiras, Maria M; Figueira, Rui; Duarte, Maria Cristina; Beja, Pedro; Darbyshire, Iain

    2014-01-01

    In many tropical regions the development of informed conservation strategies is hindered by a dearth of biodiversity information. Biological collections can help to overcome this problem, by providing baseline information to guide research and conservation efforts. This study focuses on the timber trees of Angola, combining herbarium (2670 records) and bibliographic data to identify the main timber species, document biogeographic patterns and identify conservation priorities. The study recognized 18 key species, most of which are threatened or near-threatened globally, or lack formal conservation assessments. Biogeographical analysis reveals three groups of species associated with the enclave of Cabinda and northwest Angola, which occur primarily in Guineo-Congolian rainforests, and evergreen forests and woodlands. The fourth group is widespread across the country, and is mostly associated with dry forests. There is little correspondence between the spatial pattern of species groups and the ecoregions adopted by WWF, suggesting that these may not provide an adequate basis for conservation planning for Angolan timber trees. Eight of the species evaluated should be given high conservation priority since they are of global conservation concern, they have very restricted distributions in Angola, their historical collection localities are largely outside protected areas and they may be under increasing logging pressure. High conservation priority was also attributed to another three species that have a large proportion of their global range concentrated in Angola and that occur in dry forests where deforestation rates are high. Our results suggest that timber tree species in Angola may be under increasing risk, thus calling for efforts to promote their conservation and sustainable exploitation. The study also highlights the importance of studying historic herbarium collections in poorly explored regions of the tropics, though new field surveys remain a priority to

  5. Documenting Biogeographical Patterns of African Timber Species Using Herbarium Records: A Conservation Perspective Based on Native Trees from Angola

    PubMed Central

    Romeiras, Maria M.; Figueira, Rui; Duarte, Maria Cristina; Beja, Pedro; Darbyshire, Iain

    2014-01-01

    In many tropical regions the development of informed conservation strategies is hindered by a dearth of biodiversity information. Biological collections can help to overcome this problem, by providing baseline information to guide research and conservation efforts. This study focuses on the timber trees of Angola, combining herbarium (2670 records) and bibliographic data to identify the main timber species, document biogeographic patterns and identify conservation priorities. The study recognized 18 key species, most of which are threatened or near-threatened globally, or lack formal conservation assessments. Biogeographical analysis reveals three groups of species associated with the enclave of Cabinda and northwest Angola, which occur primarily in Guineo-Congolian rainforests, and evergreen forests and woodlands. The fourth group is widespread across the country, and is mostly associated with dry forests. There is little correspondence between the spatial pattern of species groups and the ecoregions adopted by WWF, suggesting that these may not provide an adequate basis for conservation planning for Angolan timber trees. Eight of the species evaluated should be given high conservation priority since they are of global conservation concern, they have very restricted distributions in Angola, their historical collection localities are largely outside protected areas and they may be under increasing logging pressure. High conservation priority was also attributed to another three species that have a large proportion of their global range concentrated in Angola and that occur in dry forests where deforestation rates are high. Our results suggest that timber tree species in Angola may be under increasing risk, thus calling for efforts to promote their conservation and sustainable exploitation. The study also highlights the importance of studying historic herbarium collections in poorly explored regions of the tropics, though new field surveys remain a priority to

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  7. Climate change sensitivity of the African ivory nut palm, Hyphaene petersiana Klotzsch ex Mart. (Arecaceae) - a keystone species in SE Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blach-Overgaard, A.; Svenning, J.-C.; Balslev, H.

    2009-11-01

    Africa is the most vulnerable continent to future climate change. Profound changes are projected for southwestern Africa with increased drying, notably with delayed onset of the rainy season in September-November, and temperature increases in all seasons. The projected climate changes combined with land-use changes are thought to constitute the main threats to biodiversity in the 21st century. To be able to predict the potential impact on biodiversity, it is crucial to achieve a better insight into the controls of contemporary species ranges. Using species distribution modeling, we assessed the climate sensitivity of the key-stone palm species Hyphaene petersiana (African ivory nut palm) in southern Africa. We tested the relative roles of climate vs. non-climatic range-controls and found that climate had a clear effect on the range of H. petersiana and that especially water-related variables (annual precipitation and precipitation driest quarter) were of high importance. Nevertheless, latitude was the overall most dominant variable, reflecting spatial constraints on the continental-scale distribution. Of the remaining non-climatic factors, soil type and human influence were as important as the climatic factors. A future decrease in annual precipitation below 400 mm and hydrological changes towards drier conditions could cause a dramatic decline in H. petersiana populations, while the influence of temperature changes is less clear. The ongoing, unsustainable utilization pressures on this palm species by humans and livestock are likely to exacerbate the negative effect of future climate changes on its populations, especially, given the expected human population increase in Africa.

  8. Sampling strategies and variability in fruit pulp micronutrient contents of west and central african bananas and plantains (Musa species).

    PubMed

    Davey, Mark W; Stals, Ellen; Ngoh-Newilah, Gérard; Tomekpe, Kodjo; Lusty, Charlotte; Markham, Richard; Swennen, Rony; Keulemans, Johan

    2007-04-01

    The variability in fruit micronutrient contents in a selection of Central and West African Musa varieties cultivated under standardized field conditions was studied. Analysis of the within-fruit, within-hand, and within-plant as well as the between-plant variations demonstrated that both provitamin A carotenoids (pVACs) and mineral micronutrient (Fe, Zn) contents vary significantly across all sample groups. The variations in pVACs contents appear to be at least partly related to differences in the developmental status of the fruit, but the observed trends were genotype-specific. The mean pVACs concentrations per genotype indicated that there is substantial genetic variation in the fruit pVACs contents between Musa cultivars, with orange-fleshed plantain varieties (AAB) having generally higher fruit pVACs contents than dessert bananas (AAA). It was not possible to identify consistent trends between the sampling position and fruit Fe/Zn contents. Once the within-bunch micronutrient variability has been accounted for, the mean variations in fruit micronutrient contents between individual plants of a variety generally fell to within acceptable limits. Results are discussed within the framework of standardizing sampling and developing strategies to screen for the nutritional values of new and existing Musa varieties. PMID:17346062

  9. 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.

  10. Immature stages and ecology of two species of the South African genus Stripsipher Gory & Percheron, 1833 (Coleoptera, Scarabaeidae, Cetoniinae, Trichiini)

    PubMed Central

    Šípek, Petr; Ricchiardi, Enrico; Perissinotto, Renzo

    2012-01-01

    Abstract Based on the study of newly accessible type material, Stripsipher drakensbergi Ricchiardi, 1998, is demoted to a junior synonym of Stripsipher jansoni Péringuey, 1908. The genus Stripsipher Gory & Percheron, 1833, thus, currently includes 12 species, but for none of these are larval stages and/or pupae currently known. The immature stages of Stripsipher orientalis Ricchiardi, 2008 and Stripsipher jansoni are described here for the first time and updated observations on distribution and ecology of both species are provided. Morphological affinities of Stripsipher with other Trichiini larvae are presented and the main diagnostic differences discussed. The larvae of both species are very similar to those of other representatives of the tribe Trichiini, with key differences found on the epipharynx. Based on the morphology of larvae and adults, it is suggested that Stripsipher is a member of the clade composed of Valgini, Trichiini and Cryptodontini. PMID:22539904

  11. Termites in the hominin diet: a meta-analysis of termite genera, species and castes as a dietary supplement for South African robust australopithecines.

    PubMed

    Lesnik, Julie J

    2014-06-01

    Termite foraging by chimpanzees and present-day modern humans is a well-documented phenomenon, making it a plausible hypothesis that early hominins were also utilizing this resource. Hominin termite foraging has been credited by some to be the explanation for the unexpected carbon isotope signatures present in South African hominin teeth, which suggest the diet was different from that of extant non-human great apes, consisting of a significant amount of resources that are not from woody-plants. Grass-eating termites are one potential resource that could contribute to the carbon signature. However, not all termites eat grasses, and in fact, the termites that are most widely consumed by chimpanzees and by many present-day human populations at best have a mixed diet that includes small amounts of grasses. Here I review the ecology of termites and how it affects their desirability as a food resource for hominins, and conduct a meta-analysis of nutritional values for various genera, species and castes from the literature. Termites are very diverse, even within species, and this variability affects both their carbon signatures and nutritional value, hindering generalizations regarding the contribution of termites to the hominin diet. It is concluded here that a combination of soldiers and alates of the genus Macrotermes be used to model the insectivory component of the Plio-Pleistocene hominin diet due to their significant amounts of energy-yielding nutrients and potential role as a critical resource for supporting larger-brained hominins. PMID:24613098

  12. Living in biological soil crust communities of African deserts-Physiological traits of green algal Klebsormidium species (Streptophyta) to cope with desiccation, light and temperature gradients.

    PubMed

    Karsten, Ulf; Herburger, Klaus; Holzinger, Andreas

    2016-05-01

    Green algae of the genus Klebsormidium (Klebsormidiales, Streptophyta) are typical members of biological soil crusts (BSCs) worldwide. The phylogeny and ecophysiology of Klebsormidium has been intensively studied in recent years, and a new lineage called superclade G, which was isolated from BSCs in arid southern Africa and comprising undescribed species, was reported. Three different African strains, that have previously been isolated from hot-desert BSCs and molecular-taxonomically characterized, were comparatively investigated. In addition, Klebsormidium subtilissimum from a cold-desert habitat (Alaska, USA, superclade E) was included in the study as well. Photosynthetic performance was measured under different controlled abiotic conditions, including dehydration and rehydration, as well as under a light and temperature gradient. All Klebsormidium strains exhibited optimum photosynthetic oxygen production at low photon fluence rates, but with no indication of photoinhibition under high light conditions pointing to flexible acclimation mechanisms of the photosynthetic apparatus. Respiration under lower temperatures was generally much less effective than photosynthesis, while the opposite was true for higher temperatures. The Klebsormidium strains tested showed a decrease and inhibition of the effective quantum yield during desiccation, however with different kinetics. While the single celled and small filamentous strains exhibited relatively fast inhibition, the uniserate filament forming isolates desiccated slower. Except one, all other strains fully recovered effective quantum yield after rehydration. The presented data provide an explanation for the regular occurrence of Klebsormidium strains or species in hot and cold deserts, which are characterized by low water availability and other stressful conditions. PMID:26422081

  13. Living in biological soil crust communities of African deserts—Physiological traits of green algal Klebsormidium species (Streptophyta) to cope with desiccation, light and temperature gradients

    PubMed Central

    Karsten, Ulf; Herburger, Klaus; Holzinger, Andreas

    2015-01-01

    Green algae of the genus Klebsormidium (Klebsormidiales, Streptophyta) are typical members of biological soil crusts (BSCs) worldwide. The phylogeny and ecophysiology of Klebsormidium has been intensively studied in recent years, and a new lineage called superclade G, which was isolated from BSCs in arid southern Africa and comprising undescribed species, was reported. Three different African strains, that have previously been isolated from hot-desert BSCs and molecular-taxonomically characterized, were comparatively investigated. In addition, Klebsormidium subtilissimum from a cold-desert habitat (Alaska, USA, superclade E) was included in the study as well. Photosynthetic performance was measured under different controlled abiotic conditions, including dehydration and rehydration, as well as under a light and temperature gradient. All Klebsormidium strains exhibited optimum photosynthetic oxygen production at low photon fluence rates, but with no indication of photoinhibition under high light conditions pointing to flexible acclimation mechanisms of the photosynthetic apparatus. Respiration under lower temperatures was generally much less effective than photosynthesis, while the opposite was true for higher temperatures. The Klebsormidium strains tested showed a decrease and inhibition of the effective quantum yield during desiccation, however with different kinetics. While the single celled and small filamentous strains exhibited relatively fast inhibition, the uniserate filament forming isolates desiccated slower. Except one, all other strains fully recovered effective quantum yield after rehydration. The presented data provide an explanation for the regular occurrence of Klebsormidium strains or species in hot and cold deserts, which are characterized by low water availability and other stressful conditions. PMID:26422081

  14. Trypanosoma livingstonei: a new species from African bats supports the bat seeding hypothesis for the Trypanosoma cruzi clade

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Bat trypanosomes have been implicated in the evolutionary history of the T. cruzi clade, which comprises species from a wide geographic and host range in South America, Africa and Europe, including bat-restricted species and the generalist agents of human American trypanosomosis T. cruzi and T. rangeli. Methods Trypanosomes from bats (Rhinolophus landeri and Hipposideros caffer) captured in Mozambique, southeast Africa, were isolated by hemoculture. Barcoding was carried out through the V7V8 region of Small Subunit (SSU) rRNA and Fluorescent Fragment Length barcoding (FFLB). Phylogenetic inferences were based on SSU rRNA, glyceraldehyde phosphate dehydrogenase (gGAPDH) and Spliced Leader (SL) genes. Morphological characterization included light, scanning and transmission electron microscopy. Results New trypanosomes from bats clustered together forming a clade basal to a larger assemblage called the T. cruzi clade. Barcoding, phylogenetic analyses and genetic distances based on SSU rRNA and gGAPDH supported these trypanosomes as a new species, which we named Trypanosoma livingstonei n. sp. The large and highly polymorphic SL gene repeats of this species showed a copy of the 5S ribosomal RNA into the intergenic region. Unique morphological (large and broad blood trypomastigotes compatible to species of the subgenus Megatrypanum and cultures showing highly pleomorphic epimastigotes and long and slender trypomastigotes) and ultrastructural (cytostome and reservosomes) features and growth behaviour (when co-cultivated with HeLa cells at 37°C differentiated into trypomastigotes resembling the blood forms and do not invaded the cells) complemented the description of this species. Conclusion Phylogenetic inferences supported the hypothesis that Trypanosoma livingstonei n. sp. diverged from a common ancestral bat trypanosome that evolved exclusively in Chiroptera or switched at independent opportunities to mammals of several orders forming the clade T. cruzi

  15. Evolutionary insights from bat trypanosomes: morphological, developmental and phylogenetic evidence of a new species, Trypanosoma (Schizotrypanum) erneyi sp. nov., in African bats closely related to Trypanosoma (Schizotrypanum) cruzi and allied species.

    PubMed

    Lima, Luciana; Silva, Flávia Maia da; Neves, Luis; Attias, Márcia; Takata, Carmen S A; Campaner, Marta; de Souza, Wanderley; Hamilton, Patrick B; Teixeira, Marta M G

    2012-11-01

    Parasites of the genus Trypanosoma are common in bats and those of the subgenus Schizotrypanum are restricted to bats throughout the world, with the exception of Trypanosoma (Schizotrypanum) cruzi that also infects other mammals and is restricted to the American Continent. We have characterized trypanosome isolates from Molossidae bats captured in Mozambique, Africa. Morphology and behaviour in culture, supported by phylogenetic inferences using SSU (small subunit) rRNA, gGAPDH (glycosomal glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase) and Cyt b (cytochrome b) genes, allowed to classify the isolates as a new Schizotrypanum species named Trypanosoma (Schizotrypanum) erneyi sp. nov. This is the first report of a Schizotrypanum species from African bats cultured, characterized morphologically and biologically, and positioned in phylogenetic trees. The unprecedented finding of a new species of the subgenus Schizotrypanum from Africa that is closest related to the America-restricted Trypanosoma (Schizotrypanum) cruzi marinkellei and T. cruzi provides new insights into the origin and evolutionary history of T. cruzi and closely related bat trypanosomes. Altogether, data from our study support the hypothesis of an ancestor trypanosome parasite of bats evolving to infect other mammals, even humans, and adapted to transmission by triatomine bugs in the evolutionary history of T. cruzi in the New World. PMID:22277804

  16. Snapshot Serengeti, high-frequency annotated camera trap images of 40 mammalian species in an African savanna.

    PubMed

    Swanson, Alexandra; Kosmala, Margaret; Lintott, Chris; Simpson, Robert; Smith, Arfon; Packer, Craig

    2015-01-01

    Camera traps can be used to address large-scale questions in community ecology by providing systematic data on an array of wide-ranging species. We deployed 225 camera traps across 1,125 km(2) in Serengeti National Park, Tanzania, to evaluate spatial and temporal inter-species dynamics. The cameras have operated continuously since 2010 and had accumulated 99,241 camera-trap days and produced 1.2 million sets of pictures by 2013. Members of the general public classified the images via the citizen-science website www.snapshotserengeti.org. Multiple users viewed each image and recorded the species, number of individuals, associated behaviours, and presence of young. Over 28,000 registered users contributed 10.8 million classifications. We applied a simple algorithm to aggregate these individual classifications into a final 'consensus' dataset, yielding a final classification for each image and a measure of agreement among individual answers. The consensus classifications and raw imagery provide an unparalleled opportunity to investigate multi-species dynamics in an intact ecosystem and a valuable resource for machine-learning and computer-vision research. PMID:26097743

  17. Near-infrared spectroscopy as a complementary age grading and species identification tool for African malaria vectors

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) was recently applied to age-grade and differentiate laboratory reared Anopheles gambiae sensu strico and Anopheles arabiensis sibling species of Anopheles gambiae sensu lato. In this study, we report further on the accuracy of this tool in simultaneously estimating ...

  18. Snapshot Serengeti, high-frequency annotated camera trap images of 40 mammalian species in an African savanna

    PubMed Central

    Swanson, Alexandra; Kosmala, Margaret; Lintott, Chris; Simpson, Robert; Smith, Arfon; Packer, Craig

    2015-01-01

    Camera traps can be used to address large-scale questions in community ecology by providing systematic data on an array of wide-ranging species. We deployed 225 camera traps across 1,125 km2 in Serengeti National Park, Tanzania, to evaluate spatial and temporal inter-species dynamics. The cameras have operated continuously since 2010 and had accumulated 99,241 camera-trap days and produced 1.2 million sets of pictures by 2013. Members of the general public classified the images via the citizen-science website www.snapshotserengeti.org. Multiple users viewed each image and recorded the species, number of individuals, associated behaviours, and presence of young. Over 28,000 registered users contributed 10.8 million classifications. We applied a simple algorithm to aggregate these individual classifications into a final ‘consensus’ dataset, yielding a final classification for each image and a measure of agreement among individual answers. The consensus classifications and raw imagery provide an unparalleled opportunity to investigate multi-species dynamics in an intact ecosystem and a valuable resource for machine-learning and computer-vision research. PMID:26097743

  19. Dispersal, dormancy and life-history tradeoffs at the individual, population and species levels in southern African Asteraceae.

    PubMed

    de Waal, Caroli; Anderson, Bruce; Ellis, Allan G

    2016-04-01

    Dispersal and dormancy are important risk-reducing strategies in unpredictable environments. Negative covariation between these strategies is theoretically expected, but empirical evidence is limited and inconsistent. Moreover, covariation may be affected by other life-history traits and may vary across levels of biological organization. We assessed dispersal (vertical fall time of fruits, a proxy for wind dispersal ability) and dormancy (germination fractions measured during germination trials) in populations of 15 annual and 12 perennial wind-dispersed species in six Asteraceae genera from South Africa. Dormancy was higher in annuals than in perennials, whereas fall time was largely determined by evolutionary history. Controlling for phylogeny, dispersal and dormancy was negatively associated across species and life-history categories. Negative covariation between dispersal and dormancy was not evident at either the individual level (except for seed heteromorphic species) or the population level. Our study provides rare empirical support for the theoretical expectation of tradeoffs between dormancy and the alternative risk-reducing strategies, perenniality and dispersal, but refutes the expectation of increased dispersability in perennials. Although negative covariation between dispersal and dormancy at the species level appears not to be a simple consequence of upscaling individual-level mechanistic tradeoffs, our findings suggest that selection for one strategy may constrain evolution of the other. PMID:26555320

  20. Standardizing visual control devices for tsetse flies: West African species Glossina tachinoides, G. palpalis gambiensis and G. morsitans submorsitans.

    PubMed

    Rayaisse, Jean-Baptiste; Kröber, Thomas; McMullin, Andrew; Solano, Philippe; Mihok, Steve; Guerin, Patrick M

    2012-01-01

    Here we describe field trials designed to standardize tools for the control of Glossina tachinoides, G. palpalis gambiensis and G.morsitans submorsitans in West Africa based on existing trap/target/bait technology. Blue and black biconical and monoconical traps and 1 m(2) targets were made in either phthalogen blue cotton, phthalogen blue cotton/polyester or turquoise blue polyester/viscose (all with a peak reflectance between 450-480 nm) and a black polyester. Because targets were covered in adhesive film, they proved to be significantly better trapping devices than either of the two trap types for all three species (up to 14 times more for G. tachinoides, 10 times more for G. palpalis gambiensis, and 6.5 times for G. morsitans submorsitans). The relative performance of the devices in the three blue cloths tested was the same when unbaited or baited with a mixture of phenols, 1-octen-3-ol and acetone. Since insecticide-impregnated devices act via contact with flies, we enumerated which device (traps or targets) served as the best object for flies to land on by also covering the cloth parts of traps with adhesive film. Despite the fact that the biconical trap proved to be the best landing device for the three species, the difference over the target (20-30%) was not significant. This experiment also allowed an estimation of trap efficiency, i.e. the proportion of flies landing on a trap that are caught in its cage. A low overall efficiency of the biconical or monoconical traps of between 11-24% was recorded for all three species. These results show that targets can be used as practical devices for population suppression of the three species studied. Biconical traps can be used for population monitoring, but a correction factor of 5-10 fold needs to be applied to captures to compensate for the poor trapping efficiency of this device for the three species. PMID:22348159

  1. Standardizing Visual Control Devices for Tsetse Flies: West African Species Glossina tachinoides, G. palpalis gambiensis and G. morsitans submorsitans

    PubMed Central

    Rayaisse, Jean-Baptiste; Kröber, Thomas; McMullin, Andrew; Solano, Philippe; Mihok, Steve; Guerin, Patrick M.

    2012-01-01

    Here we describe field trials designed to standardize tools for the control of Glossina tachinoides, G. palpalis gambiensis and G.morsitans submorsitans in West Africa based on existing trap/target/bait technology. Blue and black biconical and monoconical traps and 1 m2 targets were made in either phthalogen blue cotton, phthalogen blue cotton/polyester or turquoise blue polyester/viscose (all with a peak reflectance between 450–480 nm) and a black polyester. Because targets were covered in adhesive film, they proved to be significantly better trapping devices than either of the two trap types for all three species (up to 14 times more for G. tachinoides, 10 times more for G. palpalis gambiensis, and 6.5 times for G. morsitans submorsitans). The relative performance of the devices in the three blue cloths tested was the same when unbaited or baited with a mixture of phenols, 1-octen-3-ol and acetone. Since insecticide-impregnated devices act via contact with flies, we enumerated which device (traps or targets) served as the best object for flies to land on by also covering the cloth parts of traps with adhesive film. Despite the fact that the biconical trap proved to be the best landing device for the three species, the difference over the target (20–30%) was not significant. This experiment also allowed an estimation of trap efficiency, i.e. the proportion of flies landing on a trap that are caught in its cage. A low overall efficiency of the biconical or monoconical traps of between 11–24% was recorded for all three species. These results show that targets can be used as practical devices for population suppression of the three species studied. Biconical traps can be used for population monitoring, but a correction factor of 5–10 fold needs to be applied to captures to compensate for the poor trapping efficiency of this device for the three species. PMID:22348159

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Leaching characteristics of selected South African fly ashes: Effect of pH on the release of major and trace species

    SciTech Connect

    Gitari, W.M.; Fatoba, O.O.; Petrik, L.F.; Vadapalli, V.R.K.

    2009-07-01

    Fly ash samples from two South African coal-fired power stations were subjected to different leaching tests under alkaline and acidic conditions in an attempt to assess the effect of pH on the leachability of species from the fly ashes and also assess the potential impact of the fly ashes disposal on groundwater and the receiving environment. To achieve this, German Standard leaching (DIN-S4) and Acid Neutralization Capacity (ANC) tests were employed. Ca, Mg, Na, K and SO{sub 4} were significantly leached into solution under the two leaching conditions with the total amounts in ANC leachates higher than that of DIN-S4. This indicates that a large fraction of the soluble salts in unweathered fly ash are easily leached. These species represents the fraction that can be flushed off initially from the surface of ash particles on contacting the ash with water. The amounts of toxic trace elements such as As, Se, Cd, Cr and Pb leached out of the fly ashes when in contact with de-mineralized water (DIN-S4 test) were low and below the Target Water Quality Range (TWQR) of South Africa. This is explained by their low concentrations in the fly ashes and their solubility dependence on the pH of the leaching solution. However the amounts of some minor elements such as B, Mn, Fe, As and Se leached out at lower pH ranging between 10 to 4 (ANC test) were slightly higher than the TWQR, an indication that the pH of the leaching solution plays a significant role on the leaching of species in fly ash. The high concentrations of the toxic elements released from the fly ashes at lower pH gives an indication that the disposal of the fly ash could have adverse effects on the receiving environment if the pH of the solution contacting the ashes is not properly monitored.

  5. Limitation of seedling growth by potassium and magnesium supply for two ectomycorrhizal tree species of a Central African rain forest and its implication for their recruitment.

    PubMed

    Neba, Godlove Ambe; Newbery, David McClintock; Chuyong, George Bindeh

    2016-01-01

    In the ectomycorrhizal caesalpiniaceous groves of southern Korup National Park, the dominant tree species, Microberlinia bisulcata, displays very poor in situ recruitment compared with its codominant, Tetraberlinia bifoliolata. The reported ex situ experiment tested whether availabilities of soil potassium and magnesium play a role. Seedlings of the two species received applications of K and Mg fertilizer in potted native soil in a local shade house, and their responses in terms of growth and nutrient concentrations were recorded over 2 years. Amended soil concentrations were also determined. Microberlinia responded strongly and positively in its growth to Mg, but less to K; Tetraberlinia responded weakly to both. Added Mg led to strongly increased Mg concentration for Microberlinia while added K changed that concentration only slightly; Tetraberlinia strongly increased its concentration of K with added K, but only somewhat its Mg concentration with added Mg. Additions of Mg and K had small but important antagonistic effects. Microberlinia is Mg-demanding and apparently Mg-limited in Korup soil; Tetraberlinia, whilst K-demanding, appeared not to be K-limited (for growth). Added K enhanced plant P concentrations of both species. Extra applied Mg may also be alleviating soil aluminum toxicity, and hence improving growth indirectly and especially to the benefit of Microberlinia. Mg appears to be essential for Microberlinia seedling growth and its low soil availability in grove soils at Korup may be an important contributing factor to its poor recruitment. Microberlinia is highly shade-intolerant and strongly light-responding, whilst Tetraberlinia is more shade-tolerant and moderately light-responding, which affords an interesting contrast with respect to their differing responses to Mg supply. The study revealed novel aspects of functional traits and likely niche-partitioning among ectomycorrhizal caesalps in African rain forests. Identifying the direct and

  6. New avian Haemoproteus species (Haemosporida: Haemoproteidae) from African birds, with a critique of the use of host taxonomic information in hemoproteid classification.

    PubMed

    Iezhova, Tatjana A; Dodge, Molly; Sehgal, Ravinder N M; Smith, Thomas B; Valkiūnas, Gediminas

    2011-08-01

    Haemoproteus (Parahaemoproteus) micronuclearis n. sp., Haemoproteus (Parahaemoproteus) nucleofascialis n. sp., Haemoproteus (Parahaemoproteus) paranucleophilus n. sp., and Haemoproteus (Parahaemoproteus) homobelopolskyi n. sp. (Haemosporida, Haemoproteidae) are described from African passeriform birds based on the morphology of their blood stages and segments of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene. Red-billed quelea (Quelea quelea), red-headed malimbe (Malimbus rubricollis), and black-headed weaver (Ploceus melanocephalus) are the type vertebrate hosts of new hemoproteids. It is probable that new species have wide distribution in weavers in sub-Saharan Africa. Both H. micronuclearis and H. nucleofascialis can be readily distinguished from other avian hemoproteids by tiny, compact microgametocyte nuclei that are significantly smaller than macrogametocyte nuclei and are a rare character of hemosporidian parasites. Gametocytes of H. paranucleophilus are closely appressed to the erythrocyte nuclei and do not touch the erythrocyte envelope along their entire margin at all stages of their development, including fully grown gametocytes. A particularly distinctive feature of H. homobelopolskyi development is the presence of circumnuclear dumbbell-shaped macrogametocytes. Illustrations of blood stages of the new species are given, and morphological and phylogenetic analyses identify the DNA lineages that are associated with these parasites. Numerous recent studies show that some lineages of hemoproteids are often present in birds belonging to different families. As a result, the use of the host family as a taxonomic character should be questioned and preferably discouraged in hemoproteid taxonomy, particularly with regard to the parasites of passerine birds. Microscopic identification of avian hemoproteids requires comparison of Haemoproteus species described from birds of different families, as is an established practice with avian Plasmodium spp. Development of bar

  7. Tick infestation patterns in free ranging African buffalo (Syncercus caffer): Effects of host innate immunity and niche segregation among tick species.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Kadie; Ezenwa, Vanessa O; Jolles, Anna E

    2013-12-01

    Ticks are of vast importance to livestock health, and contribute to conflicts between wildlife conservation and agricultural interests; but factors driving tick infestation patterns on wild hosts are not well understood. We studied tick infestation patterns on free-ranging African buffalo (Syncercus caffer), asking (i) is there evidence for niche segregation among tick species?; and (ii) how do host characteristics affect variation in tick abundance among hosts? We identified ticks and estimated tick burdens on 134 adult female buffalo from two herds at Kruger National Park, South Africa. To assess niche segregation, we evaluated attachment site preferences and tested for correlations between abundances of different tick species. To investigate which host factors may drive variability in tick abundance, we measured age, body condition, reproductive and immune status in all hosts, and examined their effects on tick burdens. Two tick species were abundant on buffalo, Amblyomma hebraeum and Rhipicephalus evertsi evertsi. A. hebraeum were found primarily in the inguinal and axillary regions; R. e. evertsi attached exclusively in the perianal area. Abundances of A. hebraeum and R. e. evertsi on the host were unrelated. These results suggest spatial niche segregation between A. hebraeum and R. e. evertsi on the buffalo. Buffalo with stronger innate immunity, and younger buffalo, had fewer ticks. Buffalo with low body condition scores, and pregnant buffalo, had higher tick burdens, but these effects varied between the two herds we sampled. This study is one of the first to link ectoparasite abundance patterns and immunity in a free-ranging mammalian host population. Based on independent abundances of A. hebraeum and R. e. evertsi on individual buffalo, we would expect no association between the diseases these ticks transmit. Longitudinal studies linking environmental variability with host immunity are needed to understand tick infestation patterns and the dynamics of tick

  8. Sensitivity of Above-Ground Biomass Estimates to Height-Diameter Modelling in Mixed-Species West African Woodlands

    PubMed Central

    Aynekulu, Ermias; Pitkänen, Sari; Packalen, Petteri

    2016-01-01

    It has been suggested that above-ground biomass (AGB) inventories should include tree height (H), in addition to diameter (D). As H is a difficult variable to measure, H-D models are commonly used to predict H. We tested a number of approaches for H-D modelling, including additive terms which increased the complexity of the model, and observed how differences in tree-level predictions of H propagated to plot-level AGB estimations. We were especially interested in detecting whether the choice of method can lead to bias. The compared approaches listed in the order of increasing complexity were: (B0) AGB estimations from D-only; (B1) involving also H obtained from a fixed-effects H-D model; (B2) involving also species; (B3) including also between-plot variability as random effects; and (B4) involving multilevel nested random effects for grouping plots in clusters. In light of the results, the modelling approach affected the AGB estimation significantly in some cases, although differences were negligible for some of the alternatives. The most important differences were found between including H or not in the AGB estimation. We observed that AGB predictions without H information were very sensitive to the environmental stress parameter (E), which can induce a critical bias. Regarding the H-D modelling, the most relevant effect was found when species was included as an additive term. We presented a two-step methodology, which succeeded in identifying the species for which the general H-D relation was relevant to modify. Based on the results, our final choice was the single-level mixed-effects model (B3), which accounts for the species but also for the plot random effects reflecting site-specific factors such as soil properties and degree of disturbance. PMID:27367857

  9. Thermal limits of wild and laboratory strains of two African malaria vector species, Anopheles arabiensis and Anopheles funestus

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Malaria affects large parts of the developing world and is responsible for almost 800,000 deaths annually. As climates change, concerns have arisen as to how this vector-borne disease will be impacted by changing rainfall patterns and warming temperatures. Despite the importance and controversy surrounding the impact of climate change on the potential spread of this disease, little information exists on the tolerances of several of the vector species themselves. Methods Using a ramping protocol (to assess critical thermal limits - CT) and plunge protocol (to assess lethal temperature limits - LT) information on the thermal tolerance of two of Africa’s important malaria vectors, Anopheles arabiensis and Anopheles funestus was collected. The effects of age, thermal acclimation treatment, sex and strain (laboratory versus wild adults) were investigated for CT determinations for each species. The effects of age and sex for adults and life stage (larvae, pupae, adults) were investigated for LT determinations. Results In both species, females are more tolerant to low and high temperatures than males; larvae and pupae have higher upper lethal limits than do adults. Thermal acclimation of adults has large effects in some instances but small effects in others. Younger adults tend to be more tolerant of low or high temperatures than older age groups. Long-standing laboratory colonies are sufficiently similar in thermal tolerance to field-collected animals to provide reasonable surrogates when making inferences about wild population responses. Differences between these two vectors in their thermal tolerances, especially in larvae and pupae, are plausibly a consequence of different habitat utilization. Conclusions Limited plasticity is characteristic of the adults of these vector species relative to others examined to date, suggesting limited scope for within-generation change in thermal tolerance. These findings and the greater tolerance of females to thermal

  10. Implementing telemetry on new species in remote areas: Recommendations from a large-scale satellite tracking study of African waterfowl

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cappelle, J.; Iverson, S.A.; Takekawa, J.Y.; Newman, S.H.; Dodman, T.; Gaidet, N.

    2011-01-01

    We provide recommendations for implementing telemetry studies on waterfowl on the basis of our experience in a tracking study conducted in three countries of sub-Saharan Africa. The aim of the study was to document movements by duck species identified as priority candidates for the potential spread of avian influenza. Our study design included both captive and field test components on four wild duck species (Garganey, Comb Duck, White-faced Duck and Fulvous Duck). We used our location data to evaluate marking success and determine when signal loss occurred. The captive study of eight ducks marked with non-working transmitters in a zoo in Montpellier, France, prior to fieldwork showed no evidence of adverse effects, and the harness design appeared to work well. The field study in Malawi, Nigeria and Mali started in 2007 on 2 February, 6 February and 14 February, and ended on 22 November 2007 (288 d), 20 January 2010 (1 079 d), and 3 November 2008 (628 d), respectively. The field study indicated that 38 of 47 (81%) of the platform transmitter terminals (PTTs) kept transmitting after initial deployment, and the transmitters provided 15 576 locations. Signal loss during the field study was attributed to three main causes: PTT loss, PTT failure and mortality (natural, human-caused and PTT-related). The PTT signal quality varied by geographic region, and interference caused signal loss in the Mediterranean Sea region. We recommend careful attention at the beginning of the study to determine the optimum timing of transmitter deployment and the number of transmitters to be deployed per species. These sample sizes should be calculated by taking into account region-specific causes of signal loss to ensure research objectives are met. These recommendations should be useful for researchers undertaking a satellite tracking program, especially when working in remote areas of Africa where logistics are difficult or with poorly-known species. ?? NISC (Pty) Ltd.

  11. The high cost of mutualism: effects of four species of East African ant symbionts on their myrmecophyte host tree.

    PubMed

    Stanton, Maureen L; Palmer, Todd M

    2011-05-01

    Three recent meta-analyses of protective plant-ant mutualisms report a surprisingly weak relationship between herbivore protection and measured demographic benefits to ant-plants, suggesting high tolerance for herbivory, substantial costs of ant-mediated defense, and/or benefits that are realized episodically rather than continuously. Experimental manipulations of protective ant-plant associations typically last for less than a year, yet virtually all specialized myrmecophytes are long-lived perennials for which the costs and benefits of maintaining ant symbionts could accrue at different rates over the host's lifetime. To complement long-term monitoring studies, we experimentally excluded each of four ant symbionts from their long-lived myrmecophyte host trees (Acacia drepanolobium) for 4.5 years. Ant species varied in their effectiveness against herbivores and in their effects on intermediate-term growth and reproduction, but the level of herbivore protection provided was a poor predictor of the net impact they had on host trees. Removal of the three Crematogaster species resulted in cumulative gains in host tree growth and/or reproduction over the course of the experiment, despite the fact that two of those species significantly reduce chronic herbivore damage. In contrast, although T. penzigi is a relatively poor defender, the low cost of maintaining this ant symbiont apparently eliminated negative impacts on overall tree growth and reproduction, resulting in enhanced allocation to new branch growth by the final census. Acacia drepanolobium is evidently highly tolerant of herbivory by insects and small browsers, and the costs of maintaining Crematogaster colonies exceeded the benefits received during the study. No experimental trees were killed by elephants, but elephant damage was uniquely associated with reduced tree growth, and at least one ant species (C. mimosae) strongly deterred elephant browsing. We hypothesize that rare but catastrophic damage by

  12. Sensitivity of Above-Ground Biomass Estimates to Height-Diameter Modelling in Mixed-Species West African Woodlands.

    PubMed

    Valbuena, Rubén; Heiskanen, Janne; Aynekulu, Ermias; Pitkänen, Sari; Packalen, Petteri

    2016-01-01

    It has been suggested that above-ground biomass (AGB) inventories should include tree height (H), in addition to diameter (D). As H is a difficult variable to measure, H-D models are commonly used to predict H. We tested a number of approaches for H-D modelling, including additive terms which increased the complexity of the model, and observed how differences in tree-level predictions of H propagated to plot-level AGB estimations. We were especially interested in detecting whether the choice of method can lead to bias. The compared approaches listed in the order of increasing complexity were: (B0) AGB estimations from D-only; (B1) involving also H obtained from a fixed-effects H-D model; (B2) involving also species; (B3) including also between-plot variability as random effects; and (B4) involving multilevel nested random effects for grouping plots in clusters. In light of the results, the modelling approach affected the AGB estimation significantly in some cases, although differences were negligible for some of the alternatives. The most important differences were found between including H or not in the AGB estimation. We observed that AGB predictions without H information were very sensitive to the environmental stress parameter (E), which can induce a critical bias. Regarding the H-D modelling, the most relevant effect was found when species was included as an additive term. We presented a two-step methodology, which succeeded in identifying the species for which the general H-D relation was relevant to modify. Based on the results, our final choice was the single-level mixed-effects model (B3), which accounts for the species but also for the plot random effects reflecting site-specific factors such as soil properties and degree of disturbance. PMID:27367857

  13. Metabolic and water loss rates of two cryptic species in the African velvet worm genus Opisthopatus (Onychophora).

    PubMed

    Weldon, Christopher W; Daniels, Savel R; Clusella-Trullas, Susana; Chown, Steven L

    2013-04-01

    Velvet worms (Onychophora) are characterised by a dearth of mechanisms to retain water, yet recently identified cryptic species are located in areas with seemingly different climates. Using flow-through respirometry, this study determined the metabolic, water loss and cuticular water loss rates of two cryptic species of Opisthopatus cinctipes s.l. from locations that differ in their current climate. When controlling for trial temperature and body mass, velvet worms from the drier and warmer site had significantly lower water loss rates than the wetter and cooler site. Mass-corrected metabolic rate and cuticular water loss did not differ significantly between the two sites. The scaling exponent for the relationship between log metabolic rate and log body mass for O. cinctipes s.l. declined with an increase in temperature from 5 to 15 °C. Females in the two cryptic Opisthopatus species had higher metabolic, water loss and cuticular water loss rates than males, which may represent the increased energetic demands of embryonic growth and development in these viviparous taxa. PMID:23080220

  14. Sleep and wake in rhythmic versus arrhythmic chronotypes of a microphthalmic species of African mole rat (Fukomys mechowii).

    PubMed

    Bhagwandin, Adhil; Gravett, Nadine; Lyamin, Oleg I; Oosthuizen, Maria K; Bennett, Nigel C; Siegel, Jerome M; Manger, Paul R

    2011-01-01

    The giant Zambian mole rat (Fukomys mechowii) is a subterranean Afrotropical rodent noted for its regressed visual system and unusual patterns of circadian rhythmicity--within this species some individuals exhibit distinct regular circadian patterns of locomotor activity while others have arrhythmic circadian patterns. The current study was aimed at understanding whether differences in circadian chronotypes in this species affect the patterns and proportions of the different phases of the sleep-wake cycle. Physiological parameters of sleep (electroencephalogram and electromyogram) and behaviour (video recording) were recorded continuously for 72 h from 6 mole rats (3 rhythmic and 3 arrhythmic) using a telemetric system and a low-light CCTV camera connected to a DVD recorder. The results indicate that the arrhythmic individuals spend more time in waking with a longer average duration of a waking episode, less time in non-rapid eye movement (NREM) with a shorter average duration of an NREM episode though a greater NREM sleep intensity, and similar sleep cycle lengths. The time spent in rapid eye movement (REM) and the average duration of an REM episode were similar between the chronotypes. PMID:21952092

  15. Antibiogram, Adhesive Characteristics, and Incidence of Class 1 Integron in Aeromonas Species Isolated from Two South African Rivers

    PubMed Central

    Igbinosa, Isoken H.; Chigor, Vincent N.; Igbinosa, Etinosa O.; Obi, Lawrence C.; Okoh, Anthony I.

    2013-01-01

    Aeromonas species are well distributed in freshwater environments, and their natural susceptibility to antimicrobials renders them interesting candidates for the survey of antimicrobial resistance in freshwater milieu. Water samples were collected from Kat and Tyume rivers in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa, and a total of 45 isolates identified as Aeromonas species were recovered from the two rivers. All Aeromonas isolates were resistant to oxacillin, penicillin, clindamycin, cephalothin, vancomycin, and rifamycin, while appreciable susceptibilities (89.3 : 94.1%, 82.1 : 94.1%, 85.7 : 88.2%, and 92.9 : 88.2%) were observed against ciprofloxacin, chloramphenicol, nitrofurantoin, and gentamicin from Kat and Tyume rivers, respectively. Multiple antibiotic resistance (MAR) indices ranged from 0.016 to 0.044 for the two rivers. Class 1 integron was detected in about 20% of the isolates, and all the isolates except one showed ability to produce biofilm in vitro as weak producers (53.33%), moderate producers (15.56%), and strong producers (28.9%). This investigation provides a baseline data on antibiotic resistance as well as the adhesive characteristics of Aeromonas isolates from Tyume and Kat rivers in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. PMID:24187658

  16. Estimating environmental preferences of South African pelagic fish species using catch size- and remote sensing data [review article

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Agenbag, J. J.; Richardson, A. J.; Demarcq, H.; Fréon, P.; Weeks, S.; Shillington, F. A.

    2003-10-01

    We have studied the relationship between the variations in density of South African anchovy ( Engraulisicapensis), sardine ( Sardinopssagax) and round herring ( Etrumeuswhiteheadi) from commercial catch records (1987-1997) and a suite of variables describing the environment. The indicator of density (local fish abundance) used was Catch-per-set, obtained from the more than 130 000 catches made during the 11-year study period. The set of environmental parameters included: temporal ( Year, Month, time of day or Hour), spatial ( Latitude, Longitude and water Depth), lunar ( Moonphase and Moonelevation), and thermal conditions of the environment (sea surface temperature together with indices of thermal frontal intensity and temporal change). Boatlength was used to account for fishing gear effects. Previous investigations of this nature have tended to use simple bivariate correlation approaches, which suffer from the problem of covariance between the predictive variable and other environmental- or fisheries related variables not included in the analysis. We have, therefore, adopted a multivariate modelling approach, which identifies relationships between Catch-per-set and each environmental variable, accounting for covariation amongst predictors. Model building consisted of first constructing generalised additive models (GAM) as an exploratory tool to identify the shapes of the relationships, followed by parameterising these relationships using general linear models (GLM) to provide a robust predictive tool. Using this modelling approach, the suite of environmental variables explained 19.6% of the variation in Catch-per-set of anchovy, 33.9% of sardine, and 54.3% of round herring in the final GLM models. Temporal variables ( Year, Month, Hour), accounted for the major part of the variability in Catch-per-set but variables derived from SST and the lunar cycle provide insight into the effects of environmental factors on fish behaviour. For instance, it appears that

  17. Cytotoxic Activity of Crude Extracts as well as of Pure Components from Jatropha Species, Plants Used Extensively in African Traditional Medicine

    PubMed Central

    Aiyelaagbe, Olapeju O.; Hamid, Amao A.; Fattorusso, Ernesto; Taglialatela-Scafati, Orazio; Schröder, Heinz C.; Müller, Werner E. G.

    2011-01-01

    Extracts from Jatropha curcas, a plant used in African traditional medicine for various diseases, were tested for cytotoxic activity. The root extracts strongly reduced cell growth of tumor cells in vitro, a result consistent with the knowledge of the application of these plant extracts in traditional medicine, especially to cure/ameliorate cancer. A selection of pure diterpenoids existing in extracts from Jatropha species and isolated from J. curcas, for example, curcusone C, curcusone D, multidione, 15-epi-4Z-jatrogrossidentadion, 4Z-jatrogrossidentadion, 4E-jatrogrossidentadion, 2-hydroxyisojatrogrossidion, and 2-epi-hydroxyisojatrogrossidion, were likewise tested, and they also showed strong cytotoxic activity. It turned out that these extracts are highly active against L5178y mouse lymphoma cells and HeLa human cervix carcinoma cells, while they cause none or only very low activity against neuronal cell, for example, PC12. These data underscore that extracts from J. curcas or pure secondary metabolites from the plant are promising candidates to be anticancer drug, combined with low neuroactive effects. PMID:21754941

  18. Four plant defensins from an indigenous South African Brassicaceae species display divergent activities against two test pathogens despite high sequence similarity in the encoding genes

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Plant defensins are an important component of the innate defence system of plants where they form protective antimicrobial barriers between tissue types of plant organs as well as around seeds. These peptides also have other activities that are important for agricultural applications as well as the medical sector. Amongst the numerous plant peptides isolated from a variety of plant species, a significant number of promising defensins have been isolated from Brassicaceae species. Here we report on the isolation and characterization of four defensins from Heliophila coronopifolia, a native South African Brassicaceae species. Results Four defensin genes (Hc-AFP1-4) were isolated with a homology based PCR strategy. Analysis of the deduced amino acid sequences showed that the peptides were 72% similar and grouped closest to defensins isolated from other Brassicaceae species. The Hc-AFP1 and 3 peptides shared high homology (94%) and formed a unique grouping in the Brassicaceae defensins, whereas Hc-AFP2 and 4 formed a second homology grouping with defensins from Arabidopsis and Raphanus. Homology modelling showed that the few amino acids that differed between the four peptides had an effect on the surface properties of the defensins, specifically in the alpha-helix and the loop connecting the second and third beta-strands. These areas are implicated in determining differential activities of defensins. Comparing the activities after recombinant production of the peptides, Hc-AFP2 and 4 had IC50 values of 5-20 μg ml-1 against two test pathogens, whereas Hc-AFP1 and 3 were less active. The activity against Botrytis cinerea was associated with membrane permeabilization, hyper-branching, biomass reduction and even lytic activity. In contrast, only Hc-AFP2 and 4 caused membrane permeabilization and severe hyper-branching against the wilting pathogen Fusarium solani, while Hc-AFP1 and 3 had a mild morphogenetic effect on the fungus, without any indication of

  19. Aggressiveness Overcomes Body-Size Effects in Fights Staged between Invasive and Native Fish Species with Overlapping Niches

    PubMed Central

    Sanches, Fábio Henrique Carretero; Miyai, Caio Akira; Costa, Tânia Márcia; Christofoletti, Ronaldo Adriano; Volpato, Gilson Luiz; Barreto, Rodrigo Egydio

    2012-01-01

    Approximately 50 years ago, Nile tilapia were accidentally introduced to Brazil, and the decline of pearl cichlid populations, which has been intensified by habitat degradation, in some locations has been associated with the presence of Nile tilapia. There is, however, little strong empirical evidence for the negative interaction of non-native fish populations with native fish populations; such evidence would indicate a potential behavioural mechanism that could cause the population of the native fish to decline. In this study, we show that in fights staged between pairs of Nile tilapia and pearl cichlids of differing body size, the Nile tilapia were more aggressive than the pearl cichlid. Because this effect prevailed over body-size effects, the pearl cichlids were at a disadvantage. The niche overlap between the Nile tilapia and the pearl cichlid in nature, and the competitive advantage shown by the Nile tilapia in this study potentially represent one of several possible results of the negative interactions imposed by an invasive species. These negative effects may reduce population viability of the native species and cause competitive exclusion. PMID:22272244

  20. New species and new records of Pterosthetops: eumadicolous water beetles of the South African Cape (Coleoptera, Hydraenidae).

    PubMed

    Bilton, David T

    2014-01-01

    Pterosthetops is one of a number of hydraenid genera endemic to the Cape of South Africa, whose minute moss beetle fauna is amongst the most diverse on earth. Here seven species are described as new: Pterosthetops baini sp. nov., Pterosthetops coriaceus sp. nov., Pterosthetops indwei sp. nov., Ptersothetops pulcherrimus sp. nov., Pterosthetops swartbergensis sp. nov., Pterosthetops tuberculatus sp. nov. and Pterosthetops uitkyki sp. nov., all from mountains in the Western Cape region. New collection records are also provided for all five previously described members of the genus, together with a revised key. Pterosthetops appear to be specialist inhabitants of seepages over rock faces (hygropetric/madicolous habitats), rarely being found outside such situations. PMID:24943181

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

  5. Detection of antimicrobial compounds by bioautography of different extracts of leaves of selected South African tree species.

    PubMed

    Suleimana, M M; McGaw, L J; Naidoo, V; Eloff, J N

    2010-01-01

    The hexane, acetone, dichloromethane and methanol extracts of Combretum vendae A.E. van Wyk (Combretaceae), Commiphora harveyi (Engl.) Engl. (Burseraceae), Khaya anthotheca (Welm.) C.DC (Meliaceae), Kirkia wilmsii Engl. (Kirkiaceae), Loxostylis alata A. Spreng. ex Rchb. (Anacardiaceae), Ochna natalitia (Meisn.) Walp. (Ochnaceae) and Protorhus longifolia (Bernh. Ex C. Krauss) Engl. (Anacardiaceae) were screened for their antimicrobial activity. The test organisms included bacteria (Enterococcus faecalis, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus), and fungi (Aspergillus fumigatus, Candida albicans, Cryptococcus neoformans, Microsporum canis and Sporothrix schenckii). A simple bioautographic procedure, involving spraying suspensions of the bacteria or fungi on thin layer chromatography (TLC) plates developed in solvents of varying polarities was used to detect the number of antibacterial and antifungal compounds present in the extracts. All the extracts had antimicrobial activity against at least one of the test microorganisms. This activity was denoted by white spots against a red-purple background on the TLC plates after spraying with tetrazolium violet. Twenty seven TLC plates; 9 for each solvent system and 3 different solvent systems per organism were tested in the bioautographic procedure. Of the bacteria tested, S. aureus was inhibited by the most compounds separated on the TLC plates from all the tested plants. Similarly, growth of the fungus C. neoformans was also inhibited by many compounds present in the extracts. Loxostylis alata appeared to be the plant extract with the highest number of inhibition bands when compared with other plants tested against both bacteria and fungi. This species was selected for in depth further study. PMID:21304615

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Croft, Guy E.; Joyce, Domino A.

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

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

  10. A novel multilocus variable number tandem repeat analysis typing scheme for African phylotype III strains of the Ralstonia solanacearum species complex

    PubMed Central

    Ravelomanantsoa, Santatra; Robène, Isabelle; Chiroleu, Frédéric; Guérin, Fabien; Poussier, Stéphane; Pruvost, Olivier

    2016-01-01

    Background. Reliable genotyping that provides an accurate description of diversity in the context of pathogen emergence is required for the establishment of strategies to improve disease management. MultiLocus variable number tandem repeat analysis (MLVA) is a valuable genotyping method. It can be performed at small evolutionary scales where high discriminatory power is needed. Strains of the Ralstonia solanacearum species complex (RSSC) are highly genetically diverse. These destructive pathogens are the causative agent of bacterial wilt on an unusually broad range of host plants worldwide. In this study, we developed an MLVA scheme for genotyping the African RSSC phylotype III. Methods. We selected different publicly available tandem repeat (TR) loci and additional TR loci from the genome of strain CMR15 as markers. Based on these loci, a new phylotype III-MLVA scheme is presented. MLVA and multiLocus sequence typing (MLST) were compared at the global, regional, and local scales. Different populations of epidemiologically related and unrelated RSSC phylotype III strains were used. Results and Discussion. Sixteen polymorphic TR loci, which included seven microsatellites and nine minisatellites, were selected. These TR loci were distributed throughout the genome (chromosome and megaplasmid) and located in both coding and intergenic regions. The newly developed RS3-MLVA16 scheme was more discriminative than MLST. RS3-MLVA16 showed good ability in differentiating strains at global, regional, and local scales, and it especially highlighted epidemiological links between closely related strains at the local scale. RS3-MLVA16 also underlines genetic variability within the same MLST-type and clonal complex, and gives a first overview of population structure. Overall, RS3-MLVA16 is a promising genotyping method for outbreak investigation at a fine scale, and it could be used for outbreak investigation as a first-line, low-cost assay for the routine screening of RSSC

  11. A novel multilocus variable number tandem repeat analysis typing scheme for African phylotype III strains of the Ralstonia solanacearum species complex.

    PubMed

    Ravelomanantsoa, Santatra; Robène, Isabelle; Chiroleu, Frédéric; Guérin, Fabien; Poussier, Stéphane; Pruvost, Olivier; Prior, Philippe

    2016-01-01

    Background. Reliable genotyping that provides an accurate description of diversity in the context of pathogen emergence is required for the establishment of strategies to improve disease management. MultiLocus variable number tandem repeat analysis (MLVA) is a valuable genotyping method. It can be performed at small evolutionary scales where high discriminatory power is needed. Strains of the Ralstonia solanacearum species complex (RSSC) are highly genetically diverse. These destructive pathogens are the causative agent of bacterial wilt on an unusually broad range of host plants worldwide. In this study, we developed an MLVA scheme for genotyping the African RSSC phylotype III. Methods. We selected different publicly available tandem repeat (TR) loci and additional TR loci from the genome of strain CMR15 as markers. Based on these loci, a new phylotype III-MLVA scheme is presented. MLVA and multiLocus sequence typing (MLST) were compared at the global, regional, and local scales. Different populations of epidemiologically related and unrelated RSSC phylotype III strains were used. Results and Discussion. Sixteen polymorphic TR loci, which included seven microsatellites and nine minisatellites, were selected. These TR loci were distributed throughout the genome (chromosome and megaplasmid) and located in both coding and intergenic regions. The newly developed RS3-MLVA16 scheme was more discriminative than MLST. RS3-MLVA16 showed good ability in differentiating strains at global, regional, and local scales, and it especially highlighted epidemiological links between closely related strains at the local scale. RS3-MLVA16 also underlines genetic variability within the same MLST-type and clonal complex, and gives a first overview of population structure. Overall, RS3-MLVA16 is a promising genotyping method for outbreak investigation at a fine scale, and it could be used for outbreak investigation as a first-line, low-cost assay for the routine screening of RSSC

  12. Evaluation of the inhibition of carbohydrate hydrolysing enzymes, antioxidant activity and polyphenolic content of extracts of ten African Ficus species (Moraceae) used traditionally to treat diabetes

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Some Ficus species have been used in traditional African medicine in the treatment of diabetes. The antidiabetic potential of certain species has been confirmed in vivo but the mechanism of activity remains uncertain. The aim of this study was to determine the activity and to investigate the mechanism of antidiabetic activity of ten selected Ficus species through inhibition of α-amylase and α-glucosidase activity, and the possible relationship between these activities, the total polyphenolic content and the antioxidant activity. Methods Dried acetone leaf extracts were reconstituted with appropriate solvents and used to determine total polyphenolic content antioxidant activity, α-amylase and α-glucosidase inhibitory activity. Results The crude acetone extract of F. lutea had the highest polyphenolic content (56.85 ± 1.82 mg GAE/g of dry material) and the strongest antioxidant activity with a TEAC value of 4.80 ± 0.90. The antioxidant activity of the acetone extracts of the Ficus species may not be ascribed to total polyphenolic content alone. The crude extract at a concentration of 0.5 mg/ml of F. lutea (64.3 ± 3.6%) had the best α-glucosidase (sucrase) inhibitory activity. The EC50 of F. lutea (290 ± 111 μg/ml) was not significantly different from that of F. sycomorus (217 ± 69 μg/ml). The α-amylase inhibitory activity of F. lutea (95.4 ± 1.2%) at a concentration of 1 mg/ml was the highest among the Ficus species screened. The EC50 for F. lutea (9.42 ± 2.01 μ g/ml), though the highest, was not significantly different (p < 0.05) from that of F. craterostoma and F. natalensis. It was apparent that the crude acetone extract of F. lutea is a partially non-competitive inhibitor of α-amylase and α-glucosidase. Based on correlation coefficients polyphenolics may be responsible for α-glucosidase activity but probably not for α-amylase activity. Conclusion Antidiabetic activity potential via inhibition

  13. Strong assortative mating by diet, color, size, and morphology but limited progress toward sympatric speciation in a classic example: Cameroon crater lake cichlids.

    PubMed

    Martin, Christopher H

    2013-07-01

    Models predict that sympatric speciation depends on restrictive parameter ranges, such as sufficiently strong disruptive selection and assortative mating, but compelling examples in nature have rarely been used to test these predictions. I measured the strength of assortative mating within a species complex of Tilapia in Lake Ejagham, Cameroon, a celebrated example of incipient sympatric adaptive radiation. This species complex is in the earliest stages of speciation: morphological and ecological divergence are incomplete, species differ primarily in breeding coloration, and introgression is common. I captured 27 mated pairs in situ and measured the diet, color, size, and morphology of each individual. I found strong assortative mating by color, size, head depth, and dietary source of benthic or pelagic prey along two independent dimensions of assortment. Thus, Ejagham Tilapia showed strong assortative mating most conducive to sympatric speciation. Nonetheless, in contrast to a morphologically bimodal Sarotherodon cichlid species pair in the lake, Ejagham Tilapia show more limited progress toward speciation, likely due to insufficient strength of disruptive selection on morphology estimated in a previous study (γ = 0.16). This supports the predicted dependence of sympatric speciation on strong assortment and strong disruptive selection by examining a potentially stalled example in nature. PMID:23815664

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. Evolutionary relationships in the sand-dwelling cichlid lineage of lake tanganyika suggest multiple colonization of rocky habitats and convergent origin of biparental mouthbrooding.

    PubMed

    Koblmüller, Stephan; Salzburger, Walter; Sturmbauer, Christian

    2004-01-01

    The cichlid species flock of Lake Tanganyika is comprised of seven seeding lineages that evolved in step with changes of the lake environment. One seeding lineage diversified into at least six lineages within a short period of time. Our study focuses on the diversification of one of these lineages, the Ectodini, comprising highly specialized, sand- and rock-dwelling species. They display two distinct breeding styles: maternal and biparental mouthbrooding. By analyzing three mtDNA gene segments in 30 species representing all 13 described genera, we show that the Ectodini rapidly diversified into four clades at the onset of their radiation. The monotypic genus Grammatotria is likely to represent the most ancestral split, followed by the almost contemporary origin of three additional clades, the first comprising the benthic genus Callochromis, the second comprising the benthic genera Asprotilapia, Xenotilapia, Enantiopus, and Microdontochromis, and the third comprising the semi-pelagic genera Ophthalmotilapia, Cardiopharynx, Cyathopharynx, Ectodus, Aulonocranus, Lestradea, and Cunningtonia. Our study confirms the benthic and sand-dwelling life-style as ancestral. Rocky habitats were colonized independently in the Xenotilapia- and Ophthalmotilapia-clade. The Xenotilapia-clade comprises both maternal and biparental mouthbrooders. Their mode of breeding appears to be highly plastic: biparental mouthbrooding either evolved once in the common ancestor of the clade, to be reverted at least three times, or evolved at least five times independently from a maternally mouthbrooding ancestor. Furthermore, the genera Xenotilapia, Microdontochromis, Lestradea, and Ophthalmotilapia appeared paraphyletic in our analyses, suggesting the need of taxonomic revision. PMID:14743316

  17. Functional coupling constrains craniofacial diversification in Lake Tanganyika cichlids.

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

    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

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-02-01

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

  20. 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

  1. Complete mitochondrial genome of the Red devil cichlid (Amphilophus citrinellus).

    PubMed

    Song, Hong-Mei; Liu, Chao; Liu, Yi; Wei, Min-Xia; Luo, Jian-ren; Hu, Yin-chang

    2016-01-01

    In this study, the complete mitochondrial genome sequence of Amphilophus citrinellus was firstly sequenced and determined. The total genome is 16,522 bp in length with an A + T content of 54.19%, and contained 13 protein-coding genes, 22 tRNA genes, 2 ribosomal RNA genes and two main non-coding regions. The gene composition and order is similar to that of most other vertebrates, as is base composition and codon usage. These data will provide useful molecular information for phylogenetic relationships within the family Cichlidae species. PMID:24892490

  2. PCR-based identification of eight Lactobacillus species and 18 hr-HPV genotypes in fixed cervical samples of South African women at risk of HIV and BV.

    PubMed

    Dols, Joke A M; Reid, Gregor; Kort, Remco; Schuren, Frank H J; Tempelman, Hugo; Bontekoe, Tj Romke; Korporaal, Hans; Van der Veer, E M; Smit, Pieter W; Boon, Mathilde E

    2012-06-01

    Vaginal lactobacilli assessed by PCR-based microarray and PCR-based genotyping of HPV in South African women at risk for HIV and BV. Vaginal lactobacilli can be defined by microarray techniques in fixed cervical samples of South African women. Cervical brush samples suspended in the coagulant fixative BoonFix of one hundred women attending a health centre for HIV testing in South Africa were available for this study. In the Ndlovu Medical Centre in Elandsdoorn, South Africa, identification of 18 hr-HPV genotypes was done using the INNO-LiPA method. An inventory of lactobacilli organisms was performed using microarray technology. On the basis of the Lactobacillus and Lactobacillus biofilm scoring, the cases were identified as Leiden bacterial vaginosis (BV) negative (BV-; n = 41), Leiden BV intermediate (BV±; n = 25), and Leiden BV positive (BV+; n = 34). Fifty-one women were HIV positive and 49 HIV negative. Out of the 51 HIV positive women, 35 were HPV infected. These 51 HIV positive women were frequently infected with HPV16 and HPV18. In addition, HPV35, HPV52, HPV33, and HPV66 were often detected in these samples. Lactobacillus salivarius and Lactobacillus iners were the most prevalent lactobacilli as established by the microarray technique. In women with HPV infection, the prevalence of Lactobacillus crispatus was significantly reduced. In both HIV and HPV infection, a similar (but not identical) shift in the composition of the lactobacillus flora was observed. We conclude that there is a shift in the composition of vaginal lactobacilli in HIV-infected women. Because of the prominence of HPV35, HPV52, HPV33, and HPV66, vaccination for exclusively HPV16 and HPV18 might be insufficient in South African HIV+ women. PMID:22021225

  3. 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…

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

  5. 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

  6. Histology of melanic flank and opercular color pattern elements in the Firemouth Cichlid, Thorichthys meeki.

    PubMed

    Beeching, Simon C; Glass, Brock A; Rehorek, Susan J

    2013-07-01

    Dark melanic color pattern elements, such as bars, stripes, and spots, are common in the skin of fishes, and result from the differential distribution and activity of melanin-containing chromatophores (melanophores). We determined the histological basis of two melanic color pattern elements in the integument of the Firemouth Cichlid, Thorichthys meeki. Vertical bars on the flanks were formed by three layers of dermal melanophores, whereas opercular spots were formed by four layers (two lateral and two medial) in the integument surrounding the opercular bones. Pretreatment of opercular tissue with potassium and sodium salts effectively concentrated or dispersed intracellular melanosomes. Regional differences in epidermal structure, scale distribution, and connective tissues were also identified. PMID:23450665

  7. Annulotrema (Monogenea: Dactylogyridae) from the gills of African tetras (Characiformes: Alestidae) in Lake Turkana, Kenya, with descriptions of four new species and a redescription of A. elongata Paperna and Thurston, 1969.

    PubMed

    Kičinjaová, Maria Lujza; Blažek, Radim; Gelnar, Milan; Řehulková, Eva

    2015-11-01

    Four new and four previously described species of Annulotrema were collected from the gills of four species (three genera, i.e. Alestes, Hydrocynus and Brycinus) of African tetras from Lake Turkana, Kenya: Annulotrema alestesnursi Paperna, 1973 from Brycinus nurse; Annulotrema ansatum n. sp., Annulotrema besalis Řehulková, Musilová and Gelnar, 2014, Annulotrema bipatens n. sp., Annulotrema cucullatum n. sp., Annulotrema nili Paperna, 1973, and Annulotrema pontile n. sp. from Hydrocynus forskahlii; and Annulotrema elongata Paperna and Thurston, 1969 from Alestes baremoze and Alestes dentex. A. elongata is re-described on the basis of new material from A. baremoze. The sclerotized structures of the haptor and male copulatory organ of A. alestesnursi and A. elongata are illustrated from their type material. H. forskahlii is a new host record for A. besalis. The findings of A. besalis and A. elongata in Kenya represent a new locality records for these helminths. Three Annulotrema spp., namely A. besalis, A. elongata and A. pontile n. sp., share the same type of male copulatory organ, which may indicate a close relationship among these species. PMID:26346450

  8. Obesity and African Americans

    MedlinePlus

    ... Data > Minority Population Profiles > Black/African American > Obesity Obesity and African Americans African American women have the ... ss6304.pdf [PDF | 3.38MB] HEALTH IMPACT OF OBESITY More than 80 percent of people with type ...

  9. Lateralisation in agonistic encounters: do mirror tests reflect aggressive behaviour? A study on a West African cichlid.

    PubMed

    Scherer, U; Buck, M; Schuett, W

    2016-09-01

    In this study, population level lateralisation and the suitability of mirror tests as a test of natural aggressive behaviour in male rainbow kribs Pelvicachromis pulcher was investigated. Aggressive behaviour in live agonistic trials correlated positively with behaviours towards a mirror image and no visual lateralisation was detected. PMID:27329496

  10. Two new species of African suckermouth catfishes, genus Chiloglanis (Siluriformes: Mochokidae), from Kenya with remarks on other taxa from the area.

    PubMed

    Schmidt, Ray C; Bart, Henry L; Nyingi, Wanja Dorothy

    2015-01-01

    Recent expeditions in Kenya and examination of existing collections confirmed the presence of two undescribed Chiloglanis species and revealed previously unknown diversity within the Athi River system. The two new species are easily distinguished from described congeners in the area by external morphology, allopatric distributions, and genetic markers. Chiloglanis kerioensis sp. nov., is restricted to the Kerio River system and is the only known suckermouth catfish from the Lake Turkana basin. Chiloglanis devosi sp. nov., is known only from the type locality, the Northern Ewaso Nyiro (Ng'iro) below Chanler's Falls. In addition to these two new species, this study confirmed the presence of an undescribed Chiloglanis sp. occurring sympatrically with Chiloglanis brevibarbis in the Tsavo River. A dichotomous key for identifying all described Chiloglanis species found within Kenya is presented along with comments. PMID:26624701

  11. A molecular phylogeny of Equatorial African Lacertidae, with the description of a new genus and species from eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo

    PubMed Central

    Greenbaum, Eli; Villanueva, Cesar O.; Kusamba, Chifundera; Aristote, Mwenebatu M.; Branch, William R.

    2011-01-01

    Currently, four species of the lacertid lizard genus Adolfus are known from Central and East Africa. We sequenced up to 2,825 bp of two mitochondrial (16S and cyt b) and two nuclear (c-mos and RAG1) genes from 41 samples of Adolfus (representing every species), two species each of Gastropholis and Holaspis, and in separate analyses combined this data with GenBank sequences of all other Eremiadini genera and four Lacertini outgroups. Data from DNA sequences were analyzed with maximum parsimony (PAUP), maximum-likelihood (RAxML) and Bayesian inference (MrBayes) criteria. Results demonstrated that Adolfus is not monophyletic: A. africanus (type species), A. alleni and A. jacksoni are sister taxa, whereas A. vauereselli and a new species from the Itombwe Plateau of Democratic Republic of the Congo are in a separate lineage. Holaspis and Gastropholis were recovered in separate clades. Based on this molecular data, relatively substantial sequence divergence and multiple morphological differences, we describe a new genus of lacertid for the lineage including A. vauereselli and the new Itombwe species. The recognition of this new, endemic genus underscores the conservation importance of the Albertine Rift, especially the Itombwe Plateau, a unique region that is severely threatened by unchecked deforestation, mining and poaching. PMID:22121299

  12. Molecular Differentiation of the African Yellow Fever Vector Aedes bromeliae (Diptera: Culicidae) from Its Sympatric Non-vector Sister Species, Aedes lilii

    PubMed Central

    Bennett, Kelly Louise; Linton, Yvonne-Marie; Shija, Fortunate; Kaddumukasa, Martha; Djouaka, Rousseau; Misinzo, Gerald; Lutwama, Julius; Huang, Yiau-Min; Mitchell, Luke B.; Richards, Miriam; Tossou, Eric; Walton, Catherine

    2015-01-01

    Introduction Yellow fever continues to be a problem in sub-Saharan Africa with repeated epidemics occurring. The mosquito Aedes bromeliae is a major vector of yellow fever, but it cannot be readily differentiated from its non-vector zoophilic sister species Ae. lilii using morphological characters. Genetic differences have been reported between anthropophilic Ae. bromeliae and zoophilic Ae. lilii and between forest and domestic populations. However, due to the application of different molecular markers and non-overlapping populations employed in previous studies, interpretation of species delimitation is unclear. Methodology/Principle Findings DNA sequences were generated from specimens of Ae. simpsoni s.l. from the Republic of Benin, Tanzania and Uganda for two nuclear genes apolipophorin 2 (apoLp2) and cytochrome p450 (CYPJ92), the ribosomal internal transcribed spacer region (ITS) and the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase (COI) barcoding region. Nuclear genes apoLp2 and CYPJ92 were unable to differentiate between species Ae. bromeliae and Ae. lilii due to ancestral lineage sorting, while ITS sequence data provided clear topological separation on a phylogeny. The standard COI barcoding region was shown to be subject to species introgression and unable to clearly distinguish the two taxa. Here we present a reliable direct PCR-based method for differentiation of the vector species Ae. bromeliae from its isomorphic, sympatric and non-biomedically important sister taxon, Ae. lilii, based on the ITS region. Using molecular species verification, we describe novel immature habitats for Ae. lilii and report both sympatric and allopatric populations. Whereas only Ae. lilii is found in the Republic of Benin and only Ae. bromeliae in Tanzania, both species are sympatric in Uganda. Conclusions/Significance Our accurate identification method will allow informed distribution and detailed ecological studies that will facilitate assessment of arboviral disease risk and

  13. A new species of Ergasilus (Copepoda: Ergasilidae) from Geophagus altifrons and G. argyrostictus (Perciformes: Cichlidae) in the Brazilian Amazon.

    PubMed

    Taborda, Naraiana Lopes; Paschoal, Fabiano; Luque, José Luis

    2016-09-01

    A new species of ergasilid copepod, Ergasilus xinguensis n. sp., is described from females found on the gills of two cichlid fishes, Geophagus argyrostictus (Kullander, 1991) (type host) and G. altifrons (Heckel, 1840), from the Brazilian Amazon. The new species can be distinguished from congeners by the unique combination of the following characteristics: the cephalothorax is not inflated and is slightly constricted, the first antennulary segment bears 3 setae, maxillule with 3 unequal outer setae without minute process medially, maxilla has a large syncoxa with one seta near its basis, first and fourth legs are with a 3-segmented endopod, base of the exopod in leg 2 with a conspicuous bluntly-pointed projection and caudal ramus with two rows of curved conical spinules on ventral surface. The new species is the second member of Ergasilus von Nordmann, 1832 found on cichlids of the genus Geophagus (Heckel). PMID:27447219

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

  18. Sibling species distributions of the Simulium damnosum complex in the west African Onchocerciasis Control Programme area during the decade 1984-93, following intensive larviciding since 1974.

    PubMed

    Boakye, D A; Back, C; Fiasorgbor, G K; Sib, A P; Coulibaly, Y

    1998-10-01

    During the decade from 1984 to 1993, nine species of the Simulium damnosum complex of blackflies (Diptera: Simuliidae) were identified from the area covered by the Onchocerciasis Control Programme. These were S. damnosum s.s., S. dieguerense, S. konkourense, S. leonense, S. sanctipauli, S. sirbanum, S. soubrense, S. squamosum, and S. yahense. Some of these species were found to consist of two chromosomal variant populations. These were S. konkourense 'Konkouré' and 'Menankaya' forms, S. sanctipauli sensu stricto and 'Djodji' form, S. soubrense 'Chute Milo' and 'Beffa' forms. The distribution of these twelve cytological taxa was assessed in relation to the two main vegetation zones of West Africa (forest and savanna), topography, river size and other factors. The range of each species was influenced by seasonal climatic changes in wind movement and river water level. The most widely distributed species were S. sirbanum and S. damnosum s.s., associated with savanna areas, recorded from all river basins. Simulium dieguerense was restricted mainly to Western Mali on the Rivers Bafing and Bakoye in the Senegal River basin. Simulium squamosum was identified from rivers draining mountainous areas in both the forest and savanna zones. Simulium yahense was found in small permanent rivers along a wide forested band parallel to the coast and was absent from the plains of Togo and Benin. Members of the S. sanctipauli subcomplex had restricted distributions except for S. sanctipauli s.s., which was widespread in large rivers of the forest zone from Sierra Leone to the Volta Lake in Ghana. Simulium soubrense 'Beffa' form occurred in Togo and Benin, S. soubrense 'Chutes Milo' form in Guinea, both 'Konkouré' and 'Menankaya' forms of S. konkourense occurred predominantly in Guinea and S. leonense in Sierra Leone. The relevance of the distribution maps and the importance of the data bank to vector control larvicidal operations are discussed. PMID:9824818

  19. Cardiac assessment of African hedgehogs (Atelerix albiventris).

    PubMed

    Black, Peter A; Marshall, Cecilia; Seyfried, Alice W; Bartin, Anne M

    2011-03-01

    Cardiomyopathy is a common finding in captive African hedgehogs (Atelerix albiventris) at postmortem exam. To date, treatment attempts have been mostly empirical and unrewarding. The objective of this study was to determine reference cardiac values for captive African hedgehogs based on echocardiogram, electrocardiogram (ECG), and radiographs. Adult African hedgehogs with no clinical signs of cardiac disease (n = 13) were selected. Each animal was anesthetized with isoflurane via facemask and an echocardiogram, ECG, and radiographs were performed. Standard measurements were taken and the descriptive statistics performed. Values were comparable to limited data available in other hedgehog species and other similar-sized exotic species. Two animals were removed from consideration of reference values due to valvular defects that were considered significant. These data are the first establishing cardiac parameters in normal African hedgehogs using radiographic cardiac measurement, echocardiogram, and ECG. Evaluating animals with possible cardiomyopathy may allow for earlier diagnosis and more successful treatment. PMID:22946370

  20. African Adders: Partial Characterization of Snake Venoms from Three Bitis Species of Medical Importance and Their Neutralization by Experimental Equine Antivenoms

    PubMed Central

    Paixão-Cavalcante, Danielle; Kuniyoshi, Alexandre K.; Portaro, Fernanda C. V.; da Silva, Wilmar Dias; Tambourgi, Denise V.

    2015-01-01

    Background An alarming number of fatal accidents involving snakes are annually reported in Africa and most of the victims suffer from permanent local tissue damage and chronic disabilities. Envenomation by snakes belonging to the genus Bitis, Viperidae family, are common in Sub-Saharan Africa. The accidents are severe and the victims often have a poor prognosis due to the lack of effective specific therapies. In this study we have biochemically characterized venoms from three different species of Bitis, i.e., Bitis arietans, Bitis gabonica rhinoceros and Bitis nasicornis, involved in the majority of the human accidents in Africa, and analyzed the in vitro neutralizing ability of two experimental antivenoms. Methodology/Principal Findings The data indicate that all venoms presented phospholipase, hyaluronidase and fibrinogenolytic activities and cleaved efficiently the FRET substrate Abz-RPPGFSPFRQ-EDDnp and angiotensin I, generating angiotensin 1–7. Gelatinolytic activity was only observed in the venoms of B. arietans and B. nasicornis. The treatment of the venoms with protease inhibitors indicated that Bitis venoms possess metallo and serinoproteases enzymes, which may be involved in the different biological activities here evaluated. Experimental antivenoms produced against B. arietans venom or Bitis g. rhinoceros plus B. nasicornis venoms cross-reacted with the venoms from the three species and blocked, in different degrees, all the enzymatic activities in which they were tested. Conclusion These results suggest that the venoms of the three Bitis species, involved in accidents with humans in the Sub-Saharan Africa, contain a mixture of various enzymes that may act in the generation and development of some of the clinical manifestations of the envenomations. We also demonstrated that horse antivenoms produced against B. arietans or B. g. rhinoceros plus B. nasicornis venoms can blocked some of the toxic activities of these venoms. PMID:25643358

  1. Allozyme variation in four populations of African whitebacked vultures (Gyps africanus) and phylogenetic relationships between four vulture species from southern Africa.

    PubMed

    van Wyk, E; van der Bank, H; Verdoorn, G H.

    2001-05-01

    Genetic variation detected by protein electrophoresis at 41 presumptive gene loci was assayed in four populations of Gyps africanus and compared to values previously obtained for Gyps coprotheres. Values calculated for percentage of polymorphic loci (P=34.15%, 0.99 criterion) and average heterozygosity (&Hmacr;=0.108, +/-0.032) in G. africanus, confirm low levels of genetic variation as reported for G. coprotheres. Allele frequency data, assessed at 19 loci, were obtained to evaluate genetic differentiation among four vulture species. Six (31.58%) of the 19 shared loci were polymorphic. Values of 1.26 (+/-0.1), 26.32% and 0.076 (+/-0.047) for G. africanus, 1.21 (+/-0.1), 21.05% and 0.097 (+/-0.045) for Torgos tracheliotus, 1.11 (+/-0.7), 21.05% and 0.053 (+/-0.053) for Neophron percnopterus and 1.05 (+/-0.5), 5.26% and 0.044 (+/-0.047) for G. coprotheres were obtained for the mean number of alleles per locus, P and &Hmacr;, respectively. An average between-population fixation index (F(ST)) value of 0.322 was obtained, which is indicative of significant (P<0.01) differentiation between the four accipitrid species studied. Considerable concordance was obtained between dendograms produced from different analyses, pointing to the distinctiveness of N. percnopterus, which has evolved along a separate lineage as G. africanus, G. coprotheres and T. tracheliotus. Along the latter lineage G. africanus is clustered together with G. coprotheres which is consistent with the morphological similarities of these species. PMID:11274771

  2. The comparative phylogeography of fruit bats of the tribe Scotonycterini (Chiroptera, Pteropodidae) reveals cryptic species diversity related to African Pleistocene forest refugia.

    PubMed

    Hassanin, Alexandre; Khouider, Souraya; Gembu, Guy-Crispin; Goodman, Steven M; Kadjo, Blaise; Nesi, Nicolas; Pourrut, Xavier; Nakouné, Emmanuel; Bonillo, Céline

    2015-03-01

    The hypothesis of Pleistocene forest refugia was tested using comparative phylogeography of Scotonycterini, a fruit bat tribe endemic to Africa containing four species: Scotonycteris zenkeri, Casinycteris argynnis, C. campomaanensis, and C. ophiodon. Patterns of genetic structure were assessed using 105 Scotonycterini (including material from three holotypes) collected at 37 localities, and DNA sequences from the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene (1140 nt) and 12 nuclear introns (9641 nt). Phylogenetic trees and molecular dating were inferred by Bayesian methods. Multilocus analyses were performed using supermatrix, SuperTRI, and *BEAST approaches. Mitochondrial analyses reveal strong phylogeographical structure in Scotonycteris, with four divergent haplogroups (4.9-8.7%), from Upper Guinea, Cameroon, western Equatorial Africa, and eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). In C. argynnis, we identify two mtDNA haplogroups corresponding to western and eastern Equatorial Africa (1.4-2.1%). In C. ophiodon, the mtDNA haplotypes from Cameroon and Ivory Coast differ by only 1.3%. Nuclear analyses confirm the validity of the recently described C. campomaanensis and indicate that western and eastern populations of C. argynnis are not fully isolated. All mtDNA clusters detected in Scotonycteris are found to be monophyletic based on the nuclear dataset, except in eastern DRC. In the nuclear tree, the clade from western Equatorial Africa is closely related to individuals from eastern DRC, whereas in the mitochondrial tree it appears to be the sister-group of the Cameroon clade. Migrate-n analyses support gene flow from western Equatorial Africa to eastern DRC. Molecular dating indicates that Pleistocene forest refugia have played an important role in shaping the evolution of Scotonycterini, with two phases of allopatric speciation at approximately 2.7 and 1.6 Mya, resulting from isolation in three main forest areas corresponding to Upper Guinea, Cameroon, and Equatorial

  3. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  5. 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

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-01

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

  9. 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