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Sample records for cichlid visual pigment

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-12-01

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

  3. Cone visual pigments.

    PubMed

    Imamoto, Yasushi; Shichida, Yoshinori

    2014-05-01

    Cone visual pigments are visual opsins that are present in vertebrate cone photoreceptor cells and act as photoreceptor molecules responsible for photopic vision. Like the rod visual pigment rhodopsin, which is responsible for scotopic vision, cone visual pigments contain the chromophore 11-cis-retinal, which undergoes cis-trans isomerization resulting in the induction of conformational changes of the protein moiety to form a G protein-activating state. There are multiple types of cone visual pigments with different absorption maxima, which are the molecular basis of color discrimination in animals. Cone visual pigments form a phylogenetic sister group with non-visual opsin groups such as pinopsin, VA opsin, parapinopsin and parietopsin groups. Cone visual pigments diverged into four groups with different absorption maxima, and the rhodopsin group diverged from one of the four groups of cone visual pigments. The photochemical behavior of cone visual pigments is similar to that of pinopsin but considerably different from those of other non-visual opsins. G protein activation efficiency of cone visual pigments is also comparable to that of pinopsin but higher than that of the other non-visual opsins. Recent measurements with sufficient time-resolution demonstrated that G protein activation efficiency of cone visual pigments is lower than that of rhodopsin, which is one of the molecular bases for the lower amplification of cones compared to rods. In this review, the uniqueness of cone visual pigments is shown by comparison of their molecular properties with those of non-visual opsins and rhodopsin. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Retinal Proteins - You can teach an old dog new tricks. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-04-27

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-04-21

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-03-29

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

  10. Evolution of vertebrate visual pigments.

    PubMed

    Bowmaker, James K

    2008-09-01

    The visual pigments of vertebrates evolved about 500 million years ago, before the major evolutionary step of the development of jaws. Four spectrally distinct classes of cone opsin evolved through gene duplication, followed by the rod opsin class that arose from the duplication of the middle-wave-sensitive cone opsin. All four cone classes are present in many extant teleost fish, reptiles and birds, but one or more classes have been lost in primitive fish, amphibians and mammals. Gene duplication within the cone classes, especially in teleosts, has resulted in multiple opsins being available, both temporally and spatially, during development.

  11. Visual Pigments of Goldfish Cones

    PubMed Central

    Hárosi, Ferenc I.; MacNichol, Edward F.

    1974-01-01

    Freshly isolated retinal photoreceptors of goldfish were studied microspectrophotometrically. Absolute absorptance spectra obtained from dark-adapted cone outer segments reaffirm the existence of three spectrally distinct cone types with absorption maxima at 455 ± 3,530 ± 3, and 625 ± 5 nm. These types were found often recognizable by gross cellular morphology. Side-illuminated cone outer segments were dichroic. The measured dichroic ratio for the main absorption band of each type was 2–3:1. Rapidly bleached cells revealed spectral and dichroic transitions in regions near 400–410, 435–455, and 350–360 nm. These photoproducts decay about fivefold as fast as the intermediates in frog rods. The spectral maxima of photoproducts, combined with other evidence, indicate that retinene2 is the chromophore of all three cone pigments. The average specific optical density for goldfish cone outer segments was found to be 0.0124 ± 0.0015/µm. The spectra of the blue-, and green-absorbing cones appeared to match porphyropsin standards with half-band width Δν = 4,832 ± 100 cm–1. The red-absorbing spectrum was found narrower, having Δν = 3,625 ± 100 cm–1. The results are consistent with the notion that visual pigment concentration within the outer segments is about the same for frog rods and goldfish cones, but that the blue-, and green-absorbing pigments possess molar extinctions of 30,000 liter/mol cm. The red-absorbing pigment was found to have extinction of 40,000 liter/mol cm, assuming invariance of oscillator strength among the three cone spectra. PMID:4817352

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-08-22

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

  13. THE NATURE OF THE GECKO VISUAL PIGMENT

    PubMed Central

    Crescitelli, Frederick

    1956-01-01

    Retinal extracts of the Australian gecko, Phyllurus milii (White), have revealed the presence of a photosensitive pigment, unusual for terrestrial animals, because of its absorption maximum at 524 mµ. This pigment has an absorption spectrum which is identical in form with that of other visual chromoproteins. It is not a porphyropsin, for bleaching revealed the presence, not of retinene2, but of retinene1 as a chromophore. Photolabile pigments with characteristics similar to those of the Phyllurus visual pigment were also detected in retinal extracts of six other species of nocturnal geckos. The presence of this retinal chromoprotein adequately accounts for the unusual visual sensitivity curve described by Denton for the nocturnal gecko. This pigment may have special biological significance in terms of the unique phylogenetic position of geckos as living representatives of nocturnal animals which retain some of the characteristics of their diurnal ancestors. The occurrence of this retinene1 pigment, intermediate in spectral position between rhodopsin and iodopsin, is interpreted in support of the transmutation theory of Walls. The results and interpretation of this investigation point up the fact that, from a phylogenetic point of view, too great an emphasis on the duplicity theory may serve to detract attention from the evolutionary history of the retina and the essential unitarianism of the visual cells. PMID:13385449

  14. 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.

  15. Microspectrophotometry of Arthropod Visual Screening Pigments

    PubMed Central

    Strother, G. K.; Casella, A. J.

    1972-01-01

    Absorption spectra of visual screening pigments obtained in vitro with a microspectrophotometer using frozen sections are given for the insects Musca domestica, Phormia regina, Libellula luctuosa, Apis mellifera (worker honeybee only), Drosophila melanogaster (wild type only) and the arachnids Lycosa baltimoriana and Lycosa miami. The spectral range covered is 260–700 nm for Lycosa and Drosophila and 310–700 nm for the remainder of the arthropods. A complete description of the instrumentation is given. For the flies, Phormia and Musca, light absorption by the yellow and red pigments is high from 310 to about 610 nm. This implies that for these insects there should be no wavelength shift in electroretinogram (ERG) results due to light leakage among neighboring ommatidia for this wavelength range. The same comment applies to Calliphora erythrocephala, which is known to have similar screening pigments. For some of the insects studied a close correspondence is noted between screening pigment absorption spectra and spectral sensitivity curves for individual photoreceptors, available in the literature. In some cases the screening pigment absorption spectra can be related to chemical extraction results, with the general observation that some of the in vitro absorption peaks are shifted to the red. The Lycosa, Apis, and Libellula dark red pigments absorb strongly over a wide spectral range and therefore prevent chemical identification. PMID:4623852

  16. Recreating a functional ancestral archosaur visual pigment.

    PubMed

    Chang, Belinda S W; Jönsson, Karolina; Kazmi, Manija A; Donoghue, Michael J; Sakmar, Thomas P

    2002-09-01

    The ancestors of the archosaurs, a major branch of the diapsid reptiles, originated more than 240 MYA near the dawn of the Triassic Period. We used maximum likelihood phylogenetic ancestral reconstruction methods and explored different models of evolution for inferring the amino acid sequence of a putative ancestral archosaur visual pigment. Three different types of maximum likelihood models were used: nucleotide-based, amino acid-based, and codon-based models. Where possible, within each type of model, likelihood ratio tests were used to determine which model best fit the data. Ancestral reconstructions of the ancestral archosaur node using the best-fitting models of each type were found to be in agreement, except for three amino acid residues at which one reconstruction differed from the other two. To determine if these ancestral pigments would be functionally active, the corresponding genes were chemically synthesized and then expressed in a mammalian cell line in tissue culture. The expressed artificial genes were all found to bind to 11-cis-retinal to yield stable photoactive pigments with lambda(max) values of about 508 nm, which is slightly redshifted relative to that of extant vertebrate pigments. The ancestral archosaur pigments also activated the retinal G protein transducin, as measured in a fluorescence assay. Our results show that ancestral genes from ancient organisms can be reconstructed de novo and tested for function using a combination of phylogenetic and biochemical methods.

  17. Dimerization of visual pigments in vivo

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Tao; Cao, Li-Hui; Kumar, Sandeep; Enemchukwu, Nduka O.; Zhang, Ning; Lambert, Alyssia; Zhao, Xuchen; Jones, Alex; Wang, Shixian; Dennis, Emily M.; Fnu, Amrita; Ham, Sam; Rainier, Jon; Yau, King-Wai; Fu, Yingbin

    2016-01-01

    It is a deeply engrained notion that the visual pigment rhodopsin signals light as a monomer, even though many G protein-coupled receptors are now known to exist and function as dimers. Nonetheless, recent studies (albeit all in vitro) have suggested that rhodopsin and its chromophore-free apoprotein, R-opsin, may indeed exist as a homodimer in rod disk membranes. Given the overwhelmingly strong historical context, the crucial remaining question, therefore, is whether pigment dimerization truly exists naturally and what function this dimerization may serve. We addressed this question in vivo with a unique mouse line (S-opsin+Lrat−/−) expressing, transgenically, short-wavelength–sensitive cone opsin (S-opsin) in rods and also lacking chromophore to exploit the fact that cone opsins, but not R-opsin, require chromophore for proper folding and trafficking to the photoreceptor’s outer segment. In R-opsin’s absence, S-opsin in these transgenic rods without chromophore was mislocalized; in R-opsin’s presence, however, S-opsin trafficked normally to the rod outer segment and produced functional S-pigment upon subsequent chromophore restoration. Introducing a competing R-opsin transmembrane helix H1 or helix H8 peptide, but not helix H4 or helix H5 peptide, into these transgenic rods caused mislocalization of R-opsin and S-opsin to the perinuclear endoplasmic reticulum. Importantly, a similar peptide-competition effect was observed even in WT rods. Our work provides convincing evidence for visual pigment dimerization in vivo under physiological conditions and for its role in pigment maturation and targeting. Our work raises new questions regarding a potential mechanistic role of dimerization in rhodopsin signaling. PMID:27462111

  18. Comparative studies on the late bleaching processes of four kinds of cone visual pigments and rod visual pigment.

    PubMed

    Sato, Keita; Yamashita, Takahiro; Imamoto, Yasushi; Shichida, Yoshinori

    2012-05-29

    Visual pigments in rod and cone photoreceptor cells of vertebrate retinas are highly diversified photoreceptive proteins that consist of a protein moiety opsin and a light-absorbing chromophore 11-cis-retinal. There are four types of cone visual pigments and a single type of rod visual pigment. The reaction process of the rod visual pigment, rhodopsin, has been extensively investigated, whereas there have been few studies of cone visual pigments. Here we comprehensively investigated the reaction processes of cone visual pigments on a time scale of milliseconds to minutes, using flash photolysis equipment optimized for cone visual pigment photochemistry. We used chicken violet (L-group), chicken blue (M1-group), chicken green (M2-group), and monkey green (L-group) visual pigments as representatives of the respective groups of the phylogenetic tree of cone pigments. The S, M1, and M2 pigments showed the formation of a pH-dependent mixture of meta intermediates, similar to that formed from rhodopsin. Although monkey green (L-group) also formed a mixture of meta intermediates, pH dependency of meta intermediates was not observed. However, meta intermediates of monkey green became pH dependent when the chloride ion bound to the monkey green was replaced with a nitrate ion. These results strongly suggest that rhodopsin and S, M1, and M2 cone visual pigments share a molecular mechanism for activation, whereas the L-group pigment may have a special reaction mechanism involving the chloride-binding site.

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-08-09

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

  20. 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

  1. Cone visual pigments of monotremes: filling the phylogenetic gap.

    PubMed

    Wakefield, Matthew J; Anderson, Mark; Chang, Ellen; Wei, Ke-Jun; Kaul, Rajinder; Graves, Jennifer A Marshall; Grützner, Frank; Deeb, Samir S

    2008-01-01

    We have determined the sequence and genomic organization of the genes encoding the cone visual pigment of the platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) and the echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus), and inferred their spectral properties and evolutionary pathways. We prepared platypus and echidna retinal RNA and used primers of the middle-wave-sensitive (MWS), long-wave-sensitive (LWS), and short-wave sensitive (SWS1) pigments corresponding to coding sequences that are highly conserved among mammals; to PCR amplify the corresponding pigment sequences. Amplification from the retinal RNA revealed the expression of LWS pigment mRNA that is homologous in sequence and spectral properties to the primate LWS visual pigments. However, we were unable to amplify the mammalian SWS1 pigment from these two species, indicating this gene was lost prior to the echidna-platypus divergence (21 MYA). Subsequently, when the platypus genome sequence became available, we found an LWS pigment gene in a conserved genomic arrangement that resembles the primate pigment, but, surprisingly we found an adjacent (20 kb) SWS2 pigment gene within this conserved genomic arrangement. We obtained the same result after sequencing the echidna genes. The encoded SWS2 pigment is predicted to have a wavelength of maximal absorption of about 440 nm, and is paralogous to SWS pigments typically found in reptiles, birds, and fish but not in mammals. This study suggests the locus control region (LCR) has played an important role in the conservation of photo receptor gene arrays and the control of their spatial and temporal expression in the retina in all mammals. In conclusion, a duplication event of an ancestral cone visual pigment gene, followed by sequence divergence and selection gave rise to the LWS and SWS2 visual pigments. So far, the echidna and platypus are the only mammals that share the gene structure of the LWS-SWS2 pigment gene complex with reptiles, birds and fishes.

  2. Multiple visual pigments in a photoreceptor of the salamander retina

    PubMed Central

    1996-01-01

    Although a given retina typically contains several visual pigments, each formed from a retinal chromophore bound to a specific opsin protein, single photoreceptor cells have been thought to express only one type of opsin. This design maximizes a cell's sensitivity to a particular wavelength band and facilitates wavelength discrimination in retinas that process color. We report electrophysiological evidence that the ultraviolet-sensitive cone of salamander violates this rule. This cell contains three different functional opsins. The three opsins could combine with the two different chromophores present in salamander retina to form six visual pigments. Whereas rods and other cones of salamander use both chromophores, they appear to express only one type of opsin per cell. In visual pigment absorption spectra, the bandwidth at half-maximal sensitivity increases as the pigment's wavelength maximum decreases. However, the bandwidth of the UV-absorbing pigment deviates from this trend; it is narrow like that of a red-absorbing pigment. In addition, the UV-absorbing pigment has a high apparent photosensitivity when compared with that of red- and blue-absorbing pigments and rhodopsin. These properties suggest that the mechanisms responsible for spectrally tuning visual pigments separate two absorption bands as the wavelength of maximal sensitivity shifts from UV to long wavelengths. PMID:8817382

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

    PubMed

    Barks, Patrick M; Godin, Jean-Guy J

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-02-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Sefc, Kristina M.

    2017-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-09-19

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

  8. [Photoreceptors and visual pigments in three species of newts].

    PubMed

    Koremiak, D A; Govardovskiĭ, V I

    2013-01-01

    Photoreceptor complement and retinal visual pigments in three newt (Caudata, Salamandridae, Pleurodelinae) species (Pleurodeles waltl, Lissotriton (Triturus) vulgaris and Cynops orientalis) were studied by light mucroscopy and microspectrophotometry. Retinas of all three species contain "red" (rhodopsin/porphyropsin) rods, large and small single cones, and double cones. Large single cones and both components of double cones contain red-sensitive (presumably LWS) visual pigment whose absorbance spectrum peaks between 593 and 611 nm. Small single cones are either blue- (SWS2, maximum absorbance between 470 and 489 nm) or UV-sensitive (SWS1, maximum absorbance between 340 and 359 nm). Chromophore composition of visual pigments (A1 vs. A2) was assessed both from template fitting of absorption spectra and by the method of selective bleaching. All pigments contained a mixture of A1 (11-cis retinal) and A2 (11-cis-3,4-dehydroretinal) chromophore in the proportion depending on the species and cell type. In all cases, A2 was dominant. However, in C. orientalis rods the fraction of A1 could reach 45%, while in P. waltl and L. vulgaris cones it did not exceed 5%. Remarkably, the absorbance of the newt blue-sensitive visual pigment was shifted by up to 45 nm toward the longer wavelength, as compared with all other amphibian SWS2-pigments. We found no "green" rods typical of retinas of Anura and some Caudata (ambystomas) in the three newt species studied.

  9. Spectral absorption of visual pigments in stomatopod larval photoreceptors.

    PubMed

    Feller, Kathryn D; Cronin, Thomas W

    2016-03-01

    Larval stomatopod eyes appear to be much simpler versions of adult compound eyes, lacking most of the visual pigment diversity and photoreceptor specializations. Our understanding of the visual pigment diversity of larval stomatopods, however, is based on four species, which severely limits our understanding of stomatopod eye ontogeny. To investigate several poorly understood aspects of stomatopod larval eye function, we tested two hypotheses surrounding the spectral absorption of larval visual pigments. First, we examined a broad range of species to determine if stomatopod larvae generally express a single, spectral class of photoreceptor. Using microspectrophotometry (MSP) on larvae captured in the field, we found data which further support this long-standing hypothesis. MSP was also used to test whether larval species from the same geographical region express visual pigments with similar absorption spectra. Interestingly, despite occupation of the same geographical location, we did not find evidence to support our second hypothesis. Rather, there was significant variation in visual pigment absorption spectra among sympatric species. These data are important to further our understanding of larval photoreceptor spectral diversity, which is beneficial to ongoing investigations into the ontogeny, physiology, and molecular evolution of stomatopod eyes.

  10. Genetic analyses of visual pigments of the pigeon (Columba livia).

    PubMed Central

    Kawamura, S; Blow, N S; Yokoyama, S

    1999-01-01

    We isolated five classes of retinal opsin genes rh1(Cl), rh2(Cl), sws1(Cl), sws2(Cl), and lws(Cl) from the pigeon; these encode RH1(Cl), RH2(Cl), SWS1(Cl), SWS2(Cl), and LWS(Cl) opsins, respectively. Upon binding to 11-cis-retinal, these opsins regenerate the corresponding photosensitive molecules, visual pigments. The absorbance spectra of visual pigments have a broad bell shape with the peak, being called lambdamax. Previously, the SWS1(Cl) opsin cDNA was isolated from the pigeon retinal RNA, expressed in cultured COS1 cells, reconstituted with 11-cis-retinal, and the lambdamax of the resulting SWS1(Cl) pigment was shown to be 393 nm. In this article, using the same methods, the lambdamax values of RH1(Cl), RH2(Cl), SWS2(Cl), and LWS(Cl) pigments were determined to be 502, 503, 448, and 559 nm, respectively. The pigeon is also known for its UV vision, detecting light at 320-380 nm. Being the only pigments that absorb light below 400 nm, the SWS1(Cl) pigments must mediate its UV vision. We also determined that a nonretinal P(Cl) pigment in the pineal gland of the pigeon has a lambdamax value at 481 nm. PMID:10581289

  11. Rod visual pigment optimizes active state to achieve efficient G protein activation as compared with cone visual pigments.

    PubMed

    Kojima, Keiichi; Imamoto, Yasushi; Maeda, Ryo; Yamashita, Takahiro; Shichida, Yoshinori

    2014-02-21

    Most vertebrate retinas contain two types of photoreceptor cells, rods and cones, which show different photoresponses to mediate scotopic and photopic vision, respectively. These cells contain different types of visual pigments, rhodopsin and cone visual pigments, respectively, but little is known about the molecular properties of cone visual pigments under physiological conditions, making it difficult to link the molecular properties of rhodopsin and cone visual pigments with the differences in photoresponse between rods and cones. Here we prepared bovine and mouse rhodopsin (bvRh and mRh) and chicken and mouse green-sensitive cone visual pigments (cG and mG) embedded in nanodiscs and applied time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopy to compare their Gt activation efficiencies. Rhodopsin exhibited greater Gt activation efficiencies than cone visual pigments. Especially, the Gt activation efficiency of mRh was about 2.5-fold greater than that of mG at 37 °C, which is consistent with our previous electrophysiological data of knock-in mice. Although the active state (Meta-II) was in equilibrium with inactive states (Meta-I and Meta-III), quantitative determination of Meta-II in the equilibrium showed that the Gt activation efficiency per Meta-II of bvRh was also greater than those of cG and mG. These results indicated that efficient Gt activation by rhodopsin, resulting from an optimized active state of rhodopsin, is one of the causes of the high amplification efficiency of rods.

  12. 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.

  13. Visual Pigments and Molecular Genetics of Color Blindness.

    PubMed

    Bowmaker, J. K.

    1998-04-01

    Red/green color blindness, found in ~1 in 15 men, is caused by the expression of hybrid genes coding for visual pigments. Spectral information from site-directed mutagenesis and recombinant expression has led to the possibility of correlating individual genotypes with psychophysical measurements of the severity of the deficiency.

  14. Convergent stereoselective synthesis of the visual pigment A2E.

    PubMed

    Sicre, Cristina; Cid, M Magdalena

    2005-12-08

    [chemical reaction: see text]. A stereoselective total synthesis of the visual pigment A2E has been achieved with use of palladium-catalyzed cross-coupling reactions in all key steps: a regioselective Suzuki or Negishi coupling of 2,4-dibromopyridine, a Sonogashira reaction, and a double Stille cross-coupling to complete the bispolyenyl skeleton.

  15. 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.

  16. Rapid Retinal Release from a Cone Visual Pigment Following Photoactivation*

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Min-Hsuan; Kuemmel, Colleen; Birge, Robert R.; Knox, Barry E.

    2012-01-01

    As part of the visual cycle, the retinal chromophore in both rod and cone visual pigments undergoes reversible Schiff base hydrolysis and dissociation following photobleaching. We characterized light-activated retinal release from a short-wavelength sensitive cone pigment (VCOP) in 0.1% dodecyl maltoside using fluorescence spectroscopy. The half-time (t1/2) of retinal release from VCOP was 7.1 s, 250-fold faster than rhodopsin. VCOP exhibited pH-dependent release kinetics, with the t1/2 decreasing from 23 s to 4 s with pH 4.1 to 8, respectively. However, the Arrhenius activation energy (Ea) for VCOP derived from kinetic measurements between 4° and 20°C was 17.4 kcal/mol, similar to 18.5 kcal/mol for rhodopsin. There was a small kinetic isotope (D2O) effect in VCOP, but less than that observed in rhodopsin. Mutation of the primary Schiff base counterion (VCOPD108A) produced a pigment with an unprotonated chromophore (⌊max = 360 nm) and dramatically slowed (t1/2 ~ 6.8 min) light-dependent retinal release. Using homology modeling, a VCOP mutant with two substitutions (S85D/ D108A) was designed to move the counterion one alpha helical turn into the transmembrane region from the native position. This double mutant had a UV-visible absorption spectrum consistent with a protonated Schiff base (⌊max = 420 nm). Moreover, VCOPS85D/D108A mutant had retinal release kinetics (t1/2 = 7 s) and Ea (18 kcal/mol) similar to the native pigment exhibiting no pH-dependence. By contrast, the single mutant VCOPS85D had a ~3-fold decrease in retinal release rate compared to the native pigment. Photoactivated VCOPD108A had kinetics comparable to a rhodopsin counterion mutant, RhoE113Q, both requiring hydroxylamine to fully release retinal. These results demonstrate that the primary counterion of cone visual pigments is necessary for efficient Schiff base hydrolysis. We discuss how the large differences in retinal release rates between rod and cone visual pigments arise, not from

  17. Rod sensitivity and visual pigment concentration in Xenopus

    PubMed Central

    1978-01-01

    Xenopus larvae were raised on a vitamin A-free diet under constant illumination until their visual pigment content had decreased to between 8% of normal and an undetectably low level. After the intramuscular injection of 2.1 X 10(13-2.1 X 10(16) molecules of [3H]vitamin A, ocular tissue showed a rapid rate of uptake of label which reached a maximum level of incorporation by 48 h. Light- microscopic autoradiography revealed that the retinal uptake of label was concentrated within the receptor outer segments. Spectral transmissivity measurements at various times after injection were made upon intact retinas and upon digitonin extracts. They showed that visual pigment with a lambdamax of 504 nm was formed in the retina and that the amount formed was a function of incubation time and the magnitude of the dose administered. Electrophysiological measures of photoreceptor light responses were obtained from the PIII component of the electroretinogram, isolated with aspartate. The quantal flux required to elicit a criterion response was determined and related to the fraction of visual pigment present. The results showed that rod sensitivity varied linearly with the probability of quantal absorption. PMID:731198

  18. The visual pigments of the West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus).

    PubMed

    Newman, Lucy A; Robinson, Phyllis R

    2006-10-01

    Manatees are unique among the fully aquatic marine mammals in that they are herbivorous creatures, with hunting strategies restricted to grazing on sea-grasses. Since the other groups of (carnivorous) marine mammals have been found to possess various visual system adaptations to their unique visual environments, it was of interest to investigate the visual capability of the manatee. Previous work, both behavioral (Griebel & Schmid, 1996), and ultrastructural (Cohen, Tucker, & Odell, 1982; unpublished work cited by Griebel & Peichl, 2003), has suggested that manatees have the dichromatic color vision typical of diurnal mammals. This study uses molecular techniques to investigate the cone visual pigments of the manatee. The aim was to clone and sequence cone opsins from the retina, and, if possible, express and reconstitute functional visual pigments to perform spectral analysis. Both LWS and SWS cone opsins were cloned and sequenced from manatee retinae, which, upon expression and spectral analysis, had lambda(max) values of 555 and 410 nm, respectively. The expression of both the LWS and SWS cone opsin in the manatee retina is unique as both pinnipeds and cetaceans only express a cone LWS opsin.

  19. Metarhodopsin control by arrestin, light-filtering screening pigments, and visual pigment turnover in invertebrate microvillar photoreceptors.

    PubMed

    Stavenga, Doekele G; Hardie, Roger C

    2011-03-01

    The visual pigments of most invertebrate photoreceptors have two thermostable photo-interconvertible states, the ground state rhodopsin and photo-activated metarhodopsin, which triggers the phototransduction cascade until it binds arrestin. The ratio of the two states in photoequilibrium is determined by their absorbance spectra and the effective spectral distribution of illumination. Calculations indicate that metarhodopsin levels in fly photoreceptors are maintained below ~35% in normal diurnal environments, due to the combination of a blue-green rhodopsin, an orange-absorbing metarhodopsin and red transparent screening pigments. Slow metarhodopsin degradation and rhodopsin regeneration processes further subserve visual pigment maintenance. In most insect eyes, where the majority of photoreceptors have green-absorbing rhodopsins and blue-absorbing metarhodopsins, natural illuminants are predicted to create metarhodopsin levels greater than 60% at high intensities. However, fast metarhodopsin decay and rhodopsin regeneration also play an important role in controlling metarhodopsin in green receptors, resulting in a high rhodopsin content at low light intensities and a reduced overall visual pigment content in bright light. A simple model for the visual pigment-arrestin cycle is used to illustrate the dependence of the visual pigment population states on light intensity, arrestin levels and pigment turnover.

  20. Rod and cone visual pigments and phototransduction through pharmacological, genetic, and physiological approaches.

    PubMed

    Kefalov, Vladimir J

    2012-01-13

    Activation of the visual pigment by light in rod and cone photoreceptors initiates our visual perception. As a result, the signaling properties of visual pigments, consisting of a protein, opsin, and a chromophore, 11-cis-retinal, play a key role in shaping the light responses of photoreceptors. The combination of pharmacological, physiological, and genetic tools has been a powerful approach advancing our understanding of the interactions between opsin and chromophore and how they affect the function of visual pigments. The signaling properties of the visual pigments modulate many aspects of the function of rods and cones, producing their unique physiological properties.

  1. Vitamin A, visual pigments, and visual receptors in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Lee, R D; Thomas, C F; Marietta, R G; Stark, W S

    1996-12-15

    The fly visual system has served for decades as a model for receptor spectral multiplicity and vitamin A utilization. A diverse armamentarium of structural techniques has dovetailed with convenient electrophysiology, photochemistry, genetics, and molecular biology in Drosophila to facilitate recent progress, which is reviewed here. New data are also presented. Ultrastructure of retinula cells of carotenoid-deprived flies shows that organelles associated with protein biosynthesis, i.e., rough endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi apparatus, are present, while organelles associated with rhabdomere turnover, i.e., multivesicular bodies (MVBs), are rare. Ultrastructure and morphometry suggest that retinoic acid-rearing stimulates membrane export and rhabdomere buildup, even though functional rhodopsin is missing. Confocal microscopy suggests that RH4, one of the ultraviolet rhodopsins, may reside in the previously-described pale fluorescent R7 cells with RH3 in the yellow fluorescent R7 cells.

  2. Convergent evolution of the red- and green-like visual pigment genes in fish, Astyanax fasciatus, and human

    SciTech Connect

    Yokoyama, Ruth; Yokoyama, Shozo )

    1990-12-01

    The authors have isolated and sequenced genes from the blind cave fish, Astyanax fasciatus, that are homologous to the human red and green visual pigment genes. The data strongly suggest that, like human, these fish have one red-like visual pigment gene and multiple green-like visual pigment genes. By comparing the DNA sequences of the human and fish visual pigment genes and knowing their phylogenetic relationship, one can infer the direction of amino acid substitutions in the red and green visual pigments. The results indicate that the red pigments in human and fish evolved from the green pigment independently by identical amino acid substitutions in only a few key positions.

  3. Positive selection of a duplicated UV-sensitive visual pigment coincides with wing pigment evolution in Heliconius butterflies

    PubMed Central

    Briscoe, Adriana D.; Bybee, Seth M.; Bernard, Gary D.; Yuan, Furong; Sison-Mangus, Marilou P.; Reed, Robert D.; Warren, Andrew D.; Llorente-Bousquets, Jorge; Chiao, Chuan-Chin

    2010-01-01

    The butterfly Heliconius erato can see from the UV to the red part of the light spectrum with color vision proven from 440 to 640 nm. Its eye is known to contain three visual pigments, rhodopsins, produced by an 11-cis-3-hydroxyretinal chromophore together with long wavelength (LWRh), blue (BRh) and UV (UVRh1) opsins. We now find that H. erato has a second UV opsin mRNA (UVRh2)—a previously undescribed duplication of this gene among Lepidoptera. To investigate its evolutionary origin, we screened eye cDNAs from 14 butterfly species in the subfamily Heliconiinae and found both copies only among Heliconius. Phylogeny-based tests of selection indicate positive selection of UVRh2 following duplication, and some of the positively selected sites correspond to vertebrate visual pigment spectral tuning residues. Epi-microspectrophotometry reveals two UV-absorbing rhodopsins in the H. erato eye with λmax = 355 nm and 398 nm. Along with the additional UV opsin, Heliconius have also evolved 3-hydroxy-DL-kynurenine (3-OHK)-based yellow wing pigments not found in close relatives. Visual models of how butterflies perceive wing color variation indicate this has resulted in an expansion of the number of distinguishable yellow colors on Heliconius wings. Functional diversification of the UV-sensitive visual pigments may help explain why the yellow wing pigments of Heliconius are so colorful in the UV range compared to the yellow pigments of close relatives lacking the UV opsin duplicate. PMID:20133601

  4. Simple exponential functions describing the absorbance bands of visual pigment spectra.

    PubMed

    Stavenga, D G; Smits, R P; Hoenders, B J

    1993-05-01

    Literature data for visual pigment spectra are formally treated by assuming that the spectra consist of a summation of absorbance bands, that the shape of the bands is invariant according to the Mansfield-MacNichol transform and that this shape is described by simple exponential functions. A new template for constructing visual pigment spectra from peak wavelengths is derived.

  5. Resonance Raman Studies of Bovine and OCTOPUS Visual Pigments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Liewen

    1995-01-01

    We have regenerated bovine and octopus visual pigments with retinals containing isotopic labels at three positions, i.e., 8-^{13}C -11,12-D_2, 10-^{13 }C-11,12-D_2, 11- ^{13}C-11,12-D_2 , 14-^{13}C-11,12 -D_2, for the studies of bound chromophore ethylenic and Schiff base vibrational modes by resonance Raman spectroscopy. Also regenerated were octopus visual pigments with singly or doubly ^{13 }C labeled retinals, i.e., 9-^ {13}C, 10,11-^{13 }C_2, 12,13- ^{13}C_2, 13-^{13}C, 14,15- ^{13}C_2, 14,15-^{13}C_2 -ND, for the studies of vibrational modes in the fingerprint region. We have analyzed the resonance Raman spectra based upon the observation of the response of individual bands in the spectrum of rhodopsin, isorhodopsin, or bathorhodopsin to a particular label. The observed peaks in the fingerprint and ethylenic regions have been tentatively assigned to specific C-C and C=C stretches. We have also studied a model retinal protonated Schiff base analog and its isotopically labeled derivatives as well as calculations using ab initio methods. Based on the vibrational analysis, new criteria to determine the Schiff base C=N configuration from Raman spectroscopy have been developed, and the C=N configuration in octopus rhodopsin, isorhodopsin and bathorhodopsin has been determined. We have continued the resonance Raman study of the Schiff base hydrogen/deuterium exchange for rhodopsin and bacteriorhodopsin by employing the continuous-flow experiment. The exchange of a deuteron on the Schiff base with a proton is very fast, with half-times of 6.9 +/- 0.9 and 1.3 +/- 0.3 ms for rhodopsin and bacteriorhodopsin, respectively, faster than the proton-deuteron exchange rate of a protonated Schiff base in aqueous solution (16 +/- 2 ms). This anomalous result can be understand if a structural water molecule (or molecules) is present next to the protonated Schiff base in the two pigments.

  6. The absorbance spectrum and photosensitivity of a new synthetic "visual pigment" based on 4-hydroxyretinal.

    PubMed

    Kito, Y; Partridge, J C; Seidou, M; Narita, K; Hamanaka, T; Michinomae, M; Sekiya, N; Yoshihara, K

    1992-01-01

    The firefly squid, Watasenia scintillans, is the only animal known to possess a visual pigment in which the chromophore is 4-hydroxyretinal. This paper describes the absorbance spectrum and some properties of a synthetic "A4" visual pigment generated from bovine opsin and 4-hydroxyretinal. The absorbance spectrum of this pigment is compared with (a) bovine rhodopsin and (b) a rhodopsin template with the same lambda max as the synthetic visual pigment. The A4 pigment is shown to have an absorbance spectrum that is almost identical to that of a rhodopsin template. It is also shown that the photosensitivity and thermal stability of the A4 pigment, dispersed in detergent micelles, is essentially similar to that of rhodopsin.

  7. Visual Pigments, Ocular Filters and the Evolution of Snake Vision.

    PubMed

    Simões, Bruno F; Sampaio, Filipa L; Douglas, Ronald H; Kodandaramaiah, Ullasa; Casewell, Nicholas R; Harrison, Robert A; Hart, Nathan S; Partridge, Julian C; Hunt, David M; Gower, David J

    2016-10-01

    Much of what is known about the molecular evolution of vertebrate vision comes from studies of mammals, birds and fish. Reptiles (especially snakes) have barely been sampled in previous studies despite their exceptional diversity of retinal photoreceptor complements. Here, we analyze opsin gene sequences and ocular media transmission for up to 69 species to investigate snake visual evolution. Most snakes express three visual opsin genes (rh1, sws1, and lws). These opsin genes (especially rh1 and sws1) have undergone much evolutionary change, including modifications of amino acid residues at sites of known importance for spectral tuning, with several tuning site combinations unknown elsewhere among vertebrates. These changes are particularly common among dipsadine and colubrine "higher" snakes. All three opsin genes are inferred to be under purifying selection, though dN/dS varies with respect to some lineages, ecologies, and retinal anatomy. Positive selection was inferred at multiple sites in all three opsins, these being concentrated in transmembrane domains and thus likely to have a substantial effect on spectral tuning and other aspects of opsin function. Snake lenses vary substantially in their spectral transmission. Snakes active at night and some of those active by day have very transmissive lenses, whereas some primarily diurnal species cut out shorter wavelengths (including UVA). In terms of retinal anatomy, lens transmission, visual pigment spectral tuning and opsin gene evolution the visual system of snakes is exceptionally diverse compared with all other extant tetrapod orders. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

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

    PubMed

    Hulsey, C Darrin

    2009-12-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. The pKa of the protonated Schiff bases of gecko cone and octopus visual pigments.

    PubMed Central

    Liang, J; Steinberg, G; Livnah, N; Sheves, M; Ebrey, T G; Tsuda, M

    1994-01-01

    A visual pigment is composed of retinal bound to its apoprotein by a protonated Schiff base linkage. Light isomerizes the chromophore and eventually causes the deprotonation of this Schiff base linkage at the meta II stage of the bleaching cycle. The meta II intermediate of the visual pigment is the active form of the pigment that binds to and activates the G protein transducin, starting the visual cascade. The deprotonation of the Schiff base is mandatory for the formation of meta II intermediate. We studied the proton binding affinity, pKa, of the Schiff base of both octopus rhodopsin and the gecko cone pigment P521 by spectral titration. Several fluorinated retinal analogs have strong electron withdrawing character around the Schiff base region and lower the Schiff base pKa in model compounds. We regenerated octopus and gecko visual pigments with these fluorinated and other retinal analogs. Experiments on these artificial pigments showed that the spectral changes seen upon raising the pH indeed reflected the pKa of the Schiff base and not the denaturation of the pigment or the deprotonation of some other group in the pigment. The Schiff base pKa is 10.4 for octopus rhodopsin and 9.9 for the gecko cone pigment. We also showed that although the removal of Cl- ions causes considerable blue-shift in the gecko cone pigment P521, it affects the Schiff base pKa very little, indicating that the lambda max of visual pigment and its Schiff base pKa are not tightly coupled. PMID:7948697

  11. The pKa of the protonated Schiff bases of gecko cone and octopus visual pigments.

    PubMed

    Liang, J; Steinberg, G; Livnah, N; Sheves, M; Ebrey, T G; Tsuda, M

    1994-08-01

    A visual pigment is composed of retinal bound to its apoprotein by a protonated Schiff base linkage. Light isomerizes the chromophore and eventually causes the deprotonation of this Schiff base linkage at the meta II stage of the bleaching cycle. The meta II intermediate of the visual pigment is the active form of the pigment that binds to and activates the G protein transducin, starting the visual cascade. The deprotonation of the Schiff base is mandatory for the formation of meta II intermediate. We studied the proton binding affinity, pKa, of the Schiff base of both octopus rhodopsin and the gecko cone pigment P521 by spectral titration. Several fluorinated retinal analogs have strong electron withdrawing character around the Schiff base region and lower the Schiff base pKa in model compounds. We regenerated octopus and gecko visual pigments with these fluorinated and other retinal analogs. Experiments on these artificial pigments showed that the spectral changes seen upon raising the pH indeed reflected the pKa of the Schiff base and not the denaturation of the pigment or the deprotonation of some other group in the pigment. The Schiff base pKa is 10.4 for octopus rhodopsin and 9.9 for the gecko cone pigment. We also showed that although the removal of Cl- ions causes considerable blue-shift in the gecko cone pigment P521, it affects the Schiff base pKa very little, indicating that the lambda max of visual pigment and its Schiff base pKa are not tightly coupled.

  12. Intraspecific geographic variation in rod and cone visual pigment sensitivity of a parrot, Platycercus elegans.

    PubMed

    Knott, Ben; Berg, Mathew L; Ribot, Raoul F H; Endler, John A; Bennett, Andrew T D

    2017-01-27

    Variation in wavelength sensitivity among subspecies is unknown among vertebrates. The parrot Platycercus elegans has extreme plumage variation between subspecies ranging from pale yellow to crimson which, with differences in background colour and light environment between subspecies, makes it a good candidate for the evolution of within-species differences in vision. We report differences in visual pigments between populations of P. elegans from two subspecies, providing the first known support for population and subspecies variation in visual pigments within a vertebrate species; it is also the first instance of intraspecific variation in rod sensitivity within any vertebrate species. Differences in wavelength sensitivity of rods and cones corresponded to geographic differences in plumage colour. Between study populations, visual pigments varied but not oil droplets. Adaptive functions for the visual pigment differences are untested but they could cause divergence in behaviours associated with colour as well as in dim light, and provide insights into the role of senses in divergence and speciation.

  13. Intraspecific geographic variation in rod and cone visual pigment sensitivity of a parrot, Platycercus elegans

    PubMed Central

    Knott, Ben; Berg, Mathew L.; Ribot, Raoul F. H.; Endler, John A.; Bennett, Andrew T. D.

    2017-01-01

    Variation in wavelength sensitivity among subspecies is unknown among vertebrates. The parrot Platycercus elegans has extreme plumage variation between subspecies ranging from pale yellow to crimson which, with differences in background colour and light environment between subspecies, makes it a good candidate for the evolution of within-species differences in vision. We report differences in visual pigments between populations of P. elegans from two subspecies, providing the first known support for population and subspecies variation in visual pigments within a vertebrate species; it is also the first instance of intraspecific variation in rod sensitivity within any vertebrate species. Differences in wavelength sensitivity of rods and cones corresponded to geographic differences in plumage colour. Between study populations, visual pigments varied but not oil droplets. Adaptive functions for the visual pigment differences are untested but they could cause divergence in behaviours associated with colour as well as in dim light, and provide insights into the role of senses in divergence and speciation. PMID:28128324

  14. Spectral tuning of rhodopsin and visual cone pigments.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Xiuwen; Sundholm, Dage; Wesołowski, Tomasz A; Kaila, Ville R I

    2014-02-19

    Retinal is the light-absorbing biochromophore responsible for the activation of vision pigments and light-driven ion pumps. Nature has evolved molecular tuning mechanisms that significantly shift the optical properties of the retinal pigments to enable their absorption of visible light. Using large-scale quantum chemical calculations at the density functional theory level combined with frozen density embedding theory, we show here how the protein environment of vision pigments tunes the absorption of retinal by electrostatically dominated interactions between the chromophore and the surrounding protein residues. The calculations accurately reproduce the experimental absorption maxima of rhodopsin and the red, green, and blue color pigments. We further identify key interactions responsible for the color-shifting effects by mutating the rhodopsin structure in silico, and we find that deprotonation of the retinyl is likely to be responsible for the blue-shifted absorption in the blue cone vision pigment.

  15. 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

  16. Spontaneous activation of visual pigments in relation to openness/closedness of chromophore-binding pocket

    PubMed Central

    Yue, Wendy Wing Sze; Frederiksen, Rikard; Ren, Xiaozhi; Luo, Dong-Gen; Yamashita, Takahiro; Shichida, Yoshinori; Cornwall, M Carter; Yau, King-Wai

    2017-01-01

    Visual pigments can be spontaneously activated by internal thermal energy, generating noise that interferes with real-light detection. Recently, we developed a physicochemical theory that successfully predicts the rate of spontaneous activity of representative rod and cone pigments from their peak-absorption wavelength (λmax), with pigments having longer λmax being noisier. Interestingly, cone pigments may generally be ~25 fold noisier than rod pigments of the same λmax, possibly ascribed to an ‘open’ chromophore-binding pocket in cone pigments defined by the capability of chromophore-exchange in darkness. Here, we show in mice that the λmax-dependence of pigment noise could be extended even to a mutant pigment, E122Q-rhodopsin. Moreover, although E122Q-rhodopsin shows some cone-pigment-like characteristics, its noise remained quantitatively predictable by the ‘non-open’ nature of its chromophore-binding pocket as in wild-type rhodopsin. The openness/closedness of the chromophore-binding pocket is potentially a useful indicator of whether a pigment is intended for detecting dim or bright light. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.18492.001 PMID:28186874

  17. cis Retinol oxidation regulates photoreceptor access to the retina visual cycle and cone pigment regeneration.

    PubMed

    Sato, Shinya; Kefalov, Vladimir J

    2016-11-15

    This study explores the nature of the cis retinol that Müller cells in the retina provide to cones for the regeneration of their visual pigment. We report that the retina visual cycle provides cones exclusively with 11-cis chromophore in both salamander and mouse and show that this selectivity is dependent on the 11-cis-specific cellular retinaldehyde binding protein (CRALBP) present in Müller cells. Even though salamander blue cones and green rods share the same visual pigment, only blue cones but not green rods are able to dark-adapt in the retina following a bleach and to use exogenous 9-cis retinol for pigment regeneration, suggesting that access to the retina visual cycle is cone-specific and pigment-independent. Our results show that the retina produces 11-cis retinol that can be oxidized and used for pigment regeneration and dark adaptation selectively in cones and not in rods. Chromophore supply by the retinal Müller cells (retina visual cycle) supports the efficient pigment regeneration required for cone photoreceptor function in bright light. Surprisingly, a large fraction of the chromophore produced by dihydroceramide desaturase-1, the putative all-trans retinol isomerase in Müller cells, appears to be 9-cis retinol. In contrast, the canonical retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) visual cycle produces exclusively 11-cis retinal. Here, we used the different absorption spectra of 9-cis and 11-cis pigments to identify the isoform of the chromophore produced by the visual cycle of the intact retina. We found that the spectral sensitivity of salamander and mouse cones dark-adapted in the isolated retina (with only the retina visual cycle) was similar to that of cones dark-adapted in the intact eye (with both the RPE and retina visual cycles) and consistent with pure 11-cis pigment composition. However, in mice lacking the cellular retinaldehyde binding protein (CRALBP), cone spectral sensitivity contained a substantial 9-cis component. Thus, the retina visual

  18. Dephosphorylation during Bleach and Regeneration of Visual Pigment in Carp Rod and Cone Membranes*

    PubMed Central

    Yamaoka, Hiromi; Tachibanaki, Shuji; Kawamura, Satoru

    2015-01-01

    On absorption of light by vertebrate visual pigment, the chromophore, 11-cis retinal, is isomerized to all-trans retinal to activate the phototransduction cascade, which leads to a hyperpolarizing light response. Activated pigment is inactivated by phosphorylation on the protein moiety, opsin. Isomerized all-trans retinal is ultimately released from opsin, and the pigment is regenerated by binding to 11-cis retinal. In this pigment regeneration cycle, the phosphates incorporated should be removed in order that the pigment regains the capability of activating the phototransduction cascade. However, it is not clear yet how pigment dephosphorylation takes place in the regeneration cycle. First in this study, we tried to estimate the dephosphorylation activity in living carp rods and cones and found that the activity, which is present mainly in the cytoplasm in both rods and cones, is three times higher in cones than in rods. Second, we examined at which stage the dephosphorylation takes place; before or after the release of all-trans retinal, during pigment regeneration, or after pigment regeneration. For this purpose we prepared three types of phosphorylated substrates in purified carp rod and cone membranes: phosphorylated bleaching intermediate, phosphorylated opsin, and phosphorylated and regenerated pigment. We also examined the effect of pigment regeneration on the dephosphorylation. The results showed that the dephosphorylation does not show substrate preference in the regeneration cycle and suggested that the dephosphorylation takes place constantly. The results also suggest that, under bright light, some of the regenerated visual pigment remains phosphorylated to reduce the light sensitivity in cones. PMID:26286749

  19. Dephosphorylation during bleach and regeneration of visual pigment in carp rod and cone membranes.

    PubMed

    Yamaoka, Hiromi; Tachibanaki, Shuji; Kawamura, Satoru

    2015-10-02

    On absorption of light by vertebrate visual pigment, the chromophore, 11-cis retinal, is isomerized to all-trans retinal to activate the phototransduction cascade, which leads to a hyperpolarizing light response. Activated pigment is inactivated by phosphorylation on the protein moiety, opsin. Isomerized all-trans retinal is ultimately released from opsin, and the pigment is regenerated by binding to 11-cis retinal. In this pigment regeneration cycle, the phosphates incorporated should be removed in order that the pigment regains the capability of activating the phototransduction cascade. However, it is not clear yet how pigment dephosphorylation takes place in the regeneration cycle. First in this study, we tried to estimate the dephosphorylation activity in living carp rods and cones and found that the activity, which is present mainly in the cytoplasm in both rods and cones, is three times higher in cones than in rods. Second, we examined at which stage the dephosphorylation takes place; before or after the release of all-trans retinal, during pigment regeneration, or after pigment regeneration. For this purpose we prepared three types of phosphorylated substrates in purified carp rod and cone membranes: phosphorylated bleaching intermediate, phosphorylated opsin, and phosphorylated and regenerated pigment. We also examined the effect of pigment regeneration on the dephosphorylation. The results showed that the dephosphorylation does not show substrate preference in the regeneration cycle and suggested that the dephosphorylation takes place constantly. The results also suggest that, under bright light, some of the regenerated visual pigment remains phosphorylated to reduce the light sensitivity in cones.

  20. Visual pigments and optical habitats of surfperch (Embiotocidae) in the California kelp forest.

    PubMed

    Cummings, M E; Partridge, J C

    2001-12-01

    We studied the optical microhabitat use and visual pigment variation among a group of closely related teleosts (surfperch: Embiotocidae) living along the nearshore central California coast. We employed a diver-operated spectroradiometer to record the optical microhabitat use of eight surfperch species in Monterey Bay. and microspectrophotometry to measure visual pigment absorbance for nine surfperch species. Species were dichromatic with mixtures of A1- and A2-based visual pigments exhibiting extensive maximum absorbance (lambda(max)) variation across species: 455-482 nm for SWS cones and 527-546 nm for LWS cones. Interspecific variation in sidewelling irradiance measurements (mean lambdaFmaxs) significantly accounted for 63% of the variation in surfperch LWS visual pigments and 83% of the interspecific variation in SWS visual pigments using a phylogenetically-corrected regression technique. Optimality models for maximizing relative photon capture of background radiance demonstrate that the LWS cone lambda(max) values are tuned for maximizing photon capture of the species-specific horizontal visual field, while the SWS cone lambda(max), are well offset from the dominant background radiance. This study is one of the first to demonstrate species-specific differences in habitat usage at microhabitat scales accounting for differences in photoreceptor peak absorbance among closely related, sympatric species.

  1. Blue light regenerates functional visual pigments in mammals through a retinyl-phospholipid intermediate.

    PubMed

    Kaylor, Joanna J; Xu, Tongzhou; Ingram, Norianne T; Tsan, Avian; Hakobyan, Hayk; Fain, Gordon L; Travis, Gabriel H

    2017-05-04

    The light absorbing chromophore in opsin visual pigments is the protonated Schiff base of 11-cis-retinaldehyde (11cRAL). Absorption of a photon isomerizes 11cRAL to all-trans-retinaldehyde (atRAL), briefly activating the pigment before it dissociates. Light sensitivity is restored when apo-opsin combines with another 11cRAL to form a new visual pigment. Conversion of atRAL to 11cRAL is carried out by enzyme pathways in neighboring cells. Here we show that blue (450-nm) light converts atRAL specifically to 11cRAL through a retinyl-phospholipid intermediate in photoreceptor membranes. The quantum efficiency of this photoconversion is similar to rhodopsin. Photoreceptor membranes synthesize 11cRAL chromophore faster under blue light than in darkness. Live mice regenerate rhodopsin more rapidly in blue light. Finally, whole retinas and isolated cone cells show increased photosensitivity following exposure to blue light. These results indicate that light contributes to visual-pigment renewal in mammalian rods and cones through a non-enzymatic process involving retinyl-phospholipids.It is currently thought that visual pigments in vertebrate photoreceptors are regenerated exclusively through enzymatic cycles. Here the authors show that mammalian photoreceptors also regenerate opsin pigments in light through photoisomerization of N-ret-PE (N-retinylidene-phosphatidylethanolamine.

  2. Resonance Raman examination of the wavelength regulation mechanism in human visual pigments.

    PubMed

    Kochendoerfer, G G; Wang, Z; Oprian, D D; Mathies, R A

    1997-06-03

    Resonance Raman spectra of recombinant human green and red cone pigments have been obtained to examine the molecular mechanism of color recognition by visual pigments. Spectra were acquired using a 77 K resonance Raman microprobe or preresonance Raman spectroscopy. The vibrational bands were assigned by comparison to the spectra of bovine rhodopsin and model compounds. The C=NH stretching frequencies of rhodopsin, the green cone pigment, and the red cone pigment in H2O (D2O) are found at 1656 (1623), 1640 (1618), and 1644 cm(-1), respectively. Together with previous resonance Raman studies on iodopsin [Lin, S. W., Imamoto, Y., Fukada, Y., Shichida, Y., Yoshizawa, T., & Mathies, R. A. (1994) Biochemistry 33, 2151-2160], these values suggest that red and green pigments have very similar Schiff base environments, while the Schiff base group in rhodopsin is more strongly hydrogen-bonded to its protein environment. The absence of significant frequency and intensity differences of modes in the fingerprint and the hydrogen out-of-plane wagging regions for all these pigments does not support the hypothesis that local chromophore interactions with charged protein residues and/or chromophore planarization are crucial for the absorption differences among these pigments. However, our data are consistent with the idea that the Schiff base group in blue visual pigments is stabilized by protein and water dipoles and that the removal of this dipolar field shifts the absorption maximum from blue to green. A further red shift of the lambda(max) from the green to the red pigment is successfully modeled by the addition of hydroxyl-bearing amino acids (Ser164, Tyr261, and Thr269) close to the ionone ring that lower the transition energy by interacting with the change of dipole moment of the chromophore upon excitation. The increased hydrogen bonding of the protonated Schiff base group in rhodopsin is predicted to account for the 30 nm blue shift of its absorption maximum compared to

  3. Deep-sea and pelagic rod visual pigments identified in the mysticete whales.

    PubMed

    Bischoff, Nicole; Nickle, Benjamin; Cronin, Thomas W; Velasquez, Stephani; Fasick, Jeffry I

    2012-03-01

    Our current understanding of the spectral sensitivities of the mysticete whale rod-based visual pigments is based on two species, the gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus) and the humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) possessing absorbance maxima determined from difference spectra to be 492 and 497 nm, respectively. These absorbance maxima values are blueshifted relative to those from typical terrestrial mammals (≈500 nm) but are redshifted when compared to those identified in the odontocetes (479-484 nm). Although these mysticete species represent two of the four mysticete families, they do not fully represent the mysticete whales in terms of foraging strategy and underwater photic environments where foraging occurs. In order to better understand the spectral sensitivities of the mysticete whale rod visual pigments, we have examined the rod opsin genes from 11 mysticete species and their associated amino acid substitutions. Based on the amino acids occurring at positions 83, 292, and 299 along with the directly determined dark spectra from expressed odontocete and mysticete rod visual pigments, we have determined that the majority of mysticete whales possess deep-sea and pelagic like rod visual pigments with absorbance maxima between 479 and 484 nm. Finally, we have defined the five amino acid substitution events that determine the resulting absorbance spectra and associated absorbance maxima for the mysticete whale rod visual pigments examined here.

  4. Characterization of visual pigments, oil droplets, lens and cornea in the whooping crane Grus americana.

    PubMed

    Porter, Megan L; Kingston, Alexandra C N; McCready, Robert; Cameron, Evan G; Hofmann, Christopher M; Suarez, Lauren; Olsen, Glenn H; Cronin, Thomas W; Robinson, Phyllis R

    2014-11-01

    Vision has been investigated in many species of birds, but few studies have considered the visual systems of large birds and the particular implications of large eyes and long-life spans on visual system capabilities. To address these issues we investigated the visual system of the whooping crane Grus americana (Gruiformes, Gruidae), which is one of only two North American crane species. It is a large, long-lived bird in which UV sensitivity might be reduced by chromatic aberration and entrance of UV radiation into the eye could be detrimental to retinal tissues. To investigate the whooping crane visual system we used microspectrophotometry to determine the absorbance spectra of retinal oil droplets and to investigate whether the ocular media (i.e. the lens and cornea) absorb UV radiation. In vitro expression and reconstitution was used to determine the absorbance spectra of rod and cone visual pigments. The rod visual pigments had wavelengths of peak absorbance (λmax) at 500 nm, whereas the cone visual pigment λmax values were determined to be 404 nm (SWS1), 450 nm (SWS2), 499 nm (RH2) and 561 nm (LWS), similar to other characterized bird visual pigment absorbance values. The oil droplet cut-off wavelength (λcut) values similarly fell within ranges recorded in other avian species: 576 nm (R-type), 522 nm (Y-type), 506 nm (P-type) and 448 nm (C-type). We confirm that G. americana has a violet-sensitive visual system; however, as a consequence of the λmax of the SWS1 visual pigment (404 nm), it might also have some UV sensitivity. © 2014. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  5. Characterization of visual pigments, oil droplets, lens and cornea in the whooping crane Grus americana

    PubMed Central

    Porter, Megan L.; Kingston, Alexandra C. N.; McCready, Robert; Cameron, Evan G.; Hofmann, Christopher M.; Suarez, Lauren; Olsen, Glenn H.; Cronin, Thomas W.; Robinson, Phyllis R.

    2014-01-01

    Vision has been investigated in many species of birds, but few studies have considered the visual systems of large birds and the particular implications of large eyes and long-life spans on visual system capabilities. To address these issues we investigated the visual system of the whooping crane Grus americana (Gruiformes, Gruidae), which is one of only two North American crane species. It is a large, long-lived bird in which UV sensitivity might be reduced by chromatic aberration and entrance of UV radiation into the eye could be detrimental to retinal tissues. To investigate the whooping crane visual system we used microspectrophotometry to determine the absorbance spectra of retinal oil droplets and to investigate whether the ocular media (i.e. the lens and cornea) absorb UV radiation. In vitro expression and reconstitution was used to determine the absorbance spectra of rod and cone visual pigments. The rod visual pigments had wavelengths of peak absorbance (λmax) at 500 nm, whereas the cone visual pigment λmax values were determined to be 404 nm (SWS1), 450 nm (SWS2), 499 nm (RH2) and 561 nm (LWS), similar to other characterized bird visual pigment absorbance values. The oil droplet cut-off wavelength (λcut) values similarly fell within ranges recorded in other avian species: 576 nm (R-type), 522 nm (Y-type), 506 nm (P-type) and 448 nm (C-type). We confirm that G. americana has a violet-sensitive visual system; however, as a consequence of the λmax of the SWS1 visual pigment (404 nm), it might also have some UV sensitivity. PMID:25267845

  6. Visual pigments, oil droplets, lens, and cornea characterization in the whooping crane (Grus americana)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Porter, Megan L.; Kingston, Alexandra C. N.; McCready, Robert; Cameron, Evan G.; Hofmann, Christopher M.; Suarez, Lauren; Olsen, Glenn H.; Cronin, Thomas W.; Robinson, Phyllis R.

    2014-01-01

    Vision has been investigated in many species of birds, but few studies have considered the visual systems of large birds and the particular implications of large eyes and long-life spans on visual system capabilities. To address these issues we investigated the visual system of the whooping crane, Grus americana (Gruiformes: Gruidae). G. americana (an endangered species) is one of only two North American crane species and represents a large, long-lived bird where ultraviolet sensitivity may be degraded by chromatic aberrations and entrance of ultraviolet light into the eye could be detrimental to retinal tissues. To investigate the whooping crane visual system we used microspectrophotometry to determine the absorbance spectra of retinal oil droplets and to investigate if the ocular media (i.e., the lens and cornea) absorbs UV light. In vitro expression and reconstitution was used to determine the absorbance spectra of rod and cone visual pigments. The rod visual pigments had wavelengths of peak absorbance (λmax) at 500 nm, while the cone visual pigments λmax values were determined to be 404 nm (SWS1), 450 nm (SWS2), 499 nm (RH2), and 561 nm (LWS), similar to other characterized bird visual pigment absorbance values. The oil droplet cutoff wavelength (λcut) values similarly fell within ranges recorded from other avian species: 576 nm (R-type), 522 nm (Y-type), 506 nm (P-type), and 448 nm (C-type). We confirm that G. americana has a violet-sensitive visual system, although based on the λmax of the SWS1 visual pigment (404 nm) may also have some ability for UV sensitivity.

  7. Numbers and Ratios of Visual Pigment Genes for Normal Red-Green Color Vision

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neitz, Maureen; Neitz, Jay

    1995-02-01

    Red-green color vision is based on middle-wavelength- and long-wavelength-sensitive visual pigments encoded by an array of genes on the X chromosome. The numbers and ratios of genes in this cluster were reexamined in men with normal color vision by means of newly refined methods. These methods revealed that many men had more pigment genes on the X chromosome than had previously been suggested and that many had more than one long-wave pigment gene. These discoveries challenge accepted ideas that are the foundation for theories of normal and anomalous color vision.

  8. Foraging success of juvenile pike Esox lucius depends on visual conditions and prey pigmentation.

    PubMed

    Jönsson, M; Hylander, S; Ranåker, L; Nilsson, P A; Brönmark, C

    2011-07-01

    Young-of-the-year pike Esox lucius foraging on copepods experienced different foraging success depending on prey pigmentation in water visually degraded by brown colouration or algae. Both attack rate and prey consumption rate were higher for E. lucius foraging on transparent prey in brown water, whereas the opposite was true in algal turbid water. Pigments in copepod prey may have a cryptic function in brown water instead of a photo-protective function even if prey-size selectivity was stronger than selection based on pigmentation in juvenile E. lucius.

  9. Visual pigments in a living fossil, the Australian lungfish Neoceratodus forsteri

    PubMed Central

    Bailes, Helena J; Davies, Wayne L; Trezise, Ann EO; Collin, Shaun P

    2007-01-01

    Background One of the greatest challenges facing the early land vertebrates was the need to effectively interpret a terrestrial environment. Interpretation was based on ocular adaptations evolved for an aquatic environment millions of years earlier. The Australian lungfish Neoceratodus forsteri is thought to be the closest living relative to the first terrestrial vertebrate, and yet nothing is known about the visual pigments present in lungfish or the early tetrapods. Results Here we identify and characterise five visual pigments (rh1, rh2, lws, sws1 and sws2) expressed in the retina of N. forsteri. Phylogenetic analysis of the molecular evolution of lungfish and other vertebrate visual pigment genes indicates a closer relationship between lungfish and amphibian pigments than to pigments in teleost fishes. However, the relationship between lungfish, the coelacanth and tetrapods could not be absolutely determined from opsin phylogeny, supporting an unresolved trichotomy between the three groups. Conclusion The presence of four cone pigments in Australian lungfish suggests that the earliest tetrapods would have had a colorful view of their terrestrial environment. PMID:17961206

  10. Visual pigments in a living fossil, the Australian lungfish Neoceratodus forsteri.

    PubMed

    Bailes, Helena J; Davies, Wayne L; Trezise, Ann E O; Collin, Shaun P

    2007-10-25

    One of the greatest challenges facing the early land vertebrates was the need to effectively interpret a terrestrial environment. Interpretation was based on ocular adaptations evolved for an aquatic environment millions of years earlier. The Australian lungfish Neoceratodus forsteri is thought to be the closest living relative to the first terrestrial vertebrate, and yet nothing is known about the visual pigments present in lungfish or the early tetrapods. Here we identify and characterise five visual pigments (rh1, rh2, lws, sws1 and sws2) expressed in the retina of N. forsteri. Phylogenetic analysis of the molecular evolution of lungfish and other vertebrate visual pigment genes indicates a closer relationship between lungfish and amphibian pigments than to pigments in teleost fishes. However, the relationship between lungfish, the coelacanth and tetrapods could not be absolutely determined from opsin phylogeny, supporting an unresolved trichotomy between the three groups. The presence of four cone pigments in Australian lungfish suggests that the earliest tetrapods would have had a colorful view of their terrestrial environment.

  11. Evolving visual pigments: hints from the opsin-based proteins in a phylogenetically old "eyeless" invertebrate.

    PubMed

    Santillo, Silvia; Orlando, Pierangelo; De Petrocellis, Luciano; Cristino, Luigia; Guglielmotti, Vittorio; Musio, Carlo

    2006-01-01

    Visual pigments are photosensitive receptor proteins that trigger the transduction process producing the visual excitation once they have absorbed photons. In spite of the molecular and morpho-functional complexity that has characterized the development of animal eyes and eyeless photoreceptive systems, opsin-based protein family appears ubiquous along metazoan visual systems. Moreover, in addition to classic rhodopsin photoreceptors, all Metazoa have supplementary non-visual photosensitive structures, mainly located in the central nervous system, that sense light without forming an image and that rather regulate the organism's temporal physiology. The investigation of novel non-visual photopigments exerting extraretinal photoreception is a challenging field in vision research. Here we propose the cnidarian Hydra as a useful tool of investigation for molecular and functional differences between these pigment families. Hydra is the first metazoan owning a nervous system and it is an eyeless invertebrate showing only an extraocular photoreception, as it has no recognized visual or photosensitive structures. In this paper we provide an overview of the molecular and functional features of the opsin-based protein subfamilies and preliminary evidences in a phylogenetically old species of both image-forming and non-visual opsins. Then we give new insights on the molecular biology of Hydra photoreception and on the evolutionary pathways of visual pigments.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

  13. Physiological studies of the interaction between opsin and chromophore in rod and cone visual pigments.

    PubMed

    Kefalov, Vladimir J; Cornwall, M Carter; Fain, Gordon L

    2010-01-01

    The visual pigment in vertebrate photoreceptors is a G protein-coupled receptor that consists of a protein, opsin, covalently attached to a chromophore, 11-cis-retinal. Activation of the visual pigment by light triggers a transduction cascade that produces experimentally measurable electrical responses in photoreceptors. The interactions between opsin and chromophore can be investigated with electrophysiologial recordings in intact amphibian and mouse rod and cone photoreceptor cells. Here we describe methods for substituting the native chromophore with various chromophore analogs to investigate how specific parts of the chromophore affect the signaling properties of the visual pigment and the function of photoreceptors. We also describe methods for genetically substituting the native rod opsin gene with cone opsins or with mutant rod opsins to investigate and compare their signaling properties. These methods are useful not only for understanding the relation between the properties of visual pigments and the function of photoreceptors but also for understanding the mechanisms by which mutations in rod opsin produce night blindness and other visual disorders.

  14. How parrots see their colours: novelty in the visual pigments of Platycercus elegans.

    PubMed

    Knott, Ben; Davies, Wayne I L; Carvalho, Livia S; Berg, Mathew L; Buchanan, Katherine L; Bowmaker, James K; Bennett, Andrew T D; Hunt, David M

    2013-12-01

    Intraspecific differences in retinal physiology have been demonstrated in several vertebrate taxa and are often subject to adaptive evolution. Nonetheless, such differences are currently unknown in birds, despite variations in habitat, behaviour and visual stimuli that might influence spectral sensitivity. The parrot Platycercus elegans is a species complex with extreme plumage colour differences between (and sometimes within) subspecies, making it an ideal candidate for intraspecific differences in spectral sensitivity. Here, the visual pigments of P. elegans were fully characterised through molecular sequencing of five visual opsin genes and measurement of their absorbance spectra using microspectrophotometry. Three of the genes, LWS, SW1 and SWS2, encode for proteins similar to those found in other birds; however, both the RH1 and RH2 pigments had polypeptides with carboxyl termini of different lengths and unusual properties that are unknown previously for any vertebrate visual pigment. Specifically, multiple RH2 transcripts and protein variants (short, medium and long) were identified for the first time that are generated by alternative splicing of downstream coding and non-coding exons. Our work provides the first complete characterisation of the visual pigments of a parrot, perhaps the most colourful order of birds, and moreover suggests more variability in avian eyes than hitherto considered.

  15. Contribution of a visual pigment absorption spectrum to a visual function: depth perception in a jumping spider.

    PubMed

    Nagata, Takashi; Arikawa, Kentaro; Terakita, Akihisa

    2013-01-01

    Absorption spectra of visual pigments are adaptively tuned to optimize informational capacity in most visual systems. Our recent investigation of the eyes of the jumping spider reveals an apparent exception: the absorption characteristics of a visual pigment cause defocusing of the image, reducing visual acuity generally in a part of the retina. However, the amount of defocus can theoretically provide a quantitative indication of the distance of an object. Therefore, we proposed a novel mechanism for depth perception in jumping spiders based on image defocus. Behavioral experiments revealed that the depth perception of the spider depended on the wavelength of the ambient light, which affects the amount of defocus because of chromatic aberration of the lens. This wavelength effect on depth perception was in close agreement with theoretical predictions based on our hypothesis. These data strongly support the hypothesis that the depth perception mechanism of jumping spiders is based on image defocus.

  16. Retinoid requirements for recovery of sensitivity after visual-pigment bleaching in isolated photoreceptors.

    PubMed Central

    Jones, G J; Crouch, R K; Wiggert, B; Cornwall, M C; Chader, G J

    1989-01-01

    After visual-pigment bleaching, single isolated rod photoreceptors of Ambystoma tigrinum recover their sensitivity to light when supplied with 11-cis-retinal from liposomes or with 11-cis-retinal bound to interphotoreceptor retinoid-binding protein. Bleached rods do not recover sensitivity, or do so only very slowly, after exposure to 11-cis-retinol. The latter retinoid is "toxic" in that rods actually lose sensitivity in its presence. In contrast, bleached isolated cone cells recover sensitivity when either retinoid is supplied. It is suggested that the major pathway for rhodopsin regeneration during dark adaptation in the intact eye is transport of 11-cis-retinal from the pigment epithelium to the retina. The results also suggest that there may be separate pathways for visual-pigment regeneration in rods and cones during dark adaptation. PMID:2594788

  17. Molecular characterization of visual pigments in Branchiopoda and the evolution of opsins in Arthropoda.

    PubMed

    Kashiyama, Kazuyuki; Seki, Takaharu; Numata, Hideharu; Goto, Shin G

    2009-02-01

    Studies on color vision in invertebrates have focused primarily on insect visual pigments, with little attention given to crustacean visual pigments. None of the blue-green-, blue-, or ultraviolet (UV)-sensitive-opsins have been identified in crustaceans. In addition, the discussion of visual pigments has been limited to long-wavelength-sensitive opsins in Pancrustacea. Here, we focused on Branchiopoda (Crustacea), which is a sister group of Hexapoda including insects. In the tadpole shrimp Triops granarius, the visual pigment chromophore was retinal. Multiple opsins were isolated from each of three branchiopod species, T. granarius, Triops longicaudatus, and the fairy shrimp Branchinella kugenumaensis (five, five, and four opsins from these species, respectively). Phylogenetic analyses and the presence of a lysine residue corresponding to position 90 in bovine rhodopsin suggested that three of the branchiopod opsins comprise UV-sensitive pigments. In addition, the phylogenetic relationships between insect and branchiopod UV-sensitive opsins revealed that the divergence of blue- and UV-sensitive pigments predates the Branchiopoda and Insecta divergence. The other branchiopod opsins show distant relationships to other known insect opsins and form novel clusters. The present results strongly suggest that the ancestral arthropod of the Chelicerata-Pancrustacea lineages possessed at least four types of opsins. The ancestors of Pancrustacea and the Insecta-Branchiopoda lineages possessed at least five and six types of opsins, respectively. Our results suggest that in the evolutionary process associated with each lineage, several opsins appeared and diversified with repeated gene duplication, of which some have been lost in some taxa.

  18. On the nature of excited electronic states in cyanine dyes: implications for visual pigment spectra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dinur, Uri; Honig, Barry; Schulten, Klaus

    1980-06-01

    CNDO/S CI calculations are carried out on polyenes and on cyanine dyes. In contrast to polyenes, doubly excited configurations have a strong effect on the first optically allowed excited state in cyanines. Protonated Schiff bases of retinal are closely related to cyanine dyes, with important consequences for models of visual pigment spectra and photochemistry.

  19. Evidence for a two pigment visual system in the fiddler crab, Uca thayeri.

    PubMed

    Horch, K; Salmon, M; Forward, R

    2002-07-01

    Intraocular recordings were made from the eyestalks of dark-adapted fiddler crabs (Uca thayeri) during presentation of monochromatic light flashes of different wavelengths and intensities. Two types of signals were recorded in different experiments: slow potentials (electroretinogram) and fast potentials (spikes). The latter were also recorded in the presence of a continuous green or red adapting light. The resulting visual spectral-sensitivity curves, when fitted to rhodopsin-based visual pigment absorption spectra (from Dartnall nomograms), indicated the presence of two visual pigments, one with an absorption maximum near 430 nm, and the other with a peak absorption between 500 nm and 540 nm. The data also provided evidence for some differential bleaching of the pigments in the presence of a colored adapting light, but most of the adaptation effect was probably due to changes in screening pigment and neural desensitization or inhibition. These two observations suggest that an adequate substrate for color vision may exist in this and other species of fiddler crabs. The electroretinogram and spike-recording methods produced similar visual-sensitivity data, suggesting that latter technique, a much more efficient way of collecting data that is physiologically relevant, may be the method of choice for determining spectral sensitivity in crustaceans.

  20. 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.

  1. Beyond spectral tuning: human cone visual pigments adopt different transient conformations for chromophore regeneration.

    PubMed

    Srinivasan, Sundaramoorthy; Cordomí, Arnau; Ramon, Eva; Garriga, Pere

    2016-03-01

    Human red and green visual pigments are seven transmembrane receptors of cone photoreceptor cells of the retina that mediate color vision. These pigments share a very high degree of homology and have been assumed to feature analogous structural and functional properties. We report on a different regeneration mechanism among red and green cone opsins with retinal analogs using UV-Vis/fluorescence spectroscopic analyses, molecular modeling and site-directed mutagenesis. We find that photoactivated green cone opsin adopts a transient conformation which regenerates via an unprotonated Schiff base linkage with its natural chromophore, whereas red cone opsin forms a typical protonated Schiff base. The chromophore regeneration kinetics is consistent with a secondary retinal uptake by the cone pigments. Overall, our findings reveal, for the first time, structural differences in the photoactivated conformation between red and green cone pigments that may be linked to their molecular evolution, and support the proposal of secondary retinal binding to visual pigments, in addition to binding to the canonical primary site, which may serve as a regulatory mechanism of dark adaptation in the phototransduction process.

  2. Effects of exogenous thyroid hormones on visual pigment composition in coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch).

    PubMed

    Temple, Shelby E; Ramsden, Samuel D; Haimberger, Theodore J; Veldhoen, Kathy M; Veldhoen, Nik J; Carter, Nicolette L; Roth, Wolff-Michael; Hawryshyn, Craig W

    2008-07-01

    The role of exogenous thyroid hormone on visual pigment content of rod and cone photoreceptors was investigated in coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch). Coho vary the ratio of vitamin A1- and A2-based visual pigments in their eyes. This variability potentially alters spectral sensitivity and thermal stability of the visual pigments. We tested whether the direction of shift in the vitamin A1/A2 ratio, resulting from application of exogenous thyroid hormone, varied in fish of different ages and held under different environmental conditions. Changes in the vitamin A1/A2 visual pigment ratio were estimated by measuring the change in maximum absorbance (lambda max) of rods using microspectrophotometry (MSP). Exogenous thyroid hormone resulted in a long-wavelength shift in rod, middle-wavelength-sensitive (MWS) and long-wavelength-sensitive (LWS) cone photoreceptors. Rod and LWS cone lambda max values increased, consistent with an increase in vitamin A2. MWS cone lambda max values increased more than predicted for a change in the vitamin A1/A2 ratio. To account for this shift, we tested for the expression of multiple RH2 opsin subtypes. We isolated and sequenced a novel RH2 opsin subtype, which had 48 amino acid differences from the previously sequenced coho RH2 opsin. A substitution of glutamate for glutamine at position 122 could partially account for the greater than predicted shift in MWS cone lambda max values. Our findings fit the hypothesis that a variable vitamin A1/A2 ratio provides seasonality in spectral tuning and/or improved thermal stability of visual pigments in the face of seasonal environmental changes, and that multiple RH2 opsin subtypes can provide flexibility in spectral tuning associated with migration-metamorphic events.

  3. Evolution and spectral tuning of visual pigments in birds and mammals

    PubMed Central

    Hunt, David M.; Carvalho, Livia S.; Cowing, Jill A.; Davies, Wayne L.

    2009-01-01

    Variation in the types and spectral characteristics of visual pigments is a common mechanism for the adaptation of the vertebrate visual system to prevailing light conditions. The extent of this diversity in mammals and birds is discussed in detail in this review, alongside an in-depth consideration of the molecular changes involved. In mammals, a nocturnal stage in early evolution is thought to underlie the reduction in the number of classes of cone visual pigment genes from four to only two, with the secondary loss of one of these genes in many monochromatic nocturnal and marine species. The trichromacy seen in many primates arises from either a polymorphism or duplication of one of these genes. In contrast, birds have retained the four ancestral cone visual pigment genes, with a generally conserved expression in either single or double cone classes. The loss of sensitivity to ultraviolet (UV) irradiation is a feature of both mammalian and avian visual evolution, with UV sensitivity retained among mammals by only a subset of rodents and marsupials. Where it is found in birds, it is not ancestral but newly acquired. PMID:19720655

  4. Visual pigments and spectral sensitivity of the diurnal gecko Gonatodes albogularis.

    PubMed

    Ellingson, J M; Fleishman, L J; Loew, E R

    1995-11-01

    The visual pigments and oil droplets in the retina of the diurnal gecko Gonatodes albogularis were examined microspectrophotometrically, and the spectral sensitivity under various adapting conditions was recorded using electrophysiological responses. Three classes of visual pigments were identified, with lambda max at about 542, 475, and 362 nm. Spectral sensitivity functions revealed a broad range of sensitivity, with a peak at approximately 530-540 nm. The cornea and oil droplets were found to be transparent across a range from 350-700 nm, but the lens absorbed short wavelength light below 450 nm. Despite the filtering effect of the lens, a secondary peak in spectral sensitivity to ultraviolet wavelengths was found. These results suggest that G. albogularis does possess the visual mechanisms for discrimination of the color pattern of conspecifics based on either hue or brightness. These findings are discussed in terms of the variation in coloration and social behavior of Gonatodes.

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

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Weadick, Cameron J; Chang, Belinda S W

    2012-10-18

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

  7. Cone monochromacy and visual pigment spectral tuning in wobbegong sharks.

    PubMed

    Theiss, Susan M; Davies, Wayne I L; Collin, Shaun P; Hunt, David M; Hart, Nathan S

    2012-12-23

    Much is known regarding the evolution of colour vision in nearly every vertebrate class, with the notable exception of the elasmobranchs. While multiple spectrally distinct cone types are found in some rays, sharks appear to possess only a single class of cone and, therefore, may be colour blind. In this study, the visual opsin genes of two wobbegong species, Orectolobus maculatus and Orectolobus ornatus, were isolated to verify the molecular basis of their monochromacy. In both species, only two opsin genes are present, RH1 (rod) and LWS (cone), which provide further evidence to support the concept that sharks possess only a single cone type. Examination of the coding sequences revealed substitutions that account for interspecific variation in the photopigment absorbance spectra, which may reflect the difference in visual ecology between these species.

  8. Tuning of photoreceptor function in three mantis shrimp species that inhabit a range of depths. I. Visual pigments.

    PubMed

    Cronin, Thomas W; Caldwell, Roy L; Erdmann, Mark V

    2002-04-01

    Visual pigments in many animal species, including stomatopod crustaceans, are adapted to the photic environments inhabited by that species. However, some species occupy a diversity of environments as adults (such as a range of depths in the ocean), and a single set of visual pigments would not be equally adaptive for all habitats in which individuals live. We characterized the visual pigment complements of three species of stomatopod crustaceans, Haptosquilla trispinosa, Gonodactylellus affinis, and Gonodactylopsis spongicola, which are unusual for this group in that each lives at depths from the subtidal to several tens of meters. Using microspectrophotometry, we determined the visual pigments in all classes of main rhabdoms in individuals of each species from shallow or deep habitats. Each species expressed the typical diversity of visual pigments commonly found in stomatopods, but there was little or no evidence of differential expression of visual pigments in animals of any species collected from different depths. Vision in these species, therefore, is not tuned to spectral characteristics of the photic environment by varying the assemblages of visual pigments appearing in their retinas.

  9. Rapid release of retinal from a cone visual pigment following photoactivation.

    PubMed

    Chen, Min-Hsuan; Kuemmel, Colleen; Birge, Robert R; Knox, Barry E

    2012-05-22

    As part of the visual cycle, the retinal chromophore in both rod and cone visual pigments undergoes reversible Schiff base hydrolysis and dissociation following photobleaching. We characterized light-activated release of retinal from a short-wavelength-sensitive cone pigment (VCOP) in 0.1% dodecyl maltoside using fluorescence spectroscopy. The half-time (t(1/2)) of release of retinal from VCOP was 7.1 s, 250-fold faster than that of rhodopsin. VCOP exhibited pH-dependent release kinetics, with the t(1/2) decreasing from 23 to 4 s with the pH decreasing from 4.1 to 8, respectively. However, the Arrhenius activation energy (E(a)) for VCOP derived from kinetic measurements between 4 and 20 °C was 17.4 kcal/mol, similar to the value of 18.5 kcal/mol for rhodopsin. There was a small kinetic isotope (D(2)O) effect in VCOP, but this effect was smaller than that observed in rhodopsin. Mutation of the primary Schiff base counterion (VCOP(D108A)) produced a pigment with an unprotonated chromophore (λ(max) = 360 nm) and dramatically slowed (t(1/2) ~ 6.8 min) light-dependent retinal release. Using homology modeling, a VCOP mutant with two substitutions (S85D and D108A) was designed to move the counterion one α-helical turn into the transmembrane region from the native position. This double mutant had a UV-visible absorption spectrum consistent with a protonated Schiff base (λ(max) = 420 nm). Moreover, the VCOP(S85D/D108A) mutant had retinal release kinetics (t(1/2) = 7 s) and an E(a) (18 kcal/mol) similar to those of the native pigment exhibiting no pH dependence. By contrast, the single mutant VCOP(S85D) had an ~3-fold decreased retinal release rate compared to that of the native pigment. Photoactivated VCOP(D108A) had kinetics comparable to those of a rhodopsin counterion mutant, Rho(E113Q), both requiring hydroxylamine to fully release retinal. These results demonstrate that the primary counterion of cone visual pigments is necessary for efficient Schiff base hydrolysis

  10. Determination of chromophore structure and environment in bovine visual pigments with resonance Raman spectroscopy

    SciTech Connect

    Palings, H.A.

    1987-01-01

    Resonance Raman spectra of /sup 2/H- and /sup 13/C-labeled visual pigments have been obtained and analyzed. The C-C stretching vibrations of rhodopsin, isorhodopsin, and bathorhodopsin have been assigned, as well as those of the 11-cis and 9-cis retinal protonated Schiff base model compounds. The insensitivity of the C/sub 14/-C/sub 15/ stretch frequency to N-deuteration in all three pigments demonstrates that each contains a trans C=N bond. Comparison of the fingerprint modes of the visual pigments and their model compounds shows that the C/sub 10/-C/sub 11/ and C/sub 14/-C/sub 15/ single bonds are s-trans in all three pigments. This provides evidence against the model of bathorhodopsin proposed by Lui and Asato, which suggests a C/sub 10/-C/sub 11/ s-cis structure. The extreme similarity of the C-C stretch modes of rhodopsin and the 11-cis retinal protonated Schiff base argues against the presence of a negatively charged protein residue near C/sub 13/, proposed to be responsible for the opsin shift of rhodopsin. However, the unusually large shift of the C=N stretch frequency upon N-deuteration in rhodopsin relative to the model compound suggests that the opsin shift mechanism may involve altered Schiff base - counter ion interactions.

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-08-01

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

  12. Sensory drive in cichlid speciation.

    PubMed

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

    2006-06-01

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

  13. Paralogous origin of the red- and green-sensitive visual pigment genes in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Yokoyama, S; Starmer, W T; Yokoyama, R

    1993-05-01

    The nucleotide sequence of the red-sensitive visual pigment gene, R007Af, in the fish Astyanax fasciatus, from the initiation codon to the stop codon of this gene, including introns, is 1,592 bp, making it the shortest visual pigment gene known in vertebrates. Analysis of this and other homologous sequence data suggests that vertebrates initially had two duplicate genes and that each ancestor of Astyanax, human, and chicken independently duplicated the gene in the process of developing their red-green color vision. Furthermore, many extant red-green colorblind organisms may be explained simply by the failure of achieving very specific nucleotide substitutions at the three codon positions 180, 277, and 285, rather than by the lack of duplicate loci.

  14. Beta-ionone activates and bleaches visual pigment in salamander photoreceptors.

    PubMed

    Isayama, Tomoki; McCabe England, S L; Crouch, R K; Zimmerman, A L; Makino, C L

    2009-01-01

    Vision begins with photoisomerization of 11-cis retinal to the all-trans conformation within the chromophore-binding pocket of opsin, leading to activation of a biochemical cascade. Release of all-trans retinal from the binding pocket curtails but does not fully quench the ability of opsin to activate transducin. All-trans retinal and some other analogs, such as beta-ionone, enhance opsin's activity, presumably on binding the empty chromophore-binding pocket. By recording from isolated salamander photoreceptors and from patches of rod outer segment membrane, we now show that high concentrations of beta-ionone suppressed circulating current in dark-adapted green-sensitive rods by inhibiting the cyclic nucleotide-gated channels. There were also decreases in circulating current and flash sensitivity, and accelerated flash response kinetics in dark-adapted blue-sensitive (BS) rods and cones, and in ultraviolet-sensitive cones, at concentrations too low to inhibit the channels. These effects persisted in BS rods even after incubation with 9-cis retinal to ensure complete regeneration of their visual pigment. After long exposures to high concentrations of beta-ionone, recovery was incomplete unless 9-cis retinal was given, indicating that visual pigment had been bleached. Therefore, we propose that beta-ionone activates and bleaches some types of visual pigments, mimicking the effects of light.

  15. Visual pigment coexpression in all cones of two rodents, the Siberian hamster, and the pouched mouse.

    PubMed

    Lukáts, Akos; Dkhissi-Benyahya, Ouria; Szepessy, Zsuzsanna; Röhlich, Pál; Vígh, Béla; Bennett, Nigel C; Cooper, Howard M; Szél, Agoston

    2002-07-01

    To decide whether the identical topography of short- and middle-wavelength cone photoreceptors in two species of rodents reflects the presence of both opsins in all cone cells. Double-label immunocytochemistry using antibodies directed against short-wavelength (S)-and middle- to long-wavelength (M/L)-sensitive opsin were used to determine the presence of visual pigments in cones of two species of rodents, the Siberian hamster (Phodopus sungorus) and the pouched mouse (Saccostomus campestris) from South Africa. Topographical distribution was determined from retinal whole-mounts, and the colocalization of visual pigments was examined using confocal laser scanning microscopy. Opsin colocalization was also confirmed in consecutive semithin tangential sections. The immunocytochemical results demonstrate that in both the Siberian hamster and the pouched mouse all retinal cones contain two visual pigments. No dorsoventral gradient in the differential expression of the two opsins is observed. The retina of the Siberian hamster and the pouched mouse is the first example to show a uniform coexpression of M and S cone opsins in all cones, without any topographical gradient in opsin expression. This finding makes these two species good models for the study of molecular control mechanisms in opsin coexpression in rodents, and renders them suitable as sources of dual cones for future investigations on the role and neural connections of this cone type.

  16. β-ionone activates and bleaches visual pigment in salamander photoreceptors

    PubMed Central

    ISAYAMA, TOMOKI; ENGLAND, S.L. McCABE; CROUCH, R.K.; ZIMMERMAN, A.L.; MAKINO, C.L.

    2011-01-01

    Vision begins with photoisomerization of 11-cis retinal to the all-trans conformation within the chromophore-binding pocket of opsin, leading to activation of a biochemical cascade. Release of all-trans retinal from the binding pocket curtails but does not fully quench the ability of opsin to activate transducin. All-trans retinal and some other analogs, such as β-ionone, enhance opsin’s activity, presumably on binding the empty chromophore-binding pocket. By recording from isolated salamander photoreceptors and from patches of rod outer segment membrane, we now show that high concentrations of β-ionone suppressed circulating current in dark-adapted green-sensitive rods by inhibiting the cyclic nucleotide-gated channels. There were also decreases in circulating current and flash sensitivity, and accelerated flash response kinetics in dark-adapted blue-sensitive (BS) rods and cones, and in ultraviolet-sensitive cones, at concentrations too low to inhibit the channels. These effects persisted in BS rods even after incubation with 9-cis retinal to ensure complete regeneration of their visual pigment. After long exposures to high concentrations of β-ionone, recovery was incomplete unless 9-cis retinal was given, indicating that visual pigment had been bleached. Therefore, we propose that β-ionone activates and bleaches some types of visual pigments, mimicking the effects of light. PMID:19500430

  17. Visual pigments in a palaeognath bird, the emu Dromaius novaehollandiae: implications for spectral sensitivity and the origin of ultraviolet vision

    PubMed Central

    Hart, Nathan S.; Mountford, Jessica K.; Davies, Wayne I. L.; Collin, Shaun P.; Hunt, David M.

    2016-01-01

    A comprehensive description of the spectral characteristics of retinal photoreceptors in palaeognaths is lacking. Moreover, controversy exists with respect to the spectral sensitivity of the short-wavelength-sensitive-1 (SWS1) opsin-based visual pigment expressed in one type of single cone: previous microspectrophotometric (MSP) measurements in the ostrich (Struthio camelus) suggested a violet-sensitive (VS) SWS1 pigment, but all palaeognath SWS1 opsin sequences obtained to date (including the ostrich) imply that the visual pigment is ultraviolet-sensitive (UVS). In this study, MSP was used to measure the spectral properties of visual pigments and oil droplets in the retinal photoreceptors of the emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae). Results show that the emu resembles most other bird species in possessing four spectrally distinct single cones, as well as double cones and rods. Four cone and a single rod opsin are expressed, each an orthologue of a previously identified pigment. The SWS1 pigment is clearly UVS (wavelength of maximum absorbance [λmax] = 376 nm), with key tuning sites (Phe86 and Cys90) consistent with other vertebrate UVS SWS1 pigments. Palaeognaths would appear, therefore, to have UVS SWS1 pigments. As they are considered to be basal in avian evolution, this suggests that UVS is the most likely ancestral state for birds. The functional significance of a dedicated UVS cone type in the emu is discussed. PMID:27383819

  18. Elephants and Human Color-Blind Deuteranopes Have Identical Sets of Visual Pigments

    PubMed Central

    Yokoyama, Shozo; Takenaka, Naomi; Agnew, Dalen W.; Shoshani, Jeheskel

    2005-01-01

    Being the largest land mammals, elephants have very few natural enemies and are active during both day and night. Compared with those of diurnal and nocturnal animals, the eyes of elephants and other arrhythmic species, such as many ungulates and large carnivores, must function in both the bright light of day and dim light of night. Despite their fundamental importance, the roles of photosensitive molecules, visual pigments, in arrhythmic vision are not well understood. Here we report that elephants (Loxodonta africana and Elephas maximus) use RH1, SWS1, and LWS pigments, which are maximally sensitive to 496, 419, and 552 nm, respectively. These light sensitivities are virtually identical to those of certain “color-blind” people who lack MWS pigments, which are maximally sensitive to 530 nm. During the day, therefore, elephants seem to have the dichromatic color vision of deuteranopes. During the night, however, they are likely to use RH1 and SWS1 pigments and detect light at 420–490 nm. PMID:15781694

  19. Vertebrate ancient-long opsin has molecular properties intermediate between those of vertebrate and invertebrate visual pigments.

    PubMed

    Sato, Keita; Yamashita, Takahiro; Ohuchi, Hideyo; Shichida, Yoshinori

    2011-12-06

    VA/VAL opsin is one of the four kinds of nonvisual opsins that are closely related to vertebrate visual pigments in the phylogenetic tree of opsins. Previous studies indicated that among these opsins, parapinopsin and pinopsin exhibit molecular properties similar to those of invertebrate bistable visual pigments and vertebrate visual pigments, respectively. Here we show that VA/VAL opsin exhibits molecular properties intermediate between those of parapinopsin and pinopsin. VAL opsin from Xenopus tropicalis was expressed in cultured cells, and the pigment with an absorption maximum at 501 nm was reconstituted by incubation with 11-cis-retinal. Light irradiation of this pigment caused cis-to-trans isomerization of the chromophore to form a state having an absorption maximum in the visible region. This state has the ability to activate Gi and Gt types of G proteins. Therefore, the active state of VAL opsin is a visible light-absorbing intermediate, which probably has a protonated retinylidene Schiff base as its chromophore, like the active state of parapinopsin. However, this state was apparently photoinsensitive and did not show reverse reaction to the original pigment, unlike the active state of parapinopsin, and instead similar to that of pinopsin. Furthermore, the Gi activation efficiency of VAL opsin was between those of pinopsin and parapinopsin. Thus, the molecular properties of VA/VAL opsin give insights into the mechanism of conversion of the molecular properties from invertebrate to vertebrate visual pigments.

  20. Spectral Tuning Mechanism of Primate Blue-sensitive Visual Pigment Elucidated by FTIR Spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Katayama, Kota; Nonaka, Yuki; Tsutsui, Kei; Imai, Hiroo; Kandori, Hideki

    2017-07-07

    Protein-bound water molecules are essential for the structure and function of many membrane proteins, including G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). Our prior work focused on studying the primate green- (MG) and red- (MR) sensitive visual pigments using low-temperature Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, which revealed protein-bound waters in both visual pigments. Although the internal waters are located in the vicinity of both the retinal Schiff base and retinal β-ionone ring, only the latter showed differences between MG and MR, which suggests their role in color tuning. Here, we report FTIR spectra of primate blue-sensitive pigment (MB) in the entire mid-IR region, which reveal the presence of internal waters that possess unique water vibrational signals that are reminiscent of a water cluster. These vibrational signals of the waters are influenced by mutations at position Glu113 and Trp265 in Rh, which suggest that these waters are situated between these two residues. Because Tyr265 is the key residue for achieving the spectral blue-shift in λmax of MB, we propose that these waters are responsible for the increase in polarity toward the retinal Schiff base, which leads to the localization of the positive charge in the Schiff base and consequently causes the blue-shift of λmax.

  1. Relationship between macular pigment and visual function in subjects with early age-related macular degeneration.

    PubMed

    Akuffo, Kwadwo Owusu; Nolan, John M; Peto, Tunde; Stack, Jim; Leung, Irene; Corcoran, Laura; Beatty, Stephen

    2017-02-01

    To investigate the relationship between macular pigment (MP) and visual function in subjects with early age-related macular degeneration (AMD). 121 subjects with early AMD enrolled as part of the Central Retinal Enrichment Supplementation Trial (CREST; ISRCTN13894787) were assessed using a range of psychophysical measures of visual function, including best corrected visual acuity (BCVA), letter contrast sensitivity (CS), mesopic and photopic CS, mesopic and photopic glare disability (GD), photostress recovery time (PRT), reading performance and subjective visual function, using the National Eye Institute Visual Function Questionnaire-25 (NEI VFQ-25). MP was measured using customised heterochromatic flicker photometry. Letter CS, mesopic and photopic CS, photopic GD and mean reading speed were each significantly (p<0.05) associated with MP across a range of retinal eccentricities, and these statistically significant relationships persisted after controlling for age, sex and cataract grade. BCVA, NEI VFQ-25 score, PRT and mesopic GD were unrelated to MP after controlling for age, sex and cataract grade (p>0.05, for all). MP relates positively to many measures of visual function in unsupplemented subjects with early AMD. The CREST trial will investigate whether enrichment of MP influences visual function among those afflicted with this condition. ISRCTN13894787. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://www.bmj.com/company/products-services/rights-and-licensing/.

  2. Relationship between macular pigment and visual function in subjects with early age-related macular degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Nolan, John M; Peto, Tunde; Stack, Jim; Leung, Irene; Corcoran, Laura; Beatty, Stephen

    2017-01-01

    Purpose To investigate the relationship between macular pigment (MP) and visual function in subjects with early age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Methods 121 subjects with early AMD enrolled as part of the Central Retinal Enrichment Supplementation Trial (CREST; ISRCTN13894787) were assessed using a range of psychophysical measures of visual function, including best corrected visual acuity (BCVA), letter contrast sensitivity (CS), mesopic and photopic CS, mesopic and photopic glare disability (GD), photostress recovery time (PRT), reading performance and subjective visual function, using the National Eye Institute Visual Function Questionnaire-25 (NEI VFQ-25). MP was measured using customised heterochromatic flicker photometry. Results Letter CS, mesopic and photopic CS, photopic GD and mean reading speed were each significantly (p<0.05) associated with MP across a range of retinal eccentricities, and these statistically significant relationships persisted after controlling for age, sex and cataract grade. BCVA, NEI VFQ-25 score, PRT and mesopic GD were unrelated to MP after controlling for age, sex and cataract grade (p>0.05, for all). Conclusions MP relates positively to many measures of visual function in unsupplemented subjects with early AMD. The CREST trial will investigate whether enrichment of MP influences visual function among those afflicted with this condition. Trial registration number ISRCTN13894787. PMID:27091854

  3. Quantum-classical model of retinal photoisomerization reaction in visual pigment rhodopsin.

    PubMed

    Lakhno, V D; Shigaev, A S; Feldman, T B; Nadtochenko, V A; Ostrovsky, M A

    2016-11-01

    A quantum-classical model of photoisomerization of the visual pigment rhodopsin chromophore is proposed. At certain (and more realistic) parameter value combinations, the model is shown to accurately reproduce a number of independent experimental data on the photoreaction dynamics: the quantum yield, the time to reach the point of conical intersection of potential energy surfaces, the termination time of the evolution of quantum subsystem, as well as the characteristic low frequencies of retinal molecular lattice fluctuations during photoisomerization. In addition, the model behavior is in good accordance with experimental data about coherence and local character of quantum transition.

  4. Visual pigments of marine carnivores: pinnipeds, polar bear, and sea otter.

    PubMed

    Levenson, David H; Ponganis, Paul J; Crognale, Michael A; Deegan, Jess F; Dizon, Andy; Jacobs, Gerald H

    2006-08-01

    Rod and cone visual pigments of 11 marine carnivores were evaluated. Rod, middle/long-wavelength sensitive (M/L) cone, and short-wavelength sensitive (S) cone opsin (if present) sequences were obtained from retinal mRNA. Spectral sensitivity was inferred through evaluation of known spectral tuning residues. The rod pigments of all but one of the pinnipeds were similar to those of the sea otter, polar bear, and most other terrestrial carnivores with spectral peak sensitivities (lambda(max)) of 499 or 501 nm. Similarly, the M/L cone pigments of the pinnipeds, polar bear, and otter had inferred lambda(max) of 545 to 560 nm. Only the rod opsin sequence of the elephant seal had sensitivity characteristic of adaptation for vision in the marine environment, with an inferred lambda(max) of 487 nm. No evidence of S cones was found for any of the pinnipeds. The polar bear and otter had S cones with inferred lambda(max) of approximately 440 nm. Flicker-photometric ERG was additionally used to examine the in situ sensitivities of three species of pinniped. Despite the use of conditions previously shown to evoke cone responses in other mammals, no cone responses could be elicited from any of these pinnipeds. Rod photoreceptor responses for all three species were as predicted by the genetic data.

  5. The green-absorbing Drosophila Rh6 visual pigment contains a blue-shifting amino acid substitution that is conserved in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Salcedo, Ernesto; Farrell, David M; Zheng, Lijun; Phistry, Meridee; Bagg, Eve E; Britt, Steven G

    2009-02-27

    The molecular mechanisms that regulate invertebrate visual pigment absorption are poorly understood. Through sequence analysis and functional investigation of vertebrate visual pigments, numerous amino acid substitutions important for this adaptive process have been identified. Here we describe a serine/alanine (S/A) substitution in long wavelength-absorbing Drosophila visual pigments that occurs at a site corresponding to Ala-292 in bovine rhodopsin. This S/A substitution accounts for a 10-17-nm absorption shift in visual pigments of this class. Additionally, we demonstrate that substitution of a cysteine at the same site, as occurs in the blue-absorbing Rh5 pigment, accounts for a 4-nm shift. Substitutions at this site are the first spectrally significant amino acid changes to be identified for invertebrate pigments sensitive to visible light and are the first evidence of a conserved tuning mechanism in vertebrate and invertebrate pigments of this class.

  6. The fish eye view: are cichlids conspicuous?

    PubMed

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

    2010-07-01

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

  7. How vertebrate and invertebrate visual pigments differ in their mechanism of photoactivation

    PubMed Central

    Nakagawa, Masashi; Iwasa, Tatsuo; Kikkawa, Satoshi; Tsuda, Motoyuki; Ebrey, Thomas G.

    1999-01-01

    In vertebrate visual pigments, a glutamic acid serves as a negative counterion to the positively charged chromophore, a protonated Schiff base of retinal. When photoisomerization leads to the Schiff base deprotonating, the anionic glutamic acid becomes protonated, forming a neutral species that activates the visual cascade. We show that in octopus rhodopsin, the glutamic acid has no anionic counterpart. Thus, the “counterion” is already neutral, so no protonated form of an initially anionic group needs to be created to activate. This helps to explain another observation—that the active photoproduct of octopus rhodopsin can be formed without its Schiff base deprotonating. In this sense, the mechanism of light activation of octopus rhodopsin is simpler than for vertebrates, because it eliminates one of the steps required for vertebrate rhodopsins to achieve their activating state. PMID:10339563

  8. How vertebrate and invertebrate visual pigments differ in their mechanism of photoactivation.

    PubMed

    Nakagawa, M; Iwasa, T; Kikkawa, S; Tsuda, M; Ebrey, T G

    1999-05-25

    In vertebrate visual pigments, a glutamic acid serves as a negative counterion to the positively charged chromophore, a protonated Schiff base of retinal. When photoisomerization leads to the Schiff base deprotonating, the anionic glutamic acid becomes protonated, forming a neutral species that activates the visual cascade. We show that in octopus rhodopsin, the glutamic acid has no anionic counterpart. Thus, the "counterion" is already neutral, so no protonated form of an initially anionic group needs to be created to activate. This helps to explain another observation-that the active photoproduct of octopus rhodopsin can be formed without its Schiff base deprotonating. In this sense, the mechanism of light activation of octopus rhodopsin is simpler than for vertebrates, because it eliminates one of the steps required for vertebrate rhodopsins to achieve their activating state.

  9. Photoreceptor types, visual pigments, and topographic specializations in the retinas of hydrophiid sea snakes.

    PubMed

    Hart, Nathan S; Coimbra, João Paulo; Collin, Shaun P; Westhoff, Guido

    2012-04-15

    Sea snakes have evolved numerous anatomical, physiological, and behavioral adaptations to suit their wholly aquatic lifestyle. However, although sea snakes use vision for foraging and mate selection, little is known about their visual abilities. We used microspectrophotometry, light microscopy, and scanning electron microscopy to characterize the retinal photoreceptors of spine-bellied (Lapemis curtus) and horned (Acalyptophis peronii) sea snakes. Both species have three types of visual pigment sensitive to short (SWS; wavelength of maximum absorbance, λmax 428-430 nm), medium (MWS; λmax 496 nm), and long wavelengths of light (LWS; λmax 555-559 nm) in each of three different subtypes of cone-like single photoreceptor. They also possess a cone-like double photoreceptor subtype, both the principal and accessory member of which contain the LWS visual pigment. Conventional rods were not observed, although the MWS photoreceptor may be a "transmuted" rod. We also used stereology to measure the total number and topographic distribution of neurons in the ganglion cell layer of L. curtus, the olive sea snake (Aipysurus laevis), and the olive-headed sea snake (Disteira major). All species have a horizontal visual streak with specialized areas in the nasal and temporal retina. Both L. curtus and D. major also have a specialized area in the ventral retina, which may reflect differences in habitat usage and/or foraging behavior compared to A. laevis. Maximal spatial resolution was estimated at 1.1, 1.6, and 2.3 cycles deg⁻¹ in D. major, L. curtus, and A. laevis, respectively; the superior value for A. laevis may reflect its specialized crevice-foraging hunting technique.

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

    PubMed

    Theis, Anya; Salzburger, Walter; Egger, Bernd

    2012-01-01

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

  11. The cone visual pigments of an Australian marsupial, the tammar wallaby (Macropus eugenii): sequence, spectral tuning, and evolution.

    PubMed

    Deeb, Samir S; Wakefield, Matthew J; Tada, Takashi; Marotte, Lauren; Yokoyama, Shozo; Marshall Graves, Jenny A

    2003-10-01

    Studies on marsupial color vision have been limited to very few species. There is evidence from behavioral, electroretinographic (ERG), and microspectrophotometric (MSP) measurements for the existence of both dichromatic and trichromatic color vision. No studies have yet investigated the molecular mechanisms of spectral tuning in the visual pigments of marsupials. Our study is the first to determine the mRNA sequence, infer the amino acid sequence, and determine, by in vitro expression, the spectra of the cone opsins of a marsupial, the tammar wallaby (Macropus eugenii). This yielded some information on mechanisms and evolution of spectral tuning of these pigments. The tammar wallaby retina contains only short-wavelength sensitive (SWS) and middle-wavelength sensitive (MWS) pigment mRNAs. This predicts dichromatic color vision, which is consistent with conclusions from previous behavioral studies ( Hemmi 1999). We found that the wallaby has a SWS1 class pigment of 346 amino acids. Sequence comparison with eutherian SWS pigments predicts that this SWS1 pigment absorbs maximally (lambdamax) at 424 nm and, therefore, is a blue rather than a UV pigment. This (lambdamax) is close to that of the in vitro-expressed wallaby SWS pigment (lambdamax of 420 +/- 2 nm) and to that determined behaviorally (420 nm). The difference from the mouse UV pigment (lambdamax of 359 nm) is largely accounted for by the F86Y substitution, in agreement with in vitro results comparing a variety of other SWS pigments. This suggests that spectral tuning employing F86Y substitution most likely arose independently in the marsupials and ungulates as a result of convergent evolution. An apparently different mechanism of spectral tuning of the SWS1 pigments, involving five amino acid positions, evolved in primates. The wallaby MWS pigment has 363 amino acids. Species comparisons at positions critical to spectral tuning predict a lambdamax near 530 nm, which is close to that of the in vitro

  12. Wavepacket splitting and two-pathway deactivation in the photoexcited visual pigment isorhodopsin.

    PubMed

    Polli, Dario; Weingart, Oliver; Brida, Daniele; Poli, Emiliano; Maiuri, Margherita; Spillane, Katelyn M; Bottoni, Andrea; Kukura, Philipp; Mathies, Richard A; Cerullo, Giulio; Garavelli, Marco

    2014-02-24

    Isorhodopsin is the visual pigment analogue of rhodopsin. It shares the same opsin environment but it embeds 9-cis retinal instead of 11-cis. Its photoisomerization is three times slower and less effective. The mechanistic rationale behind this observation is revealed by combining high-level quantum-mechanical/molecular-mechanical simulations with ultrafast optical spectroscopy with sub-20 fs time resolution and spectral coverage extended to the near-infrared. Whereas in rhodopsin the photoexcited wavepacket has ballistic motion through a single conical intersection seam region between the ground and excited states, in isorhodopsin it branches into two competitive deactivation pathways involving distinct conical intersection funnels. One is rapidly accessed but unreactive. The other is slower, as it features extended steric interactions with the environment, but it is productive as it follows forward bicycle pedal motion. Copyright © 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  13. An artificial molecular switch that mimics the visual pigment and completes its photocycle in picoseconds

    PubMed Central

    Sinicropi, Adalgisa; Martin, Elena; Ryazantsev, Mikhail; Helbing, Jan; Briand, Julien; Sharma, Divya; Léonard, Jérémie; Haacke, Stefan; Cannizzo, Andrea; Chergui, Majed; Zanirato, Vinicio; Fusi, Stefania; Santoro, Fabrizio; Basosi, Riccardo; Ferré, Nicolas; Olivucci, Massimo

    2008-01-01

    Single molecules that act as light-energy transducers (e.g., converting the energy of a photon into atomic-level mechanical motion) are examples of minimal molecular devices. Here, we focus on a molecular switch designed by merging a conformationally locked diarylidene skeleton with a retinal-like Schiff base and capable of mimicking, in solution, different aspects of the transduction of the visual pigment Rhodopsin. Complementary ab initio multiconfigurational quantum chemistry-based computations and time-resolved spectroscopy are used to follow the light-induced isomerization of the switch in methanol. The results show that, similar to rhodopsin, the isomerization occurs on a 0.3-ps time scale and is followed by <10-ps cooling and solvation. The entire (2-photon-powered) switch cycle was traced by following the evolution of its infrared spectrum. These measurements indicate that a full cycle can be completed within 20 ps. PMID:19004797

  14. An artificial molecular switch that mimics the visual pigment and completes its photocycle in picoseconds.

    PubMed

    Sinicropi, Adalgisa; Martin, Elena; Ryazantsev, Mikhail; Helbing, Jan; Briand, Julien; Sharma, Divya; Léonard, Jérémie; Haacke, Stefan; Cannizzo, Andrea; Chergui, Majed; Zanirato, Vinicio; Fusi, Stefania; Santoro, Fabrizio; Basosi, Riccardo; Ferré, Nicolas; Olivucci, Massimo

    2008-11-18

    Single molecules that act as light-energy transducers (e.g., converting the energy of a photon into atomic-level mechanical motion) are examples of minimal molecular devices. Here, we focus on a molecular switch designed by merging a conformationally locked diarylidene skeleton with a retinal-like Schiff base and capable of mimicking, in solution, different aspects of the transduction of the visual pigment Rhodopsin. Complementary ab initio multiconfigurational quantum chemistry-based computations and time-resolved spectroscopy are used to follow the light-induced isomerization of the switch in methanol. The results show that, similar to rhodopsin, the isomerization occurs on a 0.3-ps time scale and is followed by <10-ps cooling and solvation. The entire (2-photon-powered) switch cycle was traced by following the evolution of its infrared spectrum. These measurements indicate that a full cycle can be completed within 20 ps.

  15. Tracking the excited-state time evolution of the visual pigment with multiconfigurational quantum chemistry.

    PubMed

    Frutos, Luis Manuel; Andruniów, Tadeusz; Santoro, Fabrizio; Ferré, Nicolas; Olivucci, Massimo

    2007-05-08

    The primary event that initiates vision is the photoinduced isomerization of retinal in the visual pigment rhodopsin (Rh). Here, we use a scaled quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics potential that reproduces the isomerization path determined with multiconfigurational perturbation theory to follow the excited-state evolution of bovine Rh. The analysis of a 140-fs trajectory provides a description of the electronic and geometrical changes that prepare the system for decay to the ground state. The data uncover a complex change of the retinal backbone that, at approximately 60-fs delay, initiates a space saving "asynchronous bicycle-pedal or crankshaft" motion, leading to a conical intersection on a 110-fs time scale. It is shown that the twisted structure achieved at decay features a momentum that provides a natural route toward the photoRh structure recently resolved by using femtosecond-stimulated Raman spectroscopy.

  16. Tracking the excited-state time evolution of the visual pigment with multiconfigurational quantum chemistry

    PubMed Central

    Frutos, Luis Manuel; Andruniów, Tadeusz; Santoro, Fabrizio; Ferré, Nicolas; Olivucci, Massimo

    2007-01-01

    The primary event that initiates vision is the photoinduced isomerization of retinal in the visual pigment rhodopsin (Rh). Here, we use a scaled quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics potential that reproduces the isomerization path determined with multiconfigurational perturbation theory to follow the excited-state evolution of bovine Rh. The analysis of a 140-fs trajectory provides a description of the electronic and geometrical changes that prepare the system for decay to the ground state. The data uncover a complex change of the retinal backbone that, at ≈60-fs delay, initiates a space saving “asynchronous bicycle-pedal or crankshaft” motion, leading to a conical intersection on a 110-fs time scale. It is shown that the twisted structure achieved at decay features a momentum that provides a natural route toward the photoRh structure recently resolved by using femtosecond-stimulated Raman spectroscopy. PMID:17470789

  17. Understanding visual search patterns of dermatologists assessing pigmented skin lesions before and after online training.

    PubMed

    Krupinski, Elizabeth A; Chao, Joseph; Hofmann-Wellenhof, Rainer; Morrison, Lynne; Curiel-Lewandrowski, Clara

    2014-12-01

    The goal of this investigation was to explore the feasibility of characterizing the visual search characteristics of dermatologists evaluating images corresponding to single pigmented skin lesions (PSLs) (close-ups and dermoscopy) as a venue to improve training programs for dermoscopy. Two Board-certified dermatologists and two dermatology residents participated in a phased study. In phase I, they viewed a series of 20 PSL cases ranging from benign nevi to melanoma. The close-up and dermoscopy images of the PSL were evaluated sequentially and rated individually as benign or malignant, while eye position was recorded. Subsequently, the participating subjects completed an online dermoscopy training module that included a pre- and post-test assessing their dermoscopy skills (phase 2). Three months later, the subjects repeated their assessment on the 20 PSLs presented during phase I of the study. Significant differences in viewing time and eye-position parameters were observed as a function of level of expertise. Dermatologists overall have more efficient search than residents generating fewer fixations with shorter dwells. Fixations and dwells associated with decisions changing from benign to malignant or vice versa from photo to dermatoscopic viewing were longer than any other decision, indicating increased visual processing for those decisions. These differences in visual search may have implications for developing tools to teach dermatologists and residents about how to better utilize dermoscopy in clinical practice.

  18. Functional interplay of visual, sensitizing and screening pigments in the eyes of Drosophila and other red-eyed dipteran flies.

    PubMed

    Stavenga, D G; Wehling, M F; Belušič, G

    2017-08-15

    Several fly species have distinctly red-coloured eyes, meaning that the screening pigments that provide a restricted angular sensitivity of the photoreceptors may perform poorly in the longer wavelength range. The functional reasons for the red transparency and possible negative visual effects of the spectral properties of the eye-colouring screening pigments are discussed within the context of the photochemistry, arrestin binding and turnover of the visual pigments located in the various photoreceptor types. A phylogenetic survey of the spectral properties of the main photoreceptors of the Diptera indicates that the transition of the brown eye colour of the Nematocera and lower Brachycera to a much redder eye colour of the higher Brachycera occurred around the emergence of the Tabanidae family. © 2017 The Authors. The Journal of Physiology © 2017 The Physiological Society.

  19. Opsins in onychophora (velvet worms) suggest a single origin and subsequent diversification of visual pigments in arthropods.

    PubMed

    Hering, Lars; Henze, Miriam J; Kohler, Martin; Kelber, Almut; Bleidorn, Christoph; Leschke, Maren; Nickel, Birgit; Meyer, Matthias; Kircher, Martin; Sunnucks, Paul; Mayer, Georg

    2012-11-01

    Multiple visual pigments, prerequisites for color vision, are found in arthropods, but the evolutionary origin of their diversity remains obscure. In this study, we explore the opsin genes in five distantly related species of Onychophora, using deep transcriptome sequencing and screening approaches. Surprisingly, our data reveal the presence of only one opsin gene (onychopsin) in each onychophoran species, and our behavioral experiments indicate a maximum sensitivity of onychopsin to blue-green light. In our phylogenetic analyses, the onychopsins represent the sister group to the monophyletic clade of visual r-opsins of arthropods. These results concur with phylogenomic support for the sister-group status of the Onychophora and Arthropoda and provide evidence for monochromatic vision in velvet worms and in the last common ancestor of Onychophora and Arthropoda. We conclude that the diversification of visual pigments and color vision evolved in arthropods, along with the evolution of compound eyes-one of the most sophisticated visual systems known.

  20. Identification and characterization of visual pigments in caecilians (Amphibia: Gymnophiona), an order of limbless vertebrates with rudimentary eyes.

    PubMed

    Mohun, S M; Davies, W L; Bowmaker, J K; Pisani, D; Himstedt, W; Gower, D J; Hunt, D M; Wilkinson, M

    2010-10-15

    In comparison with the other amphibian orders, the Anura (frogs) and Urodela (salamanders), knowledge of the visual system of the snake-like Gymnophiona (caecilians) is relatively sparse. Most caecilians are fossorial with, as far as is known any surface activity occurring mainly at night. They have relatively small, poorly developed eyes and might be expected to possess detectable changes in the spectral sensitivity of their visual pigments. Microspectrophotometry was used to determine the spectral sensitivities of the photoreceptors in three species of caecilian, Rhinatrema bivittatum, Geotrypetes seraphini and Typhlonectes natans. Only rod opsin visual pigment, which may be associated with scotopic (dim light) vision when accompanied by other 'rod-specific' components of the phototransduction cascade, was found to be present. Opsin sequences were obtained from the eyes of two species of caecilian, Ichthyophis cf. kohtaoensis and T. natans. These rod opsins were regenerated in vitro with 11-cis retinal to give pigments with spectral sensitivity peaks close to 500 nm. No evidence for cone photoreception, associated with diurnal and colour vision, was detected using molecular and physiological methods. Additionally, visual pigments are short-wavelength shifted in terms of the maximum absorption of light when compared with other amphibian lineages.

  1. Delayed near-infrared analysis permits visualization of rodent retinal pigment epithelium layer in vivo

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pankova, Natalie; Zhao, Xu; Liang, Huiyuan; Baek, David Sung Hyeon; Wang, Hai; Boyd, Shelley

    2014-07-01

    Patches of atrophy of the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) have not been described in rodent models of retinal degeneration, as they have the clinical setting using fundus autofluorescence. We hypothesize that prelabeling the RPE would increase contrast and allow for improved visualization of RPE loss in vivo. Here, we demonstrate a new technique termed "delayed near-infrared analysis (DNIRA)" that permits ready detection of rat RPE, using optical imaging in the near-infrared (IR) spectrum with aid of indocyanine green (ICG) dye. Using DNIRA, we demonstrate a fluorescent RPE signal that is detected using confocal scanning laser ophthalmoscopy up to 28 days following ICG injection. This signal is apparent only after ICG injection, is dose dependent, requires the presence of the ICG filters (795/810 nm excitation/emission), does not appear in the IR reflectance channel, and is eliminated in the presence of sodium iodate, a toxin that causes RPE loss. Rat RPE explants confirm internalization of ICG dye. Together with normal retinal electrophysiology, these findings demonstrate that DNIRA is a new and safe noninvasive optical imaging technique for in vivo visualization of the RPE in models of retinal disease.

  2. Role of the 9-methyl group of retinal in cone visual pigments.

    PubMed

    Das, Joydip; Crouch, Rosalie K; Ma, Jian-xing; Oprian, Daniel D; Kono, Masahiro

    2004-05-11

    In rhodopsin, the 9-methyl group of retinal has previously been identified as being critical in linking the ligand isomerization with the subsequent protein conformational changes that result in the activation of its G protein, transducin. Here, we report studies on the role of this methyl group in the salamander rod and cone pigments. Pigments were generated by combining proteins expressed in COS cells with 11-cis 9-demethyl retinal, where the 9-methyl group on the polyene chain has been deleted. The absorption spectra of all pigments were blue-shifted. The red cone and blue cone/green rod pigments were unstable to hydroxylamine; whereas, the rhodopsin and UV cone pigments were stable. The lack of the 9-methyl group of the chromophore did not affect the ability of the red cone and blue cone/green rod pigments to activate transducin. On the other hand, with the rhodopsin and UV cone pigments, activation was diminished. Interestingly, the red cone pigment containing the retinal analogue remained active longer than the native pigment. Thus, the 9-methyl group of retinal is not important in the activation pathway of the red cone and blue cone/green rod pigments. However, for the red cone pigment, the 9-methyl group of retinal appears to be critical in the deactivation pathway.

  3. Anion sensitivity and spectral tuning of middle- and long-wavelength-sensitive (MWS/LWS) visual pigments.

    PubMed

    Davies, Wayne I L; Wilkie, Susan E; Cowing, Jill A; Hankins, Mark W; Hunt, David M

    2012-07-01

    The long-wavelength-sensitive (LWS) opsins form one of four classes of vertebrate cone visual pigment and exhibit peak spectral sensitivities (λ(max)) that generally range from 525 to 560 nm for rhodopsin/vitamin-A(1) photopigments. Unique amongst the opsin classes, many LWS pigments show anion sensitivity through the interaction of chloride ions with a histidine residue at site 197 (H197) to give a long-wavelength spectral shift in peak sensitivity. Although it has been shown that amino acid substitutions at five sites (180, 197, 277, 285 and 308) are useful in predicting the λ(max) values of the LWS pigment class, some species, such as the elephant shark and most marine mammals, express LWS opsins that possess λ(max) values that are not consistent with this 'five-site' rule, indicating that other interactions may be involved. This study has taken advantage of the natural mutation at the chloride-binding site in the mouse LWS pigment. Through the use of a number of mutant pigments generated by site-directed mutagenesis, a new model has been formulated that takes into account the role of charge and steric properties of the side chains of residues at sites 197 and 308 in the function of the chloride-binding site in determining the peak sensitivity of LWS photopigments.

  4. A Simplified Mass-Transfer Model for Visual Pigments in Amphibian Retinal-Cone Outer Segments

    PubMed Central

    Weber, Paul W.; Howle, Laurens E.; Murray, Mark M.; Corless, Joseph M.

    2011-01-01

    When radiolabeled precursors and autoradiography are used to investigate turnover of protein components in photoreceptive cone outer segments (COSs), the labeled components—primarily visual pigment molecules (opsins)—are diffusely distributed along the COS. To further assess this COS labeling pattern, we derive a simplified mass-transfer model for quantifying the contributions of advective and diffusive mechanisms to the distribution of opsins within COSs of the frog retina. Two opsin-containing regions of the COS are evaluated: the core axial array of disks and the plasmalemma. Numerical solutions of the mass-transfer model indicate three distinct stages of system evolution. In the first stage, plasmalemma diffusion is dominant. In the second stage, the plasmalemma density reaches a metastable state and transfer between the plasmalemma and disk region occurs, which is followed by an increase in density that is qualitatively similar for both regions. The final stage consists of both regions slowly evolving to the steady-state solution. Our results indicate that autoradiographic and cognate approaches for tracking labeled opsins in the COS cannot be effective methodologies for assessing new disk formation at the base of the COS. PMID:21281566

  5. Pronounced heritable variation and limited phenotypic plasticity in visual pigments and opsin expression of threespine stickleback photoreceptors.

    PubMed

    Flamarique, Iñigo Novales; Cheng, Christiana L; Bergstrom, Carolyn; Reimchen, Thomas E

    2013-02-15

    Vertebrate colour vision is mediated by the differential expression of visual pigment proteins (opsins) in retinal cone photoreceptors. Many species alter opsin expression during life, either as part of development or as a result of changes in habitat. The latter, a result of phenotypic plasticity, appears common among fishes, but its cellular origin and ecological significance are unknown. Here, we used adult threespine stickleback fish from different photic regimes to investigate heritable variability and phenotypic plasticity in opsin expression. Fish from clear waters had double cones that expressed long (LWS) and middle (RH2) wavelength opsins, one per double cone member. In contrast, fish from red light-shifted lakes had double cones that were >95% LWS/LWS pairs. All fish had single cones that predominantly expressed a short wavelength (SWS2) opsin but ultraviolet cones, expressing a SWS1 opsin, were present throughout the retina. Fish from red light-shifted lakes, when transferred to clear waters, had a ∼2% increase in RH2/LWS double cones, though double cone density remained constant. Comparison of visual pigment absorbance and light transmission in the environment indicated that the opsin complements of double cones maximized sensitivity to the background light, whereas single cones had visual pigments that were spectrally offset from the dominant background wavelengths. Our results indicate that phenotypic plasticity in opsin expression is minor in sticklebacks and of questionable functional significance.

  6. Phosphorylation-independent Suppression of Light-activated Visual Pigment by Arrestin in Carp Rods and Cones*

    PubMed Central

    Tomizuka, Junko; Tachibanaki, Shuji; Kawamura, Satoru

    2015-01-01

    Visual pigment in photoreceptors is activated by light. Activated visual pigment (R*) is believed to be inactivated by phosphorylation of R* with subsequent binding of arrestin. There are two types of photoreceptors, rods and cones, in the vertebrate retina, and they express different subtypes of arrestin, rod and cone type. To understand the difference in the function between rod- and cone-type arrestin, we first identified the subtype of arrestins expressed in rods and cones in carp retina. We found that two rod-type arrestins, rArr1 and rArr2, are co-expressed in a rod and that a cone-type arrestin, cArr1, is expressed in blue- and UV-sensitive cones; the other cone-type arrestin, cArr2, is expressed in red- and green-sensitive cones. We quantified each arrestin subtype and estimated its concentration in the outer segment of a rod or a cone in the dark; they were ∼0.25 mm (rArr1 plus rArr2) in a rod and 0.6–0.8 mm (cArr1 or cArr2) in a cone. The effect of each arrestin was examined. In contrast to previous studies, both rod and cone arrestins suppressed the activation of transducin in the absence of visual pigment phosphorylation, and all of the arrestins examined (rArr1, rArr2, and cArr2) bound transiently to most probably nonphosphorylated R*. One rod arrestin, rArr2, bound firmly to phosphorylated pigment, and the other two, rArr1 and cArr2, once bound to phosphorylated R* but dissociated from it during incubation. Our results suggested a novel mechanism of arrestin effect on the suppression of the R* activity in both rods and cones. PMID:25713141

  7. Effects of ocular hypertension in the visual system of pigmented mice.

    PubMed

    Valiente-Soriano, Francisco J; Salinas-Navarro, Manuel; Jiménez-López, Manuel; Alarcón-Martínez, Luis; Ortín-Martínez, Arturo; Bernal-Garro, José M; Avilés-Trigueros, Marcelino; Agudo-Barriuso, Marta; Villegas-Pérez, María P; Vidal-Sanz, Manuel

    2015-01-01

    To study the effects of ocular hypertension (OHT) on the visual system of C57BL/6 pigmented mice, the limbal and episcleral veins of the left eye were laser photocoagulated (LP). LP increased the intraocular pressure during the first five days (d), reaching basal values at 7d. To investigate the effect of OHT on the retinal ganglion cell (RGC) retrograde axonal transport, hydroxistilbamidine methanesulfonate (OHSt) was applied to both superior colliculi (SCi) and the retinas were dissected 2 or 4 weeks after LP. To determine RGC survival, these same retinas were immunoreacted against Brn3a (general RGC population) and melanopsin (intrinsically photosensitive RGCs, m+RGCs). To study whether OHT affected non-RGC neurons in the ganglion cell layer (GCL), RGCs were immunodetected with Brn3a and all GCL nuclei counterstained with DAPI in a group of animals examined 4 weeks post-LP. Innervation of the SCi was examined at 10 days, 8 or 14 weeks after LP with the orthogradely transported cholera toxin subunit-B. OHT resulted in diffuse and sectorial loss of OHSt+RGCs (50% at 2 weeks and 62% at 4 weeks) and in a comparable loss of Brn3a+RGCs at the same time intervals. m+RGCs decreased to 59% at 2 weeks and to 46% at 4 weeks, such loss was diffuse, did not parallel the sectorial loss of the general RGC population and was more severe in the superior-temporal retina. In the GCL, cell loss is selective for RGCs and does not affect other non-RGC neurons. The retinotectal innervation appeared significantly reduced at 10 days (55.7%) and did not progress further up to 14 weeks (46.6%). Thus, LP-induced OHT results in retrograde degeneration of RGCs and m+RGCs, as well as in the loss of CTB-labelled retinotectal terminals.

  8. Computer Molecular Dynamics Studies on Protein Structures (Visual Pigment Rhodopsin and Cyclin-Dependent Kinases)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kholmurodov, Kholmirzo T.

    2007-05-01

    Based on the computer molecular dynamics (MD) calculations we have simulated for the visual pigment rhodopsin and cyclin-dependent kinase proteins the dynamical and structural properties at reliable physiological temperatures and conditions. MD simulations are carried out on the rhodopsin protein to investigate the conformational changes of the protein in relation to the inclusion of the 11-cis chromophore retinal into consideration. It was demonstrated that the adaptation of the chromophore retinal in the opsin site causes a considerable influence on its protein binding pocket, as well as on conformations of the cytoplasmic part, but the extracelluar part of the protein shows a comparably small changes. On the basis of the simulaton results we discuss some molecular mechanisms for the rhodopsin protein function as a G-protein-coupled receptor in the dark state, i.e. for the chromophore retinal as a ligand-agonist stabilizaing the inactive conformation. The central role that cyclin-dependent kinases (CDK) play in the timing of cell division and repair and the high incidence of genetic alteration of CDKs or deregulation of CDK inhibitors in a number of cancers make CDC28 of yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae very attractive model for studies of mechanisms of CDK regulation. The crystal structure of the human CDK2 has served as a model for the catalytic core of other CDKs, including CDC28. Nanoseconds long molecular dynamics trajectories of the CDK2/ATP complex were analyzed. The MD simulations of substitution CDK2-G16S in conserved G-loop shows an important of this amino acid and a conformational change of CDK2 structure resulting in the moving of the G-loop away from ATP and a new rearrangement of amino acids in the T-loop.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-26

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

  10. Cynomolgus and rhesus monkey visual pigments. Application of Fourier transform smoothing and statistical techniques to the determination of spectral parameters

    PubMed Central

    1987-01-01

    Microspectrophotometric measurements were performed on 217 photoreceptors from cynomolgus, Macaca fascicularis, and rhesus, M. mulatta, monkeys. The distributions of cell types, for rods and blue, green, and red cones were: 52, 12, 47, and 44, respectively, for the cynomolgus, and 22, 4, 13, and 13 for the rhesus. Visual cells were obtained fresh (unfixed), mounted in various media (some containing 11- cis-retinal), and then located visually under dim red (650 nm) illumination. Absolute absorbance (A), linear dichroism (LD), and bleaching difference (BD) absorbance spectra were recorded through the sides of outer segments. The spectra were subjected to rigorous selection criteria, followed by digital averaging and Fourier transform filtering. Statistical methods were also applied to the accepted samples in the estimation of population means and variances. The wavelength of mean peak absorbance (lambda max) and the standard error at 95% certainty of the rod and blue, green, and red cone pigments in cynomolgus were 499.7 +/- 2.5, 431.4 +/- 4.2, 533.9 +/- 2.4, and 565.9 +/- 2.8 nm, respectively. The rhesus pigments were statistically indistinguishable from the cynomolgus, having lambda max of approximately 500, 431, 534, and 566 nm. Statistical tests did not reveal the presence of a lambda max subpopulation (i.e., anomalous pigments). The bandwidth of each alpha-band was determined in two segments, giving rise to the longwave half-density (LWHDBW), shortwave half-density (SWHDBW), and total half-density (THDBW) bandwidths. The LWHDBW was found to have the smallest variance. Both the LWHDBW and the THDBW showed linear dependence on the peak wavenumber (lambda max)-1 for the four macaque pigments. PMID:3598558

  11. Functional characterization of the rod visual pigment of the echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus), a basal mammal.

    PubMed

    Bickelmann, Constanze; Morrow, James M; Müller, Johannes; Chang, Belinda S W

    2012-09-01

    Monotremes are the most basal egg-laying mammals comprised of two extant genera, which are largely nocturnal. Visual pigments, the first step in the sensory transduction cascade in photoreceptors of the eye, have been examined in a variety of vertebrates, but little work has been done to study the rhodopsin of monotremes. We isolated the rhodopsin gene of the nocturnal short-beaked echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus) and expressed and functionally characterized the protein in vitro. Three mutants were also expressed and characterized: N83D, an important site for spectral tuning and metarhodopsin kinetics, and two sites with amino acids unique to the echidna (T158A and F169A). The λ(max) of echidna rhodopsin (497.9 ± 1.1 nm) did not vary significantly in either T158A (498.0 ± 1.3 nm) or F169A (499.4 ± 0.1 nm) but was redshifted in N83D (503.8 ± 1.5 nm). Unlike other mammalian rhodopsins, echidna rhodopsin did react when exposed to hydroxylamine, although not as fast as cone opsins. The retinal release rate of light-activated echidna rhodopsin, as measured by fluorescence spectroscopy, had a half-life of 9.5 ± 2.6 min-1, which is significantly shorter than that of bovine rhodopsin. The half-life of the N83D mutant was 5.1 ± 0.1 min-1, even shorter than wild type. Our results show that with respect to hydroxylamine sensitivity and retinal release, the wild-type echidna rhodopsin displays major differences to all previously characterized mammalian rhodopsins and appears more similar to other nonmammalian vertebrate rhodopsins such as chicken and anole. However, our N83D mutagenesis results suggest that this site may mediate adaptation in the echidna to dim light environments, possibly via increased stability of light-activated intermediates. This study is the first characterization of a rhodopsin from a most basal mammal and indicates that there might be more functional variation in mammalian rhodopsins than previously assumed.

  12. The molecular basis for spectral tuning of rod visual pigments in deep-sea fish.

    PubMed

    Hunt, D M; Dulai, K S; Partridge, J C; Cottrill, P; Bowmaker, J K

    2001-10-01

    Most species of deep-sea fish possess of a rod-only retina with a pigment that is generally shortwave shifted in lambda(max) towards the blue region of the spectrum. In addition, the lambda(max) values of different species tend to cluster at particular points in the spectrum. In this study, the rod opsin gene sequences from 28 deep-sea fish species drawn from seven different Orders are compared. The lambda(max) values of the rod pigments vary from approximately 520 nm to <470 nm, with the majority lying between 490 nm and 477 nm. The 520 nm pigment in two species of dragon fish is associated with a Phe261Tyr substitution, whereas the shortwave shifts of the pigments in the other 26 species are accountable by substitutions at a further eight sites (83, 122, 124, 132, 208, 292, 299 and 300). Clustering of lambda(max) values does not, however, involve a common subset of these substitutions in the different species. A phylogenetic analysis predicts that the pigment in the ancestral species would have had a lambda(max) of approximately 480 nm. A total of 27 changes is required to generate the pattern of substitutions seen in the different species, with many sites undergoing multiple changes.

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  15. Microphthalmia-associated transcription factor regulates the visual cycle genes Rlbp1 and Rdh5 in the retinal pigment epithelium

    PubMed Central

    Wen, Bin; Li, Shuang; Li, Huirong; Chen, Yu; Ma, Xiaoyin; Wang, Jing; Lu, Fan; Qu, Jia; Hou, Ling

    2016-01-01

    Regeneration of the visual pigment by cells of the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) is fundamental to vision. Here we show that the microphthalmia-associated transcription factor, MITF, which plays a central role in the development and function of RPE cells, regulates the expression of two visual cycle genes, Rlbp1 which encodes retinaldehyde binding protein-1 (RLBP1), and Rdh5, which encodes retinol dehydrogenase-5 (RDH5). First, we found that Rlbp1 and Rdh5 are downregulated in optic cups and presumptive RPEs of Mitf-deficient mouse embryos. Second, experimental manipulation of MITF levels in human RPE cells in culture leads to corresponding modulations of the endogenous levels of RLBP1 and RDH5. Third, the retinal degeneration associated with the disruption of the visual cycle in Mitf-deficient mice can be partially corrected both structurally and functionally by an exogenous supply of 9-cis-retinal. We conclude that the expression of Rlbp1 and Rdh5 critically depends on functional Mitf in the RPE and suggest that MITF has an important role in controlling retinoid processing in the RPE. PMID:26876013

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

    PubMed Central

    Theis, Anya; Salzburger, Walter; Egger, Bernd

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

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

  18. Using Cichlids for Illustrating Mendel's Laws

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gennaro, Eugene D.; Winters, Charlotte M.

    1978-01-01

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

  19. 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)

  20. Hybrid Breakdown in Cichlid Fish

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  1. SWS2 visual pigment evolution as a test of historically contingent patterns of plumage color evolution in warblers.

    PubMed

    Bloch, Natasha I; Morrow, James M; Chang, Belinda S W; Price, Trevor D

    2015-02-01

    Distantly related clades that occupy similar environments may differ due to the lasting imprint of their ancestors-historical contingency. The New World warblers (Parulidae) and Old World warblers (Phylloscopidae) are ecologically similar clades that differ strikingly in plumage coloration. We studied genetic and functional evolution of the short-wavelength-sensitive visual pigments (SWS2 and SWS1) to ask if altered color perception could contribute to the plumage color differences between clades. We show SWS2 is short-wavelength shifted in birds that occupy open environments, such as finches, compared to those in closed environments, including warblers. Phylogenetic reconstructions indicate New World warblers were derived from a finch-like form that colonized from the Old World 15-20 Ma. During this process, the SWS2 gene accumulated six substitutions in branches leading to New World warblers, inviting the hypothesis that passage through a finch-like ancestor resulted in SWS2 evolution. In fact, we show spectral tuning remained similar across warblers as well as the finch ancestor. Results reject the hypothesis of historical contingency based on opsin spectral tuning, but point to evolution of other aspects of visual pigment function. Using the approach outlined here, historical contingency becomes a generally testable theory in systems where genotype and phenotype can be connected.

  2. SWS2 visual pigment evolution as a test of historically contingent patterns of plumage color evolution in Warblers

    PubMed Central

    Bloch, Natasha I.; Morrow, James M.; Chang, Belinda S.W.; Price, Trevor D.

    2014-01-01

    Distantly related clades that occupy similar environments may differ due to the lasting imprint of their ancestors – historical contingency. The New World warblers (Parulidae) and Old World warblers (Phylloscopidae) are ecologically similar clades that differ strikingly in plumage coloration. We studied genetic and functional evolution of the short-wavelength sensitive visual pigments (SWS2 and SWS1) to ask if altered color perception could contribute to the plumage color differences between clades. We show SWS2 is short-wavelength shifted in birds that occupy open environments, such as finches, compared to those in closed environments, including warblers. Phylogenetic reconstructions indicate New World warblers were derived from a finch-like form that colonized from the Old World 15-20Ma. During this process the SWS2 gene accumulated 6 substitutions in branches leading to New World warblers, inviting the hypothesis that passage through a finch-like ancestor resulted in SWS2 evolution. In fact, we show spectral tuning remained similar across warblers as well as the finch ancestor. Results reject the hypothesis of historical contingency based on opsin spectral tuning, but point to evolution of other aspects of visual pigment function. Using the approach outlined here, historical contingency becomes a generally testable theory in systems where genotype and phenotype can be connected. PMID:25496318

  3. Vision in click beetles (Coleoptera: Elateridae): pigments and spectral correspondence between visual sensitivity and species bioluminescence emission.

    PubMed

    Lall, Abner B; Cronin, Thomas W; Carvalho, Alexandre A; de Souza, John M; Barros, Marcelo P; Stevani, Cassius V; Bechara, Etelvino J H; Ventura, Dora F; Viviani, Vadim R; Hill, Avionne A

    2010-09-01

    Among lampyrids, intraspecific sexual communication is facilitated by spectral correspondence between visual sensitivity and bioluminescence emission from the single lantern in the tail. Could a similar strategy be utilized by the elaterids (click beetles), which have one ventral abdominal and two dorsal prothoracic lanterns? Spectral sensitivity [S(lambda)] and bioluminescence were investigated in four Brazilian click beetle species Fulgeochlizus bruchii, Pyrearinus termitilluminans, Pyrophorus punctatissimus and P. divergens, representing three genera. In addition, in situ microspectrophotometric absorption spectra were obtained for visual and screening pigments in P. punctatissimus and P. divergens species. In all species, the electroretinographic S(lambda) functions showed broad peaks in the green with a shoulder in the near-ultraviolet, suggesting the presence of short- and long-wavelength receptors in the compound eyes. The long-wavelength receptor in Pyrophorus species is mediated by a P540 rhodopsin in conjunction with a species-specific screening pigment. A correspondence was found between green to yellow bioluminescence emissions and its broad S(lambda) maximum in each of the four species. It is hypothesized that in elaterids, bioluminescence of the abdominal lantern is an optical signal for intraspecifc sexual communication, while the signals from the prothoracic lanterns serve to warn predators and may also provide illumination in flight.

  4. Long-wavelength sensitive visual pigments of the guppy (Poecilia reticulata): six opsins expressed in a single individual.

    PubMed

    Weadick, Cameron J; Chang, Belinda S W

    2007-02-08

    The diversity of visual systems in fish has long been of interest for evolutionary biologists and neurophysiologists, and has recently begun to attract the attention of molecular evolutionary geneticists. Several recent studies on the copy number and genomic organization of visual pigment proteins, the opsins, have revealed an increased opsin diversity in fish relative to most vertebrates, brought about through recent instances of opsin duplication and divergence. However, for the subfamily of opsin genes that mediate vision at the long-wavelength end of the spectrum, the LWS opsins, it appears that most fishes possess only one or two loci, a value comparable to most other vertebrates. Here, we characterize the LWS opsins from cDNA of an individual guppy, Poecilia reticulata, a fish that is known exhibit variation in its long-wavelength sensitive visual system, mate preferences and colour patterns. We identified six LWS opsins expressed within a single individual. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that these opsins descend from duplication events both pre-dating and following the divergence of the guppy lineage from that of the bluefin killifish, Lucania goodei, the closest species for which comparable data exists. Numerous amino acid substitutions exist among these different LWS opsins, many at sites known to be important for visual pigment function, including spectral sensitivity and G-protein activation. Likelihood analyses using codon-based models of evolution reveal significant changes in selective constraint along two of the guppy LWS opsin lineages. The guppy displays an unusually high number of LWS opsins compared to other fish, and to vertebrates in general. Observing both substitutions at functionally important sites and the persistence of lineages across species boundaries suggests that these opsins might have functionally different roles, especially with regard to G-protein activation. The reasons why are currently unknown, but may relate to aspects of the

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

    PubMed

    Miyagi, Ryutaro; Terai, Yohey

    2013-01-01

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

  6. Visual pigments and opsin expression in the juveniles of three species of fish (rainbow trout, zebrafish, and killifish) following prolonged exposure to thyroid hormone or retinoic acid.

    PubMed

    Suliman, Tarek; Novales Flamarique, Iñigo

    2014-01-01

    Thyroid hormone (TH) and retinoic acid (RA) are powerful modulators of photoreceptor differentiation during vertebrate retinal development. In the embryos and young juveniles of salmonid fishes and rodents, TH induces switches in opsin expression within individual cones, a phenomenon that also occurs in adult rodents following prolonged (12 week) hypothyroidism. Whether changes in TH levels also modulate opsin expression in the differentiated retina of fish is unknown. Like TH, RA is essential for retinal development, but its role in inducing opsin switches, if any, has not been studied. Here we investigate the action of TH and RA on single-cone opsin expression in juvenile rainbow trout, zebrafish, and killifish and on the absorbance of visual pigments in rainbow trout and zebrafish. Prolonged TH exposure increased the wavelength of maximum absorbance (λmax ) of the rod and the medium (M, green) and long (L, red) wavelength visual pigments in all fish species examined. However, unlike the opsin switch that occurred following TH exposure in the single cones of small juvenile rainbow trout (alevin), opsin expression in large juvenile rainbow trout (smolt), zebrafish, or killifish remained unchanged. RA did not induce any opsin switches or change the visual pigment absorbance of photoreceptors. Neither ligand altered cone photoreceptor densities. We conclude that RA has no effect on opsin expression or visual pigment properties in the differentiated retina of these fishes. In contrast, TH affected both single-cone opsin expression and visual pigment absorbance in the rainbow trout alevin but only visual pigment absorbance in the smolt and in zebrafish. The latter results could be explained by a combination of opsin switches and chromophore shifts from vitamin A1 to vitamin A2. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  7. The fluorescence lifetime of lipofuscin granule fluorophores contained in the retinal pigment epithelium cells from human cadaver eyes in normal state and in the case of visualized pathology.

    PubMed

    Yakovleva, M A; Feldman, T B; Arbukhanova, P M; Borzenok, S A; Kuzmin, V A; Ostrovsky, M A

    2017-05-01

    A comparative analysis of fluorescence lifetime of lipofuscin granule fluorophores contained in the retinal pigment epithelium cells from human cadaver eyes in normal state and in the case of visualized pathology was carried out. Measurements of fluorescence lifetimes of bis-retinoids and their photooxidation and photodegradation products were carried out using the method of counting time-correlated photons. Comparative analysis showed that, in the case of visualized pathology, the contribution of photooxidation and photodegradation products of bis-retinoids to the total fluorescence of the retinal pigment epithelium cell suspension increases in comparison with the norm.

  8. Raman microscope studies on the primary photochemistry of vertebrate visual pigments with absorption maxima from 430 to 502 nm.

    PubMed

    Barry, B; Mathies, R A

    1987-01-13

    Raman microscope vibrational spectra have been recorded from single photoreceptor cells frozen at 77 K. Spectra of photostationary steady-state mixtures of visual pigments and their primary photoproducts were obtained from toad red rods (lambda max 502 nm), angelfish rods (lambda max 500 nm), gecko blue rods (lambda max 467 nm), and bullfrog green rods (lambda max 430 nm). All four photoproducts have enhanced low-wavenumber Raman lines at approximately 850, 875, and 915 cm-1 and show the anomalous decoupling of the 11- and 12-hydrogen out-of-plane (HOOP) wagging vibrations, as is observed in the bovine primary photoproduct. The low-wavenumber lines are enhanced in the resonance Raman spectrum by conformational distortion, and the uncoupling of the 11- and 12-hydrogen wags is caused by additional protein perturbations. The similarity of the HOOP modes in all four photoproducts indicates that the protein perturbations that uncouple the 11- and 12-hydrogen wags and that enhance the HOOP modes are very similar. Thus, these perturbations of the photoproduct Raman spectrum cannot be caused by the same protein-chromophore interactions that are responsible for wavelength regulation in these pigments.

  9. Pigment Degradation in Oil Paint Induced by Indoor Climate: Comparison of Visual and Computational Backscattered Electron Images.

    PubMed

    Keune, Katrien; Kramer, Rick P; Huijbregts, Zara; Schellen, Henk L; Stappers, Marc H L; van Eikema Hommes, Margriet H

    2016-04-01

    For the first time the degradation of lead white pigment in mature oil paint has been used as an internal marker for the degree of saponification and hence chemical degradation of oil paint. Computational image analysis of the backscattered electron images quantified the degree of the intact lead white pigment versus the nonpigmented and lead-rich areas (degraded lead white) in the paint layers. This new methodology was applied to a series of paint samples taken from four painted wall hangings (dated 1778), which makes it possible to study the influence of indoor climate on chemical degradation of aged oil paintings. The visual interpretation and computational image analysis of the backscattered electron images revealed clear trends. The highest degree of lead white degradation in the room was found in samples from the north wall close to the windows, whereas degradation diminished further away from the window. Lead white from the south wall was less degraded, but showed a similar trend as in the paintings on the north wall. These results imply a strong relationship between chemical degradation of paint and location of the paint in the room.

  10. On the color-tuning mechanism of Human-Blue visual pigment: SAC-CI and QM/MM study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fujimoto, Kazuhiro; Hasegawa, Jun-ya; Hayashi, Shigehiko; Nakatsuji, Hiroshi

    2006-12-01

    Color-tuning mechanism of Human-Blue pigment, visual color-receptor in the cone cells of the eye, has been investigated. Based on a previous Homology-modeling structure and experimental evidences, a working model was constructed, and the structure has been optimized by QM(B3LYP)/MM(A MBER) method. SAC-CI calculation was performed to obtain photo-absorption energy. The calculated absorption energy reasonably agrees with the experiment. A decomposition analysis was performed and compared with the case of Bovine rhodopsin. The electrostatic effect from the opsin is primarily important for the color-tuning. The electronic interaction (quantum effect) of the counter-residue is indispensable for quantitative calculation of the absorption energy.

  11. Long-wavelength sensitive visual pigments of the guppy (Poecilia reticulata): six opsins expressed in a single individual

    PubMed Central

    Weadick, Cameron J; Chang, Belinda SW

    2007-01-01

    Background The diversity of visual systems in fish has long been of interest for evolutionary biologists and neurophysiologists, and has recently begun to attract the attention of molecular evolutionary geneticists. Several recent studies on the copy number and genomic organization of visual pigment proteins, the opsins, have revealed an increased opsin diversity in fish relative to most vertebrates, brought about through recent instances of opsin duplication and divergence. However, for the subfamily of opsin genes that mediate vision at the long-wavelength end of the spectrum, the LWS opsins, it appears that most fishes possess only one or two loci, a value comparable to most other vertebrates. Here, we characterize the LWS opsins from cDNA of an individual guppy, Poecilia reticulata, a fish that is known exhibit variation in its long-wavelength sensitive visual system, mate preferences and colour patterns. Results We identified six LWS opsins expressed within a single individual. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that these opsins descend from duplication events both pre-dating and following the divergence of the guppy lineage from that of the bluefin killifish, Lucania goodei, the closest species for which comparable data exists. Numerous amino acid substitutions exist among these different LWS opsins, many at sites known to be important for visual pigment function, including spectral sensitivity and G-protein activation. Likelihood analyses using codon-based models of evolution reveal significant changes in selective constraint along two of the guppy LWS opsin lineages. Conclusion The guppy displays an unusually high number of LWS opsins compared to other fish, and to vertebrates in general. Observing both substitutions at functionally important sites and the persistence of lineages across species boundaries suggests that these opsins might have functionally different roles, especially with regard to G-protein activation. The reasons why are currently unknown

  12. Technical Support for the Macular Pigment and Visual Performance in Glare

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-02-01

    which served as the visual stimuli for both portions of the study. The VSG system easily creates a wide variety of custom 2D visual stimuli for a...variety of software platforms. For this study, the VSG system was programmed using National Instruments LabVIEW™ (Laboratory Virtual Instrumentation...processes: loads all CRS global constants from the VSG.DLL version 1.26, initializes the VSG graphics card, sets up the RGB levels for controlling the

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-04-12

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

  14. Determinants of visual pigment absorbance: identification of the retinylidene Schiff's base counterion in bovine rhodopsin.

    PubMed

    Nathans, J

    1990-10-16

    The role of negatively charged residues in tuning the absorbance spectrum of bovine rhodopsin has been tested by mutating each aspartate and glutamate to asparagine and glutamine, respectively. Previous work demonstrated that aspartate83, glutamate122, and glutamate134 can be replaced by neutral residues with little or no effect on the absorbance spectrum of the resulting pigment [Nathans, J. (1990) Biochemistry 29, 937-942]. With one exception, mutations at the remaining 19 aspartate and glutamate residues result in very nearly wild-type absorbance spectra. The exception is glutamate113: mutation to glutamine causes the pigment to absorb at 380 nm, reflecting deprotonation of the retinylidene Schiff's base. Upon addition of either chloride, bromide, or iodide, the absorbance rapidly shifts to 495, 498, or 504.5 nm, respectively, reflecting protonation of the Schiff's base. The progressive red shift observed upon addition of halides with larger atomic radii strongly suggests that halides are serving as the Schiff's base counterion. Halides have no effect on the absorbance spectrum of wild-type rhodopsin. I infer, therefore, that glutamate113 is the retinylidene Schiff's base counterion in wild-type rhodopsin. Sakmar et al. [(1989) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 86, 8309-8313] and Zhukovsky and Oprian [(1989) Science 246, 928-930] have arrived at the same conclusion based upon a related series of experiments. These data support a model in which spectral tuning in bovine rhodopsin results from interactions between the polyene chain of 11-cis-retinal and uncharged amino acids in the binding pocket.

  15. Will he still look good with the lights on? Spectral tuning of visual pigments in fish

    PubMed Central

    Jones, Julia C; Gunter, Helen M; Meyer, Axel

    2008-01-01

    Visual perception is a key element in evolution, as it is required for many life processes. Two recent studies in BMC Biology and BMC Evolutionary Biology shed light on the genetic determinants of color detection in strikingly colored fish. PMID:18828890

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

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-05-09

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

  18. Out of the blue: adaptive visual pigment evolution accompanies Amazon invasion.

    PubMed

    Van Nynatten, Alexander; Bloom, Devin; Chang, Belinda S W; Lovejoy, Nathan R

    2015-07-01

    Incursions of marine water into South America during the Miocene prompted colonization of freshwater habitats by ancestrally marine species and present a unique opportunity to study the molecular evolution of adaptations to varying environments. Freshwater and marine environments are distinct in both spectra and average intensities of available light. Here, we investigate the molecular evolution of rhodopsin, the photosensitive pigment in the eye that activates in response to light, in a clade of South American freshwater anchovies derived from a marine ancestral lineage. Using likelihood-based comparative sequence analyses, we found evidence for positive selection in the rhodopsin of freshwater anchovy lineages at sites known to be important for aspects of rhodopsin function such as spectral tuning. No evidence was found for positive selection in marine lineages, nor in three other genes not involved in vision. Our results suggest that an increased rate of rhodopsin evolution was driven by diversification into freshwater habitats, thereby constituting a rare example of molecular evolution mirroring large-scale palaeogeographic events. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  19. Euphausiid visual pigments. The rhodopsins of Euphausia superba and Meganyctiphanes norvegica (Crustacea, Euphausiacea)

    PubMed Central

    1982-01-01

    The rhabdoms of Euphausia superba contain one digitonin-extractable rhodopsin, lambda max 485 nm. The rhodopsin undergoes unusual pH- dependent spectral changes: above neutrality, the absorbance decreases progressively at 485 nm and rises near 370 nm. This change is reversible and appears to reflect an equilibrium between a protonated and an unprotonated form of the rhodopsin Schiff-base linkage. Near neutral pH and at 10 degrees C, the rhodopsin is partiaLly converted by 420-nm light to a stable 493-nm metarhodopsin. The metarhodopsin is partially photoconverted to rhodopsin by long-wavelength light in the absence of NH2OH; in the presence of NH2OH, it is slowly converted to retinal oxime and opsin. The rhodopsin of Meganyctiphanes norvegica measured in fresh rhabdoms by microspectrophotometry has properties very similar to those of the extracted rhodopsin of E. superba. Its lambda max is 488 nm and it is partially photoconverted by short wavelength irradiation to a stable photoconvertible metarhodopsin similar to that of E. superba. In the presence of light and NH2OH, the M. norvegica metarhodopsin is converted to retinal oxime and opsin. Our results indicate that previous determinations of euphausiid rhodopsin absorbance spectra were incorrect because of accessory pigment contamination. PMID:7142953

  20. Euphausiid visual pigments. The rhodopsins of Euphausia superba and Meganyctiphanes norvegica (Crustacea, Euphausiacea).

    PubMed

    Denys, C J; Brown, P K

    1982-09-01

    The rhabdoms of Euphausia superba contain one digitonin-extractable rhodopsin, lambda max 485 nm. The rhodopsin undergoes unusual pH-dependent spectral changes: above neutrality, the absorbance decreases progressively at 485 nm and rises near 370 nm. This change is reversible and appears to reflect an equilibrium between a protonated and an unprotonated form of the rhodopsin Schiff-base linkage. Near neutral pH and at 10 degrees C, the rhodopsin is partiaLly converted by 420-nm light to a stable 493-nm metarhodopsin. The metarhodopsin is partially photoconverted to rhodopsin by long-wavelength light in the absence of NH2OH; in the presence of NH2OH, it is slowly converted to retinal oxime and opsin. The rhodopsin of Meganyctiphanes norvegica measured in fresh rhabdoms by microspectrophotometry has properties very similar to those of the extracted rhodopsin of E. superba. Its lambda max is 488 nm and it is partially photoconverted by short wavelength irradiation to a stable photoconvertible metarhodopsin similar to that of E. superba. In the presence of light and NH2OH, the M. norvegica metarhodopsin is converted to retinal oxime and opsin. Our results indicate that previous determinations of euphausiid rhodopsin absorbance spectra were incorrect because of accessory pigment contamination.

  1. Isomerization and Oxidation of Vitamin A in Cone-Dominant Retinas: A Novel Pathway for Visual-Pigment Regeneration in Daylight

    PubMed Central

    Mata, Nathan L.; Radu, Roxana A.; Clemmons, Richard S.; Travis, Gabriel H.

    2010-01-01

    Summary The first step toward light perception is 11-cis to all-trans photoisomerization of the retinaldehyde chromophore in a rod or cone opsin-pigment molecule. Light sensitivity of the opsin pigment is restored through a multistep pathway called the visual cycle, which effects all-trans to 11-cis re-isomerization of the retinoid chromophore. The maximum throughput of the known visual cycle, however, is too slow to explain sustained photosensitivity in bright light. Here, we demonstrate three novel enzymatic activities in cone-dominant ground-squirrel and chicken retinas: an all-trans-retinol isomerase, an 11-cis-retinyl-ester synthase, and an 11-cis-retinol dehydrogenase. Together these activities comprise a novel pathway that regenerates opsin photopigments at a rate 20-fold faster than the known visual cycle. We suggest that this pathway is responsible for sustained daylight vision in vertebrates. PMID:12367507

  2. Retinal pigment epithelium-retinal G protein receptor-opsin mediates light-dependent translocation of all-trans-retinyl esters for synthesis of visual chromophore in retinal pigment epithelial cells.

    PubMed

    Radu, Roxana A; Hu, Jane; Peng, Jennifer; Bok, Dean; Mata, Nathan L; Travis, Gabriel H

    2008-07-11

    Visual perception begins with the absorption of a photon by an opsin pigment, inducing isomerization of its 11-cis-retinaldehyde chromophore. After a brief period of activation, the resulting all-trans-retinaldehyde dissociates from the opsin apoprotein rendering it insensitive to light. Restoring light sensitivity to apo-opsin requires thermal re-isomerization of all-trans-retinaldehyde to 11-cis-retinaldehyde via an enzyme pathway called the visual cycle in retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells. Vertebrates can see over a 10(8)-fold range of background illumination. This implies that the visual cycle can regenerate a visual chromophore over a similarly broad range. However, nothing is known about how the visual cycle is regulated. Here we show that RPE cells, functionally or physically separated from photoreceptors, respond to light by mobilizing all-trans-retinyl esters. These retinyl esters are substrates for the retinoid isomerase and hence critical for regenerating visual chromophore. We show in knock-out mice and by RNA interference in human RPE cells that this mobilization is mediated by a protein called "RPE-retinal G protein receptor" (RGR) opsin. These data establish that RPE cells are intrinsically sensitive to light. Finally, we show that in the dark, RGR-opsin inhibits lecithin:retinol acyltransferase and all-trans-retinyl ester hydrolase in vitro and that this inhibition is released upon exposure to light. The results of this study suggest that RGR-opsin mediates light-dependent translocation of all-trans-retinyl esters from a storage pool in lipid droplets to an "isomerase pool" in membranes of the endoplasmic reticulum. This translocation permits insoluble all-trans-retinyl esters to be utilized as substrate for the synthesis of a new visual chromophore.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  5. Spectral tuning by opsin coexpression in retinal regions that view different parts of the visual field.

    PubMed

    Dalton, Brian E; Loew, Ellis R; Cronin, Thomas W; Carleton, Karen L

    2014-12-22

    Vision frequently mediates critical behaviours, and photoreceptors must respond to the light available to accomplish these tasks. Most photoreceptors are thought to contain a single visual pigment, an opsin protein bound to a chromophore, which together determine spectral sensitivity. Mechanisms of spectral tuning include altering the opsin, changing the chromophore and incorporating pre-receptor filtering. A few exceptions to the use of a single visual pigment have been documented in which a single mature photoreceptor coexpresses opsins that form spectrally distinct visual pigments, and in these exceptions the functional significance of coexpression is unclear. Here we document for the first time photoreceptors coexpressing spectrally distinct opsin genes in a manner that tunes sensitivity to the light environment. Photoreceptors of the cichlid fish, Metriaclima zebra, mix different pairs of opsins in retinal regions that view distinct backgrounds. The mixing of visual pigments increases absorbance of the corresponding background, potentially aiding the detection of dark objects. Thus, opsin coexpression may be a novel mechanism of spectral tuning that could be useful for detecting prey, predators and mates. However, our calculations show that coexpression of some opsins can hinder colour discrimination, creating a trade-off between visual functions. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  6. Spectral tuning by opsin coexpression in retinal regions that view different parts of the visual field

    PubMed Central

    Dalton, Brian E.; Loew, Ellis R.; Cronin, Thomas W.; Carleton, Karen L.

    2014-01-01

    Vision frequently mediates critical behaviours, and photoreceptors must respond to the light available to accomplish these tasks. Most photoreceptors are thought to contain a single visual pigment, an opsin protein bound to a chromophore, which together determine spectral sensitivity. Mechanisms of spectral tuning include altering the opsin, changing the chromophore and incorporating pre-receptor filtering. A few exceptions to the use of a single visual pigment have been documented in which a single mature photoreceptor coexpresses opsins that form spectrally distinct visual pigments, and in these exceptions the functional significance of coexpression is unclear. Here we document for the first time photoreceptors coexpressing spectrally distinct opsin genes in a manner that tunes sensitivity to the light environment. Photoreceptors of the cichlid fish, Metriaclima zebra, mix different pairs of opsins in retinal regions that view distinct backgrounds. The mixing of visual pigments increases absorbance of the corresponding background, potentially aiding the detection of dark objects. Thus, opsin coexpression may be a novel mechanism of spectral tuning that could be useful for detecting prey, predators and mates. However, our calculations show that coexpression of some opsins can hinder colour discrimination, creating a trade-off between visual functions. PMID:25377457

  7. The Taylor Hyperpigmentation Scale: a new visual assessment tool for the evaluation of skin color and pigmentation.

    PubMed

    Taylor, Susan C; Arsonnaud, Stéphanie; Czernielewski, Janusz

    2005-10-01

    The Taylor Hyperpigmentation Scale is a new visual scale developed to provide an inexpensive and convenient method to assess skin color and monitor the improvement of hyperpigmentation following therapy. The tool consists of 15 uniquely colored plastic cards spanning the full range of skin hues and is applicable to individuals with Fitzpatrick skin types I to VI. Each card contains 10 bands of increasingly darker gradations of skin hue that represent progressive levels of hyperpigmentation. This article describes the ongoing development of the Taylor Hyperpigmentation Scale and reports the results of a recent validation study of the use of this newly developed chart in individuals with skin of color. In the study, skin color and an area of hyperpigmentation in 30 subjects of white, African American, Asian, or Hispanic ancestry (approximately 5 from each of the 6 skin types) were evaluated by 10 investigators. The results of the study revealed significant variation among intraindividual and interindividual ratings by investigators of skin hue (P < .0001) and hyperpigmentation (P = .0008); however, most investigators rated the scale as useful and easy to use, and 60% stated they would use it in clinical practice to document the response of hyperpigmentation to therapeutic agents. A heuristic evaluation of the results of this study provided insight into essential considerations for the continued effort to develop a useful and simple scale for assessing skin color and pigmentation.

  8. Ultraviolet vision in lacertid lizards: evidence from retinal structure, eye transmittance, SWS1 visual pigment genes and behaviour.

    PubMed

    Pérez i de Lanuza, Guillem; Font, Enrique

    2014-08-15

    Ultraviolet (UV) vision and UV colour patches have been reported in a wide range of taxa and are increasingly appreciated as an integral part of vertebrate visual perception and communication systems. Previous studies with Lacertidae, a lizard family with diverse and complex coloration, have revealed the existence of UV-reflecting patches that may function as social signals. However, confirmation of the signalling role of UV coloration requires demonstrating that the lizards are capable of vision in the UV waveband. Here we use a multidisciplinary approach to characterize the visual sensitivity of a diverse sample of lacertid species. Spectral transmission measurements of the ocular media show that wavelengths down to 300 nm are transmitted in all the species sampled. Four retinal oil droplet types can be identified in the lacertid retina. Two types are pigmented and two are colourless. Fluorescence microscopy reveals that a type of colourless droplet is UV-transmitting and may thus be associated with UV-sensitive cones. DNA sequencing shows that lacertids have a functional SWS1 opsin, very similar at 13 critical sites to that in the presumed ancestral vertebrate (which was UV sensitive) and other UV-sensitive lizards. Finally, males of Podarcis muralis are capable of discriminating between two views of the same stimulus that differ only in the presence/absence of UV radiance. Taken together, these results provide convergent evidence of UV vision in lacertids, very likely by means of an independent photopigment. Moreover, the presence of four oil droplet types suggests that lacertids have a four-cone colour vision system. © 2014. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  9. Space and Time Evolution of the Electrostatic Potential During the Activation of a Visual Pigment.

    PubMed

    Melaccio, Federico; Calimet, Nicolas; Schapiro, Igor; Valentini, Alessio; Cecchini, Marco; Olivucci, Massimo

    2016-07-07

    Animal and microbial retinal proteins employ the Schiff base of retinal as their chromophore. Here, the possible consequences of the charge translocation associated with the light-induced dynamics of the chromophore of a visual opsin are investigated along a representative semiclassical trajectory. We show that the evolution of the electrostatic potential projected by the chromophore onto the surrounding protein displays intense but topographically localized sudden variations in proximity of the decay region. pKa calculations carried out on selected snapshots used as probes, indicate that the only residue which may be sensitive to the electrostatic potential shift is Glu181. Accordingly, our results suggest that the frail Tyr191/268-Glu181-Wat2-Ser186 hydrogen bond network may be perturbed by the transient variations of the electrostatic potential.

  10. Temporal diversification of Central American cichlids

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Lehtonen, Topi K

    2008-12-23

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

  12. Human cone visual pigment deletions spare sufficient photoreceptors to warrant gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Cideciyan, Artur V; Hufnagel, Robert B; Carroll, Joseph; Sumaroka, Alexander; Luo, Xunda; Schwartz, Sharon B; Dubra, Alfredo; Land, Megan; Michaelides, Michel; Gardner, Jessica C; Hardcastle, Alison J; Moore, Anthony T; Sisk, Robert A; Ahmed, Zubair M; Kohl, Susanne; Wissinger, Bernd; Jacobson, Samuel G

    2013-12-01

    Human X-linked blue-cone monochromacy (BCM), a disabling congenital visual disorder of cone photoreceptors, is a candidate disease for gene augmentation therapy. BCM is caused by either mutations in the red (OPN1LW) and green (OPN1MW) cone photoreceptor opsin gene array or large deletions encompassing portions of the gene array and upstream regulatory sequences that would predict a lack of red or green opsin expression. The fate of opsin-deficient cone cells is unknown. We know that rod opsin null mutant mice show rapid postnatal death of rod photoreceptors. Using in vivo histology with high-resolution retinal imaging, we studied a cohort of 20 BCM patients (age range 5-58) with large deletions in the red/green opsin gene array. Already in the first years of life, retinal structure was not normal: there was partial loss of photoreceptors across the central retina. Remaining cone cells had detectable outer segments that were abnormally shortened. Adaptive optics imaging confirmed the existence of inner segments at a spatial density greater than that expected for the residual blue cones. The evidence indicates that human cones in patients with deletions in the red/green opsin gene array can survive in reduced numbers with limited outer segment material, suggesting potential value of gene therapy for BCM.

  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. Uptake of foreign ferritin in heart of firemouth cichlid (cichlidae: teleostei).

    PubMed

    Leknes, Ingvar Leiv

    2011-09-01

    The ultrastructure of the endothelium in the heart of the firemouth cichlid (Thorichthys meeki) and its capability and capacity to take up foreign ferritin are described. The entire wall in atrium and ventricle was spongy and composed of muscle trabeculae, covered by endothelial cells which were about 4-6-μm thick in atrium and flat in ventricle. These cells contained a number of moderately electron-dense bodies (MDBs, diameter 2 μm and less), clathrin-coated vesicles, and tubules of agranular endoplasmatic reticulum. Numerous yellow-brown granules, width 2 μm and less, occurred in the endocardial endothelium covering the cardiac muscle trabeculae in ferritin-injected firemouth cichlid 8 hr postinjection; much Prussian blue precipitated within these granules when treated with acid ferrocyanide. When the time between the injection and sacrifice was extended to 24 hr, the granules and Prussian blue precipitations in the corresponding endocardial endothelium displayed a width of 3 μm and more. The endocardial endothelium facing the cardiac main lumen or covering the valves and walls of the atrio-ventriclar or ventriculo-bulbar apertures nearly lacks such granules and precipitations as well as MDB, clathrin-coated vesicles and tubules of agranular endoplasmic reticulum, suggesting that the endothelium at these sites is not endocytic. Lipofuscinlike pigments were demonstrated by the Schmorl's technique in the endocardial endothelium covering the heart muscle trabeculae in firemouth cichlid. Together these findings suggest that the endocardial endothelium cover on the muscle trabeculae in heart wall in firemouth cichlid is highly specialized to play important roles in the uptake of scavenger molecules and foreign particles. Such an uptake may be very efficient as this cell layer comes in contact with nearly the entire blood volume throughout the spongy heart wall in this type of teleosts. Copyright © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  15. Effect of supplemental lutein and zeaxanthin on serum, macular pigmentation, and visual performance in patients with early age-related macular degeneration.

    PubMed

    Huang, Yang-Mu; Dou, Hong-Liang; Huang, Fei-Fei; Xu, Xian-Rong; Zou, Zhi-Yong; Lin, Xiao-Ming

    2015-01-01

    To compare the 2-year effect of multiple doses of lutein/zeaxanthin on serum, macular pigmentation, and visual performance on patients with early age-related macular degeneration (AMD). In this randomized, double-blinded, and placebo-controlled trial, 112 early AMD patients randomly received either 10 mg lutein, 20 mg lutein, a combination of lutein (10 mg) and zeaxanthin (10 mg), or placebo daily for 2 years. Serum concentration of lutein/zeaxanthin, macular pigment optical density (MPOD), visual functions including best-spectacle corrected visual acuity (BCVA), contrast sensitivity (CS), flash recovery time (FRT), and vision-related quality of life (VFQ25) was quantified. Serum lutein concentration and MPOD significantly increased in all the active treatment groups. Supplementation with 20 mg lutein was the most effective in increasing MPOD and CS at 3 cycles/degree for the first 48 weeks. However, they both significantly increased to the same peak value following supplementation with either 10 mg or 20 mg lutein during the intervention. No statistical changes of BCVA or FRT were observed during the trial. Long-term lutein supplementation could increase serum lutein concentration, MPOD, and visual sensitivities of early AMD patients. 10 mg lutein daily might be an advisable long-term dosage for early AMD treatment.

  16. Effect of Supplemental Lutein and Zeaxanthin on Serum, Macular Pigmentation, and Visual Performance in Patients with Early Age-Related Macular Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Yang-Mu; Dou, Hong-Liang; Huang, Fei-Fei; Xu, Xian-Rong; Zou, Zhi-Yong

    2015-01-01

    Purpose. To compare the 2-year effect of multiple doses of lutein/zeaxanthin on serum, macular pigmentation, and visual performance on patients with early age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Methods. In this randomized, double-blinded, and placebo-controlled trial, 112 early AMD patients randomly received either 10 mg lutein, 20 mg lutein, a combination of lutein (10 mg) and zeaxanthin (10 mg), or placebo daily for 2 years. Serum concentration of lutein/zeaxanthin, macular pigment optical density (MPOD), visual functions including best-spectacle corrected visual acuity (BCVA), contrast sensitivity (CS), flash recovery time (FRT), and vision-related quality of life (VFQ25) was quantified. Results. Serum lutein concentration and MPOD significantly increased in all the active treatment groups. Supplementation with 20 mg lutein was the most effective in increasing MPOD and CS at 3 cycles/degree for the first 48 weeks. However, they both significantly increased to the same peak value following supplementation with either 10 mg or 20 mg lutein during the intervention. No statistical changes of BCVA or FRT were observed during the trial. Conclusions. Long-term lutein supplementation could increase serum lutein concentration, MPOD, and visual sensitivities of early AMD patients. 10 mg lutein daily might be an advisable long-term dosage for early AMD treatment. PMID:25815324

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

    Critical behaviours such as predation and mate choice often depend on vision. Visual systems are sensitive to the spectrum of light in their environment, which can vary extensively both within and among habitats. Evolutionary changes in spectral sensitivity contribute to divergence and speciation. Spectral sensitivity of the retina is primarily determined by visual pigments, which are opsin proteins bound to a chromophore. We recently discovered that photoreceptors in different regions of the retina, which view objects against distinct environmental backgrounds, coexpress different pairs of opsins in an African cichlid fish, Metriaclima zebra. This coexpression tunes the sensitivity of the retinal regions to the corresponding backgrounds and may aid in detection of dark objects, such as predators. Although intraretinal regionalization of spectral sensitivity in many animals correlates with their light environments, it is unknown whether variation in the light environment induces developmentally plastic alterations of intraretinal sensitivity regions. Here, we demonstrate with fluorescent in situ hybridization and qPCR that the spectrum and angle of environmental light both influence the development of spectral sensitivity regions by altering the distribution and level of opsins across the retina. Normally, M. zebra coexpresses LWS opsin with RH2Aα opsin in double cones of the ventral but not the dorsal retina. However, when illuminated from below throughout development, adult M. zebra coexpressed LWS and RH2Aα in double cones both dorsally and ventrally. Thus, environmental background spectra alter the spectral sensitivity pattern that develops across the retina, potentially influencing behaviours and related evolutionary processes such as courtship and speciation. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-09

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

  2. Marginal differentiation between the sexual and general carotenoid pigmentation of guppies (Poecilia reticulata) and a possible visual explanation.

    PubMed

    Hudon, Jocelyn; Grether, Gregory F; Millie, David F

    2003-01-01

    We present the first detailed analysis of carotenoid pigmentation of the integument of guppies (Poecilia reticulata Peters), quantifying variation in carotenoid content and composition of wild guppies from three drainages on Trinidad (1) between the sexual and general pigmentation of males, (2) between the sexes, and (3) geographically in relation to carotenoid availability. We report that the carotenoid pigments in the integument of guppies are predominantly esters of tunaxanthin. The peak wavelength of carotenoids in the orange spots of males lay only ca. 2.8 nm higher than that of pigments outside of the orange spots, and the peak wavelength of carotenoids in the male whole integument does not differ from that in the female whole integument. Carotenoid composition of the general integument of females and the non-orange spot fraction of males, but not of the orange spot fraction of males, varied with diet, correlating with the ratio beta-carotene to lutein in the different streams. Male guppies deposit higher concentrations of carotenoids in their orange spots than in the rest of the integument (five to nine times higher), but not at the expense of the general integument, which was similarly endowed as the general integument of females, even in carotenoid-poor streams. Presumably males absorb/retain more pigments than females. Photoreceptor-based simulations suggest that tunaxanthin provides both greater brightness and chroma than would 4-keto-carotenoids such as astaxanthin.

  3. Protan color vision deficiency with a unique order of green-red as the first two genes of a visual pigment array.

    PubMed

    Ueyama, Hisao; Tanabe, Shoko; Muraki-Oda, Sanae; Yamade, Shinichi; Ohkubo, Iwao

    2006-01-01

    Normal visual pigment gene arrays on the human X chromosome have a red gene at the first and a green gene at the second positions. More than half of the arrays have additional green genes downstream, but only the first two genes of the array are likely to be expressed in the retina. An array consisting of four genes in two Japanese participants, A121 and A447, was detected either by pulsed field gel electrophoresis and subsequent Southern hybridization or by single nucleotide primer extension reaction. In both participants, the first gene of the array was green, downstream genes were red and green, and the fourth gene was green. The red gene was determined to be at the second position by comparison of polymorphic sites among the intergenic regions that had been amplified by long-range PCR. Such an array with a reverse normal order of pigment genes, green-red as the first two, has never been reported before. They were expected to have normal color vision but showed protan deficiency (protanomaly), a phenotype lacking the red pigment. The red gene had no mutations in the exons and exon/intron boundaries, but had an A-71C substitution in the promoter in both participants.

  4. The influence of ontogeny and light environment on the expression of visual pigment opsins in the retina of the black bream, Acanthopagrus butcheri.

    PubMed

    Shand, Julia; Davies, Wayne L; Thomas, Nicole; Balmer, Lois; Cowing, Jill A; Pointer, Marie; Carvalho, Livia S; Trezise, Ann E O; Collin, Shaun P; Beazley, Lyn D; Hunt, David M

    2008-05-01

    The correlation between ontogenetic changes in the spectral absorption characteristics of retinal photoreceptors and expression of visual pigment opsins was investigated in the black bream, Acanthopagrus butcheri. To establish whether the spectral qualities of environmental light affected the complement of visual pigments during ontogeny, comparisons were made between fishes reared in: (1) broad spectrum aquarium conditions; (2) short wavelength-reduced conditions similar to the natural environment; or (3) the natural environment (wild-caught). Microspectrophotometry was used to determine the wavelengths of spectral sensitivity of the photoreceptors at four developmental stages: larval, post-settlement, juvenile and adult. The molecular sequences of the rod (Rh1) and six cone (SWS1, SWS2A and B, Rh2Aalpha and beta, and LWS) opsins were obtained and their expression levels in larval and adult stages examined using quantitative RT-PCR. The changes in spectral sensitivity of the cones were related to the differing levels of opsin expression during ontogeny. During the larval stage the predominantly expressed opsin classes were SWS1, SWS2B and Rh2Aalpha, contrasting with SWS2A, Rh2Abeta and LWS in the adult. An increased proportion of long wavelength-sensitive double cones was found in fishes reared in the short wavelength-reduced conditions and in wild-caught animals, indicating that the expression of cone opsin genes is also regulated by environmental light.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Pigmented compositions

    SciTech Connect

    Blackwell Jr., J. P.

    1984-10-09

    Poly(arylene sulfide) compositions are pigmented with black carbonaceous pigments selected from at least one of finely divided bituminous coal, carbonized rice hulls, bone blacks, and micropulverized petroleum coke in an amount sufficient to provide the black pigmentation desired with little or no deleterious effect on the mechanical propertiers such as flexural and tensile strengths of the resin.

  8. PIGMENTS OF THE RETINA

    PubMed Central

    Wald, George

    1936-01-01

    1. Visual purple from the sea robin, sea bass, and scup is almost identical spectroscopically with that from frogs. The interrelations of this pigment with vitamin A and retinene are also the same as in the frog. 2. In strong acids or at pH > 11, the visual yellow of sea robin retinas is converted irreversibly into a pH indicator, yellow in acid and almost colorless in alkaline solution. Unlike neutral visual yellow, the indicator is not removed to form either vitamin A or visual purple. In the ammoniacal retina the reversion of visual yellow itself to purple is accelerated. 3. The combined pigment epithelium and choroid layer in these fishes contain vitamin A, flavine, and an unidentified xanthophyll. PMID:19872983

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-01-01

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

  10. Ion transport in pigmentation

    PubMed Central

    Bellono, Nicholas W.; Oancea, Elena V.

    2014-01-01

    Skin melanocytes and ocular pigment cells contain specialized organelles called melanosomes, which are responsible for the synthesis of melanin, the major pigment in mammals. Defects in the complex mechanisms involved in melanin synthesis and regulation result in vision and pigmentation deficits, impaired development of the visual system,, and increased susceptibility to skin and eye cancers. Ion transport across cellular membranes is critical for many biological processes, including pigmentation, but the molecular mechanisms by which it regulates melanin synthesis, storage, and transfer are not understood. In this review we first discuss ion channels and transporters that function at the plasma membrane of melanocytes; in the second part we consider ion transport across the membrane of intracellular organelles, with emphasis on melanosomes. We discuss recently characterized lysosomal and endosomal ion channels and transporters associated with pigmentation phenotypes. We then review the evidence for melanosomal channels and transporters critical for pigmentation, discussing potential molecular mechanisms mediating their function. The studies investigating ion transport in pigmentation physiology open new avenues for future research and could reveal novel molecular mechanisms underlying melanogenesis. PMID:25034214

  11. Ion transport in pigmentation.

    PubMed

    Bellono, Nicholas W; Oancea, Elena V

    2014-12-01

    Skin melanocytes and ocular pigment cells contain specialized organelles called melanosomes, which are responsible for the synthesis of melanin, the major pigment in mammals. Defects in the complex mechanisms involved in melanin synthesis and regulation result in vision and pigmentation deficits, impaired development of the visual system, and increased susceptibility to skin and eye cancers. Ion transport across cellular membranes is critical for many biological processes, including pigmentation, but the molecular mechanisms by which it regulates melanin synthesis, storage, and transfer are not understood. In this review we first discuss ion channels and transporters that function at the plasma membrane of melanocytes; in the second part we consider ion transport across the membrane of intracellular organelles, with emphasis on melanosomes. We discuss recently characterized lysosomal and endosomal ion channels and transporters associated with pigmentation phenotypes. We then review the evidence for melanosomal channels and transporters critical for pigmentation, discussing potential molecular mechanisms mediating their function. The studies investigating ion transport in pigmentation physiology open new avenues for future research and could reveal novel molecular mechanisms underlying melanogenesis.

  12. Retinal Pigmented Epithelial Cells Obtained from Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells Possess Functional Visual Cycle Enzymes in Vitro and in Vivo*

    PubMed Central

    Maeda, Tadao; Lee, Mee Jee; Palczewska, Grazyna; Marsili, Stefania; Tesar, Paul J.; Palczewski, Krzysztof; Takahashi, Masayo; Maeda, Akiko

    2013-01-01

    Differentiated retinal pigmented epithelial (RPE) cells have been obtained from human induced pluripotent stem (hiPS) cells. However, the visual (retinoid) cycle in hiPS-RPE cells has not been adequately examined. Here we determined the expression of functional visual cycle enzymes in hiPS-RPE cells compared with that of isolated wild-type mouse primary RPE (mpRPE) cells in vitro and in vivo. hiPS-RPE cells appeared morphologically similar to mpRPE cells. Notably, expression of certain visual cycle proteins was maintained during cell culture of hiPS-RPE cells, whereas expression of these same molecules rapidly decreased in mpRPE cells. Production of the visual chromophore, 11-cis-retinal, and retinosome formation also were documented in hiPS-RPE cells in vitro. When mpRPE cells with luciferase activity were transplanted into the subretinal space of mice, bioluminance intensity was preserved for >3 months. Additionally, transplantation of mpRPE into blind Lrat−/− and Rpe65−/− mice resulted in the recovery of visual function, including increased electrographic signaling and endogenous 11-cis-retinal production. Finally, when hiPS-RPE cells were transplanted into the subretinal space of Lrat−/− and Rpe65−/− mice, their vision improved as well. Moreover, histological analyses of these eyes displayed replacement of dysfunctional RPE cells by hiPS-RPE cells. Together, our results show that hiPS-RPE cells can exhibit a functional visual cycle in vitro and in vivo. These cells could provide potential treatment options for certain blinding retinal degenerative diseases. PMID:24129572

  13. Seasonal cycle in vitamin A1/A2-based visual pigment composition during the life history of coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch).

    PubMed

    Temple, S E; Plate, E M; Ramsden, S; Haimberger, T J; Roth, W-M; Hawryshyn, C W

    2006-03-01

    Microspectrophotometry of rod photoreceptors was used to follow variations in visual pigment vitamin A1/A2 ratio at various life history stages in coho salmon. Coho parr shifted their A1/A2 ratio seasonally with A2 increasing during winter and decreasing in summer. The cyclical pattern was statistically examined by a least-squares cosine model, fit to the 12-month data sets collected from different populations. A1/A2 ratio varied with temperature and day length. In 1+ (>12 month old) parr the A2 to A1 shift in spring coincided with smoltification, a metamorphic transition preceding seaward migration in salmonids. The coincidence of the shift from A2 to A1 with both the spring increase in temperature and day length, and with the timing of seaward migration presented a challenge for interpretation. Our data show a shift in A1/A2 ratio correlated with season, in both 0+ (<12 months old) coho parr that remained in fresh water for another year and in oceanic juvenile coho. These findings support the hypothesis that the A1/A2 pigment pair system in coho is an adaptation to seasonal variations in environmental variables rather than to a change associated with migration or metamorphosis.

  14. Solid-state NMR studies of the mechanism of the opsin shift in the visual pigment rhodopsin

    SciTech Connect

    Smith, S.O.; Griffin, R.G. ); Palings, I.; Miley, M.E.; Mathies, R.A. ); Courtin, J.; de Groot, H.; Lugtenburg, J. )

    1990-09-04

    Solid-state {sup 13}C NMR spectra have been obtained of bovine rhodopsin and isorhodopsin regenerated with retinal selectively {sup 13}C labeled along the polyene chain. In rhodopsin, the chemical shifts for {sup 13}C-5, {sup 13}C-6, {sup 13}C-7, {sup 13}C-14, and {sup 13}C-15 correspond closely to the chemical shifts observed in the 11-cis protonated Schiff base (PSB) model compound. Differences in chemical shift relative to the 11-cis PSB chloride salt are observed for positions 8 through 13, with the largest deshielding (6.2 ppm) localized at position 13. The localized deshielding at C-13 supports previous models of the opsin shift in rhodopsin that place a protein perturbation in the vicinity of position 13. Spectra obtained of isorhodopsin regenerated with {sup 13}C-labeled 9-cis-retinals reveal large perturbations at {sup 13}C-7 and {sup 13}C-13. The similar deshielding of the {sup 13}C-13 resonance in both pigments supports the presence of a protein perturbation near position 13. However, the chemical shifts at positions 7 and 12 in isorhodopsin are not analogous to those observed in rhodopsin and suggest that the binding site interactions near these positions are different for the two pigments. The implications of these results for the mechanism of the opsin shift in these proteins are discussed.

  15. Lake and sea populations of Mysis relicta (Crustacea, Mysida) with different visual-pigment absorbance spectra use the same A1 chromophore.

    PubMed

    Belikov, Nikolai; Yakovleva, Marina; Feldman, Tatiana; Demina, Olga; Khodonov, Andrei; Lindström, Magnus; Donner, Kristian; Ostrovsky, Mikhail

    2014-01-01

    Glacial-relict species of the genus Mysis (opossum shrimps) inhabiting both fresh-water lakes and brackish sea waters in northern Europe show a consistent lake/sea dichotomy in eye spectral sensitivity. The absorbance peak (λmax) recorded by microspectrophotometry in isolated rhabdoms is invariably 20-30 nm red-shifted in "lake" compared with "sea" populations. The dichotomy holds across species, major opsin lineages and light environments. Chromophore exchange from A1 to A2 (retinal → 3,4-didehydroretinal) is a well-known mechanism for red-shifting visual pigments depending on environmental conditions or stages of life history, present not only in fishes and amphibians, but in some crustaceans as well. We tested the hypothesis that the lake/sea dichotomy in Mysis is due to the use of different chromophores, focussing on two populations of M. relicta from, respectively, a Finnish lake and the Baltic Sea. They are genetically very similar, having been separated for less than 10 kyr, and their rhabdoms show a typical lake/sea difference in λmax (554 nm vs. 529 nm). Gene sequencing has revealed no differences translating into amino acid substitutions in the transmembrane parts of their opsins. We determined the chromophore identity (A1 or A2) in the eyes of these two populations by HPLC, using as standards pure chromophores A1 and A2 as well as extracts from bovine (A1) and goldfish (A2) retinas. We found that the visual-pigment chromophore in both populations is A1 exclusively. Thus the spectral difference between these two populations of M. relicta is not due to the use of different chromophores. We argue that this conclusion is likely to hold for all populations of M. relicta as well as its European sibling species.

  16. Lake and Sea Populations of Mysis relicta (Crustacea, Mysida) with Different Visual-Pigment Absorbance Spectra Use the Same A1 Chromophore

    PubMed Central

    Belikov, Nikolai; Yakovleva, Marina; Feldman, Tatiana; Demina, Olga; Khodonov, Andrei; Lindström, Magnus; Donner, Kristian; Ostrovsky, Mikhail

    2014-01-01

    Glacial-relict species of the genus Mysis (opossum shrimps) inhabiting both fresh-water lakes and brackish sea waters in northern Europe show a consistent lake/sea dichotomy in eye spectral sensitivity. The absorbance peak (λmax) recorded by microspectrophotometry in isolated rhabdoms is invariably 20–30 nm red-shifted in “lake” compared with “sea” populations. The dichotomy holds across species, major opsin lineages and light environments. Chromophore exchange from A1 to A2 (retinal → 3,4-didehydroretinal) is a well-known mechanism for red-shifting visual pigments depending on environmental conditions or stages of life history, present not only in fishes and amphibians, but in some crustaceans as well. We tested the hypothesis that the lake/sea dichotomy in Mysis is due to the use of different chromophores, focussing on two populations of M. relicta from, respectively, a Finnish lake and the Baltic Sea. They are genetically very similar, having been separated for less than 10 kyr, and their rhabdoms show a typical lake/sea difference in λmax (554 nm vs. 529 nm). Gene sequencing has revealed no differences translating into amino acid substitutions in the transmembrane parts of their opsins. We determined the chromophore identity (A1 or A2) in the eyes of these two populations by HPLC, using as standards pure chromophores A1 and A2 as well as extracts from bovine (A1) and goldfish (A2) retinas. We found that the visual-pigment chromophore in both populations is A1 exclusively. Thus the spectral difference between these two populations of M. relicta is not due to the use of different chromophores. We argue that this conclusion is likely to hold for all populations of M. relicta as well as its European sibling species. PMID:24516590

  17. Dietary carotenoids increase yellow nonpigment coloration of female convict cichlids (Amantitlania nigrofasciata).

    PubMed

    Brown, Alexandria C; McGraw, Kevin J; Clotfelter, Ethan D

    2013-01-01

    The carotenoid trade-off hypothesis states that diet-derived carotenoids are traded off among competing physiological demands, but this statement is rarely tested in ornamented females. In this study, reverse sexually dimorphic convict cichlids (Amantitlania nigrofasciata) were fed diets containing carotenoid supplementation at three biologically relevant levels for 12 wk. This treatment was followed by spectral, microscopic, and chemical analysis to determine how females allocated the pigments to tissues and how those decisions affected their ventral patch coloration. Yellow coloration of the integument increased with carotenoids in the diet, as did carotenoids deposited in ovaries, but diet did not change carotenoid allocation to skin. The results of this study suggest that females have the ability to modulate their expression of yellow coloration via an alternative coloration strategy. Gonadosomatic index and tank environment were also related to ventral patch color, supporting previous behavioral work highlighting the importance of social selection in reinforcing signal honesty.

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

    PubMed

    Salzburger, Walter; Braasch, Ingo; Meyer, Axel

    2007-11-15

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

  19. 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

  20. Introgressive hybridization in a trophically polymorphic cichlid.

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-01

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

  1. Introgressive hybridization in a trophically polymorphic cichlid

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  3. Diversity and functional properties of bistable pigments.

    PubMed

    Tsukamoto, Hisao; Terakita, Akihisa

    2010-11-01

    Rhodopsin and related opsin-based pigments, which are photosensitive membrane proteins, have been extensively studied using a wide variety of techniques, with rhodopsin being the most understood G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR). Animals use various opsin-based pigments for vision and a wide variety of non-visual functions. Many functionally varied pigments are roughly divided into two kinds, based on their photoreaction: bistable and monostable pigments. Bistable pigments are thermally stable before and after photo-activation, but monostable pigments are stable only before activation. Here, we review the diversity of bistable pigments and their molecular characteristics. We also discuss the mechanisms underlying different molecular characteristics of bistable and monostable pigments. In addition, the potential of bistable pigments as a GPCR model is proposed.

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

    PubMed

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

    1998-06-01

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

  5. Reverse evolution in RH1 for adaptation of cichlids to water depth in Lake Tanganyika.

    PubMed

    Nagai, Haruka; Terai, Yohey; Sugawara, Tohru; Imai, Hiroo; Nishihara, Hidenori; Hori, Michio; Okada, Norihiro

    2011-06-01

    Reverse evolution is a widespread phenomenon in biology, but the genetic mechanism for the reversal of a genetic change for adaptation to the ancestral state is not known. Here, we report the first case of complete reverse evolution of two amino acids, serine and alanine, at a single position in RH1 opsin pigment for adaptation to water depth. We determined RH1 sequences of cichlid fishes from four tribes of Lake Tanganyika with different habitat depths. Most of the species were divided into two types: RH1 with 292A for species in shallow water or 292S for species in deep water. Both types were adapted to their ambient light environments as indicated by the absorption spectra of the RH1 pigments. Based on the RH1 locus tree and ecological data, we inferred the ancestral amino acids at position 292 and the distribution of the depth ranges (shallow or deep) of ancestral species of each tribe. According to these estimates, we identified two distinct parallel adaptive evolutions: The replacement A292S occurred at least four times for adaptation from shallow to deep water, and the opposite replacement S292A occurred three times for adaptation from deep to shallow water. The latter parallelism represents the complete reverse evolution from the derived to the ancestral state, following back adaptive mutation with reversal of the RH1 pigment function accompanied by reversal of the species habitat shift.

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

    PubMed

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

    1995-11-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  8. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  10. Spectral Tuning of Killer Whale (Orcinus orca) Rhodopsin: Evidence for Positive Selection and Functional Adaptation in a Cetacean Visual Pigment.

    PubMed

    Dungan, Sarah Z; Kosyakov, Alexander; Chang, Belinda S W

    2016-02-01

    Cetaceans have undergone a remarkable evolutionary transition that was accompanied by many sensory adaptations, including modification of the visual system for underwater environments. Recent sequencing of cetacean genomes has made it possible to begin exploring the molecular basis of these adaptations. In this study we use in vitro expression methods to experimentally characterize the first step of the visual transduction cascade, the light activation of rhodopsin, for the killer whale. To investigate the spectral effects of amino acid substitutions thought to correspond with absorbance shifts relative to terrestrial mammals, we used the orca gene as a background for the first site-directed mutagenesis experiments in a cetacean rhodopsin. The S292A mutation had the largest effect, and was responsible for the majority of the spectral difference between killer whale and bovine (terrestrial) rhodopsin. Using codon-based likelihood models, we also found significant evidence for positive selection in cetacean rhodopsin sequences, including on spectral tuning sites we experimentally mutated. We then investigated patterns of ecological divergence that may be correlated with rhodopsin functional variation by using a series of clade models that partitioned the data set according to phylogeny, habitat, and foraging depth zone. Only the model partitioning according to depth was significant. This suggests that foraging dives might be a selective regime influencing cetacean rhodopsin divergence, and our experimental results indicate that spectral tuning may be playing an adaptive role in this process. Our study demonstrates that combining computational and experimental methods is crucial for gaining insight into the selection pressures underlying molecular evolution. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  11. Recent speciation between sympatric Tanganyikan cichlid colour morphs.

    PubMed

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

    2012-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-07

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

  13. 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

  14. Increased Macular Pigment Optical Density and Visual Acuity following Consumption of a Buttermilk Drink Containing Lutein-Enriched Egg Yolks: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial

    PubMed Central

    van der Made, Sanne M.; Kelly, Elton R.; Kijlstra, Aize; Plat, Jogchum

    2016-01-01

    Purpose. To study the effect of 1-year daily consumption of a dairy drink containing lutein-enriched egg yolks on macular pigment optical density (MPOD) and visual function parameters in elderly subjects with ocular drusen and/or retinal pigment abnormalities. Methods. One hundred and one subjects were recruited to participate in this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled parallel intervention trial. Statistical analyses were performed with 46 subjects in the lutein group and 43 in the control group. MPOD, best corrected visual acuity (BCVA, logMAR), and dark adaptation were measured at the start of the study, after 6 months and after 12 months. Plasma lutein and zeaxanthin concentrations were assessed at baseline and at the end of the study. Results. In the lutein group, plasma lutein concentrations increased significantly from 205 ng/mL at baseline to 399 ng/mL after twelve months of intervention. MPOD increased significantly from 0.45 to 0.52 and BCVA improved significantly from −0.04 to −0.09 LogMar. Differences in rod dark adaptation rate between both groups were not significant. Conclusion. Daily consumption of a dairy drink containing lutein-enriched egg yolks for one year improves visual acuity, MPOD, and plasma lutein concentration in elderly subjects with drusen and/or retinal pigment epithelial abnormalities. PMID:27064326

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

    PubMed Central

    Kerschbaumer, Michaela; Sturmbauer, Christian

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Schwalbe, Margot A B; Webb, Jacqueline F

    2014-04-01

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

  17. Constitutive and relative facultative skin pigmentation among Victorian children including comparison of two visual skin charts for determining constitutive melanin density.

    PubMed

    Pezic, Angela; Ponsonby, Anne-Louise; Cameron, Fergus J; Rodda, Christine; Ellis, Justine A; Halliday, Jane; Siero, William; Lucas, Robyn M; Dwyer, Terence

    2013-01-01

    Our aim was to examine the association between ethnicity, phenotype, sun behavior and other characteristics, and constitutive and relative facultative skin pigmentation. A total of 191 participants were recruited, with a mean age of 7.6 years (SD 3.4), during 2009-2011 from Maternal and Child Health Centres (MCHC) and schools in Melbourne, Australia. Parental questionnaire data were obtained on sun behavior and examination consisted of noting the child's natural skin, hair and eye color, ethnicity, nevi count and spectrophotometric melanin density (MD). Constitutive skin pigmentation was estimated from buttock MD. Relative facultative skin pigmentation was estimated by hand compared with buttock absorption. Ethnicity, hair color and skin color were associated with constitutive and facultative skin pigmentation on univariate analysis. Higher ambient ultraviolet radiation (UVR) in the past month, greater freckling, greater nevi and increased sun exposure over the past year were related to darker facultative skin pigmentation. Sun exposure over the life course was not. The two skin charts accounted for 39.7% and 21.4% of buttock MD, respectively. Relative facultative skin pigmentation is associated with recent UVR levels, not life-course sun exposure. Relative facultative skin pigmentation may not be a useful measure of sun exposure over the early life course. Skin color charts can be used to assess constitutive skin pigmentation if spectrophotometry is not available. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Photochemistry and Photobiology © 2013 The American Society of Photobiology.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-12-27

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  20. Spectral sensitivity of guppy visual pigments reconstituted in vitro to resolve association of opsins with cone cell types.

    PubMed

    Kawamura, Shoji; Kasagi, Satoshi; Kasai, Daisuke; Tezuka, Ayumi; Shoji, Ayako; Takahashi, Akiyoshi; Imai, Hiroo; Kawata, Masakado

    2016-10-01

    The guppy (Poecilia reticulata) shows remarkable variation of photoreceptor cells in the retina, especially those sensitive to middle-to-long wavelengths of light. Microspectrophotometry (MSP) has revealed varying "green", "green-yellow" and "yellow" cone cells among guppies in Trinidad and Venezuela (Cumana). In the guppy genome, there are four "long-wave" opsin loci (LWS-1, -2, -3 and -4). Two LWS-1 alleles have potentially differing spectral sensitivity (LWS-1/180Ser and LWS-1/180Ala). In addition, two "middle-wave" loci (RH2-1 and -2), two "short-wave" loci (SWS2-A and -B), and a single "ultraviolet" locus (SWS1) as well as a single "rhodopsin" locus (RH1) are present. However, the absorption spectra of these photopigments have not been measured directly and the association of cell types with these opsins remains speculative. In the present study, we reconstituted these opsin photopigments in vitro. The wavelengths of maximal absorbance (λmax) were 571nm (LWS-1/180Ser), 562nm (LWS-1/180Ala), 519nm (LWS-3), 516nm (LWS-2), 516nm (RH2-1), 476nm (RH2-2), 438nm (SWS2-A), 408nm (SWS2-B), 353nm (SWS1) and 503nm (RH1). The λmax of LWS-3 is much shorter than the value expected (560nm) from the "five-sites" rule. The two LWS-1 alleles could explain difference of the reported MSP λmax values for the yellow cone class between Trinidad and Cumana guppies. Absence of the short-wave-shifted LWS-3 and the green-yellow cone in the green swordtail supports the hypothesis that this cell class of the guppy co-expresses the LWS-1 and LWS-3. These results reveal the basis of variability in the guppy visual system and provide insight into the behavior and ecology of these tropical fishes. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  1. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-26

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Sefc, Kristina M.

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Sefc, Kristina M

    2011-01-01

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

  5. The molecular basis for UV vision in birds: spectral characteristics, cDNA sequence and retinal localization of the UV-sensitive visual pigment of the budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulatus).

    PubMed

    Wilkie, S E; Vissers, P M; Das, D; Degrip, W J; Bowmaker, J K; Hunt, D M

    1998-02-15

    Microspectrophotometric (msp) studies have shown that the colour-vision system of many bird species is based on four pigments with absorption peaks in the red, green, blue and UV regions of the spectrum. The existence of a fourth pigment (UV) is the major difference between the trichromacy of humans and the tetrachromacy of such birds, and recent studies have shown that it may play a determining role in such diverse aspects of behaviour as mate selection and detection of food. Avian visual pigments are composed of an opsin protein covalently bound via a Schiff-base linkage to the chromophore 11-cis-retinal. Here we report the cDNA sequence of a UV opsin isolated from an avian species, Melopsittacus undulatus (budgerigar or small parakeet). This sequence has been expressed using the recombinant baculovirus system; the pigment generated from the expressed protein on addition of 11-cis-retinal yielded an absorption spectrum typical of a UV photopigment, with lambdamax 365+/-3 nm. This is the first UV opsin from an avian species to be sequenced and expressed in a heterologous system. In situ hybridization of this sequence to budgerigar retinas selectively labelled a sub-set of UV cones, representing approx. 9% of the total cone population, that are distributed in a semi-regular pattern across the entire retina.

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

    PubMed

    Muschick, Moritz; Indermaur, Adrian; Salzburger, Walter

    2012-12-18

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

  7. 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

  8. Origins of Shared Genetic Variation in African Cichlids

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-18

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

  10. Divergent Selection on Opsins Drives Incipient Speciation in Lake Victoria Cichlids

    PubMed Central

    Terai, Yohey; Seehausen, Ole; Sasaki, Takeshi; Takahashi, Kazuhiko; Mizoiri, Shinji; Sugawara, Tohru; Sato, Tetsu; Watanabe, Masakatsu; Konijnendijk, Nellie; Mrosso, Hillary D. J; Tachida, Hidenori; Imai, Hiroo; Shichida, Yoshinori; Okada, Norihiro

    2006-01-01

    Divergent natural selection acting on ecological traits, which also affect mate choice, is a key element of ecological speciation theory, but has not previously been demonstrated at the molecular gene level to our knowledge. Here we demonstrate parallel evolution in two cichlid genera under strong divergent selection in a gene that affects both. Strong divergent natural selection fixed opsin proteins with different predicted light absorbance properties at opposite ends of an environmental gradient. By expressing them and measuring absorbance, we show that the reciprocal fixation adapts populations to divergent light environments. The divergent evolution of the visual system coincides with divergence in male breeding coloration, consistent with incipient ecological by-product speciation. PMID:17147472

  11. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  13. Strategic growth decisions in helper cichlids.

    PubMed Central

    Heg, Dik; Bender, Nicole; Hamilton, Ian

    2004-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-03-05

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. The etiology and molecular genetics of human pigmentation disorders.

    PubMed

    Baxter, Laura L; Pavan, William J

    2013-01-01

    Pigmentation, defined as the placement of pigment in skin, hair, and eyes for coloration, is distinctive because the location, amount, and type of pigmentation provides a visual manifestation of genetic heterogeneity in pathways regulating the pigment-producing cells, melanocytes. The scope of this genetic heterogeneity in humans ranges from normal to pathological pigmentation phenotypes. Clinically, normal human pigmentation encompasses a variety of skin and hair color as well as punctate pigmentation such as melanocytic nevi (moles) or ephelides (freckles), while abnormal human pigmentation exhibits markedly reduced or increased pigment levels, known as hypopigmentation and hyperpigmentation, respectively. Elucidation of the molecular genetics underlying pigmentation has revealed genes important for melanocyte development and function. Furthermore, many pigmentation disorders show additional defects in cells other than melanocytes, and identification of the genetic insults in these disorders has revealed pleiotropic genes, where a single gene is required for various functions in different cell types. Thus, unravelling the genetics of easily visualized pigmentation disorders has identified molecular similarities between melanocytes and less visible cell types/tissues, arising from a common developmental origin and/or shared genetic regulatory pathways. Herein we discuss notable human pigmentation disorders and their associated genetic alterations, focusing on the fact that the developmental genetics of pigmentation abnormalities are instructive for understanding normal pathways governing development and function of melanocytes. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  18. The etiology and molecular genetics of human pigmentation disorders

    PubMed Central

    Baxter, Laura L.; Pavan, William J.

    2012-01-01

    Pigmentation, defined as the placement of pigment in skin, hair, and eyes for coloration, is distinctive because the location, amount, and type of pigmentation provides a visual manifestation of genetic heterogeneity in pathways regulating the pigment-producing cells, melanocytes. The scope of this genetic heterogeneity in humans ranges from normal to pathological pigmentation phenotypes. Clinically normal human pigmentation encompasses a variety of skin and hair color as well as with punctate pigmentation such as melanocytic nevi (moles) or ephelides (freckles), while clinically abnormal human pigmentation exhibits markedly reduced or increased pigment levels, known as hypopigmentation and hyperpigmentation, respectively. Elucidation of the molecular genetics underlying pigmentation has revealed genes important for melanocyte development and function. Furthermore, many pigmentation disorders show additional defects in cells other than melanocytes, and identification of the genetic insults in these disorders has revealed pleiotropic genes, where a single gene is required for various functions, often in different cell types. Thus unravelling the genetics of easily visualized pigmentation disorders has identified molecular similarities between melanocytes and less visible cell types/tissues, revealing a common cellular origin and/or common genetic regulatory pathways. Herein we discuss notable human pigmentation disorders and their associated genetic alterations, focusing on the fact that the developmental genetics of pigmentation abnormalities is instructive for understanding normal pathways governing development and function of melanocytes. PMID:23799582

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

    PubMed

    Schwalbe, Margot A B; Webb, Jacqueline F

    2015-04-01

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

  20. Skin Pigmentation Disorders

    MedlinePlus

    Pigmentation means coloring. Skin pigmentation disorders affect the color of your skin. Your skin gets its color from a pigment called melanin. Special cells in the skin make melanin. When these cells become damaged or ...

  1. Monascus pigments.

    PubMed

    Feng, Yanli; Shao, Yanchun; Chen, Fusheng

    2012-12-01

    Monascus pigments (MPs) as natural food colorants have been widely utilized in food industries in the world, especially in China and Japan. Moreover, MPs possess a range of biological activities, such as anti-mutagenic and anticancer properties, antimicrobial activities, potential anti-obesity activities, and so on. So, in the past two decades, more and more attention has been paid to MPs. Up to now, more than 50 MPs have been identified and studied. However, there have been some reviews about red fermented rice and the secondary metabolites produced by Monascus, but no monograph or review of MPs has been published. This review covers the categories and structures, biosynthetic pathway, production, properties, detection methods, functions, and molecular biology of MPs.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-12-01

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

  3. Microsatellites Cross-Species Amplification across Some African Cichlids

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  4. Spectral tuning of deep red cone pigments.

    PubMed

    Amora, Tabitha L; Ramos, Lavoisier S; Galan, Jhenny F; Birge, Robert R

    2008-04-22

    Visual pigments are G-protein-coupled receptors that provide a critical interface between organisms and their external environment. Natural selection has generated vertebrate pigments that absorb light from the far-UV (360 nm) to the deep red (630 nm) while using a single chromophore, in either the A1 (11- cis-retinal) or A2 (11- cis-3,4-dehydroretinal) form. The fact that a single chromophore can be manipulated to have an absorption maximum across such an extended spectral region is remarkable. The mechanisms of wavelength regulation remain to be fully revealed, and one of the least well-understood mechanisms is that associated with the deep red pigments. We investigate theoretically the hypothesis that deep red cone pigments select a 6- s- trans conformation of the retinal chromophore ring geometry. This conformation is in contrast to the 6- s- cis ring geometry observed in rhodopsin and, through model chromophore studies, the vast majority of visual pigments. Nomographic spectral analysis of 294 A1 and A2 cone pigment literature absorption maxima indicates that the selection of a 6- s- trans geometry red shifts M/LWS A1 pigments by approximately 1500 cm (-1) ( approximately 50 nm) and A2 pigments by approximately 2700 cm (-1) ( approximately 100 nm). The homology models of seven cone pigments indicate that the deep red cone pigments select 6- s- trans chromophore conformations primarily via electrostatic steering. Our results reveal that the generation of a 6- s- trans conformation not only achieves a significant red shift but also provides enhanced stability of the chromophore within the deep red cone pigment binding sites.

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

    PubMed

    Takahashi, Tetsumi; Koblmüller, Stephan

    2011-01-01

    Lake Tanganyika is the oldest of the Great Ancient Lakes in the East Africa. This lake harbours about 250 species of cichlid fish, which are highly diverse in terms of morphology, behaviour, and ecology. Lake Tanganyika's cichlid diversity has evolved through explosive speciation and is treated as a textbook example of adaptive radiation, the rapid differentiation of a single ancestor into an array of species that differ in traits used to exploit their environments and resources. To elucidate the processes and mechanisms underlying the rapid speciation and adaptive radiation of Lake Tanganyika's cichlid species assemblage it is important to integrate evidence from several lines of research. Great efforts have been, are, and certainly will be taken to solve the mystery of how so many cichlid species evolved in so little time. In the present review, we summarize morphological studies that relate to the adaptive radiation of Lake Tanganyika's cichlids and highlight their importance for understanding the process of adaptive radiation.

  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. Synthesis and migration of /sup 3/H-fucose-labeled glycoproteins in the retinal pigment epithelium of albino rats, as visualized by radioautography

    SciTech Connect

    Haddad, A.; Bennett, G.

    1987-03-01

    /sup 3/H-fucose was injected into the vitreous body of the eye(s) of 250-gm rats, which were then killed by means of an intracardiac perfusion with glutaraldehyde after intervals of 10 min, 1 and 4 hr, and 1 and 7 days. The eyes were removed and further fixed, and pieces of retina were processed for light and electron microscope radioautography. Light microscope radioautography showed that the pigment epithelial cells actively incorporated /sup 3/H-fucose label. The intensity of reaction peaked at 4 hr after injection of the label and then slowly declined. Quantitative electron microscope radioautography revealed that, at 10 min after /sup 3/H-fucose injection, over 70% of the label was localized to the Golgi apparatus, indicating that fucose residues are added to newly synthesized glycoproteins principally at this site. With time the proportion of label associated with the Golgi apparatus decreased, but that assigned to the infolded basal plasma membrane, the apical microvilli, and various apical lysosomes increased. These results indicate that in retinal pigment epithelial cells newly synthesized glycoproteins continuously migrate from the Golgi apparatus to lysosomes and to various regions of the plasma membrane. In this case, the membrane glycoproteins may play specific roles in receptor functions of the basal plasma membrane or phagocytic activities at the apical surface. Very little label migrated to Bruch's membrane, indicating either a very slow turnover or a paucity of fucose-containing glycoproteins at this site.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Keck, Benjamin P; Hulsey, C Darrin

    2014-04-01

    The incredibly species-rich cichlid fish faunas of both the Neotropics and Africa are generally thought to be reciprocally monophyletic. However, the phylogenetic affinity of the African cichlid Heterochromis multidens is ambiguous, and this distinct lineage could make African cichlids paraphyletic. In past studies, Heterochromis has been variously suggested to be one of the earliest diverging lineages within either the Neotropical or the African cichlid radiations, and it has even been hypothesized to be the sister lineage to a clade containing all Neotropical and African cichlids. We examined the phylogenetic relationships among a representative sample of cichlids with a dataset of 29 nuclear loci to assess the support for the different hypotheses of the phylogenetic position of Heterochromis. Although individual gene trees in some instances supported alternative relationships, a majority of gene trees, integration of genes into species trees, and hypothesis testing of putative topologies all supported Heterochromis as belonging to the clade of African cichlids. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Colgan, P W; Salmon, A B

    1986-06-01

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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Pigmented Villonodular Synovitis (PVNS)

    MedlinePlus

    ... OverviewWhat is pigmented villonodular synovitis?Pigmented villonodular synovitis (PVNS) is a joint problem that usually affects the ... ankle, elbow, hand or foot.When you have PVNS, the lining of a joint becomes swollen and ...

  16. Oral pigmentation: A review

    PubMed Central

    Sreeja, C.; Ramakrishnan, K.; Vijayalakshmi, D.; Devi, M.; Aesha, I.; Vijayabanu, B.

    2015-01-01

    Pigmentations are commonly found in the mouth. They represent in various clinical patterns that can range from just physiologic changes to oral manifestations of systemic diseases and malignancies. Color changes in the oral mucosa can be attributed to the deposition of either endogenous or exogenous pigments as a result of various mucosal diseases. The various pigmentations can be in the form of blue/purple vascular lesions, brown melanotic lesions, brown heme-associated lesions, gray/black pigmentations. PMID:26538887

  17. Oral pigmentation: A review.

    PubMed

    Sreeja, C; Ramakrishnan, K; Vijayalakshmi, D; Devi, M; Aesha, I; Vijayabanu, B

    2015-08-01

    Pigmentations are commonly found in the mouth. They represent in various clinical patterns that can range from just physiologic changes to oral manifestations of systemic diseases and malignancies. Color changes in the oral mucosa can be attributed to the deposition of either endogenous or exogenous pigments as a result of various mucosal diseases. The various pigmentations can be in the form of blue/purple vascular lesions, brown melanotic lesions, brown heme-associated lesions, gray/black pigmentations.

  18. Overview of plant pigments

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Chlorophylls, carotenoids, flavonoids and betalains are four major classes of biological pigments produced in plants. Chlorophylls are the primary pigments responsible for plant green and photosynthesis. The other three are accessary pigments and secondary metabolites that yield non-green colors and...

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

    PubMed

    Farias, I P; Ortí, G; Meyer, A

    2000-04-15

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

    Brain size is strongly associated with body size in all vertebrates. This relationship has been hypothesized to be an important constraint on adaptive brain size evolution. The essential assumption behind this idea is that static (i.e., within species) brain-body allometry has low ability to evolve. However, recent studies have reported mixed support for this view. Here, we examine brain-body static allometry in Lake Tanganyika cichlids using a phylogenetic comparative framework. We found considerable variation in the static allometric intercept, which explained the majority of variation in absolute and relative brain size. In contrast, the slope of the brain-body static allometry had relatively low variation, which explained less variation in absolute and relative brain size compared to the intercept and body size. Further examination of the tempo and mode of evolution of static allometric parameters confirmed these observations. Moreover, the estimated evolutionary parameters indicate that the limited observed variation in the static allometric slope could be a result of strong stabilizing selection. Overall, our findings suggest that the brain-body static allometric slope may represent an evolutionary constraint in Lake Tanganyika cichlids. © 2016 The Author(s).

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

    The Lake Malawi haplochromine cichlid flock is one of the largest vertebrate adaptive radiations. The geographical source of the radiation has been assumed to be rivers to the south and east of Lake Malawi, where extant representatives of the flock are now present. Here, we provide mitochondrial DNA evidence suggesting the sister taxon to the Lake Malawi radiation is within the Great Ruaha river in Tanzania, north of Lake Malawi. Estimates of the time of divergence between the Lake Malawi flock and this riverine sister taxon range from 2.13 to 6.76 Ma, prior to origins of the current radiation 1.20-4.06 Ma. These results are congruent with evaluations of 2-3.75 Ma fossil material that suggest past faunal connections between Lake Malawi and the Ruaha. We propose that ancestors of the Malawi radiation became isolated within the catchment during Pliocene rifting that formed both Lake Malawi and the Kipengere/Livingstone mountain range, before colonizing rivers to the south and east of the lake region and radiating within the lake basin. Identification of this sister taxon allows tests of whether standing genetic diversity has predisposed Lake Malawi cichlids to rapid speciation and adaptive radiation. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    1998-11-24

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-01-30

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Murray, A. M.

    2001-01-01

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

  7. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1996-08-01

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

  9. Performance of a dermoscopy-based computer vision system for the diagnosis of pigmented skin lesions compared with visual evaluation by experienced dermatologists.

    PubMed

    Zortea, Maciel; Schopf, Thomas R; Thon, Kevin; Geilhufe, Marc; Hindberg, Kristian; Kirchesch, Herbert; Møllersen, Kajsa; Schulz, Jörn; Skrøvseth, Stein Olav; Godtliebsen, Fred

    2014-01-01

    It is often difficult to differentiate early melanomas from benign melanocytic nevi even by expert dermatologists, and the task is even more challenging for primary care physicians untrained in dermatology and dermoscopy. A computer system can provide an objective and quantitative evaluation of skin lesions, reducing subjectivity in the diagnosis. Our objective is to make a low-cost computer aided diagnostic tool applicable in primary care based on a consumer grade camera with attached dermatoscope, and compare its performance to that of experienced dermatologists. We propose several new image-derived features computed from automatically segmented dermoscopic pictures. These are related to the asymmetry, color, border, geometry, and texture of skin lesions. The diagnostic accuracy of the system is compared with that of three dermatologists. With a data set of 206 skin lesions, 169 benign and 37 melanomas, the classifier was able to provide competitive sensitivity (86%) and specificity (52%) scores compared with the sensitivity (85%) and specificity (48%) of the most accurate dermatologist using only dermoscopic images. We show that simple statistical classifiers can be trained to provide a recommendation on whether a pigmented skin lesion requires biopsy to exclude skin cancer with a performance that is comparable to and exceeds that of experienced dermatologists. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  11. Feeding in the dark: lateral-line-mediated prey detection in the peacock cichlid Aulonocara stuartgranti.

    PubMed

    Schwalbe, Margot A B; Bassett, Daniel K; Webb, Jacqueline F

    2012-06-15

    The cranial lateral line canal system of teleost fishes is morphologically diverse and is characterized by four patterns. One of these, widened lateral line canals, has evolved convergently in a wide range of teleosts, including the Lake Malawi peacock cichlids (Aulonocara), and has been attributed to its role in prey detection. The ability to study Aulonocara in the laboratory provides an opportunity to test the hypothesis that their reported ability to feed on invertebrate prey living in sandy substrates in their natural habitat is the result of lateral-line-mediated prey detection. The goal of this study was to determine whether Aulonocara stuartgranti could detect hydrodynamic stimuli generated by tethered brine shrimp (visualized using digital particle image velocimetry) under light and dark conditions, with and without treatment with cobalt chloride, which is known to temporarily inactivate the lateral line system. Fish were presented with six pairs of tethered live and dead adult brine shrimp and feeding behavior was recorded with HD digital video. Results demonstrate that A. stuartgranti: (1) uses the same swimming/feeding strategy as they do in the field; (2) detects and consumes invertebrate prey in the dark using its lateral line system; (3) alters prey detection behavior when feeding on the same prey under light and dark conditions, suggesting the involvement of multiple sensory modalities; and (4) after treatment with cobalt chloride, exhibits a reduction in their ability to detect hydrodynamic stimuli produced by prey, especially in the dark, thus demonstrating the role of the lateral line system in prey detection.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-07-19

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

  14. 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.

  15. Posterior scleritis with retinal pigment epithelium rip: an unusual presentation.

    PubMed

    Fiebai, Bassey; Padhi, Tapas Ranjan; Panda, Krushna Gopal; Modi, Rohit Ramesh

    2015-02-01

    Posterior scleritis is a great mimicker and can cause irreversible visual loss because of late or misdiagnosis. We report a case of retinal pigment epithelial rip in the event of nodular posterior scleritis that is hardly reported in the literature. The authors hypothesize the rip to be a result of inflammation, exudation and continuing pressure by the fluid or granuloma on the pigment epithelium.

  16. Analysis of introns and promoters of L/M visual pigment genes in relation to deutan color-vision deficiency with an array of normal gene orders.

    PubMed

    Ueyama, Hisao; Tanabe, Shoko; Muraki-Oda, Sanae; Yamade, Shinichi; Ohji, Masahito; Ohkubo, Iwao

    2009-09-01

    Among the 447 Japanese men with deutan color-vision deficiency that we analyzed, 61 had a normal order array of L/M pigment genes. Three of the 61 men had an exonic mutation, but the other 58 had no mutations even in the flanking introns of their M genes. In these 58 men, 55 had a -71A --> C substitution in the M gene. Two hypotheses were built up for the substitution: it is in linkage disequilibrium with a genuine cause of deficiency in the introns, or itself is the cause of the deficiency. For the first hypothesis, we sequenced entire regions of both the L and M genes in 30 color-normal Japanese men who had one each of the L and M genes to understand normal variations of the introns. Fifty-two already known and 15 newly identified polymorphic sites could be classified into three categories: those with no polymorphisms in the Japanese group, those essentially different between the L and the M genes, and the others. We then sequenced the entire region of the M genes in 12 representative deutan individuals with a normal gene-order array but found no significant mutations. For the second hypothesis, we performed a reporter assay and found that the M gene promoter with -71C had a 60-70% reduction in activity when compared to that with -71A. These results suggest that the -71A --> C substitution is not in linkage disequilibrium with an intronic mutation, but the substitution itself may affect the transcription of the M gene, leading to deutan deficiency.

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

    PubMed Central

    Gierszewski, Stefanie; Bleckmann, Horst; Schluessel, Vera

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

  19. Ancient hybridization fuels rapid cichlid fish adaptive radiations

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

  20. Monitoring pigmented skin lesions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wallace, Vincent P.; Bamber, Jeffery C.; Ott, Robert J.; Crawford, Diane C.; Mortimer, Peter S.

    2002-06-01

    The rising incidence of skin cancer has led to an increase in the number of patients with skin lesions that require diagnosis, mostly using subjective visual examination. Successful treatment depends on early diagnosis. Unfortunately diagnostic accuracy, even by experts, can be as low as 56%; therefore, an accurate, objective diagnostic aid is greatly needed. Reflectance characteristics of pigmented skin lesions were documented to evaluate their diagnostic potential. Reflectance spectra in the wavelength range 320-1100nm were obtained from 260 lesions. Differences between spectra from benign and malignant lesions were utilized by extracting features with the best discriminating power. Discrimination was evaluated using two techniques: multivariate statistical analysis and artificial neural networks, using histology as the standard. Each technique was tested in a blind study and assessed in terms of its ability to diagnose new cases and compared to the clinical diagnosis. The artificial neural network achieved the best diagnostic performance for discriminating between malignant melanoma and benign nevi, having a sensitivity of 100% and a specificity of 65%. Utilization of visible and infrared techniques for monitoring skin lesions has lead to improvements in diagnostic accuracy. We conclude that these techniques are worthy of further development and evaluation in clinical practice as a screening tool.

  1. Genetics of pigmentation and melanoma predisposition.

    PubMed

    Pho, L N; Leachman, S A

    2010-02-01

    About 5-10% of human cutaneous malignant melanoma is hereditary and known to involve rare germline mutations in highly penetrant, autosomal dominant genes. These genes are important in cell cycle control but are not responsible for all familial cases of melanoma. Epidemiologic studies have linked specific phenotypic traits including fair skin, light-colored eyes, and poor tanning ability to melanoma risks. The ability to visually discern and define pigmentary phenotypes in humans and in animal models has permitted elucidation of many genes involved in pigmentation and melanin biosynthesis. Additional genetic epidemiological studies have recently identified a subset of these pigmentation genes that are associated with risk for melanoma and other cutaneous malignancies as well as photosensitivity. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have unveiled single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) or genetic variants in MC1R, TPCN2, ASIP, KITLG, NCKX5, TYR, IRF4, OCA2, and TYRP1 pigmentation genes. These findings emphasize the contribution of pigmentation pathways to melanoma predisposition and tumorigenesis through gene-environment interactions. Since pigmentation genes in the melanin synthesis pathway also confer risk for cutaneous malignancy, a better understanding of the operative molecular mechanisms involved in this relationship has the potential to impact individual risk assessment for cutaneous malignant melanoma in the future. This paper is an overview of our current understanding of pigmentation gene modifications that have been associated with melanoma risk and how these genes can enrich clinical management, prevention, and early detection of malignant melanoma.

  2. Graph-based pigment network detection in skin images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sadeghi, M.; Razmara, M.; Ester, M.; Lee, T. K.; Atkins, M. S.

    2010-03-01

    Detecting pigmented network is a crucial step for melanoma diagnosis. In this paper, we present a novel graphbased pigment network detection method that can find and visualize round structures belonging to the pigment network. After finding sharp changes of the luminance image by an edge detection function, the resulting binary image is converted to a graph, and then all cyclic sub-graphs are detected. Theses cycles represent meshes that belong to the pigment network. Then, we create a new graph of the cyclic structures based on their distance. According to the density ratio of the new graph of the pigment network, the image is classified as "Absent" or "Present". Being Present means that a pigment network is detected in the skin lesion. Using this approach, we achieved an accuracy of 92.6% on five hundred unseen images.

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

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

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

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-06

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

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

    PubMed

    Albertson, R Craig; Kocher, Thomas D

    2005-03-01

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

  9. Laser treatment of pigmented lesions.

    PubMed

    Goldberg, D J

    1997-07-01

    Several pigment-specific lasers can effectively treat epidermal and dermal pigmented lesions without complications using the basic principles of selective photothermolysis. Although such pigmented lesions as solar lentigines and nevi of Ota are relatively easy to treat using pigment-specific laser technology, café-au-lait macules and melasma show variable responses to treatment. New, long-pulsed pigment-specific lasers may prove to further enhance the clinical results obtained in resistant pigmented lesions and other conditions.

  10. Visual sensitivities tuned by heterochronic shifts in opsin gene expression

    PubMed Central

    Carleton, Karen L; Spady, Tyrone C; Streelman, J Todd; Kidd, Michael R; McFarland, William N; Loew, Ellis R

    2008-01-01

    Background Cichlid fishes have radiated into hundreds of species in the Great Lakes of Africa. Brightly colored males display on leks and vie to be chosen by females as mates. Strong discrimination by females causes differential male mating success, rapid evolution of male color patterns and, possibly, speciation. In addition to differences in color pattern, Lake Malawi cichlids also show some of the largest known shifts in visual sensitivity among closely related species. These shifts result from modulated expression of seven cone opsin genes. However, the mechanisms for this modulated expression are unknown. Results In this work, we ask whether these differences might result from changes in developmental patterning of cone opsin genes. To test this, we compared the developmental pattern of cone opsin gene expression of the Nile tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus, with that of several cichlid species from Lake Malawi. In tilapia, quantitative polymerase chain reaction showed that opsin gene expression changes dynamically from a larval gene set through a juvenile set to a final adult set. In contrast, Lake Malawi species showed one of two developmental patterns. In some species, the expressed gene set changes slowly, either retaining the larval pattern or progressing only from larval to juvenile gene sets (neoteny). In the other species, the same genes are expressed in both larvae and adults but correspond to the tilapia adult genes (direct development). Conclusion Differences in visual sensitivities among species of Lake Malawi cichlids arise through heterochronic shifts relative to the ontogenetic pattern of the tilapia outgroup. Heterochrony has previously been shown to be a powerful mechanism for change in morphological evolution. We found that altering developmental expression patterns is also an important mechanism for altering sensory systems. These resulting sensory shifts will have major impacts on visual communication and could help drive cichlid speciation

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-15

    Cichlid fishes in East Africa have undergone extensive adaptive radiation, which has led to spectacular diversity in their morphology and ecology. To date, genetic linkage maps have been constructed for several tilapias (riverine), Astatotilapia burtoni (Lake Tanganyika), and hybrid lines of Lake Malawi cichlids to facilitate genome-wide comparative analyses. In the present study, we constructed a genetic linkage map of the hybrid line of Lake Victoria cichlids, so that maps of cichlids from all the major areas of East Africa will be available. The genetic linkage map shown here is derived from the F2 progeny of an interspecific cross between Haplochromis chilotes and Haplochromis sauvagei and is based on 184 microsatellite and two single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers. Most of the microsatellite markers used in the present study were originally designed for other genetic linkage maps, allowing us to directly compare each linkage group (LG) among different cichlid groups. We found 25 LGs, the total length of which was 1133.2cM with an average marker spacing of about 6.09cM. Our subsequent linkage mapping analysis identified two putative sex-determining loci in cichlids. Interestingly, one of these two loci is located on cichlid LG5, on which the female heterogametic ZW locus and several quantitative trait loci (QTLs) related to adaptive evolution have been reported in Lake Malawi cichlids. We also found that V1R1 and V1R2, candidate genes for the fish pheromone receptor, are located very close to the recently detected sex-determining locus on cichlid LG5. The genetic linkage map study presented here may provide a valuable foundation for studying the chromosomal evolution of East African cichlids and the possible role of sex chromosomes in generating their genomic diversity. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2002-02-01

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

  14. [Microbial sources of pigments].

    PubMed

    Cañizares-Villanueva, R O; Ríos-Leal, E; Olvera Ramírez, R; Ponce Noyola, T; Márquez Rocha, F

    1998-01-01

    Pigments from natural sources has been obtained since long time ago, and their interest has increased due to the toxicity problems caused by those of synthetic origin. In this way the pigments from microbial sources are a good alternative. Some of more important natural pigments, are the carotenoids, flavonoids (anthocyanins) and some tetrapirroles (chloropyls, phycobilliproteins). Another group less important are the betalains and quinones. The carotenoids are molecules formed by isoprenoids units and the most important used as colorant are the alpha and beta carotene which are precursors of vitamin A, and some xantophylls as astaxanthin. The pigment more used in the industry is the beta-carotene which is obtained from some microalgae and cyanobacteria. The astaxanthin another important carotenoid is a red pigment of great commercial value, and it is used in the pharmaceutical feed and acuaculture industries. This pigments is mainly obtained from Phaffia rhodozyma and Haematococcus pluvialis and other organisms. The phycobilliproteins obtained from cyanobacteria and some group of algae, have recently been increased on the food industries. In the last years it has been used as fluorescent marker in biochemical assays. Our research group have carried out studies about the factors that improve the production of these pigments obtained from different microbial species as well as the methods for their extraction and application.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-27

    Evolutionary innovations, traits that give species access to previously unoccupied niches, may promote speciation and adaptive radiation. Here, we show that such innovations can also result in competitive inferiority and extinction. We present evidence that the modified pharyngeal jaws of cichlid fishes and several marine fish lineages, a classic example of evolutionary innovation, are not universally beneficial. A large-scale analysis of dietary evolution across marine fish lineages reveals that the innovation compromises access to energy-rich predator niches. We show that this competitive inferiority shaped the adaptive radiation of cichlids in Lake Tanganyika and played a pivotal and previously unrecognized role in the mass extinction of cichlid fishes in Lake Victoria after Nile perch invasion. Copyright © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2000-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Beeching, S C

    1997-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-06-01

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

  19. Detection of artificial water flows by the lateral line system of a benthic feeding cichlid fish.

    PubMed

    Schwalbe, Margot A B; Sevey, Benjamin J; Webb, Jacqueline F

    2016-04-01

    The mechanosensory lateral line system of fishes detects water motions within a few body lengths of the source. Several types of artificial stimuli have been used to probe lateral line function in the laboratory, but few studies have investigated the role of flow sensing in benthic feeding teleosts. In this study, we used artificial flows emerging from a sandy substrate to assess the contribution of flow sensing to prey detection in the peacock cichlid, Aulonocara stuartgranti, which feeds on benthic invertebrates in Lake Malawi. Using a positive reinforcement protocol, we trained fish to respond to flows lacking the visual and chemical cues generated by tethered prey in prior studies with A. stuartgranti Fish successfully responded to artificial flows at all five rates presented (characterized using digital particle image velocimetry), and showed a range of flow-sensing behaviors, including an unconditioned bite response. Immediately after lateral line inactivation, fish rarely responded to flows and the loss of vital fluorescent staining of hair cells (with 4-di-2-ASP) verified lateral line inactivation. Within 2 days post-treatment, some aspects of flow-sensing behavior returned and after 7 days, flow-sensing behavior and hair cell fluorescence both returned to pre-treatment levels, which is consistent with the reported timing of hair cell regeneration in other vertebrates. The presentation of ecologically relevant water flows to assess flow-sensing behaviors and the use of a positive reinforcement protocol are methods that present new opportunities to study the role of flow sensing in the feeding ecology of benthic feeding fishes.

  20. Effect of Hypergravity on Carbonanhydrase Reactivity in inner Ear Ioncytes of developing Cichlid Fish

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beier, M.; Anken, R.; Rahmann, H.

    It has been shown earlier that hypergravity slows down inner ear otolith growth in developing fish. Otolith growth in terms of mineralisation mainly depends on the enzyme carboanhydrase (CAH), which is responsible for the provision of the pH- value necessary for calcium carbonate deposition and thus also is presumed to play a prominent role in Ménière's disease (a sensory - motor disorder inducing vertigo and kinetosis). Larval siblings of cichlid fish (Oreochromis mossambicus) were subjected to hypergravity (3g; 6 hours) during development and separated into normally and kinetotically swimming individuals following the transfer to 1g (i.e., stopping the centrifuge; kinetotically behaving fish performed spinning movements). Subsequently, CAH was histochemically demonstrated in inner ear ionocytes (cells involved in the endolymphatic ion exchange) and enzyme reactivity was determined densitometrically. The results showed that CAH-reactivity was significantly increased in normally behaving hyper-g specimens as compared to controls kept at 1g, whereas no difference in enzyme reactivity was evident between the controls and kinetotically behaving fish. On the background of earlier studies, according to which (1) hypergravity induces a decrease of otolith growth and (2) the otolithic calcium incorporation (visualized using the calcium -tracer alizarin complexone) of kinetotically swimming hyper - g fish was lower as compared to normally behaving hyper - g animals, the present study strongly supports the concept that an increase in CAH-reactivity may result in a decrease of otolithic calcium deposition. The mechanism regulating CAH-activity hitherto remains to be determined. Acknowledgement: This work was financially supported by the German Aerospace Center (DLR) (FKZ: 50 WB 9997).

  1. Background matching ability and the maintenance of a colour polymorphism in the red devil cichlid.

    PubMed

    Sowersby, W; Lehtonen, T K; Wong, B B M

    2015-02-01

    The evolution and maintenance of colour polymorphisms remains a topic of considerable research interest. One key mechanism thought to contribute to the coexistence of different colour morphs is a bias in how conspicuous they are to visual predators. Although individuals of many species camouflage themselves against their background to avoid predation, differently coloured individuals within a species may vary in their capacity to do so. However, to date, very few studies have explicitly investigated the ability of different colour morphs to plastically adjust their colouration to match their background. The red devil (Amphilophus labiatus) is a Neotropical cichlid fish with a stable colour polymorphism, with the gold morph being genetically dominant and having a myriad of documented advantages over the dark morph. However, gold individuals are much rarer, which may be related to their heightened conspicuousness to would-be predators. Here, we tested the ability of differently coloured individuals to phenotypically adjust the shade of their body colour and patterns to match their background. In particular, we filmed dark, gold and mottled (a transitioning phase from dark to gold) individuals under an identical set-up on light vs. dark-coloured substrates. We found that, in contrast to individuals of the dark morph, gold and mottled individuals were less capable of matching their body colouration to their background. As a result, gold individuals appeared to be more conspicuous. These results suggest that a difference in background matching ability could play an important role in the maintenance of colour polymorphisms. © 2014 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2014 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Sturmbauer, C; Meyer, A

    1993-07-01

    Of the three cichlid species flocks in eastern Africa, Lake Tanganyika harbors the oldest species assemblage, which is also the most diverse morphologically and behaviorally. For 12 species (20 individuals) of 12 genera of the tribe Ectodini, 852 bp from two segments (cytochrome b and control region) of the mitochondrial genome were sequenced. In addition, orthologous sequences were obtained from eight species (11 individuals) representing other mouthbrooding lineages from Lake Tanganyika. Comparisons of sequence divergences revealed that the single Tanganyikan tribe Ectodini appears to be approximately five times older than the whole Lake Malawi cichlid species flock, suggesting that the radiation of the Tanganyikan mouthbrooding lineages took place long before the species flocks of Lakes Malawi and Victoria evolved. Seven of nine surveyed tribes of Tanganyikan cichlids appear to be approximately equally divergent, and this seems to corroborate the hypothesis of a rapid simultaneous formation of lineages at an early stage in the history of the Lake Tanganyika species flock. The close genetic relationship between the endemic Tropheus lineage and a nonendemic "Haplochromine," Astatotilapia burtoni, indicates that members of the tribe Tropheini may be the sister group of the cichlid flocks of Lakes Malawi and Victoria. The phylogenetic analyses demonstrate the monophyly of the Ectodini and identify the Cyprichromini as their sister group among the Tanganyikan cichlids. Within the tribe Ectodini the molecular data suggest both a branching pattern different than that previously proposed and a subdivision of the Ectodini into four clades, instead of the two originally described. The previously postulated model of morphological transformations believed to be responsible for the drastically different types of ecological specialization found among the Ectodini might therefore be in need of reinterpretation. Characters immediately related to foraging and nutrition seem to

  5. 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

  6. Iris pigment epithelial cysts in a newborn

    PubMed Central

    Zargar, Shabnam; Prendiville, Kevin John; Martinez, Eladio

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: We report a case of iris pigment epithelial cysts in a newborn and discuss the importance of an accurate diagnosis for prevention of amblyopia. Methods: We describe a case of an abnormal red reflex seen on a newborn exam. Results: A full-term female born via normal spontaneous vaginal delivery without any complications was seen in the newborn nursery. She was noted to have an abnormal eye exam. Pupils were large with circular dark excrescences of the iris pigment epithelium. She was referred to a pediatric ophthalmologist where she was noted to fixate and follow faces. No afferent pupillary defect was seen. OD red reflex was normal whereas OS red reflex was blocked mostly by dark excrescences. A 2–3 mm dark brown lesion was seen in the OD iris and a 3–5 mm dark brown lesion was seen in the OS iris, consistent with a pupillary iris pigment epithelial cyst. Central visual axis was clear OU. Glaucoma was not present and patching was not performed. Observations and clinical photographs were recommended with follow-up in three months. Conclusion: Iris pigment epithelial cysts are uncommonly seen in children. The primary care provider first seeing a newborn must be aware of lesions obscuring a red reflex with appropriate follow-up. Follow-up in three months with IOP measurements is recommended. Iris pigment epithelial cysts in children may be a cause of amblyopia, thus prompt evaluation is important for prognostic purposes and the prevention of amblyopia. PMID:27625966

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

    When a population size is reduced, genetic drift may fix slightly deleterious mutations, and an increase in nonsynonymous substitution is expected. It has been suggested that past aridity has seriously affected and decreased the populations of cichlid fishes in Lake Victoria, while geographical studies have shown that the water levels in Lake Tanganyika and Lake Malawi have remained fairly constant. The comparably stable environments in the latter two lakes might have kept the populations of cichlid fishes large enough to remove slightly deleterious mutations. The difference in the stability of cichlid fish population sizes between Lake Victoria and the Lakes Tanganyika and Malawi is expected to have caused differences in the nonsynonymous/synonymous ratio, ω (=dN/dS), of the evolutionary rate. Here, we estimated ω and compared it between the cichlids of the three lakes for 13 mitochondrial protein-coding genes using maximum likelihood methods. We found that the lineages of the cichlids in Lake Victoria had a significantly higher ω for several mitochondrial loci. Moreover, positive selection was indicated for several codons in the mtDNA of the Lake Victoria cichlid lineage. Our results indicate that both adaptive and slightly deleterious molecular evolution has taken place in the Lake Victoria cichlids' mtDNA genes, whose nonsynonymous sites are generally conserved. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-09-07

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

  9. Pigment-protein complexes

    SciTech Connect

    Siegelman, H W

    1980-01-01

    The photosynthetically-active pigment protein complexes of procaryotes and eucaryotes include chlorophyll proteins, carotenochlorophyll proteins, and biliproteins. They are either integral components or attached to photosynthetic membranes. Detergents are frequently required to solubilize the pigment-protein complexes. The membrane localization and detergent solubilization strongly suggest that the pigment-protein complexes are bound to the membranes by hydrophobic interactions. Hydrophobic interactions of proteins are characterized by an increase in entropy. Their bonding energy is directly related to temperature and ionic strength. Hydrophobic-interaction chromatography, a relatively new separation procedure, can furnish an important method for the purification of pigment-protein complexes. Phycobilisome purification and properties provide an example of the need to maintain hydrophobic interactions to preserve structure and function.

  10. 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

  11. Social familiarity modulates personality trait in a cichlid fish

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-12-23

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-06

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-03-15

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

  17. Secondary contact seeds phenotypic novelty in cichlid fishes

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

    The social environment individuals are exposed to during ontogeny shapes social skills and social competence in group-living animals. Consequently, social deprivation has serious effects on behaviour and development in animals but little is known about its impact on cooperation. In this study, we examined the effect of social environment on cooperative predator inspection. Predator inspection behaviour is a complex behaviour, which is present in a variety of shoaling fish species. Often, two fish leave the safety of the group and inspect a potentially dangerous predator in order to gather information about the current predation risk. As predator inspection is highly risky, it is prone to conflicts and cheating. However, cooperation among individuals may reduce the individual predation risk. We investigated this complex social behaviour in juveniles of the cichlid fish Pelvicachromis taeniatus that were reared in two different social environments throughout development. Fish reared in a group inspected more often than isolation-reared fish and were more likely to cooperate, i.e. they conducted conjoint inspection of a predator. By contrast, isolation-reared fish were more likely to perform a single inspection without a companion. These results suggest an impairment of cooperative behaviour in isolation-reared fish most probably due to lack of social experience and resulting in lowered social skills needed in coordinated behaviour.

  19. Secondary contact seeds phenotypic novelty in cichlid fishes.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-07

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

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-02-01

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

  2. Photosynthetic Pigments in Diatoms.

    PubMed

    Kuczynska, Paulina; Jemiola-Rzeminska, Malgorzata; Strzalka, Kazimierz

    2015-09-16

    Photosynthetic pigments are bioactive compounds of great importance for the food, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical industries. They are not only responsible for capturing solar energy to carry out photosynthesis, but also play a role in photoprotective processes and display antioxidant activity, all of which contribute to effective biomass and oxygen production. Diatoms are organisms of a distinct pigment composition, substantially different from that present in plants. Apart from light-harvesting pigments such as chlorophyll a, chlorophyll c, and fucoxanthin, there is a group of photoprotective carotenoids which includes β-carotene and the xanthophylls, diatoxanthin, diadinoxanthin, violaxanthin, antheraxanthin, and zeaxanthin, which are engaged in the xanthophyll cycle. Additionally, some intermediate products of biosynthetic pathways have been identified in diatoms as well as unusual pigments, e.g., marennine. Marine algae have become widely recognized as a source of unique bioactive compounds for potential industrial, pharmaceutical, and medical applications. In this review, we summarize current knowledge on diatom photosynthetic pigments complemented by some new insights regarding their physico-chemical properties, biological role, and biosynthetic pathways, as well as the regulation of pigment level in the cell, methods of purification, and significance in industries.

  3. Photosynthetic Pigments in Diatoms

    PubMed Central

    Kuczynska, Paulina; Jemiola-Rzeminska, Malgorzata; Strzalka, Kazimierz

    2015-01-01

    Photosynthetic pigments are bioactive compounds of great importance for the food, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical industries. They are not only responsible for capturing solar energy to carry out photosynthesis, but also play a role in photoprotective processes and display antioxidant activity, all of which contribute to effective biomass and oxygen production. Diatoms are organisms of a distinct pigment composition, substantially different from that present in plants. Apart from light-harvesting pigments such as chlorophyll a, chlorophyll c, and fucoxanthin, there is a group of photoprotective carotenoids which includes β-carotene and the xanthophylls, diatoxanthin, diadinoxanthin, violaxanthin, antheraxanthin, and zeaxanthin, which are engaged in the xanthophyll cycle. Additionally, some intermediate products of biosynthetic pathways have been identified in diatoms as well as unusual pigments, e.g., marennine. Marine algae have become widely recognized as a source of unique bioactive compounds for potential industrial, pharmaceutical, and medical applications. In this review, we summarize current knowledge on diatom photosynthetic pigments complemented by some new insights regarding their physico-chemical properties, biological role, and biosynthetic pathways, as well as the regulation of pigment level in the cell, methods of purification, and significance in industries. PMID:26389924

  4. Pigmentation and behavior: potential association through pleiotropic genes in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Takahashi, Aya

    2013-01-01

    The molecular basis of pigmentation variation within and among Drosophila species is largely attributed to genes in melanin biosynthesis pathway, which involves dopamine metabolism. Most of the genetic changes underlying pigmentation variations reported to date are changes at the expression levels of the structural genes in the pathway. Within D. melanogaster, changes in cis-regulatory regions of a gene, ebony, are responsible for the naturally occurring variation of the body pigmentation intensity. This gene is also known to be expressed in glia, and many visual and behavioral abnormalities of its mutants have been reported. This implies that the gene has pleiotropic functions in the nervous systems. In this review, current knowledge on pigmentation variation and melanin biosynthesis pathway are summarized, with some focus on pleiotropic features of ebony and other genes in the pathway. A potential association between pigmentation and behavior through such pleiotropic genes is discussed in light of cis-regulatory structure and pleiotropic mutations.

  5. A melanosomal two-pore sodium channel regulates pigmentation

    PubMed Central

    Bellono, Nicholas W.; Escobar, Iliana E.; Oancea, Elena

    2016-01-01

    Intracellular organelles mediate complex cellular functions that often require ion transport across their membranes. Melanosomes are organelles responsible for the synthesis of the major mammalian pigment melanin. Defects in melanin synthesis result in pigmentation defects, visual deficits, and increased susceptibility to skin and eye cancers. Although genes encoding putative melanosomal ion transporters have been identified as key regulators of melanin synthesis, melanosome ion transport and its contribution to pigmentation remain poorly understood. Here we identify two-pore channel 2 (TPC2) as the first reported melanosomal cation conductance by directly patch-clamping skin and eye melanosomes. TPC2 has been implicated in human pigmentation and melanoma, but the molecular mechanism mediating this function was entirely unknown. We demonstrate that the vesicular signaling lipid phosphatidylinositol bisphosphate PI(3,5)P2 modulates TPC2 activity to control melanosomal membrane potential, pH, and regulate pigmentation. PMID:27231233

  6. Skin pigmentation evaluation in broilers fed natural and synthetic pigments.

    PubMed

    Castañeda, M P; Hirschler, E M; Sams, A R

    2005-01-01

    Broiler carcass skin color is important in the United States and Mexico. This study evaluated the use of natural and synthetic pigments in broiler diets at commercial levels. Birds were fed natural or synthetic pigments at low or high levels, simulating US and Mexican commercial practices. Skin color was measured during live production (3 to 7 wk of age) and after slaughter and chilling. The natural pigments had consistently greater skin b* values (yellowness) than the synthetic pigments. The high levels produced greater skin b* values than the low levels, regardless of source. The synthetic pigments had a slower increase in skin b* but reached the same level as the natural low by 7 wk. There was no difference in skin a* values (redness) due to pigment source or level or the age of the bird. By 7 wk, all pigment sources approached plateau levels in the blood, but the synthetic pigment diet produced higher blood levels of yellow and red pigments than the natural pigment diets. Processing intensified skin yellowness and reduced skin redness. These data suggest that although synthetic pigments might have been absorbed better than natural ones, natural pigments were more efficient at increasing skin yellowness and there were only small differences between high and low levels for each pigment source. This finding may allow reduction in pigment use and feed cost to achieve the same skin acceptance by the consumer.

  7. Detection of pigment network in dermatoscopy images using texture analysis

    PubMed Central

    Anantha, Murali; Moss, Randy H.; Stoecker, William V.

    2011-01-01

    Dermatoscopy, also known as dermoscopy or epiluminescence microscopy (ELM), is a non-invasive, in vivo technique, which permits visualization of features of pigmented melanocytic neoplasms that are not discernable by examination with the naked eye. ELM offers a completely new range of visual features. One such prominent feature is the pigment network. Two texture-based algorithms are developed for the detection of pigment network. These methods are applicable to various texture patterns in dermatoscopy images, including patterns that lack fine lines such as cobblestone, follicular, or thickened network patterns. Two texture algorithms, Laws energy masks and the neighborhood gray-level dependence matrix (NGLDM) large number emphasis, were optimized on a set of 155 dermatoscopy images and compared. Results suggest superiority of Laws energy masks for pigment network detection in dermatoscopy images. For both methods, a texel width of 10 pixels or approximately 0.22 mm is found for dermatoscopy images. PMID:15249068

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-01

    Sexual selection has been suggested to be an important driver of speciation in cichlid fishes of the Great Lakes of Africa, and the presence of male egg dummies is proposed to have played a key role. Here, we investigate how mouthbrooding and egg dummies have evolved in Tanganyikan cichlids, the lineage which seeded the other African radiations, with a special emphasis on the egg dummies. Using modern phylogenetic comparative analyses and a phylogeny including 86% of the 200 described species, we provide formal evidence demonstrating correlated evolution between mouthbrooding and egg dummies in Tanganyikan cichlids. These results concur with existing evidence, suggesting that egg dummies have evolved through sensory exploitation. We also demonstrate that there is a strong evolutionary correlation between the presence of egg dummies and both pre- and post-copulatory sexual selection. Moreover, egg dummy evolution was contingent on the intensity of pre- and post-copulatory sexual selection in Tanganyikan cichlids. In sum, our results provide evidence supporting the hypothesis of egg dummies evolving through sensory exploitation and highlight the role of sexual selection in favouring the evolution and maintenance of this trait. © 2013 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2013 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

    The largely endemic cichlid species flocks of the East African Great Lakes are among the prime examples for explosive speciation and adaptive radiation. Speciation rates differ among cichlid lineages, and the propensity to radiate has been linked to intrinsic and extrinsic factors such as sexual selection and ecological opportunity. Remarkably, only one cichlid tribe-the Boulengerochromini-comprises just a single species, Boulengerochromis microlepis, a predominantly piscivorous endemic of Lake Tanganyika and the world's largest cichlid. While the lineage diverged from its closest relatives at the onset of the Lake Tanganyika radiation >8 MYA, mitochondrial control region sequences collected in this study dated the most recent common ancestor of B. microlepis to ~60-110 KYA. There was no evidence of phylogeographic structure in the lake-wide sample. Patterns of genetic diversity and demographic analyses were consistent with slow and steady population growth throughout the reconstructed timescale. Additionally, the shallow divergence within the species may be related to a possibly large variance in reproductive success in this highly fecund species. Trophic niche space restriction by sympatric piscivores, lack of geographic structure, low potential for sexual selection arising from the monogamous mating system and extinction may have contributed to keeping the lineage monotypic.

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

    PubMed Central

    Steele, Sarah E.; López-Fernández, Hernán

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Hata, Hiroki; Ochi, Haruki

    2016-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  14. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Dunz, Andreas R; Schliewen, Ulrich K

    2013-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2003-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Ochi, Haruki

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-05-05

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-09-01

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

  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. Disorders of pigmentation.

    PubMed

    Fistarol, Susanna K; Itin, Peter H

    2010-03-01

    Skin color is highly individual and the variations are controlled by numerous genes. The different skin colors result from the size and number of melanosomes and do not mirror the amount of melanocytes. Disorders of pigmentation can result from migration abnormalities of melanocytes from the neural crest to the skin during embryogenesis. In addition, impairment of melanosome transfer to the surrounding keratinocytes, an alteration in melanin synthesis and a defective degradation or removal of melanin may lead to abnormal skin pigmentation. Immunologic or toxic mediated destructions of melanocytes can end in pigmentation disorders. Disorders of pigmentation are classified in hypo- or hyperpigmentation which can occur as a genetic or acquired disease. They can manifest locally or diffuse. Congenital hypopigmentation can be restricted to the skin as in piebaldism or they represent a systemic disease as in Menkes disease or phenylketonuria. Localized hypo- or hyperpigmentation in children may serve as markers for systemic diseases. Ash-leaf hypopigmentation are characteristic for tuberous sclerosis and more than 5 café-au-lait spots suggest neurofibromatosis 1 (von Recklinghausen disease). The most common autoimmune-induced depigmentation is vitiligo. Generalized hyperpigmentation only rarely reflects a primary genetic disorder but is most often from acquired diseases as in Addison disease, secondary hemochromatosis or primary biliary cirrhosis. Treatment of pigmentation disorders are based on a diagnosis which sometimes allow a specific intervention. Cosmetically acceptable results are difficult to obtain.

  3. Geography disentangles introgression from ancestral polymorphism in Lake Malawi cichlids.

    PubMed

    Mims, Meryl C; Darrin Hulsey, C; Fitzpatrick, Benjamin M; Streelman, J Todd

    2010-03-01

    Phenotypically diverse Lake Malawi cichlids exhibit similar genomes. The extensive sharing of genetic polymorphism among forms has both intrigued and frustrated biologists trying to understand the nature of diversity in this and other rapidly evolving systems. Shared polymorphism might result from hybridization and/or the retention of ancestrally polymorphic alleles. To examine these alternatives, we used new genomic tools to characterize genetic differentiation in widespread, geographically structured populations of Labeotropheus fuelleborni and Metriaclima zebra. These phenotypically distinct species share mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplotypes and show greater mtDNA differentiation among localities than between species. However, Bayesian analysis of nuclear single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) data revealed two distinct genetic clusters corresponding perfectly to morphologically diagnosed L. fuelleborni and M. zebra. This result is a function of the resolving power of the multi-locus dataset, not a conflict between nuclear and mitochondrial partitions. Locus-by-locus analysis showed that mtDNA differentiation between species (F(CT)) was nearly identical to the median single-locus SNP F(CT). Finally, we asked whether there is evidence for gene flow at sites of co-occurrence. We used simulations to generate a null distribution for the level of differentiation between co-occurring populations of L. fuelleborni and M. zebra expected if there was no hybridization. The null hypothesis was rejected for the SNP data; populations that co-occur at rock reef sites were slightly more similar than expected by chance, suggesting recent gene flow. The coupling of numerous independent markers with extensive geographic sampling and simulations utilized here provides a framework for assessing the prevalence of gene flow in recently diverged species.

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-10-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-04

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-08-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-06-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  11. Pigmented central neurocytoma.

    PubMed

    Kiehl, Tim-Rasmus; Kalkanis, Steven N; Louis, David N

    2004-06-01

    Central neurocytoma is a low-grade neuronal neoplasm that occurs most often within the lateral ventricles. We report the case of a 60-year-old woman who presented with gait problems, headache and memory loss. Preoperative evaluation demonstrated a heterogeneous, hypervascular and partially cystic mass in the left lateral ventricle. Histopathological examination revealed characteristic features of central neurocytoma, including immunoreactivity for synaptophysin, as well as the unusual feature of abundant pigment in the cytoplasm of tumor cells. Special stains revealed iron, consistent with hemosiderin, but found no evidence of melanin or melanosomes. Previous reports of pigmented central neurocytoma have described the presence of lipofuscin or neuromelanin. To our knowledge, the present case represents the first example of pigmented central neurocytoma secondary to hemosiderin deposition.

  12. Radial retroiridal linear pigmentation.

    PubMed Central

    Rieger, G

    1981-01-01

    Radial retroiridal pigmented lines found on the peripheral anterior capsule of the lens have been interpreted since their description by Vogt as remnants of the tunica vasculosa retroiridalis (membrana capsulopupillaris). They were found in nearly 5% of adults. A control examination of 1108 children and juveniles failed to reveal a single example. They are therefore thought to be caused by pigment released from the posterior layers of the iris, particularly near the pupillary border in old age, as a result of constant abrasive movements of the iris on the anterior surface of the lens. Images PMID:7326223

  13. Biology of pigmentation

    SciTech Connect

    Parker, F.

    1981-01-01

    The many factors involved in the normal pigmentation of human skin are highly complex involving anatomic, biochemical, and genetic aspects of melanocytes in the skin and the influence of UV light and various hormones on the melanocytes. It is probably more than just coincidence that the melanocytes, which are of neurogenic origin, are so responsive to several trophic hormones produced in the brain. Understanding of the various factors involved in the normal pigmentary process is crucial to explaining the many alterations and anomalies in human pigmentation.

  14. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    The species-flocks of cichlid fishes in the East African Great Lakes Victoria, Malawi and Tanganyika constitute the most diverse extant adaptive radiations in vertebrates. Lake Tanganyika, the oldest of the lakes, harbors the morphologically and genetically most diverse assemblage of cichlids and contains the highest number of endemic cichlid genera of all African lakes. Based on morphological grounds, the Tanganyikan cichlid species have been grouped into 12–16 distinct lineages, so-called tribes. While the monophyly of most of the tribes is well established, the phylogenetic relationships among the tribes remain largely elusive. Here, we present a new tribal level phylogenetic hypothesis for the cichlid fishes of Lake Tanganyika that is based on the so far largest set of nuclear markers and a total alignment length of close to 18 kb. Using next-generation amplicon sequencing with the 454 pyrosequencing technology, we compiled a dataset consisting of 42 nuclear loci in 45 East African cichlid species, which we subjected to maximum likelihood and Bayesian inference phylogenetic analyses. We analyzed the entire concatenated dataset and each marker individually, and performed a Bayesian concordance analysis and gene tree discordance tests. Overall, we find strong support for a position of the Oreochromini, Boulengerochromini, Bathybatini and Trematocarini outside of a clade combining the substrate spawning Lamprologini and the mouthbrooding tribes of the ‘H-lineage’, which are both strongly supported to be monophyletic. The Eretmodini are firmly placed within the ‘H-lineage’, as sister-group to the most species-rich tribe of cichlids, the Haplochromini. The phylogenetic relationships at the base of the ‘H-lineage’ received less support, which is likely due to high speciation rates in the early phase of the radiation. Discordance among gene trees and marker sets further suggests the occurrence of past hybridization and/or incomplete lineage sorting in

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

    PubMed

    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.

  18. Diversity of animal opsin-based pigments and their optogenetic potential.

    PubMed

    Koyanagi, Mitsumasa; Terakita, Akihisa

    2014-05-01

    Most animal opsin-based pigments are typical G protein-coupled receptors (GPCR) and consist of a protein moiety, opsin, and 11-cis retinal as a chromophore. More than several thousand opsins have been identified from a wide variety of animals, which have multiple opsin genes. Accumulated evidence reveals the molecular property of opsin-based pigments, particularly non-conventional visual pigments including non-visual pigments. Opsin-based pigments are generally a bistable pigment having two stable and photointerconvertible states and therefore are bleach-resistant and reusable, unlike vertebrate visual pigments which become bleached. The opsin family contains Gt-coupled, Gq-coupled, Go-coupled, Gs-coupled, Gi-coupled, and Gi/Go-coupled opsins, indicating the existence of a large diversity of light-driven GPCR-signaling cascades. It is suggested that these molecular properties might contribute to different physiologies. In addition, various opsin based-pigments, especially nonconventional visual pigments having different molecular characteristics would facilitate the design and development of promising optogenetic tools for modulating GPCR-signaling, which is involved in a wide variety of physiological responses. We here introduce molecular and functional properties of various kinds of opsins and discuss their physiological function and also their potentials for optogenetic applications. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Retinal proteins - you can teach an old dog new tricks. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. Kinetics of thermal activation of an ultraviolet cone pigment.

    PubMed

    Mooney, Victoria; Sekharan, Sivakumar; Liu, Jian; Guo, Ying; Batista, Victor S; Yan, Elsa C Y

    2015-01-14

    Visual pigments can be thermally activated via isomerization of the retinyl chromophore and hydrolysis of the Schiff base (SB) through which the retinyl chromophore is bound to the opsin protein. Here, we present the first combined experimental and theoretical study of the thermal activation of a Siberian hamster ultraviolet (SHUV) pigment. We measured the rates of thermal isomerization and hydrolysis in the SHUV pigment and bovine rhodopsin. We found that these rates were significantly faster in the UV pigment than in rhodopsin due to the difference in the structural and electrostatic effects surrounding the unprotonated Schiff base (USB) retinyl chromophore in the UV pigment. Theoretical (DFT-QM/MM) calculations of the cis-trans thermal isomerization revealed a barrier of ∼23 kcal/mol for the USB retinyl chromophore in SHUV compared to ∼40 kcal/mol for protonated Schiff base (PSB) chromophore in rhodopsin. The lower barrier for thermal isomerization in the SHUV pigment is attributed to the (i) lessening of the steric restraints near the β-ionone ring and SB ends of the chromophore, (ii) displacement of the transmembrane helix 6 (TM6) away from the binding pocket toward TM5 due to absence of the salt bridge between the USB and the protonated E113 residue, and (iii) change in orientation of the hydrogen-bonding networks (HBNs) in the extracellular loop 2 (EII). The results in comparing thermal stability of UV cone pigment and rhodopsin provide insight into molecular evolution of vertebrate visual pigments in achieving low discrete dark noise and high photosensitivity in rod pigments for dim-light vision.

  1. Stem Cell Derived Retinal Pigment Epithelium: The Role of Pigmentation as Maturation Marker and Gene Expression Profile Comparison with Human Endogenous Retinal Pigment Epithelium.

    PubMed

    Bennis, A; Jacobs, J G; Catsburg, L A E; Ten Brink, J B; Koster, C; Schlingemann, R O; van Meurs, J; Gorgels, T G M F; Moerland, P D; Heine, V M; Bergen, A A

    2017-07-21

    In age-related macular degeneration (AMD) the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) deteriorates, leading to photoreceptor decay and severe vision loss. New therapeutic strategies aim at RPE replacement by transplantation of pluripotent stem cell (PSC)-derived RPE. Several protocols to generate RPE have been developed where appearance of pigmentation is commonly used as indicator of RPE differentiation and maturation. It is, however, unclear how different pigmentation stages reflect developmental stages and functionality of PSC-derived RPE cells. We generated human embryonic stem cell-derived RPE (hESC-RPE) cells and investigated their gene expression profiles at early pigmentation (EP) and late pigmentation (LP) stages. In addition, we compared the hESC-RPE samples with human endogenous RPE. We used a common reference design microarray (44 K). Our analysis showed that maturing hESC-RPE, upon acquiring pigmentation, expresses markers specific for human RPE. Interestingly, our analysis revealed that EP and LP hESC-RPE do not differ much in gene expression. Our data further showed that pigmented hESC-RPE has a significant lower expression than human endogenous RPE in the visual cycle and oxidative stress pathways. In contrast, we observed a significantly higher expression of pathways related to the process adhesion-to-polarity model that is typical of developing epithelial cells. We conclude that, in vitro, the first appearance of pigmentation hallmarks differentiated RPE. However, further increase in pigmentation does not result in much significant gene expression changes and does not add important RPE functionalities. Consequently, our results suggest that the time span for obtaining differentiated hESC-RPE cells, that are suitable for transplantation, may be greatly reduced.

  2. Determination of pigments in vegetables.

    PubMed

    Schoefs, Benoît

    2004-10-29

    Plant pigments are responsible for the shining color of plant tissues. They are also found in animal tissues and, eventually in transformed food products as additives. These pigments have an important impact on the commercial value of products, because the colors establish the first contact with the consumer. In addition plant pigments may have an influence on the health of the consumers. Pigments are labile: they can be easily altered, and even destroyed. Analytical processes have been developed to determine pigment composition. The aim of this paper is to provide a brief overview of these methods.

  3. Terahertz Analysis of Quinacridone Pigments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Squires, A. D.; Kelly, M.; Lewis, R. A.

    2017-03-01

    We present terahertz spectroscopy and analysis of two commercially available quinacridone pigments in the 0.5-4.5 THz range. Our results show a clear distinction between quinacridone red and magenta pigments. We reveal four definite absorptions in the terahertz regime common to both pigments, but offset between the pigments by ˜0.2 THz. The lowest-energy line in each pigment is observed to increase in frequency by ˜0.1 THz as the temperature is reduced from 300 to 12 K.

  4. [Pigmented ciliary body tumours: benign or malignant?].

    PubMed

    Vallejo-Vicente, E; Saornil-Álvarez, M A; López-Lara, F; García-Álvarez, C; de Frutos-Baraja, J M; Díez-Andino, P

    2013-12-01

    We report the cases of 2 women with a pigmented tumour in the ciliary body, one a melanocytoma and the other a melanoma, with different clinical manifestations. The first one presented with decreased visual acuity associated with recent growth of the tumour, as well as sectorial opacities of the lens and subluxation. The second one is asymptomatic and has been kept under observation for more than 30 years. Although the definitive diagnosis of a pigmented tumour of the ciliary body is only achieved by the histopathology study, the group of clinical features is a determining factor when a conservative treatment is indicated. Copyright © 2011 Sociedad Española de Oftalmología. Published by Elsevier Espana. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  7. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-10-07

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

  9. Phytoplankton pigments from the Nimbus-7 Coastal Zone Color Scanner - Comparisons with surface measurements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gordon, H. R.; Clark, D. K.; Hovis, W. A.; Mueller, J. L.

    1980-01-01

    Algorithms are developed for removing aerosol effects in visual data from the Nimbus-7 Coastal Zone Color Scanner (CZCS). The corrected imagery reveals eddy-like ocean circulation patterns. Pigment concentrations from CZCS are compared with surface determinations. CZCS imagery estimates pigment concentration to within 0.5 log C, where C is the sum of the concentrations of chlorophyll a and phaeopigments a

  10. Electrochemical Study of Phototransduction in Protein Pigment-Containing Model Membranes.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1987-12-21

    proteins. The retinal protein, bacteriorhodopsin , from the purple membrane of Halobacterium halobium is a light-driven proton pump (Stoeckenius and... bacteriorhodopsin , 08 rhodopsin, photoelectric signal, phtotransduction, light- I I Iinduced rapid charge separation, vision, photosynthesis 19. ABST...protein membranes. We take advantage of the chemical similarity between rhodopsin (a visual pigment) and bacteriorhodopsin (a photosynthetic pigment) to

  11. Phytoplankton pigments from the Nimbus-7 Coastal Zone Color Scanner - Comparisons with surface measurements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gordon, H. R.; Clark, D. K.; Hovis, W. A.; Mueller, J. L.

    1980-01-01

    Algorithms are developed for removing aerosol effects in visual data from the Nimbus-7 Coastal Zone Color Scanner (CZCS). The corrected imagery reveals eddy-like ocean circulation patterns. Pigment concentrations from CZCS are compared with surface determinations. CZCS imagery estimates pigment concentration to within 0.5 log C, where C is the sum of the concentrations of chlorophyll a and phaeopigments a

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-26

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

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

    PubMed

    Powder, Kara E; Albertson, R Craig

    2016-07-15

    We have made great strides towards understanding the etiology of craniofacial disorders, especially for 'simple' Mendelian traits. However, the facial skeleton is a complex trait, and the full spectrum of genetic, developmental, and environmental factors that contribute to its final geometry remain unresolved. Forward genetic screens are constrained with respect to complex traits due to the types of genes and alleles commonly identified, developmental pleiotropy, and limited information about the impact of environmental interactions. Here, we discuss how studies in an evolutionary model - African cichlid fishes - can complement traditional approaches to understand the genetic and developmental origins of complex shape. Cichlids exhibit an unparalleled range of natural craniofacial morphologies that model normal human variation, and in certain instances mimic human facial dysmorphologies. Moreover, the evolutionary history and genomic architecture of cichlids make them an ideal system to identify the genetic basis of these phenotypes via quantitative trait loci (QTL) mapping and population genomics. Given the molecular conservation of developmental genes and pathways, insights from cichlids are applicable to human facial variation and disease. We review recent work in this system, which has identified lbh as a novel regulator of neural crest cell migration, determined the Wnt and Hedgehog pathways mediate species-specific bone morphologies, and examined how plastic responses to diet modulate adult facial shapes. These studies have not only revealed new roles for existing pathways in craniofacial development, but have identified new genes and mechanisms involved in shaping the craniofacial skeleton. In all, we suggest that combining work in traditional laboratory and evolutionary models offers significant potential to provide a more complete and comprehensive picture of the myriad factors that are involved in the development of complex traits. Copyright © 2015

  14. 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

  15. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Fan, Shaohua; Meyer, Axel

    2014-01-01

    African cichlid fishes are an ideal system for studying explosive rates of speciation and the origin of diversity in adaptive radiation. Within the last few million years, more than 2000 species have evolved in the Great Lakes of East Africa, the largest adaptive radiation in vertebrates. These young species show spectacular diversity in their coloration, morphology and behavior. However, little is known about the genomic basis of this astonishing diversity. Recently, five African cichlid genomes were sequenced, including that of the Nile Tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus), a basal and only relatively moderately diversified lineage, and the genomes of four representative endemic species of the adaptive radiations, Neolamprologus brichardi, Astatotilapia burtoni, Metriaclima zebra, and Pundamila nyererei. Using the Tilapia genome as a reference genome, we generated a high-resolution genomic variation map, consisting of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), short insertions and deletions (indels), inversions and deletions. In total, around 18.8, 17.7, 17.0, and 17.0 million SNPs, 2.3, 2.2, 1.4, and 1.9 million indels, 262, 306, 162, and 154 inversions, and 3509, 2705, 2710, and 2634 deletions were inferred to have evolved in N. brichardi, A. burtoni, P. nyererei, and M. zebra, respectively. Many of these variations affected the annotated gene regions in the genome. Different patterns of genetic variation were detected during the adaptive radiation of African cichlid fishes. For SNPs, the highest rate of evolution was detected in the common ancestor of N. brichardi, A. burtoni, P. nyererei, and M. zebra. However, for the evolution of inversions and deletions, we found that the rates at the terminal taxa are substantially higher than the rates at the ancestral lineages. The high-resolution map provides an ideal opportunity to understand the genomic bases of the adaptive radiation of African cichlid fishes. PMID:24917883

  18. 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

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  1. Altering an extended phenotype reduces intraspecific male aggression and can maintain diversity in cichlid fish

    PubMed Central

    Croft, Guy E.; Joyce, Domino A.

    2013-01-01

    Reduced male aggression towards different phenotypes generating negative frequency-dependent intrasexual selection has been suggested as a mechanism to facilitate the invasion and maintenance of novel phenotypes in a population. To date, the best empirical evidence for the phenomenon has been provided by laboratory studies on cichlid fish with different colour polymorphisms. Here we experimentally tested the hypothesis in a natural population of Lake Malawi cichlid fish, in which males build sand-castles (bowers) to attract females during seasonal leks. We predicted that if bower shape plays an important role in male aggressive interactions, aggression among conspecific males should decrease when their bower shape is altered. Accordingly, we allocated randomly chosen bowers in a Nyassachromis cf. microcephalus lek into three treatments: control, manipulated to a different shape, and simulated manipulation. We then measured male behaviours and bower shape before and after these treatments. We found that once bower shape was altered, males were involved in significantly fewer aggressive interactions with conspecific males than before manipulation. Mating success was not affected. Our results support the idea that an extended phenotype, such as bower shape, can be important in maintaining polymorphic populations. Specifically, reduced male conspecific aggression towards males with different extended phenotypes (here, bower shapes) may cause negative frequency-dependent selection, allowing the invasion and establishment of a new phenotype (bower builder). This could help our understanding of mechanisms of diversification within populations, and in particular, the overall diversification of bower shapes within Lake Malawi cichlids. PMID:24349896

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

    PubMed

    Burress, Edward D

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-03-04

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  9. 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

  10. The rhodopsin-like pigments of halobacteria: light-energy and signal transducers in an archaebacterium.

    PubMed

    Stoeckenius, W

    1985-12-01

    Three similar, small retinylidene proteins, which resemble the visual pigments of animals, are found in halobacteria: two functions as light-driven ion pumps; the third is the receptor for phototaxis and allows color discrimination.

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-09-01

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

  12. 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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2008-01-01

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

  14. Appearance of polychromic endothelial pigment.

    PubMed

    Goldstein, J; Hecht, S D

    1987-10-01

    Multicolored corneal endothelial pigment was noted in patients on routine specular microscopy, confirming the presence of chromatic pigment deposits at the corneal endothelium. These deposits were polychromic, exhibiting blue, green, red, pink, orange, gold, and yellow colors. These pigment deposits were of different sizes and shapes and often seemed to surround darkened cells or clusters of cells. The variations in color may be the result of differing concentrations of melanin in iris or other pigmented cells that adhere to the posterior surface of the corneal endothelium. To our knowledge, this is the first report of the observation of polychromic endothelial pigment. We encourage the use of color film for specular microscopy to help detect and identify this pigment further.

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

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

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

  16. Conjunctival Pigmentation Following Minocycline Therapy.

    PubMed

    Khan, Tanya T; Reddy, Usha P

    Minocycline is a tetracycline antibiotic commonly used to treat acne and rosacea. Although pigmentation of the skin, nails, teeth, oral mucosa, and sclera is a well-recognized adverse outcome associated with minocycline, ocular pigmentation may be missed on routine examination. The authors present a case of a 43-year-old white woman who demonstrated bilateral pigmented palpebral conjunctival cysts after 12 months of minocycline therapy for cystic acne. To date, only 5 cases of minocycline-induced conjunctival pigmentation have been reported. After drug discontinuation, the patient's examination remained stable and no new ocular lesions were noted.

  17. Raman Spectroscopy of Microbial Pigments

    PubMed Central

    Edwards, Howell G. M.; Oren, Aharon

    2014-01-01

    Raman spectroscopy is a rapid nondestructive technique providing spectroscopic and structural information on both organic and inorganic molecular compounds. Extensive applications for the method in the characterization of pigments have been found. Due to the high sensitivity of Raman spectroscopy for the detection of chlorophylls, carotenoids, scytonemin, and a range of other pigments found in the microbial world, it is an excellent technique to monitor the presence of such pigments, both in pure cultures and in environmental samples. Miniaturized portable handheld instruments are available; these instruments can be used to detect pigments in microbiological samples of different types and origins under field conditions. PMID:24682303

  18. [Pigmentation disorders in systemic sclerodermia].

    PubMed

    Gonin, M; Gerster, J C

    1994-01-11

    Skin pigmentation changes in systemic sclerosis have been known since the end of the last century. Many different aspects have been described. We report the case of a 48-year-old man with severe progressive systemic sclerosis who presented many different types of pigmentation changes of skin, but particularly a severe hyperpigmentation. This clinical observation suggests that local factors, including repetitive friction, trauma or variations in skin temperature, may influence the development, distribution and severity of pigmentation abnormalities in patients with systemic sclerosis. Physical treatments (connective tissue massage and lymphatic drainage) were very beneficial for our patient (healing of skin ulcerations and decrease of pigmentation.

  19. Pigment dispersion syndrome associated with spontaneous subluxation of crystalline lens

    PubMed Central

    Veerwal, Vikas; Goyal, Jawahar Lal; Jain, Parul; Arora, Ritu

    2017-01-01

    Pigment dispersion syndrome (PDS) is an ocular condition characterized by a dispersion of iris pigment throughout the eye. This pigment is deposited in a characteristic manner on the corneal endothelium as Krukenberg's spindle, anterior surface of the iris, in the trabecular meshwork, on the lens and zonule and occasionally on the anterior hyaloid face. Even with deposition of pigment on zonular fibers, no zonular weakness, or zonular dehiscence has been reported in these cases. We report a unique case of PDS with bilateral spontaneous subluxation of crystalline lens. With characteristic findings of pigment distribution in both his eyes, the patient had concave iris configuration with heavily pigmented trabecular meshwork confirming the diagnosis of PDS. The patient had bilateral 180° temporal subluxation of crystalline lens in both his eyes. The usual cause of lens subluxation such as Marfan's Syndrome and Ehler's Danlos Syndrome was ruled out. The patient underwent right eye followed by left eye intracapsular cataract extraction with ab-interno technique with postoperative best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) of 6/9 in both eyes. Spontaneous subluxation of crystalline lens in isolated PDS is not known to occur and has been reported by means of this case. We recommend a thorough assessment of zonular status in all cases of PDS. PMID:28298869

  20. Development of Betta splendens embryos and larvae reveals variation in pigmentation patterns.

    PubMed

    Carey, Alexis N; Lyvers, Benjamin H; Ferrill, Rachel N; Johnson, Rachel L; Dumaine, Anne Marie; Sly, Belinda J

    2016-06-01

    Vertebrate pigmentation provides an ideal system for studying the intersections between evolution, genetics, and developmental biology. Teleost fish, with their accessible developmental stages and intense and diverse colours produced by chromatophores, are an ideal group for study. We set out to test whether Betta splendens is a good model organism for studying the evolution and development of diverse pigmentation. Our results demonstrate that B. splendens can be bred to produce large numbers of offspring with easily visualized pigment cells. Depending on the colour of the parents, there was variation in larval pigmentation patterns both within and between breeding events. In juveniles the developing adult pigmentation patterns showed even greater variation. These results suggest that B. splendens has great potential as a model organism for pigmentation studies.

  1. Limited macular translocation for the management of subfoveal retinal pigment epithelial loss after submacular surgery.

    PubMed

    Fujii, G Y; de Juan, E; Thomas, M A; Pieramici, D J; Humayun, M S; Au Eong, K G

    2001-02-01

    To report a case of subfoveal retinal pigment epithelial (retinal pigment epithelium) loss after submacular surgery managed successfully by limited macular translocation. Case report. A 28-year-old woman presented with a visual acuity of 20/100 caused by subfoveal choroidal neovas-cularization secondary to ocular histoplasmosis syndrome. Submacular resection of the choroidal neovascularization was complicated by inadvertent retinal pigment epithelium loss from beneath the foveal center. She underwent limited macular translocation 5 days after the initial surgery and had successful displacement of the fovea to an area inferior to the retinal pigment epithelium defect. Her visual acuity was 20/60 4 months postoperatively. This report demonstrates the feasibility of using limited macular translocation for the management of eyes with central retinal pigment epithelium defect after submacular surgery and extends the clinical indications for limited macular translocation.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-22

    Social plasticity is a pervasive feature of animal behavior. Animals adjust the expression of their social behavior to the daily changes in social life and to transitions between life-history stages, and this ability has an impact in their Darwinian fitness. This behavioral plasticity may be achieved either by rewiring or by biochemically switching nodes of the neural network underlying social behavior in response to perceived social information. Independent of the proximate mechanisms, at the neuromolecular level social plasticity relies on the regulation of gene expression, such that different neurogenomic states emerge in response to different social stimuli and the switches between states are orchestrated by signaling pathways that interface the social environment and the genotype. Here, we test this hypothesis by characterizing the changes in the brain profile of gene expression in response to social odors in the Mozambique Tilapia, Oreochromis mossambicus. This species has a rich repertoire of social behaviors during which both visual and chemical information are conveyed to conspecifics. Specifically, dominant males increase their urination frequency during agonist encounters and during courtship to convey chemical information reflecting their dominance status. We recorded electro-olfactograms to test the extent to which the olfactory epithelium can discriminate between olfactory information from dominant and subordinate males as well as from pre- and post-spawning females. We then performed a genome-scale gene expression analysis of the olfactory bulb and the olfactory cortex homolog in order to identify the neuromolecular systems involved in processing these social stimuli. Our results show that different olfactory stimuli from conspecifics' have a major impact in the brain transcriptome, with different chemical social cues eliciting specific patterns of gene expression in the brain. These results confirm the role of rapid changes in gene expression in the

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-02-01

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

  5. Color stability of thermochromic pigment in maxillofacial silicone

    PubMed Central

    Lassila, Lippo V.J.; Tolvanen, Mimmi; Valittu, Pekka K.

    2013-01-01

    PURPOSE Maxillofacial silicone elastomer is usually colored intrinsically with color pigments to match skin colors. The purpose of this study was to investigate the color stability of a maxillofacial silicone elastomer, colored with a thermochromic, color changing pigment. MATERIALS AND METHODS Disc-shaped maxillofacial silicone specimens were prepared and divided into 3 groups: a conventionally colored control group, one group additionally colored with 0.2 wt% thermochromic pigment , and one group with 0.6 wt% thermochromic pigment. Half of the surface of each specimen was covered with an aluminium foil. All of the specimens were exposed to UV radiation in 6 hour cycles over 46 days. In between the UV exposures, half of the specimens were stored in darkness, at room temperature, and the other half was stored in an incubator, at a humidity of 97% and a temperature of +37℃. Color measurements were made with a spectrophotometer and registered according to the CIELAB L*a*b* color model system. The changes in L*, a* and b* values during artificial aging were statistically analyzed by using paired samples t-test and repeated measures ANOVA. P-values <.05 were considered as statistically significant. RESULTS The UV exposure resulted in visually noticeable and statistically significant color changes in the L*, a* and b* values in both of the test groups containing thermochromic pigment. Storage in the incubator lead to statistically significant color changes in the a* and b* values of the specimens containing thermochromic pigment, compared to those stored at room temperature. CONCLUSION The specimens containing thermochromic pigment were very sensitive to UV radiation, and the thermochromic pigment is not suitable, as such, to be used in maxillofacial prostheses. PMID:23755330

  6. Nonphotosynthetic pigments as potential biosignatures.

    PubMed

    Schwieterman, Edward W; Cockell, Charles S; Meadows, Victoria S

    2015-05-01

    Previous work on possible surface reflectance biosignatures for Earth-like planets has typically focused on analogues to spectral features produced by photosynthetic organisms on Earth, such as the vegetation red edge. Although oxygenic photosynthesis, facilitated by pigments evolved to capture photons, is the dominant metabolism on our planet, pigmentation has evolved for multiple purposes to adapt organisms to their environment. We present an interdisciplinary study of the diversity and detectability of nonphotosynthetic pigments as biosignatures, which includes a description of environments that host nonphotosynthetic biologically pigmented surfaces, and a lab-based experimental analysis of the spectral and broadband color diversity of pigmented organisms on Earth. We test the utility of broadband color to distinguish between Earth-like planets with significant coverage of nonphotosynthetic pigments and those with photosynthetic or nonbiological surfaces, using both 1-D and 3-D spectral models. We demonstrate that, given sufficient surface coverage, nonphotosynthetic pigments could significantly impact the disk-averaged spectrum of a planet. However, we find that due to the possible diversity of organisms and environments, and the confounding effects of the atmosphere and clouds, determination of substantial coverage by biologically produced pigments would be difficult with broadband colors alone and would likely require spectrally resolved data.

  7. Nonphotosynthetic Pigments as Potential Biosignatures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwieterman, Edward W.; Cockell, Charles S.; Meadows, Victoria S.

    2015-05-01

    Previous work on possible surface reflectance biosignatures for Earth-like planets has typically focused on analogues to spectral features produced by photosynthetic organisms on Earth, such as the vegetation red edge. Although oxygenic photosynthesis, facilitated by pigments evolved to capture photons, is the dominant metabolism on our planet, pigmentation has evolved for multiple purposes to adapt organisms to their environment. We present an interdisciplinary study of the diversity and detectability of nonphotosynthetic pigments as biosignatures, which includes a description of environments that host nonphotosynthetic biologically pigmented surfaces, and a lab-based experimental analysis of the spectral and broadband color diversity of pigmented organisms on Earth. We test the utility of broadband color to distinguish between Earth-like planets with significant coverage of nonphotosynthetic pigments and those with photosynthetic or nonbiological surfaces, using both 1-D and 3-D spectral models. We demonstrate that, given sufficient surface coverage, nonphotosynthetic pigments could significantly impact the disk-averaged spectrum of a planet. However, we find that due to the possible diversity of organisms and environments, and the confounding effects of the atmosphere and clouds, determination of substantial coverage by biologically produced pigments would be difficult with broadband colors alone and would likely require spectrally resolved data.

  8. Nonphotosynthetic Pigments as Potential Biosignatures

    PubMed Central

    Cockell, Charles S.; Meadows, Victoria S.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Previous work on possible surface reflectance biosignatures for Earth-like planets has typically focused on analogues to spectral features produced by photosynthetic organisms on Earth, such as the vegetation red edge. Although oxygenic photosynthesis, facilitated by pigments evolved to capture photons, is the dominant metabolism on our planet, pigmentation has evolved for multiple purposes to adapt organisms to their environment. We present an interdisciplinary study of the diversity and detectability of nonphotosynthetic pigments as biosignatures, which includes a description of environments that host nonphotosynthetic biologically pigmented surfaces, and a lab-based experimental analysis of the spectral and broadband color diversity of pigmented organisms on Earth. We test the utility of broadband color to distinguish between Earth-like planets with significant coverage of nonphotosynthetic pigments and those with photosynthetic or nonbiological surfaces, using both 1-D and 3-D spectral models. We demonstrate that, given sufficient surface coverage, nonphotosynthetic pigments could significantly impact the disk-averaged spectrum of a planet. However, we find that due to the possible diversity of organisms and environments, and the confounding effects of the atmosphere and clouds, determination of substantial coverage by biologically produced pigments would be difficult with broadband colors alone and would likely require spectrally resolved data. Key Words: Biosignatures—Exoplanets—Halophiles—Pigmentation—Reflectance spectroscopy—Spectral models. Astrobiology 15, 341–361. PMID:25941875

  9. Energy Conserving Coating - Pigment Research

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1991-05-01

    indicated above, changes from yellow to orange. Thermochromic CVL Mixtures Thermochromic dye mixtures were made by reacting specific leuco (colorless...2 Photochromic Pigments and Dyes ................................. 3 Thermochromic Inorganic Pigments...describing the state of the art in color changing materials, from liquid crystals to thermochromic metal complexes to photochromic spiran dyes . The re- search

  10. Comparative chromatography of chloroplast pigment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Grandolfo, M.; Sherma, J.; Strain, H. H.

    1969-01-01

    Methods for isolation of low concentration pigments of the cocklebur species are described. The methods entail two step chromatography so that the different sorption properties of the various pigments in varying column parameters can be utilized. Columnar and thin layer methods are compared. Many conditions influence separability of the chloroplasts.

  11. New directions in phthalocyanine pigments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Trinh, Diep VO

    1994-01-01

    Phthalocyanines have been used as a pigment in coatings and related applications for many years. These pigments are some of the most stable organic pigments known. The phthalo blue and green pigments have been known to be ultraviolet (UV) stable and thermally stable to over 400 C. These phthalocyanines are both a semiconductor and photoconductor, exhibiting catalytic activity and photostabilization capability of polymers. Many metal free and metallic phthalocyanine derivatives have been prepared. Development of the new classes of phthalocyanine pigment could be used as coating on NASA spacecraft material such as glass to decrease the optical degradation from UV light, the outside of the space station modules for UV protection, and coating on solar cells to increase lifetime and efficiency.

  12. Iris phenotypes and pigment dispersion caused by genes influencing pigmentation.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Michael G; Hawes, Norman L; Trantow, Colleen M; Chang, Bo; John, Simon W M

    2008-10-01

    Spontaneous mutations altering mouse coat colors have been a classic resource for discovery of numerous molecular pathways. Although often overlooked, the mouse iris is also densely pigmented and easily observed, thus representing a similarly powerful opportunity for studying pigment cell biology. Here, we present an analysis of iris phenotypes among 16 mouse strains with mutations influencing melanosomes. Many of these strains exhibit biologically and medically relevant phenotypes, including pigment dispersion, a common feature of several human ocular diseases. Pigment dispersion was identified in several strains with mutant alleles known to influence melanosomes, including beige, light, and vitiligo. Pigment dispersion was also detected in the recently arising spontaneous coat color variant, nm2798. We have identified the nm2798 mutation as a missense mutation in the Dct gene, an identical re-occurrence of the slaty light mutation. These results suggest that dysregulated events of melanosomes can be potent contributors to the pigment dispersion phenotype. Combined, these findings illustrate the utility of studying iris phenotypes as a means of discovering new pathways, and re-linking old ones, to processes of pigmented cells in health and disease.

  13. [INHERITANCE OF EPIDERMIS PIGMENTATION IN SUNFLOWER ACHENES].

    PubMed

    Gorohivets, N A; Vedmedeva, E V

    2016-01-01

    Inheritance of epidermis pigmentation in the pericarp of sunflower seeds was studied. Inheritance of pigmentation was confirmed by three alleles Ew (epidermis devoid of pigmentation), Estr (epidermal pigmentation in strips), Edg (solid pigmentation). Dominance of the lack of epidermis pigmentation over striped epidermis and striped epidermis over solid pigmentation was established. It was shown that the striped epidermis pigmentation and the presence of testa layer are controlled by two genes, expression of which is independent from each other. Yellowish hypodermis was discovered in the sample I2K2218, which is inherited monogenically dominantly.

  14. Hair Follicle Pigmentation

    PubMed Central

    Slominski, Andrzej; Wortsman, Jacobo; Plonka, Przemyslaw M.; Schallreuter, Karin U.; Paus, Ralf; Tobin, Desmond J.

    2005-01-01

    Hair shaft melanin components (eu- or/and pheomelanin) are a long-lived record of precise interactions in the hair follicle pigmentary unit, e.g., between follicular melanocytes, keratinocytes, and dermal papilla fibroblasts. Follicular melanogenesis (FM) involves sequentially the melanogenic activity of follicular melanocytes, the transfer of melanin granules into cortical and medulla keratinocytes, and the formation of pigmented hair shafts. This activity is in turn regulated by an array of enzymes, structural and regulatory proteins, transporters, and receptors and their ligands, acting on the developmental stages, cellular, and hair follicle levels. FM is stringently coupled to the anagen stage of the hair cycle, being switched-off in catagen to remain absent through telogen. At the organ level FM is precisely coupled to the life cycle of melanocytes with changes in their compartmental distribution and accelerated melanoblast/melanocyte differentiation with enhanced secretory activity. The melanocyte compartments in the upper hair follicle also provides a reservoir for the repigmentation of epidermis and, for the cyclic formation of new anagen hair bulbs. Melanin synthesis and pigment transfer to bulb keratinocytes are dependent on the availability of melanin precursors, and regulation by signal transduction pathways intrinsic to skin and hair follicle, which are both receptor dependent and independent, act through auto-, para- or intracrine mechanisms and can be modified by hormonal signals. The important regulators are MC1 receptor its and adrenocorticotropic hormone, melanocyte stimulating hormone, agouti protein ligands (in rodents), c-Kit, and the endothelin receptors with their ligands. Melanin itself has a wide range of bioactivities that extend far beyond its determination of hair color. PMID:15654948

  15. Natural pigments and sacred art

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kelekian, Lena, ,, Lady

    2010-05-01

    Since the dawn of mankind, cavemen has expressed himself through art. The earliest known cave paintings date to some 32,000 years ago and used 4 colours derived from the earth. These pigments were iron oxides and known as ochres, blacks and whites. All pigments known by the Egyptians, the Greeks, the Romans and Renaissance man were natural and it was not until the 18th century that synthetic pigments were made and widely used. Until that time all art, be it sacred or secular used only natural pigments, of which the preparation of many have been lost or rarely used because of their tedious preparation. As a geologist, a mineralogist and an artist specializing in iconography, I have been able to rediscover 89 natural pigments extracted from minerals. I use these pigments to paint my icons in the traditional Byzantine manner and also to restore old icons, bringing back their glamour and conserving them for years to come. The use of the natural pigments in its proper way also helps to preserve the traditional skills of the iconographer. In the ancient past, pigments were extremely precious. Many took an exceedingly long journey to reach the artists, and came from remote countries. Research into these pigments is the work of history, geography and anthropology. It is an interesting journey in itself to discover that the blue aquamarines came from Afghanistan, the reds from Spain, the greens Africa, and so on. In this contribution I will be describing the origins, preparation and use of some natural pigments, together with their history and provenance. Additionally, I will show how the natural pigments are used in the creation of an icon. Being a geologist iconographer, for me, is a sacrement that transforms that which is earthly, material and natural into a thing of beauty that is sacred. As bread and wine in the Eucharist, water during baptism and oil in Holy Union transmit sanctification to the beholder, natural pigments do the same when one considers an icon. The

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-12-01

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

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2001-02-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. A pigment analysis tool for hyperspectral images of cultural heritage artifacts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bai, Di; Messinger, David W.; Howell, David

    2017-05-01

    The Gough Map, in the collection at the Bodleian Library, Oxford University, is one of the earliest surviving maps of Britain. Previous research deemed that it was likely created over the 15th century and afterwards it was extensively revised more than once. In 2015, the Gough Map was imaged using a hyperspectral imaging system at the Bodleian Library. The collection of the hyperspectral image (HSI) data was aimed at faded text enhancement for reading and pigment analysis for the material diversity of its composition and potentially the timeline of its creation. In this research, we introduce several methods to analyze the green pigments in the Gough Map, especially the number and spatial distribution of distinct green pigments. One approach, called the Gram Matrix, has been used to estimate the material diversity in a scene (i.e., endmember selection and dimensionality estimation). Here, we use the Gram Matrix technique to study the within-material differences of pigments in the Gough map with common visual color. We develop a pigment analysis tool that extracts visually common pixels, green pigments in this case, from the Gough Map and estimates its material diversity. It reveals that the Gough Map consists of at least six kinds of dominant green pigments. Both historical geographers and cartographic historians will benefit from this work to analyze the pigment diversity using HSI of cultural heritage artifacts.

  4. [Pigmentation of Serratia marcescens and spectral properties of prodigiosin].

    PubMed

    Andreeva, I N; Ogorodnikova, T I

    2015-01-01

    Pigmentation of Serratia marcescens depends on the composition of the cultivation medium. The cultures grown on glycerol-peptone medium and on the medium with acetate are red and yellow (yellowish orange), respectively, with the color depending on the ambient pH. S. marcescens cells growth on glycerol-peptone medium (visually of red color) contain two forms of prodigiosin: the "red" and "yellow" ones with absorption maxima at 535 and 460-470 nm, respectively. The absorption spectrum of prodigiosin in the native pigment-protein complex was different from the spectrum of the pigment dissolved in ethanol and resembled that of the cell suspension in the presence of an additional absorption maximum at 500 nm.

  5. Stiles—Crawford effect and the bleaching of cone pigments

    PubMed Central

    Coble, J. R.; Rushton, W. A. H.

    1971-01-01

    1. The efficiency of light entering the eye through various points in the pupil (Stiles—Crawford effect) was studied using two criteria: (a) visual brightness judged by flicker fusion and (b) the rate of cone pigment bleaching measured by reflexion densitometry. 2. Both measurements were made in the same apparatus with the same geometry of presentation and both gave the same Stiles—Crawford effect. 3. This suggests that the densitometer measures pigment deep in the outer segments of the cones where light is absorbed for vision. 4. Foveal cones seem all to point in the same direction, since the fraction of pigment bleached by light entering the pupil at any one point is the same when measured by light entering anywhere. PMID:5571926

  6. Insights from zebrafish on human pigment cell disease and treatment.

    PubMed

    Cooper, Cynthia D

    2017-07-14

    Black pigment cells, melanocytes, arise early during development from multipotent neural crest cells. Melanocytes protect human skin from DNA damaging sunrays and provide color for hair, eyes, and skin. Several disorders and diseases originate from these cells, including the deadliest skin cell cancer, melanoma. Thus, melanocytes are critical for a healthy life and for protecting humans from disease. Due to the ease of visualizing pigment cells through transparent larvae skin and conserved roles for zebrafish melanophore genes to mammalian melanocyte genes, zebrafish larvae offer a biologically relevant model for understanding pigment cell development and disease in humans. This review discusses our current knowledge of melanophore biology and how zebrafish are contributing to improving how diseases of melanocytes are understood and treated in humans. Developmental Dynamics, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  7. Photoreactivation in pigmented and non-pigmented extreme halophiles.

    PubMed

    Sharma, N; Hepburn, D; Fitt, P S

    1984-06-15

    The sensitivity to ultraviolet radiation (254 nm) and the photoreactivability of four pigmented and three colourless strains of the extremely halophilic bacteria Halobacterium cutirubrum and Halobacterium salinarium have been studied. The results with three pigmented/non-pigmented pairs show that the pigments play an accessory role in photoreactivation at low visible light intensities and confirm that they do not provide passive protection against ultraviolet light. Evidence is presented that photoreactivation plays an unexpected direct role in the resistance of extreme halophiles to ultraviolet radiation and that colourless mutants of H. cutirubrum NRC 34001 only arise in cultures that have been both ultraviolet-irradiated and photoreactivated. None of these extreme halophiles is capable of excision repair of ultraviolet damage to DNA.

  8. Dermoscopy of pigmented skin lesions.

    PubMed

    Soyer, H P; Argenziano, G; Chimenti, S; Ruocco, V

    2001-01-01

    This paper describes the basic concepts of dermoscopy, the various dermoscopic equipments and the standard criteria for diagnosing pigmented skin lesions. In assessing dermoscopic images, both global and local features can be recognized. These features will be systematically described and illustrated in Part I of this article. First, we will focus on 8 morphologically rather distinctive global features that allow a quick, preliminary categorization of a given pigmented skin lesion. Second, we will describe various local features representing the letters of the dermoscopic alphabet. The local features permit a more detailed assessment of pigmented skin lesions.

  9. Photosynthetic pigments: perplexing persistent prevalence of 'superfluous' pigment production.

    PubMed

    Beale, Samuel I

    2008-04-22

    Phycobilins function as light-harvesting pigments in most cyanobacteria and red algae. Although green cyanobacteria of the genus Prochlorococcus express genes encoding enzymes that direct the synthesis of phycobilins, these pigments do not appear to play a role in light harvesting in Prochlorococcus. Now, it is shown that cyanophages infecting Prochlorococcus also contain genes for phycobilin-synthesizing enzymes, and these are expressed in Prochlorococcus, raising further questions as to the role of phycobilins in the host and the virus.

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

    PubMed

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

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-05-19

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

  13. The genetic basis of divergent pigment patterns in juvenile threespine sticklebacks

    PubMed Central

    Greenwood, A K; Jones, F C; Chan, Y F; Brady, S D; Absher, D M; Grimwood, J; Schmutz, J; Myers, R M; Kingsley, D M; Peichel, C L

    2011-01-01

    Animal pigment patterns are important for a range of functions, including camouflage and communication. Repeating pigment patterns, such as stripes, bars and spots have been of particular interest to developmental and theoretical biologists, but the genetic basis of natural variation in such patterns is largely unexplored. In this study, we identify a difference in a periodic pigment pattern among juvenile threespine sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus) from different environments. Freshwater sticklebacks exhibit prominent vertical bars that visually break up the body shape, but sticklebacks from marine populations do not. We hypothesize that these distinct pigment patterns are tuned to provide crypsis in different habitats. This phenotypic difference is widespread and appears in most of the freshwater populations that we sampled. We used quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping in freshwater–marine F2 hybrids to elucidate the genetic architecture underlying divergence in this pigmentation pattern. We identified two QTL that were significantly associated with variation in barring. Interestingly, these QTL were associated with two distinct aspects of the pigment pattern: melanophore number and overall pigment level. We compared the QTL locations with positions of known pigment candidate genes in the stickleback genome. We also identified two major QTL for juvenile body size, providing new insights into the genetic basis of juvenile growth rates in natural populations. In summary, although there is a growing literature describing simple genetic bases for adaptive coloration differences, this study emphasizes that pigment patterns can also possess a more complex genetic architecture. PMID:21304547

  14. The genetic basis of divergent pigment patterns in juvenile threespine sticklebacks.

    PubMed

    Greenwood, A K; Jones, F C; Chan, Y F; Brady, S D; Absher, D M; Grimwood, J; Schmutz, J; Myers, R M; Kingsley, D M; Peichel, C L

    2011-08-01

    Animal pigment patterns are important for a range of functions, including camouflage and communication. Repeating pigment patterns, such as stripes, bars and spots have been of particular interest to developmental and theoretical biologists, but the genetic basis of natural variation in such patterns is largely unexplored. In this study, we identify a difference in a periodic pigment pattern among juvenile threespine sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus) from different environments. Freshwater sticklebacks exhibit prominent vertical bars that visually break up the body shape, but sticklebacks from marine populations do not. We hypothesize that these distinct pigment patterns are tuned to provide crypsis in different habitats. This phenotypic difference is widespread and appears in most of the freshwater populations that we sampled. We used quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping in freshwater-marine F2 hybrids to elucidate the genetic architecture underlying divergence in this pigmentation pattern. We identified two QTL that were significantly associated with variation in barring. Interestingly, these QTL were associated with two distinct aspects of the pigment pattern: melanophore number and overall pigment level. We compared the QTL locations with positions of known pigment candidate genes in the stickleback genome. We also identified two major QTL for juvenile body size, providing new insights into the genetic basis of juvenile growth rates in natural populations. In summary, although there is a growing literature describing simple genetic bases for adaptive coloration differences, this study emphasizes that pigment patterns can also possess a more complex genetic architecture.

  15. Seeking carotenoid pigments in amber-preserved fossil feathers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thomas, Daniel B.; Nascimbene, Paul C.; Dove, Carla J.; Grimaldi, David A.; James, Helen F.

    2014-06-01

    Plumage colours bestowed by carotenoid pigments can be important for visual communication and likely have a long evolutionary history within Aves. Discovering plumage carotenoids in fossil feathers could provide insight into the ecology of ancient birds and non-avian dinosaurs. With reference to a modern feather, we sought chemical evidence of carotenoids in six feathers preserved in amber (Miocene to mid-Cretaceous) and in a feather preserved as a compression fossil (Eocene). Evidence of melanin pigmentation and microstructure preservation was evaluated with scanning electron and light microscopies. We observed fine microstructural details including evidence for melanin pigmentation in the amber and compression fossils, but Raman spectral bands did not confirm the presence of carotenoids in them. Carotenoids may have been originally absent from these feathers or the pigments may have degraded during burial; the preservation of microstructure may suggest the former. Significantly, we show that carotenoid plumage pigments can be detected without sample destruction through an amber matrix using confocal Raman spectroscopy.

  16. Seeking carotenoid pigments in amber-preserved fossil feathers.

    PubMed

    Thomas, Daniel B; Nascimbene, Paul C; Dove, Carla J; Grimaldi, David A; James, Helen F

    2014-06-09

    Plumage colours bestowed by carotenoid pigments can be important for visual communication and likely have a long evolutionary history within Aves. Discovering plumage carotenoids in fossil feathers could provide insight into the ecology of ancient birds and non-avian dinosaurs. With reference to a modern feather, we sought chemical evidence of carotenoids in six feathers preserved in amber (Miocene to mid-Cretaceous) and in a feather preserved as a compression fossil (Eocene). Evidence of melanin pigmentation and microstructure preservation was evaluated with scanning electron and light microscopies. We observed fine microstructural details including evidence for melanin pigmentation in the amber and compression fossils, but Raman spectral bands did not confirm the presence of carotenoids in them. Carotenoids may have been originally absent from these feathers or the pigments may have degraded during burial; the preservation of microstructure may suggest the former. Significantly, we show that carotenoid plumage pigments can be detected without sample destruction through an amber matrix using confocal Raman spectroscopy.

  17. Seeking carotenoid pigments in amber-preserved fossil feathers

    PubMed Central

    Thomas, Daniel B.; Nascimbene, Paul C.; Dove, Carla J.; Grimaldi, David A.; James, Helen F.

    2014-01-01

    Plumage colours bestowed by carotenoid pigments can be important for visual communication and likely have a long evolutionary history within Aves. Discovering plumage carotenoids in fossil feathers could provide insight into the ecology of ancient birds and non-avian dinosaurs. With reference to a modern feather, we sought chemical evidence of carotenoids in six feathers preserved in amber (Miocene to mid-Cretaceous) and in a feather preserved as a compression fossil (Eocene). Evidence of melanin pigmentation and microstructure preservation was evaluated with scanning electron and light microscopies. We observed fine microstructural details including evidence for melanin pigmentation in the amber and compression fossils, but Raman spectral bands did not confirm the presence of carotenoids in them. Carotenoids may have been originally absent from these feathers or the pigments may have degraded during burial; the preservation of microstructure may suggest the former. Significantly, we show that carotenoid plumage pigments can be detected without sample destruction through an amber matrix using confocal Raman spectroscopy. PMID:24909554

  18. The importance of tattoo pigment in sentinel lymph nodes.

    PubMed

    Soran, Atilla; Menekse, Ebru; Kanbour-Shakir, Amal; Tane, Kaori; Diego, Emilia; Bonaventura, Marguerite; Johnson, Ronald

    2017-07-06

    The presence of pigment in axillary lymph nodes (LN) secondary to migration of tattoo ink can imitate the appearance of a blue sentinel lymph node (SLN) on visual inspection, causing the operator to either miss the true SLN or excise more than is needed. We present patients with tattoos ipsilateral to an early stage breast cancer who underwent a SLN biopsy. Patients were retrospectively reviewed from medical records and clinicopathologic data was collected. A total of 52 LNs were retrieved from 15 patients for sentinel mapping and 29 of them had tattoo pigmentation on pathologic evaluation. Of those 29 SLNs, 2 of them (6.9%) were pigmented, but did not contain either blue dye or Tc-99m (pseudopigmented SLN). Two (3.8%) SLNs were positive for metastasis; both of these had either blue dye or Tc99m uptake, and 1 demonstrated tattoo pigment in the node. In this cohort of patients with ipsilateral tattoos, removed more LNs lead to unnecessary excision which may important for increasing the risk of arm morbidity from SLN biopsy. However, the presence of tattoo pigment did not interfere with understaging for axillary mapping and it did not effect of pathological identification of SLNs positivity.

  19. Identification of a synergistic interaction between endothelial cells and retinal pigment epithelium.

    PubMed

    Spencer, Carrie; Abend, Stephanie; McHugh, Kevin J; Saint-Geniez, Magali

    2017-04-12

    The retinal pigment epithelium located between the neurosensory retina and the choroidal vasculature is critical for the function and maintenance of both the photoreceptors and underlying capillary endothelium. While the trophic role of retinal pigment epithelium on choroidal endothelial cells is well recognized, the existence of a reciprocal regulatory function of endothelial cells on retinal pigment epithelium cells remained to be fully characterized. Using a physiological long-term co-culture system, we determined the effect of retinal pigment epithelium-endothelial cell heterotypic interactions on cell survival, behaviour and matrix deposition. Human retinal pigment epithelium and endothelial cells were cultured on opposite sides of polyester transwells for up to 4 weeks in low serum conditions. Cell viability was quantified using a trypan blue assay. Cellular morphology was evaluated by H&E staining, S.E.M. and immunohistochemistry. Retinal pigment epithelium phagocytic function was examined using a fluorescent bead assay. Gene expression analysis was performed on both retinal pigment epithelium and endothelial cells by quantitative PCR. Quantification of extracellular matrix deposition was performed on decellularized transwells stained for collagen IV, fibronectin and fibrillin. Our results showed that presence of endothelial cells significantly improves retinal pigment epithelium maturation and function as indicated by the induction of visual cycle-associated genes, accumulation of a Bruch's membrane-like matrix and increase in retinal pigment epithelium phagocytic activity. Co-culture conditions led to increased expression of anti-angiogenic growth factors and receptors in both retinal pigment epithelium and endothelial cells compared to monoculture. Tube-formation assays confirmed that co-culture with retinal pigment epithelium significantly decreased the angiogenic phenotype of endothelial cells. These findings provide evidence of critical interdependent

  20. Algal Accessory Pigment Detection Using AVIRIS Image-Derived Spectral Radiance Data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Richardson, Laurie L.; Ambrosia, Vincent G.

    1996-01-01

    Visual and derivative analyses of AVIRIS spectral data can be used to detect algal accessory pigments in aquatic communities. This capability extends the use of remote sensing for the study of aquatic ecosystems by allowing detection of taxonomically significant pigment signatures which yield information about the type of algae present. Such information allows remote sensing-based assessment of aquatic ecosystem health, as in the detection of nuisance blooms of cyanobacteria or toxic blooms of dinoflagellates. Remote sensing of aquatic systems has traditionally focused on quantification of chlorophyll a, a photoreactive (and light-harvesting) pigment which is common to all algae as well as cyanobacteria (bluegreen algae). Due to the ubiquitousness of this pigment within algae, chl a is routinely measured to estimate algal biomass both during ground-truthing and using various airborne or satellite based sensors, including AVIRIS. Within the remote sensing and aquatic sciences communities, ongoing research has been performed to detect algal accessory pigments for assessment of algal population composition. This research is based on the fact that many algal accessory pigments are taxonomically significant, and all are spectrally unique. Aquatic scientists have been refining pigment analysis techniques, primarily high performance liquid chromatography, or HPLC, to detect specific pigments as a time-saving alternative to individual algal cell identifications and counts. Remote sensing scientists are investigating the use of pigment signatures to construct pigment libraries analogous to mineral spectral libraries used in geological remote sensing applications. The accessory pigment approach has been used successfully in remote sensing using data from the Thematic Mapper, low-altitude, multiple channel scanners, field spectroradiometers and the AVIRIS hyperspectral scanner. Due to spectral and spatial resolution capabilities, AVIRIS is the sensor of choice for such

  1. Algal Accessory Pigment Detection Using AVIRIS Image-Derived Spectral Radiance Data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Richardson, Laurie L.; Ambrosia, Vincent G.

    1996-01-01

    Visual and derivative analyses of AVIRIS spectral data can be used to detect algal accessory pigments in aquatic communities. This capability extends the use of remote sensing for the study of aquatic ecosystems by allowing detection of taxonomically significant pigment signatures which yield information about the type of algae present. Such information allows remote sensing-based assessment of aquatic ecosystem health, as in the detection of nuisance blooms of cyanobacteria or toxic blooms of dinoflagellates. Remote sensing of aquatic systems has traditionally focused on quantification of chlorophyll a, a photoreactive (and light-harvesting) pigment which is common to all algae as well as cyanobacteria (bluegreen algae). Due to the ubiquitousness of this pigment within algae, chl a is routinely measured to estimate algal biomass both during ground-truthing and using various airborne or satellite based sensors, including AVIRIS. Within the remote sensing and aquatic sciences communities, ongoing research has been performed to detect algal accessory pigments for assessment of algal population composition. This research is based on the fact that many algal accessory pigments are taxonomically significant, and all are spectrally unique. Aquatic scientists have been refining pigment analysis techniques, primarily high performance liquid chromatography, or HPLC, to detect specific pigments as a time-saving alternative to individual algal cell identifications and counts. Remote sensing scientists are investigating the use of pigment signatures to construct pigment libraries analogous to mineral spectral libraries used in geological remote sensing applications. The accessory pigment approach has been used successfully in remote sensing using data from the Thematic Mapper, low-altitude, multiple channel scanners, field spectroradiometers and the AVIRIS hyperspectral scanner. Due to spectral and spatial resolution capabilities, AVIRIS is the sensor of choice for such

  2. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Theis, Anya; Salzburger, Walter

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Feilich, Kara L

    2016-10-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  10. Ancient divergence in bathypelagic lake tanganyika deepwater cichlids: mitochondrial phylogeny of the tribe bathybatini.

    PubMed

    Koblmüller, Stephan; Duftner, Nina; Katongo, Cyprian; Phiri, Harris; Sturmbauer, Christian

    2005-03-01

    The cichlid species flock of Lake Tanganyika represents a polyphyletic assemblage of eight ancestral lineages, which colonized the emerging lake independently. Our study is focused on one of these lineages, the Bathybatini, a tribe of specialized piscivorous cichlids of the deep pelagic zone. By analyzing three mtDNA gene segments of all eight species of the tribe and two species of the closely related Trematocarini, we propose on the basis of a linearized tree analysis that the Bathybatini comprise two distinct lineages, the genera Hemibates and Bathybates, that seeded the primary lacustrine Tanganyika radiation independently. The genus Hemibates is likely to represent a distinct lineage that emerged simultaneously with the tribe Trematocarini and the genus Bathybates and should be therefore treated as a distinct tribe. Within the genus Bathybates, B. minor clearly represents the most ancestral split and is likely to have diverged from the remaining species in the course of the "primary lacustrine Tanganyika radiation" during which also the radiations of the Lamprologini and the H-lineage took place. The remaining "large" Bathybates species also diversified almost simultaneously and in step with the diversification of other Tanganyikan lineages-the Limnochromini and Cyprichromini-with B. graueri occupying the most ancestral branch, suggesting that these were induced by the same environmental changes. The lack of geographic color morphs suggests that competition and resource partitioning, rather than allopatric speciation, promoted speciation within the genus Bathybates.

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

    PubMed

    Takeuchi, Yuichi; Hori, Michio; Oda, Yoichi

    2012-01-01

    Behavioral lateralization has been documented in many vertebrates. The scale-eating cichlid fish Perissodus microlepis is well known for exhibiting lateral dimorphism in its mouth morphology and lateralized behavior in robbing scales from prey fish. A previous field study indicated that this mouth asymmetry closely correlates with the side on which prey is attacked, but details of this species' predation behavior have not been previously analyzed because of the rapidity of the movements. Here, we studied scale-eating behavior in cichlids in a tank through high-speed video monitoring and quantitative assessment of behavioral laterality and kinematics. The fish observed showed a clear bias toward striking on one side, which closely correlated with their asy