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

    PubMed

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

    2006-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-01

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

  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 Central

    2013-01-01

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

  7. Molecular evolution of vertebrate visual pigments.

    PubMed

    Yokoyama, S

    2000-07-01

    Dramatic improvement of our understanding of the genetic basis of vision was brought by the molecular characterization of the bovine rhodopsin gene and the human rhodopsin and color opsin genes (Nathans and Hogness, 1983; Nathans et al., 1984, 1986a,b). The availability of cDNA clones from these studies has facilitated the isolation of retinal and nonretinal opsin genes and cDNA clones from a large variety of species. Today, the number of genomic and cDNA clones of opsin genes isolated from different vertebrate species exceeds 100 and is increasing rapidly. The opsin gene sequences reveal the importance of the origin and differentiation of various opsins and visual pigments. To understand the molecular genetic basis of spectral tuning of visual pigments, it is essential to establish correlations between a series of the sequences of visual pigments and their lambda(max) values. The potentially important amino acid changes identified in this way have to be tested whether they are in fact responsible for the lambda(max)-shifts using site-directed mutagenesis and cultured cells. A major goal of molecular evolutionary genetics is to understand the molecular mechanisms involved in functional adaptations of organisms to different environments, including the mechanisms of the regulation of the spectral absorption. Therefore, both molecular evolutionary analyses of visual pigments and vision science have an important common goal.

  8. FTIR study of primate color visual pigments

    PubMed Central

    Katayama, Kota; Kandori, Hideki

    2015-01-01

    How do we distinguish colors? Humans possess three color pigments; red-, green-, and blue-sensitive proteins, which have maximum absorbance (λmax) at 560, 530, and 420 nm, respectively, and contribute to normal human trichromatic vision (RGB). Each color pigments consists of a different opsin protein bound to a common chromophore molecule, 11-cis-retinal, whereas different chromophore-protein interactions allow preferential absorption of different colors. However, detailed experimental structural data to explain the molecular basis of spectral tuning of color pigments are lacking, mainly because of the difficulty in sample preparation. We thus started structural studies of primate color visual pigments using low-temperature Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, which needs only 0.3 mg protein for a single measurement. Here we report the first structural data of monkey red- (MR) and green- (MG) sensitive pigments, in which the information about the protein, retinal chromophore, and internal water molecules is contained. Molecular mechanism of color discrimination between red and green pigments will be discussed based on the structural data by FTIR spectroscopy. PMID:27493516

  9. 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

  10. FTIR study of primate color visual pigments.

    PubMed

    Katayama, Kota; Kandori, Hideki

    2015-01-01

    How do we distinguish colors? Humans possess three color pigments; red-, green-, and blue-sensitive proteins, which have maximum absorbance (λmax) at 560, 530, and 420 nm, respectively, and contribute to normal human trichromatic vision (RGB). Each color pigments consists of a different opsin protein bound to a common chromophore molecule, 11-cis-retinal, whereas different chromophore-protein interactions allow preferential absorption of different colors. However, detailed experimental structural data to explain the molecular basis of spectral tuning of color pigments are lacking, mainly because of the difficulty in sample preparation. We thus started structural studies of primate color visual pigments using low-temperature Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, which needs only 0.3 mg protein for a single measurement. Here we report the first structural data of monkey red- (MR) and green- (MG) sensitive pigments, in which the information about the protein, retinal chromophore, and internal water molecules is contained. Molecular mechanism of color discrimination between red and green pigments will be discussed based on the structural data by FTIR spectroscopy.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-11-01

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

  13. 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. PMID:12200476

  14. 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.

  15. Dimerization of visual pigments in vivo.

    PubMed

    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

    2016-08-01

    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

  16. Picosecond Resonance Raman Spectroscopy of Visual Pigments.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carlsen, William Frederick

    We have constructed a picosecond Raman spectrometer to obtain information about primary events in visual excitation. The excitation source at 532 nm is a frequency doubled modelocked Nd:YAG laser optimized for short pulses, high repetition rates, and high pulse to pulse stability. The sample illumination geometry is optimized for pulsed Raman measurements using low magnification light collection and optical multi-channel detection. This instrument gives high signal to noise ratios and high data rates. The visual pigment rhodopsin was studied with this picosecond Raman instrument. We found that within 20 picoseconds of absorbing a photon, low wavenumber Raman bands characteristic of the first photo-intermediate bathorhodopsin appear. This scattering at 853, 875, and 920 wavenumbers arises from enhanced hydrogen out of plane vibrations from a strained all-trans configuration of the retinal chromophore in the protein. Furthermore, bands characteristic of isorhodopsin appear within the 10 picosecond pulse. We therefore conclude that the 11-cis retinal chromophore of rhodopsin isomerizes to a strained all-trans configuration and can further isomerize to a 9-cis form on absorbing a second photon, all within 20 picoseconds. Measurements starting with isorhodopsin show that the reverse process, 9-cis to trans to 11-cis, can also occur within 20 picoseconds. The resonance Raman spectra of bathorhodopsin formed from rhodopsin, however, exhibits consistent small differences from that of bathorhodopsin formed from isorhodopsin. Spectra of corresponding pigments deuterated at the retinal 12 carbon position also show slight differences. These data suggest that the bathorhodopsins formed from rhodopsin and isorhodopsin are initially different. They appear, however, to converge to a common intermediate by the end of 20 picoseconds. This resonance Raman study reveals that much of the isomerization of retinal takes place within a few picoseconds of the absorption of a photon by

  17. 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.

  18. 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. PMID:18598396

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

    PubMed

    Carleton, K L; Kocher, T D

    2001-08-01

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

  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. [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. PMID:24459859

  2. [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.

  3. Retinal photoreceptors and visual pigments in Boa constrictor imperator.

    PubMed

    Sillman, A J; Johnson, J L; Loew, E R

    2001-09-01

    The photoreceptors of Boa constrictor, a boid snake of the subfamily Boinae, were examined with scanning electron microscopy and microspectrophotometry. The retina of B. constrictor is duplex but highly dominated by rods, cones comprising 11% of the photoreceptor population. The rather tightly packed rods have relatively long outer segments with proximal ends that are somewhat tapered. There are two morphologically distinct, single cones. The most common cone by far has a large inner segment and a relatively stout outer segment. The second cone, seen only infrequently, has a substantially smaller inner segment and a finer outer segment. The visual pigments of B. constrictor are virtually identical to those of the pythonine boid, Python regius. Three different visual pigments are present, all based on vitamin A(1.) The visual pigment of the rods has a wavelength of peak absorbance (lambda(max)) at 495 +/- 2 nm. The visual pigment of the more common, large cone has a lambda(max) at 549 +/- 1 nm. The small, rare cone contains a visual pigment with lambda(max) at 357 +/- 2 nm, providing the snake with sensitivity in the ultraviolet. We suggest that B. constrictor might employ UV sensitivity to locate conspecifics and/or to improve hunting efficiency. The data indicate that wavelength discrimination above 430 nm would not be possible without some input from the rods.

  4. Retinal photoreceptors and visual pigments in Boa constrictor imperator.

    PubMed

    Sillman, A J; Johnson, J L; Loew, E R

    2001-09-01

    The photoreceptors of Boa constrictor, a boid snake of the subfamily Boinae, were examined with scanning electron microscopy and microspectrophotometry. The retina of B. constrictor is duplex but highly dominated by rods, cones comprising 11% of the photoreceptor population. The rather tightly packed rods have relatively long outer segments with proximal ends that are somewhat tapered. There are two morphologically distinct, single cones. The most common cone by far has a large inner segment and a relatively stout outer segment. The second cone, seen only infrequently, has a substantially smaller inner segment and a finer outer segment. The visual pigments of B. constrictor are virtually identical to those of the pythonine boid, Python regius. Three different visual pigments are present, all based on vitamin A(1.) The visual pigment of the rods has a wavelength of peak absorbance (lambda(max)) at 495 +/- 2 nm. The visual pigment of the more common, large cone has a lambda(max) at 549 +/- 1 nm. The small, rare cone contains a visual pigment with lambda(max) at 357 +/- 2 nm, providing the snake with sensitivity in the ultraviolet. We suggest that B. constrictor might employ UV sensitivity to locate conspecifics and/or to improve hunting efficiency. The data indicate that wavelength discrimination above 430 nm would not be possible without some input from the rods. PMID:11550183

  5. Ionochromic behavior of Grecko visual pigments.

    PubMed

    Crescitelli, F

    1977-01-14

    Digitonin extracts of the retina of Gekko gekko prepared to minimize the presence of chloride ions show the photopigment to be at about 490 nanometers rather than at 521 nanometers, the position found for the same pigment in situ. The addition of chloride to the extract causes a bathochromic shift in spectral absorbance, the magnitude of the shift being related to the concentration of chloride, within limits. The effect is a specific one, and of all the anions tested only bromide causes a similar bathochromic shift. The nature of the cation is not involved since the same action is produced by the chlorides of sodium, lithium, potassium, rubidium, cesium, calcium, magnesium, beryllium, lanthanum, and choline.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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. PMID:16650454

  9. Social cichlid fish change behaviour in response to a visual predator stimulus, but not the odour of damaged conspecifics.

    PubMed

    O'Connor, Constance M; Reddon, Adam R; Odetunde, Aderinsola; Jindal, Shagun; Balshine, Sigal

    2015-12-01

    Predation is one of the primary drivers of fitness for prey species. Therefore, there should be strong selection for accurate assessment of predation risk, and whenever possible, individuals should use all available information to fine-tune their response to the current threat of predation. Here, we used a controlled laboratory experiment to assess the responses of individual Neolamprologus pulcher, a social cichlid fish, to a live predator stimulus, to the odour of damaged conspecifics, or to both indicators of predation risk combined. We found that fish in the presence of the visual predator stimulus showed typical antipredator behaviour. Namely, these fish decreased activity and exploration, spent more time seeking shelter, and more time near conspecifics. Surprisingly, there was no effect of the chemical cue alone, and fish showed a reduced response to the combination of the visual predator stimulus and the odour of damaged conspecifics relative to the visual predator stimulus alone. These results demonstrate that N. pulcher adjust their anti-predator behaviour to the information available about current predation risk, and we suggest a possible role for the use of social information in the assessment of predation risk in a cooperatively breeding fish. PMID:26467942

  10. 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.

  11. The red-green visual pigment gene region in adrenoleukodystrophy.

    PubMed Central

    Aubourg, P; Feil, R; Guidoux, S; Kaplan, J C; Moser, H; Kahn, A; Mandel, J L

    1990-01-01

    Although recent data established that a specific very-long-chain fatty acyl-CoA synthetase is defective in X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD), the ALD gene is still unidentified. The ALD locus has been mapped to Xq28, like the red and green color pigment genes. Abnormal color vision has been observed in 12 of 27 patients with adrenomyeloneuropathy (AMN), a milder form of ALD. Furthermore, rearrangements of the color vision gene cluster were found in four of eight ALD kindreds. This led us to propose that a single DNA rearrangement could underlie both ALD and abnormal color vision in these patients. Study of 34 French ALD patients failed to reveal a higher than expected frequency of green/red visual pigment rearrangements 3' to the red/green color vision gene complex. The previous report of such rearrangements was based on small numbers and lack of knowledge that the frequency of "abnormal" color vision arrays on molecular analysis was twice as high as expected on the basis of the frequency of phenotypic color vision defects. The red/green color pigment (R/GCP) region was studied by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis in 14 of these patients, and we did not find any fragment size difference between the patients and normal individuals who have the same number of pigment genes. The R/GCP region was also analyzed in 29 French and seven North American ALD patients by using six genomic DNA probes, isolated from a cosmid walk, that flank the color vision genes. No deletions were found with probes that lie 3' of the green pigment genes. One of the eight previously reported ALD individuals has a long deletion 5' of the red pigment gene, a deletion causing blue cone monochromacy. This finding and the previous findings of a 45% frequency of phenotypic color vision defects in patients with AMN may suggest that the ALD/AMN gene lies 5' to the red pigment gene and that the frequent phenotypic color vision anomalies owe their origin to deleted DNA that includes regulatory genes for

  12. Functional diversity in the color vision of cichlid fishes

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

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

  13. 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

  14. 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. PMID:27535583

  15. 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.

  16. [Spectral sensitivity and visual pigments of the coastal crab Hemigrapsus sanguineus].

    PubMed

    Shukoliukov, S A; Zak, P P; Kalamkarov, G R; Kalishevich, O O; Ostrovskiĭ, M A

    1980-01-01

    It has been shown that the compound eye of the coastal crab has one photosensitive pigment rhodopsin and screening pigments, black and orange one. The orange pigment has lambda max = 480 nm, rhodopsin in digitonin is stable towards hydroxylamin action, has lambda max = 490-495 nm and after bleaching is transformed into free retinene and opsin. The pigments with lambda max = 430 and 475 nm of the receptor part of the eye are also solubilized. These pigments are not photosensitive but they dissociate under the effect of hydroxylamine. The curye of spectral sensitivity of the coastal crab has the basic maximum at approximately 525 nm and the additional one at 450 nm, which seems to be provided by a combination of the visual pigment--rhodopsin (lambda max 500 nm) with a carotinoid filter (lambda max 480-490). Specific features of the visual system of coastal crab are discussed.

  17. Why are blue visual pigments blue? A resonance Raman microprobe study.

    PubMed Central

    Loppnow, G R; Barry, B A; Mathies, R A

    1989-01-01

    A resonance Raman microscope has been developed to study the structure of the retinal prosthetic group in the visual pigments of individual photoreceptor cells. Raman vibrational spectra are obtained by focusing the probe laser on intact photoreceptors frozen on a 77 K cold stage. To elucidate the mechanism of wavelength regulation in blue visual pigments, we have used this apparatus to study the structure of the chromophore in the 440-nm absorbing pigment found in "green rods" of the toad (Bufo marinus). The 9-cis isorhodopsin form of the green rod pigment exhibits a 1662-cm-1 C = NH+ Schiff base stretching mode that shifts to 1636 cm-1 in deuterium-substituted H2O. This demonstrates that the Schiff base linkage to the protein is protonated. Protonation of the Schiff base is sufficient to explain the 440-nm absorption maximum of this pigment without invoking any additional protein-chromophore interactions. The absence of additional perturbations is supported by the observation that the ethylenic band and the perturbation-sensitive C-10-C-11 and C-14-C-15 stretching modes have the same frequency as those of the 9-cis protonated retinal Schiff base in solution. Our demonstration that a blue visual pigment contains an unperturbed protonated Schiff base provides experimental evidence that the protein charge perturbation responsible for the opsin shift in the 500-nm absorbing pigments is removed in the opsins of blue pigments, as suggested by the sequence data. PMID:2493645

  18. 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.

  19. A fully functional rod visual pigment in a blind mammal. A case for adaptive functional reorganization?

    PubMed

    Janssen, J W; Bovee-Geurts, P H; Peeters, Z P; Bowmaker, J K; Cooper, H M; David-Gray, Z K; Nevo, E; DeGrip, W J

    2000-12-01

    In the blind subterranean mole rat Spalax ehrenbergi superspecies complete ablation of the visual image-forming capability has been accompanied by an expansion of the bilateral projection from the retina to the suprachiasmatic nucleus. We have cloned the open reading frame of a visual pigment from Spalax that shows >90% homology with mammalian rod pigments. Baculovirus expression yields a membrane protein with all functional characteristics of a rod visual pigment (lambda(max) = 497 +/- 2 nm; pK(a) of meta I/meta II equilibrium = 6.5; rapid activation of transducin in the light). We not only provide evidence that this Spalax rod pigment is fully functional in vitro but also show that all requirements for a functional pigment are present in vivo. The physiological consequences of this unexpected finding are discussed. One attractive option is that during adaptation to a subterranean lifestyle, the visual system of this mammal has undergone mosaic reorganization, and the visual pigments have adapted to a function in circadian photoreception.

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

    PubMed

    Yamaoka, Hiromi; Tachibanaki, Shuji; Kawamura, Satoru

    2015-10-01

    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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Fast Electrical Potential from a Long-Lived, Long-Wavelength Photoproduct of Fly Visual Pigment

    PubMed Central

    Pak, William L.; Lidington, Kellie J.

    1974-01-01

    A rapid electrical potential, which we have named the M-potential, can be obtained from the Drosophila eye using a high energy flash stimulus. The potential can be elicited from the normal fly, but it is especially prominent in the mutant norp AP12 (a phototransduction mutant), particularly if the eye color pigments are genetically removed from the eye. Several lines of evidence suggest that the M-potential arises from photoexcitation of long-lived metarhodopsin. Photoexcitation of rhodopsin does not produce a comparable potential. The spectral sensitivity of the M-potential peaks at about 575 nm. The M-potential pigment (metarhodopsin) can be shown to photoconvert back and forth with a "silent pigment(s)" absorbing maximally at about 485 nm. The silent pigment presumably is rhodopsin. These results support the recent spectrophotometric findings that dipteran metarhodopsin absorbs at much longer wavelengths than rhodopsin. The M-potential probably is related to the photoproduct component of the early receptor potential (ERP). Two major differences between the M-potential and the classical ERP are: (a) Drosophila rhodopsin does not produce a rapid photoresponse, and (b) an anesthetized or freshly sacrificed animal does not yield the M-potential. As in the case of the ERP, the M-potential appears to be a response associated with a particular state of the fly visual pigment. Therefore, it should be useful in in vivo investigations of the fly visual pigment, about which little is known. PMID:4829527

  6. 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.

  7. Anion sensitivity and spectral tuning of cone visual pigments in situ.

    PubMed Central

    Kleinschmidt, J; Harosi, F I

    1992-01-01

    We tested the effect of anions on the absorbance spectrum of native visual pigments as measured by microspectrophotometry in individual cone outer segments of four species of fish and one species of amphibian. In all species tested, the long-wavelength-absorbing cone pigments were anion sensitive, and their lambda max could be tuned over a range of 55 nm depending on the identity of the anion present. Cl- and Br- were the only anions that produced native pigment spectra by red shifting lambda max from its value under anion-free conditions. Lyotropic anions such as NO3-, SCN-, BF4-, and ClO4- caused substantial and graded blue shifts of lambda max. The apparent Kd of binding sites on the pigment for Cl- and for ClO4- was approximately 2 mM. Taken together with previous findings on three visual pigments from the reptilian, avian, and amphibian classes, our results support the hypothesis that all long-wavelength-absorbing vertebrate visual pigments are spectrally tuned in part through the binding of a chloride ion. We propose that the site of anion tuning is near the protonated Schiff base of the chromophore, whose counterion may be complex and include Cl- as an exchangeable anion. This counterion configuration may resemble the one present in the light-driven Cl- pump halorhodopsin. PMID:1409622

  8. 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

  9. Carotenoid-based coloration in cichlid fishes

    PubMed Central

    Sefc, Kristina M.; Brown, Alexandria C.; Clotfelter, Ethan D.

    2014-01-01

    Animal colors play important roles in communication, ecological interactions and speciation. Carotenoid pigments are responsible for many yellow, orange and red hues in animals. Whereas extensive knowledge on the proximate mechanisms underlying carotenoid coloration in birds has led to testable hypotheses on avian color evolution and signaling, much less is known about the expression of carotenoid coloration in fishes. Here, we promote cichlid fishes (Perciformes: Cichlidae) as a system in which to study the physiological and evolutionary significance of carotenoids. Cichlids include some of the best examples of adaptive radiation and color pattern diversification in vertebrates. In this paper, we examine fitness correlates of carotenoid pigmentation in cichlids and review hypotheses regarding the signal content of carotenoid-based ornaments. Carotenoid-based coloration is influenced by diet and body condition and is positively related to mating success and social dominance. Gaps in our knowledge are discussed in the last part of this review, particularly in the understanding of carotenoid metabolism pathways and the genetics of carotenoid coloration. We suggest that carotenoid metabolism and transport are important proximate mechanisms responsible for individual and population-differences in cichlid coloration that may ultimately contribute to diversification and speciation. PMID:24667558

  10. 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.

  11. 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. PMID:27493545

  12. 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.

  13. A conserved aromatic residue regulating photosensitivity in short-wavelength sensitive cone visual pigments.

    PubMed

    Kuemmel, Colleen M; Sandberg, Megan N; Birge, Robert R; Knox, Barry E

    2013-07-30

    Visual pigments have a conserved phenylalanine in transmembrane helix 5 located near the β-ionone ring of the retinal chromophore. Site-directed mutants of this residue (F207) in a short-wavelength sensitive visual pigment (VCOP) were studied using UV-visible spectroscopy to investigate its role in photosensitivity and formation of the light-activated state. The side chain is important for pigment formation: VCOP(F207A), VCOP(F207L), VCOP(F207M), and VCOP(F207W) substitutions all bound 11-cis-retinal and formed a stable visual pigment, while VCOP(F207V), VCOP(F207S), VCOP(F207T), and VCOP(F207Y) substitutions do not. The extinction coefficients of all pigments are close, ranging between 35800 and 45600 M⁻¹ cm⁻¹. Remarkably, the mutants exhibit an up to 5-fold reduction in photosensitivity and also abnormal photobleaching behavior. One mutant, VCOP(F207A), forms an isomeric composition of the retinal chromophore after illumination comparable to that of wild-type VCOP yet does not release the all-trans-retinal chromophore. These findings suggest that the conserved F207 residue is important for a normal photoactivation pathway, formation of the active conformation and the exit of all-trans-retinal from the chromophore-binding pocket. PMID:23808485

  14. Visual pigment in the lens eyes of the box jellyfish Chiropsella bronzie.

    PubMed

    O'Connor, Megan; Garm, Anders; Marshall, Justin N; Hart, Nathan S; Ekström, Peter; Skogh, Charlotta; Nilsson, Dan-Eric

    2010-06-22

    Box jellyfish (Cubomedusae) possess a unique visual system comprising 24 eyes of four morphological types. Moreover, box jellyfish display several visually guided behaviours, including obstacle avoidance and light-shaft attractance. It is largely unknown what kind of visual information box jellyfish use for carrying out these behaviours. Brightness contrast is almost certainly involved, but it is also possible that box jellyfish extract colour information from their surroundings. The possible presence of colour vision in box jellyfish has previously been investigated using behavioural, electrophysiological and immunohistochemical methods. However, the results from these studies are to some degree conflicting and inconclusive. Here, we present results from an investigation into the visual system of the box jellyfish Chiropsella bronzie, using microspectrophotometry and immunohistochemistry. Our results strongly indicate that only one type of visual pigment is present in the upper and lower lens eyes with a peak absorbance of approximately 510 nm. Additionally, the visual pigment appears to undergo bleaching, similar to that of vertebrate visual pigments. PMID:20147327

  15. 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.

  16. The visual pigment sensitivity hypothesis: further evidence from fishes of varying habitats.

    PubMed

    Crescitelli, F; McFall-Ngai, M; Horwitz, J

    1985-10-01

    Visual pigments were extracted from the retinas of 8 species of marine teleosts and 4 species of elasmobranchs and a comparison was made of the pigment properties from these fishes, some inhabiting surface waters, others from the mesopelagic zone, and a few migrating vertically between these two environments. An association was found between the spectral position of the absorbance curve and the habitat depth or habitat behavior, with the blue-shifted chrysopsins being the pigments of the twilight zone fishes and the rhodopsins with fishes living near the surface. The retina of the swell shark (Cephaloscyllium ventriosum) yielded extracts with two photopigments; one, a rhodopsin at 498 nm; the second, a chrysopsin at 478 nm. This fish has been reported to practice seasonal vertical migrations between the surface and the mesopelagic waters. In addition to the spectral absorbance, several properties of these visual pigments were examined, including the meta-III product of photic bleaching, regeneration with added 11-cis and 9-cis retinals, and the chromophoric photosensitivity. The chrysopsin properties were found to be fundamentally similar to those of typical vertebrate rhodopsins. Correlating the spectral data with the habitat and habitat behavior of our fishes gives us confidence in the idea that the scotopic pigments have evolved as adaptations to those aspects of their color environment that are critical to the survival of the species. PMID:3837092

  17. 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. PMID:26387074

  18. 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.

  19. The visual pigment sensitivity hypothesis: further evidence from fishes of varying habitats.

    PubMed

    Crescitelli, F; McFall-Ngai, M; Horwitz, J

    1985-10-01

    Visual pigments were extracted from the retinas of 8 species of marine teleosts and 4 species of elasmobranchs and a comparison was made of the pigment properties from these fishes, some inhabiting surface waters, others from the mesopelagic zone, and a few migrating vertically between these two environments. An association was found between the spectral position of the absorbance curve and the habitat depth or habitat behavior, with the blue-shifted chrysopsins being the pigments of the twilight zone fishes and the rhodopsins with fishes living near the surface. The retina of the swell shark (Cephaloscyllium ventriosum) yielded extracts with two photopigments; one, a rhodopsin at 498 nm; the second, a chrysopsin at 478 nm. This fish has been reported to practice seasonal vertical migrations between the surface and the mesopelagic waters. In addition to the spectral absorbance, several properties of these visual pigments were examined, including the meta-III product of photic bleaching, regeneration with added 11-cis and 9-cis retinals, and the chromophoric photosensitivity. The chrysopsin properties were found to be fundamentally similar to those of typical vertebrate rhodopsins. Correlating the spectral data with the habitat and habitat behavior of our fishes gives us confidence in the idea that the scotopic pigments have evolved as adaptations to those aspects of their color environment that are critical to the survival of the species.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Macular pigment and its contribution to visual performance and experience

    PubMed Central

    Loughman, James; Davison, Peter A.; Nolan, John M.; Akkali, Mukunda C.; Beatty, Stephen

    2010-01-01

    There is now a consensus, based on histological, biochemical and spectral absorption data, that the yellow colour observed at the macula lutea is a consequence of the selective accumulation of dietary xanthophylls in the central retina of the living eye. Scientific research continues to explore the function(s) of MP in the human retina, with two main hypotheses premised on its putative capacity to (1) protect the retina from (photo)-oxidative damage by means of its optical filtration and/or antioxidant properties, the so-called protective hypothesis and (2) influence the quality of visual performance by means of selective short wavelength light absorption prior to photoreceptor light capture, thereby attenuating the effects of chromatic aberration and light scatter, the so-called acuity and visibility hypotheses. The current epidemic of age-related macular degeneration has directed researchers to investigate the protective hypothesis of MP, while there has been a conspicuous lack of work designed to investigate the role of MP in visual performance. The aim of this review is to present and critically appraise the current literature germane to the contribution of MP, if any, to visual performance and experience.

  3. 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. PMID:11976885

  4. Polymorphism of visual pigment genes in the muriqui (Primates, Atelidae).

    PubMed

    Talebi, M G; Pope, T R; Vogel, E R; Neitz, M; Dominy, N J

    2006-02-01

    Colour vision varies within the family Atelidae (Primates, Platyrrhini), which consists of four genera with the following cladistic relationship: {Alouatta[Ateles (Lagothrix and Brachyteles)]}. Spider monkeys (Ateles) and woolly monkeys (Lagothrix) are characteristic of platyrrhine monkeys in possessing a colour vision polymorphism. The polymorphism results from allelic variation of the single-locus middle-to-long wavelength (M/L) cone opsin gene on the X-chromosome. The presence in the population of alleles coding for different M/L photopigments results in a variety of colour vision phenotypes. Such a polymorphism is absent in howling monkeys (Alouatta), which, alone among platyrrhines, acquired uniform trichromatic vision similar to that of Old World monkeys, apes, and humans through opsin gene duplication. Dietary and morphological similarities between howling monkeys and muriquis (Brachyteles) raise the possibility that the two genera share a similar form of colour vision, uniform trichromacy. Yet parsimony predicts that the colour vision of Brachyteles will resemble the polymorphism present in Lagothrix and Ateles. Here we test this assumption. We obtained DNA from the blood or faeces of 18 muriquis and sequenced exons 3 and 5 of the M/L opsin gene. Our results affirm the existence of a single M/L cone opsin gene in the genus Brachyteles. We detected three alleles with predicted lambdamax values of 530, 550, and 562 nm. Two females were heterozygous and are thus predicted to have different types of M/L cone pigment. We discuss the implication of this result towards understanding the evolutionary ecology of trichromatic vision.

  5. Polymorphism of visual pigment genes in the muriqui (Primates, Atelidae).

    PubMed

    Talebi, M G; Pope, T R; Vogel, E R; Neitz, M; Dominy, N J

    2006-02-01

    Colour vision varies within the family Atelidae (Primates, Platyrrhini), which consists of four genera with the following cladistic relationship: {Alouatta[Ateles (Lagothrix and Brachyteles)]}. Spider monkeys (Ateles) and woolly monkeys (Lagothrix) are characteristic of platyrrhine monkeys in possessing a colour vision polymorphism. The polymorphism results from allelic variation of the single-locus middle-to-long wavelength (M/L) cone opsin gene on the X-chromosome. The presence in the population of alleles coding for different M/L photopigments results in a variety of colour vision phenotypes. Such a polymorphism is absent in howling monkeys (Alouatta), which, alone among platyrrhines, acquired uniform trichromatic vision similar to that of Old World monkeys, apes, and humans through opsin gene duplication. Dietary and morphological similarities between howling monkeys and muriquis (Brachyteles) raise the possibility that the two genera share a similar form of colour vision, uniform trichromacy. Yet parsimony predicts that the colour vision of Brachyteles will resemble the polymorphism present in Lagothrix and Ateles. Here we test this assumption. We obtained DNA from the blood or faeces of 18 muriquis and sequenced exons 3 and 5 of the M/L opsin gene. Our results affirm the existence of a single M/L cone opsin gene in the genus Brachyteles. We detected three alleles with predicted lambdamax values of 530, 550, and 562 nm. Two females were heterozygous and are thus predicted to have different types of M/L cone pigment. We discuss the implication of this result towards understanding the evolutionary ecology of trichromatic vision. PMID:16448420

  6. 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.

  7. 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. PMID:8336542

  8. Evolution and Mechanism of Spectral Tuning of Blue-Absorbing Visual Pigments in Butterflies

    PubMed Central

    Wakakuwa, Motohiro; Terakita, Akihisa; Koyanagi, Mitsumasa; Stavenga, Doekele G.; Shichida, Yoshinori; Arikawa, Kentaro

    2010-01-01

    The eyes of flower-visiting butterflies are often spectrally highly complex with multiple opsin genes generated by gene duplication, providing an interesting system for a comparative study of color vision. The Small White butterfly, Pieris rapae, has duplicated blue opsins, PrB and PrV, which are expressed in the blue (λmax = 453 nm) and violet receptors (λmax = 425 nm), respectively. To reveal accurate absorption profiles and the molecular basis of the spectral tuning of these visual pigments, we successfully modified our honeybee opsin expression system based on HEK293s cells, and expressed PrB and PrV, the first lepidopteran opsins ever expressed in cultured cells. We reconstituted the expressed visual pigments in vitro, and analysed them spectroscopically. Both reconstituted visual pigments had two photointerconvertible states, rhodopsin and metarhodopsin, with absorption peak wavelengths 450 nm and 485 nm for PrB and 420 nm and 482 nm for PrV. We furthermore introduced site-directed mutations to the opsins and found that two amino acid substitutions, at positions 116 and 177, were crucial for the spectral tuning. This tuning mechanism appears to be specific for invertebrates and is partially shared by other pierid and lycaenid butterfly species. PMID:21124838

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-13

    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

  12. Elephants and human color-blind deuteranopes have identical sets of visual pigments.

    PubMed

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

    2005-05-01

    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.

  13. Elephants and human color-blind deuteranopes have identical sets of visual pigments.

    PubMed

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

    2005-05-01

    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

  14. The relationship between foveal short-wavelength-sensitive visual function and macular pigment optical density in the ageing age.

    PubMed

    Beirne, Raymond O

    2013-06-28

    To investigate the role of macular pigment in preserving foveal short-wavelength-sensitive (SWS) visual function in the ageing eye orientation identification acuity was measured in the fovea and at 12° eccentricity (nasal visual field) under SWS-cone isolating conditions in 73 participants (aged 20-71). Macular pigment optical density (MPOD) was measured at 0.5° eccentricity from the foveal centre using a heterochromatic flicker photometry (HFP) based instrument. MPOD was not significantly related to age but reduced SWS orientation identification acuity was associated with increasing age in the fovea and at 12° eccentricity. The rate at which foveal acuity changed in relation to acuity at 12° with increasing age was not significantly related to macular pigment levels. These findings do not support the hypothesis that higher macular pigment levels protect S-cone mediated foveal visual function in the ageing eye. PMID:23591086

  15. For whales and seals the ocean is not blue: a visual pigment loss in marine mammals.

    PubMed

    Peichl, L; Behrmann, G; Kröger, R H

    2001-04-01

    Most terrestrial mammals have colour vision based on two spectrally different visual pigments located in two types of retinal cone photoreceptors, i.e. they are cone dichromats with long-to-middle-wave-sensitive (commonly green) L-cones and short-wave-sensitive (commonly blue) S-cones. With visual pigment-specific antibodies, we here demonstrate an absence of S-cones in the retinae of all whales and seals studied. The sample includes seven species of toothed whales (Odontoceti) and five species of marine carnivores (eared and earless seals). These marine mammals have only L-cones (cone monochromacy) and hence are essentially colour-blind. For comparison, the study also includes the wolf, ferret and European river otter (Carnivora) as well as the mouflon and pygmy hippopotamus (Artiodactyla), close terrestrial relatives of the seals and whales, respectively. These have a normal complement of S-cones and L-cones. The S-cone loss in marine species from two distant mammalian orders strongly argues for convergent evolution and an adaptive advantage of that trait in the marine visual environment. To us this suggests that the S-cones may have been lost in all whales and seals. However, as the spectral composition of light in clear ocean waters is increasingly blue-shifted with depth, an S-cone loss would seem particularly disadvantageous. We discuss some hypotheses to explain this paradox.

  16. 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.

  17. 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. PMID:16572322

  18. Protein-bound water molecules in primate red- and green-sensitive visual pigments.

    PubMed

    Katayama, Kota; Furutani, Yuji; Imai, Hiroo; Kandori, Hideki

    2012-02-14

    Protein-bound water molecules play crucial roles in the structure and function of proteins. The functional role of water molecules has been discussed for rhodopsin, the light sensor for twilight vision, on the basis of X-ray crystallography, Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, and a radiolytic labeling method, but nothing is known about the protein-bound waters in our color visual pigments. Here we apply low-temperature FTIR spectroscopy to monkey red (MR)- and green (MG)-sensitive color pigments at 77 K and successfully identify water vibrations using D(2)O and D(2)(18)O in the whole midinfrared region. The observed water vibrations are 6-8 for MR and MG, indicating that several water molecules are present near the retinal chromophore and change their hydrogen bonds upon retinal photoisomerization. In this sense, color visual pigments possess protein-bound water molecules essentially similar to those of rhodopsin. The absence of strongly hydrogen-bonded water molecules (O-D stretch at <2400 cm(-1)) is common between rhodopsin and color pigments, which greatly contrasts with the case of proton-pumping microbial rhodopsins. On the other hand, two important differences are observed in water signal between rhodopsin and color pigments. First, the water vibrations are identical between the 11-cis and 9-cis forms of rhodopsin, but different vibrational bands are observed at >2550 cm(-1) for both MR and MG. Second, strongly hydrogen-bonded water molecules (2303 cm(-1) for MR and 2308 cm(-1) for MG) are observed for the all-trans form after retinal photoisomerization, which is not the case for rhodopsin. These specific features of MR and MG can be explained by the presence of water molecules in the Cl(-)-biding site, which are located near positions C11 and C9 of the retinal chromophore. The averaged frequencies of the observed water O-D stretching vibrations for MR and MG are lower as the λ(max) is red-shifted, suggesting that water molecules are involved in

  19. 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. PMID:19126545

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

    2007-05-01

    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 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. PMID:17470789

  4. Molecular characterization of crustacean visual pigments and the evolution of pancrustacean opsins.

    PubMed

    Porter, Megan L; Cronin, Thomas W; McClellan, David A; Crandall, Keith A

    2007-01-01

    Investigations of opsin evolution outside of vertebrate systems have long been focused on insect visual pigments, whereas other groups have received little attention. Furthermore, few studies have explicitly investigated the selective influences across all the currently characterized arthropod opsins. In this study, we contribute to the knowledge of crustacean opsins by sequencing 1 opsin gene each from 6 previously uncharacterized crustacean species (Euphausia superba, Homarus gammarus, Archaeomysis grebnitzkii, Holmesimysis costata, Mysis diluviana, and Neomysis americana). Visual pigment spectral absorbances were measured using microspectrophotometry for species not previously characterized (A. grebnitzkii=496 nm, H. costata=512 nm, M. diluviana=501 nm, and N. americana=520 nm). These novel crustacean opsin sequences were included in a phylogenetic analysis with previously characterized arthropod opsin sequences to determine the evolutionary placement relative to the well-established insect spectral clades (long-/middle-/short-wavelength sensitive). Phylogenetic analyses indicate these novel crustacean opsins form a monophyletic clade with previously characterized crayfish opsin sequences and form a sister group to insect middle-/long-wavelength-sensitive opsins. The reconstructed opsin phylogeny and the corresponding spectral data for each sequence were used to investigate selective influences within arthropod, and mainly "pancrustacean," opsin evolution using standard dN/dS ratio methods and more sensitive techniques investigating the amino acid property changes resulting from nonsynonymous replacements in a historical (i.e., phylogenetic) context. Although the conservative dN/dS methods did not detect any selection, 4 amino acid properties (coil tendencies, compressibility, power to be at the middle of an alpha-helix, and refractive index) were found to be influenced by destabilizing positive selection. Ten amino acid sites relating to these properties were

  5. Contrasting modes of evolution of the visual pigments in Heliconius butterflies.

    PubMed

    Yuan, Furong; Bernard, Gary D; Le, Jennifer; Briscoe, Adriana D

    2010-10-01

    The adult compound eyes of passion-vine butterflies in the genus Heliconius contain one more UV opsin than other butterflies. Together with an 11-cis-3-hydroxyretinal chromophore, their four opsin genes UVRh1, UVRh2, BRh, and LWRh produce four rhodopsins that are UV-, blue-, or long wavelength absorbing. One of the Heliconius UV opsin genes, UVRh2, was found to have evolved under positive selection following recent gene duplication, using the branch-site test of selection. Using a more conservative test, the small-sample method, we confirm our prior finding of positive selection of UVRh2 and provide new statistical evidence of episodic evolution, that is, positive selection followed by purifying selection. We also newly note that one of the positively selected amino acid sites contains substitutions with known spectral tuning effects in avian ultraviolet- and violet-sensitive visual pigments. As this is one of a handful of described examples of positive selection of any specific gene in any butterfly where functional variation between copies has been characterized, we were interested in examining the molecular and physiological context of this adaptive event by examining the UV opsin genes in contrast to the other visual pigment genes. We cloned BRh and LWRh from 13 heliconiine species and UVRh1 and UVRh2 from Heliconius elevatus. In parallel, we performed in vivo epi-microspectrophotometric experiments to estimate the wavelength of peak absorbance, λ(max), of several rhodopsins in seven heliconiine species. In contrast to UVRh2, we found both physiological and statistical evidence consistent with purifying selection on UVRh1, BRh, and LWRh along the branch leading to the common ancestor of Heliconius. These results underscore the utility of combining molecular and physiological experiments in a comparative context for strengthening evidence for adaptive evolution at the molecular level.

  6. 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. PMID:22683812

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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. PMID:20889838

  10. 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.

  11. 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. PMID:22349213

  12. A simplified mass-transfer model for visual pigments in amphibian retinal-cone outer segments.

    PubMed

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

    2011-02-01

    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.

  13. Spectral tuning and evolution of primate short-wavelength-sensitive visual pigments.

    PubMed

    Carvalho, Livia S; Davies, Wayne L; Robinson, Phyllis R; Hunt, David M

    2012-01-22

    The peak sensitivities (λ(max)) of the short-wavelength-sensitive-1 (SWS1) pigments in mammals range from the ultraviolet (UV) (360-400 nm) to the violet (400-450 nm) regions of the spectrum. In most cases, a UV or violet peak is determined by the residue present at site 86, with Phe conferring UV sensitivity (UVS) and either Ser, Tyr or Val causing a shift to violet wavelengths. In primates, however, the tuning mechanism of violet-sensitive (VS) pigments would appear to differ. In this study, we examine the tuning mechanisms of prosimian SWS1 pigments. One species, the aye-aye, possesses a pigment with Phe86 but in vitro spectral analysis reveals a VS rather than a UVS pigment. Other residues (Cys, Ser and Val) at site 86 in prosimians also gave VS pigments. Substitution at site 86 is not, therefore, the primary mechanism for the tuning of VS pigments in primates, and phylogenetic analysis indicates that substitutions at site 86 have occurred at least five times in primate evolution. The sole potential tuning site that is conserved in all primate VS pigments is Pro93, which when substituted by Thr (as found in mammalian UVS pigments) in the aye-aye pigment shifted the peak absorbance into the UV region with a λ(max) value at 371 nm. We, therefore, conclude that the tuning of VS pigments in primates depends on Pro93, not Tyr86 as in other mammals. However, it remains uncertain whether the initial event that gave rise to the VS pigment in the ancestral primate was achieved by a Thr93Pro or a Phe86Tyr substitution.

  14. Spectral tuning and evolution of primate short-wavelength-sensitive visual pigments

    PubMed Central

    Carvalho, Livia S.; Davies, Wayne L.; Robinson, Phyllis R.; Hunt, David M.

    2012-01-01

    The peak sensitivities (λmax) of the short-wavelength-sensitive-1 (SWS1) pigments in mammals range from the ultraviolet (UV) (360–400 nm) to the violet (400–450 nm) regions of the spectrum. In most cases, a UV or violet peak is determined by the residue present at site 86, with Phe conferring UV sensitivity (UVS) and either Ser, Tyr or Val causing a shift to violet wavelengths. In primates, however, the tuning mechanism of violet-sensitive (VS) pigments would appear to differ. In this study, we examine the tuning mechanisms of prosimian SWS1 pigments. One species, the aye-aye, possesses a pigment with Phe86 but in vitro spectral analysis reveals a VS rather than a UVS pigment. Other residues (Cys, Ser and Val) at site 86 in prosimians also gave VS pigments. Substitution at site 86 is not, therefore, the primary mechanism for the tuning of VS pigments in primates, and phylogenetic analysis indicates that substitutions at site 86 have occurred at least five times in primate evolution. The sole potential tuning site that is conserved in all primate VS pigments is Pro93, which when substituted by Thr (as found in mammalian UVS pigments) in the aye-aye pigment shifted the peak absorbance into the UV region with a λmax value at 371 nm. We, therefore, conclude that the tuning of VS pigments in primates depends on Pro93, not Tyr86 as in other mammals. However, it remains uncertain whether the initial event that gave rise to the VS pigment in the ancestral primate was achieved by a Thr93Pro or a Phe86Tyr substitution. PMID:21697177

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

    PubMed

    Diepeveen, Eveline T; Salzburger, Walter

    2011-12-01

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

  16. Evolutionary changes of multiple visual pigment genes in the complete genome of Pacific bluefin tuna.

    PubMed

    Nakamura, Yoji; Mori, Kazuki; Saitoh, Kenji; Oshima, Kenshiro; Mekuchi, Miyuki; Sugaya, Takuma; Shigenobu, Yuya; Ojima, Nobuhiko; Muta, Shigeru; Fujiwara, Atushi; Yasuike, Motoshige; Oohara, Ichiro; Hirakawa, Hideki; Chowdhury, Vishwajit Sur; Kobayashi, Takanori; Nakajima, Kazuhiro; Sano, Motohiko; Wada, Tokio; Tashiro, Kosuke; Ikeo, Kazuho; Hattori, Masahira; Kuhara, Satoru; Gojobori, Takashi; Inouye, Kiyoshi

    2013-07-01

    Tunas are migratory fishes in offshore habitats and top predators with unique features. Despite their ecological importance and high market values, the open-ocean lifestyle of tuna, in which effective sensing systems such as color vision are required for capture of prey, has been poorly understood. To elucidate the genetic and evolutionary basis of optic adaptation of tuna, we determined the genome sequence of the Pacific bluefin tuna (Thunnus orientalis), using next-generation sequencing technology. A total of 26,433 protein-coding genes were predicted from 16,802 assembled scaffolds. From these, we identified five common fish visual pigment genes: red-sensitive (middle/long-wavelength sensitive; M/LWS), UV-sensitive (short-wavelength sensitive 1; SWS1), blue-sensitive (SWS2), rhodopsin (RH1), and green-sensitive (RH2) opsin genes. Sequence comparison revealed that tuna's RH1 gene has an amino acid substitution that causes a short-wave shift in the absorption spectrum (i.e., blue shift). Pacific bluefin tuna has at least five RH2 paralogs, the most among studied fishes; four of the proteins encoded may be tuned to blue light at the amino acid level. Moreover, phylogenetic analysis suggested that gene conversions have occurred in each of the SWS2 and RH2 loci in a short period. Thus, Pacific bluefin tuna has undergone evolutionary changes in three genes (RH1, RH2, and SWS2), which may have contributed to detecting blue-green contrast and measuring the distance to prey in the blue-pelagic ocean. These findings provide basic information on behavioral traits of predatory fish and, thereby, could help to improve the technology to culture such fish in captivity for resource management.

  17. Evolutionary changes of multiple visual pigment genes in the complete genome of Pacific bluefin tuna.

    PubMed

    Nakamura, Yoji; Mori, Kazuki; Saitoh, Kenji; Oshima, Kenshiro; Mekuchi, Miyuki; Sugaya, Takuma; Shigenobu, Yuya; Ojima, Nobuhiko; Muta, Shigeru; Fujiwara, Atushi; Yasuike, Motoshige; Oohara, Ichiro; Hirakawa, Hideki; Chowdhury, Vishwajit Sur; Kobayashi, Takanori; Nakajima, Kazuhiro; Sano, Motohiko; Wada, Tokio; Tashiro, Kosuke; Ikeo, Kazuho; Hattori, Masahira; Kuhara, Satoru; Gojobori, Takashi; Inouye, Kiyoshi

    2013-07-01

    Tunas are migratory fishes in offshore habitats and top predators with unique features. Despite their ecological importance and high market values, the open-ocean lifestyle of tuna, in which effective sensing systems such as color vision are required for capture of prey, has been poorly understood. To elucidate the genetic and evolutionary basis of optic adaptation of tuna, we determined the genome sequence of the Pacific bluefin tuna (Thunnus orientalis), using next-generation sequencing technology. A total of 26,433 protein-coding genes were predicted from 16,802 assembled scaffolds. From these, we identified five common fish visual pigment genes: red-sensitive (middle/long-wavelength sensitive; M/LWS), UV-sensitive (short-wavelength sensitive 1; SWS1), blue-sensitive (SWS2), rhodopsin (RH1), and green-sensitive (RH2) opsin genes. Sequence comparison revealed that tuna's RH1 gene has an amino acid substitution that causes a short-wave shift in the absorption spectrum (i.e., blue shift). Pacific bluefin tuna has at least five RH2 paralogs, the most among studied fishes; four of the proteins encoded may be tuned to blue light at the amino acid level. Moreover, phylogenetic analysis suggested that gene conversions have occurred in each of the SWS2 and RH2 loci in a short period. Thus, Pacific bluefin tuna has undergone evolutionary changes in three genes (RH1, RH2, and SWS2), which may have contributed to detecting blue-green contrast and measuring the distance to prey in the blue-pelagic ocean. These findings provide basic information on behavioral traits of predatory fish and, thereby, could help to improve the technology to culture such fish in captivity for resource management. PMID:23781100

  18. Effects of Ocular Hypertension in the Visual System of Pigmented Mice

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:25811653

  19. 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. PMID:22874131

  20. Analysis of L-cone/M-cone visual pigment gene arrays in females by long-range PCR.

    PubMed

    Oda, Sanae; Ueyama, Hisao; Nishida, Yasuhiro; Tanabe, Shoko; Yamade, Shinichi

    2003-03-01

    The L-cone/M-cone visual pigment gene arrays were analyzed in a group of 63 Japanese females consisting of 7 applicants for examination of their carrier status, 14 color-deficient females, 6 obligate carriers with no genotypic data available for affected father or sons, and 36 color-normals. The first and the downstream genes, the entire region from the promoter to exon 6, were each amplified very efficiently by the long-range PCR to give products of 15.8 and 14.4 kb, respectively. The products were gel-purified and used as the template in the second PCR for exon 5. The region from intron 4 of the last genes, to the nearest neighbor gene, TEX28, was also efficiently amplified by the long-range PCR and the gel-purified products (27.5 kb) were used as the template in the second PCR for exon 5. The status of the 7 applicants was thought to be 3 non-carriers, 2 protan carriers and 2 deutan carriers. All of the 14 color-deficient females had unusual arrays in which an M gene was present as the first gene, an L gene(s) was present downstream, or a single L gene constituted both of the two arrays. One protanopic subject, A348, had an L gene as one of the first genes. The 6 obligate carriers also had unusual arrays with the exception of the mother of the A187, a male subject with pigment color defect. In the 36 color-normal individuals, 4 had downstream L genes. The long-range PCR method is useful for analysis of the L/M visual pigment genes. PMID:12594995

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. Spectral tuning and molecular evolution of rod visual pigments in the species flock of cottoid fish in Lake Baikal.

    PubMed

    Hunt, D M; Fitzgibbon, J; Slobodyanyuk, S J; Bowmaker, J K

    1996-05-01

    Lake Baikal in Eastern Siberia is the deepest and one of the largest and most ancient lakes in the world. However, even in the deepest regions, oxygenation levels do not fall below 75-80% of the surface levels. This has enabled a remarkable flock of largely endemic teleost fish of the sub-order Cottoidei to colonize all depth habitats. We have previously shown that species that occupy progressively deeper habitats show a blue shift in the peak wavelength of absorbance (lambda max) of both their rod and cone visual pigments; for the rod pigments, a number of stepwise shifts occur from about 516 nm in littoral species to about 484 nm in abyssal species. By sequencing the rod opsin gene from 11 species of Baikal cottoids that include representatives from all depth habitats, we have been able to identify four amino acid substitutions that would account for these shifts. The effect of each substitution on lambda max is approximately additive and each corresponds to a particular lineage of evolution. PMID:8711901

  7. 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. PMID:26891673

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Analysis of L-cone/M-cone visual pigment gene arrays in Japanese males with protan color-vision deficiency.

    PubMed

    Ueyama, Hisao; Kuwayama, Shigeki; Imai, Hiroo; Oda, Sanae; Nishida, Yasuhiro; Tanabe, Shoko; Shichida, Yoshinori; Yamade, Shinichi

    2004-01-01

    The L-cone/M-cone visual pigment gene arrays were analyzed in 125 Japanese males with protan color-vision deficiency. Arrays were successfully determined in 62/65 subjects with protanopia and 57/60 protanomaly subjects. Among the 62 protanopia subjects, 48 (77%) had an array consisting of a single 5' L-M hybrid gene (PS-array) or a 5' L-M hybrid gene followed by an M gene(s) that was structurally identical to the hybrid gene (PI-array). In the remaining 14 subjects, 11 had an array consisting of a 5' L-M hybrid gene followed by an M gene(s) that was structurally different from the hybrid gene (PD-array) and 3 subjects had an apparently normal array consisting of a single L gene followed by an M gene(s) (PN-array). In the 11 subjects with the PD-array, subject A67 had an 11 bp-deletion in exon 3 of the downstream genes and 6 had an A-71C substitution in the second gene of the array. In the 3 subjects with the PN-array, subject A289 had a missense mutation (Pro231Leu) in exon 4 of the L gene. When the function of the missense mutation was studied by in vitro reconstitution of visual pigments, it was found to be deleterious to both cone opsin and rhodopsin. Among the 57 protanomaly subjects, 49 (86%) had the PD-array, but 25 subjects had a difference only in exon 2 between the first and downstream genes that suggested a contribution of exon 2-encoded difference in the M pigment to color-discrimination. In the remaining 8 subjects, 2 had the PS-array, 2 had the PI-array and the other 4, including subject A89 with a missense mutation (Glu338Gly) in the L gene, had the PN-array. Genotype-phenotype relationships in protan color-vision deficiency are discussed. PMID:15208011

  11. Temperature dependence of dark-adapted sensitivity and light-adaptation in photoreceptors with A1 visual pigments: a comparison of frog L-cones and rods.

    PubMed

    Heikkinen, H; Nymark, S; Donner, K; Koskelainen, A

    2009-07-01

    Flash responses of L-cones and rods were recorded as ERG mass potentials in the frog retina at different temperatures (2-25 degrees C). The purpose was to elucidate factors that make cones faster and less sensitive than rods, particularly the possible role of thermal activation of L-cone visual pigment in maintaining a "light-adapted" state even in darkness. Up to ca. 15 degrees C, cones and rods were desensitized roughly equally by warming (Q(10) approximately 2.2-2.7), retaining a 5-fold sensitivity difference. In this range, the cone/rod difference must depend on factors other than thermal activation of the visual pigment. Above 15 degrees C, cones showed an additional component of desensitization compared with rods, coupled to accelerated response shut-off. This behavior is consistent with light-adaptation from temperature-dependent intrinsic activity (dark light). The apparent dark light as measured by the minimum background intensities needed to affect sensitivity and/or kinetics increased by ca. 10-fold between 15 and 25 degrees C, whereas reported increases in visual-pigment activation rates over this range are less than 5-fold. We conclude that the dark state of frog L-cones above 15 degrees C may be largely set by thermal activation of the phototransduction machinery, but only part of the experimentally determined dark light can be ascribed to the visual pigment.

  12. 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)

  13. 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. PMID:26224386

  14. Blue- and green-absorbing visual pigments of Drosophila: ectopic expression and physiological characterization of the R8 photoreceptor cell-specific Rh5 and Rh6 rhodopsins.

    PubMed

    Salcedo, E; Huber, A; Henrich, S; Chadwell, L V; Chou, W H; Paulsen, R; Britt, S G

    1999-12-15

    Color discrimination requires the input of different photoreceptor cells that are sensitive to different wavelengths of light. The Drosophila visual system contains multiple classes of photoreceptor cells that differ in anatomical location, synaptic connections, and spectral sensitivity. The Rh5 and Rh6 opsins are expressed in nonoverlapping sets of R8 cells and are the only Drosophila visual pigments that remain uncharacterized. In this study, we ectopically expressed Rh5 and Rh6 in the major class of photoreceptor cells (R1-R6) and show them to be biologically active in their new environment. The expression of either Rh5 or Rh6 in "blind" ninaE(17) mutant flies, which lack the gene encoding the visual pigment of the R1-R6 cells, fully rescues the light response. Electrophysiological analysis showed that the maximal spectral sensitivity of the R1-R6 cells is shifted to 437 or 508 nm when Rh5 or Rh6, respectively, is expressed in these cells. These spectral sensitivities are in excellent agreement with intracellular recordings of the R8p and R8y cells measured in Calliphora and Musca. Spectrophotometric analyses of Rh5 and Rh6 in vivo by microspectrophotometry, and of detergent-extracted pigments in vitro, showed that Rh5 is reversibly photoconverted to a stable metarhodopsin (lambda(max) = 494 nm), whereas Rh6 appears to be photoconverted to a metarhodopsin (lambda(max) = 468 nm) that is less thermally stable. Phylogenetically, Rh5 belongs to a group of short-wavelength-absorbing invertebrate visual pigments, whereas Rh6 is related to a group of long-wavelength-absorbing pigments and is the first member of this class to be functionally characterized. PMID:10594055

  15. Gene duplication and spectral diversification of cone visual pigments of zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Chinen, Akito; Hamaoka, Takanori; Yamada, Yukihiro; Kawamura, Shoji

    2003-02-01

    Zebrafish is becoming a powerful animal model for the study of vision but the genomic organization and variation of its visual opsins have not been fully characterized. We show here that zebrafish has two red (LWS-1 and LWS-2), four green (RH2-1, RH2-2, RH2-3, and RH2-4), and single blue (SWS2) and ultraviolet (SWS1) opsin genes in the genome, among which LWS-2, RH2-2, and RH2-3 are novel. SWS2, LWS-1, and LWS-2 are located in tandem and RH2-1, RH2-2, RH2-3, and RH2-4 form another tandem gene cluster. The peak absorption spectra (lambdamax) of the reconstituted photopigments from the opsin cDNAs differed markedly among them: 558 nm (LWS-1), 548 nm (LWS-2), 467 nm (RH2-1), 476 nm (RH2-2), 488 nm (RH2-3), 505 nm (RH2-4), 355 nm (SWS1), 416 nm (SWS2), and 501 nm (RH1, rod opsin). The quantitative RT-PCR revealed a considerable difference among the opsin genes in the expression level in the retina. The expression of the two red opsin genes and of three green opsin genes, RH2-1, RH2-3, and RH2-4, is significantly lower than that of RH2-2, SWS1, and SWS2. These findings must contribute to our comprehensive understanding of visual capabilities of zebrafish and the evolution of the fish visual system and should become a basis of further studies on expression and developmental regulation of the opsin genes.

  16. Trophic radiation through polymorphism in cichlid fishes

    PubMed Central

    Sage, Richard D.; Selander, Robert K.

    1975-01-01

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

  17. 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

    2016-07-01

    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.

  18. 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

    2016-07-01

    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. PMID:27322155

  19. 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.

  20. Photochemistry of visual pigments: an interpretation of spectral changes in terms of molecular associations and isomerization.

    PubMed

    Hárosi, F I; Favrot, J; Leclercq, J M; Vocelle, D; Sándorfy, C

    1978-12-01

    A unified view of the photochemical part of the visual process is presented. It is proposed that both conformational changes and changes in intermolecular interactions in the sequence that leads from rhodopsin through batho-lumi- and meta-I to meta-II- rhodopsin have to be considered in order to elucidate the mechanism of the visual process. The main intermolocular associations are assumed to be the hydrogen bond involving the nitrogen atom of the Schiff base and the interaction between a negative group and the beta-ionone ring. The two together can be used to explain the absorption wavelength of rhodopsin without actual protonation. The main line of thought is as follows: when light is absorbed the basicity of the Schiff base increases significantly. This triggers proton transfer in the H-bond. At the same time cis-trans isomerization begins but it only reaches the coplanar all-trans stage at metarhodopsin-II. Lumi-, meta-I and meta-II are way stations in the stepwise isomerization whereby the energy of the photon is used together with thermal energy. Batho- is probably still close to 11-cis which then becomes successively strained 13-cis and 15-cis. In vertebrate rhodopsins at the meta-II stage both the H-bond and the beta-ionone interaction are severed and meta-II becomes exposed to attack by water molecules. The importance of syn-anti isomerization on the C=N bond is emphasized. The irreversibility necessary for the production of a signal requires that the proton does not return to its original donor. The possible identity of the donor is discussed: it might be an amino acid or the polar part of a lipid. Relevant observations made on bacteriorhodopsin, squid rhodopsin and chicken iodopsin are discussed.

  1. Human Cone Visual Pigment Deletions Spare Sufficient Photoreceptors to Warrant Gene Therapy

    PubMed Central

    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

    2013-01-01

    Abstract 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. PMID:24067079

  2. An insertion/deletion TEX28 polymorphism and its application to analysis of red/green visual pigment gene arrays.

    PubMed

    Ueyama, Hisao; Torii, Ryuzo; Tanabe, Shoko; Oda, Sanae; Yamade, Shinichi

    2004-01-01

    TEX28 gene (fTEX) is present immediately downstream of the red/green visual pigment gene array on the human X chromosome. Its pseudogene (pTEX) that lacks exon 1 is present within the array between pigment genes. We found that both fTEX and pTEX genes had a 697 bp insertion/deletion polymorphism in their introns 3. In color-normal male subjects, the frequency of the 697 bp region was 43% (40/94) in pTEX and 97% (91/94) in fTEX in the array of Red-pTEX-Green-fTEX and 10% (9/94) in pTEX and 87% (41/47) in fTEX in the array of Red-pTEX-Green-pTEX-Green-fTEX. These results suggest that normal arrays with multiple green genes may have arisen through gene duplication rather than unequal homologous crossover. In color-vision-deficient male subjects with a single-gene array, the frequency of the 697 bp region was 83% (25/30) in the array of Green-fTEX and 66% (74/112) in the array of Red-fTEX. In color-vision-deficient male subjects with a 2-gene array, the frequency of the region was 44% (16/36) in pTEX and 97% (35/36) in fTEX in the array of Green-pTEX-Green-fTEX and 75% (18/24) in pTEX and 92% (22/24) in fTEX in the array of Red-pTEX-Red-fTEX. These results suggest that 2-green-gene arrays have arisen through unequal homologous crossover between a normal 2-gene array and a single-green-gene array. With data from a long-range PCR method using the insertion/deletion polymorphism, we proposed a structure of the second gene of 3-gene arrays, Green-pTEX-Green-pTEX-Green-fTEX and Red-pTEX-Red-pTEX-Red-fTEX, in color-vision-deficient subjects. PMID:15378397

  3. 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. PMID:25377457

  4. 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.

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  7. Skin Pigment

    MedlinePlus

    ... Professional Version Pigment Disorders Overview of Skin Pigment Albinism Vitiligo Hyperpigmentation Melasma Melanin is the brown pigment ... dark-skinned people produce the most. People with albinism have little or no melanin and thus their ...

  8. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-04-01

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

  10. 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

  11. Variation in the visual habitat may mediate the maintenance of color polymorphism in a poeciliid fish.

    PubMed

    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

  12. 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. PMID:16874439

  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. Contextual chemosensory urine signaling in an African cichlid fish

    PubMed Central

    Maruska, Karen P.; Fernald, Russell D.

    2012-01-01

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

  15. The Use of Cultured Human Fetal Retinal Pigment Epithelium in Studies of the Classical Retinoid Visual Cycle and Retinoid-based Disease Processes

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Jane; Bok, Dean

    2013-01-01

    Human fetal retinal pigment epithelium (hfRPE), when harvested by mechanical dissection and cultured initially under low calcium conditions, will proliferate and tolerate cryopreservation for future use. Cryopreserved cells can be subsequently thawed and cultured in standard calcium and in the presence of appropriate nutrients to a high state of differentiation, allowing recapitulation of multiple in vivo functions. In this review we briefly discuss some of our previous studies of the classical retinoid visual cycle and introduce current studies in our laboratory that involve two new areas of investigation; the dynamic response of the receptor for retinol binding protein, STRA6 to the addition of holo-retinol binding protein to the culture medium and the protective complement-based response of hfRPE to the ingestion of toxic byproducts of the visual cycle. This response is studied in the context of genotyped hfRPE expressing either predisposing or protective variants of complement factor H. PMID:24060345

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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. PMID:24516590

  1. Opsin gene sequence variation across phylogenetic and population histories in Mysis (Crustacea: Mysida) does not match current light environments or visual-pigment absorbance spectra.

    PubMed

    Audzijonyte, Asta; Pahlberg, Johan; Viljanen, Martta; Donner, Kristian; Väinölä, Risto

    2012-05-01

    The hypothesis that selection on the opsin gene is efficient in tuning vision to the ambient light environment of an organism was assessed in 49 populations of 12 Mysis crustacean species, inhabiting arctic marine waters, coastal littoral habitats, freshwater lakes ('glacial relicts') and the deep Caspian Sea. Extensive sequence variation was found within and among taxa, but its patterns did not match expectations based on light environments, spectral sensitivity of the visual pigment measured by microspectrophotometry or the history of species and populations. The main split in the opsin gene tree was between lineages I and II, differing in six amino acids. Lineage I was present in marine and Caspian Sea species and in the North American freshwater Mysis diluviana, whereas lineage II was found in the European and circumarctic fresh- and brackish-water Mysis relicta, Mysis salemaai and Mysis segerstralei. Both lineages were present in some populations of M. salemaai and M. segerstralei. Absorbance spectra of the visual pigment in nine populations of the latter three species showed a dichotomy between lake (λ(max) =554-562 nm) and brackish-water (Baltic Sea) populations (λ(max) = 521-535 nm). Judged by the shape of spectra, this difference was not because of different chromophores (A2 vs. A1), but neither did it coincide with the split in the opsin tree (lineages I/II), species identity or current light environments. In all, adaptive evolution of the opsin gene in Mysis could not be demonstrated, but its sequence variation did not conform to a neutral expectation either, suggesting evolutionary constraints and/or unidentified mechanisms of spectral tuning. PMID:22429275

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

    Henning, Frederico; Meyer, Axel

    2012-01-01

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

  4. 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

  5. Crater lake colonization by neotropical cichlid fishes.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  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. [Macular pigments].

    PubMed

    Canovas, Renata; Cypel, Marcela; Farah, Michel Eid; Belfort, Rubens

    2009-01-01

    Lutein and Zeaxanthin are yellow pigments located at the macula. Because of your location macular pigments decrease and filter the amount of blue light that reach photoreceptors, protect the outer retina from oxidative stress and may improve the vision quality. This is a review regarding incorporation mechanism, function and knowledge update. PMID:20098912

  8. Embryological pigment epithelial dystrophies.

    PubMed

    François, J

    1976-01-01

    The embryological pigment epithelial dystrophies may be due, although rather rarely, to chemical factors, such as antibiotics and thalidomide, to ionizing radiation and to infectious factors, syphilis or viral infections, such as mumps, measles, varicella, or cytomegalovirus. The most frequent and the most typical dystrophy is, nevertheless, the rubella epitheliopathy with its widespread scattered black pigment deposits, found predominantly in the posterior pole, and its unaffected visual functions. The macular dystrophy associated with deaf-mutism is also often due to a maternal rubella infection.

  9. Factors affecting the C=N stretching in protonated retinal Schiff base: a model study for bacteriorhodopsin and visual pigments

    SciTech Connect

    Baasov, T.; Friedman, N.; Sheves, M.

    1987-06-02

    Factors affecting the C=N stretching frequency of protonated retinal Schiff base (RSBH/sup +/) were studied with a series of synthetic chromophores and measured under different conditions. Interaction of RSBH/sup +/ with nonconjugated positive charges in the vicinity of the ring moiety or a planar polyene conformation (in contrast to the twisted retinal conformation in solution) shifted the absorption maxima but did not affect the C=N stretching frequency. The latter, however, was affected by environmental perturbations in the vicinity of the Schiff base linkage. Diminished ion pairing achieved either by substituting a more bulky counteranion or by designing models with a homoconjugation effect lowered the C=N stretch energy. Decreasing solvation of the positively charged nitrogen leads to a similar trend. These effects in the vicinity of the Schiff base linkage also perturb the deuterium isotope effect observed upon deuteriation of the Schiff base. The results are interpreted by considering the mixing of the C=N stretching and C=N-H bending vibration. The C=N mode is shifted due to electrostatic interaction with nonconjugated positive charges in the vicinity of the Schiff base linkage, an interaction that does not influence the isotope effect. Weak hydrogen bonding between the Schiff base linkage in bacteriorhodopsin (bR) and its counteranion or, alternatively, poor solvation of the positively charged Schiff base nitrogen can account for the C=N stretching frequency of 1640 cm/sup -1/ and the deuterium isotope effect of 17 cm/sup -1/ observed in this pigment. Conversion of bR to the photochemically induced intermediate K/sub 610/ involves environmental perturbation in the vicinity of the C=N linkage, lowering the C=N stretch energy.

  10. Pigmented casts.

    PubMed

    Miteva, Mariya; Romanelli, Paolo; Tosti, Antonella

    2014-01-01

    Pigmented casts have been reported with variable frequency in scalp biopsies from alopecia areata, trichotillomania, chemotherapy-induced alopecia and postoperative (pressure induced) alopecia. Their presence and morphology in other scalp disorders has not been described. The authors assessed for the presence and morphology of pigmented casts in 308 transversely bisected scalp biopsies from nonscarring and scarring alopecia, referred to the Department of Dermatology, University of Miami within a year. The pigmented casts were present in 21 of 29 cases of alopecia areata (72%), 7 of 7 cases of trichotillomania (100%), 1 case of friction alopecia, 4 of 28 cases of central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia (14%), and 4 of 4 cases of dissecting cellulitis (100%). They did not show any distinguishing features except for the morphology in trichotillomania, which included twisted, linear (zip), and "button"-like pigment aggregation. The linear arrangement was found also in friction alopecia and dissecting cellulitis. Pigmented casts in the hair canals of miniaturized/vellus hairs was a clue to alopecia areata. Pigmented casts can be observed in biopsies of different hair disorders, but they are not specific for the diagnosis. Horizontal sections allow to better assess their morphology and the follicular level of presence of pigmented casts, which in the context of the other follicular findings may be a clue to the diagnosis. PMID:23823025

  11. 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. PMID:26486871

  12. 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.

  13. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-13

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-13

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

  16. 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

    van der Made, Sanne M; Kelly, Elton R; Kijlstra, Aize; Plat, Jogchum; Berendschot, Tos T J M

    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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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. PMID:27476645

  19. 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

  20. An A−71C substitution in a green gene at the second position in the red/green visual-pigment gene array is associated with deutan color-vision deficiency

    PubMed Central

    Ueyama, Hisao; Li, Yao-Hua; Fu, Gui-Lian; Lertrit, Patcharee; Atchaneeyasakul, La-ongsri; Oda, Sanae; Tanabe, Shoko; Nishida, Yasuhiro; Yamade, Shinichi; Ohkubo, Iwao

    2003-01-01

    We studied 247 Japanese males with congenital deutan color-vision deficiency and found that 37 subjects (15.0%) had a normal genotype of a single red gene followed by a green gene(s). Two of them had missense mutations in the green gene(s), but the other 35 subjects had no mutations in either the exons or their flanking introns. However, 32 of the 35 subjects, including all 8 subjects with pigment-color defect, a special category of deuteranomaly, had a nucleotide substitution, A−71C, in the promoter of a green gene at the second position in the red/green visual-pigment gene array. Although the −71C substitution was also present in color-normal Japanese males at a frequency of 24.3%, it was never at the second position but always found further downstream. The substitution was found in 19.4% of Chinese males and 7.7% of Thai males but rarely in Caucasians or African Americans. These results suggest that the A−71C substitution in the green gene at the second position is closely associated with deutan color-vision deficiency. In Japanese and presumably other Asian populations further downstream genes with −71C comprise a reservoir of the visual-pigment genes that cause deutan color-vision deficiency by unequal crossing over between the intergenic regions. PMID:12626747

  1. An A-71C substitution in a green gene at the second position in the red/green visual-pigment gene array is associated with deutan color-vision deficiency.

    PubMed

    Ueyama, Hisao; Li, Yao-Hua; Fu, Gui-Lian; Lertrit, Patcharee; Atchaneeyasakul, La-ongsri; Oda, Sanae; Tanabe, Shoko; Nishida, Yasuhiro; Yamade, Shinichi; Ohkubo, Iwao

    2003-03-18

    We studied 247 Japanese males with congenital deutan color-vision deficiency and found that 37 subjects (15.0%) had a normal genotype of a single red gene followed by a green gene(s). Two of them had missense mutations in the green gene(s), but the other 35 subjects had no mutations in either the exons or their flanking introns. However, 32 of the 35 subjects, including all 8 subjects with pigment-color defect, a special category of deuteranomaly, had a nucleotide substitution, A-71C, in the promoter of a green gene at the second position in the red/green visual-pigment gene array. Although the -71C substitution was also present in color-normal Japanese males at a frequency of 24.3%, it was never at the second position but always found further downstream. The substitution was found in 19.4% of Chinese males and 7.7% of Thai males but rarely in Caucasians or African Americans. These results suggest that the A-71C substitution in the green gene at the second position is closely associated with deutan color-vision deficiency. In Japanese and presumably other Asian populations further downstream genes with -71C comprise a reservoir of the visual-pigment genes that cause deutan color-vision deficiency by unequal crossing over between the intergenic regions. PMID:12626747

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

    Keck, Benjamin P; Hulsey, C Darrin

    2014-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Keck, Benjamin P; Hulsey, C Darrin

    2014-04-01

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

  6. 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

  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. Lake Malawi cichlid evolution along a benthic/limnetic axis

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  9. 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

  10. Social regulation of reproduction in male cichlid fishes.

    PubMed

    Maruska, Karen P

    2014-10-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-05-01

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

  15. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

  17. Skin Pigmentation Disorders

    MedlinePlus

    ... skin gets its color from a pigment called melanin. Special cells in the skin make melanin. When these cells become damaged or unhealthy, it affects melanin production. Some pigmentation disorders affect just patches of ...

  18. 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

  19. 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. PMID:26538887

  20. Overview of plant pigments

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  1. A primer on pigmentation.

    PubMed

    Greenhalgh, David G

    2015-01-01

    There is at least a temporary loss of skin pigmentation with all but first-degree burns. Commonly, pigment changes persist for months, and sometimes, permanent changes in skin color add to the ultimate change in appearance that commonly affects burn patients. There are many different treatment modalities for the treatment of pigment changes, but most of them have little scientific basis and often lead to disappointing results. The purpose of this review is to discuss the molecular and cellular mechanisms of skin pigmentation, mechanisms of repigmentation after burns, treatment options for dealing with pigmentation changes, and advice for dealing with the sun after burn injury. PMID:25501768

  2. A primer on pigmentation.

    PubMed

    Greenhalgh, David G

    2015-01-01

    There is at least a temporary loss of skin pigmentation with all but first-degree burns. Commonly, pigment changes persist for months, and sometimes, permanent changes in skin color add to the ultimate change in appearance that commonly affects burn patients. There are many different treatment modalities for the treatment of pigment changes, but most of them have little scientific basis and often lead to disappointing results. The purpose of this review is to discuss the molecular and cellular mechanisms of skin pigmentation, mechanisms of repigmentation after burns, treatment options for dealing with pigmentation changes, and advice for dealing with the sun after burn injury.

  3. 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. PMID:19662027

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

    PubMed

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

    2001-08-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

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

    PubMed

    Salzburger, Walter

    2009-01-01

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

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Salzburger, Walter

    2009-01-01

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

  17. Evolution of dim-light and color vision pigments.

    PubMed

    Yokoyama, Shozo

    2008-01-01

    A striking level of diversity of visual systems in different species reflects their adaptive responses to various light environments. To study the adaptive evolution of visual systems, we need to understand how visual pigments, the light-sensitive molecules, have tuned their wavelengths of light absorption. The molecular basis of spectral tuning in visual pigments, a central unsolved problem in phototransduction, can be understood only by studying how different species have adapted to various light environments. Certain amino acid replacements at 30 residues explain some dim-light and color vision in vertebrates. To better understand the molecular and functional adaptations of visual pigments, we must identify all critical amino acid replacements that are involved in the spectral tuning and elucidate the effects of their interactions on the spectral shifts.

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-15

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

    The mechanosensory lateral line system of fishes detects water motions within a few body lengths of the source. Several types of artificial stimuli have been used to probe lateral line function in the laboratory, but few studies have investigated the role of flow sensing in benthic feeding teleosts. In this study, we used artificial flows emerging from a sandy substrate to assess the contribution of flow sensing to prey detection in the peacock cichlid, Aulonocara stuartgranti, which feeds on benthic invertebrates in Lake Malawi. Using a positive reinforcement protocol, we trained fish to respond to flows lacking the visual and chemical cues generated by tethered prey in prior studies with A. stuartgranti Fish successfully responded to artificial flows at all five rates presented (characterized using digital particle image velocimetry), and showed a range of flow-sensing behaviors, including an unconditioned bite response. Immediately after lateral line inactivation, fish rarely responded to flows and the loss of vital fluorescent staining of hair cells (with 4-di-2-ASP) verified lateral line inactivation. Within 2 days post-treatment, some aspects of flow-sensing behavior returned and after 7 days, flow-sensing behavior and hair cell fluorescence both returned to pre-treatment levels, which is consistent with the reported timing of hair cell regeneration in other vertebrates. The presentation of ecologically relevant water flows to assess flow-sensing behaviors and the use of a positive reinforcement protocol are methods that present new opportunities to study the role of flow sensing in the feeding ecology of benthic feeding fishes. PMID:27030780

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

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

    PubMed

    Arbour, Jessica Hilary; López-Fernández, Hernán

    2016-08-17

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

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

    PubMed

    Arbour, Jessica Hilary; López-Fernández, Hernán

    2016-08-17

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-27

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-27

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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2000-11-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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. PMID:24041647

  1. Liposarcoma or invasive lipomatosis in flower horn fish, hybrid cichlid: clinical, radiological, ultrasonographical and histopathological study.

    PubMed

    Rahmati-Holasoo, H; Shokrpoor, S; Tavakkoli, A; Vajhi, A; Ebrahimzadeh Mousavi, H

    2016-03-01

    Liposarcoma or invasive lipomatosis affecting three indoor aquarium fish (flower horn fish, hybrid cichlid) is characterized, by the presence of mature adipocytes of variable sizes and by an invasive behaviour, which affected internal organs and eyes of all cases. Detailed macroscopic, radiological, ultrasonographical and histopathological features are presented. All fish had bilateral exophthalmia with some masses around the eyes. Ultrasonography confirmed the presence of hyperechoic masses in the eyes. Histopathology of all cases described the presence of variable-sized adipose cells in the eyes. The suggested diagnosis is well-differentiated liposarcoma or invasive lipomatosis. This is the first report of liposarcoma or invasive lipomatosis in flower horn fish, hybrid cichlid.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. Hormonal anticipation of territorial challenges in cichlid fish

    PubMed Central

    Antunes, Raquel A.; Oliveira, Rui F.

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    The social environment individuals are exposed to during ontogeny shapes social skills and social competence in group-living animals. Consequently, social deprivation has serious effects on behaviour and development in animals but little is known about its impact on cooperation. In this study, we examined the effect of social environment on cooperative predator inspection. Predator inspection behaviour is a complex behaviour, which is present in a variety of shoaling fish species. Often, two fish leave the safety of the group and inspect a potentially dangerous predator in order to gather information about the current predation risk. As predator inspection is highly risky, it is prone to conflicts and cheating. However, cooperation among individuals may reduce the individual predation risk. We investigated this complex social behaviour in juveniles of the cichlid fish Pelvicachromis taeniatus that were reared in two different social environments throughout development. Fish reared in a group inspected more often than isolation-reared fish and were more likely to cooperate, i.e. they conducted conjoint inspection of a predator. By contrast, isolation-reared fish were more likely to perform a single inspection without a companion. These results suggest an impairment of cooperative behaviour in isolation-reared fish most probably due to lack of social experience and resulting in lowered social skills needed in coordinated behaviour. PMID:26064616

  8. Retinal pigment epithelial cell proliferation

    PubMed Central

    Temple, Sally

    2015-01-01

    The human retinal pigment epithelium forms early in development and subsequently remains dormant, undergoing minimal proliferation throughout normal life. Retinal pigment epithelium proliferation, however, can be activated in disease states or by removing retinal pigment epithelial cells into culture. We review the conditions that control retinal pigment epithelial proliferation in culture, in animal models and in human disease and interpret retinal pigment epithelium proliferation in context of the recently discovered retinal pigment epithelium stem cell that is responsible for most in vitro retinal pigment epithelial proliferation. Retinal pigment epithelial proliferation-mediated wound repair that occurs in selected macular diseases is contrasted with retinal pigment epithelial proliferation-mediated fibroblastic scar formation that underlies proliferative vitreoretinopathy. We discuss the role of retinal pigment epithelial proliferation in age-related macular degeneration which is reparative in some cases and destructive in others. Macular retinal pigment epithelium wound repair and regression of choroidal neovascularization are more pronounced in younger than older patients. We discuss the possibility that the limited retinal pigment epithelial proliferation and latent wound repair in older age-related macular degeneration patients can be stimulated to promote disease regression in age-related macular degeneration. PMID:26041390

  9. Enhancing skin radiance through the use of effect pigments.

    PubMed

    Funk, David; Kovarovic, Brandon; Uzunian, Gabriel; Litchauer, Jill; Daley-Bowles, Tricia; Hubschmitt, Amber

    2015-01-01

    In this study, the radiance contribution from formulating various pearlescent effect pigments into a skin cream was modeled using gloss map histograms created from digital photographs of clinical panelists. CIELab color data from the various pearlescent effect pigments applied to simulated skin tone drawdown cards was first collected to screen experimental candidates and to help select the concentration of pigment used in the formula. Optical microscopy was used to develop a simple coverage model to control for the differences in particle size and density of the effect pigments. In the subsequent in vivo study, panelists applied a weighed amount of cream containing various pearlescent effect pigments to the face and high-resolution digital photography images were collected on each panelist for image analysis. Gloss map histograms were developed through the software analysis of gray-scale images, which were used to describe the gloss, whiteness, and/or radiance contribution of each pearlescent effect pigment. The resulting gloss map histograms shared identifiable characteristics useful for statistical analysis and description. This methodology could serve as a novel way to investigate and describe the visual impact and benefit of formulating effect pigments in cosmetic creams intended for application on the skin.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

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

  15. 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

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

    PubMed

    Snellgrove, Donna L; Alexander, Lucille G

    2011-10-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Photooxidations in pigmented Blepharisma.

    PubMed

    GIESE, A C; ZEUTHEN, E

    1949-03-20

    1. Blepharisma undulans, a protozoan with a reddish pigment, shows increased oxygen consumption under the influence of light. 2. If the light intensity is high, the animals are killed during a burst of oxygen consumption. 3. If the blepharismas are first bleached by exposure to light of low intensity they show only slightly increased oxygen consumption under the influence of light and they are not killed. 4. A preparation in which the animals are killed by heat still shows the increase in oxygen consumption on illumination with brilliant light. The supernatant solution does so as well, as does an alcohol extract of the dye. 5. The conclusion is drawn that the blepharismas are killed during photooxidation of the pigment, but the mechanism of action is not clear. Several possibilities are considered in the discussion.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  6. 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

  7. Functional characterization of spectral tuning mechanisms in the great bowerbird short-wavelength sensitive visual pigment (SWS1), and the origins of UV/violet vision in passerines and parrots

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background One of the most striking features of avian vision is the variation in spectral sensitivity of the short wavelength sensitive (SWS1) opsins, which can be divided into two sub-types: violet- and UV- sensitive (VS & UVS). In birds, UVS has been found in both passerines and parrots, groups that were recently shown to be sister orders. While all parrots are thought to be UVS, recent evidence suggests some passerine lineages may also be VS. The great bowerbird (Chlamydera nuchalis) is a passerine notable for its courtship behaviours in which males build and decorate elaborate bower structures. Results The great bowerbird SWS1 sequence possesses an unusual residue combination at known spectral tuning sites that has not been previously investigated in mutagenesis experiments. In this study, the SWS1 opsin of C. nuchalis was expressed along with a series of spectral tuning mutants and ancestral passerine SWS1 pigments, allowing us to investigate spectral tuning mechanisms and explore the evolution of UV/violet sensitivity in early passerines and parrots. The expressed C. nuchalis SWS1 opsin was found to be a VS pigment, with a λmax of 403 nm. Bowerbird SWS1 mutants C86F, S90C, and C86S/S90C all shifted λmax into the UV, whereas C86S had no effect. Experimentally recreated ancestral passerine and parrot/passerine SWS1 pigments were both found to be VS, indicating that UV sensitivity evolved independently in passerines and parrots from a VS ancestor. Conclusions Our mutagenesis studies indicate that spectral tuning in C. nuchalis is mediated by mechanisms similar to those of other birds. Interestingly, our ancestral sequence reconstructions of SWS1 in landbird evolution suggest multiple transitions from VS to UVS, but no instances of the reverse. Our results not only provide a more precise prediction of where these spectral sensitivity shifts occurred, but also confirm the hypothesis that birds are an unusual exception among vertebrates where some descendants re

  8. 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

  9. Black-pigmented sputum

    PubMed Central

    Martínez-Girón, Rafael; Mosquera-Martínez, Joaquín; Martínez-Torre, Santiago

    2013-01-01

    Black-pigmented sputum, also called “melanoptysis,” is a symptom that may be observed in certain pathologies such us coal workers’ pneumoconiosis (anthracosis). The cavitation and liquefaction of a fibrosed mass by an infectious process (tuberculosis, infections by anaerobes, etc.) or by ischemic necrosis may cause expectoration of a blackish secretion. We report the case of a patient with labor precedents as a coal worker, from whom abundant black sputum was obtained in the course of an incidental expectoration. Cyto-histological findings are shown and a differential diagnosis is established. PMID:24648674

  10. 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.

  11. 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. PMID:27172056

  12. A new subset of deutan colour vision defect associated with an L/M visual pigment gene array of normal order and -71C substitution in the Japanese population.

    PubMed

    Ueyama, Hisao; Muraki, Sanae; Tanabe, Shoko; Yamade, Shinichi; Ogita, Hisakazu

    2015-09-01

    In 524 Japanese individuals with deutan colour vision defect, 76 had a normal-order pigment gene array, where the L gene is at the first position and the M gene(s) is located downstream. Of these 76 individuals, 69 had a -71A>C substitution in the M gene without any other mutation. Because the expression of L/M genes is up-regulated by thyroid hormone (T3) in human retinoblastoma WERI cells, we examined the effects of T3 on promoter activity; T3 increased the activity of the -71A promoter 2-fold, but it had no effect on the -71C promoter. Similarly, the -71C promoter was much less activated by T3 than the -71A promoter in HEK293 cells expressing thyroid hormone receptor isoform β2. Such a weak response of the -71C promoter to T3 may cause a decrease in the number of M cones and/or the density of M pigment during the differentiation of M cones. The average Rayleigh match midpoint was 18.9 ± 4.1 in 162 ordinary deuteranomaly individuals, but was 37.3 ± 9.1 in 63 deuteranomaly individuals with -71C. The -71A>C substitution was found to be specific to eastern Asia. These results suggest that there may be a new subset of deuteranomaly associated with -71C in the Japanese (and probably eastern Asian) population(s). PMID:25820227

  13. Cosmetic tattoo pigment reaction.

    PubMed

    Greywal, Tanya; Cohen, Philip R

    2016-01-01

    BackgroundCutaneous reactions to tattoos are most commonly granulomatous or lichenoid.PurposeWe describe a woman who developed a lymphocytic reaction following a cosmetic tattoo procedure with black dye. The reaction occurred not only at the site of the tattoos (eyebrows and eyelash lines), but also in non-tattooed skin (bilateral malar cheeks).Methods and MaterialsWe reviewed PubMed for the following terms: cosmetic, dye, granuloma, granulomatous, lichenoid, lymphocytic, perivascular, pigment, pseudolymphoma, reaction, and tattoo. We also reviewed papers containing these terms and their references.ResultsHistopathologic examination of the left eyebrow and left cheek punch biopsies showed predominantly a perivascular lymphocytic reaction secondary to exogenous tattoo pigment.ConclusionsPerivascular lymphocytic reaction is an uncommonly described complication of tattooing. Our patient had an atypical presentation since she had no prior tattoos, became symptomatic only a few days after the procedure, reacted to black dye, and involved skin both within and outside the confines of the tattoos. Her symptoms and lesions resolved after treatment with systemic and topical corticosteroids and oral antihistamines. PMID:27617722

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

  19. 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

  20. Molecular phylogeny and evidence for an adaptive radiation of geophagine cichlids from South America (Perciformes: Labroidei).

    PubMed

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

    2005-01-01

    Nucleotide sequences from the mitochondrial ND4 gene and the nuclear RAG2 gene were used to derive the most extensive molecular phylogeny to date for the Neotropical cichlid subfamily Geophaginae. Previous hypotheses of relationships were tested in light of these new data and a synthesis of all existing molecular information was provided. Novel phylogenetic findings included support for : (1) a 'Big Clade' containing the genera Geophagus sensu lato, Gymnogeophagus, Mikrogeophagus, Biotodoma, Crenicara, and Dicrossus; (2) a clade including the genera Satanoperca, Apistogramma, Apistogrammoides, and Taeniacara; and (3) corroboration for Kullander's clade Acarichthyini. ND4 demonstrated saturation effects at the third code position and lineage-specific rate heterogeneity, both of which influenced phylogeny reconstruction when only equal weighted parsimony was employed. Both branch lengths and internal branch tests revealed extremely short basal nodes that add support to the idea that geophagine cichlids have experienced an adaptive radiation sensu Schluter that involved ecomorphological specializations and life history diversification.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

    Fan, Shaohua; Meyer, Axel

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Powder, Kara E; Albertson, R Craig

    2016-07-15

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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. [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. PMID:27281924

  9. [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.

  10. Biting into the Genome to Phenome Map: Developmental Genetic Modularity of Cichlid Fish Dentitions.

    PubMed

    Hulsey, C Darrin; Fraser, Gareth J; Meyer, A

    2016-09-01

    Within vertebrates, teleost fishes provide a rich evolutionary context for studying the mechanisms of dental divergence because of the numerous axes along which their teeth have diverged phenotypically and presumably developmentally. Using both a review of teleost in situ hybridization and de novo transcriptome sequencing in a cichlid fish, we examined whether 341 gene homologs thought to play a role in developing mice teeth are expressed in the tooth-bearing jaws of teleosts. The similarities and putative differences in gene expression documented between the two most commonly used models, zebrafish and cichlids, highlight what can be learned from using a greater diversity of teleost model systems in studies of tooth development. Both types of gene expression analysis also provide substantial evidence for conservation of tooth gene expression from teleosts to mammals as well as between initial and replacement teeth. Additionally, we found that the cichlid oral and pharyngeal jaws share expression for a large percentage of genes that influence tooth development. Our transcriptome analyses also suggest sub-functionalization between gene paralogs expressed in teeth and paralogs expressed in other structures is likely a common pattern across teleost diversity. Teleost dentitions will continue to provide a potent system in which to examine the importance of both gene duplication as well as the conservation of gene expression for phenotypic diversification. PMID:27260860

  11. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Rüber, Lukas; Verheyen, Erik; Meyer, Axel

    1999-01-01

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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-06-12

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

  3. Human cone pigment expressed in transgenic mice yields altered vision.

    PubMed

    Jacobs, G H; Fenwick, J C; Calderone, J B; Deeb, S S

    1999-04-15

    Genetically driven alterations in the complement of retinal photopigments are fundamental steps in the evolution of vision. We sought to determine how a newly added photopigment might impact vision by studying a transgenic mouse that expresses a human cone photopigment. Electroretinogram (ERG) measurements indicate that the added pigment works well, significantly changing spectral sensitivity without deleteriously affecting the operation of the native cone pigments. Visual capacities of the transgenic mice were established in behavioral tests. The new pigment was found to provide a significant expansion of the spectral range over which mice can perceive light, thus underlining the immediate utility of acquiring a new photopigment. The transgenic mouse also has the receptor basis for a novel color vision capacity, but tests show that potential was not realized. This failure likely reflects limitations in the organizational arrangement of the mouse retina.

  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. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Seeking carotenoid pigments in amber-preserved fossil feathers.

    PubMed

    Thomas, Daniel B; Nascimbene, Paul C; Dove, Carla J; Grimaldi, David A; James, Helen F

    2014-01-01

    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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-12-01

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

  10. 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

  11. A pigmented calcifying odontogenic cyst.

    PubMed

    Soames, J V

    1982-04-01

    A case of the pigmented variant of the calcifying odontogenic cyst occurring in a 15-year-old West Indian girl is reported. Melanin pigment was widely distributed and appeared in greatest amount in cells exhibiting the appearance of stellate reticulum. Ultrastructural examination demonstrated large numbers of melanosomes in these cells but relatively few in epithelial ghost cells. The latter contained thick bundles of tonofilaments. Melanocytes were identified and two forms were distinguished, depending on their content of premelanosomes and fully melanized melanosomes.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

  13. Yolk pigments of the Mexican leaf frog.

    PubMed

    Marinetti, G V; Bagnara, J T

    1983-02-25

    Eggs of the Mexican leaf frog contain blue and yellow pigments identified as biliverdin and lutein, respectively. Both pigments are bound to proteins that occur in crystalline form in the yolk platelet. The major blue pigment is biliverdin IX alpha. The eggs vary in color from brilliant blue to pale yellow-green depending on the amount of each pigment. These pigments may provide protective coloration to the eggs. PMID:6681678

  14. Yolk pigments of the Mexican leaf frog.

    PubMed

    Marinetti, G V; Bagnara, J T

    1983-02-25

    Eggs of the Mexican leaf frog contain blue and yellow pigments identified as biliverdin and lutein, respectively. Both pigments are bound to proteins that occur in crystalline form in the yolk platelet. The major blue pigment is biliverdin IX alpha. The eggs vary in color from brilliant blue to pale yellow-green depending on the amount of each pigment. These pigments may provide protective coloration to the eggs.

  15. Intraocular involvement with subretinal pigment epithelium infiltrates by mycosis fungoides.

    PubMed Central

    Erny, B. C.; Egbert, P. R.; Peat, I. M.; Shorrock, K.; Rosenthal, A. R.

    1991-01-01

    We report a case of intraocular mycosis fungoides in a 48-year-old man. The patient presented with decreased visual acuity, white subretinal lesions, and vitritis. Post-mortem histopathology revealed malignant T cell infiltrates consistent with mycosis fungoides in the retina, vitreous, and between the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) and Bruch's membrane Focal atrophy of the RPE, along with the sub-RPE infiltrates, correlated with the clinically visible fundus lesions. Images PMID:1751471

  16. Nitisinone improves eye and skin pigmentation defects in a mouse model of oculocutaneous albinism.

    PubMed

    Onojafe, Ighovie F; Adams, David R; Simeonov, Dimitre R; Zhang, Jun; Chan, Chi-Chao; Bernardini, Isa M; Sergeev, Yuri V; Dolinska, Monika B; Alur, Ramakrishna P; Brilliant, Murray H; Gahl, William A; Brooks, Brian P

    2011-10-01

    Mutation of the tyrosinase gene (TYR) causes oculocutaneous albinism, type 1 (OCA1), a condition characterized by reduced skin and eye melanin pigmentation and by vision loss. The retinal pigment epithelium influences postnatal visual development. Therefore, increasing ocular pigmentation in patients with OCA1 might enhance visual function. There are 2 forms of OCA1, OCA-1A and OCA-1B. Individuals with the former lack functional tyrosinase and therefore lack melanin, while individuals with the latter produce some melanin. We hypothesized that increasing plasma tyrosine concentrations using nitisinone, an FDA-approved inhibitor of tyrosine degradation, could stabilize tyrosinase and improve pigmentation in individuals with OCA1. Here, we tested this hypothesis in mice homozygous for either the Tyrc-2J null allele or the Tyrc-h allele, which model OCA-1A and OCA-1B, respectively. Only nitisinone-treated Tyrc-h/c-h mice manifested increased pigmentation in their fur and irides and had more pigmented melanosomes. High levels of tyrosine improved the stability and enzymatic function of the Tyrc-h protein and also increased overall melanin levels in melanocytes from a human with OCA-1B. These results suggest that the use of nitisinone in OCA-1B patients could improve their pigmentation and potentially ameliorate vision loss. PMID:21968110

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

    PubMed

    Ladich, Friedrich

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Tae Ha; Sohn, Young Chang

    2016-01-01

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

  20. Histochemical localisation of carbonic anhydrase in the inner ear of developing cichlid fish, Oreochromis mossambicus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    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.

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

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

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

  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. Macular pigment density measured by autofluorescence spectrometry: comparison with reflectometry and heterochromatic flicker photometry.

    PubMed

    Delori, F C; Goger, D G; Hammond, B R; Snodderly, D M; Burns, S A

    2001-06-01

    We present a technique for estimating the density of the human macular pigment noninvasively that takes advantage of the autofluorescence of lipofuscin, which is normally present in the human retinal pigment epithelium. By measuring the intensity of fluorescence at 710 nm, where macular pigment has essentially zero absorption, and stimulating the fluorescence with two wavelengths, one well absorbed by macular pigment and the other minimally absorbed by macular pigment, we can make accurate single-pass measurements of the macular pigment density. We used the technique to measure macular pigment density in a group of 159 subjects with normal retinal status ranging in age between 15 and 80 years. Average macular pigment density was 0.48 +/- 0.16 density unit (D.U.) for a 2 degrees -diameter test field. We show that these estimates are highly correlated with reflectometric (mean: 0.23 +/- 0.07 D.U.) and psychophysical (mean: 0.37 +/- 0.26 D.U.; obtained by heterochromatic flicker photometry) estimates of macular pigment in the same subjects, despite the fact that systematic differences in the estimated density exist between techniques. Repeat measurements over both short- and long-time intervals indicate that the autofluorescence technique is reproducible: The mean absolute difference between estimates was less than 0.05 D.U., superior to the reproducibility obtained by reflectometry and flicker photometry. To understand the systematic differences between density estimates obtained from the different methods, we analyzed the underlying assumptions of each technique. Specifically, we looked at the effect of self-screening by visual pigment, the effect of changes in optical property of the deeper retinal layers, including the role of retinal pigmented epithelium melanin, and the role of secondary fluorophores and reflectors in the anterior layers of the retina.

  4. Induced pigmentation in zooplankton: a trade-off between threats from predation and ultraviolet radiation.

    PubMed

    Hansson, L A

    2000-11-22

    Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is harmful to all life, and the ongoing depletion of the ozone layer is likely to affect interactions among both terrestrial and aquatic organisms. Some organisms have evolved adaptations to reduce radiation damage, such as the various types of protective pigmentation of freshwater zooplankton. However, strong pigmentation also increases vulnerability to visually hunting predators. Hence, where both UV radiation and predation are intense, zooplankton may be sandwiched between conflicting selective pressures: to be pigmented and to be transparent at the same time. Here, I show that the level of pigmentation in copepods is up to ten times higher in lakes without predatory fishes than where fishes are present. Moreover, animals from the same population exposed to either UV light or predator scent showed a 10% difference in pigmentation after only four days, suggesting that pigmentation is an inducible trait. Hence, individual copepods are not passive victims of selective predation or radiation damage, but adjust the level of pigmentation according to the prevailing threat. The ability to adjust pigmentation level rapidly may be especially useful in situations where risk assessment is difficult due to strong seasonal and spatial variation in risk variables, such as in Arctic regions. With progressive thinning of the ozone layer, the ability of some but not other organisms to adjust protection against UV radiation may lead to counter-intuitive, large-scale alterations in freshwater food webs.

  5. Microprobe analysis of chlorpromazine pigmentation

    SciTech Connect

    Benning, T.L.; McCormack, K.M.; Ingram, P.; Kaplan, D.L.; Shelburne, J.D.

    1988-10-01

    We describe the histochemical, ultrastructural, and microanalytical features of a skin biopsy specimen obtained from a patient with chlorpromazine pigmentation. Golden-brown pigment granules were present in the dermis, predominantly in a perivascular arrangement. The granules stained positively with the Fontana-Masson stain for silver-reducing substances and negatively with Perl's stain for iron. Electron microscopy revealed dense inclusion bodies in dermal histiocytes, pericytes, endothelial cells, and Schwann cells, as well as lying free in the extracellular matrix. These ''chlorpromazine bodies'' were quite dense even in unosmicated, unstained ultrathin sections, indicating that the pigmentation is related, at least in part, to the inclusions. Microprobe analysis of the chlorpromazine bodies revealed a striking peak for sulfur, which strongly suggests the presence of the drug or its metabolite within these inclusions.

  6. The monogenean parasite fauna of cichlids: a potential tool for host biogeography.

    PubMed

    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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-09-12

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. DNA damage in cichlids from an oil production facility in Guatemala.

    PubMed

    Theodorakis, Christopher W; Bickham, John W; Donnelly, Kirby C; McDonald, Thomas J; Willink, Philip W

    2012-03-01

    This study focused on several wetlands in Laguna del Tigre National Park (Guatemala) as part of Conservation International's Rapid Assessment Program. Sediment and water samples were collected from a laguna near Xan field, Guatemala's largest oil facility, and three other sites for determination of levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Cichlid fish (Thorichthys meeki and Vieja synspila) were collected for determination of DNA strand breakage (by gel electrophoresis), chromosomal breakage (flow cytometry), and fin erosion. For T. meeki from Xan field, chromosomal breakage and strand breakage was greater than in at least two of the three reference sites. For V. synspila, chromosomal breakage and strand breakage were greater in Xan than one of the two reference sites. Fin erosion was observed only at the Xan laguna. Genetic biomarker effects and fin erosion, along with patterns of aqueous PAH concentrations, indicate that fish are affected by anthropogenic contaminants. PAHs were elevated at some reference sites, but environmental forensic analysis suggested a pyrogenic or diagenic origin. It is possible that oil field brines injected into the ground water caused fin erosion and genotoxicity in fish at Xan field, and it is also possible that pyrogenic PAHs influence levels of DNA damage in reference sites. These analyses represent one of the first efforts to examine genotoxicity in native Mesoamerican cichlids.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-09-12

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

  14. Lateralized Kinematics of Predation Behavior in a Lake Tanganyika Scale-Eating Cichlid Fish

    PubMed Central

    Takeuchi, Yuichi; Hori, Michio; Oda, Yoichi

    2012-01-01

    Behavioral lateralization has been documented in many vertebrates. The scale-eating cichlid fish Perissodus microlepis is well known for exhibiting lateral dimorphism in its mouth morphology and lateralized behavior in robbing scales from prey fish. A previous field study indicated that this mouth asymmetry closely correlates with the side on which prey is attacked, but details of this species' predation behavior have not been previously analyzed because of the rapidity of the movements. Here, we studied scale-eating behavior in cichlids in a tank through high-speed video monitoring and quantitative assessment of behavioral laterality and kinematics. The fish observed showed a clear bias toward striking on one side, which closely correlated with their asymmetric mouth morphologies. Furthermore, the maximum angular velocity and amplitude of body flexion were significantly larger during attacks on the preferred side compared to those on the nonpreferred side, permitting increased predation success. In contrast, no such lateral difference in movement elements was observed in acoustically evoked flexion during the escape response, which is similar to flexion during scale eating and suggests that they share a common motor control pathway. Thus the neuronal circuits controlling body flexion during scale eating may be functionally lateralized upstream of this common motor pathway. PMID:22238598

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Oldfield, Ronald G

    2011-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-01-01

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

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  1. Phytogenic pigments in animal nutrition: potentials and risks.

    PubMed

    Faehnrich, Bettina; Lukas, Brigitte; Humer, Elke; Zebeli, Qendrim

    2016-03-30

    Phytogenic pigments are secondary plant compounds responsible for coloring effects in plant tissues. In particular, phenolic flavonoids and terpenoid carotenoids, but also rare compounds like curcumin and betalain, form this group of biochemical agents used in animal nutrition. From the perspective of ecological mutuality between plants and animals, these compounds are of crucial importance because they serve as visual attraction for herbivores but also signal nutritional and/or health-promoting values. This review focuses on the properties of phytogenic pigments which are likely to impact feed intake and preferences of livestock. Also natural prophylactic and/or therapeutic properties and, in particular, the potential of pigments to enhance quality and health value of animal products for human consumption are important issues. Nevertheless, reasonable limits of use due to possible adverse indications have been suggested recently. Pathways of digestion, metabolism and excretion in animals play a crucial role not only in the evaluation of effectiveness but also in the prediction of potential risks for human consumption. The popularity of natural feed additives is growing; therefore, more research work is needed to better understand metabolic pathways in the animal's body and to better estimate the potentials and risks of pigmenting plant compounds used in animal nutrition. PMID:26415572

  2. Phytogenic pigments in animal nutrition: potentials and risks.

    PubMed

    Faehnrich, Bettina; Lukas, Brigitte; Humer, Elke; Zebeli, Qendrim

    2016-03-30

    Phytogenic pigments are secondary plant compounds responsible for coloring effects in plant tissues. In particular, phenolic flavonoids and terpenoid carotenoids, but also rare compounds like curcumin and betalain, form this group of biochemical agents used in animal nutrition. From the perspective of ecological mutuality between plants and animals, these compounds are of crucial importance because they serve as visual attraction for herbivores but also signal nutritional and/or health-promoting values. This review focuses on the properties of phytogenic pigments which are likely to impact feed intake and preferences of livestock. Also natural prophylactic and/or therapeutic properties and, in particular, the potential of pigments to enhance quality and health value of animal products for human consumption are important issues. Nevertheless, reasonable limits of use due to possible adverse indications have been suggested recently. Pathways of digestion, metabolism and excretion in animals play a crucial role not only in the evaluation of effectiveness but also in the prediction of potential risks for human consumption. The popularity of natural feed additives is growing; therefore, more research work is needed to better understand metabolic pathways in the animal's body and to better estimate the potentials and risks of pigmenting plant compounds used in animal nutrition.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  4. Facial Recognition in a Group-Living Cichlid Fish

    PubMed Central

    Kohda, Masanori; Jordan, Lyndon Alexander; Hotta, Takashi; Kosaka, Naoya; Karino, Kenji; Tanaka, Hirokazu; Taniyama, Masami; Takeyama, Tomohiro

    2015-01-01

    The theoretical underpinnings of the mechanisms of sociality, e.g. territoriality, hierarchy, and reciprocity, are based on assumptions of individual recognition. While behavioural evidence suggests individual recognition is widespread, the cues that animals use to recognise individuals are established in only a handful of systems. Here, we use digital models to demonstrate that facial features are the visual cue used for individual recognition in the social fish Neolamprologus pulcher. Focal fish were exposed to digital images showing four different combinations of familiar and unfamiliar face and body colorations. Focal fish attended to digital models with unfamiliar faces longer and from a further distance to the model than to models with familiar faces. These results strongly suggest that fish can distinguish individuals accurately using facial colour patterns. Our observations also suggest that fish are able to rapidly (≤ 0.5 sec) discriminate between familiar and unfamiliar individuals, a speed of recognition comparable to primates including humans. PMID:26605789

  5. Facial Recognition in a Group-Living Cichlid Fish.

    PubMed

    Kohda, Masanori; Jordan, Lyndon Alexander; Hotta, Takashi; Kosaka, Naoya; Karino, Kenji; Tanaka, Hirokazu; Taniyama, Masami; Takeyama, Tomohiro

    2015-01-01

    The theoretical underpinnings of the mechanisms of sociality, e.g. territoriality, hierarchy, and reciprocity, are based on assumptions of individual recognition. While behavioural evidence suggests individual recognition is widespread, the cues that animals use to recognise individuals are established in only a handful of systems. Here, we use digital models to demonstrate that facial features are the visual cue used for individual recognition in the social fish Neolamprologus pulcher. Focal fish were exposed to digital images showing four different combinations of familiar and unfamiliar face and body colorations. Focal fish attended to digital models with unfamiliar faces longer and from a further distance to the model than to models with familiar faces. These results strongly suggest that fish can distinguish individuals accurately using facial colour patterns. Our observations also suggest that fish are able to rapidly (≤ 0.5 sec) discriminate between familiar and unfamiliar individuals, a speed of recognition comparable to primates including humans. PMID:26605789

  6. Clofazimine-induced Hair Pigmentation.

    PubMed

    Philip, Mariam; Samson, Joan Felicita; Simi, Puthenveedu Salahudeen

    2012-07-01

    A 45-year-old man was treated with WHO multibacillary multidrug therapy for borderline leprosy and high dose daily Clofazimine for lepra reaction. Along with the expected side effect of skin pigmentation, the patient also noticed darkening of previously grey hair. This colour persisted eight months after completing multibacillary multidrug therapy. PMID:23180930

  7. Congenital simple hamartoma of the retinal pigment epithelium: a case report.

    PubMed

    Thorell, Mariana Rossi; Kniggendorf, Vinicius Ferreira; Arana, Luis Augusto; Grandinetti, Alexandre Achille

    2014-04-01

    We report the case of a 56-year-old woman who presented for a routine ophthalmological examination without visual symptoms and had a unilateral black retinal lesion that was detected by clinical examination. Fluorescein angiography and optical coherence tomography findings were compatible with a congenital simple hamartoma of the retinal pigment epithelium. It is very important to detect this tumor and differentiate it from other pigmented fundus lesions that can compromise visual function or result in systemic conditions such as those caused by malignant tumors. PMID:25076477

  8. Swapping one red pigment for another.

    PubMed

    Davies, Kevin M

    2015-01-01

    Betalains are bright red and yellow pigments, which are produced in only one order of plants, the Caryophyllales, and replace the more familiar anthocyanin pigments. The evolutionary origin of betalain production is a mystery, but a new study has identified the first regulator of betalain production and discovered a previously unknown link between the two pigment pathways. PMID:25547597

  9. 21 CFR 73.352 - Paracoccus pigment.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 1 2014-04-01 2014-04-01 false Paracoccus pigment. 73.352 Section 73.352 Food and... ADDITIVES EXEMPT FROM CERTIFICATION Foods § 73.352 Paracoccus pigment. (a) Identity. (1) The color additive paracoccus pigment consists of the heat-killed, dried cells of a nonpathogenic and nontoxicogenic strain...

  10. 21 CFR 73.352 - Paracoccus pigment.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 1 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Paracoccus pigment. 73.352 Section 73.352 Food and... ADDITIVES EXEMPT FROM CERTIFICATION Foods § 73.352 Paracoccus pigment. (a) Identity. (1) The color additive paracoccus pigment consists of the heat-killed, dried cells of a nonpathogenic and nontoxicogenic strain...

  11. 21 CFR 178.3725 - Pigment dispersants.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 3 2010-04-01 2009-04-01 true Pigment dispersants. 178.3725 Section 178.3725 Food... Certain Adjuvants and Production Aids § 178.3725 Pigment dispersants. Subject to the provisions of this regulation, the substances listed in this section may be safely used as pigment dispersants in...

  12. 21 CFR 73.352 - Paracoccus pigment.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 1 2013-04-01 2013-04-01 false Paracoccus pigment. 73.352 Section 73.352 Food and... ADDITIVES EXEMPT FROM CERTIFICATION Foods § 73.352 Paracoccus pigment. (a) Identity. (1) The color additive paracoccus pigment consists of the heat-killed, dried cells of a nonpathogenic and nontoxicogenic strain...

  13. 21 CFR 178.3725 - Pigment dispersants.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 3 2012-04-01 2012-04-01 false Pigment dispersants. 178.3725 Section 178.3725... Certain Adjuvants and Production Aids § 178.3725 Pigment dispersants. Subject to the provisions of this regulation, the substances listed in this section may be safely used as pigment dispersants in...

  14. 21 CFR 178.3725 - Pigment dispersants.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 3 2011-04-01 2011-04-01 false Pigment dispersants. 178.3725 Section 178.3725... Certain Adjuvants and Production Aids § 178.3725 Pigment dispersants. Subject to the provisions of this regulation, the substances listed in this section may be safely used as pigment dispersants in...

  15. 21 CFR 178.3725 - Pigment dispersants.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 3 2013-04-01 2013-04-01 false Pigment dispersants. 178.3725 Section 178.3725... Certain Adjuvants and Production Aids § 178.3725 Pigment dispersants. Subject to the provisions of this regulation, the substances listed in this section may be safely used as pigment dispersants in...

  16. 21 CFR 178.3725 - Pigment dispersants.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 3 2014-04-01 2014-04-01 false Pigment dispersants. 178.3725 Section 178.3725... § 178.3725 Pigment dispersants. Subject to the provisions of this regulation, the substances listed in this section may be safely used as pigment dispersants in food-contact materials....

  17. 21 CFR 73.352 - Paracoccus pigment.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 1 2012-04-01 2012-04-01 false Paracoccus pigment. 73.352 Section 73.352 Food and... ADDITIVES EXEMPT FROM CERTIFICATION Foods § 73.352 Paracoccus pigment. (a) Identity. (1) The color additive paracoccus pigment consists of the heat-killed, dried cells of a nonpathogenic and nontoxicogenic strain...

  18. PIGMENTS OF THE RETINA : II. SEA ROBIN, SEA BASS, AND SCUP.

    PubMed

    Wald, G

    1936-09-20

    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.

  19. Cone pigment polymorphism in New World monkeys: are all pigments created equal?

    PubMed

    Rowe, Mickey P; Jacobs, Gerald H

    2004-01-01

    Most platyrrhine monkeys have a triallelic M/L opsin gene polymorphism that underlies significant individual variations in color vision. A survey of the frequencies of these polymorphic genes suggests that the three alleles occur with equal frequency among squirrel monkeys (subfamily Cebinae), but are not equally frequent in a number of species from the subfamily Callitrichinae. This departure from equal frequency in the Callitrichids should slightly increase the ratio of dichromats to trichromats in the population and significantly alter the relative representation of the three possible dichromatic and trichromatic phenotypes. A particular feature of the inequality is that it leads to a relative increase in the number of trichromats whose M/L pigments have the largest possible spectral separation. To assess whether these trichromatic phenotypes are equally well equipped to make relevant visual discriminations, psychophysical experiments were run on human observers. A technique involving the functional substitution of photopigments was used to simulate the discrimination between fruits among a background of leaves. The goal of the simulation was to reproduce in the cones of human observers excitations equivalent to those produced in monkey cones as the animals view fruit. Three different viewing conditions were examined involving variations in the relative luminances of fruit and leaves and the spectrum of the illuminant. In all cases, performance was best for simulated trichromacies including M/L pigments with the largest spectral separation. Thus, the inequality of opsin gene frequency in Callitrichid monkeys may reflect adaptive pressures. PMID:15518191

  20. Delayed induction of pigmented spots on UVB-irradiated hairless mice.

    PubMed

    Naganumaa, M; Yagi, E; Fukuda, M

    2001-01-01

    Human skin exposed to solar radiation for a long time subsequently develops pigmented spots, which are named solar lentigines. Since no animal model of this process is currently available, we attempted to induce similar spots in pigmented hairless mice. The mice were irradiated at 38 or 94 mJ/cm(2) three times/week for various periods of time (1-8 weeks) under an ultraviolet light source (Toshiba FL-SE; UVB). Skin pigmentation of irradiated mice was visually observed and skin color was determined with a colorimeter for 78 weeks. Uniform pigmentation was induced, but persisted only during exposure, disappearing completely within 2 weeks after cessation of exposure. At about 28 weeks after the first exposure, pigmented spots suddenly began to appear. These pigmented spots were less than 2 mm in diameter and light brown in color. The length of the latent period until appearance and the extent of development of these spots were dependent on the exposure period. Histological examination revealed increased numbers of active melanocytes and melanin granules in the affected epidermis. These pigmented spots closely resemble solar lentigines in humans, and the mice should be useful as an animal model of solar lentigines.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  3. Optothermal skin pigment spectral depth profiling using an OPO laser

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xiao, Peng; Guo, Xinxin; Notingher, Ioan; Cowen, Anna J.; O'Driscoll, Don; Imhof, Robert E.

    1999-06-01

    This paper presents the results of a research program to quantify the factors that determine the visual appearance of human skin. We use in-vivo opto-thermal transient emission radiometry (OTTER) with a tunable OPO laser (400 - 590 nm) to measure spectrally resolved pigment depth profiles. Radiation in this wavelength range is only weakly absorbed by stratum corneum and epidermis, but strongly absorbed by sub-surface pigments, mainly melanin and haemoglobin. These produce characteristic delayed thermal wave (DTW) signals, detected using a high speed Mercury Cadmium Telluride detector sensitive in the wavelength range 6 - 13 microns. The measured intensity-time profiles yield the desired concentration depth profiles through either model-based non-linear least-squares analysis or model-independent inverse analysis. Results on melanin and haemoglobin distributions within normal, tape stripped and wash-damaged skin are presented.

  4. Optical configuration of pigmented lesion detection by frequency analysis of skin speckle patterns

    PubMed Central

    Bishitz, Yael; Ozana, Nisan; Schwarz, Ariel; Beiderman, Yevgeny; Garcia, Javier; Zalevsky, Zeev

    2016-01-01

    In this paper we present a novel approach of realizing a safe, simple, and inexpensive sensor applicable to pigmented lesions detection. The approach is based on temporal tracking of back-reflected secondary speckle patterns generated while illuminating the affected area with a laser and applying periodic pressure to the surface via a controlled vibration source. When applied to pigmented lesions, the technique is superior to visual examination in avoiding many false positives and resultant unnecessary biopsies. Applying a series of different vibration frequencies at the examined tissue and analyzing the 2-D time varying speckle patterns in response to the applied periodic pressure creates a unique signature for each and different pigmented lesion. Analyzing these signatures is the first step toward detection of malignant melanoma. In this paper we present preliminary experiments that show the validity of the developed sensor for the classification of pigmented lesions. PMID:27231603

  5. Availability and Utilization of Pigments from Microalgae.

    PubMed

    Begum, Hasina; Yusoff, Fatimah Md; Banerjee, Sanjoy; Khatoon, Helena; Shariff, Mohamed

    2016-10-01

    Microalgae are the major photosynthesizers on earth and produce important pigments that include chlorophyll a, b and c, β-carotene, astaxanthin, xanthophylls, and phycobiliproteins. Presently, synthetic colorants are used in food, cosmetic, nutraceutical, and pharmaceutical industries. However, due to problems associated with the harmful effects of synthetic colorants, exploitation of microalgal pigments as a source of natural colors becomes an attractive option. There are various factors such as nutrient availability, salinity, pH, temperature, light wavelength, and light intensity that affect pigment production in microalgae. This paper reviews the availability and characteristics of microalgal pigments, factors affecting pigment production, and the application of pigments produced from microalgae. The potential of microalgal pigments as a source of natural colors is enormous as an alternative to synthetic coloring agents, which has limited applications due to regulatory practice for health reasons.

  6. Availability and Utilization of Pigments from Microalgae.

    PubMed

    Begum, Hasina; Yusoff, Fatimah Md; Banerjee, Sanjoy; Khatoon, Helena; Shariff, Mohamed

    2016-10-01

    Microalgae are the major photosynthesizers on earth and produce important pigments that include chlorophyll a, b and c, β-carotene, astaxanthin, xanthophylls, and phycobiliproteins. Presently, synthetic colorants are used in food, cosmetic, nutraceutical, and pharmaceutical industries. However, due to problems associated with the harmful effects of synthetic colorants, exploitation of microalgal pigments as a source of natural colors becomes an attractive option. There are various factors such as nutrient availability, salinity, pH, temperature, light wavelength, and light intensity that affect pigment production in microalgae. This paper reviews the availability and characteristics of microalgal pigments, factors affecting pigment production, and the application of pigments produced from microalgae. The potential of microalgal pigments as a source of natural colors is enormous as an alternative to synthetic coloring agents, which has limited applications due to regulatory practice for health reasons. PMID:25674822

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

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

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

  9. Holographic films from carotenoid pigments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Toxqui-López, S.; Lecona-Sánchez, J. F.; Santacruz-Vázquez, C.; Olivares-Pérez, A.; Fuentes-Tapia, I.

    2014-02-01

    Carotenoids pigments presents in pineapple can be more than just natural dyes, which is one of the applications that now at day gives the chemical industry. In this research shown that can be used in implementing of holographic recording Films. Therefore we describe the technique how to obtain this kind of pigments trough spay drying of natural pineapple juice, which are then dissolved with water in a proportion of 0.1g to 1mL. The obtained sample is poured into glass substrates using the gravity method, after a drying of 24 hours in laboratory normal conditions the films are ready. The films are characterized by recording transmission holographic gratings (LSR 445 NL 445 nm) and measuring the diffraction efficiency holographic parameter. This recording material has good diffraction efficiency and environmental stability.

  10. Cutaneous metastatic pigmented breast carcinoma.

    PubMed

    Gaitan-Gaona, Francisco; Said, Mirra C; Valdes-Rodriguez, Rodrigo

    2016-01-01

    A 66-year-old woman presented with a 3 cm black, ulcerated nodule located on the skin of the upper abdomen, just below the breast. The lesion was painful to the touch, but the patient reported no other associated symptoms and was otherwise healthy. A 4-mm punch biopsy of the affected skin was obtained and the histological diagnosis was cutaneous metastatic pigmented breast carcinoma. PMID:27136637

  11. New group of ceramic pigments

    SciTech Connect

    Cherepanov, E.S.; Grum-Grzhimailo, O.S.; Belostotskaya, N.S.; Bibilashvili, M.S.

    1987-03-01

    The authors assess the corrosion resistance, crystal structure, chemical composition and color properties of a variety of zircon-based materials used as pigments and protective coatings for ceramic tiles. The constituents of these materials include, apart from zircon, iron oxides, vanadium oxides, and the sulfides, selenides and tellurides of cadmium. The effects of these constituents on the structural behavior of the zirconium silicate are investigated.

  12. Visualization of Intracellular Tyrosinase Activity in vitro

    PubMed Central

    Setty, Subba Rao Gangi

    2016-01-01

    Melanocytes produce the melanin pigments in melanosomes and these organelles protect the skin against harmful ultraviolet rays. Tyrosinase is the key cuproenzyme which initiates the pigment synthesis using its substrate amino acid tyrosine or L-DOPA (L-3, 4-dihydroxyphenylalanine). Moreover, the activity of tyrosinase directly correlates to the cellular pigmentation. Defects in tyrosinase transport to melanosomes or mutations in the enzyme or reduced intracellular copper levels results in loss of tyrosinase activity in melanosomes, commonly observed in albinism. Here, we described a method to detect the intracellular activity of tyrosinase in mouse melanocytes. This protocol will visualize the active tyrosinase present in the intracellular vesicles or organelles including melanosomes. PMID:27231711

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-18

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-06

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-18

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

  16. Parallel evolution of Nicaraguan crater lake cichlid fishes via non-parallel routes.

    PubMed

    Elmer, Kathryn R; Fan, Shaohua; Kusche, Henrik; Spreitzer, Maria Luise; Kautt, Andreas F; Franchini, Paolo; Meyer, Axel

    2014-10-27

    Fundamental to understanding how biodiversity arises and adapts is whether evolution is predictable in the face of stochastic genetic and demographic factors. Here we show rapid parallel evolution across two closely related but geographically isolated radiations of Nicaraguan crater lake cichlid fishes. We find significant morphological, ecological and genetic differentiation between ecomorphs in sympatry, reflected primarily in elongated versus high-bodied shape, differential ecological niche use and genetic differentiation. These eco-morphological divergences are significantly parallel across radiations. Based on 442,644 genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphisms, we identify strong support for the monophyly of, and subsequent sympatric divergence within, each radiation. However, the order of speciation differs across radiations; in one lake the limnetic ecomorph diverged first while in the other a benthic ecomorph. Overall our results demonstrate that complex parallel phenotypes can evolve very rapidly and repeatedly in similar environments, probably due to natural selection, yet this evolution can proceed along different evolutionary genetic routes.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-01-30

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  2. Consistency of individual differences in behaviour of the lion-headed cichlid, Steatocranus casuarius.

    PubMed

    Budaev, S V; Zworykin, D D; Mochek, A D

    1999-11-01

    The development of individual differences in behaviour in a novel environment, in the presence of a strange fish and during aggressive interactions with a mirror-image was studied in the lion-headed cichlid (Steatocranus casuarius, Teleostei, Cichlidae). No consistency in behaviour was found at 4-5.5 months of age. However, behaviours scored in situations involving a discrete source of stress (a strange fish or conspecific) become significantly consistent at the age of 12 months. At 4-5.5 but not 12 months of age, larger individuals approached and attacked the strange fish significantly more than smaller ones. These patterns may be associated with development and integration of motivational systems and alternative coping strategies. PMID:24897562

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  6. Electrical synapses connect a network of gonadotropin releasing hormone neurons in a cichlid fish

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Yunyong; Hu, Caroline K.; Huguenard, John R.; Fernald, Russell D.

    2015-01-01

    Initiating and regulating vertebrate reproduction requires pulsatile release of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH1) from the hypothalamus. Coordinated GnRH1 release, not simply elevated absolute levels, effects the release of pituitary gonadotropins that drive steroid production in the gonads. However, the mechanisms underlying synchronization of GnRH1 neurons are unknown. Control of synchronicity by gap junctions between GnRH1 neurons has been proposed but not previously found. We recorded simultaneously from pairs of transgenically labeled GnRH1 neurons in adult male Astatotilapia burtoni cichlid fish. We report that GnRH1 neurons are strongly and uniformly interconnected by electrical synapses that can drive spiking in connected cells and can be reversibly blocked by meclofenamic acid. Our results suggest that electrical synapses could promote coordinated spike firing in a cellular assemblage of GnRH1 neurons to produce the pulsatile output necessary for activation of the pituitary and reproduction. PMID:25775522

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

    PubMed

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

    1979-12-01

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

  8. Wnt signalling underlies the evolution of new phenotypes and craniofacial variability in Lake Malawi cichlids

    PubMed Central

    Parsons, Kevin J.; Taylor, A. Trent; Powder, Kara E.; Albertson, R. Craig

    2014-01-01

    Progress towards understanding adaptive radiations at the mechanistic level is still limited with regard to the proximate molecular factors that both promote and constrain evolution. Here we focus on the craniofacial skeleton and show that expanded Wnt/β-catenin signalling early in ontogeny is associated with the evolution of phenotypic novelty and ecological opportunity in Lake Malawi cichlids. We demonstrate that the mode of action of this molecular change is to effectively lock into place an early larval phenotype, likely through accelerated rates of bone deposition. However, we demonstrate further that this change toward phenotypic novelty may in turn constrain evolutionary potential through the corresponding reduction in craniofacial plasticity at later stages of ontogeny. In all, our data implicate the Wnt pathway as an important mediator of craniofacial form and offer new insights into how developmental systems can evolve to both promote and constrain evolutionary change. PMID:24699776

  9. Early life stress shapes female reproductive strategy through eggshell pigmentation in Japanese quail.

    PubMed

    Duval, Camille; Zimmer, Cédric; Mikšík, Ivan; Cassey, Phillip; Spencer, Karen A

    2014-11-01

    Physiological constraints on colouration have been widely reported; especially in birds, which trade-off antioxidant responses against colourful costly signals. One female extended phenotypic trait, which might also highlight important physiological trade-offs, is the pigmentation of their eggshells. In ground-nesting species, producing eggs that are visually undetectable by predators is the best camouflage strategy. However, the condition-dependence of eggshell pigmentation, and the pigments role in oxidative stress, may constrain females to trade-off between their antioxidant capacity and maximising the camouflage of their eggs when they deposit eggshell pigments. Developmental stress is one factor that influences female antioxidant capacity, and could lead to variations in eggshell pigmentation that might have crucial consequences on individual fitness if egg crypsis is compromised especially under stressful conditions. We investigated the interaction between developmental and breeding conditions with respect to eggshell pigmentation in Japanese quail. We studied 30 females that bred under both control and stressful conditions, and were exposed to pre- and/or post-natal stress, or neither. Pre- and post-natal stress independently influenced eggshell pigmentation strategies under stressful breeding conditions. Under stressful reproduction, eggshell protoporphyrin concentration and maculation were affected by pre-natal stress, whereas eggshell reflectance and biliverdin concentration were influenced by post-natal stress. These changes may reflect potential adaptive strategies shaped by developmental stress, but additional data on the benefit of egg crypsis in quail, combined with studies on the role of both pigments on chick survival, will help to clarify whether early life stress can enhance fitness through eggshell pigmentation when developmental and reproductive environments match.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1998-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-22

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

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

    PubMed

    Almeida, Olinda; Oliveira, Rui F

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Knight, Mairi E.; Turner, George F.

    2004-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Haesler, Marcel P.; Seehausen, Ole

    2005-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Snekser, Jennifer L.; Itzkowitz, Murray

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Arbour, J H; López-Fernández, H

    2014-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2003-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Lorin, Thibault; Salzburger, Walter; Böhne, Astrid

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  12. Non-photosynthetic pigments as potential biosignatures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwieterman, E. W.; Cockell, C. S.; Meadows, V. S.

    2014-03-01

    Photosynthetic organisms on Earth produce potentially detectable surface reflectance biosignatures due in part to the spectral location and strength of pigment absorption. However, life on Earth uses pigments for a multitude of purposes other than photosynthesis, including coping with extreme environments. Macroscopic environments exist on Earth where the surface reflectance is significantly altered by a nonphotosynthetic pigment, such as the case of hypersaline lakes and ponds (Oren et al. 1992). Here we explore the nature and potential detectability of non-photosynthetic pigments in disk-averaged planetary observations using a combination of laboratory measurements and archival reflectance spectra, along with simulated broadband photometry and spectra. The in vivo visible reflectance spectra of a cross section of pigmented microorganisms are presented to illustrate the spectral diversity of biologically produced pigments. Synthetic broadband colors are generated to show a significant spread in color space. A 1D radiative transfer model (Meadows & Crisp 1996; Crisp 1997) is used to approximate the spectra of scenarios where pigmented organisms are widespread on planets with Earth-like atmospheres. Broadband colors are revisited to show that colors due to surface reflectivity are not robust to the addition of scattering and absorption effects from the atmosphere. We consider a èbest case' plausible scenario for the detection of nonphotosynthetic pigments by using the Virtual Planetary Laboratory's 3D spectral Earth model (Robinson et al. 2011) to explore the detectability of the surface biosignature produced by pigmented halophiles that are widespread on an Earth-analog planet.

  13. Femtosecond formation dynamics of primary photoproducts of visual pigment rhodopsin.

    PubMed

    Smitienko, O A; Mozgovaya, M N; Shelaev, I V; Gostev, F E; Feldman, T B; Nadtochenko, V A; Sarkisov, O M; Ostrovsky, M A

    2010-01-01

    The coherent 11-cis-retinal photoisomerization dynamics in bovine rhodopsin was studied by femtosecond time-resolved laser absorption spectroscopy at 30-fs resolution. Femtosecond pulses of 500, 535, and 560 nm wavelength were used for rhodopsin excitation to produce different initial Franck-Condon states and relevant distinct values of the vibrational energy of the molecule in its electron excited state. Time evolution of the photoinduced rhodopsin absorption spectra was monitored after femtosecond excitation in the spectral range of 400-720 nm. Oscillations of the time-resolved absorption signals of rhodopsin photoproducts represented by photorhodopsin(570) with vibrationally-excited all-trans-retinal and rhodopsin(498) in its initial state with vibrationally-excited 11-cis-retinal were studied. These oscillations reflect the dynamics of coherent vibrational wave-packets in the ground state of photoproducts. Fourier analysis of these oscillatory components has revealed frequencies, amplitudes, and initial phases of different vibrational modes, along which the motion of wave-packets of both photoproducts occurs. The main vibrational modes established are 62, 160 cm(-1) and 44, 142 cm(-1) for photorhodopsin(570) and for rhodopsin(498), respectively. These vibrational modes are directly involved in the coherent reaction under the study, and their amplitudes in the power spectrum obtained through the Fourier transform of the kinetic curves depend on the excitation wavelength of rhodopsin.

  14. Melanin pigmented solar absorbing surfaces

    SciTech Connect

    Gallas, J.M.; Eisner, M.

    1980-01-01

    Selectivity enhancement is shown to result for melanin, a black biopolymer pigment, for sufficiently low sample density. The effect is proposed to follow from a consideration of the evanescent waves associated with the total internal reflection phenomenon. A relationship is discussed among powder density, pH and the paramagnetic properties of melanin; this relationship is shown to be consistent with, and offer support to an amino-acid side group proposed earlier as part of the melanin structure. A brief discussion is also presented on the optical properties of melanin and the relative importance of quinhydrone, a change transfer complex believed to exist in the polymeric structure of melanin.

  15. Pigmented Lesion of Buccal Mucosa

    PubMed Central

    Bajpai, Manas; Kumar, Malay; Kumar, Manish; Agarwal, Deshant

    2014-01-01

    Pigmented lesions are commonly found in the mouth. Such lesions represent a variety of clinical entities, ranging from physiologic changes to manifestation of systemic illness and malignant neoplasm. Diagnosis of such lesions requires a proper case history, extraoral and intraoral examination, and, in some cases, biopsy, aspiration cytology, and laboratory investigations. Here we present a case of purple lesion on the buccal mucosa of a 34-year-old male patient which was provisionally diagnosed as mucocele but on the basis of histopathological picture it was finally diagnosed as angiofibroma, and we also discuss the clinical and histopathological differential diagnosis. PMID:25161669

  16. Iris pigmentation and behavioral inhibition.

    PubMed

    Rosenberg, A; Kagan, J

    1987-07-01

    Two independent investigations of the association between the temperamental dimensions of inhibition and lack of inhibition to the unfamiliar, on the one hand, and the degree of pigmentation of the iris, on the other, revealed a statistically significant relation in Caucasian children between behavioral inhibition to the unfamiliar and blue irises and uninhibited behavior and brown irises. Several biochemical interpretations of this association were discussed and it was suggested that these behavioral styles might be influenced by biological factors that are partially marked by eye color in Caucasian populations.

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

    PubMed

    Rícan, Oldrich; Zardoya, Rafael; Doadrio, Ignacio

    2008-12-01

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

  18. The bioefficacy of microemulsified natural pigments in egg yolk pigmentation.

    PubMed

    Chow, P Y; Gue, S Z; Leow, S K; Goh, L B

    2014-01-01

    1. This study was designed to test the hypothesis that microemulsified carotenoid products show improved bioavailability over corresponding regular preparations, leading to greater yolk pigmentation at lower dosages. 2. The first trial was conducted using a maize-soya bean basal diet supplemented with either 0.25, 0.5, 0.75, 1.0 and 1.25 g/kg of microemulsified Red or non-microemulsified Red. The second trial involved feeding microemulsified Yellow or non-microemulsified Yellow using a similar dosage range. The layers were divided into 4 replicates of 8 layers each (32 layers per treatment). The 8 cages of layers were fed from a single feed trough. Feed and water were provided ad libitum throughout the trial. Each week, the eggs were collected. The whole liquid egg colour was determined by means of a commercially available yolk colour fan. Where required, HPLC-(high-performance liquid chromatography) based analysis of trans-capsanthin or trans-lutein equivalents using the Association of Analytical Communities method was carried out. Data were statistically analysed by one-way ANOVA method using Statgraphics. 3. Results showed that the colour and carotenoid content of the egg yolk increased with increasing amount of carotenoids in the diet. The colour of egg yolks from layers fed similar concentrations of microemulsified versus the regular preparation was significantly different. At the commercial recommended dose of one g/kg regular Yellow or Red product, the microemulsified pigmenter is able to provide the equivalent yolk colour at a 20-30% lower dose. 4. In conclusion, the trial results supported the hypothesis that a desired yolk colour score is achievable at a significantly lower inclusion rate when carotenoid molecules are emulsified using the microemulsion nanotechnology.

  19. The spleen pigment cells in some amphibia.

    PubMed

    Scalia, Marina; Di Pietro, Cinzia; Poma, Mariangela; Ragusa, Marco; Sichel, Giovanni; Corsaro, Concetta

    2004-04-01

    It was demonstrated that the spleen pigment cells of Amphibia are macrophages: they show an ultrastructurally distinctive morphology, are able to phagocytose and react positively for non-specific esterases. These pigmented macrophages express mRNA for tyrosinase and also they show dopa oxidase activity; therefore they are able to synthesize melanins, as Kupffer cells do.

  20. Thin Layer Chromatography (TLC) of Chlorophyll Pigments.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Foote, Jerry

    1984-01-01

    Background information, list of materials needed, procedures used, and discussion of typical results are provided for an experiment on the thin layer chromatography of chlorophyll pigments. The experiment works well in high school, since the chemicals used are the same as those used in paper chromatography of plant pigments. (JN)

  1. Dermatoscopic findings of pigmented purpuric dermatosis*

    PubMed Central

    Ozkaya, Dilek Biyik; Emiroglu, Nazan; Su, Ozlem; Cengiz, Fatma Pelin; Bahali, Anil Gulsel; Yildiz, Pelin; Demirkesen, Cuyan; Onsun, Nahide

    2016-01-01

    Background Pigmented purpuric dermatosis is a chronic skin disorder of unknown aetiology characterised by symmetrical petechial and pigmented macules, often confined to the lower limbs. The aetiology of pigmented purpuric dermatosis is unknown. Dermatoscopy is a non-invasive diagnostic technique that allows the visualisation of morphological features invisible to the naked eye; it combines a method that renders the corneal layer of the skin translucent with an optical system that magnifies the image projected onto the retina. Objectives The aim of this study is to investigate the dermatoscopic findings of pigmented purpuric dermatosis. Methods This study enrolled patients diagnosed histopathologically with pigmented purpuric dermatosis who had dermatoscopic records. We reviewed the dermatoscopic images of PPD patients who attended the outpatient clinic in the Istanbul Dermatovenereology Department at the Bezmialem Vakıf University Medical Faculty. Results Dermatoscopy showed: coppery-red pigmentation (97%, n = 31) in the background, a brown network (34%, n = 11), linear vessels (22%, n = 7), round to oval red dots, globules, and patches (69%, n = 22; 75%, n = 24; 34%, n = 11; respectively), brown globules (26%, n = 8) and dots (53%, n = 17), linear brown lines (22%, n = 7), and follicular openings (13%, n = 4). Conclusion To our knowledge, this is the first study to report the dermatoscopy of pigmented purpuric dermatosis. In our opinion, dermatoscopy can be useful in the diagnosis of pigmented purpuric dermatosis.

  2. [Diffuse retinal pigment epitheliopathy and corticoid ointment topical treatment in a patient with psoriasis].

    PubMed

    Romero, P; Martinez, I; Salvat, M

    2005-12-01

    Central serous chorioretinopathy has three patterns: the first or typical form with one or several points of diffusion; the second, diffuse retinal pigment epitheliopathy; and the third, the bullous form of serous chorioretinopathy. The authors present a case of a 55-year-old male presenting with diffuse retinal pigment epitheliopathy and topical treatment of psoriasis, with a 9-year history of corticoid ointment use, associated with cyclosporine over the last year. The topical treatment was discontinued and the patient recovered his vision, with a final visual acuity of 5/10 in the right eye and 4/10 in the left eye.

  3. Molecular mechanism of spontaneous pigment activation in retinal cones.

    PubMed Central

    Sampath, Alapakkam P; Baylor, Denis A

    2002-01-01

    Spontaneous current and voltage fluctuations (dark noise) in the photoreceptor cells of the retina limit the ability of the visual system to detect dim light. We recorded the dark current noise of individual salamander L cones. Previous work showed that the dark noise in these cells arises from thermal activation of the visual pigment. From the temperature dependence of the rate of occurrence of elementary noise events, we found an Arrhenius activation energy E(a) of 25 +/- 7 kcal/mol (mean +/- SD). This E(a) is similar to that reported for the thermal isomerization of 11-cis retinal in solution, suggesting that the cone pigment noise results from isomerization of the retinal chromophore. E(a) for the cone noise is similar to that previously reported for the "photon-like" noise of rods, but the preexponential factor is five orders of magnitude higher. To test the hypothesis that thermal isomerization can only occur in molecules whose Schiff base linkage is unprotonated, we changed the pH of the solution bathing the cone outer segment. This had little effect on the rate of occurrence of elementary noise events. The rate was also unchanged when the cone was exposed to Ringer solution made up from heavy water, whose solvent isotope effect should reduce the probability, that the Schiff base nitrogen is naked. PMID:12080111

  4. Developing fungal pigments for "painting" vascular plants.

    PubMed

    Robinson, Sara C

    2012-02-01

    The use of fungal pigments as color additives to wood as a method to increase forest revenue is a relatively new, but quickly developing field. Sugar maple (Acer saccharum) is currently the primary utilized hardwood for spalting and appears to be the best suited North American hardwood for such purposes. The combination of Trametes versicolor and Bjerkandera adusta has been identified in several instances as a strong fungal pairing for zone line production; however, Xylaria polymorpha is capable of creating zone lines without the antagonism of a secondary fungus. Few fungal pigments have been developed for reliable use; Scytalidium cuboideum is capable of producing a penetrating pink/red stain, as well as a blue pigment after extended incubation, and Chlorociboria sp. produces a blue/green pigment if grown on aspen (Populus tremuloides). Several opportunities exist for stimulation of fungal pigments including the use of copper sulfate and changes in wood pH. PMID:22237673

  5. The Cone-specific Visual Cycle

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Jin-Shan; Kefalov, Vladimir J

    2010-01-01

    Cone photoreceptors mediate our daytime vision and function under bright and rapidly-changing light conditions. As their visual pigment is destroyed in the process of photoactivation, the continuous function of cones imposes the need for rapid recycling of their chromophore and regeneration of their pigment. The canonical retinoid visual cycle through the retinal pigment epithelium cells recycles chromophore and supplies it to both rods and cones. However, shortcomings of this pathway, including its slow rate and competition with rods for chromophore, have led to the suggestion that cones might use a separate mechanism for recycling of chromophore. In the past four decades biochemical studies have identified enzymatic activities consistent with recycling chromophore in the retinas of cone-dominant animals, such as chicken and ground squirrel. These studies have led to the hypothesis of a cone-specific retina visual cycle. The physiological relevance of these studies was controversial for a long time and evidence for the function of this visual cycle emerged only in very recent studies and will be the focus of this review. The retina visual cycle supplies chromophore and promotes pigment regeneration only in cones but not in rods. This pathway is independent of the pigment epithelium and instead involves the Müller cells in the retina, where chromophore is recycled and supplied selectively to cones. The rapid supply of chromophore through the retina visual cycle is critical for extending the dynamic range of cones to bright light and for their rapid dark adaptation following exposure to light. The importance of the retina visual cycle is emphasized also by its preservation through evolution as its function has now been demonstrated in species ranging from salamander to zebrafish, mouse, primate, and human. PMID:21111842

  6. Structure of plant bile pigments

    SciTech Connect

    Schoenleber, R.W.

    1983-12-01

    Selective peptide cleavage has provided a general procedure for the study of the structure, including stereochemistry, of plant bile pigments. The information derived from the synthesis and spectral analysis of a series of 2,3-dihydrodioxobilins allows the determination of the trans relative stereochemistry for ring A of the ..beta../sub 1/-phycocyanobilin from C-phycocyanin as well as for ring A of phytochrome. A complete structure proof of the five phycoerythrobilins attached to the ..cap alpha.. and ..beta.. subunits of B-phycoerythrin is described. One of these tetrapyrroles is doubly-peptide linked to a single peptide chain through two thioethers at the C-3' and C-18' positions. The four remaining phycoerythrobilins are singly-linked to the protein through thioethers at the C-3' position and all possess the probable stereochemistry C-2(R), C-3(R), C-3'(R), and C-16(R).

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

    Social animals can greatly benefit from well-developed social skills. Because the frequency and diversity of social interactions often increase with the size of social groups, the benefits of advanced social skills can be expected to increase with group size. Variation in social skills often arises during ontogeny, depending on early social experience. Whether variation of social-group sizes affects development of social skills and related changes in brain structures remains unexplored. We investigated whether, in a cooperatively breeding cichlid, early group size (1) shapes social behavior and social skills and (2) induces lasting plastic changes in gross brain structures and (3) whether the development of social skills is confined to a sensitive ontogenetic period. Rearing-group size and the time juveniles spent in these groups interactively influenced the development of social skills and the relative sizes of four main brain regions. We did not detect a sensitive developmental period for the shaping of social behavior within the 2-month experience phase. Instead, our results suggest continuous plastic behavioral changes over time. We discuss how developmental effects on social behavior and brain architecture may adaptively tune phenotypes to their current or future environments. PMID:26098344

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

    PubMed

    Seehausen, Ole

    2015-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  11. Duration of memory of dominance relationships in a group living cichlid

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hotta, Takashi; Takeyama, Tomohiro; Jordan, Lyndon Alexander; Kohda, Masanori

    2014-09-01

    Animal contests are costly and tend to escalate when rivals have similar competitive abilities. Individuals that remember dominance relationships with rivals may avoid repeated agonistic interactions and hence avoid the costs of repeated escalation of contests. However, it can be difficult to experimentally disentangle the effects of memory from those of loser effects (losers behaving subordinately due to prior defeats). Here, we test whether loser effects or individual memory mediate contest behaviour in the African cichlid, Julidochromis transcriptus. We find that on days 3 and 5 after initial contests, losers display subordinate behaviour to contest winners but not to novel contestants. However, this effect disappears after 7 days, at which time losers do not display subordinate behaviour to either rival. These results show that (1) this fish can recall a previously dominant contestant for up to 5 days and (2) as no subordinate displays were shown to the novel contestant, there are no evidences for loser effects in this species. Such short-term memory of past interactions may have broad significance in social species with repeated interactions.

  12. Androgen receptors in a cichlid fish, Astatotilapia burtoni: structure, localization, and expression levels.

    PubMed

    Harbott, Lene K; Burmeister, Sabrina S; White, Richard B; Vagell, Mike; Fernald, Russell D

    2007-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-07-22

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-01

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

  15. Development of digestive enzymes in larvae of Mayan cichlid Cichlasoma urophthalmus.

    PubMed

    López-Ramírez, G; Cuenca-Soria, C A; Alvarez-González, C A; Tovar-Ramírez, D; Ortiz-Galindo, J L; Perales-García, N; Márquez-Couturier, G; Arias-Rodríguez, L; Indy, J R; Contreras-Sánchez, W M; Gisbert, E; Moyano, F J

    2011-03-01

    The development of digestive enzymes during the early ontogeny of the Mayan cichlid (Cichlasoma urophthalmus) was studied using biochemical and electrophoretic techniques. From yolk absorption (6 days after hatching: dah), larvae were fed Artemia nauplii until 15 dah, afterward they were fed with commercial microparticulated trout food (45% protein and 16% lipids) from 16 to 60 dah. Several samples were collected including yolk-sac larvae (considered as day 1 after hatching) and specimens up to 60 dah. Most digestive enzymes were present from yolk absorption (5-6 dah), except for the specific acid proteases activity (pepsin-like), which increase rapidly from 8 dah up to 20 dah. Three alkaline proteases isoforms (24.0, 24.8, 84.5 kDa) were detected at 8 dah using SDS-PAGE zymogram, corresponding to trypsin, chymotrypsin and probably leucine aminopeptidase enzymes, and only one isoform was detected (relative electromobility, Rf = 0.54) for acid proteases (pepsin-like) from 3 dah onwards using PAGE zymogram. We concluded that C. urophthamus is a precocious fish with a great capacity to digest all kinds of food items, including artificial diets provided from 13 dah.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Gonzalez-Voyer, Alejandro; Kolm, Niclas

    2010-12-17

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Gonzalez-Voyer, Alejandro; Kolm, Niclas

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

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

  20. Probing aggressive motivation during territorial contests in a group-living cichlid fish.

    PubMed

    Reddon, Adam R; Balk, Daniel; Balshine, Sigal

    2013-01-01

    Many animals fight to win resources, repel competitors or establish dominance in a social group. Mutual-assessment of fighting ability, where competitors gather and compare information about their opponent's as well as their own fighting ability has been the dominant theoretical framework for understanding decision-making during fights. However, self-assessment, where each individual has a cost threshold and fights up until that point, may be more common than previously appreciated. In this study, we attempted to discriminate between these two potential assessment mechanisms in a group-living cichlid fish, Neolamprologus pulcher by probing aggressive motivation during a territorial contest. We measured aggressive motivation, and used this metric to investigate assessment rules during an ongoing contest. We predicted that if these social fish use self-assessment, we would observe a positive correlation between the fighting ability of the probed animal and its aggressive motivation. Alternatively, if mutual-assessment is used then we predicted we would find a negative effect of the opponent's fighting ability on the aggressive motivation of the probed fish because fish should be less motivated to fight against formidable opponents. Our results did not support either of these predictions. In contrast we found that small individuals were more aggressively motivated regardless of their opponent's size. We discuss this result in the context of theoretical models of aggression in individuals of small body size. PMID:23085244

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

    PubMed

    Jungwirth, Arne; Taborsky, Michael

    2015-11-22

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2004-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Kawamiya, Nobuo

    2003-01-01

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

  5. Probing aggressive motivation during territorial contests in a group-living cichlid fish.

    PubMed

    Reddon, Adam R; Balk, Daniel; Balshine, Sigal

    2013-01-01

    Many animals fight to win resources, repel competitors or establish dominance in a social group. Mutual-assessment of fighting ability, where competitors gather and compare information about their opponent's as well as their own fighting ability has been the dominant theoretical framework for understanding decision-making during fights. However, self-assessment, where each individual has a cost threshold and fights up until that point, may be more common than previously appreciated. In this study, we attempted to discriminate between these two potential assessment mechanisms in a group-living cichlid fish, Neolamprologus pulcher by probing aggressive motivation during a territorial contest. We measured aggressive motivation, and used this metric to investigate assessment rules during an ongoing contest. We predicted that if these social fish use self-assessment, we would observe a positive correlation between the fighting ability of the probed animal and its aggressive motivation. Alternatively, if mutual-assessment is used then we predicted we would find a negative effect of the opponent's fighting ability on the aggressive motivation of the probed fish because fish should be less motivated to fight against formidable opponents. Our results did not support either of these predictions. In contrast we found that small individuals were more aggressively motivated regardless of their opponent's size. We discuss this result in the context of theoretical models of aggression in individuals of small body size.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  7. Social Context Influences Aggressive and Courtship Behavior in a Cichlid Fish

    PubMed Central

    Desjardins, Julie K.; Hofmann, Hans A.; Fernald, Russell D.

    2012-01-01

    Social interactions require knowledge of the environment and status of others, which can be acquired indirectly by observing the behavior of others. When being observed, animals can also alter their signals based on who is watching. Here we observed how male cichlid fish (Astatotilapia burtoni) behave when being watched in two different contexts. In the first, we show that aggressive and courtship behaviors displayed by subordinate males depends critically on whether dominant males can see them, and in the second, we manipulated who was watching aggressive interactions and showed that dominant males will change their behavior depending on audience composition. In both cases, when a more dominant individual is out of view and the audience consists of more subordinate individuals, those males signal key social information to females by displaying courtship and dominant behaviors. In contrast, when a dominant male is present, males cease both aggression and courtship. These data suggest that males are keenly aware of their social environment and modulate their aggressive and courtship behaviors strategically for reproductive and social advantage. PMID:22807996

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-11

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

  13. Female preferences for male traits and territory characteristics in the cichlid fish Tropheus moorii

    PubMed Central

    Hermann, Caroline M.; Brudermann, Verena; Zimmermann, Holger; Vollmann, Johann; Sefc, Kristina M.

    2014-01-01

    Female mate preferences for male traits and resource characteristics affect trait evolution and diversification. Here, we test the effects of male body traits and territory characteristics on within-population female preferences and on population–assortative mating in the cichlid Tropheus moorii. Within-population preferences of females were independent of male body size, coloration and territory size but were strongly dependent on territory quality and co-varied with male courtship activity. Courtship activity of individual males was contingent on the quality of their assigned territory, and therefore, courtship may not only indicate intrinsic male quality. On the basis of these results we suggest that female preferences for high-quality territories reinforce the outcome of malemale competition and ensure male mating success. Mating preferences of females for males of their own color variant (ascertained in a previous experiment) were not overturned when males of another color variant were presented in a superior territory, indicating that within- and between-population mate preferences of females depend on different cues. PMID:25983339

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

    PubMed

    Jungwirth, Arne; Taborsky, Michael

    2015-11-22

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

  15. Spectral tuning of Amazon parrot feather coloration by psittacofulvin pigments and spongy structures.

    PubMed

    Tinbergen, Jan; Wilts, Bodo D; Stavenga, Doekele G

    2013-12-01

    The feathers of Amazon parrots are brightly coloured. They contain a unique class of pigments, the psittacofulvins, deposited in both barbs and barbules, causing yellow or red coloured feathers. In specific feather areas, spongy nanostructured barb cells exist, reflecting either in the blue or blue-green wavelength range. The blue-green spongy structures are partly enveloped by a blue-absorbing, yellow-colouring pigment acting as a spectral filter, thus yielding a green coloured barb. Applying reflection and transmission spectroscopy, we characterized the Amazons' pigments and spongy structures, and investigated how they contribute to the feather coloration. The reflectance spectra of Amazon feathers are presumably tuned to the sensitivity spectra of the visual photoreceptors.

  16. OCT and in vivo confocal microscopy of a pigmented corneal tumor-like lesion.

    PubMed

    Szaflik, Jacek P; Oldak, Monika; Ulinska, Magdalena; Ulnska, Magdalena; Tesla, Piotr; Szaflik, Jerzy

    2009-01-01

    A 43-year-old woman presented with a pigmented flat tumor situated at the posterior surface of the cornea nasally in her left eye. Anterior-segment optical coherence tomography revealed that the lesion was similar to the iris leaf, was limited to the cornea, and did not communicate with the iridocorneal angle. In vivo scanning slit confocal microscopy imaged dense hyperreflective tissue behind the endothelium and bright spots dispersed on the adjacent endothelial surface. Multiple hyporeflective formations resembling cell nuclei were visualized within the hyperreflective mass and the cell borders were distinguished. The diagnosis of pigmented nevus or retrocorneal membrane was suspected. The authors conclude that anterior-segment optical coherence tomography and in vivo scanning slit confocal microscopy are useful in assessing the microstructure and penetration of pigmented corneal lesions.

  17. Visual field

    MedlinePlus

    Perimetry; Tangent screen exam; Automated perimetry exam; Goldmann visual field exam; Humphrey visual field exam ... Confrontation visual field exam : This is a quick and basic check of the visual field. The health care provider ...

  18. Exosomes released by keratinocytes modulate melanocyte pigmentation.

    PubMed

    Lo Cicero, Alessandra; Delevoye, Cédric; Gilles-Marsens, Floriane; Loew, Damarys; Dingli, Florent; Guéré, Christelle; André, Nathalie; Vié, Katell; van Niel, Guillaume; Raposo, Graça

    2015-01-01

    Cells secrete extracellular vesicles (EVs), exosomes and microvesicles, which transfer proteins, lipids and RNAs to regulate recipient cell functions. Skin pigmentation relies on a tight dialogue between keratinocytes and melanocytes in the epidermis. Here we report that exosomes secreted by keratinocytes enhance melanin synthesis by increasing both the expression and activity of melanosomal proteins. Furthermore, we show that the function of keratinocyte-derived exosomes is phototype-dependent and is modulated by ultraviolet B. In sum, this study uncovers an important physiological function for exosomes in human pigmentation and opens new avenues in our understanding of how pigmentation is regulated by intercellular communication in both healthy and diseased states.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1996-06-29

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-11-01

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

  4. Pigment Identification of Paintings Based on Kubelka-Munk Theory and Spectral Images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moghareh Abed, Farhad

    the concentration of each pigment per pixel, and RMS error images were calculated after estimating the primary pigments. The estimation errors and the performance of the pigment selection algorithms were assessed using 23 validation paintings. Finally, the primary pigment information combined with multi-spectral images from a commercial 6-channel imaging system was used for visualization and high-resolution spectral image reproductions.

  5. In vivo estimation of pigmentation in ultraviolet-exposed hairless mice.

    PubMed

    Hansen, A B; Bech-Thomsen, N; Wulf, H C

    1995-02-01

    A new in vivo method of visual scoring of pigmentation in hairless hr/hr mice with a C3H/Tif background is described. The mice were placed under a bank of 6 Philips TL08 fluorescent ultraviolet A (UVA) tubes in a dark room, and the pigmentation of the skin was compared with a Kodak Gray Scale with 20 different shades from white to black. The radiation from the tubes changed both the color of the back of the mouse and the gray scale into purple hues. The purple color of the back of each mouse could then be classified as one of 20 shades on the gray scale. An experiment was conducted exposing 3 groups of 20 mice to different doses of UV radiation from Philips TL01 tubes. One group of 20 mice was not irradiated and served as control. The pigmentation of each mouse was scored by one investigator every 2-3 weeks. After a few weeks of exposure a clear distinction between the groups was seen. To evaluate the inter- and intrapersonal variation of the method, 30 mice with various degrees of pigmentation were scored independently and blindly by two investigators. This was done twice during the study with a few days' interval. No interpersonal difference was found, but one investigator scored differently the first and second time by only 0.5 points. The described method provides a reproducible in vivo method, with very good discrimination, for estimation of pigmentation in hairless mice. PMID:7654561

  6. Alkaptonuric ochronosis presenting as palmoplantar pigmentation.

    PubMed

    Vijaikumar, M; Thappa, D M; Srikanth, S; Sethuraman, G; Nadarajan, S

    2000-06-01

    We describe a 37-year-old woman who presented with palmoplantar pigmentation, thickening and pitting of 4 years duration. Bluish pigmented patches were seen over the sclera of her eyes. Her lumbar spine showed typical calcification of the intervertebral discs. Addition of Benedict's reagent to a urine sample of the patient gave rise to greenish brown precipitate and brownish black supernatant. Alkalinization of urine turned it black. A biopsy of the palmar lesion demonstrated irregular breaking up, swelling and homogenization of collagen bundles in the reticular dermis. Yellow-brown (ochre coloured) pigment was seen lying within the collagen bundles and also freely in the deeper dermis confirming our clinical diagnosis of alkaptonuric ochronosis. To the best of our knowledge this is probably the second report of alkaptonuria presenting with palmoplantar pigmentation. PMID:10971492

  7. Pleiotropic effects of pigmentation genes in horses.

    PubMed

    Bellone, R R

    2010-12-01

    Horses are valued for the beauty and variety of colouration and coat patterning. To date, eleven different genes have been characterized that contribute to the variation observed in the horse. Unfortunately, mutations involving pigmentation often lead to deleterious effects in other systems, some of which have been described in the horse. This review focuses on six such pleiotropic effects or associations with pigmentation genes. These include neurological defects (lethal white foal syndrome and lavender foal syndrome), hearing defects, eye disorders (congenital stationary night blindness and multiple congenital ocular anomalies), as well as horse-specific melanoma. The pigmentation phenotype, disorder phenotype, mode of inheritance, genetic or genomic methods utilized to identify the genes involved and, if known, the causative mutations, molecular interactions and other susceptibility loci are discussed. As our understanding of pigmentation in the horse increases, through the use of novel genomic tools, we are likely to unravel yet unknown pleiotropic effects and determine additional interactions between previously discovered loci.

  8. Conservation of the chromatophore pigment response.

    PubMed

    Dukovcic, Stephanie R; Hutchison, Janine R; Trempy, Janine E

    2010-08-01

    Toxicant sensing technology has evolved to include biological sensors, such as cell-based biosensors, which rely on viable cells to convey a measurable physiological signal. Chromatophores are a class of pigment cells that have been investigated as cell-based biosensors. We report the characterization of Oncorhynchus tshawytscha melanophores and describe the melanophore pigment response to neurotransmitters in terms of pigment area occupied. Compared with the previously described model, Betta splendens erythrophores, O. tshawytscha melanophores responded similarly, indicating that pigment responses are biologically conserved between these two species. Additionally, melanophores responded to mercuric chloride and sodium arsenite, similar to B. splendens erythrophores, suggesting that melanophores can be used as detectors for environmental toxicants. This report highlights the potential of O. tshawytscha melanophores to be used as cell-based biosensors to address environmental toxicity, and warrants a continued investigation to strengthen this technology and its applications. PMID:20809546

  9. Pseudoephedrine may cause "pigmenting" fixed drug eruption.

    PubMed

    Ozkaya, Esen; Elinç-Aslan, Meryem Sevinç

    2011-05-01

    Fixed drug eruption (FDE) is a distinctive drug eruption characterized by recurrent well-defined lesions in the same location each time the responsible drug is taken. Two different clinical forms have been described: the common classic pigmenting form and the rare nonpigmenting form. Nonpigmenting FDE is mainly characterized by symmetrical large erythematous plaques and the dermal histopathologic reaction pattern. Pseudoephedrine is known as the major inducer of nonpigmenting FDE. Pigmenting FDE from pseudoephedrine has not been reported previously. Here, the first case of pseudoephedrine-induced pigmenting FDE is reported, showing the characteristic features of classic pigmenting FDE such as asymmetry, normal-sized lesions, and the epidermodermal histopathologic reaction pattern. Moreover, a positive occlusive patch-test reaction to pseudoephedrine could be demonstrated on postlesional FDE skin for the first time.

  10. Diagnosis and management of facial pigmented macules.

    PubMed

    Lallas, Aimilios; Argenziano, Giuseppe; Moscarella, Elvira; Longo, Caterina; Simonetti, Vito; Zalaudek, Iris

    2014-01-01

    The differential diagnosis of pigmented macules on the mottled chronic sun-damaged skin of the face is challenging and includes lentigo maligna (LM), pigmented actinic (solar) keratosis, solar lentigo, and lichen-planus-like keratosis. Although dermatoscopy improves the diagnostic accuracy of the unaided eye, the accurate diagnosis and management of pigmented facial macules remains one of the most challenging scenarios in daily practice. This is related to the fact that pigmented actinic (solar) keratosis, lichen-planus-like keratosis, and LM may reveal overlapping criteria, making their differential diagnosis clinically difficult. For this reason, practical rules have been introduced, which should help to minimize the risk for inappropriate diagnosis and management of LM.

  11. New Directions in Phthalocyanine Pigments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vandemark, Michael R.

    1992-01-01

    The objectives were the following: (1) investigation of the synthesis of new phthalocyanines; (2) characterization of the new phthalocyanines synthesized; (3) investigate the properties of the newly synthesized phthalocyanines with emphasis on UV protection of plastics and coatings; and (4) utilize quantum mechanics to evaluate the structural relationships with possible properties and synthetic approaches. The proposed research targeted the synthesis of phthalocyanines containing an aromatic bridge between two phthalocyanine rings. The goal was to synthesize pigments which would protect plastics when exposed to the photodegradation effects of the sun in space. The stability and extended conjugation of the phthalocyanines offer a unique opportunity for energy absorption and numerous radiative and non-radiative energy loss mechanisms. Although the original targeted phthalocyanines were changed early in the project, several new and unique phthalocyanine compounds were prepared. The basic goals of this work were met and some unique and unexpected outcomes of the work were the result of the integral use of quantum mechanics and molecular modeling with the synthetic effort.

  12. [Bacterial pigment prodigiosin and its genotoxic effects].

    PubMed

    Gur'ianov, I D; Karamova, N S; Iusupova, D V; Gnezdilov, O I; Koshkarova, L A

    2013-01-01

    The prodigiosin preparation was isolated and purified from Serratia marcescens ATCC 9986, using chromatographic methods. The analysis of the preparation by TLC, NMR-spectrometry and mass-spectrometry allowed to confirm the red pigment fraction as the prodigiosin and detect its purity. Originally, the specific features of the toxic and genotoxic effects of prodigiosin and the possibility of induction of mutations by pigment in the cells of Salmonella typhimurium TA 100 (Ames test) and chromosome damage of mammalian erythroblasts have been determined.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  16. Zeo-pigment for traditional ceramic industry

    SciTech Connect

    Valdes, J.J.P.; Rodriguez, A.V.; Caraballo, M.M.

    1996-12-31

    In the present work the possibility of using natural zeolites mixed with soluble salts for ceramic pigment elaboration (further named zeo-pigment) is studied. The mixture of zeolite with salts is thermally treated to produce the pigment, this procedure was followed by x-ray diffraction (XRD) method. The obtained zeo-pigments were used to colour the porcelanized ceramic stoneware tiles at the experimental production. As it is known, it is possible to prepare a wide range of colours in these type of tiles by adding specific stains to the mixture of raw materials during grinding in the amount of 0.5 to 5 %, in this way any product called marbleized, mottled, granite, etc. ware is obtained. It is important to remember that when stains are added to the basic white body in order to produce one-color porcelanized ceramic stoneware, this does not involve great problems for the production. The physical properties of experimental produced ceramics, coloured by zeo-pigments, were studied according to European standard test. The present work is intended to be useful from the point of view of pollution prevention and waste minimization, regarding the utilization of soluble salts contained in some industrial wastes for the elaboration of ceramic pigments.

  17. New prodigiosin-like pigment from Alteromonas rubra.

    PubMed Central

    Gerber, N N; Gauthier, M J

    1979-01-01

    The red prodigiosin-like pigment from Alteromonas rubra was shown to be a mixture of prodigiosin (pigment 1) and a new cyclic isomer (pigment 2). The new structure was elucidated by mass and nuclear magnetic resonance spectra. Careful examinations of the prodigiosins produced by Serratia marcescens, Vibrio psychoerythrus, and an unidentified red bacterium (LL-100-6) failed to disclose any of the new pigment, pigment 2. PMID:384909

  18. Social instability promotes hormone-behavior associated patterns in a cichlid fish.

    PubMed

    Almeida, Olinda; Gonçalves-de-Freitas, Eliane; Lopes, João S; Oliveira, Rui F

    2014-07-01

    Androgens are known to respond to social challenges and to control the expression of social behavior and reproductive traits, such as gonadal maturation and sperm production, expression of secondary sex characters and reproductive behaviors. According to the challenge hypothesis variation in androgen levels above a breeding baseline should be explained by the regime of social challenges faced by the individual considering the trade-offs of androgens with other traits (e.g. parental care). One prediction that can be derived from the challenge hypothesis is that androgen levels should increase in response to social instability. Moreover, considering that a tighter association of relevant traits is expected in periods of environmental instability, we also predict that in unstable environments the degree of correlations among different behaviors should increase and hormones and behavior should be associated. These predictions were tested in a polygamous cichlid fish (Mozambique tilapia, Oreochromis mossambicus) with exclusive maternal care. Social instability was produced by swapping dominant males among groups. Stable treatment consisted in removing and placing back dominant males in the same group, in order to control for handling stress. Cortisol levels were also measured to monitor stress levels involved in the procedure and their relation to the androgen patterns and behavior. As predicted androgen levels increased in males in response to the establishment of a social hierarchy and presence of receptive females. However, there were no further differential increases in androgen levels over the social manipulation phase between social stable and social unstable groups. As predicted behaviors were significantly more correlated among themselves in the unstable than in the stable treatment and an associated hormone-behavior pattern was only observed in the unstable treatment. PMID:24973663

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. Efficacy of an ototoxic Aminoglycoside (Gentamicin) on the Differentiation of the inner Ear of cichlid Fish

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schoenleber, J.; Anken, R.

    Previous investigations revealed that the growth of fish inner ear otoliths depends on the amplitude and direction of gravity, thus suggesting the existence of a (negative) feedback mechanism. In the course of these experiments, it was shown that altered gravity both affected otolith size (and thus the provision of the proteinacious matrix) as well as the incorporation of calcium. It is hitherto unknown, as of whether sensory hair cells are involved either in the regulation of otolith growth or in the provision of otolithic material (such as protein or inorganic components) or even both. Developing cichlid fish Oreochromis mossambicus were therefore immersed in varying concentrations of the ototoxic aminoglycoside gentamicin (20, 40, 60, 100, 120mg/l; at even higher concentrations, the animals did not survive) for 10 or 20 days. At the beginning and at the end of the experimental periods, the fish were incubated in the calcium-tracer alizarin complexone (AC). After the experiment, otoliths were dissected and the area grown during gentamicin exposure (i.e., the area enclosed by the two AC labellings) was determined planimetrically. The results clearly showed that incubating the animals in a gentamicin solution had no effect on otolith growth. Further examinations, focused on the ultrastructure and on physiological parameters of the sensory hair cells, revealed, that these cells had not been affected by gentamicin treatment. These findings suggest that gentamicin does either not act ototoxically on hair cells in developing fish (in contrast to adult fish and developing mammals), or that immersion in gentamicin does not allow the aminoglycoside to act on inner ear hair cells (although it damages lateral line neuromasts and high concentrations affect the rate of survival). The role of sensory cells on the formation of otoliths thus remains obscure. Acknowledgement: This work was financially supported by the German Aerospace Center (DLR) (FKZ: 50 WB 9997).

  1. Efficacy of an ototoxic aminoglycoside (gentamicin) on the differentiation of the inner ear of cichlid fish

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schönleber, J.; Anken, R. H.

    2004-01-01

    Previous investigations revealed that the growth of fish inner ear otoliths depends on the amplitude and the direction of gravity, thus suggesting the existence of a (negative) feedback mechanism. In the course of these experiments, it was shown that altered gravity both affected otolith size (and thus the provision of the proteinacious matrix) as well as the incorporation of calcium. It is hitherto unknown, as of whether sensory hair cells are involved either in the regulation of otolith growth or in the provision of otolithic material (such as protein or inorganic components) or even both. The ototoxic aminoglycoside gentamicin (GM) damages hair cells in many vertebrates (and is therefore used for the treatment of Meniere's disease in humans). The present study was thus designed to determine as of whether vestibular sensory cells are needed for otolith growth by applying GM in order to induce a (functionally relevant) loss of these cells. Developing cichlid fish Oreochromis mossambicus were therefore immersed in 120 mg/l GM for 10 or 21 days. At the beginning and at the end of the experimental periods, the fish were incubated in the calcium-tracer alizarin complexone (AC). After the experiment, otoliths were dissected and the area grown during GM-exposure (i.e., the area enclosed by the two AC labellings) was determined planimetrically. The results showed that incubating the animals in a GM-solution had no effect on otolith growth, but the development of otolith asymmetry was affected. Ultrastructural examinations of the sensory hair cells revealed that they had obviously not been affected by GM-treatment (no degenerative morphological features observed). Overall, the present results suggest that hair cells are not affected by GM concerning their possible role in (general) otolith growth, but that these cells indeed might have transitionally been impaired by GM resulting in a decreased capacity of regulating otolith symmetry.

  2. Mechanism of action of endosulfan as disruptor of gonadal steroidogenesis in the cichlid fish Cichlasoma dimerus.

    PubMed

    Da Cuña, Rodrigo H; Rey Vázquez, Graciela; Dorelle, Luciana; Rodríguez, Enrique M; Guimarães Moreira, Renata; Lo Nostro, Fabiana L

    2016-09-01

    The organochlorine pesticide endosulfan (ES) is used in several countries as a wide spectrum insecticide on crops with high commercial value. Due to its high toxicity to non-target animals, its persistence in the environment and its ability to act as an endocrine disrupting compound in fish, ES use is currently banned or restricted in many other countries. Previous studies on the cichlid fish Cichlasoma dimerus have shown that waterborne exposure to ES can lead to both decreased pituitary FSH content and histological alterations of testes. As gonadotropin-stimulated sex steroids release from gonads was inhibited by ES in vitro, the aim of the present study was to elucidate possible mechanisms of disruption of ES on gonadal steroidogenesis in C. dimerus, as well as compare the action of the active ingredient (AI) with that of currently used commercial formulations (CF). Testis and ovary fragments were incubated with ES (AI or CF) and/or steroidogenesis activators or precursors. Testosterone and estradiol levels were measured in the incubation media. By itself, ES did not affect hormone levels. Co-incubation with LH and the adenylate cyclase activator forskolin caused a decrease of the stimulated sex steroids release. When co-incubated with precursors dehydroandrostenedione and 17αhydroxyprogesterone, ES did not affect the increase caused by their addition alone. No differences were observed between the AI and CFs, suggesting that the effect on steroidogenesis disruption is mainly caused by the AI. Results indicate that action of ES takes place downstream of LH-receptor activation and upstream of the studied steroidogenic enzymes. PMID:27235598

  3. Quantitative Molecular Phenotyping of Gill Remodeling in a Cichlid Fish Responding to Salinity Stress*

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    A two-tiered label-free quantitative (LFQ) proteomics workflow was used to elucidate how salinity affects the molecular phenotype, i.e. proteome, of gills from a cichlid fish, the euryhaline tilapia (Oreochromis mossambicus). The workflow consists of initial global profiling of relative tryptic peptide abundances in treated versus control samples followed by targeted identification (by MS/MS) and quantitation (by chromatographic peak area integration) of validated peptides for each protein of interest. Fresh water acclimated tilapia were independently exposed in separate experiments to acute short-term (34 ppt) and gradual long-term (70 ppt, 90 ppt) salinity stress followed by molecular phenotyping of the gill proteome. The severity of salinity stress can be deduced with high technical reproducibility from the initial global label-free quantitative profiling step alone at both peptide and protein levels. However, an accurate regulation ratio can only be determined by targeted label-free quantitative profiling because not all peptides used for protein identification are also valid for quantitation. Of the three salinity challenges, gradual acclimation to 90 ppt has the most pronounced effect on gill molecular phenotype. Known salinity effects on tilapia gills, including an increase in the size and number of mitochondria-rich ionocytes, activities of specific ion transporters, and induction of specific molecular chaperones are reflected in the regulation of abundances of the corresponding proteins. Moreover, specific protein isoforms that are responsive to environmental salinity change are resolved and it is revealed that salinity effects on the mitochondrial proteome are nonuniform. Furthermore, protein NDRG1 has been identified as a novel key component of molecular phenotype restructuring during salinity-induced gill remodeling. In conclusion, besides confirming known effects of salinity on gills of euryhaline fish, molecular phenotyping reveals novel insight into

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

    PubMed

    Maruska, Karen P; Fernald, Russell D

    2013-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hesse, Saskia; Thünken, Timo

    2014-04-01

    Living in groups is a widespread phenomenon in many animal taxa. The reduction of predation risk is thought to be an important cause for the formation of groups. Consequently, grouping behavior is particularly pronounced during vulnerable life stages, i.e., as juveniles. However, group living does not only provide benefits but also imposes costs on group members, e.g., increased competition for food. Thus, benefits of grouping behavior might not be evident when predation risk is absent. The adaptive significance of living and also developing in a group independent from predation risk has received relatively little attention although this might have important implications on the evolution and maintenance of group living. The first aim of the present study was to examine whether the social environment affects juvenile performance in the cichlid fish Pelvicachromis taeniatus and, secondly, whether kinship affects social behavior. Kin selection theory predicts benefits from grouping with kin. Here, we demonstrate that juveniles reared in a group grow on average faster compared to juveniles reared in isolation under standardized laboratory conditions without predation risk. Furthermore, we found significant differences in social behavior between juveniles reared in a group and reared in isolation. Fish reared in isolation were significantly more aggressive and less willing to shoal than group-reared fish. As expected, genetic relatedness influenced social behavior in group-reared fish as well: dyads of juveniles consisting of kin showed increased group cohesiveness compared to non-kin dyads. We discuss the potential benefits of group living in general and living with kin in particular.

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

    PubMed Central

    Becker, Lisa; Hilliard, Austin T.; Kent, Kai R.; Fernald, Russell D.

    2016-01-01

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

  7. Behavioral and Physiological Plasticity: Rapid Changes during Social Ascent in an African Cichlid Fish

    PubMed Central

    Fernald, Russell D.

    2010-01-01

    In many vertebrates, reproduction is regulated by social interactions in which dominant males control access to females and food. Subordinate males that displace dominant individuals must rapidly adopt behavioral and physiological traits of the higher rank to gain reproductive success. To understand the process of phenotypic plasticity during social ascent, we analyzed the temporal expression pattern of dominance behaviors and circulating androgen levels when socially-suppressed males of an African cichlid fish Astatotilapia burtoni ascended in status. These experiments tested a prediction of the ‘challenge hypothesis’ that, during periods of social instability, male androgen levels are higher than during socially stable times. We found that socially and reproductively suppressed males perform territorial and reproductive behaviors within minutes of an opportunity to ascend in status, and that animals switch from initial expression of territorial behaviors to more reproductive behaviors during territory establishment. Following this rapid response, social stability may be achieved within 1–3 days of social ascent. Consistent with predictions of the ‘challenge hypothesis’, circulating 11-ketotestosterone (11-KT) levels were elevated within 30 min following social opportunity, coincident with increased aggressive behavior. However, territorial behaviors and serum 11-KT levels were then dissociated by 72 hrs after social ascent, suggesting either rapid social stability and/or increased physiological potential for androgen production. This behavioral and physiological plasticity in male A. burtoni suggests that perception of social opportunity triggers a suite of quick changes to facilitate rapid transition towards reproductive success, and reveals important features of social ascent not previously recognized. PMID:20303357

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

    PubMed Central

    Maruska, Karen P.; Fernald, Russell D.

    2013-01-01

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

  9. Social instability promotes hormone-behavior associated patterns in a cichlid fish.

    PubMed

    Almeida, Olinda; Gonçalves-de-Freitas, Eliane; Lopes, João S; Oliveira, Rui F

    2014-07-01

    Androgens are known to respond to social challenges and to control the expression of social behavior and reproductive traits, such as gonadal maturation and sperm production, expression of secondary sex characters and reproductive behaviors. According to the challenge hypothesis variation in androgen levels above a breeding baseline should be explained by the regime of social challenges faced by the individual considering the trade-offs of androgens with other traits (e.g. parental care). One prediction that can be derived from the challenge hypothesis is that androgen levels should increase in response to social instability. Moreover, considering that a tighter association of relevant traits is expected in periods of environmental instability, we also predict that in unstable environments the degree of correlations among different behaviors should increase and hormones and behavior should be associated. These predictions were tested in a polygamous cichlid fish (Mozambique tilapia, Oreochromis mossambicus) with exclusive maternal care. Social instability was produced by swapping dominant males among groups. Stable treatment consisted in removing and placing back dominant males in the same group, in order to control for handling stress. Cortisol levels were also measured to monitor stress levels involved in the procedure and their relation to the androgen patterns and behavior. As predicted androgen levels increased in males in response to the establishment of a social hierarchy and presence of receptive females. However, there were no further differential increases in androgen levels over the social manipulation phase between social stable and social unstable groups. As predicted behaviors were significantly more correlated among themselves in the unstable than in the stable treatment and an associated hormone-behavior pattern was only observed in the unstable treatment.

  10. Male courtship preferences demonstrate discrimination against allopatric colour morphs in a cichlid fish

    PubMed Central

    Zoppoth, P; Koblmüller, S; Sefc, K M

    2013-01-01

    Whether premating isolation is achieved by male-specific, female-specific or sex-independent assortative preferences often depends on the underlying evolutionary processes. Here we test mate preferences of males presented with females of different allopatric colour variants of the cichlid fish Tropheus sp., a Lake Tanganyika endemic with rich geographical colour pattern variation, in which the strength of sexual isolation varies between populations. We conducted two-way mate choice experiments to compare behaviour of males of a red-bodied morph (population Moliro) towards females from their own population with behaviour towards females from four allopatric populations at different stages of phylogenetic and phenotypic divergence. Males courted same-population females significantly more intensely than females of other populations, and reduced their heteromorphic courtship efforts both with increasing genetic and increasing phenotypic distinctness of the females. In particular, females of a closely related red-bodied population received significantly more courtship than either genetically distinct, similarly coloured females (‘Kirschfleck’ morph) or genetically related, differently coloured females (‘yellow-blotch’ morph), both of which were courted similarly. Genetically and phenotypically distinct females (Tropheus polli) were not courted at all. Consistent with previous female-choice experiments, female courtship activity also decreased with increasing genetic distance from the males’ population. Given successful experimental and natural introgression between colour morphs and the pervasive allopatry of related variants, we consider it unlikely that assortative preferences of both sexes were driven by direct selection during periods of secondary contact or, in turn, drove colour pattern differentiation in allopatry. Rather, we suggest that sexual isolation evolved as by-product of allopatric divergence. PMID:23405907

  11. Male courtship preferences demonstrate discrimination against allopatric colour morphs in a cichlid fish.

    PubMed

    Zoppoth, P; Koblmüller, S; Sefc, K M

    2013-03-01

    Whether premating isolation is achieved by male-specific, female-specific or sex-independent assortative preferences often depends on the underlying evolutionary processes. Here we test mate preferences of males presented with females of different allopatric colour variants of the cichlid fish Tropheus sp., a Lake Tanganyika endemic with rich geographical colour pattern variation, in which the strength of sexual isolation varies between populations. We conducted two-way mate choice experiments to compare behaviour of males of a red-bodied morph (population Moliro) towards females from their own population with behaviour towards females from four allopatric populations at different stages of phylogenetic and phenotypic divergence. Males courted same-population females significantly more intensely than females of other populations, and reduced their heteromorphic courtship efforts both with increasing genetic and increasing phenotypic distinctness of the females. In particular, females of a closely related red-bodied population received significantly more courtship than either genetically distinct, similarly coloured females ('Kirschfleck' morph) or genetically related, differently coloured females ('yellow-blotch' morph), both of which were courted similarly. Genetically and phenotypically distinct females (Tropheus polli) were not courted at all. Consistent with previous female-choice experiments, female courtship activity also decreased with increasing genetic distance from the males' population. Given successful experimental and natural introgression between colour morphs and the pervasive allopatry of related variants, we consider it unlikely that assortative preferences of both sexes were driven by direct selection during periods of secondary contact or, in turn, drove colour pattern differentiation in allopatry. Rather, we suggest that sexual isolation evolved as by-product of allopatric divergence.

  12. Raman detection of carotenoid pigments in the human retina

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gellermann, Werner; Ermakov, Igor V.; McClane, Robert W.; Bernstein, Paul S.

    2000-04-01

    We have used resonance Raman scattering as a novel, non- invasive, in-vivo optical technique to measure the concentration of carotenoid pigment in the human retina. Using argon laser excitation we are able to measure two strong carotenoid resonance Raman signals at 1159 and 1525 wave numbers, respectively. The required laser power levels are within the limits given by safety standards for ocular exposure. Of the approximately ten carotenoid pigment found in normal human serum, the species lutein and zeaxanthin are concentrated in high amounts in the cells of the human macula, which is an approximately 5 mm diameter area of the retina in which the visual acuity is highest. These carotenoids give the macula a characteristic yellow coloration, and it is speculated that these molecules function as filter to attenuate photochemical damage and/or image degradation under bright UV/blue light exposures. In addition, they are thought to act as free-radical scavenging antioxidants. Studies have shown that there may be a link between macular degenerative diseases, the leading cause of blindness in the elderly in the US, and the presence or absence of the carotenoids. We describe an instrument capable of measuring the macular carotenoids in human subjects in a non-invasive, rapid and quantitative way.

  13. Pitching stabilization via caudal fin-wave propagation in a forward-sinking parrot cichlid (Cichlasoma citrinellum x Cichlasoma synspilum).

    PubMed

    Ting, S C; Yang, J T

    2008-10-01

    Caudal fin-wave propagation (CFP) is a commonly observed behavior in a fish but has been little investigated. Our objective is to understand the function of a CFP for a forward-sinking parrot cichlid that adopts a tilted-down swimming posture. We utilized stereoscopic digital particle-image velocimetry to measure the velocity fields in the wake of both the caudal fin and the pectoral fins and to evaluate the corresponding hydrodynamic forces. The tilted-down posture of this fish is inherently unstable because of the presence of the head-down pitching moment induced from the buoyant force of the body. The down-stroke of the pectoral fins results also in a head-down pitching moment that destabilizes the fish. Our results indicate that a CFP facilitates the pitching stabilization of a fish. In a forward-sinking parrot cichlid, a CFP produces periodic jets (CFP jets) that are oriented laterally and posterodorsally, which result in both thrust and negative lift that induce a head-up pitching moment. The CFP jets are initially trapped by the ventral part of the caudal fin, strengthened and reoriented by the dorsally propagating fin wave, and expelled near the dorsal part of the caudal fin. PMID:18805814

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Seehausen, Ole; Schluter, Dolph

    2004-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-20

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Lehtonen, Topi K.; Meyer, Axel

    2011-01-01

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

  1. Origin and evolution of B chromosomes in the cichlid fish Astatotilapia latifasciata based on integrated genomic analyses.

    PubMed

    Valente, Guilherme T; Conte, Matthew A; Fantinatti, Bruno E A; Cabral-de-Mello, Diogo C; Carvalho, Robson F; Vicari, Marcelo R; Kocher, Thomas D; Martins, Cesar

    2014-08-01

    Approximately 15% of eukaryotes contain supernumerary B chromosomes. When present, B chromosomes frequently represent as much as 5% of the genome. Despite thousands of reports describing the distribution of supernumeraries in various taxa, a comprehensive theory for the origin, maintenance, and evolution of B chromosomes has not emerged. Here, we sequence the complete genomes of individual cichlid fish (Astatotilapia latifasciata) with and without B chromosomes, as well as microdissected B chromosomes, to identify DNA sequences on the B. B sequences were further analyzed through quantitative polymerase chain reaction and in situ hybridization. We find that the B chromosome contains thousands of sequences duplicated from essentially every chromosome in the ancestral karyotype. Although most genes on the B chromosome are fragmented, a few are largely intact, and we detect evidence that at least three of them are transcriptionally active. We propose a model in which the B chromosome originated early in the evolutionary history of Lake Victoria cichlids from a small fragment of one autosome. DNA sequences originating from several autosomes, including protein-coding genes and transposable elements, subsequently inserted into this proto-B. We propose that intact B chromosome genes involved with microtubule organization, kinetochore structure, recombination and progression through the cell cycle may play a role in driving the transmission of the B chromosome. Furthermore, our work suggests that karyotyping is an essential step prior to genome sequencing to avoid problems in genome assembly and analytical biases created by the presence of high copy number sequences on the B chromosome.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  3. Discovery of the invasive Mayan Cichlid fish "Cichlasoma" urophthalmus (Günther 1862) in Thailand, with comments on other introductions and potential impacts

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nico, Leo G.; Beamish, William H.; Musikasinthorn, Prachya

    2007-01-01

    We report on the occurrence and possible establishment of a non-native cichlid fish in a brackish-water system in the lower Chao Phraya River delta region, Thailand. Although, the possibility of some degree of introgressive hybridization can not be ruled out, Thailand specimens agree best with Mayan Cichlid “Cichlasoma” urophthalmus (Günther 1862). Our collections represent the first records of this New World, highly-invasive, euryhaline fish from Thailand and coincides with recent collections from Singapore. Positive identification of specimens as “C.” urophthalmus requires caution due to the diversity of the Cichlidae (>1,300 species), widespread introduction of many family members, variation within species, extensive interspecific overlap in characters, and proliferation of artificial cichlid hybrids (e.g., Flowerhorns). We first became aware of the Thailand population in 2005 when “C.” urophthalmus began appearing in the catches of local fishermen. We visited the site in November 2006 and obtained and examined voucher specimens. The abundance and wide size range of juveniles and adults in local ponds and an adjacent canal is evidence of natural reproduction. Because water bodies throughout the Chao Phraya delta are interconnected and subject to flooding, it is likely that “C.” urophthalmus is already established and is dispersing, but surveys and monitoring are needed to determine their exact geographic range. The Thailand population is compared to “C.” urophthalmus introduced into Florida (USA). Based on what is known about Florida “C.” urophthalmus, it is predicted that this cichlid will further invade coastal and inland waters in Thailand and elsewhere in Southeast Asia. This cichlid has a long history in the aquarium trade in Europe. However, there are no records from the wild in European waters and, because of the colder climate, the possibility of establishment in that region is relatively low.

  4. Genetic Evidence for Multiple Sources of the Non-Native Fish Cichlasoma urophthalmus (Günther; Mayan Cichlids) in Southern Florida

    PubMed Central

    Harrison, Elizabeth; Trexler, Joel C.; Collins, Timothy M.; Vazquez-Domínguez, Ella; Razo-Mendivil, Ulises; Matamoros, Wilfredo A.; Barrientos, Christian

    2014-01-01

    The number and diversity of source populations may influence the genetic diversity of newly introduced populations and affect the likelihood of their establishment and spread. We used the cytochrome b mitochondrial gene and nuclear microsatellite loci to identify the sources of a successful invader in southern Florida, USA, Cichlasoma urophthalmus (Mayan cichlid). Our cytochrome b data supported an introduction from Guatemala, while our microsatellite data suggested movement of Mayan Cichlids from the upper Yucatán Peninsula to Guatemala and introductions from Guatemala and Belize to Florida. The mismatch between mitochondrial and nuclear genomes suggests admixture of a female lineage from Guatemala, where all individuals were fixed for the mitochondrial haplotype found in the introduced population, and a more diverse but also relatively small number of individuals from Belize. The Florida cytochrome b haplotype appears to be absent from Belize (0 out of 136 fish screened from Belize had this haplotype). Genetic structure within the Florida population was minimal, indicating a panmictic population, while Mexican and Central American samples displayed more genetic subdivision. Individuals from the Upper Yucatán Peninsula and the Petén region of Guatemala were more genetically similar to each other than to fish from nearby sites and movement of Mayan Cichlids between these regions occurred thousands of generations ago, suggestive of pre-Columbian human transportation of Mayan Cichlids through this region. Mayan Cichlids present a rare example of cytonuclear disequilibrium and reduced genetic diversity in the introduced population that persists more than 30 years (at least 7–8 generations) after introduction. We suggest that hybridization occurred in ornamental fish farms in Florida and may contribute their establishment in the novel habitat. Hybridization prior to release may contribute to other successful invasions. PMID:25184569