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Sample records for african cichlid species

  1. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  7. The 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Diepeveen, Eveline T; Salzburger, Walter

    2011-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Fan, Shaohua; Meyer, Axel

    2014-01-01

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

  11. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

  13. 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

  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. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

  17. 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

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-01-30

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

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

  1. 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

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

    PubMed

    Keck, Benjamin P; Hulsey, C Darrin

    2014-04-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-22

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Haesler, Marcel P.; Seehausen, Ole

    2005-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Carleton, K L; Kocher, T D

    2001-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-06-01

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

  10. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-06-12

    The polychromatic and trophically polymorphic Midas cichlid fish species complex (Amphilophus cf. citrinellus) is an excellent model system for studying the mechanisms of speciation and patterns of phenotypic diversification in allopatry and in sympatry. Here, we first review research to date on the species complex and the geological history of its habitat. We analyse body shape variation from all currently described species in the complex, sampled from six crater lakes (maximally 1.2-23.9 kyr old) and both great lakes in Nicaragua. We find that Midas cichlid populations in each lake have their own characteristic body shape. In lakes with multiple sympatric species of Midas cichlid, each species has a distinct body shape. Across the species complex, most body shape change relates to body depth, head, snout and mouth shape and caudal peduncle length. There is independent parallel evolution of an elongate limnetic species in at least two crater lakes. Mitochondrial genetic diversity is higher in crater lakes with multiple species. Midas cichlid species richness increases with the size and age of the crater lakes, though no such relationship exists for the other syntopic fishes. We suggest that crater lake Midas cichlids follow the predicted pattern of an adaptive radiation, with early divergence of each crater lake colonization, followed by intralacustrine diversification and speciation by ecological adaptation and sexual selection.

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

    PubMed

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

    2001-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Maruska, Karen P; Fernald, Russell D

    2013-12-01

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

  1. 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

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  11. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Species-Specific Relationships between Water Transparency and Male Coloration within and between Two Closely Related Lake Victoria Cichlid Species

    PubMed Central

    Castillo Cajas, Ruth F.; Selz, Oliver M.; Ripmeester, Erwin A. P.; Seehausen, Ole; Maan, Martine E.

    2012-01-01

    Environmental variation in signalling conditions affects animal communication traits, with possible consequences for sexual selection and reproductive isolation. Using spectrophotometry, we studied how male coloration within and between populations of two closely related Lake Victoria cichlid species (Pundamilia pundamilia and P. nyererei) covaries with water transparency. Focusing on coloration patches implicated in sexual selection, we predicted that in clear waters, with broad-spectrum light, (1) colours should become more saturated and (2) shift in hue away from the dominant ambient wavelengths, compared to more turbid waters. We found support for these predictions for the red and yellow coloration of P. nyererei but not the blue coloration of P. pundamilia. This may be explained by the species difference in depth distribution, which generates a steeper gradient in visual conditions for P. nyererei compared to P. pundamilia. Alternatively, the importance of male coloration in intraspecific sexual selection may differ between the species. We also found that anal fin spots, that is, the orange spots on male haplochromine anal fins that presumably mimic eggs, covaried with water transparency in a similar way for both species. This is in contrast to the other body regions studied and suggests that, while indeed functioning as signals, these spots may not play a role in species differentiation. PMID:22888462

  17. 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

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-20

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

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

    PubMed Central

    McDonnell, Laura H.; Chapman, Lauren J.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-11-01

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

  2. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  4. 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

  5. Do constructional constraints influence cichlid craniofacial diversification?

    PubMed Central

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

    2007-01-01

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

  6. Lake Tanganyika—A 'Melting Pot' of Ancient and Young Cichlid Lineages (Teleostei: Cichlidae)?

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-10-11

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

  9. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  11. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-15

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-09-01

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

  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. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-01

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

  5. 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

  6. Persistence of neutral polymorphisms in Lake Victoria cichlid fish

    PubMed Central

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

    1998-01-01

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

  7. Teleocichla preta, a new species of cichlid from the Rio Xingu Basin in Brazil (Teleostei: Cichlidae).

    PubMed

    Varella, H R; Zuanon, J; Kullander, S O; López-Fernández, H

    2016-09-01

    Teleocichla preta nov. sp. inhabits the rapids along the Rio Xingu and lower portion of the Rio Iriri. It is the largest species in the genus, reaching 121·3 mm standard length (LS ) while others do not reach more than 87·8 mm LS . Teleocichla preta is distinguished from all other species of Teleocichla by the unique blackish (in live specimens) or dark brown (preserved specimens) overall colouration of the body, which masks the faint vertical bars or zig-zag pattern of blotches on the flanks. Teleocichla preta also has a deeper body and a deep laterally compressed caudal peduncle, unlike any other congener, as well as a stout lower pharyngeal tooth plate bearing molariform teeth on its median area.

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  10. Transvalued species in an African forest.

    PubMed

    Remis, Melissa J; Hardin, Rebecca

    2009-12-01

    We combined ethnographic investigations with repeated ecological transect surveys in the Dzanga-Sangha Dense Forest Reserve (RDS), Central African Republic, to elucidate consequences of intensifying mixed use of forests. We devised a framework for transvaluation of wildlife species, which means the valuing of species on the basis of their ecological, economic, and symbolic roles in human lives. We measured responses to hunting, tourism, and conservation of two transvalued species in RDS: elephants (Loxodonta cyclotis) and gorillas (Gorilla gorilla). Our methods included collecting data on encounter rates and habitat use on line transects. We recorded cross-cultural variation in ideas about and interactions with these species during participant observation of hunting and tourism encounters and ethnographic interviews with hunters, conservation staff, researchers, and tourists. Ecologically, gorillas used human-modified landscapes successfully, and elephants were more vulnerable than gorillas to hunting. Economically, tourism and encounters with elephants and gorillas generated revenues and other benefits for local participants. Symbolically, transvaluation of species seemed to undergird competing institutions of forest management that could prove unsustainable. Nevertheless, transvaluation may also offer alternatives to existing social hierarchies, thereby integrating local and transnational support for conservation measures. The study of transvaluation requires attention to transnational flows of ideas and resources because they influence transspecies interactions. Cross-disciplinary in nature, transvalution of species addresses the political and economic challenges to conservation because it recognizes the varied human communities that shape the survival of wildlife in a given site. Transvaluation of species could foster more socially inclusive management and monitoring approaches attuned to competing economic demands, specific species behaviors, and human

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-08-01

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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

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

    PubMed

    Salgado-Maldonado, Guillermo

    2013-05-01

    A redescription of Neoechinorhynchus (Neoechinorhynchus) golvani Salgado-Maldonado (An Inst Biol Univ Nal Autón Méx, Ser Zool 49:35-47, 1978) is presented, based on adult specimens collected from the type host Paraneetroplus fenestratus from the type location, the Lago de Catemaco lake, Veracruz state, Mexico, and its presence is recorded in other cichlids. Detailed studies of N. (N.) golvani using light microscopy revealed some taxonomically important, previously unreported features, such as the size and shape of fully developed adult males and females, and the structure of the eggs. Morphological variability in N. (N.) golvani is described. Based on these data, the geographic distribution of this species is documented. Neoechinorhynchus (Neoechinorhynchus) panucensis n. sp. is described from Herichthys labridens (Pellegrin), Amatitlania nigrofasciata (Günther), and Herichthys cyanoguttatus Baird and Girard (all of them Cichlidae), collected in the Río Atlapexco, a tributary to the upper Río Panuco basin, Hidalgo State, Mexico. This new species stand up alone because of its minute proboscis (♂ 50 × 60, ♀ 42-55 (48.5) × 48-63 (57.7)) and anterior hooks (♂ 27-30 (28.8) × 3-5 (4), ♀ 28-32 (30) × 5 (5)). A key to the species of Neoechinorhynchus recorded from freshwater fishes in Central and South America is included. PMID:23532542

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

    PubMed

    Salgado-Maldonado, Guillermo

    2013-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Henning, Frederico; Meyer, Axel

    2012-01-01

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

  20. 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

  1. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  3. 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

  4. A new African streak virus species from Nigeria.

    PubMed

    Oluwafemi, Sunday; Varsani, Arvind; Monjane, Adérito L; Shepherd, Dionne N; Owor, Betty E; Rybicki, Edward P; Martin, Darren P

    2008-01-01

    The African streak viruses (AfSVs) are a diverse group of mastrevirus species (family Geminiviridae) that infect a wide variety of annual and perennial grass species across the African continent and its nearby Indian Ocean islands. Six AfSV species (of which maize streak virus is the best known) have been described. Here we report the full genome sequences of eight isolates of a seventh AfSV species: Urochloa streak virus (USV), sampled from various locations in Nigeria. Despite there being good evidence of recombination in many other AfSV species, we found no convincing evidence that any of the USV sequences were either inter- or intra-species recombinants. The USV isolates, all of which appear to be variants of the same strain (their genome sequences are all more than 98% identical), share less than 69% nucleotide sequence identity with other currently described AfSV species. PMID:18521534

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2005-01-01

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

  6. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

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

  8. Apistogramma ortegai (Teleostei: Cichlidae), a new species of cichlid fish from the Ampyiacu River in the Peruvian Amazon basin.

    PubMed

    Britzke, Ricardo; Oliveira, Claudio; Kullander, Sven O

    2014-10-02

    Apistogramma ortegai, new species, is described from small streams tributaries of the Ampiyacu River near Pebas, in eastern Peru. It belongs to the Apistogramma regani species group and is distinguished from all other species of Apistogramma by the combination of contiguous caudal spot to bar 7, presence of abdominal stripes, short dorsal-fin lappets in both sexes, absence of vertical stripes on the caudal fin, and reduced number of predorsal and prepelvic scales.

  9. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-05-01

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

  11. Crater lake colonization by neotropical cichlid fishes.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  12. Crenicichla gillmorlisi, a new species of cichlid fish (Teleostei: Cichlidae) from the Paraná river drainage in Paraguay.

    PubMed

    Kullander, Sven O; De Lucena, Carlos A Santos

    2013-01-01

    Crenicichla gillmorlisi, new species, is described from the río Acaray, a right bank tributary to the río Paraná. It is most similar to C. mandelburgeri in proportional measurements and meristics, but differs in colour pattern, adults having the body covered with small spots.

  13. Immune activation is inversely related to, but does not cause variation in androgen levels in a cichlid fish species.

    PubMed

    Ros, Albert F H; Oliveira, Rui F; Dijkstra, Peter D; Groothuis, Ton G G

    2012-07-01

    Studies on birds and mammals indicate that sexual traits may signal superior health because active immunity, like inflammatory responses to infections, is suppressive to the production of androgens that facilitate the expression of these traits. Here we test this possible pathway for honest signaling in a teleost species, Sarotherodon galilaeus, by activating the immune system with sheep red blood cells (SRBC), which is a non-pathogenic T- and B-cell stimulating antigen. Two weeks after the start of treatment adult males injected with SRBC showed a significant increase in antibody production in comparison with control males. The variation in specific antibody production was negatively related with variation in both testosterone and 11-ketotestosterone levels. This suggests that investment in immune protection is incompatible with increased activity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis. However, opposite to our expectation no difference in androgen levels was found between placebo and SRBC treatment suggesting that immune activation did not cause androgen suppression in our studied species.

  14. 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

  15. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1996-06-29

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  20. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  2. Colour variation in cichlid fish: Developmental mechanisms, selective pressures and evolutionary consequences☆

    PubMed Central

    Maan, Martine E.; Sefc, Kristina M.

    2013-01-01

    Cichlid fishes constitute one of the most species-rich families of vertebrates. In addition to complex social behaviour and morphological versatility, they are characterised by extensive diversity in colouration, both within and between species. Here, we review the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying colour variation in this group and the selective pressures responsible for the observed variation. We specifically address the evidence for the hypothesis that divergence in colouration is associated with the evolution of reproductive isolation between lineages. While we conclude that cichlid colours are excellent models for understanding the role of animal communication in species divergence, we also identify taxonomic and methodological biases in the current research effort. We suggest that the integration of genomic approaches with ecological and behavioural studies, across the entire cichlid family and beyond it, will contribute to the utility of the cichlid model system for understanding the evolution of biological diversity. PMID:23665150

  3. 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.

  4. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1998-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Almeida, Olinda; Oliveira, Rui F

    2015-01-01

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

  9. Molecular characterization of Theileria species associated with mortality in four species of African antelopes.

    PubMed

    Nijhof, A M; Pillay, V; Steyl, J; Prozesky, L; Stoltsz, W H; Lawrence, J A; Penzhorn, B L; Jongejan, F

    2005-12-01

    Pathogen DNA was isolated from roan antelope (Hippotragus equinus), sable antelope (Hippotragus niger), greater kudu (Tragelaphus strepsiceros), and common gray duiker (Sylvicapra grimmia) in South Africa whose deaths were attributed to either theileriosis or cytauxzoonosis. We developed Theileria species-specific probes used in combination with reverse line blot hybridization assays and identified three different species of Theileria in four African antelope species. The close phylogenetic relationship between members of the genera Theileria and Cytauxzoon, similarities in the morphologies of developmental stages, and confusion in the literature regarding theileriosis or cytauxzoonosis are discussed.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Dutrillaux, Anne-Marie; Dutrillaux, Bernard

    2016-01-01

    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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-01

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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

  2. Using Cichlids for Illustrating Mendel's Laws

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gennaro, Eugene D.; Winters, Charlotte M.

    1978-01-01

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

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Alves-Silva, Ana Paula; Dergam, Jorge Abdala

    2015-02-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Antimicrobial Rubrolides from a South African Species of Synoicum Tunicate

    PubMed Central

    Sikorska, Justyna; Parker-Nance, Shirley; Davies-Coleman, Michael T.; Vining, Oliver B.; Sikora, Aleksandra E.; McPhail, Kerry L.

    2012-01-01

    The CH2Cl2-MeOH extract of a South African tunicate described as the new Synoicum globosum Parker-Nance sp. nov. (Ascidiacea, Aplousobranchia) was subjected to 1H NMR-guided fractionation. This resulted in the identification of new 3″-bromorubrolide F (1), 3′-bromorubrolide E (2), 3′-bromorubrolide F (3) and 3′, 3″-dibromorubrolide E (4), and reisolation of known rubrolides E (5) and F (6), based on NMR spectroscopic and mass spectrometric data. Biological testing of both new and known members of this reported antimicrobial family of halogenated, aryl-substituted furanones indicated moderate antibacterial properties for 3′-bromorubrolide E (2), 3′, 3″-dibromorubrolide E (4), and rubrolide F (6) against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and S. epidermidis. PMID:23030848

  4. Antimicrobial rubrolides from a South African species of Synoicum tunicate.

    PubMed

    Sikorska, Justyna; Parker-Nance, Shirley; Davies-Coleman, Michael T; Vining, Oliver B; Sikora, Aleksandra E; McPhail, Kerry L

    2012-10-26

    The CH₂Cl₂-MeOH extract of a South African tunicate described as the new Synoicum globosum Parker-Nance sp. nov. (Ascidiacea, Aplousobranchia) was subjected to ¹H NMR-guided fractionation. This resulted in the identification of new 3″-bromorubrolide F (1), 3'-bromorubrolide E (2), 3'-bromorubrolide F (3), and 3',3″-dibromorubrolide E (4) and reisolation of known rubrolides E (5) and F (6), based on NMR spectroscopic and mass spectrometric data. Biological testing of both new and known members of this reported antimicrobial family of halogenated, aryl-substituted furanones indicated moderate antibacterial properties for 3'-bromorubrolide E (2), 3',3″-dibromorubrolide E (4), and rubrolide F (6) against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and S. epidermidis.

  5. 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

  6. 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...

  7. 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

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

    PubMed

    Frolov, Andrey; Akhmetova, Lilia

    2015-11-05

    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.

  9. Functional diversity in the color vision of cichlid fishes

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Hybridisation between the two major African schistosome species of humans.

    PubMed

    Huyse, T; Van den Broeck, F; Hellemans, B; Volckaert, F A M; Polman, K

    2013-07-01

    It is generally accepted that Schistosoma mansoni and Schistosoma haematobium, causing intestinal and urinary schistosomiasis, respectively, are not able to hybridise, due to the high phylogenetic distance between them. Cloning of nuclear internal transcribed spacer rDNA and partial mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase 1 fragments revealed two internal transcribed spacer rDNA genotypes within single eggs and miracidia, one identical to S. mansoni and the other identical to S. haematobium, suggesting hybrid ancestry. The cytochrome c oxidase 1 clones always belonged to only one of the parental species. This demonstrates that offspring of heterologous pairing between these two species is not (always) parthenogenetic.

  13. 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.

  14. 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).

  15. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-10-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-03-01

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

  2. The HK/LK polymorphism of erythrocyte cation content in two wild species of east African bovids: demonstrated in wildebeest but not in African buffalo.

    PubMed

    Georgiadis, N; Dunham, P B

    1990-01-01

    Concentrations of K and Na were determined in erythrocytes from wildebeest and African buffalo resident in Tanzania. The object was to determine if these species possess the HK/LK polymorphism which is typical of other bovid species, but not of other mammals. The polymorphism is characterized by individuals that are either of the HK phenotype (high K and low Na concentrations in red cells) or LK phenotype (low K and high Na concentrations in red cells). Wildebeest were shown to be polymorphic, with the distribution of phenotypes resembling that in domestic cattle. By contrast the polymorphism was not found in the African buffalo; all 59 individuals examined exhibited the HK phenotype. This was unexpected, since the polymorphism has been observed in five divergent bovid species, including two species (water buffalo and domestic cow) that are closely related to the African buffalo, and classified in the same subfamily (Bovinae). The most parsimonious interpretation of this pattern is that the trait was lost from the African buffalo after species in the Bovinae diverged. The biological significance of the HK/LK polymorphism, and reasons for its presence or absence among species in the Bovidae, remain obscure.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-12-01

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

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-22

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

  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. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. The primary structures of pancreatic ribonucleases from African porcupine and casiragua, two hystricomorph rodent species.

    PubMed

    Beintema, J J; Knol, G; Martena, B

    1982-07-12

    The amino acid sequences of the pancreatic ribonucleases from African porcupine (Hystrix cristata) and casiragua (Proechimys guairae, a caviomorph rodent species related to the coypu) were determined. The ribonucleases were isolated form minces of pancreatic tissue which had been used for the extraction of the insulins. The results of the sequence determinations of residues 67-78 in both enzymes were ambiguous. Therefore, homology with other ribonucleases has been used in deriving these sequences. At position 94 aspartic acid was found, while all other ribonuclease sequenced to date have asparagine at this position. This may indicate a specific deamidation as a result of the acidic conditions during the extraction of insulin. The amino acid sequence of African porcupine ribonuclease shows a close relationship with those of the South-American caviomorph rodents, which implies that the hystricomorph suborder of the rodents, to which both the African porcupine and the caviomorphs belong, is a natural (evolutionary) taxon. Both porcupine and casiragua ribonuclease are glycoproteins with complex-type carbohydrate chains attached to asparagine-34.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

    Kohn, Tertius Abraham

    2014-01-01

    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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Two new Trypanosoma species from African birds, with notes on the taxonomy of avian trypanosomes.

    PubMed

    Valkiūnas, Gediminas; Iezhova, Tatjana A; Carlson, Jenny S; Sehgal, Ravinder N M

    2011-10-01

    Trypanosoma anguiformis n. sp. and Trypanosoma polygranularis n. sp. are described from the African olive sunbird, Cyanomitra olivacea, and Latham's forest francolin, Francolinus lathami, respectively, based on the morphology of their hematozoic trypomastigotes and partial sequences of the small subunit ribosomal RNA gene. Both new species belong to the group of small non-striated avian trypanosomes (<30 µm in length on average) with the kinetoplast situated close to the posterior end of the body. Trypanosoma anguiformis can be readily distinguished from other small avian trypanosomes due to its markedly attenuated (snake-shaped) form of the hematozoic trypomastigotes and the dumbbell-shaped nucleus of the parasite. Trypanosoma polygranularis is readily distinguishable due to the markedly off-center (anteriorly) located nucleus, numerous azurophilic granules that are arranged in a line following the undulating membrane, and the large kinetoplast (with an area up to 1.7 µm(2) [1.1 µm(2) on average]). Illustrations of hematozoic trypomastigotes of the new species are given, and DNA lineages associated with these parasites are reported. The current situation in species taxonomy of avian trypanosomes is discussed. We call for the redescription of valid species of avian trypanosomes from their type vertebrate hosts and type localities by using morphological and polymerase chain reaction-based techniques as an initial essential step towards revising the species composition of avian trypanosomes and reconstructing the taxonomy of these organisms.

  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. 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

  13. Spatial variation of haemosporidian parasite infection in African rainforest bird species.

    PubMed

    Loiseau, Claire; Iezhova, Tatjana; Valkiūnas, Gediminas; Chasar, Anthony; Hutchinson, Anna; Buermann, Wolfgang; Smith, Thomas B; Sehgal, Ravinder N M

    2010-02-01

    Spatial heterogeneity influences the distribution, prevalence, and diversity of haemosporidian parasites. Previous studies have found complex patterns of prevalence with respect to habitat characteristics and parasite genotype, and their interactions, but there is little information regarding how parasitemia intensity and the prevalence of co-infections may vary in space. Here, using both molecular methods and microscopy, we report an analysis of the variation of parasitemia intensity and co-infections of avian haemosporidian parasites ( Plasmodium and Haemoproteus species) in 2 common African birds species, the yellow-whiskered greenbul ( Andropadus latirostris ) and the olive sunbird ( Cyanomitra olivacea ), at 3 sites with distinct habitat characteristics in Ghana. First, we found an interaction between the site and host species for the prevalence of Plasmodium spp. and Haemoproteus spp. For the olive sunbird, the prevalence of Plasmodium spp., as well as the number of individuals with co-infections, varied significantly among the sites, but these measures remained constant for the yellow-whiskered greenbul. In addition, yellow-whiskered greenbuls infected with Haemoproteus spp. were found only at 1 site. Furthermore, for both bird species, the parasitemia intensity of Plasmodium spp. varied significantly among the 3 sites, but with opposing trends. These results suggest that spatial heterogeneity differently affects haemosporidian infection parameters in these vertebrate-hosts. Environmental conditions here can either favor or reduce parasite infection. We discuss the implications of these discrepancies for conservation and ecological studies of infectious diseases in natural populations.

  14. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  17. African elephants show high levels of interest in the skulls and ivory of their own species

    PubMed Central

    McComb, Karen; Baker, Lucy; Moss, Cynthia

    2005-01-01

    An important area of biology involves investigating the origins in animals of traits that are thought of as uniquely human. One way that humans appear unique is in the importance they attach to the dead bodies of other humans, particularly those of their close kin, and the rituals that they have developed for burying them. In contrast, most animals appear to show only limited interest in the carcasses or associated remains of dead individuals of their own species. African elephants (Loxodonta africana) are unusual in that they not only give dramatic reactions to the dead bodies of other elephants, but are also reported to systematically investigate elephant bones and tusks that they encounter, and it has sometimes been suggested that they visit the bones of relatives. Here, we use systematic presentations of object arrays to demonstrate that African elephants show higher levels of interest in elephant skulls and ivory than in natural objects or the skulls of other large terrestrial mammals. However, they do not appear to specifically select the skulls of their own relatives for investigation so that visits to dead relatives probably result from a more general attraction to elephant remains. PMID:17148317

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Orexinergic neuron numbers in three species of African mole rats with rhythmic and arrhythmic chronotypes.

    PubMed

    Bhagwandin, A; Gravett, N; Hemingway, J; Oosthuizen, M K; Bennett, N C; Siegel, J M; Manger, P R

    2011-12-29

    In the present study, orexinergic cell bodies within the brains of rhythmic and arrhythmic circadian chronotypes from three species of African mole rat (Highveld mole rat-Cryptomys hottentotus pretoriae, Ansell's mole rat--Fukomys anselli and the Damaraland mole rat--Fukomys damarensis) were identified using immunohistochemistry for orexin-A. Immunopositive orexinergic (Orx+) cell bodies were stereologically assessed and absolute numbers of orexinergic cell bodies were determined for the distinct circadian chronotypes of each species of mole rat examined. The aim of the study was to investigate whether the absolute numbers of identified orexinergic neurons differs between distinct circadian chronotypes with the hypothesis of elevated hypothalamic orexinergic neurons in the arrhythmic chronotypes compared with the rhythmic chronotypes. We found statistically significant differences between the circadian chronotypes ofF. anselli, where the arrhythmic group had higher mean numbers of hypothalamic orexin neurons compared with the rhythmic group. These differences were observed when the raw data was compared and when the raw data was corrected for body mass (M(b)) and brain mass (M(br)). For the two other species investigated, no significant differences were noted between the chronotypes, although a statistically significant difference was noted between all rhythmic and arrhythmic individuals of the current study when the counts of orexin neurons were corrected for M(b)--the arrhythmic individuals had larger numbers of orexin cells.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

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

    PubMed

    Moravec, Frantisek; Jirků, Miloslav

    2014-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    .001). Conclusions This study provides empirical evidence of eco-morphological differentiation occurring very quickly after the colonization of a new and vacant habitat. Exceptionally low levels of neutral genetic diversity and inference from coalescence indicates that the Midas cichlid population in Apoyeque is much younger (ca. 100 years or generations old) than the crater itself (ca. 1 800 years old). This suggests either that the crater remained empty for many hundreds of years after its formation or that remnant volcanic activity prevented the establishment of a stable fish population during the early life of the crater lake. Based on our findings of eco-morphological variation in the Apoyeque Midas cichlids, and known patterns of adaptation in Midas cichlids in general, we suggest that this population may be in a very early stage of speciation (incipient species), promoted by disruptive selection and ecological diversification. PMID:20459869

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

    PubMed Central

    Knight, Mairi E.; Turner, George F.

    2004-01-01

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

  11. 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

  12. [Cellobiohydrolase Activity in the Digestive Tract of two African Rodent Species the African Grass Rat Arvicanthis niloticus and Vlei Rat Otomys helleri].

    PubMed

    Varshavskiy, A Al; Varshavskiy, A A

    2015-01-01

    Cellobiohydrolase activity (CBHA) of endosymbionts in the digestive tract of two African rodent species differing in its morphology and in feeding specialization--Arvicanthis niloticus and Otomys helleri--has been studied as a characteristic of their physiological and ecological adaptation to phytophagy A statistically significant correlation of CBHA with obesity has been revealed in A. niloticus, with the CBHA level being significantly higher in corpus ceci than in ampulla ceci. The possible morphophysiological and ecological significance of the observed features of symbiotic digestion are discussed. PMID:26349239

  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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  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. 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.

  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. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

  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

    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.

  4. 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.

  5. Social familiarity modulates personality trait in a cichlid fish

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  6. Hormonal anticipation of territorial challenges in cichlid fish

    PubMed Central

    Antunes, Raquel A.; Oliveira, Rui F.

    2009-01-01

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

  7. 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

  8. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Salzburger, Walter; Braasch, Ingo; Meyer, Axel

    2007-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  11. 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

  12. Odor discrimination in classical conditioning of proboscis extension in two stingless bee species in comparison to Africanized honeybees.

    PubMed

    Mc Cabe, S I; Hartfelder, K; Santana, W C; Farina, W M

    2007-11-01

    Learning in insects has been extensively studied using different experimental approaches. One of them, the proboscis extension response (PER) paradigm, is particularly well suited for quantitative studies of cognitive abilities of honeybees under controlled conditions. The goal of this study was to analyze the capability of three eusocial bee species to be olfactory conditioned in the PER paradigm. We worked with two Brazilian stingless bees species, Melipona quadrifasciata and Scaptotrigona aff. depilis, and with the invasive Africanized honeybee, Apis mellifera. These three species present very different recruitment strategies, which could be related with different odor-learning abilities. We evaluated their gustatory responsiveness and learning capability to discriminate floral odors. Gustatory responsiveness was similar for the three species, although S. aff. depilis workers showed fluctuations along the experimental period. Results for the learning assays revealed that M. quadrifasciata workers can be conditioned to discriminate floral odors in a classical differential conditioning protocol and that this discrimination is maintained 15 min after training. During conditioning, Africanized honeybees presented the highest discrimination, for M. quadrifasciata it was intermediate, and S. aff. depilis bees presented no discrimination. The differences found are discussed considering the putative different learning abilities and procedure effect for each species.

  13. Odor discrimination in classical conditioning of proboscis extension in two stingless bee species in comparison to Africanized honeybees.

    PubMed

    Mc Cabe, S I; Hartfelder, K; Santana, W C; Farina, W M

    2007-11-01

    Learning in insects has been extensively studied using different experimental approaches. One of them, the proboscis extension response (PER) paradigm, is particularly well suited for quantitative studies of cognitive abilities of honeybees under controlled conditions. The goal of this study was to analyze the capability of three eusocial bee species to be olfactory conditioned in the PER paradigm. We worked with two Brazilian stingless bees species, Melipona quadrifasciata and Scaptotrigona aff. depilis, and with the invasive Africanized honeybee, Apis mellifera. These three species present very different recruitment strategies, which could be related with different odor-learning abilities. We evaluated their gustatory responsiveness and learning capability to discriminate floral odors. Gustatory responsiveness was similar for the three species, although S. aff. depilis workers showed fluctuations along the experimental period. Results for the learning assays revealed that M. quadrifasciata workers can be conditioned to discriminate floral odors in a classical differential conditioning protocol and that this discrimination is maintained 15 min after training. During conditioning, Africanized honeybees presented the highest discrimination, for M. quadrifasciata it was intermediate, and S. aff. depilis bees presented no discrimination. The differences found are discussed considering the putative different learning abilities and procedure effect for each species. PMID:17710409

  14. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Tae Ha; Sohn, Young Chang

    2016-01-01

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

  16. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Rícan, Oldrich; Zardoya, Rafael; Doadrio, Ignacio

    2008-12-01

    Heroine cichlids are the second largest and very diverse tribe of Neotropical cichlids, and the only cichlid group that inhabits Mesoamerica. The taxonomy of heroines is complex because monophyly of most genera has never been demonstrated, and many species groups are without applicable generic names after their removal from the catch-all genus Cichlasoma (sensu Regan, 1905). Hence, a robust phylogeny for the group is largely wanting. A rather complete heroine phylogeny based on cytb sequence data is available [Concheiro Pérez, G.A., Rícan O., Ortí G., Bermingham, E., Doadrio, I., Zardoya, R. 2007. Phylogeny and biogeography of 91 species of heroine cichlids (Teleostei: Cichlidae) based on sequences of the cytochrome b gene. Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 43, 91-110], and in the present study, we have added and analyzed independent data sets (nuclear and morphological) to further confirm and strengthen the cytb-phylogenetic hypothesis. We have analyzed a combined cytb-nuclear (RAG1 and two S7 introns) data set of 48 species representing main heroine lineages to achieve further resolution of heroine higher taxonomic levels and a combined cytb-morphological data set of 92 species to stabilize generic taxonomy. The recovered phylogenies supported the circumamazonian--CAM--Heroini (sensu Concheiro Peréz et al., 2007) as a monophyletic group, that could be divided into six main clades: (1) australoheroines (the southernmost heroine genus Australoheros), (2) nandopsines (the Antillean genus Nandopsis), (3) caquetaines (including the north western Amazonian genera Caquetaia and Heroina), (4) astatheroines (including Astatheros, Herotilapia and Rocio), (5) amphilophines (including Amphilophus and related genera), and (6) herichthyines (including Herichthyis and related genera). Nuclear and mitochondrial data partitions arrived at highly congruent topologies. Suprageneric relationships were influenced mainly by the nuclear signal, as well as the most basal phylogenetic position

  18. 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.

  19. Polymorphism in developmental timing: intraspecific heterochrony in a Lake Victoria cichlid.

    PubMed

    de Jong, Ilse M L; Colbert, Matthew W; Witte, Frans; Richardson, Michael K

    2009-01-01

    Biologists measure developmental time by dividing development into arbitrary time blocks called "stages." This is a reasonable approach, provided that developmental timing is precisely controlled within a species. However, the degree of this precision is unknown. This is unfortunate because precision in developmental timing at the population level is a central issue to the whole research program of heterochrony. To examine this issue, we apply Ontogenetic Sequence Analysis to 261 embryos of the Lake Victoria cichlid Haplochromis piceatus. The result of our analysis can be mapped as a complex web of 26,880 equally parsimonious developmental sequences. This topology reflects timing polymorphism (intraspecific heterochrony) among embryos of this species. Because of this timing polymorphism, it is not possible to define discrete "stages" in this cichlid (although there is sufficient sequence signal to assess the maturity of embryos). More generally, we show that sequence polymorphism creates uncertainty about how a given embryo will develop implying that the mechanisms controlling developmental timing in embryos lack precision. For this reason, it is imperative to consider patterns of embryonic variability when measuring developmental time.

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

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

    PubMed

    Lavoué, Sébastien; Sullivan, John P

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Lavoué, Sébastien; Sullivan, John P.

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Arbour, J H; López-Fernández, H

    2014-11-01

    Morphological, lineage and ecological diversity can vary substantially even among closely related lineages. Factors that influence morphological diversification, especially in functionally relevant traits, can help to explain the modern distribution of disparity across phylogenies and communities. Multivariate axes of feeding functional morphology from 75 species of Neotropical cichlid and a stepwise-AIC algorithm were used to estimate the adaptive landscape of functional morphospace in Cichlinae. Adaptive landscape complexity and convergence, as well as the functional diversity of Cichlinae, were compared with expectations under null evolutionary models. Neotropical cichlid feeding function varied primarily between traits associated with ram feeding vs. suction feeding/biting and secondarily with oral jaw muscle size and pharyngeal crushing capacity. The number of changes in selective regimes and the amount of convergence between lineages was higher than expected under a null model of evolution, but convergence was not higher than expected under a similarly complex adaptive landscape. Functional disparity was compatible with an adaptive landscape model, whereas the distribution of evolutionary change through morphospace corresponded with a process of evolution towards a single adaptive peak. The continentally distributed Neotropical cichlids have evolved relatively rapidly towards a number of adaptive peaks in functional trait space. Selection in Cichlinae functional morphospace is more complex than expected under null evolutionary models. The complexity of selective constraints in feeding morphology has likely been a significant contributor to the diversity of feeding ecology in this clade. PMID:25302771

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-01

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

  9. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-06

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

  11. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    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

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

    PubMed

    Seehausen, Ole; Schluter, Dolph

    2004-07-01

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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

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

  9. 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

  10. The genome of African yam (Dioscorea cayenensis-rotundata complex) hosts endogenous sequences from four distinct Badnavirus species.

    PubMed

    Umber, Marie; Filloux, Denis; Muller, Emmanuelle; Laboureau, Nathalie; Galzi, Serge; Roumagnac, Philippe; Iskra-Caruana, Marie-Line; Pavis, Claudie; Teycheney, Pierre-Yves; Seal, Susan E

    2014-10-01

    Several endogenous viral elements (EVEs) have been identified in plant genomes, including endogenous pararetroviruses (EPRVs). Here, we report the first characterization of EPRV sequences in the genome of African yam of the Dioscorea cayenensis-rotundata complex. We propose that these sequences should be termed 'endogenous Dioscorea bacilliform viruses' (eDBVs). Molecular characterization of eDBVs shows that they constitute sequences originating from various parts of badnavirus genomes, resulting in a mosaic structure that is typical of most EPRVs characterized to date. Using complementary molecular approaches, we show that eDBVs belong to at least four distinct Badnavirus species, indicating multiple, independent, endogenization events. Phylogenetic analyses of eDBVs support and enrich the current taxonomy of yam badnaviruses and lead to the characterization of a new Badnavirus species in yam. The impact of eDBVs on diagnosis, yam germplasm conservation and movement, and breeding is discussed.

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

    PubMed

    Michel, Anita L; Bengis, Roy G

    2012-06-20

    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.

  12. Social regulation of reproduction in male cichlid fishes.

    PubMed

    Maruska, Karen P

    2014-10-01

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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Historical colonization and dispersal limitation supplement climate and topography in shaping species richness of African lizards (Reptilia: Agaminae)

    PubMed Central

    Kissling, W. Daniel; Blach-Overgaard, Anne; Zwaan, Roelof E.; Wagner, Philipp

    2016-01-01

    To what extent deep-time dispersal limitation shapes present-day biodiversity at broad spatial scales remains elusive. Here, we compiled a continental dataset on the distributions of African lizard species in the reptile subfamily Agaminae (a relatively young, Neogene radiation of agamid lizards which ancestors colonized Africa from the Arabian peninsula) and tested to what extent historical colonization and dispersal limitation (i.e. accessibility from areas of geographic origin) can explain present-day species richness relative to current climate, topography, and climate change since the late Miocene (~10 mya), the Pliocene (~3 mya), and the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM, 0.021 mya). Spatial and non-spatial multi-predictor regression models revealed that time-limited dispersal via arid corridors is a key predictor to explain macro-scale patterns of species richness. In addition, current precipitation seasonality, current temperature of the warmest month, paleo-temperature changes since the LGM and late Miocene, and topographic relief emerged as important drivers. These results suggest that deep-time dispersal constraints — in addition to climate and mountain building — strongly shape current species richness of Africa’s arid-adapted taxa. Such historical dispersal limitation might indicate that natural movement rates of species are too slow to respond to rates of ongoing and projected future climate and land use change. PMID:27671620

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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...

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-02-01

    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.

  3. 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

  4. Revision of southern African species of the anglerfish genus Chaunax
    (Lophiiformes: Chaunacidae), with descriptions of three new species.

    PubMed

    Ho, Hsuan-Ching; Ma, Wen-Chun

    2016-01-01

    Species of the anglerfish genus Chaunax occurring off southern Africa are reviewed and nine species are recognized: C. africanus, C. apus, C. flammeus, C. penicillatus, C. russatus, C. suttkusi, and three newly described species. Chaunax atimovatae sp. nov. is distinguished by having numerous tiny melanophores on the skin and a mixture of bifurcate and simple spinules on its dorsal surface, scattered rounded green spots circled by yellow on its dorsal surface, 9 or 10 rakers on the second gill arch, and 2 neuromasts in the upper preopercular, 11-14 in the pectoral, 31-37 in the lateral-line proper. Chaunax heemstraorum sp. nov. is distinguished by a combination of all dermal spinules simple, large green spots on the dorsal surface, 10-12 rakers on the second gill arch; and 3 neuromasts in the upper preopercular, 13-18 in the pectoral, 37-42 in the lateral-line proper, and usually 5 on the caudal-fin base. Chaunax hollemani sp. nov. is distinguished by cirri on top of the head, head width 16.0-18.5% SL, pre-preopercle length 26.8-28.5% SL, 9 rakers on the second gill arch, and 2 neuromasts in the upper preopercular, 11-14 in the pectoral, and 33-38 in the lateral-line proper. A key to species found in the study region is provided. PMID:27470847

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

    Kawamiya, Nobuo

    2003-01-01

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

  7. Virus recovery rates for wild-type and live-attenuated vaccine strains of African horse sickness virus serotype 7 in orally infected South African Culicoides species.

    PubMed

    Venter, G J; Paweska, J T

    2007-12-01

    Previously reported virus recovery rates from Culicoides (Avaritia) imicola Kieffer and Culicoides (Avaritia) bolitinos Meiswinkel (Diptera, Ceratopogonidae) orally infected with vaccine strain of African horse sickness virus serotype 7 (AHSV-7) were compared with results obtained from concurrently conducted oral infections with five recent AHSV-7 isolates from naturally infected horses from various localities in South Africa. Culicoides were fed sheep bloods spiked with 10(7.6) TCID(50)/mL of a live-attenuated vaccine strain AHSV-7, and with five field isolates in which virus titre in the bloodmeals ranged from 10(7.1) to 10(8.2) TCID(50)/mL). After an extrinsic incubation of 10 days at 23.5 degrees C, virus recovery rates were significantly higher in C. imicola (13.3%) and C. bolitinos (4.2%) infected with the live-attenuated virus than in midges infected with any of the field isolates. The virus recovery rates for the latter groups ranged from 0% to 9.5% for C. imicola and from 0% to 1.5% for C. bolitinos. The C. imicola population at Onderstepoort was significantly more susceptible to infection with AHSV-7 isolated at Onderstepoort than to the virus strains isolated from other localities. Results of this study suggest that tissue culture attenuation of AHSV-7 does not reduce its ability to orally infect competent Culicoides species and may even lead to enhanced replication in the vector. Furthermore, oral susceptibility in a midge population appears to vary for geographically distinct isolates of AHSV-7.

  8. 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

    2014-05-15

    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.

  9. 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.

  10. Leucocytozoon (Apicomplexa: Leucocytozoidae) from West African birds, with descriptions of two species.

    PubMed

    Jones, Hugh I; Sehgal, Ravinder N M; Smith, Thomas B

    2005-04-01

    Five species of Leucocytozoon were recovered from 35/828 birds of 95 species examined from 6 sites in West Africa between May 1995 and June 2001. Leucocytozoon pogoniuli n. sp. is described from the tinker barbets Pogoniulus subsulphureus and Pogoniulus atroflavus. Leucocytozoon trachyphoni n. sp. is described from the barbet Trachyphonus purpureus. No leucocytozoids have been reported previously in species of Pogoniulus. Leucocytozoon nectariniae was identified from the sunbird Nectarinia olivacea, and Leucocytozoon brimonti was recovered from 4 species of Pycnonotidae (bulbuls), all of which are new host records. We also report the first Leucocytozoon to be recovered from the phylogenetically isolated bird, Picathartes sp. (Picathartidae). This parasite is similar in appearance to Leucocytozoon sakharoffi, and probably represents a previously undescribed species. In view of the intraspecific variability and, frequently, relatively minor interspecific differences within Leucocytozoidae, we suggest that the development and application of molecular techniques would greatly advance understanding of speciation and relationships within this family.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Leaf shape linked to photosynthetic rates and temperature optima in South African Pelargonium species.

    PubMed

    Nicotra, A B; Cosgrove, M J; Cowling, A; Schlichting, C D; Jones, C S

    2008-01-01

    The thermal response of gas exchange varies among plant species and with growth conditions. Plants from hot dry climates generally reach maximal photosynthetic rates at higher temperatures than species from temperate climates. Likewise, species in these environments are predicted to have small leaves with more-dissected shapes. We compared eight species of Pelargonium (Geraniaceae) selected as phylogenetically independent contrasts on leaf shape to determine whether: (1) the species showed plasticity in thermal response of gas exchange when grown under different water and temperature regimes, (2) there were differences among more- and less-dissected leafed species in trait means or plasticity, and (3) whether climatic variables were correlated with the responses. We found that a higher growth temperature led to higher optimal photosynthetic temperatures, at a cost to photosynthetic capacity. Optimal temperatures for photosynthesis were greater than the highest growth temperature regime. Stomatal conductance responded to growth water regime but not growth temperature, whereas transpiration increased and water use efficiency (WUE) decreased at the higher growth temperature. Strikingly, species with more-dissected leaves had higher rates of carbon gain and water loss for a given growth condition than those with less-dissected leaves. Species from lower latitudes and lower rainfall tended to have higher photosynthetic maxima and conductance, but leaf dissection did not correlate with climatic variables. Our results suggest that the combination of dissected leaves, higher photosynthetic rates, and relatively low WUE may have evolved as a strategy to optimize water delivery and carbon gain during short-lived periods of high soil moisture. Higher thermal optima, in conjunction with leaf dissection, may reflect selection pressure to protect photosynthetic machinery against excessive leaf temperatures when stomata close in response to water stress.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

  15. The relationship between satellite-derived indices and species diversity across African savanna ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mapfumo, Ratidzo B.; Murwira, Amon; Masocha, Mhosisi; Andriani, R.

    2016-10-01

    The ability to use remotely sensed diversity is important for the management of ecosystems at large spatial extents. However, to achieve this, there is still need to develop robust methods and approaches that enable large-scale mapping of species diversity. In this study, we tested the relationship between species diversity measured in situ with the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and the Coefficient of Variation in the NDVI (CVNDVI) derived from high and medium spatial resolution satellite data at dry, wet and coastal savanna woodlands. We further tested the effect of logging on NDVI along the transects and between transects as disturbance may be a mechanism driving the patterns observed. Overall, the results of this study suggest that high tree species diversity is associated with low and high NDVI and at intermediate levels is associated with low tree species diversity and NDVI. High tree species diversity is associated with high CVNDVI and vice versa and at intermediate levels is associated with high tree species diversity and CVNDVI.

  16. Effects of species and season on chemical composition and ruminal crude protein and organic matter degradability of some multi-purpose tree species by West African dwarf rams.

    PubMed

    Arigbede, O M; Anele, U Y; Südekum, K-H; Hummel, J; Oni, A O; Olanite, J A; Isah, A O

    2012-04-01

    Seasonal chemical composition and ruminal organic matter (OM) and crude protein (CP) degradabilities were determined in four tropical multi-purpose tree species (MPTS) namely; Pterocarpus santalinoides, Grewia pubescens, Enterolobium cyclocarpum and Leucaena leucocephala. Three West African dwarf (WAD) rams fitted with permanent rumen cannula were used for the degradability trials. Foliage samples were collected four times to represent seasonal variations as follows: January--mid dry; April--late dry; July--mid rainy and October--late rainy seasons. Leaf samples were randomly collected from the trees for estimation of dry matter (DM) and chemical composition. Ruminal in sacco OM and CP degradabilities were estimated from residues in nylon bags. All samples had high CP (161-259 g/kg DM) and moderate fibre concentrations [neutral detergent fibre (without residual ash], 300-501 g/kg DM; acid detergent fibre (without residual ash), 225-409 g/kg DM and acid detergent lignin, 87-179 g/kg DM across seasons. Interaction effects of species and season on chemical composition were highly significant (p = 0.001) except for trypsin inhibitor (p = 0.614). The MPTS recorded more than 60% OM and CP degradability at 24 h, which implied that they were all highly degradable in the rumen. Their incorporation into ruminant feeding systems as dry season forage supplements is therefore recommended.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Shifts in Climate Foster Exceptional Opportunities for Species Radiation: The Case of South African Geraniums

    PubMed Central

    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

  20. 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

  1. African parasitoid fig wasp diversification is a function of Ficus species ranges.

    PubMed

    McLeish, Michael J; van Noort, Simon; Tolley, Krystal A

    2010-10-01

    Host specificity is a fundamental property implicit in obligate insect-plant associations. Rigid life history constraints exhibited by parasitoid fig wasps are believed to select for specialization directed at fig trees and this is supported by evidence of phenotypic adaptation to figs and partial co-speciation with the fig wasps they attack. Conversely, the ability to colonize such novel communities occurs under relaxed specificity, a behavior typified by more generalist groups such as parasitoids. The specificity directed towards Ficus species by Sycoryctinae parasitoid fig wasps is important in order to understand how this form of specialization influences their diversification and interactions with other fig wasp guilds. We use genetic distance analyses and reconstruct ancestral patterns of Ficus trait association with two genera of Sycoryctinae parasitoid fig wasps to identify evolutionary conservatism in Ficus species utilization. Ancestral state reconstructions of (i) affiliate Ficus subsection and (ii) syconia diameters of natal Ficus species indicate contrasting Ficus species ranges between Arachonia and Sycoryctes parasitoid genera. This work demonstrates that parasitoid speciation is not tightly constrained to Ficus speciation and rather a function of Ficus range limitations. Ficus evolution, ecology, and functional compatibility between parasitoid and Ficus traits appear to constrain parasitoid Ficus utilization. These results suggest that contrasting ecological settings and potential number of hosts available impose different ramifications for the evolution of parasitoid host specificity and so to the species interactions within the communities to which they belong.

  2. 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.

  3. 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].

  4. Climate and species richness predict the phylogenetic structure of African mammal communities.

    PubMed

    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.

  5. 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

  6. 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 future climate change

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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'.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Hydraulic redistribution study in two native tree species of agroforestry parklands of West African dry savanna

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bayala, Jules; Heng, Lee Kheng; van Noordwijk, Meine; Ouedraogo, Sibiri Jean

    2008-11-01

    Hydraulic redistribution (HR) in karité ( Vitellaria paradoxa) and néré ( Parkia biglobosa) tree species was studied by monitoring the soil water potential ( ψs) using thermocouple psychrometers at four compass directions, various distances from trees and at different soil depths (max depth 80 cm) during the dry seasons of 2004 and 2005. A modified WaNuLCAS model was then used to infer the amount of water redistribued based on ψs values. Tree transpiration rate was also estimated from sap velocity using thermal dissipative probes (TDP) and sapwood area, and the contribution of hydraulically redistributed water in tree transpiration was determined. The results revealed on average that 46% of the psychrometer readings under karité and 33% under néré showed the occurrence of HR for the two years. Soil under néré displayed significantly lower fluctuations of ψs (0.16 MPa) compared to soil under karité (0.21 MPa). The results of this study indicated that the existence of HR leads to a higher ψs in the plant rhizosphere and hence is important for soil water dynamics and plant nutrition by making more accessible the soluble elements. The simulation showed that the amount of water redistributed would be approximately 73.0 L and 247.1 L per tree per day in 2005 for karité and néré, and would represent respectively 60% and 53% of the amount transpired a day. Even though the model has certainly overestimated the volume of water hydraulically redistributed by the two species, this water may play a key role in maintaining fine root viability and ensuring the well adaptation of these species to the dry areas. Therefore, knowledge of the extent of such transfers and of the seasonal patterns is required and is of paramount importance in parkland systems both for trees and associated crops.

  17. New species of haemosporidian parasites (Haemosporida) from African rainforest birds, with remarks on their classification.

    PubMed

    Valkiūnas, Gediminas; Iezhova, Tatjana A; Loiseau, Claire; Chasar, Anthony; Smith, Thomas B; Sehgal, Ravinder N M

    2008-10-01

    Plasmodium (Novyella) megaglobularis n. sp. was recorded in the olive sunbird Cyanomitra olivacea, and Plasmodium (Novyella) globularis n. sp. and Haemoproteus (Parahaemoproteus) vacuolatus n. sp. were found in the yellow-whiskered greenbul Andropadus latirostris in rainforests of Ghana and Cameroon. These parasites are described based on the morphology of their blood stages and a segment of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene, which can be used for molecular identification and diagnosis of these species. Illustrations of blood stages of new species are given, and phylogenetic analysis identifies deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) lineages closely related to these parasites. Traditional taxonomy of avian pigment-forming haemosporidians of the families Plasmodiidae and Haemoproteidae is discussed based on the recent molecular phylogenies of these parasites. We conclude that further work to increase the number of precise linkages between haemosporidian DNA sequences and their corresponding morphospecies is needed before revising the current classification of haemosporidians. This study emphasises the value of both the polymerase chain reaction and microscopy in the identification of avian haemosporidian parasites.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Sex, ecology and the brain: evolutionary correlates of brain structure volumes in Tanganyikan cichlids.

    PubMed

    Gonzalez-Voyer, Alejandro; Kolm, Niclas

    2010-12-17

    Analyses of the macroevolutionary correlates of brain structure volumes allow pinpointing of selective pressures influencing specific structures. Here we use a multiple regression framework, including phylogenetic information, to analyze brain structure evolution in 43 Tanganyikan cichlid species. We analyzed the effect of ecological and sexually selected traits for species averages, the effect of ecological traits for each sex separately and the influence of sexual selection on structure dimorphism. Our results indicate that both ecological and sexually selected traits have influenced brain structure evolution. The patterns observed in males and females generally followed those observed at the species level. Interestingly, our results suggest that strong sexual selection is associated with reduced structure volumes, since all correlations between sexually selected traits and structure volumes were negative and the only statistically significant association between sexual selection and structure dimorphism was also negative. Finally, we previously found that monoparental female care was associated with increased brain size. However, here cerebellum and hypothalamus volumes, after controlling for brain size, associated negatively with female-only care. Thus, in accord with the mosaic model of brain evolution, brain structure volumes may not respond proportionately to changes in brain size. Indeed selection favoring larger brains can simultaneously lead to a reduction in relative structure volumes.

  6. Sex, Ecology and the Brain: Evolutionary Correlates of Brain Structure Volumes in Tanganyikan Cichlids

    PubMed Central

    Gonzalez-Voyer, Alejandro; Kolm, Niclas

    2010-01-01

    Analyses of the macroevolutionary correlates of brain structure volumes allow pinpointing of selective pressures influencing specific structures. Here we use a multiple regression framework, including phylogenetic information, to analyze brain structure evolution in 43 Tanganyikan cichlid species. We analyzed the effect of ecological and sexually selected traits for species averages, the effect of ecological traits for each sex separately and the influence of sexual selection on structure dimorphism. Our results indicate that both ecological and sexually selected traits have influenced brain structure evolution. The patterns observed in males and females generally followed those observed at the species level. Interestingly, our results suggest that strong sexual selection is associated with reduced structure volumes, since all correlations between sexually selected traits and structure volumes were negative and the only statistically significant association between sexual selection and structure dimorphism was also negative. Finally, we previously found that monoparental female care was associated with increased brain size. However, here cerebellum and hypothalamus volumes, after controlling for brain size, associated negatively with female-only care. Thus, in accord with the mosaic model of brain evolution, brain structure volumes may not respond proportionately to changes in brain size. Indeed selection favoring larger brains can simultaneously lead to a reduction in relative structure volumes. PMID:21179407

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-07-22

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  14. 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

  15. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-05-01

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

  17. 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

  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. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. A new cryptogonimid (Digenea) from the Mayan cichlid, Cichlasoma urophthalmus (Osteichthyes: Cichlidae), in several localities of the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico.

    PubMed

    Razo-Mendivil, Ulises; Rosas-Valdez, Rogelio; Pérez-Ponce de León, Gerardo

    2008-12-01

    Oligogonotylus mayae n.sp. is described from the intestine of the Mayan cichlid Cichlasoma urophthalmus (Günther) in Ría Lagartos, Ría Celestún, and Estero Progreso, Yucatán State. This is the second species described for Oligogonotylus Watson, 1976, the other being O.manteri Watson, 1976. The new species is readily distinguished from O. manteri by the anterior extension of the vitelline follicles. In O. Manteri, Vitelline follicles are found entirely in the hindbody, extending posteriorly to mid-testicular level. Vitelline follicles in the new species extend from teh anterior margin of posterior testis to the region between the bentral sucker and the pharynx. comparison of approximately 1,850 bases of ribosomal DNA (ITS1, ITS2, 5.8S, and 28S), and 400 bases of cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (cox1) strongly supports the status of O. mayae as a new species, as compared to O. manteri collected from cichlids in other localities of Mexico, Belize, and Guatemala.

  5. The snake family Psammophiidae (Reptilia: Serpentes): phylogenetics and species delimitation in the African sand snakes (Psammophis Boie, 1825) and allied genera.

    PubMed

    Kelly, Christopher M R; Barker, Nigel P; Villet, Martin H; Broadley, Donald G; Branch, William R

    2008-06-01

    This study constitutes the first evolutionary investigation of the snake family Psammophiidae--the most widespread, most clearly defined, yet perhaps the taxonomically most problematic of Africa's family-level snake lineages. Little is known of psammophiid evolutionary relationships, and the type genus Psammophis is one of the largest and taxonomically most complex of the African snake genera. Our aims were to reconstruct psammophiid phylogenetic relationships and to improve characterisation of species boundaries in problematic Psammophis species complexes. We used approximately 2500 bases of DNA sequence from the mitochondrial and nuclear genomes, and 114 terminals covering all psammophiid genera and incorporating approximately 75% of recognised species and subspecies. Phylogenetic reconstructions were conducted primarily in a Bayesian framework and we used the Wiens/Penkrot protocol to aid species delimitation. Rhamphiophis is diphyletic, with Rhamphiophis acutus emerging sister to Psammophylax. Consequently we transfer the three subspecies of Rhamphiophis acutus to the genus Psammophylax. The monotypic genus Dipsina is sister to Psammophis. The two species of Dromophis occupy divergent positions deeply nested within Psammophis, and we therefore relegate Dromophis to the synonymy of Psammophis. Our results allow division of the taxonomically problematic Psammophis 'sibilans' species complex into two monophyletic entities, provisionally named the 'phillipsii' and 'subtaeniatus' complexes. Within these two clades we found support for the status of many existing species, but not for a distinction between P.p. phillipsii and P. mossambicus. Additionally, P. cf. phillipsii occidentalis deserves species status as the sister taxon of P. brevirostris.

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-08-01

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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  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. Weak disruptive selection and incomplete phenotypic divergence in two classic examples of sympatric speciation: cameroon crater lake cichlids.

    PubMed

    Martin, Christopher H

    2012-10-01

    Recent documentation of a few compelling examples of sympatric speciation led to a proliferation of theoretical models. Unfortunately, plausible examples from nature have rarely been used to test model predictions, such as the initial presence of strong disruptive selection. Here I estimated the form and strength of selection in two classic examples of sympatric speciation: radiations of Cameroon cichlids restricted to Lakes Barombi Mbo and Ejagham. I measured five functional traits and relative growth rates in over 500 individuals within incipient species complexes from each lake. Disruptive selection was prevalent in both groups on single and multivariate trait axes but weak relative to stabilizing selection on other traits and most published estimates of disruptive selection. Furthermore, despite genetic structure, assortative mating, and bimodal species-diagnostic coloration, trait distributions were unimodal in both species complexes, indicating the earliest stages of speciation. Long waiting times or incomplete sympatric speciation may result when disruptive selection is initially weak. Alternatively, I present evidence of additional constraints in both species complexes, including weak linkage between coloration and morphology, reduced morphological variance aligned with nonlinear selection surfaces, and minimal ecological divergence. While other species within these radiations show complete phenotypic separation, morphological and ecological divergence in these species complexes may be slow or incomplete outside optimal parameter ranges, in contrast to rapid divergence of their sexual coloration.

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

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

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

  15. The biosynthesis, structure and gelatinization properties of starches from wild and cultivated African rice species (Oryza barthii and Oryza glaberrima).

    PubMed

    Wang, Kai; Wambugu, Peterson W; Zhang, Bin; Wu, Alex Chi; Henry, Robert J; Gilbert, Robert G

    2015-09-20

    The molecular structure and gelatinization properties of starches from domesticated African rice (Oryza glaberrima) and its wild progenitor (Oryza barthii) are determined and comparison made with Asian domesticated rice (Oryza sativa), the commonest commercial rice. This suggests possible enzymatic processes contributing to the unique traits of the African varieties. These have similar starch structures, including smaller amylose molecules, but larger amounts of amylose chains across the whole amylose chain-length distribution, and higher amylose contents, than O. sativa. They also show a higher proportion of two- and three-lamellae spanning amylopectin branch chains (degree of polymerization 34-100) than O. sativa, which contributes to their higher gelatinization temperatures. Fitting amylopectin chain-length distribution with a biosynthesis-based mathematical model suggests that the reason for this difference might be because O. glaberrima and O. barthii have more active SSIIIa and/or less active SBEIIb enzymes.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2000-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2000-11-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Phylogeny of species of Sciadicleithrum (Monogenoidea: Ancyrocephalinae), and their historical biogeography in the neotropics.

    PubMed

    Mendoza-Franco, Edgar F; Vidal-Martinez, Víctor M

    2005-04-01

    The phylogenetic relationships and historical biogeography of species of Sciadicleithrum parasitizing Neotropical cichlid fishes were studied. Hypotheses were: Did the presence of Sciadicleithrum species in southeast Mexico (SM) and Central America (CA) result from early dispersal of cichlid species from South America (SA) to the north via the Antilles during the Tertiary (24 million years ago [mya]), or did it occur after emergence of the Panama Isthmus in the Pleistocene (2-5 mya)? The Sciadicleithrum phylogeny was based on 19 morphological transformation series, with species of Gussevia and Cichlidogyrus as outgroups. The most parsimonious cladogram had a 40% consistency index, with one clade including all the species of Sciadicleithrum from SA and all but one of those from CA and another with all the Sciadicleithrum species from SM and S. maculicaudae from CA. Results support the late dispersal hypothesis following emergence of the Panama Isthmus. Fifteen species of Sciadicleithrum parasitize 13 cichlid species from SA and CA. In contrast, only 4 species of Sciadicleithrum infect 14 cichlid species from SM. Parasite speciation appears to lag behind host speciation, with 2 equally possible explanations: loss of parasite species and host switching.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Two new species of Apoloniinae (Acari: Trombiculoidea: Leeuwenhoekiidae) from African small mammals, with a key to the species of the world.

    PubMed

    Brown, Wayne A

    2006-09-01

    The genus Liuella Wang et Bai, 1992 is transferred from Trombiculidae to Apoloniinae and a new species Liuella monosetosa sp. n. described from specimens taken in Morocco from the hosts Gerbillus sp. and Meriones libycus Lichtenstein. A new species of Straelensia Vercammen-Grandjean et Kolebinova, 1968, Straelensia variocula sp. n. is described from specimens taken in Morocco and Burkina Faso from the hosts Genetta thierryi Matschie, Gerbillus sp., M. libycus and Elephantulus rozeti (Duvernoy). A list of species, hosts and localities and a key to the species of the Apoloniinae of the world are presented.

  6. 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.

  7. The influence of socioeconomic factors on the densities of high-value cross-border species, the African elephant

    PubMed Central

    Slotow, Rob; Di Minin, Enrico

    2016-01-01

    Unprecedented poaching levels triggered by demand for ivory in Far East Asia are threatening the persistence of African elephant Loxodonta africana. Southern African countries make an important contribution to elephant conservation and could soon become the last stronghold of elephant conservation in Africa. While the ecological factors affecting elephant distribution and densities have extensively been accounted for, there is a need to understand which socioeconomic factors affect elephant numbers in order to prevent conflict over limited space and resources with humans. We used elephant count data from aerial surveys for seven years in a generalized linear model, which accounted for temporal correlation, to investigate the effect of six socioeconomic and ecological variables on the number of elephant at the country level in the Greater Mapungubwe Transfrontier Conservation Area (GMTFCA). Important factors in predicting elephant numbers were the proportion of total land surface under cultivation, human population density and the number of tourists visiting the country. Specifically, elephant numbers were higher where the proportion of total land surface under cultivation was the lowest; where population density was the lowest and where tourist numbers had increased over the years. Our results confirm that human disturbance is affecting elephant numbers, but highlight that the benefits provided by ecotourism could help enhance elephant conservation. While future studies should include larger areas and more detailed data at the site level, we stress that the development of coordinated legislation and policies to improve land-use planning are needed to reduce the impact of increasing human populations and agriculture on elephant. PMID:27812404

  8. 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, ...

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. African horse sickness and African carnivores.

    PubMed

    Alexander, K A; Kat, P W; House, J; House, C; O'Brien, S J; Laurenson, M K; McNutt, J W; Osburn, B I

    1995-11-01

    African horse sickness (AHS) is a disease that affects equids, and is principally transmitted by Culicoides spp. that are biological vectors of AHS viruses (AHSV). The repeated spread of AHSV from sub-Saharan Africa to the Middle East, northern Africa and the Iberian peninsula indicate that a better understanding of AHS epizootiology is needed. African horse sickness has long been known to infect and cause mortality among domestic dogs that ingest virus contaminated meat, but it is uncertain what role carnivores play in transmission of the virus. We present evidence of widespread natural AHS infection among a diversity of African carnivore species. We hypothesize that such infection resulted from ingestion of meat and organs from AHS-infected prey species. The effect of AHS on the carnivores is unknown, as is their role in the maintenance cycle of the disease.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  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. 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.

  1. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-10-01

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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  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. 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

  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. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  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.

  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 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

  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

    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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Gierszewski, Stefanie; Bleckmann, Horst; Schluessel, Vera

    2013-01-01

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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Co-infection and cross-species transmission of divergent Hepatocystis lineages in a wild African primate community★

    PubMed Central

    Thurber, Mary I.; Ghai, Ria R.; Hyeroba, Hyeroba; Weny, Geoffrey; Tumukunde, Alex; Chapman, Colin A.; Wiseman, Roger W.; Dinis, Jorge; Steeil, James; Greiner, Ellis C.; Friedrich, Thomas C.; O’Connor, David H.; Goldberg, Tony L.

    2013-01-01

    Hemoparasites of the apicomplexan family Plasmodiidae include the etiological agents of malaria, as well as a suite of non-human primate parasites from which the human malaria agents evolved. Despite the significance of these parasites for global health, little information is available about their ecology in multi-host communities. Primates were investigated in Kibale National Park, Uganda, where ecological relationships among host species are well characterized. Blood samples were examined for parasites of the genera Plasmodium and Hepatocystis using microscopy and PCR targeting the parasite mitochondrial cytochrome b gene, followed by Sanger sequencing. To assess co-infection, “deep sequencing” of a variable region within cytochrome b was performed. Out of nine black-and-white colobus (Colobus guereza), one blue guenon (Cercopithecus mitis), five grey-cheeked mangabeys (Lophocebus albigena), 23 olive baboons (Papio anubis), 52 red colobus (Procolobus rufomitratus) and 12 red-tailed guenons (Cercopithecus ascanius), 79 infections (77.5%) were found, all of which were Hepatocystis spp. Sanger sequencing revealed 25 different parasite haplotypes that sorted phylogenetically into six species-specific but morphologically similar lineages. “Deep sequencing” revealed mixed-lineage co-infections in baboons and red colobus (41.7% and 64.7% of individuals, respectively) but not in other host species. One lineage infecting red colobus also infected baboons, but always as the minor variant, suggesting directional cross-species transmission. Hepatocystis parasites in this primate community are a diverse assemblage of cryptic lineages, some of which co-infect hosts and at least one of which can cross primate species barriers. PMID:23603520

  20. Co-infection and cross-species transmission of divergent Hepatocystis lineages in a wild African primate community.

    PubMed

    Thurber, Mary I; Ghai, Ria R; Hyeroba, David; Weny, Geoffrey; Tumukunde, Alex; Chapman, Colin A; Wiseman, Roger W; Dinis, Jorge; Steeil, James; Greiner, Ellis C; Friedrich, Thomas C; O'Connor, David H; Goldberg, Tony L

    2013-07-01

    Hemoparasites of the apicomplexan family Plasmodiidae include the etiological agents of malaria, as well as a suite of non-human primate parasites from which the human malaria agents evolved. Despite the significance of these parasites for global health, little information is available about their ecology in multi-host communities. Primates were investigated in Kibale National Park, Uganda, where ecological relationships among host species are well characterized. Blood samples were examined for parasites of the genera Plasmodium and Hepatocystis using microscopy and PCR targeting the parasite mitochondrial cytochrome b gene, followed by Sanger sequencing. To assess co-infection, "deep sequencing" of a variable region within cytochrome b was performed. Out of nine black-and-white colobus (Colobus guereza), one blue guenon (Cercopithecus mitis), five grey-cheeked mangabeys (Lophocebus albigena), 23 olive baboons (Papio anubis), 52 red colobus (Procolobus rufomitratus) and 12 red-tailed guenons (Cercopithecus ascanius), 79 infections (77.5%) were found, all of which were Hepatocystis spp. Sanger sequencing revealed 25 different parasite haplotypes that sorted phylogenetically into six species-specific but morphologically similar lineages. "Deep sequencing" revealed mixed-lineage co-infections in baboons and red colobus (41.7% and 64.7% of individuals, respectively) but not in other host species. One lineage infecting red colobus also infected baboons, but always as the minor variant, suggesting directional cross-species transmission. Hepatocystis parasites in this primate community are a diverse assemblage of cryptic lineages, some of which co-infect hosts and at least one of which can cross primate species barriers. PMID:23603520

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Evaluation of a real-time PCR test for the detection and discrimination of theileria species in the African buffalo (Syncerus caffer).

    PubMed

    Chaisi, Mamohale E; Janssens, Michiel E; Vermeiren, Lieve; Oosthuizen, Marinda C; Collins, Nicola E; Geysen, Dirk

    2013-01-01

    A quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) assay based on the cox III gene was evaluated for the simultaneous detection and discrimination of Theileria species in buffalo and cattle blood samples from South Africa and Mozambique using melting curve analysis. The results obtained were compared to those of the reverse line blot (RLB) hybridization assay for the simultaneous detection and differentiation of Theileria spp. in mixed infections, and to the 18S rRNA qPCR assay results for the specific detection of Theileria parva. Theileria parva, Theileria sp. (buffalo), Theileria taurotragi, Theileria buffeli and Theileria mutans were detected by the cox III assay. Theileria velifera was not detected from any of the samples analysed. Seventeen percent of the samples had non-species specific melting peaks and 4.5% of the samples were negative or below the detection limit of the assay. The cox III assay identified more T. parva and Theileria sp. (buffalo) positive samples than the RLB assay, and also detected more T. parva infections than the 18S assay. However, only a small number of samples were positive for the benign Theileria spp. To our knowledge T. taurotragi has never been identified from the African buffalo, its identification in some samples by the qPCR assay was unexpected. Because of these discrepancies in the results, cox III qPCR products were cloned and sequenced. Sequence analysis indicated extensive inter- and intra-species variations in the probe target regions of the cox III gene sequences of the benign Theileria spp. and therefore explains their low detection. The cox III assay is specific for the detection of T. parva infections in cattle and buffalo. Sequence data generated from this study can be used for the development of a more inclusive assay for detection and differentiation of all variants of the mildly pathogenic and benign Theileria spp. of buffalo and cattle.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Some South African Rubiaceae Tree Leaf Extracts Have Antimycobacterial Activity Against Pathogenic and Non-pathogenic Mycobacterium Species.

    PubMed

    Aro, Abimbola O; Dzoyem, Jean P; Hlokwe, Tiny M; Madoroba, Evelyn; Eloff, Jacobus N; McGaw, Lyndy J

    2015-07-01

    Tuberculosis (TB) caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis remains an ongoing threat to human health. Many plant species contain antimycobacterial compounds, which may serve as template molecules for new anti-TB drugs. The Rubiaceae family is the largest family of trees in southern Africa, and preliminary evidence revealed antimycobacterial activity in several species of the genus, motivating further studies. Leaf extracts of 15 tree species from the Rubiaceae family were screened for antimycobacterial activity against pathogenic M. tuberculosis and non-pathogenic Mycobacterium smegmatis, Mycobacterium aurum and Mycobacterium bovis BCG (Bacillus Calmette-Guérin) using a twofold serial microdilution assay. Cytotoxicity was determined using a tetrazolium-based colorimetric assay against C3A liver cells and Vero kidney cells. Minimum inhibitory concentration values as low as 0.04 mg/mL against M. smegmatis and M. tuberculosis were recorded. Activity against M. aurum was the best predictor of activity against pathogenic M. tuberculosis (correlation coefficient = 0.9). Bioautography indicated at least 40 different antimycobacterial compounds in the extracts. Cytotoxicity of the extracts varied, and Oxyanthus speciosus had the most promising selectivity index values. PMID:25857273

  12. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Whitfield, A. K.

    1989-12-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. New species and new records of Pterosthetops: eumadicolous water beetles of the South African Cape (Coleoptera, Hydraenidae).

    PubMed

    Bilton, David T

    2014-06-05

    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.

  16. 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

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

    PubMed

    Binning, Sandra A; Chapman, Lauren J

    2010-09-01

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

  18. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-05-01

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

  1. 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. 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

  3. Evidence for divergent natural selection of a Lake Tanganyika cichlid inferred from repeated radiations in body size.

    PubMed

    Takahashi, T; Watanabe, K; Munehara, H; Rüber, L; Hori, M

    2009-07-01

    Divergent natural selection is thought to play a vital role in speciation, but clear, measurable examples from nature are still few. Among the many possible sources of divergent natural selection, predation pressure may be important because predators are ubiquitous in food webs. Here, we show evidence for divergent natural selection in a Lake Tanganyika cichlid, Telmatochromis temporalis, which uses burrows under stones or empty snail shells as shelters. This species contains normal and dwarf morphs at several localities. The normal morph inhabits rocky shorelines, whereas the dwarf morph invariably inhabits shell beds, where empty snail shells densely cover the lake bottom. Genetic evidence suggested that the dwarf morph evolved independently from the normal morph at two areas, and morphological analysis and evaluation of habitat structure revealed that the body sizes of morphs closely