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Sample records for lake malawi cichlid

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  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. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Rupp, Maxwell F; Hulsey, C Darrin

    2014-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Rupp, Maxwell F; Hulsey, C Darrin

    2014-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. The mineralogy of Lake Malawi ferromanganese nodules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kalindekafe, L. S. N.

    1993-08-01

    In Lake Malawi, ferromanganese nodules and oolites occur in oxic areas at water depths of 80 to 160 m at the facies boundary between sands and muds. In most cases, the nodules have been found at the water/sediment interface. The nodules and micronodules range in colour from dark brown to rusty or yellowish. Some tend to be of metallic lustre on the outside. The size of the nodules ranges from about a millimeter to about a centimeter in diameter while the average is 3 mm. Three main mineral species have been identified in Lake Malawi nodules: 1) manganite (λ-MnOOH); 2) geothite [∝-FeO (OH)] and 3) vivianite [Fe 3 (PO 4) 2. 8H 2O]. A likely origin of Fe and Mn that form the nodules in Lake Malawi is from tthe sediments themselves. Another possible source can be through the movement of deep waters from the geothermally active areas of the lake to the shallow oxic areas where nodules are presently forming. The vivianite in the vivianite-rich nodules originates from dissolution of apatite (from fish debris) within the sediment and redeposition as Fe-phosphate under reducing conditions. Studies of the vivianite-rich micronodules using a scanning electron microscope (S.E.M.) and an electron microprobe have shown that in some samples, vivianite is associated with nontronite [(Ca Mg).5Fe 2(Si Al) 4O 10]. The nontronite occurs as a coating around the vivianite.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  10. Crustal Structure in Northern Malawi and Southern Tanzania surrounding Lake Malawi and the Rungwe Volcanic Province

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Borrego, D.; Kachingwe, M.; Nyblade, A.; Shillington, D. J.; Gaherty, J. B.; Ebinger, C. J.; Accardo, N. J.; O'Donnell, J. P.; Mbogoni, G. J.; Mulibo, G. D.; Chindandali, P. R. N.; Mphepo, F.; Ferdinand-Wambura, R.; Tepp, G.

    2015-12-01

    Crustal Structure in Northern Malawi and Southern Tanzania surrounding Lake Malawi and the Rungwe Volcanic Province David Borrego, Marsella Kachingwe, Andrew Nyblade, Donna Shillington, James Gaherty, Cynthia Ebinger, Natalie Accardo, J.P. O'Donnell, Gabriel Mbogoni, Gabriel Mulibo, Richard Ferdinand, Patrick Chindandali, Felix Mphepo, Gabrielle Tepp, Godson Kamihanda We investigate crustal structure around the northern end of Lake Malawi and in the Rungwe Volcanic Province using teleseismic receiver functions from the SEGMeNT broadband seismic network. The SEGMeNT network includes 55 broadband stations deployed in northern Malawi and southern Tanzania, with station spacing of 20-50 km. Fourteen stations were deployed in August 2013, and an additional of 41 stations were added to the study region beginning June/July 2014. Fifteen stations are located in Malawi and 40 stations in Tanzania. Data from teleseismic earthquakes with magnitude 5.5 or greater in the 30 to 90 degrees distance range have been used to calculate P-wave receiver functions. Estimates of Moho depth and Vp/Vs ratios have been obtained by using the H-k stacking method and by jointly inverting the receiver functions with Rayleigh wave phase velocities. Preliminary results show an average Moho depth of 40 km and an average Vp/Vs ratio of 1.72. Little evidence is found for magmatic underplating beneath the Rungwe Volcanic Province.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-12-01

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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Distribution of haloacetic acids in the water columns of the Laurentian Great Lakes and Lake Malawi.

    PubMed

    Scott, Brian F; Spencer, Christine; Marvin, Christopher H; MacTavish, David C; Muir, Derek C G

    2002-05-01

    Haloacetic acids (HAAs) are persistent and mildly phytotoxic compounds that have been detected in many aquatic environments, including the waters of the Great Lakes. Sources of HAAs, especially of trifluoroacetic acid (TFA), are not well understood. In this study we assessed the influence of urbanization on the concentrations and profiles of HAAs in the Laurentian Great Lakes and in Lake Malawi, an African Great Lake. Vertical depth profiles for these compounds were taken for each of the Great Lakes with additional profiles taken 2 years later for Lakes Erie and Ontario. The results showed that while TFA was relatively constant throughout the water column, the chloroacetic acids (CAAs) varied with depth. There was a trend of increasing TFA proceeding from Lake Superior to Lake Ontario (18-150 ng/L). Total CAA concentrations were relatively constant throughout the lakes (approximately 500 ng/L) with dichloroacetic acid being the most abundant. No bromoacetic acids were detected. In the Detroit River, a connecting channel between Lakes Huron and Erie, the TFA values were similar to those in Lake Huron, but the CAAs levels were higher than in the upstream lakes and dependent on location, indicating inputs from urban areas along the river. These results were compared to those from Lake Malawi, which has a high population density within the watershed but no heavy industry. CAAs were nondetectable, and TFA concentrations were just at the detection limit (1 ng/L). Total HAA in the water column of Lakes Superior and Huron was compared to annual precipitation inputs at a site situated near both lakes. For Lake Huron, precipitation was a minor contributor to the total HAA inventory of the lake, but for Lake Superior precipitation could be the major contributor to the mass of HAA in this lake. Generally, high HAA levels paralleled the degree of industrial activity in the adjacent waters.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Twentieth Century Ground-Truthing of Lake Malawi Climate Proxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brown, E. T.

    2005-12-01

    Information on the climate history of the Lake Malawi basin has been derived from a number of proxy indicators. For example, enhanced accumulation of biogenic silica and of volcanic ash-derived material (rich in incompatible elements such as Nb), has been interpreted as an indicator of increased northerly winds. Over the past 25 kyr, such conditions appear to have been occurred during "cold" episodes of the Late Glacial as well as the Little Ice Age. At these times, it has been hypothesized that northerly winds resulting from southward ITCZ excursions led to increased wind-driven upwelling and enhanced delivery of volcanically-derived material to the lake from the Rungwe Volcanic field, the site of the only active volcanism in the basin. To evaluate the relationship of these proxies to historic changes in the lake basin we initiated a higher resolution (2.5-mm sampling intervals yielding ~1.5-year resolution) study of Malawi sediments deposited since the late Nineteenth Century. The observed range in Nb:Ti is small compared to that of the LIA or the Late Glacial. Since 1950 CE Nb:Ti appears unrelated to mean wind direction (based on NCEP reanalysis), but shows a significant inverse relationship with rainfall (NCEP) within the basin. There appears to be a relatively constant flux of weathered volcanic ash to the lakefloor that becomes diluted by river-borne terrigenous aluminosilicates during wetter periods. In addition, these sediments show a significant increase in increased deforestation and tillage during the British Colonial Period. Such agricultural practices would have mobilized less-altered material (with higher Na:Ti than surface soils) from deeper within soil sequences, which would subsequently have been eroded and brought into the lake.

  12. Malawi.

    PubMed

    1989-02-01

    Malawi is located in southeastern Africa with Mozambique, Tanzania and Zambia as its neighboring countries. The country's climate is subtropical, conducive to the tobacco, tea, coffee and sugar grown there. The population of Malawi is predominantly rural with 90% of the population engaging in subsistence farming. Most of the people are of Bantu origin. There is no visa requirement for those travelling in Malawi, but there are conditions to be aware of for the visitor to Malawi. The government bans the wearing of slacks or shorts by women and hair below the nape of the neck for men. Malaria is endemic and tsetse flies and the risk of encephalitis are present. The water, however, is potable and telecommunications within Malawi are good. The political structure of the country is headed by an elected present and a presidentially appointed cabinet. There are 118 seats in the country's unicameral National Assembly. Although Malawi has traditionally been self-sufficient, it suffered from the world commodity price recession in the 1980s. However, Malawi has continued to grow economically at a slower rate. The United States and Malawi enjoy good diplomatic relations and have an open exchange program. As well, relations with neighboring countries, particularly Mozambique, have improved greatly.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  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. 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

  17. 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.

  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. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Lacustrine mollusc radiations in the Lake Malawi Basin: experiments in a natural laboratory for evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Van Damme, D.; Gautier, A.

    2013-09-01

    In terminal Pliocene-early Pleistocene times, part of the Malawi Basin was occupied by paleo-lake Chiwondo. Molluscan biostratigraphy situates this freshwater lake either in the East African wet phase between 2.7-2.4 Ma or that of 2.0-1.8 Ma. In-lake divergent evolution remained restricted to a few molluscan taxa and was very modest. The lacustrine Chiwondo fauna went extinct at the beginning of the Pleistocene. The modern Lake Malawi malacofauna is depauperate and descends from ubiquistic southeast African taxa and some Malawi basin endemics that invaded the present lake after the Late Pleistocene mega-droughts. The Pleistocene aridity crises caused dramatic changes, affecting the malacofauna of all East African lakes. All lacustrine endemic faunas that had evolved in the Pliocene rift lakes, such as paleo-lake Chiwondo, became extinct. In Lake Tanganyika, the freshwater ecosystem did not crash as in other lakes, but the environmental changes were sufficiently important to trigger a vast radiation. All African endemic lacustrine molluscan clades that are the result of in-lake divergence are hence geologically young, including the vast Lavigeria clade in Lake Tanganyika (ca. 43 species).

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Correlations of Scientific Drillcores and Seismic Reflection Data from Lake Malawi, Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lyons, R. P.; Scholz, C. A.; King, J. W.; Johnson, T. C.; Cohen, A. S.

    2005-12-01

    Lake Malawi is one of the world's largest lakes, extending ~580km along the East Africa Rift System from 9-14 degrees S. The 700m deep lake has a permanently stratified water column that is anoxic below 250m. The water budget is dominated by evaporation and direct rainfall onto its surface; accordingly lake level is highly sensitive to minor shifts in climate. Three high-resolution, high-density single-channel seismic reflection surveys were collected on Lake Malawi between 1992 and 2001. These studies revealed a series of prograding lowstand delta deposits in the North Basin located in as much as 500m of water. The four deltas are define paleo-lakeshore geography and are located up to ~20km offshore today. Over the past ~1Ma, we observe evidence for a progression of major lowstand shorelines at 500m, 350m, 500m, and 200m below modern lake level. These back-stepping deltas document lake-level changes that occurred nearly instantaneously, suggesting large volumes of water were removed or added to the lake over time frames of a few hundred to a few thousand years. In February 2005, the Lake Malawi Scientific Drilling Project recovered 623m of continuous drillcore from Lake Malawi. Toplap and downlap surfaces from the lowstand deltas are correlated to the two drill site locations, one in the North Basin, and one in the Central Basin, using lithologic and physical properties logs from the recovered drillcores. At the North Basin drill site (site #2) in 359m water depth, we observe a sharp boundary ~37m below lake floor. This boundary demonstrates a transition from well sorted medium-grained sand to finely laminated muds. It correlates to the downlap surface of the 200m lowstand observed in the seismic reflection data set. Physical property logs such as magnetic susceptibility, GRAPE density, natural gamma, and p-wave velocity are posted on the seismic data and correlated to the lowstand surfaces. Using the density and p-wave velocity logs, synthetic seismograms are

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

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

    PubMed

    Kawamiya, Nobuo

    2003-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

  1. A ~1.3Ma paleoecological record from scientific drilling at Lake Malawi, East Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cohen, Andrew S.; Blome, Margaret; Ivory, Sarah; King, John; Cole, Julie; McGlue, Michael

    2016-04-01

    Long records of Quaternary ecological and climatic change are critical to understanding the range of potential responses of ecosystems to environmental forcing. Here we present an integrated lake and watershed paleoecological analysis from drill core records obtained by the Lake Malawi Drilling Project, documenting extraordinary fluctuations in climate, hydrology and ecosystem response for the southern tropics of Africa. High resolution lacustrine and terrestrial paleoecology and sedimentology data sets from these Early Pleistocene-Holocene drill cores provide the most complete record of this duration currently available from Africa. Time series analyses of these records demonstrate strong orbital forcing of regional hydroclimate that drives high-amplitude changes in Malawi ecosystems. Prior to ~600ka we also observe a secondary overprint of watershed processes involving river capture or diversion that may have a tectonic origin. We observe shifts between more arid conditions (shallow alkaline and well mixed lake, with discontinuous desert vegetation) and more humid environments (deep, stratified, freshwater lake with dense forest). These broadly synchronous changes in lake paleoecology, lake sedimentology, and watershed vegetation demonstrate the major role of climate in regulating this system. Transitions between these lake/watershed state extremes is often very abrupt, suggesting that the combined lake/watershed repeatedly passed through hydroclimate thresholds, with important implications for the evolution of the lake's endemic biodiversity and ecosystem. The tempo of lake/watershed state fluctuations changes at the Mid-Pleistocene Transition, altering from one of higher frequency/lower amplitude variability prior to 900ka to lower frequency/higher amplitude variability after that time.

  2. 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.

  3. Upper mantle P-wave velocity structure beneath northern Lake Malawi and the Rungwe Volcanic Province, East Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grijalva, A. N.; Kachingwe, M.; Nyblade, A.; Shillington, D. J.; Gaherty, J. B.; Ebinger, C. J.; Accardo, N. J.; O'Donnell, J. P.; Mbogoni, G. J.; Mulibo, G. D.; Ferdinand, R.; Chindandali, P. R. N.; Mphepo, F.

    2015-12-01

    A recent deployment of 55 broadband seismic stations around the northern Lake Malawi rift as part of the SEGMeNT project have provided a new dataset for imaging crustal and upper mantle structure beneath the Rungwe volcanic center and northern most segment of the Lake Malawi Rift. The goal of our study is to characterize the upper mantle velocity structure and determine to what extent the rifting has been influenced by magmatism. P relative arrival time residuals have been obtained for 115 teleseismic events with magnitudes > 5 in the 30 - 90 degree distance range. They are being tomographically inverted, together with travel time residuals from previous deployments for a 3-D velocity model of the upper mantle. Preliminary results indicate a low wave speed anomaly in the uppermost mantle beneath the Rungwe volcanics. Future results will determine if this anomaly exists under the northern Lake Malawi rift.

  4. 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

  5. Initial Results of Scientific Drilling on Lake Malawi, East African Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scholz, C. A.; Johnson, T. C.; King, J.; Cohen, A. S.; Lyons, R. P.; Kalindekafe, L.; Forman, S. L.; McHargue, L. R.; Singer, B. S.

    2005-12-01

    Lake Malawi is one of the largest and oldest lakes in the southern hemisphere and in the tropical latitudes, measuring more than 580 km in length, with a maximum depth of 700 m, and with an estimated age of more than 7 Ma. The lake water column is anoxic below 200 m, thus preserving an extensive record of laminated (varved) sediments. The lake's hydrologic budget is hypersensitive to minor changes in precipitation:evaporation, and signals of lake level and limnologic change respond markedly to regional climate variations. During February-March 2005 a scientific drilling program was conducted on the deep, open waters of Lake Malawi, using a converted local fuel barge outfitted with a deep-water-capable geotechnical drilling rig, a portable dynamic positioning system, and a suite of sampling tools designed for deep lake coring. A total of 623 m of core was recovered in seven holes at two sites on the lake. The high-resolution North Basin site (water depth 359 m) was triple-cored, providing redundant sampling of the sedimentary section representing the past ~75-100 kyr; the Central Basin deep site (592 m water depth) was double cored over the period of the past ~200 kyr, and single-cored to 380 m, covering perhaps 1.5 million years. The North Basin high-resolution site targeted a hemipelagic sequence, which in core samples consists of alternating zones of laminated and homogenous silty mud. At the base of these cores we observe well-sorted medium-grained shoreface sand deposits, that we interpret to be a transgressive surface deposited following a severe (500 m) lake lowstand. Density, magnetic susceptibility, TOC, and C/N profiles closely follow lithologic changes, and correspond to periods of enhanced or diminished productivity and dramatically varying lake level. Initial dating of the North Basin site (total core length 38 m) is underway using a combination of Radiocarbon, Tephra Ar-Ar, and Optically-Stimulated Luminescence methods, and initial results indicate a

  6. Low Genetic and Morphometric Intraspecific Divergence in Peripheral Copadichromis Populations (Perciformes: Cichlidae) in the Lake Malawi Basin

    PubMed Central

    Anseeuw, Dieter; Raeymaekers, Joost A. M.; Busselen, Paul; Verheyen, Erik; Snoeks, Jos

    2011-01-01

    Peripheral isolated populations may undergo rapid divergence from the main population due to various factors such as a bottleneck or a founder effect followed by genetic drift or local selection pressures. Recent populations of two economically important Copadichromis species in Lake Malombe, a satellite lake of Lake Malawi, were neither genetically nor morphometrically distinct from their source populations in the main lake. Evidence was found for a founder effect which had a different impact on the genetic composition of the two species. In addition, the increased fishing pressure in Lake Malombe may have led to a reduction of the body sizes of both species. PMID:21716858

  7. Active-source seismic imaging below Lake Malawi (Nyasa) from the SEGMeNT project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shillington, D. J.; Scholz, C. A.; Gaherty, J. B.; Accardo, N. J.; McCartney, T.; Chindandali, P. R. N.; Kamihanda, G.; Trinhammer, P.; Wood, D. A.; Khalfan, M.; Ebinger, C. J.; Nyblade, A.; Mbogoni, G. J.; Mruma, A. H.; Salima, J.; Ferdinand-Wambura, R.

    2015-12-01

    Little is known about the controls on the initiation and development of magmatism and segmentation in young rift systems. The northern Lake Malawi (Nyasa) rift in the East African Rift System is an early stage rift exhibiting pronounced tectonic segmentation, which is defined in the upper crust by ~100-km-long border faults. Very little volcanism is associated with rifting; the only surface expression of magmatism occurs in an accommodation zone between segments to the north of the lake in the Rungwe Volcanic Province. The SEGMeNT (Study of Extension and maGmatism in Malawi aNd Tanzania) project is a multidisciplinary, multinational study that is acquiring a suite of geophysical, geological and geochemical data to characterize deformation and magmatism in the crust and mantle lithosphere along 2-3 segments of this rift. As a part of the SEGMeNT project, we acquired seismic reflection and refraction data in Lake Malawi (Nyasa) in March-April 2015. Over 2000 km of seismic reflection data were acquired with a 500 to 2580 cu in air gun array from GEUS/Aarhus and a 500- to 1500-m-long seismic streamer from Syracuse University over a grid of lines across and along the northern and central basins. Air gun shots from MCS profiles and 1000 km of additional shooting with large shot intervals were also recorded on 27 short-period and 6 broadband lake bottom seismometers from Scripps Oceanographic Institute as a part of the Ocean Bottom Seismic Instrument Pool (OBSIP) as well as the 55-station onshore seismic array. The OBS were deployed along one long strike line and two dip lines. We will present preliminary data and results from seismic reflection and refraction data acquired in the lake and their implications for crustal deformation within and between rift segments. Seismic reflection data image structures up to ~5-6 km below the lake bottom, including syntectonic sediments, intrabasinal faults and other complex horsts. Some intrabasinal faults in both the northern and

  8. 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

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

  11. Tectonic, climatic and hydrothermal control on sedimentation and water chemistry of northern Lake Malawi (Nyasa), Tanzania

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Branchu, Philippe; Bergonzini, Laurent; Delvaux, Damien; De Batist, Marc; Golubev, Vladimir; Benedetti, Marc; Klerkx, Jean

    2005-11-01

    This paper presents a multi-disciplinary characterisation of processes that influence sedimentation and lake water chemistry in the northern part of the Lake Malawi (or Lake Nyasa), East Africa. This characterisation is based on geophysical (heat-flow), tectonic, hydrological, hydrochemical (major elements, stable isotopes) and sedimentological (seismic profiles, core mineralogy) studies of data acquired from 1990 to 1994 during the CASIMIR project (Comparative Analysis of Sedimentary Infill Mechanisms in Rifts). Sub-surface activity is expressed through seismic and volcanic activity, as well as elevated heat-flow values, both beneath the lake and the surrounding area; hydrothermal activity is observed in the watershed however it was not clearly identified in the sub-lacustrine environment. Relatively high heat-flow values (80-90 mW/m 2) and the chemical composition of hydrothermal fluids in hot springs suggest the presence of a magmatic body at depth. The influence of Quaternary tectonic activity on sedimentary dynamics and infilling is observed not only on land but also in the lake through high-resolution seismic profiles. The main feature is a general tilting of the Kyela Plain as shown by a shift in the river course. The Quaternary stacking pattern of seven sedimentary sequences identified on a grid of high-resolution seismic reflection profiles represents a complete long-term lake-level cycle, from a lake lowstand at about 320 m below the present level to the present-day lake highstand. The North-Kiwira and Songwe River delta systems, composed of a number of stacked lobes, were developed in response to the interplay between gradual lake-level rise, tectonic movement and sediment input. The river dynamics is also recorded in a short core by a mineralogical evolution probably due to a decrease of detrital inputs from the Songwe River in response to hydroclimatic changes. Such changes are very important as this northern part of the watershed is considered as a

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Waxing and Waning of Forests: Late Quaternary Biogeography of Lake Malawi, Southeast Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ivory, S.; Lézine, A. M.; Vincens, A.; Cohen, A. S.

    2014-12-01

    African ecosystems are at great risk due to climate and land-use change. Despite the status of several of these regions as biodiversity hotspots, long-standing ideas about African ecology and biogeography have been unable to be tested until now due to lack of sufficiently long records. Here, we present the first long, continuous terrestrial record of vegetation from Lake Malawi, East Africa which goes back to the early Late Quaternary, permitting us to investigate changes in physiognomy and forest composition over many transitions. In this record, we observe eight phases of forest expansion and collapse. Although diversity is much greater during forest phases, composition varies little from phase to phase. Very high abundances of afromontane taxa suggest frequent widespread colonization of the lowlands by modern high elevation trees. Although there are clear successional stages within each forest such that turnover is great within a single phase, among forest samples between phases, there is little dissimilarity. Each forest phase is interrupted by rapid decline of arboreal taxa and expansion of semi-arid grasslands or woodlands whose composition varies greatly from phase to phase. The variable composition of the more open phases, all occurring during arid periods, is likely dynamically linked to thresholds in regional hydrology associated with lake level and moisture recycling within the watershed. This vegetation is unlike any found at Malawi today, with assemblages suggesting strong Somali-Masai affinities. Furthermore, nearly all semi-arid assemblages contain small abundances of forest taxa typically growing in areas with wetter edaphic conditions, suggesting that moist lowland gallery forests were present but restricted to waterways during exceptionally arid times. The waxing and waning of forests throughout this interval has important implications for early human biogeography across Africa as well as disturbance regimes that are crucial for the maintenance of

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-07-01

    Divergent natural selection is thought to play a vital role in speciation, but clear, measurable examples from nature are still few. Among the many possible sources of divergent natural selection, predation pressure may be important because predators are ubiquitous in food webs. Here, we show evidence for divergent natural selection in a Lake Tanganyika cichlid, Telmatochromis temporalis, which uses burrows under stones or empty snail shells as shelters. This species contains normal and dwarf morphs at several localities. The normal morph inhabits rocky shorelines, whereas the dwarf morph invariably inhabits shell beds, where empty snail shells densely cover the lake bottom. Genetic evidence suggested that the dwarf morph evolved independently from the normal morph at two areas, and morphological analysis and evaluation of habitat structure revealed that the body sizes of morphs closely matched the available shelter sizes in their habitats. These findings suggest that the two morphs repeatedly evolved through divergent natural selection associated with the strategy for sheltering from predators. PMID:19549109

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

    PubMed

    Martin, Christopher H

    2012-10-01

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

  18. Deltas of the Lake Malawi rift, east Africa: Seismic expression and exploration implications

    SciTech Connect

    Scholz, C.A.

    1995-11-01

    High-resolution, air-gun-sourced seismic reflection surveys over the offshore regions of five river deltas in Lake Malawi in the East African rift system reveal considerable variability in acoustic facies and stratigraphic architecture. This variability can largely be attributed to the influences of different structural settings, and to a lesser degree to high-amplitude (100-400 m) and high-frequency (1000 to 100,000 yr) fluctuations in lake level. Deltas on flexural and axial margins in the rift lake show well-developed progradational geometries. In contrast, a delta on a steep, accommodation zone margin distributes coarse sediments over a broad depositional apron, rather than concentrating sediment in discrete progradational lobes as on the other deltas. A large border fault margin river delta displays the most complex tectonic and stratigraphic architecture of all the deltas studied. It contains several delta-associated facies, including prograding clinoform packages, fan deltas stacked against a boundary fault, and extensive subaqueous fans. Flexural margin lowstand deltas may be the most prospective for hydrocarbon exploration due to their large, internally well-organized, progradational lobes and their close proximity to deep-water, high total organic carbon lacustrine source facies.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-10-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Takeuchi, Yuichi; Hori, Michio; Oda, Yoichi

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

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

  2. Ash from the Toba supereruption in Lake Malawi shows no volcanic winter in East Africa at 75 ka.

    PubMed

    Lane, Christine S; Chorn, Ben T; Johnson, Thomas C

    2013-05-14

    The most explosive volcanic event of the Quaternary was the eruption of Mt. Toba, Sumatra, 75,000 y ago, which produced voluminous ash deposits found across much of the Indian Ocean, Indian Peninsula, and South China Sea. A major climatic downturn observed within the Greenland ice cores has been attributed to the cooling effects of the ash and aerosols ejected during the eruption of the Youngest Toba Tuff (YTT). These events coincided roughly with a hypothesized human genetic bottleneck, when the number of our species in Africa may have been reduced to near extinction. Some have speculated that the demise of early modern humans at that time was due in part to a dramatic climate shift triggered by the supereruption. Others have argued that environmental conditions would not have been so severe to have such an impact on our ancestors, and furthermore, that modern humans may have already expanded beyond Africa by this time. We report an observation of the YTT in Africa, recovered as a cryptotephra layer in Lake Malawi sediments, >7,000 km west of the source volcano. The YTT isochron provides an accurate and precise age estimate for the Lake Malawi paleoclimate record, which revises the chronology of past climatic events in East Africa. The YTT in Lake Malawi is not accompanied by a major change in sediment composition or evidence for substantial temperature change, implying that the eruption did not significantly impact the climate of East Africa and was not the cause of a human genetic bottleneck at that time.

  3. Acquisition of Lateralized Predation Behavior Associated with Development of Mouth Asymmetry in a Lake Tanganyika Scale-Eating Cichlid Fish.

    PubMed

    Takeuchi, Yuichi; Hori, Michio; Tada, Shinya; Oda, Yoichi

    2016-01-01

    The scale-eating cichlid Perissodus microlepis with asymmetric mouth is an attractive model of behavioral laterality: each adult tears off scales from prey fishes' left or right flanks according to the direction in which its mouth is skewed. To investigate the development of behavioral laterality and mouth asymmetry, we analyzed stomach contents and lower jaw-bone asymmetry of various-sized P. microlepis (22 ≤ SL<115 mm) sampled in Lake Tanganyika. The shapes of the pored scales found in each specimen's stomach indicated its attack side preference. Early-juvenile specimens (SL<45 mm) feeding mainly on zooplankton exhibited slight but significant mouth asymmetry. As the fish acquired scale-eating (45 mm ≤ SL), attack side preference was gradually strengthened, as was mouth asymmetry. Among size-matched individuals, those with more skewed mouths ate more scales. These findings show that behavioral laterality in scale-eating P. microlepis is established in association with development of mouth asymmetry which precedes the behavioral acquisition, and that this synergistic interaction between physical and behavioral literalities may contribute to efficient scale-eating.

  4. Acquisition of Lateralized Predation Behavior Associated with Development of Mouth Asymmetry in a Lake Tanganyika Scale-Eating Cichlid Fish

    PubMed Central

    Takeuchi, Yuichi; Hori, Michio; Tada, Shinya; Oda, Yoichi

    2016-01-01

    The scale-eating cichlid Perissodus microlepis with asymmetric mouth is an attractive model of behavioral laterality: each adult tears off scales from prey fishes’ left or right flanks according to the direction in which its mouth is skewed. To investigate the development of behavioral laterality and mouth asymmetry, we analyzed stomach contents and lower jaw-bone asymmetry of various-sized P. microlepis (22≤SL<115mm) sampled in Lake Tanganyika. The shapes of the pored scales found in each specimen’s stomach indicated its attack side preference. Early-juvenile specimens (SL<45mm) feeding mainly on zooplankton exhibited slight but significant mouth asymmetry. As the fish acquired scale-eating (45mm≤SL), attack side preference was gradually strengthened, as was mouth asymmetry. Among size-matched individuals, those with more skewed mouths ate more scales. These findings show that behavioral laterality in scale-eating P. microlepis is established in association with development of mouth asymmetry which precedes the behavioral acquisition, and that this synergistic interaction between physical and behavioral literalities may contribute to efficient scale-eating. PMID:26808293

  5. 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

  6. Orbital- versus glacial-mode forcing of tropical African climate: Results of scientific drilling in Lake Malawi, East Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scholz, C. A.; Cohen, A. S.; Johnson, T. C.; King, J. W.; Brown, E. T.; Lyons, R. P.; Stone, J. R.; Beuning, K. R.

    2007-12-01

    Lake Malawi extends from 9-14 degrees S within the East African Rift Valley, and at 700 m deep, contains more than 20 percent of the surface water on the African continent. In 2005 the Lake Malawi Scientific Drilling Project drilled 7 holes at two sites in the lake, recovering a continuous sediment record that samples much of the Quaternary. Detailed studies completed to date on sediments deposited during the past 145 ka indicate periods of severe aridity at precessional frequency between 135 and 75 ka, when the lake's water volume was periodically reduced by at least 95 percent. These dramatic drops in lake level (more than 550 m), signifying markedly arid conditions in the catchment, are documented in sediment lithology (decreased organic carbon content and increased authigenic carbonate content during severe lowstands), aquatic microfossils (appearance of a littoral ostracode fauna, and saline/alkaline lake diatom flora during extreme low lake stages), as well as in dramatic reductions in catchment pollen production. These intervals of pronounced tropical African aridity in the early late-Pleistocene were much more severe than the Last Glacial Maximum, and are consistent with sediment records from Lakes Tanganyika (East Africa) and Bosumtwi (West Africa). In all three lakes a major rise in water levels and a shift to more humid conditions is observed after ~70 ka. The transition to wetter, more stable conditions coincides with the relaxation of orbital eccentricity and a reduction in the amplitude of precession. The observed climate mode switch to decreased environmental variability is consistent with terrestrial and marine records from in and around tropical Africa, but these new drill cores provide evidence for dramatically drier conditions prior to 70 ka that have not as yet been detected in marine sediment records. Such climate change may have stimulated the expansion and migrations of early modern human populations.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. The Central Lake Malawi (Nyasa) Rift: single or multiple rift segments?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCartney, T.; Scholz, C. A.; Shillington, D. J.; Accardo, N. J.; Chindandali, P. R. N.; Kamihanda, G.

    2015-12-01

    Accommodation zones connect rift segments, which are fundamental elements of continental rift architecture. The sedimentary record aids our assessment of the evolution of this linkage. The central basin of Lake Malawi is one of the most structurally complex regions of the Malawi Rift. Border fault margins have been interpreted on both shorelines; three structures within the basin have been interpreted as segments of a corresponding accommodation zone. We investigate these structures by integrating single- and multi-channel reflection seismic data, including new MCS acquired in 2015 for the SEGMeNT project. The stratigraphic record in the central basin, inferred from seismic reflection profiles, provides compelling evidence that most fault-related subsidence is accommodated by the western border fault. Strata on both sides of all three structures dip to the west. The pre-rift basement in the sub-basin west of the central structure is considerably deeper (~ 4 s TWTT sub-bottom) than that in the broader eastern sub-basin (~ 2.5 s TWTT sub-bottom). A syncline in the eastern sub-basin shows little variation in seismic facies, particularly over the last 1.3 m.y. In contrast, the western sub-basin exhibits seismic facies indicative of fluvial input from two major rivers, siliciclastic input from the border fault footwall rising > 1000 m above lake level, and mud diapirs in the deepest part of the sub-basin. Horizons pierced by these diapirs onlap the central structure, suggesting diapir rise postdates relative uplift of the structure. Correlations with the age model from a 2005 scientific drilling project will better constrain this timing. The structural high helps focus siliciclastic sediments into the sub-basin, resulting in the overpressure conditions required for mud diapirism. We hypothesize that the diapirs are the result of sediment loading in the deep main depocenter of the central basin rather than fault mechanisms. The basement highs in the central basin control

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, Thomas; Werne, Josef

    2016-04-01

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

  11. Ash from the Toba supereruption in Lake Malawi shows no volcanic winter in East Africa at 75 ka.

    PubMed

    Lane, Christine S; Chorn, Ben T; Johnson, Thomas C

    2013-05-14

    The most explosive volcanic event of the Quaternary was the eruption of Mt. Toba, Sumatra, 75,000 y ago, which produced voluminous ash deposits found across much of the Indian Ocean, Indian Peninsula, and South China Sea. A major climatic downturn observed within the Greenland ice cores has been attributed to the cooling effects of the ash and aerosols ejected during the eruption of the Youngest Toba Tuff (YTT). These events coincided roughly with a hypothesized human genetic bottleneck, when the number of our species in Africa may have been reduced to near extinction. Some have speculated that the demise of early modern humans at that time was due in part to a dramatic climate shift triggered by the supereruption. Others have argued that environmental conditions would not have been so severe to have such an impact on our ancestors, and furthermore, that modern humans may have already expanded beyond Africa by this time. We report an observation of the YTT in Africa, recovered as a cryptotephra layer in Lake Malawi sediments, >7,000 km west of the source volcano. The YTT isochron provides an accurate and precise age estimate for the Lake Malawi paleoclimate record, which revises the chronology of past climatic events in East Africa. The YTT in Lake Malawi is not accompanied by a major change in sediment composition or evidence for substantial temperature change, implying that the eruption did not significantly impact the climate of East Africa and was not the cause of a human genetic bottleneck at that time. PMID:23630269

  12. Ash from the Toba supereruption in Lake Malawi shows no volcanic winter in East Africa at 75 ka

    PubMed Central

    Lane, Christine S.; Chorn, Ben T.; Johnson, Thomas C.

    2013-01-01

    The most explosive volcanic event of the Quaternary was the eruption of Mt. Toba, Sumatra, 75,000 y ago, which produced voluminous ash deposits found across much of the Indian Ocean, Indian Peninsula, and South China Sea. A major climatic downturn observed within the Greenland ice cores has been attributed to the cooling effects of the ash and aerosols ejected during the eruption of the Youngest Toba Tuff (YTT). These events coincided roughly with a hypothesized human genetic bottleneck, when the number of our species in Africa may have been reduced to near extinction. Some have speculated that the demise of early modern humans at that time was due in part to a dramatic climate shift triggered by the supereruption. Others have argued that environmental conditions would not have been so severe to have such an impact on our ancestors, and furthermore, that modern humans may have already expanded beyond Africa by this time. We report an observation of the YTT in Africa, recovered as a cryptotephra layer in Lake Malawi sediments, >7,000 km west of the source volcano. The YTT isochron provides an accurate and precise age estimate for the Lake Malawi paleoclimate record, which revises the chronology of past climatic events in East Africa. The YTT in Lake Malawi is not accompanied by a major change in sediment composition or evidence for substantial temperature change, implying that the eruption did not significantly impact the climate of East Africa and was not the cause of a human genetic bottleneck at that time. PMID:23630269

  13. Fine Resolution Analysis of Lake Malawi Sediment Record Shows No Significant Climatic Impacts from the Mount Toba Super-Eruption of ~75ky

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jackson, L. J.; Stone, J.; Cohen, A. S.

    2014-12-01

    Debate over long, and short-term climatic impacts of the Mt. Toba super-eruption circa 75ky is often focused on East Africa. A severe drop in anatomically modern human populations has been hypothesized to be synchronous with a volcanic winter caused by the Toba super-eruption. If the Toba eruption caused a volcanic winter in East Africa, climatologically-sensitive ecosystems, such as Lake Malawi and its immediate watershed should show a direct and observable response in the sediment record. Cooler temperatures would cause a reduction of density contrast between epilimnion and hypolimnion waters, allowing for increased mixing and oxygenation of normally anoxic bottom waters. Enhanced mixing would cause noticeable changes in lake fly and algal communities. Cooler temperatures might also affect precipitation and the fire regime in the surrounding watershed. We analyzed two Lake Malawi cores at the finest practical resolution. Core 2A-10H-2 was analyzed in less than 6-year intervals and core 1C-8H-1 in 7-year intervals surrounding the Youngest Toba Tephra (YTT) for microfaunal abundance and variability, sediment composition, and evidence of changes in the occurrence of fires or watershed precipitation. Our analysis included point counts of diatoms and other algae, lake flies, charcoal, and siliciclastics. Changes in microfossil assemblage, variability, and abundance, as well as sediment composition around the YTT in Core 2A and 1C do not indicate that increased mixing or cooler temperatures occurred in either the central or northern basins of Lake Malawi. Similarly, charcoal counts do not suggest a change in fire regime. Our results indicate that at a subdecadal scale there was no substantial response in Lake Malawi or its immediate watershed to the Mt. Toba super-eruption, in contrast to predictions from the volcanic winter hypothesis.

  14. Early-stage rifting in the southwest East African Rift: Insights from new reflection seismic data from Lakes Tanganyika and Malawi (Nyasa)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scholz, C. A.; Wood, D. A.; Shillington, D. J.; McCartney, T.; Accardo, N. J.

    2015-12-01

    The western branch of the East African Rift is characterized by modest amounts of mainly amagmatic extension; deeply-subsided, fault-controlled basins; and large-magnitude, deep seismicity. Lakes Tanganyika and Malawi are two of the world's largest lakes, with maximum water depths of 1450 and 700 m respectively. Newly acquired seismic reflection data, along with newly reprocessed legacy data reveal thick sedimentary sections, in excess of 5 km in some localities. The 1980's vintage legacy data from Project PROBE have been reprocessed through pre-stack depth migration in Lake Tanganyika, and similar reprocessing of legacy data from Lake Malawi is forthcoming. New high-fold and large-source commercial and academic data have recently been collected in southern Lake Tanganyika, and in the northern and central basins of Lake Malawi as part of the 2015 SEGMeNT project. In the case of Lake Tanganyika, new data indicate the presence of older sediment packages that underlie previously identified "pre-rift" basement (the "Nyanja Event"). These episodes of sedimentation and extension may substantially predate the modern lake. These deep stratal reflections are absent in many localites, possibly on account of attenuation of the acoustic signal. However in one area of southern Lake Tanganyika, the newly-observed deep strata extend axially for ~70 km, likely representing deposits from a discrete paleolake. The high-amplitude Nyanja Event is interpreted as the onset of late-Cenozoic rifting, and the changing character of the overlying depositional sequences reflects increasing relief in the rift valley, as well as the variability of fluvial inputs, and the intermittent connectivity of upstream lake catchments. Earlier Tanganyika sequences are dominated by shallow lake and fluvial-lacustrine facies, whereas later sequences are characterized by extensive gravity flow deposition in deep water, and pronounced erosion and incision in shallow water depths and on littoral platforms. The

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  16. Strong assortative mating by diet, color, size, and morphology but limited progress toward sympatric speciation in a classic example: Cameroon crater lake cichlids.

    PubMed

    Martin, Christopher H

    2013-07-01

    Models predict that sympatric speciation depends on restrictive parameter ranges, such as sufficiently strong disruptive selection and assortative mating, but compelling examples in nature have rarely been used to test these predictions. I measured the strength of assortative mating within a species complex of Tilapia in Lake Ejagham, Cameroon, a celebrated example of incipient sympatric adaptive radiation. This species complex is in the earliest stages of speciation: morphological and ecological divergence are incomplete, species differ primarily in breeding coloration, and introgression is common. I captured 27 mated pairs in situ and measured the diet, color, size, and morphology of each individual. I found strong assortative mating by color, size, head depth, and dietary source of benthic or pelagic prey along two independent dimensions of assortment. Thus, Ejagham Tilapia showed strong assortative mating most conducive to sympatric speciation. Nonetheless, in contrast to a morphologically bimodal Sarotherodon cichlid species pair in the lake, Ejagham Tilapia show more limited progress toward speciation, likely due to insufficient strength of disruptive selection on morphology estimated in a previous study (γ = 0.16). This supports the predicted dependence of sympatric speciation on strong assortment and strong disruptive selection by examining a potentially stalled example in nature.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Salzburger, Walter; Braasch, Ingo; Meyer, Axel

    2007-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Yinan; Albertson, R. Craig

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    The brain is one of the most energetically expensive organs in the vertebrate body. Consequently, the energetic requirements of encephalization are suggested to impose considerable constraints on brain size evolution. Three main hypotheses concerning how energetic constraints might affect brain evolution predict covariation between brain investment and (1) investment into other costly tissues, (2) overall metabolic rate, and (3) reproductive investment. To date, these hypotheses have mainly been tested in homeothermic animals and the existing data are inconclusive. However, there are good reasons to believe that energetic limitations might play a role in large-scale patterns of brain size evolution also in ectothermic vertebrates. Here, we test these hypotheses in a group of ectothermic vertebrates, the Lake Tanganyika cichlid fishes. After controlling for the effect of shared ancestry and confounding ecological variables, we find a negative association between brain size and gut size. Furthermore, we find that the evolution of a larger brain is accompanied by increased reproductive investment into egg size and parental care. Our results indicate that the energetic costs of encephalization may be an important general factor involved in the evolution of brain size also in ectothermic vertebrates. PMID:25346264

  2. Phytoliths Used to Investigate the Effects of the Indonesian Mount Toba Super-Eruption (~75 kyr) in East Africa: A Subdecadal Record from Lake Malawi

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yost, C. L.; Cohen, A. S.

    2014-12-01

    The recent discovery of cryptotephra visually and chemically matched to the Youngest Toba Tuff (YTT, 75.0 ± 0.9 kyr) in Lake Malawi drill core sediments has spurred renewed interest in this period of time in East Africa. The YTT is the most recent and largest of the four Mount Toba eruptions, and is the only super-eruption to have taken place during the Quaternary. The timing of the YTT approximately coincides with a hypothesized human genetic bottleneck. Several climate models have proposed an episode of global cooling following the YTT; however, the magnitude and duration of the cooling is much debated, ranging from just a few degrees of cooling to a state of volcanic winter. Cored sediments from Lake Malawi provide an excellent record of local variability in the lake's watershed that may be linked to specific climatic events. To investigate the possible effects of the YTT in East Africa, we continuously sampled Lake Malawi drill core 2A-10H-2 at 2-4 mm (~6 yr) intervals above and below the first occurrence of the YTT. Poaceae phytoliths were grouped into plant functional types (C3, C4, xerophytic, mesophytic, arboreal, etc.), revealing mostly subtle changes in terrestrial vegetation over the ~400 yr time period examined. Abrupt increases in concentration values for phytoliths derived from riverine Podostemaceae plants appear to signal increased discharge from rivers draining the surrounding uplands. Perhaps most significant is the increasing trend in burned phytoliths and decreasing trend in tree phytoliths post-YTT. Although there appears to be a very weak cooling signal synchronous with the YTT, the most abrupt terrestrial vegetation changes appear to be better correlated with the deposition of a slightly older cryptotephra horizon derived from the local Rungwe Volcanic Province. A potential complication with this record is the existence of a turbidite pre-YTT that encompasses the Rungwe horizon.

  3. Tectonic Evolution of the Northern Malawi rift, East Africa: Structural Controls on Sediment Dispersal in a Large Lake Basin.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mortimer, E.; Paton, D.; Scholz, C.; Strecker, M.

    2005-12-01

    The Malawi Rift is an integral part of the East African Rift system (EARs), the type example of a rift system in its youthful stages of development. Understanding the spatio-temporal evolution of this rift system provides insights into the past histories and controls on more ancient rift basins. Fundamental questions remain regarding the structural styles, partitioning, and sediment dispersal patterns within large lacustrine basins that are common to young rifts. Such basins are particularly useful recorders of climatic fluctuations. In areas with pronounced climatic variability and high evaporation/precipitation ratios this may lead to, often transient, basin isolation that may dramatically affect sediment and facies distribution. We investigate the structural evolution and sedimentation patterns of the North basin, Malawi Rift. We utilise two seismic reflection data sets: the first, collected by project PROBE, records the entire basin-fill (Sequences 1-3) at medium resolution; the second provides a closely-spaced high-resolution survey of the past ~1 Ma (Sequence 3). These data document the development of the basin-bounding and intra-basin faults. Throughout its history, the basin-bounding fault has accommodated the greatest strain and therefore exerted the fundamental control on the distribution of sediment within the rift. Present-day sediments enter the basin axially, although there is evidence that transverse supply was also important in the past. We identify 11 intra-basin structures that strike parallel or sub-parallel to this border fault. These intra-basin faults, active from the earliest stages, have initial segment lengths of ~30 km, but rapidly reach lengths in excess of 80 km in the north of the basin, and 60 km in the south. Much of the sedimentation along the faults occurred during Sequence 2 (~2.7-1.6 Ma), a period of relative over-filling of the basin. While the basin-bounding fault controls the overall sediment architecture, all 11 intra

  4. Riparian ecosystem resilience and livelihood strategies under test: lessons from Lake Chilwa in Malawi and other lakes in Africa.

    PubMed

    Kafumbata, Dalitso; Jamu, Daniel; Chiotha, Sosten

    2014-04-01

    This paper reviews the importance of African lakes and their management challenges. African inland lakes contribute significantly to food security, livelihoods and national economies through direct exploitation of fisheries, water resources for irrigation and hydropower generation. Because of these key contributions, the ecosystem services provided are under significant stress mainly owing to high demand by increasing populations, negative anthropogenic impacts on lake catchments and high levels of poverty which result in unsustainable use. Climate variability exacerbates the stress on these ecosystems. Current research findings show that the lakes cannot sustain further development activities on the scale seen over the past few decades. Millions of people are at risk of losing livelihoods through impacts on livestock and wildlife. The review further shows that the problems facing these lakes are beyond the purview of current management practices. A much better understanding of the interactions and feedbacks between different components of the lake socio-ecological systems is needed to address the complex challenges of managing these ecosystem services. This review suggests that the three small wetlands of Chad, Chilwa and Naivasha provide an opportunity for testing novel ideas that integrate sustainability of natural resource management with livelihoods in order to inform policy on how future land use and climatic variability will affect both food security and the ecosystem services associated with it.

  5. Riparian ecosystem resilience and livelihood strategies under test: lessons from Lake Chilwa in Malawi and other lakes in Africa

    PubMed Central

    Kafumbata, Dalitso; Jamu, Daniel; Chiotha, Sosten

    2014-01-01

    This paper reviews the importance of African lakes and their management challenges. African inland lakes contribute significantly to food security, livelihoods and national economies through direct exploitation of fisheries, water resources for irrigation and hydropower generation. Because of these key contributions, the ecosystem services provided are under significant stress mainly owing to high demand by increasing populations, negative anthropogenic impacts on lake catchments and high levels of poverty which result in unsustainable use. Climate variability exacerbates the stress on these ecosystems. Current research findings show that the lakes cannot sustain further development activities on the scale seen over the past few decades. Millions of people are at risk of losing livelihoods through impacts on livestock and wildlife. The review further shows that the problems facing these lakes are beyond the purview of current management practices. A much better understanding of the interactions and feedbacks between different components of the lake socio-ecological systems is needed to address the complex challenges of managing these ecosystem services. This review suggests that the three small wetlands of Chad, Chilwa and Naivasha provide an opportunity for testing novel ideas that integrate sustainability of natural resource management with livelihoods in order to inform policy on how future land use and climatic variability will affect both food security and the ecosystem services associated with it. PMID:24535395

  6. Riparian ecosystem resilience and livelihood strategies under test: lessons from Lake Chilwa in Malawi and other lakes in Africa.

    PubMed

    Kafumbata, Dalitso; Jamu, Daniel; Chiotha, Sosten

    2014-04-01

    This paper reviews the importance of African lakes and their management challenges. African inland lakes contribute significantly to food security, livelihoods and national economies through direct exploitation of fisheries, water resources for irrigation and hydropower generation. Because of these key contributions, the ecosystem services provided are under significant stress mainly owing to high demand by increasing populations, negative anthropogenic impacts on lake catchments and high levels of poverty which result in unsustainable use. Climate variability exacerbates the stress on these ecosystems. Current research findings show that the lakes cannot sustain further development activities on the scale seen over the past few decades. Millions of people are at risk of losing livelihoods through impacts on livestock and wildlife. The review further shows that the problems facing these lakes are beyond the purview of current management practices. A much better understanding of the interactions and feedbacks between different components of the lake socio-ecological systems is needed to address the complex challenges of managing these ecosystem services. This review suggests that the three small wetlands of Chad, Chilwa and Naivasha provide an opportunity for testing novel ideas that integrate sustainability of natural resource management with livelihoods in order to inform policy on how future land use and climatic variability will affect both food security and the ecosystem services associated with it. PMID:24535395

  7. Genetic evidence for prevalence of alloparental care in a socially monogamous biparental cichlid fish, Perissodus microlepis, from Lake Tanganyika supports the "selfish shepherd effect" hypothesis.

    PubMed

    Lee, Hyuk Je; Heim, Valentin; Meyer, Axel

    2016-05-01

    Alloparental care - care for unrelated young - is rare in animals, and its ecological or evolutionary advantages or, alternative maladaptive nature, remain unclear. We investigate alloparental care in the socially monogamous cichlid fish Perissodus microlepis from Lake Tanganyika that exhibits bi-parental care. In a genetic parentage analysis, we discovered a surprisingly high percentage of alloparental care represented by brood mixing, extra-pair paternity and extra-pair maternity in all broods that we investigated. The percentage of nondescendant juveniles of other parents, i.e., brood mixing, ranged from 5% to 57% (mean = 28%). The distribution of genetic parentage also suggests that this socially monogamous species has, in fact, polygamous mating system. The prevalence of genetically mixed broods can be best explained by two, not mutually exclusive hypotheses on farming-out and fostering behaviors. In the majority of broods, the sizes of the parents' own (descendant) offspring were significantly larger than those of the adopted (nondescendant) juveniles, supporting the 'selfish shepherd effect' hypothesis, i.e., that foster parents preferentially accept unrelated "smaller or not larger" young since this would tend to lower the predation risks for their own larger offspring. There was also a tendency for larger parents particularly mothers, more so than smaller parents, to care predominantly for their own offspring. Larger parents might be better at defending against cuckoldry and having foreign young dumped into their broods through farming-out behavior. This result might argue for maladaptive effects of allopatric care for the foster parents that only larger and possibly more experienced pairs can guard against. It needs to be determined why, apparently, the ability to recognize one's own young has not evolved in this species. PMID:27217943

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Incipient sympatric speciation in Midas cichlid fish from the youngest and one of the smallest crater lakes in Nicaragua due to differential use of the benthic and limnetic habitats?

    PubMed

    Kautt, Andreas F; Machado-Schiaffino, Gonzalo; Torres-Dowdall, Julian; Meyer, Axel

    2016-08-01

    Understanding how speciation can occur without geographic isolation remains a central objective in evolutionary biology. Generally, some form of disruptive selection and assortative mating are necessary for sympatric speciation to occur. Disruptive selection can arise from intraspecific competition for resources. If this competition leads to the differential use of habitats and variation in relevant traits is genetically determined, then assortative mating can be an automatic consequence (i.e., habitat isolation). In this study, we caught Midas cichlid fish from the limnetic (middle of the lake) and benthic (shore) habitats of Crater Lake Asososca Managua to test whether some of the necessary conditions for sympatric speciation due to intraspecific competition and habitat isolation are given. Lake As. Managua is very small (<900 m in diameter), extremely young (maximally 1245 years of age), and completely isolated. It is inhabited by, probably, only a single endemic species of Midas cichlids, Amphilophus tolteca. We found that fish from the limnetic habitat were more elongated than fish collected from the benthic habitat, as would be predicted from ecomorphological considerations. Stable isotope analyses confirmed that the former also exhibit a more limnetic lifestyle than the latter. Furthermore, split-brood design experiments in the laboratory suggest that phenotypic plasticity is unlikely to explain much of the observed differences in body elongation that we observed in the field. Yet, neutral markers (microsatellites) did not reveal any genetic clustering in the population. Interestingly, demographic inferences based on RAD-seq data suggest that the apparent lack of genetic differentiation at neutral markers could simply be due to a lack of time, as intraspecific competition may only have begun a few hundred generations ago. PMID:27551387

  11. Incipient sympatric speciation in Midas cichlid fish from the youngest and one of the smallest crater lakes in Nicaragua due to differential use of the benthic and limnetic habitats?

    PubMed

    Kautt, Andreas F; Machado-Schiaffino, Gonzalo; Torres-Dowdall, Julian; Meyer, Axel

    2016-08-01

    Understanding how speciation can occur without geographic isolation remains a central objective in evolutionary biology. Generally, some form of disruptive selection and assortative mating are necessary for sympatric speciation to occur. Disruptive selection can arise from intraspecific competition for resources. If this competition leads to the differential use of habitats and variation in relevant traits is genetically determined, then assortative mating can be an automatic consequence (i.e., habitat isolation). In this study, we caught Midas cichlid fish from the limnetic (middle of the lake) and benthic (shore) habitats of Crater Lake Asososca Managua to test whether some of the necessary conditions for sympatric speciation due to intraspecific competition and habitat isolation are given. Lake As. Managua is very small (<900 m in diameter), extremely young (maximally 1245 years of age), and completely isolated. It is inhabited by, probably, only a single endemic species of Midas cichlids, Amphilophus tolteca. We found that fish from the limnetic habitat were more elongated than fish collected from the benthic habitat, as would be predicted from ecomorphological considerations. Stable isotope analyses confirmed that the former also exhibit a more limnetic lifestyle than the latter. Furthermore, split-brood design experiments in the laboratory suggest that phenotypic plasticity is unlikely to explain much of the observed differences in body elongation that we observed in the field. Yet, neutral markers (microsatellites) did not reveal any genetic clustering in the population. Interestingly, demographic inferences based on RAD-seq data suggest that the apparent lack of genetic differentiation at neutral markers could simply be due to a lack of time, as intraspecific competition may only have begun a few hundred generations ago.

  12. Full-vector paleomagnetic secular variation records from latest quaternary sediments of Lake Malawi (10.0°S, 34.3°E)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lund, Steve; Platzman, Ellen; Johnson, Tom

    2016-07-01

    We have conducted a paleomagnetic study of Late Quaternary sediments from Lake Malawi, East Africa, in order to develop a high-resolution record of paleomagnetic secular variation (PSV). This study has recovered PSV records from two cores (3P, 6P) in northern Lake Malawi (10.0°S, 34.3°E). The PSV appears to be recorded in fine-grained detrital magnetite/titanomagnetite grains. Detailed af demagnetization of the natural remanence (NRM) shows that a distinctive characteristic remanence (ChRM) is demagnetized from ∼20 to 80 mT, which decreases simply toward the origin. The resulting directional PSV records for 3P and 6P are easily correlatable with 29 distinct inclination features and 29 declination features. The statistical character of the PSV in both cores is consistent with Holocene PSV noted at other Holocene equatorial sites. Radiocarbon dating of the cores is based on 18 independent radiocarbon dates and four dated stratigraphic horizons that can be correlated into each core. The final directional PSV time series cover the last 24,000 years with an average sediment accumulation rate of ∼30 cm/kyr. We have also developed a relative paleointensity estimate for these PSV records based on normalizing the NRM (after 20 mT af demagnetization) by the SIRM (after 20 mT af demagnetization). Changing sedimentation patterns complicate any attempt to develop a single paleointensity record for the entire core lengths. We have developed a relative paleointensity record for the last 6000 years that has 14 correlatable features including 5 notable peaks in intensity. Three of these peaks are synchronous with paleointensity highs farther north in SE Europe/SW Asia/Egypt but two of the peaks are at times of low paleointensity farther north. We interpret this to indicate that Lake Malawi (10°S) is at least partly under the influence of a different flux-regeneration region of the outer-core dynamo. A relative paleointensity record was also developed for ∼11,000-24,000 YBP

  13. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-09-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. English Teaching Profile: Malawi.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    British Council, London (England). English Language and Literature Div.

    The role and status of English instruction in Malawi is outlined. The role of English in Malawi as a whole, English instruction within the educational system, language teacher supply and training, and British support for English instruction in Malawi are reported. English is taught as a subject in primary school and is the language of instruction…

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Intersex and alterations in reproductive development of a cichlid, Tilapia guineensis, from a municipal domestic water supply lake (Eleyele) in Southwestern Nigeria.

    PubMed

    Adeogun, Aina O; Ibor, Oju R; Adeduntan, Sherifat D; Arukwe, Augustine

    2016-01-15

    The objectives of this study were to develop and validate biomarker techniques for aquatic environmental monitoring of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in Nigeria aquatic ecosystems, using the Eleyele Lake, which is a major source of domestic water supply to Ibadan and its surrounding towns, as a model aquatic environment and Tilapia guineensis, as a model organism. A total of 55 male and 28 female fish were used for this study. No significant difference in condition factor was observed between the sexes. Evaluation of gross gonadal morphology of the sampled fish showed 33% intersex prevalence in the sampled population, of which respective 71 and 29% were males and females, with visible testis and ovary developing alongside phenotypic females and males. Plasma concentrations of luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), 11-ketotestosterone (11-KT) and 17β-estradiol (E2) were performed, showing that male fish had significantly higher plasma LH and E2 concentrations, compared to females. Vitellogenin (Vtg) and zona radiata proteins (Zrp) mRNA levels were significantly higher in males, compared to female fish. Contaminant analysis revealed that PCB 81, 123, 138 and 196 were the only PCB congeners detected in sediment and fish muscle (PCB153 in sediment), while dieldrin was the only organochlorine compound (OC) detected in Eleyele sediment. These responses were used in a multivariate analysis, showing that two principal components were extracted and accounted for 74% of total variation in the dataset. The principal component analysis (PCA) showed that male fish variables were positively correlated with PCB congeners 18 and 123, while female fish showed positive correlations with congener 81, 138, 189, 196, indicating sex-specific pattern of association between PCBs concentrations and biomarker expression. In addition, strong positive correlation between male fish and LH, E2, FSH and Vtg was observed, while female fish positively correlated with

  4. Intersex and alterations in reproductive development of a cichlid, Tilapia guineensis, from a municipal domestic water supply lake (Eleyele) in Southwestern Nigeria.

    PubMed

    Adeogun, Aina O; Ibor, Oju R; Adeduntan, Sherifat D; Arukwe, Augustine

    2016-01-15

    The objectives of this study were to develop and validate biomarker techniques for aquatic environmental monitoring of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in Nigeria aquatic ecosystems, using the Eleyele Lake, which is a major source of domestic water supply to Ibadan and its surrounding towns, as a model aquatic environment and Tilapia guineensis, as a model organism. A total of 55 male and 28 female fish were used for this study. No significant difference in condition factor was observed between the sexes. Evaluation of gross gonadal morphology of the sampled fish showed 33% intersex prevalence in the sampled population, of which respective 71 and 29% were males and females, with visible testis and ovary developing alongside phenotypic females and males. Plasma concentrations of luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), 11-ketotestosterone (11-KT) and 17β-estradiol (E2) were performed, showing that male fish had significantly higher plasma LH and E2 concentrations, compared to females. Vitellogenin (Vtg) and zona radiata proteins (Zrp) mRNA levels were significantly higher in males, compared to female fish. Contaminant analysis revealed that PCB 81, 123, 138 and 196 were the only PCB congeners detected in sediment and fish muscle (PCB153 in sediment), while dieldrin was the only organochlorine compound (OC) detected in Eleyele sediment. These responses were used in a multivariate analysis, showing that two principal components were extracted and accounted for 74% of total variation in the dataset. The principal component analysis (PCA) showed that male fish variables were positively correlated with PCB congeners 18 and 123, while female fish showed positive correlations with congener 81, 138, 189, 196, indicating sex-specific pattern of association between PCBs concentrations and biomarker expression. In addition, strong positive correlation between male fish and LH, E2, FSH and Vtg was observed, while female fish positively correlated with

  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. PMID:26399975

  6. 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.

  7. The species flocks of East African cichlid fishes: recent advances in molecular phylogenetics and population genetics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salzburger, Walter; Meyer, Axel

    With more than 3,000 species, the fish family Cichlidae is one of the most species-rich families of vertebrates. Cichlids occur in southern and central America, Africa, Madagascar, and India. The hotspot of their biodiversity is East Africa, where they form adaptive radiations composed of hundreds of endemic species in several lakes of various sizes and ages. The unparalleled species richness of East African cichlids has been something of a conundrum for evolutionary biologists and ecologists, since it has been in doubt whether these hundreds of species arose by allopatric speciation or whether it is necessary to invoke somewhat less traditional models of speciation, such as micro-allopatric, peripatric, or even sympatric speciation or evolution through sexual selection mediated by female choice. Ernst Mayr's analyses of these evolutionary uniquely diverse species assemblages have contributed to a more direct approach to this problem and have led to a deeper understanding of the patterns and processes that caused the formation of these huge groups of species. We review here recent molecular data on population differentiation and phylogenetics, which have helped to unravel, to some extent, the patterns and processes that led to the formation and ecological maintenance of cichlid species flocks. It is becoming apparent that sexually selected traits do play an important role in speciation in micro-allopatric or even sympatric settings. Species richness seems to be roughly correlated with the surface area, but not the age, of the lakes. We observe that the oldest lineages of a species flock of cichlids are often less species-rich and live in the open water or deepwater habitats. While the species flocks of the Lake Malawai and the Lake Victoria areas were shown to be monophyletic, the cichlid assemblage of Lake Tanganyika seems to consist of several independent species flocks. Cichlids emerge as an evolutionary model system in which many fundamental questions in

  8. Speciation: Genomic Archipelagos in a Crater Lake.

    PubMed

    Ronco, Fabrizia; Salzburger, Walter

    2016-03-01

    The opening stages of speciation remain poorly understood, especially from a genomic perspective. The genomes of newly discovered crater-lake cichlid fish shed light on the early phases of diversification and suggest that selection acts on multiple genomic regions.

  9. 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)

  10. Genetic and morphological studies of Nothobranchius (Cyprinodontiformes) from Malawi with description of Nothobranchius wattersi sp. nov.

    PubMed

    Ng'oma, E; Valdesalici, S; Reichwald, K; Cellerino, A

    2013-01-01

    Molecular and morphological data were used to explore evolutionary differentiation among populations of Nothobranchius in the Lake Malawi-upper Shire River and the Lakes Chilwa-Chiuta drainage systems in Malawi. The aim of the study was to test the hypothesis that Nothobranchius of the Malawi-Shire system constitute a separate evolutionary group from Nothobranchius kirki. Mitochondrial and nuclear sequence data show a strongly supported phylogenetic split into two monophyletic groups separating the Lake Malawi basin fish from N. kirki. Unlike N. kirki, Lake Malawi-Shire fish do not deviate from neutrality and express an excess of rare haplotypes and mutations in terminal branches, characteristic of recently expanded populations. Further, the two groups significantly differ in morphology. Two body characters (dorsal-fin base length and pre-pelvic-pre-anal distance) are significantly different between the two species in both sexes. Several other characters are significantly different in either male or female comparisons with respect to both standard and head lengths, and robust morphological differentiation is detected by multivariate analysis. The two groups are readily distinguished on the basis of male colouration, especially in scale centres and the caudal fin. On the basis of this differentiation at the molecular and morphological levels, in addition to colouration, the Lake Malawi-Shire fish are hereby formally recognized as constituting a new species, Nothobranchius wattersi. This distinction is in agreement with the geomorphologic and recent climatic history in the region. PMID:23331144

  11. Risk Communication of Groundwater Quality in Northern Malawi, Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holm, R.

    2011-12-01

    Malawi lies in Africa's Great Rift Valley. Its western border is defined by Lake Malawi, the third largest lake in Africa. Over 80% of Malawians live in rural areas and 90% of the labor force is associated with agriculture. More than half of the population lives below the poverty line. Area characteristics indicate a high likelihood of nitrate and total coliform in community drinking water. Infants exposed to high nitrate are at risk of developing methemoglobinemia. In addition, diarrheal diseases from unsafe drinking water are one of the top causes of mortality in children under five. Without sufficient and sustainable supplies of clean water, these challenges will continue to threaten Malawi's ability to overcome the devastating impact of diarrheal diseases on its population. Therefore, Malawi remains highly dependent on outside assistance and influence to reduce or eliminate the threat posed by unsafe drinking water. This research presents a literature review of nitrate and total coliform groundwater quality and a proposed risk communication plan for drinking water in northern Malawi.

  12. 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

  13. Remarkable rates of lightning strike mortality in Malawi.

    PubMed

    Mulder, Monique Borgerhoff; Msalu, Lameck; Caro, Tim; Salerno, Jonathan

    2012-01-01

    Livingstone's second mission site on the shore of Lake Malawi suffers very high rates of consequential lightning strikes. Comprehensive interviewing of victims and their relatives in seven Traditional Authorities in Nkhata Bay District, Malawi revealed that the annual rate of consequential strikes was 419/million, more than six times higher than that in other developing countries; the rate of deaths from lightning was 84/million/year, 5.4 times greater than the highest ever recorded. These remarkable figures reveal that lightning constitutes a significant stochastic source of mortality with potential life history consequences, but it should not deflect attention away from the more prominent causes of mortality in this rural area.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  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. 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.

  18. Malawi: Country Status Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Robson, Barbara

    A survey of the status of language usage in Malawi begins with an overview of the distribution and usage of English (the official language) and the native Bantu languages: Chichewa or Nyanja (Chinyanja), the language used by half the population; and three other Bantu languages also used there--Lomwe, Yao, and Tumbuka. The social situation favoring…

  19. 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

  20. Holocene Full-Vector Secular Variation from African Lakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lund, S.; Platzman, E. S.; Johnson, T. C.; Scholz, C. A.; Cohen, A. S.; Russell, J. M.

    2014-12-01

    We are developing a regional pattern of Holocene paleomagnetic secular variation (PSV) from four lakes in East Africa - Lake Turkana (3°N), Lake Victoria (1°S), Lake Tanganyika (5°S), and Lake Malawi (10°S). Detailed paleomagnetic and rock magnetic measurements have been made on two cores from Lake Malawi (9m meters in depth, last ~10,000 years), two cores from Lake Victoria (8 m, last ~8,000 years), 11 cores from Lake Turkana (2-9 m, last ~10,000 years), and one core from Lake Tanganyika (5 m, last ~5,000 years). Our rock magnetic studies identify significant intervals of magnetic mineral dissolution in Lakes Victoria and Tanganyika making parts of these cores unsuitable for relative paleointensity studies. On the other hand, rock magnetic variability in the Lake Malawi and Lake Turkana cores are stable and correlatable among cores. We have recovered directional secular variation records from Lakes Malawi, Victoria, and Turkana. Millennial-scale inclination and declination features can be correlated among cores at each lake and between lakes. We have also recovered relative paleointensity records from Lakes Malawi and Turkana. More than 20 radiocarbon dates and detailed seismic stratigraphy (Turkana) provide critical added information for correlating and dating the paleomagnetic records.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Genomics of Adaptation to Multiple Concurrent Stresses: Insights from Comparative Transcriptomics of a Cichlid Fish from One of Earth's Most Extreme Environments, the Hypersaline Soda Lake Magadi in Kenya, East Africa.

    PubMed

    Kavembe, Geraldine D; Franchini, Paolo; Irisarri, Iker; Machado-Schiaffino, Gonzalo; Meyer, Axel

    2015-10-01

    The Magadi tilapia (Alcolapia grahami) is a cichlid fish that inhabits one of the Earth's most extreme aquatic environments, with high pH (~10), salinity (~60% of seawater), high temperatures (~40 °C), and fluctuating oxygen regimes. The Magadi tilapia evolved several unique behavioral, physiological, and anatomical adaptations, some of which are constituent and thus retained in freshwater conditions. We conducted a transcriptomic analysis on A. grahami to study the evolutionary basis of tolerance to multiple stressors. To identify the adaptive regulatory changes associated with stress responses, we massively sequenced gill transcriptomes (RNAseq) from wild and freshwater-acclimated specimens of A. grahami. As a control, corresponding transcriptome data from Oreochromis leucostictus, a closely related freshwater species, were generated. We found expression differences in a large number of genes with known functions related to osmoregulation, energy metabolism, ion transport, and chemical detoxification. Over-representation of metabolism-related gene ontology terms in wild individuals compared to laboratory-acclimated specimens suggested that freshwater conditions greatly decrease the metabolic requirements of this species. Twenty-five genes with diverse physiological functions related to responses to water stress showed signs of divergent natural selection between the Magadi tilapia and its freshwater relative, which shared a most recent common ancestor only about four million years ago. The complete set of genes responsible for urea excretion was identified in the gill transcriptome of A. grahami, making it the only fish species to have a functional ornithine-urea cycle pathway in the gills--a major innovation for increasing nitrogenous waste efficiency.

  5. Genomics of Adaptation to Multiple Concurrent Stresses: Insights from Comparative Transcriptomics of a Cichlid Fish from One of Earth's Most Extreme Environments, the Hypersaline Soda Lake Magadi in Kenya, East Africa.

    PubMed

    Kavembe, Geraldine D; Franchini, Paolo; Irisarri, Iker; Machado-Schiaffino, Gonzalo; Meyer, Axel

    2015-10-01

    The Magadi tilapia (Alcolapia grahami) is a cichlid fish that inhabits one of the Earth's most extreme aquatic environments, with high pH (~10), salinity (~60% of seawater), high temperatures (~40 °C), and fluctuating oxygen regimes. The Magadi tilapia evolved several unique behavioral, physiological, and anatomical adaptations, some of which are constituent and thus retained in freshwater conditions. We conducted a transcriptomic analysis on A. grahami to study the evolutionary basis of tolerance to multiple stressors. To identify the adaptive regulatory changes associated with stress responses, we massively sequenced gill transcriptomes (RNAseq) from wild and freshwater-acclimated specimens of A. grahami. As a control, corresponding transcriptome data from Oreochromis leucostictus, a closely related freshwater species, were generated. We found expression differences in a large number of genes with known functions related to osmoregulation, energy metabolism, ion transport, and chemical detoxification. Over-representation of metabolism-related gene ontology terms in wild individuals compared to laboratory-acclimated specimens suggested that freshwater conditions greatly decrease the metabolic requirements of this species. Twenty-five genes with diverse physiological functions related to responses to water stress showed signs of divergent natural selection between the Magadi tilapia and its freshwater relative, which shared a most recent common ancestor only about four million years ago. The complete set of genes responsible for urea excretion was identified in the gill transcriptome of A. grahami, making it the only fish species to have a functional ornithine-urea cycle pathway in the gills--a major innovation for increasing nitrogenous waste efficiency. PMID:26345661

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Ancient lakes as evolutionary reservoirs: evidence from the thalassoid gastropods of Lake Tanganyika.

    PubMed Central

    Wilson, Anthony B.; Glaubrecht, Matthias; Meyer, Axel

    2004-01-01

    Ancient lakes are often collectively viewed as evolutionary hot spots of diversification. East Africa's Lake Tanganyika has long been the subject of scientific interest owing to dramatic levels of endemism in species as diverse as cichlid fishes, paludomid gastropods, decapod and ostracod crustaceans and poriferans. It is the largest and deepest of the African rift lakes, and its endemic fauna has been presented with a stable inland environment for over 10 Myr, offering unique opportunities for within-lake diversification. Although astonishing diversification has been documented in the endemic cichlid fauna of the lake, similar patterns of rapid diversification have long been assumed for other groups. In contrast to this hypothesis of rapid speciation, we show here that there has been no acceleration in the rate of speciation in the thalassoid gastropods of the lake following lake colonization. While limited within-lake speciation has occurred, the dramatic conchological diversity of gastropods presently found within the lake has evolved from at least four major lineages that pre-date its formation by as much as 40 Myr. At the same time, a widespread group of African gastropods appears to have evolved from taxa presently found in the lake. While Lake Tanganyika has been a cradle of speciation for cichlid fishes, it has also been an important evolutionary reservoir of gastropod lineages that have been extirpated outside the basin. PMID:15129964

  12. Lake

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wien, Carol Anne

    2008-01-01

    The lake is blue black and deep. It is a glaciated finger lake, clawed out of rock when ice retracted across Nova Scotia in a northerly direction during the last ice age. The lake is narrow, a little over a mile long, and deep, 90 to 190 feet in places according to local lore, off the charts in others. The author loves to swim there, with a sense…

  13. Understanding STDs in Malawi.

    PubMed

    Dallabetta, G

    1994-11-01

    AIDS control efforts in Malawi include efforts to control other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). STD control requires a thorough understanding of specific STD prevalence, the potential for managing the STDs without laboratory diagnosis, the efficacy of various antibiotic regimens, and appropriate health-seeking behavior on the part of STD sufferers. Data from several studies were used to modify the World Health Organization STD syndrome management guidelines for use in Malawi. In one ethnographic study, 154 men and women in 2 rural towns were interviewed about their knowledge, beliefs, and experiences with STDs. They described 21 illnesses as sexually transmitted, including several with commonly recognizable biomedical aliases. The people seemed able to differentiate various STDs by their symptoms, although they often described early and late symptoms of the same disease as 2 separate diseases. Information gleaned on health-seeking behavior led to recommendations that communication efforts be undertaken to encourage abstinence during symptoms and the early seeking of treatment from biomedical personnel as well as to provide positive reinforcements of the image of biomedical healers. Another study was undertaken to determine the relative contribution of chancroid and syphilis to genital ulcer disease (GUD), to evaluate the effectiveness of 5 antibiotic therapies for GUD, and to collect data on the characteristics of 778 men presenting with GUD at an urban clinic between September 1992 and March 1993. It was found that cancroid contributed as much to GUD as syphilis in this population, and the cancroid prevalence rate was between 32.8 and 44.6%. Therefore, the researchers recommended treating patients with GUD for both syphilis and chancroid. Erythromycin and ciprofloxacin were effective treatments, whereas trimethoprim sulfamethoxazole was not. A third study assessed relative frequency of gonococcal and nongonococcal urethritis in urban men. The data from this

  14. Speciation: Genomic Archipelagos in a Crater Lake.

    PubMed

    Ronco, Fabrizia; Salzburger, Walter

    2016-03-01

    The opening stages of speciation remain poorly understood, especially from a genomic perspective. The genomes of newly discovered crater-lake cichlid fish shed light on the early phases of diversification and suggest that selection acts on multiple genomic regions. PMID:26954438

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Introduced predator elicits deficient brood defence behaviour in a crater lake fish.

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. Geographic determinants of leprosy in Karonga District, Northern Malawi.

    PubMed

    Sterne, J A; Pönnighaus, J M; Fine, P E; Malema, S S

    1995-12-01

    Researchers do not understand how geographical differences relate to the risk of contracting leprosy. The study of such differences, however, may provide clues about the natural history of the disease. The authors report findings from an analysis of the geographical distribution of leprosy in Karonga District, a rural area in Northern Malawi, between 1979 and 1989. Findings are based data from two total population surveys. The areas of residence were determined using aerial photographs, which allowed the identification of households, roads, rivers, and the lake shore. Analysis revealed that incidence rates were 2-3 times higher in the north compared to the south of the district, and lowest in the semi-urban district capital. The north has higher rainfall and more fertile soil. There was no overall association between the incidence of leprosy and population density, although the highest rates were observed in the least densely populated areas. Considering the entire district, incidence rates increased with increasing distance from a main road, but declined with increasing distance from a river or from the shore of Lake Malawi. This negative association with proximity to rivers may reflect the larger number of rivers in the north of the district. Apparent differences in incidence rates between groups speaking different languages reflected confounding by area of residence. The authors conclude that there is a marked variation, not explained by socioeconomic or cultural factors, in the incidence of leprosy within Karonga District. These results are consistent with literature which associates the environment, especially proximity to water, with leprosy.

  4. Perspectives on Theological Education in Malawi

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Matemba, Yonah Hisbon

    2011-01-01

    This article gives an overview of (Christian) Theological Education (CTE) in Malawi. To place the discussion in its appropriate context, information about Malawi is given including the impact of Christianity on the country. The article then describes historical aspects of CTE and highlights some of its inherent shortcomings, before shifting to…

  5. The Social Significance of English in Malawi.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Matiki, Alfred J.

    2001-01-01

    Demonstrates how the language policy in Malawi has entrenched the hegemony of English over Chichewa and other indigenous languages, especially as it pertains to the official domains of national life. Shows that exclusive use of English in the Malawi legislature, the judiciary, and the mass media, among other domains, alienates the majority of…

  6. The Language Planning Situation in Malawi.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kayambazinthu, Edrinnie

    1998-01-01

    Presents a detailed study of the language-planning situation in Malawi, exploring the historical and political processes, as well as current practices of language planning in the country. Discussion reconstructs and demonstrates how sociopolitical change has been perceived in Malawi and how this perception has translated into language planning in…

  7. 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.

  8. 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

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

    PubMed

    Keck, Benjamin P; Hulsey, C Darrin

    2014-04-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. Stratigraphy and paleoenvironments of the early to middle Holocene Chipalamawamba Beds (Malawi Basin, Africa)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Van Bocxlaer, B.; Salenbien, W.; Praet, N.; Verniers, J.

    2012-05-01

    We describe the Chipalamawamba Beds, early to middle Holocene deposits at the southern margin of long-lived Lake Malawi. The beds are exposed because of downcutting of the upper Shire River. The Chipalamawamba sediments are medium to coarse, yellow to brown sands deposited in lenses varying in horizontal extent from a few meters to several hundreds of meters. Four units are recognized; the first three mainly contain lacustrine sediments deposited during lake high-stands about 10.6-9.7 cal ka BP (Unit 1), 7.6-6.5 cal ka BP (Unit 2) and 5.9-5.3 cal ka BP. Sediments of Unit 4 top units 1 to 3, are coarser and display regular foresets and oblique-bedding, suggesting deposition in riverine environments after installation of the Shire River (~5.0 ka BP). Freshwater mollusk assemblages and bioturbations regularly occur in the lacustrine sediments, but are largely absent from Unit 4. Diverse and often contradicting hypotheses on the lake levels of Lake Malawi have been proposed for the early and middle Holocene. The Chipalamawamba Beds allow straight-forward recognition of water levels and provide strong evidence for oscillating lake levels during this period, rather than continuous high or low levels. Sedimentation rates have been high and individual shell beds have typically been deposited during a few decades. Because the Chipalamawamba Beds contain a sequence of mollusk assemblages with intervals between subsequent shell beds ranging from a century to a few millennia, they enable paleontological analysis of the fauna with unusually high temporal resolution. That some mollusk lineages inhabiting Lake Malawi are in the early stages of diversification and radiation increases the paleobiological relevance of these beds.

  12. Stratigraphy and paleoenvironments of the early to middle Holocene Chipalamawamba Beds (Malawi Basin, Africa)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Van Bocxlaer, B.; Salenbien, W.; Praet, N.; Verniers, J.

    2012-11-01

    We describe the Chipalamawamba Beds, early to middle Holocene deposits at the southern margin of long-lived Lake Malawi. The beds are exposed because of downcutting of the upper Shire River. The Chipalamawamba sediments are medium to coarse, yellow to brown sands deposited in lenses varying in horizontal extent from a few meters to several hundreds of meters. Four units are recognized; the first three mainly contain lacustrine sediments deposited during lake high stands about 10.6-9.7 cal ka BP (Unit 1), 7.6-6.5 cal ka BP (Unit 2) and 5.9-5.3 cal ka BP (Unit 3). Sediments of Unit 4 overlay Units 1 to 3, are coarser and display regular foresets and oblique-bedding, suggesting deposition in riverine environments after installation of the Shire River (~ 5.5-5.0 ka BP). Freshwater mollusk assemblages and bioturbation regularly occur in the lacustrine sediments, but are largely absent from Unit 4. Diverse and often contradicting hypotheses on the lake levels of Lake Malawi have been proposed for the early and middle Holocene. The Chipalamawamba Beds allow straightforward recognition of water levels and provide strong evidence for oscillating lake levels during this period, rather than continuous high or low levels. Sedimentation rates have been high and individual shell beds have typically been deposited during a few decades. Because the Chipalamawamba Beds contain a sequence of mollusk assemblages with intervals between subsequent shell beds ranging from a century to a few millennia, they enable paleontological analysis of the fauna with an unusually high temporal resolution. That some mollusk lineages inhabiting Lake Malawi are in the early stages of diversification and radiation increases the paleobiological relevance of these beds.

  13. 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

  14. Sedimentary deposits in response to rift geometry in Malawi, Africa

    SciTech Connect

    Bishop, M.G. )

    1991-03-01

    Sedimentary deposits of the Malawi continental rift basin are a direct result of topography and tectonics unique to rift structure. Recent models describe rifts as asymmetric half-graben connected in series by transfer of accommodation zones. Half-graben consist of roughly parallel, tilted fault blocks stepping up from the bounding fault zone where maximum subsidence occurs. The rift becomes a local baselevel and depocenter as regional drainage is shed away by the rift shoulders. Most of the sediments are derived locally due to internal drainage of connected basins, individual basins, and individual fault blocks. The patterns of sedimentation and facies associations depend on structural position at both fault block and half-graben scales. Drainage is directed and dammed by tilted fault blocks. Forward-tilted fault blocks form basinward-thickening sediment wedges filled with facies of axial fluvial systems, alluvial fault-scarp fans, and ponded swamp and lake deposits. These deposits are asymmetrically shifted toward the controlling fault and onlap the upthrown side of the block, ordinarily the site of erosion or nondeposition. Rivers entering the lake on back tilted fault blocks form large deltas resulting in basinward fining and thinning sediment wedges. Lacustrine, nearshore, shoreline, and lake shore plain deposits over multiple fault blocks record lake levels, water chemistry, and tectonic episodes. Tectonic movement periodically changes the basin depth, configuration, and baselevel. This movement results in widespread unconformities deposition and reworking of sediments within the rift.

  15. Malawi: the Peace Corps challenges.

    PubMed

    Roth, R L

    1996-12-01

    An acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) prevention project was begun in Malawi in January 1993 by Peace Corps Malawi. 23 workers strive: 1) to offer health education and counseling with regard to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and AIDS in district hospitals, health centers, and health clinics; 2) to encourage the participation of community groups in AIDS prevention, education, and counseling support activities; and 3) to implement AIDS education in primary and secondary schools. Volunteer activities include health education, home-based care, school programs (drama groups, peer counseling), income-generating activities, condom distribution, and formation of district committees and sub-committees. Target groups include women and youth. Sexual health is promoted. Malawian counterparts are being trained by the volunteers to ensure sustainability; local volunteers are becoming important as resources become scarce. The program is becoming decentralized as it moves into the villages, and community groups are increasing in number. Obstacles include: 1) the lack of resources; 2) the fact that the District AIDS Coordinators are also clinical officers and medical assistants and so can serve only part time; 3) the cultural taboos that make discussion of certain topics difficult; 4) the political system; 5) illiteracy among women; 6) drug abuse among youth; and 7) the difficulty of remaining separated from one's work when one is surrounded by clients, including coworkers, who are HIV positive.

  16. Traditional birth attendants in Malawi.

    PubMed

    Smit, J J

    1994-06-01

    Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs) and traditional healers form an important link in the chain of health personnel providing primary health care in Malawi. In spite of the establishment of hospitals and health centres, it is to these traditional healers and TBAs that the majority of people turn in times of sickness and child-birth. Approximately 60 per cent of all deliveries in Malawi occur in the villages. It is therefore important that due regard be paid to the activities of these traditional practitioners in order to ensure the achievement of the goal--"Health for all by the year 2000". The training of TBAs is seen as part of the Maternal and Child Health Services in the country. The Ministry of Health is responsible for the training and control of Traditional Birth Attendants and in 1976 opened a register in order to list all those trained. In early 1978 a training course for selected TBAs was conducted at the Kamuzu Central Hospital, Lilongwe and from 1982 the training programme evolved into a national training programme for TBAs. By February 1987, a total of 841 Traditional birth Attendants had been trained and the programme is still continuing.

  17. Persistent C3 vegetation accompanied Plio-Pleistocene hominin evolution in the Malawi Rift (Chiwondo Beds, Malawi).

    PubMed

    Lüdecke, Tina; Schrenk, Friedemann; Thiemeyer, Heinrich; Kullmer, Ottmar; Bromage, Timothy G; Sandrock, Oliver; Fiebig, Jens; Mulch, Andreas

    2016-01-01

    The development of East African savannas is crucial for the origin and evolution of early hominins. These ecosystems, however, vary widely in their fraction of woody cover and today range from closed woodland to open grassland savanna. Here, we present the first Plio-Pleistocene long-term carbon isotope (δ(13)C) record from pedogenic carbonate and Suidae teeth in the southern East African Rift (EAR). These δ(13)C data from the Chiwondo and Chitimwe Beds (Karonga Basin, Northern Malawi) represent a southern hemisphere record in the EAR, a key region for reconstructing vegetation patterns in today's Zambezian Savanna, and permit correlation with data on the evolution and migration of early hominins in today's Somali-Masai Endemic Zone. The sediments along the northwestern shore of Lake Malawi contain fossils attributed to Homo rudolfensis and Paranthropus boisei. The associated hominin localities (Uraha, Malema) are situated between the well-known hominin bearing sites of the Somali-Masai Endemic Zone in the Eastern Rift and the Highveld Grassland in southern Africa, and fill an important geographical gap for hominin research. Persistent δ(13)C values around -9‰ from pedogenic carbonate and suid enamel covering the last ∼4.3 Ma indicate a C3-dominated closed environment with regional patches of C4-grasslands in the Karonga Basin. The overall fraction of woody cover of 60-70% reflects significantly higher canopy density in the Malawi Rift than the Eastern Rift through time. The discrepancy between the two savanna types originated in the Late Pliocene, when the Somali-Masai ecosystem started to show increasing evidence for open, C4-dominated landscapes. Based on the Malawi δ(13)C data, the evolution of savanna ecosystems in Eastern Africa followed different patterns along the north-south extent of the EAR. The appearance of C4-grasses is considered a driver of evolutionary faunal shifts, but despite the difference of ecosystem evolution in the north, similar

  18. Persistent C3 vegetation accompanied Plio-Pleistocene hominin evolution in the Malawi Rift (Chiwondo Beds, Malawi).

    PubMed

    Lüdecke, Tina; Schrenk, Friedemann; Thiemeyer, Heinrich; Kullmer, Ottmar; Bromage, Timothy G; Sandrock, Oliver; Fiebig, Jens; Mulch, Andreas

    2016-01-01

    The development of East African savannas is crucial for the origin and evolution of early hominins. These ecosystems, however, vary widely in their fraction of woody cover and today range from closed woodland to open grassland savanna. Here, we present the first Plio-Pleistocene long-term carbon isotope (δ(13)C) record from pedogenic carbonate and Suidae teeth in the southern East African Rift (EAR). These δ(13)C data from the Chiwondo and Chitimwe Beds (Karonga Basin, Northern Malawi) represent a southern hemisphere record in the EAR, a key region for reconstructing vegetation patterns in today's Zambezian Savanna, and permit correlation with data on the evolution and migration of early hominins in today's Somali-Masai Endemic Zone. The sediments along the northwestern shore of Lake Malawi contain fossils attributed to Homo rudolfensis and Paranthropus boisei. The associated hominin localities (Uraha, Malema) are situated between the well-known hominin bearing sites of the Somali-Masai Endemic Zone in the Eastern Rift and the Highveld Grassland in southern Africa, and fill an important geographical gap for hominin research. Persistent δ(13)C values around -9‰ from pedogenic carbonate and suid enamel covering the last ∼4.3 Ma indicate a C3-dominated closed environment with regional patches of C4-grasslands in the Karonga Basin. The overall fraction of woody cover of 60-70% reflects significantly higher canopy density in the Malawi Rift than the Eastern Rift through time. The discrepancy between the two savanna types originated in the Late Pliocene, when the Somali-Masai ecosystem started to show increasing evidence for open, C4-dominated landscapes. Based on the Malawi δ(13)C data, the evolution of savanna ecosystems in Eastern Africa followed different patterns along the north-south extent of the EAR. The appearance of C4-grasses is considered a driver of evolutionary faunal shifts, but despite the difference of ecosystem evolution in the north, similar

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Malawi uses games to educate the young.

    PubMed

    Dodd, R

    1995-10-01

    Recent figures suggest that Malawi has the highest rates of HIV infection in the world, with at least 12% of the sexually active population estimated to be HIV-seropositive. In urban areas, 30% of women attending antenatal clinics are infected with HIV. By March 1995, more than 37,000 AIDS cases had been reported. Adolescents and children about to enter adolescence in Malawi are at particular risk of contracting HIV. Attempting to avoid exposure to HIV, many men have spurned mature female prostitutes in favor of young girls. In exchange for school fees and other gifts, girls as young as eight years old have sexual intercourse with mature Malawian men. These men are often infected with HIV. It therefore follows that five out of six youngsters with HIV in Malawi are female. Since their female peers are involved with older men, boys are increasingly having sex with the older women rejected by mature men. Studies suggest that 55% of school pupils have experienced sexual intercourse, 76% of whom first had sex when they were younger than age 15. "AIDS Challenge" is a board game developed for distribution to all secondary schools in Malawi with the purpose of educating students about AIDS. It is played on a modified snakes-and-ladders board, using a pack of 100 cards, each with some true or false statements about AIDS. 36 boys and 35 girls aged 13-20 years from a government secondary school participated in the first trial. Four weeks of playing the game had a significant effect upon pupils' knowledge of HIV. While some of the statements on the cards are specific to Malawi, the game can easily be adapted for use in other African countries. The game is available from UNICEF Malawi at Box 30375, Capital City, Lilongwe 3, Malawi. PMID:12290455

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. ROLE OF GRASSROOTS ENVIRONMENTAL LITERACY: The case of water security at Bwaila Secondary School in Malawi

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chasukwa Mwalwenje, Yvonne; Chasukwa, Steria

    2015-04-01

    Malawi is popularly known as the Warm Heart of Africa. Malawi has a total land area of 45,747 sq. miles. Of the total area, 80 % is covered by fresh water from Lake Malawi and other rivers. The country boasts that it holds large amounts of fresh water and has the third largest lake in Africa. Ironically, the number of households with reliable water access is low (Water Aid, 2014, UNDP, Human Development Report 2008). Regardless of signs of economic development, water security still remains a challenge in the Warm Heart of Africa. The problem with access to water prompted the Government of Malawi to introduce a National Water Policy in 1994 with the vision of 'Water and Sanitation for All'. Since then, other water access interventions have impacted on the ability to manage water sustainably. Over the past few years, more inclusive and diversified interventions have been put in place to reverse the situation. For instance, the government of Malawi has taken action to increase the number of water tanks in schools (UNICEF 2005). Several stakeholders' support the government in their role provides policy direction and coordinate management of the water sector. The outlined National Water and Sanitation Policy strategies includes promoting water conservation and catchment protection; incorporating local governments and communities in planning, development and management of water supplies and sanitation services; rehabilitating the existing infrastructure; creating an enabling environment for public-private partnerships in water supply and sanitation activities; undertaking rehabilitation and reduction of unaccounted-for-water of existing urban, peri-urban, as a priority; promoting economic incentives and opportunities to encourage the participation of small-scale water and sanitation service providers; and promoting water recycling and re-use. Despite of all these interventions, Malawi still continues to face significant challenges with issues of access and quality of

  6. National and Local Sources of Power: Important Considerations for Teacher Education Reforms in Rural Malawi

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chazema, Jacqueline; O'Meara, James

    2011-01-01

    The establishment of formal teacher training systems is a relatively new innovation in some parts of Africa. Formal training of secondary teachers in Malawi commenced when the government of Malawi opened the University of Malawi in 1965. The contribution of Malawi's ruling parties to the development of teacher education in Malawi since then is an…

  7. Clubfoot in Malawi: local theories of causation.

    PubMed

    Bedford, K Juliet A; Chidothi, Paul; Sakala, Harris; Cashman, John; Lavy, Chris

    2011-04-01

    This paper examines local theories of the causation of clubfoot expressed by the guardians of children undergoing treatment at clinics run by the Malawi National Clubfoot Programme (MNCP). Core data was collected and analysed using qualitative methodologies of critical medical anthropology. Sixty detailed case studies were completed, each based on an extended open-ended interview with patient guardians. Five main theories of causation were put forward: God; the devil; witchcraft or curses; biological reasons; and inherited condition. Each was elaborated in a variety of ways. There is growing international recognition of the importance of examining the relationship between culture and disability. This study is the first attempt to do so for clubfoot in Malawi. It provides a platform on which to build future qualitative research that can be harnessed by the MNCP and similar initiatives to develop their knowledge base and service provision, both in Malawi and the wider African context.

  8. Projected changes in Malawi's growing season

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vizy, Edward K.; Cook, Kerry H.; Chimphamba, James; McCusker, Brent

    2015-09-01

    Regional climate model projections at 30-km resolution are used to predict future mid-century and late-century growing season changes over Malawi due to global warming under the Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5 business-as-usual emissions forcing scenario. Three different methods for estimating growing season characteristics are applied and evaluated. All three methods yield reasonable growing season length, onset, and demise date estimates over Malawi given the wide range of uncertainty of the observations. The projections indicate the likelihood for a shorter growing season in the future over Malawi south of 13.5°S. At mid-century the growing season length is predicted to be 20-40 % (20-55 days) shorter over the southernmost districts and 5-20 % (5-30 days) shorter over the central districts. By late-century the length is predicted to be 25-55 % (20-70 days) shorter with significant differences extending into northern Malawi. The shorter growing season is primarily associated with an earlier demise date, as no significant change in the onset date is predicted. Analysis of the regional circulation and horizontal moisture flux transport indicates that the earlier demise is associated with an intensification of the thermal low over the Kalahari Desert to the south and west of Malawi and an expansion of the mid-tropospheric Kalahari anticyclone over southern Africa. The stronger thermal low/anticyclone enhances the moisture flux divergence over Malawi suppressing the convective activity at the end of the wet season.

  9. Mortality level, trends and differentials in Malawi.

    PubMed

    Palamuleni, M E

    1994-01-01

    "This article examines the levels, and trends and differentials in mortality in Malawi.... The study has shown that (i) the level of mortality is very high in Malawi; (ii) mortality has declined during the period under review; (iii) there was reduction in the rate of mortality decline in the seventies; and (iv) [there are] interesting differences in mortality in terms of rural-urban localities, regions and age-sex differentials. The observed levels, trends and differentials in mortality are however consistent with the level of social and economic development in the country."

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Lakes, Lagerstaetten, and Evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kordesch, E. G.; Park, L. E.

    2001-12-01

    The diversity of terrestrial systems is estimated to be greater than in the marine realm. However no hard data yet exists to substantiate this claim. Ancient lacustrine deposits may preserve an exceptionally diverse fossil fauna and aid in determining continental faunal diversities. Fossils preserved in lake deposits, especially those with exceptional preservation (i.e. Konservat Lagerstaetten), may represent a dependable method for determining species diversity changes in the terrestrial environment because of their faunal completeness. Important Konservat Lagerstaetten, such as the Green River Formation (US) and Messel (Germany), both Eocene in age, are found in lake sediments and show a remarkable faunal diversity for both vertebrates and invertebrates. To date information from nearly 25 lake lagerstaetten derived from different types of lake basins from the Carboniferous to the Miocene have been collected and described. Carboniferous sites derive from the cyclothems of Midcontinent of the US while many Cenozoic sites have been described from North and South America as well as Europe and Australia. Asian sites contain fossils from the Mesozoic and Cenozoic. With this data, insight into the evolutionary processes associated with lake systems can be examined. Do lakes act as unique evolutionary crucibles in contrast to marine systems? The speciation of cichlid fishes in present-day African lakes appears to be very high and is attributed to the diversity of environments found in large rift lakes. Is this true of all ancient lakes or just large rift lakes? The longevity of a lake system may be an important factor in allowing speciation and evolutionary processes to occur; marine systems are limited only in the existence of environments as controlled by tectonics and sea level changes, on the order of tens of millions of years. Rift lakes are normally the longest lived in the millions of years. Perhaps there are only certain types of lakes in which speciation of

  13. 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.

  14. Farmer Experience of Pluralistic Agricultural Extension, Malawi

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chowa, Clodina; Garforth, Chris; Cardey, Sarah

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: Malawi's current extension policy supports pluralism and advocates responsiveness to farmer demand. We investigate whether smallholder farmers' experience supports the assumption that access to multiple service providers leads to extension and advisory services that respond to the needs of farmers. Design/methodology/approach: Within a…

  15. Malawi Basic Education Policy Recommendations. Position Papers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sedere, Upali M.

    2005-01-01

    This paper summarizes several policy issues that were discussed during the years 2003-2005 periods while Dr. Upali Sedere was serving as Senior Policy Adviser and COP of USAID financed Equip-2 program with Education Development Center, Newton, Massachusetts. All data were from the Malawi School Census carried out by the Ministry of Education with…

  16. Headteacher Preparation in Mzuzu, Malawi, Africa

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wamba, Nathalis

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this researcher was to examine the in-service experiences of seven headteachers in Luwinga ward in Mzuzu, Malawi, and the challenges they encountered in their first year on the job. A modified version of the questionnaire and interview guide developed by the members of the International Study of the Preparation of Principals at the…

  17. Mycobacterium tuberculosis Beijing genotype, northern Malawi.

    PubMed

    Glynn, Judith R; Crampin, Amelia C; Traore, Hamidou; Yates, Malcolm D; Mwaungulu, Frank D; Ngwira, Bagrey M; Chaguluka, Steven D; Mwafulirwa, Donex T; Floyd, Sian; Murphy, Caroline; Drobniewski, Francis A; Fine, Paul E M

    2005-01-01

    In a 7-year population-based study in Malawi, we showed that Beijing genotype tuberculosis (TB) increased as a proportion of TB cases. All the Beijing genotype strains were fully drug sensitive. Contact histories, TB type, and case-fatality rates were similar for Beijing and non-Beijing genotype TB.

  18. Geostatistical modelling of household malaria in Malawi

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chirombo, J.; Lowe, R.; Kazembe, L.

    2012-04-01

    Malaria is one of the most important diseases in the world today, common in tropical and subtropical areas with sub-Saharan Africa being the region most burdened, including Malawi. This region has the right combination of biotic and abiotic components, including socioeconomic, climatic and environmental factors that sustain transmission of the disease. Differences in these conditions across the country consequently lead to spatial variation in risk of the disease. Analysis of nationwide survey data that takes into account this spatial variation is crucial in a resource constrained country like Malawi for targeted allocation of scare resources in the fight against malaria. Previous efforts to map malaria risk in Malawi have been based on limited data collected from small surveys. The Malaria Indicator Survey conducted in 2010 is the most comprehensive malaria survey carried out in Malawi and provides point referenced data for the study. The data has been shown to be spatially correlated. We use Bayesian logistic regression models with spatial correlation to model the relationship between malaria presence in children and covariates such as socioeconomic status of households and meteorological conditions. This spatial model is then used to assess how malaria varies spatially and a malaria risk map for Malawi is produced. By taking intervention measures into account, the developed model is used to assess whether they have an effect on the spatial distribution of the disease and Bayesian kriging is used to predict areas where malaria risk is more likely to increase. It is hoped that this study can help reveal areas that require more attention from the authorities in the continuing fight against malaria, particularly in children under the age of five.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2004-01-01

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

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2007-01-01

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

  2. The Edinburgh Malawi Cancer Partnership: helping to establish multidisciplinary cancer care in Blantyre, Malawi.

    PubMed

    Brown, E; Gorman, D; Knowles, G; Taylor, F; Jere, Y; Bates, J; Masamba, L

    2016-03-01

    In response to the growing incidence of cancer in Malawi, a new oncology unit was established at the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital, Blantyre. The unit opened in 2010, the first in the country, and is led by a single consultant oncologist. In 2012, a healthcare partnership was formed between the oncology and palliative care unit at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital and the Edinburgh Cancer Centre, UK. The principal objective of the partnership is to help develop high quality multidisciplinary cancer care in Malawi. Methods A needs assessment identified three priority areas for further improvement of cancer services: nurse-led treatment delivery; management of clinical data; and multidisciplinary working. The partnership received grant funding from the Scottish Government Malawi Development Programme in 2013 and a three year project plan was implemented. This has been conducted through a series of reciprocal training visits. Results Key achievements have been completion of a programme of oncology nursing education attended by 32 oncology nurses and other healthcare professionals, which has resulted in increased experience in cancer practice and standardisation of chemotherapy delivery procedures; development of a clinical database that enables prospective collection of data of all new patients with cancer and which links to the Malawi Cancer Registry; development of weekly multidisciplinary meetings involving oncology, gynaecology and surgery that has enabled a cross-specialty approach to patient care. Conclusion The Edinburgh Malawi Cancer Partnership is supporting nursing education, data use and cross-specialty collaboration that we are confident will improve cancer care in Malawi. Future work will focus on the further development of multidisciplinary breast cancer care and the development of a radiotherapy service for patients in Malawi.

  3. HIV and AIDS vulnerability in fishing communities in Mangochi district, Malawi.

    PubMed

    Nagoli, Joseph; Holvoet, Katrien; Remme, Michelle

    2010-04-01

    The fisheries sector contributes significantly to Malawi's national economy and to the livelihoods of the poor as certain activities in the sector have relatively low barriers to entry. Various studies have shown that the fisheries sector suffers from high HIV prevalence in many low-income countries. In Malawi, HIV prevalence as well as the causes and impact of HIV infections among fisherfolk are yet to be assessed. Participatory action research was conducted in Mangochi District, in the southern part of Lake Malawi, between December 2007 and January 2008, to identify critical HIV-risk points along the value-chain for the Lake Sardine or usipa (Engraulicypris sardella) fishery. Data were collected through interviews with key informants and from focus group discussions at the community, institution, district and market levels. An analysis of vulnerability resulted in the formulation of mechanisms to redress HIV and AIDS prevention and mitigation at each point of vulnerability. The findings show that HIV and AIDS vulnerability in the fishery's market-chain is highest where fish processing and trading influence sexual relationships between fishermen and female fish traders. The period of high usipa catches (December to March) coincides with a period of food shortage and fishing offers income-generating opportunities for many food-insecure households. This increases competition in processing and trading fish, a socio-economic situation that may result in increased instances of transactional sex. The interactions along the usipa fishery's market-chain, from rural to urban settings, also favour the transmission of HIV from areas of high prevalence to areas with otherwise low HIV risk.

  4. Geochemistry and origins of lacustrine ferromanganese nodules from the Malawi Rift, Central Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williams, T. M.; Owen, R. B.

    1992-07-01

    Ferromanganese nodules recovered from 100-130 m depth near Likoma Island, eastern Lake Malawi, have been analysed for some thirty-four elements by DC-arc optical emission spectrometry. The concretions routinely hold in excess of 50% Fe + Mn, although actual Fe/Mn ratios appear to vary inversely with nodule size. Subcrustal values are recorded for Mg, Al, Si, K, Ca and Ti. The abundance of these major elements is considered to primarily reflect the amount and mineralogy of detrital impurities within the nodule structures. Of the twenty-six analysed trace elements, Zn, Co, Pb, Ba, Y, La, V, Zr, Ag, Be, and Nb are present at levels exceeding their average crustal abundances, while subcrustal or subdetection limit values are recorded for Sr, Ni, Cu, Cr, Sc, Rb, Ga, Li, B, Mo, Cd, Bi, Sn, Ce, and Nd. The high enrichment factor noted for Ba (21.95), the limited enrichment of Co (5.53) and Zn (2.06) and depletion of Ni (0.62) and Cu (0.09) are characteristic of most lacustrine ferromanganese deposits and adequately distinguish the Lake Malawi nodules from their deep-ocean counterparts. While the ferromanganese deposits of the Malawi rift are predominantly of diagenetic origin, hydrothermal exhalations may significantly control the supply of elements such as Fe, V, and Be. This implies a need to extend existing classification systems to include nodules formed through the simultaneous precipitation of metals from two or more sources. The nodule sequences in the vicinity of Likoma Island are physically suited to economic exploitation, but fail to meet prescribed chemical criteria for Mn or Ni-Co-Cu ores.

  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. Two new cytoforms of the Simulium damnosum complex (Diptera: Simuliidae) from Malawi and Tanzania and potential onchocerciasis vectors.

    PubMed

    Krüger, A; Kalinga, A K; Post, R J; Maegga, B T A

    2004-07-01

    During a distribution survey of Simulium damnosum s.l. around the Tukuyu onchocerciasis focus at the northern tip of Lake Malawi/Nyasa (Tanzania), we discovered two new cytoforms of the S. damnosum complex in onchocerciasis-free areas. The Nyika form is related to Simulium thyolense, a vector of onchocerciasis, and can be identified by the new inversion 3L-L on the long arm of chromosome 3. It was found breeding in five rivers in northern Malawi and neighbouring Tanzania and is assumed to be zoophilic. The Njombe form represents a member of the Sanje group of the complex and is characterized by the new diagnostic inversion 2L-35 on chromosome 2. So far, it is only known from around Njombe town in southern Tanzania, where it breeds at remarkably high altitudes. Anthropophily for the Njombe form is well known. The medical importance and systematic position of the new forms within the S. damnosum complex are discussed.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Female economic activity in Rural Malawi

    PubMed Central

    Hyder, Asma; Behrman, Jere R.

    2015-01-01

    This study investigates economic activities and their determinants for women in households of rural Malawi, one of the poorest countries in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Three waves of household panel data for years 2006, 2008 and 2010 from the Malawi Longitudinal Study of Families and Health (MLSFH) are used to examine female labor market participation. This study includes certain important characteristics of Malawian households i.e., polygamy, ethnicity, religion and self reported health status. The study reports five different labor market outcomes for women's participation i.e., agriculture related work, market & sales activities, cottage industry, other economic activities and out of the labor market. The study finds significant relationships between these five different labor market outcomes and age cohorts, ethnicity and marriage (monogamous or polygamous). PMID:26120564

  11. AIDS epidemic in Malawi: shaking cultural foundations.

    PubMed

    Chirwa, I

    1993-05-01

    Many young men and women in Malawi are infected with HIV and dying from AIDS. The head of the Malawi AIDS Control Program estimates that as many as 10% of all adults in the country may be infected with HIV, with the rate being higher in urban areas. While more than 90% of the population is now aware of the existence of AIDS and its dangers, changes in behavior have not taken place and HIV continues to spread. Early campaigns attempted to generate condom use through peer educators among bar girls, truck drivers, and STD patients. Many men state, however, that they prefer to have sex without condoms because it is more exciting. Others cite alcohol consumption, ignorance of the dangers of HIV infection, and/or a fear of suggesting mistrust in a partner as reasons for not using condoms. Many women also find it difficult to negotiate condom use among reluctant men. Making condoms readily accessible and giving them a positive image may help increase their rate of use; the opposition of some religious groups must be thwarted and the distribution system needs to be improved to realize these ends. Condoms are provided to Malawi free of charge by the US Agency of International Development. Supplies are then either distributed free through health centers and bars or sold in shops. The failure of free condoms to be readily available in rural areas where 90% of the population resides, however, poses concern. Finally, training programs, counseling, anonymous HIV testing centers, and peer educators are among some of the interventions being made against AIDS in Malawi.

  12. Changes in Girls' Lives: Malawi from 1990 to 1997.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wolf, Joyce; Kainja, Katherine

    Increased awareness of the importance of girls' education within Malawi and internationally resulted in the implementation of many changes in girls' education during the 1990s. By 1997, the number of girls enrolled in primary school was twice the level in 1990, and girls' share of enrollment increased from 45 to 48 percent. Malawi improved girls'…

  13. Culturally Responsive Professional Development for Inclusive Education in Rural Malawi

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Blanks, Brooke

    2014-01-01

    Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world (World Bank, 2014). Yet, our experiences working with rural schools suggest that the Malawi education system may be far ahead of many developed nations, including the United States, in terms of their practical and philosophical commitment to inclusive education for all children, including…

  14. Language Proficiency Testing and the Expatriate Medical Practitioner in Malawi

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kamwendo, Gregory H.

    2008-01-01

    According to the Medical Council of Malawi, one of the conditions for a licence to be granted to an individual who wants to practise medicine in Malawi is the practitioner's ability to speak and write English fluently. This means that the expatriate medical practitioner is not required by law to demonstrate fluency in Chichewa (the national…

  15. 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

  16. ROLE OF GRASSROOTS ENVIRONMENTAL LITERACY: The case of water security at Bwaila Secondary School in Malawi

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chasukwa Mwalwenje, Yvonne; Chasukwa, Steria

    2015-04-01

    Malawi is popularly known as the Warm Heart of Africa. Malawi has a total land area of 45,747 sq. miles. Of the total area, 80 % is covered by fresh water from Lake Malawi and other rivers. The country boasts that it holds large amounts of fresh water and has the third largest lake in Africa. Ironically, the number of households with reliable water access is low (Water Aid, 2014, UNDP, Human Development Report 2008). Regardless of signs of economic development, water security still remains a challenge in the Warm Heart of Africa. The problem with access to water prompted the Government of Malawi to introduce a National Water Policy in 1994 with the vision of 'Water and Sanitation for All'. Since then, other water access interventions have impacted on the ability to manage water sustainably. Over the past few years, more inclusive and diversified interventions have been put in place to reverse the situation. For instance, the government of Malawi has taken action to increase the number of water tanks in schools (UNICEF 2005). Several stakeholders' support the government in their role provides policy direction and coordinate management of the water sector. The outlined National Water and Sanitation Policy strategies includes promoting water conservation and catchment protection; incorporating local governments and communities in planning, development and management of water supplies and sanitation services; rehabilitating the existing infrastructure; creating an enabling environment for public-private partnerships in water supply and sanitation activities; undertaking rehabilitation and reduction of unaccounted-for-water of existing urban, peri-urban, as a priority; promoting economic incentives and opportunities to encourage the participation of small-scale water and sanitation service providers; and promoting water recycling and re-use. Despite of all these interventions, Malawi still continues to face significant challenges with issues of access and quality of

  17. Global leaf companies control the tobacco market in Malawi

    PubMed Central

    Otañez, Marty G; Mamudu, Hadii; Glantz, Stanton A

    2007-01-01

    Objective To examine the influence of US‐based tobacco leaf‐buying companies, Universal Corporation and Alliance One International, on Malawi's economy and trade policy in 2000–6. Design Analyses of ethnographic data and tobacco industry documents. Results Universal Corporation and Alliance One International, through their subsidiary companies Limbe Leaf and Alliance One, respectively, in Malawi, control policy‐making advisory groups and operate a tobacco cartel to influence Malawi's economic and trade sectors. Limbe Leaf's corporate secretary and lawyer is a member of several policy‐making committees that advise the Malawi government on tobacco‐related trade policy. The corporate representative's presence prevents other committee members from taking positions against the tobacco industry and ensures government policy that advances industry interests to obtain low‐cost tobacco. The World Bank and Malawi's Anti‐corruption Bureau report allegations of collusion between Limbe Leaf and Alliance One over prices at tobacco markets. Allegations of collusion between Limbe Leaf and Alliance One prompted Malawi President Bingu Mutharika in 2006 to warn the companies to end non‐competitive practices or leave the country, but there was no meaningful follow‐up action. Findings from interviews with small‐scale tobacco traders in Malawi suggest that Universal and Alliance One International purchase smuggled raw tobacco from the neighbouring countries, Zambia and Mozambique, undermining growers' efforts to benefit from tobacco farming in Malawi. Conclusion These actions restrict competition, depress tobacco prices for Malawi's farmers and contribute to poverty in Malawi, while keeping the country dependent on tobacco growing. PMID:17652242

  18. 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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2005-01-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. The water balance of the East African Great Lakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yin, Xungang

    The East African Great Lakes are important indicators of climatic and environmental change in an area where standard meteorological data are scarce. Three large lakes, Lakes Victoria, Tanganyika and Malawi are studied in order to build water balance relations between lake level and over-lake rainfall. By analyzing the satellite observations, the characteristics of the regional and mesoscale circulations are studied through analysis of convective activity and cloudiness over the lakes. Using a regression approach, the relationship between catchment rainfall and cold cloud frequency is found. Assuming the same convective mechanism operates for each lake and its catchment, the over-lake rainfall is calculated using the catchment rainfall, which has long records. Evaporation is estimated for each lake by energy-budget and Penman methods and a sensitivity study is also carried out. The available tributary inflow and lake outflow data of Lake Victoria are expressed by rainfall and lake level terms. For Lake Victoria, the water balance model is reformulated as a lake level model. The model is first used to predict the lake level changes as a validation. Then it is inverted so that the over-lake rainfall can be reconstructed from known lake levels in both modern times and historical times. In modern times, the precision is on the order of 1% for the calculated mean rainfall and a few percent for the calculated annual rainfall.

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

    PubMed

    Alves-Silva, Ana Paula; Dergam, Jorge Abdala

    2015-02-01

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

  3. Rayleigh-wave imaging of upper-mantle shear velocities beneath the Malawi Rift; Preliminary results from the SEGMeNT experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Accardo, N. J.; Gaherty, J. B.; Shillington, D. J.; Nyblade, A.; Ebinger, C. J.; Mbogoni, G. J.; Chindandali, P. R. N.; Mulibo, G. D.; Ferdinand-Wambura, R.; Kamihanda, G.

    2015-12-01

    The Malawi Rift (MR) is an immature rift located at the southern tip of the Western branch of the East African Rift System (EARS). Pronounced border faults and tectonic segmentation are seen within the upper crust. Surface volcanism in the region is limited to the Rungwe volcanic province located north of Lake Malawi (Nyasa). However, the distribution of extension and magma at depth in the crust and mantle lithosphere is unknown. As the Western Rift of the EARS is largely magma-poor except for discrete volcanic provinces, the MR presents the ideal location to elucidate the role of magmatism in early-stage rifting and the manifestation of segmentation at depth. This study investigates the shear velocity of the crust and mantle lithosphere beneath the MR to constrain the thermal structure, the amount of total crustal and lithospheric thinning, and the presence and distribution of magmatism beneath the rift. Utilizing 55 stations from the SEGMeNT (Study of Extension and maGmatism in Malawi aNd Tanzania) passive-source seismic experiment operating in Malawi and Tanzania, we employed a multi-channel cross-correlation algorithm to obtain inter-station phase and amplitude information from Rayleigh wave observations between 20 and 80 s period. We retrieve estimates of phase velocity between 9-20 s period from ambient noise cross-correlograms in the frequency domain via Aki's formula. We invert phase velocity measurements to obtain estimates of shear velocity (Vs) between 50-200 km depth. Preliminary results reveal a striking low-velocity zone (LVZ) beneath the Rungwe volcanic province with Vs ~4.2-4.3 km/s in the uppermost mantle. Low velocities extend along the entire strike of Lake Malawi and to the west where a faster velocity lid (~4.5 km/s) is imaged. These preliminary results will be extended by incorporating broadband data from seven "lake"-bottom seismometers (LBS) to be retrieved from Lake Malawi in October of this year. The crust and mantle modeling will be

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Intensive nursing care of kwashiorkor in Malawi.

    PubMed

    Manary, M J; Brewster, D R

    2000-02-01

    The case fatality rate for children with kwashiorkor in central hospitals in Malawi was 30.5% (275/901) in 1995. The purpose of this study was to determine whether improved case management with intensive nursing care could lower this case fatality rate. A total of 75 children admitted with kwashiorkor in Blantyre, Malawi, received intensive nursing care. This included nursing in individual clean beds with blankets, a nurse:child ratio of 1:3, supervised feedings every 2 h, a paediatrician with expertise in treating kwashiorkor always available for consultation, laboratory evaluation for systemic infection and empiric use of ceftriaxone. Nineteen of these children died (25%). The causes of death were life threatening electrolyte abnormalities (hypokalaemia, hyponatraemia, hypophosphataemia) in nine cases, overwhelming infection in eight cases and congestive heart failure in two children. Children infected with the human immunodeficiency virus were more likely to die (9/20), as were children with life threatening electrolyte abnormalities (9/15) and children with more severe wasting. When compared with 225 children treated in the same year at the same institution, who were carefully matched for severity of kwashiorkor, intensive nursing did not improve overall survival.

  10. Refugee Survival and NGO Project Assistance: Mozambican Refugees in Malawi.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zetter, Roger

    1996-01-01

    Nongovernmental projects intended to assist Mozambican refugees in Malawi are limited by unresponsiveness to local conditions, inadequate resources, constraints on production and marketing, lack of sustainability, limited participation, and gender inequities. Such projects are likely to increase refugee dependency. (SK)

  11. 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.

  12. Redescription of Pseudotropheus livingstonii and Pseudotropheus elegans from Lake Malaŵi, Africa.

    PubMed

    Stauffer, J R Jr; Konings, A F; Ryan, T M

    2016-01-01

    Pseudotropheus livingstonii and P. elegans are two sand-dwelling cichlid species that belong to the so-called mbuna, a group of predominantly rock-dwelling haplochromines of Lake Malaŵi. The identity of these two species has confused taxonomists for almost a century until a recent rediscovery of representatives of P. elegans close to its type locality. New diagnoses for both species are provided. PMID:27615832

  13. Plume moths of Malawi (Lepidoptera: Pterophoridae).

    PubMed

    Kovtunovich, V; Ustjuzhanin, P; Murphy, R

    2014-01-01

    A review of Pterophoridae of Malawi is presented; 96 species from 35 genera and five subfamilies are recorded. Fourteen species are described as new: Agdistis nyasa Kovtunovich & Ustjuzhanin sp. nov., Platyptilia mugesse Kovtunovich & Ustjuzhanin sp. nov., Stenoptilia juniper Kovtunovich & Ustjuzhanin sp. nov., Sphenarches mulanje Kovtunovich & Ustjuzhanin sp.nov., Marasmarcha lamborni Kovtunovich & Ustjuzhanin sp. nov., Arcoptilia malawica Kovtunovich & Ustjuzhanin sp. nov., Apoxyptilus uzumarus Kovtunovich & Ustjuzhanin sp. nov., Gypsochares murphy Kovtunovich & Ustjuzhanin sp. nov., Crassuncus livingstoni Kovtunovich & Ustjuzhanin sp. nov., Hellinsia namizimu Kovtunovich & Ustjuzhanin sp. nov., Hellinsia сhewa Kovtunovich & Ustjuzhanin sp. nov., Picardia leza Kovtunovich & Ustjuzhanin sp. nov., Picardia raymondi Kovtunovich & Ustjuzhanin sp. nov., Picardia tumbuka Kovtunovich & Ustjuzhanin sp. nov. New synonymies are established for 10 species: Deuterocopus deltoptilus Meyrick, 1930 = Deuterocopus socotranus Rebel, 1907 syn. nov.; Deuterocopus henrioti Bigot & Boireau, 2006 = Deuterocopus socotranus Rebel, 1907 syn. nov.; Platyptilia periacta Meyrick, 1910 = Platyptilia farfarella Zeller, 1867 syn. nov.; Platyptilia claripicta Fletcher, 1910 = Platyptilia farfarella Zeller, 1867 syn. nov.; Platyptilia pygmaeana Strand, 1913 = Sphenarches anisodactylus (Walker, 1864) syn. nov.; Exelastis bergeri Bigot, 1969 = Exelastis crudipennis (Meyrick, 1932) syn. nov.; Prichotilus tanzanicus Gielis, 2011 = Prichotilus tara Ustjuzhanin and Kovtunovich, 2011 syn. nov.; Crassuncus chappuisi Gibeaux, 1994 = Crassuncus ecstaticus (Meyrick, 1932) syn. nov.; Paulianilus lolibai Arenberger, 2011 = Hellinsia madecasseus (Bigot, 1964) syn. nov.; Pterophorus purus Meyrick, 1913 = Crassuncus pacifica (Meyrick, 1911) syn. nov. New combinations are established for six species: Marasmarcha bengtssoni (Gielis, 2009) comb. nov.; Marasmarcha locharcha (Meyrick, 1924) comb. nov.; Marasmarcha

  14. Population growth and environmental degradation in Malawi.

    PubMed

    Kalipeni, E

    1992-01-01

    Malawi has been ranked by the World Bank as one of the poorest countries in Africa. Malawi's only resources are its people and fertile soil, which comprises about 55% of land area. Environmental degradation and population growth conditions in Malawi were used to illustrate the model of environmental degradation linked to population pressure on land resources and government development strategies that favored large-scale agricultural farms. The result has been deforestation, overgrazing, overuse of land for subsistence, and increased population density. The argument was that population growth in some developing countries has been so rapid that environmental collapse is the result. The theoretical framework linking population growth, environment, and resources emphasized processes: 1) the precursor stage of underlying causes; 2) the problem phase with potential ecological and economic decline; and 3) consequences (environmental decline, reduction in food production systems, and reduction in standard of living). The precursors were identified as an agrarian society, lack of a population policy, and emphasis on large families. The problems were rapid population growth and immigration from Mozambique, which led to increased demand for trees for fuel and consequent deforestation, increased demand for arable land and consequent landlessness, increased investment in livestock and consequent overgrazing, and continued population momentum which was a financial burden to government and resulted in increased labor competition. The ecological consequences were soil erosion, degradation of vegetation, and water supply contamination and decline. Eventually, famines will occur and lead to disease, migration, deserted villages, urbanization, unemployment, ethnic conflicts, and political unrest. Population was estimated at 8.75 million in 1990, with exponential growth expected. Completed family size was 6.6 children per woman. Even replacement fertility would mean growth for 50 more

  15. Population growth and environmental degradation in Malawi.

    PubMed

    Kalipeni, E

    1992-01-01

    Malawi has been ranked by the World Bank as one of the poorest countries in Africa. Malawi's only resources are its people and fertile soil, which comprises about 55% of land area. Environmental degradation and population growth conditions in Malawi were used to illustrate the model of environmental degradation linked to population pressure on land resources and government development strategies that favored large-scale agricultural farms. The result has been deforestation, overgrazing, overuse of land for subsistence, and increased population density. The argument was that population growth in some developing countries has been so rapid that environmental collapse is the result. The theoretical framework linking population growth, environment, and resources emphasized processes: 1) the precursor stage of underlying causes; 2) the problem phase with potential ecological and economic decline; and 3) consequences (environmental decline, reduction in food production systems, and reduction in standard of living). The precursors were identified as an agrarian society, lack of a population policy, and emphasis on large families. The problems were rapid population growth and immigration from Mozambique, which led to increased demand for trees for fuel and consequent deforestation, increased demand for arable land and consequent landlessness, increased investment in livestock and consequent overgrazing, and continued population momentum which was a financial burden to government and resulted in increased labor competition. The ecological consequences were soil erosion, degradation of vegetation, and water supply contamination and decline. Eventually, famines will occur and lead to disease, migration, deserted villages, urbanization, unemployment, ethnic conflicts, and political unrest. Population was estimated at 8.75 million in 1990, with exponential growth expected. Completed family size was 6.6 children per woman. Even replacement fertility would mean growth for 50 more

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

    PubMed

    Arbour, Jessica Hilary; López-Fernández, Hernán

    2016-08-17

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

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

    PubMed

    Arbour, Jessica Hilary; López-Fernández, Hernán

    2016-08-17

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

  18. Outgroup effects on root position and tree topology in the AFLP phylogeny of a rapidly radiating lineage of cichlid fish☆

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Phylogenetic analyses of rapid radiations are particularly challenging as short basal branches and incomplete lineage sorting complicate phylogenetic inference. Multilocus data of presence-absence polymorphisms such as obtained by AFLP genotyping overcome some of the difficulties, but also present their own intricacies. Here we analyze >1000 AFLP markers to address the evolutionary history of the Limnochromini, a cichlid fish lineage endemic to Lake Tanganyika, and to test for potential effects of outgroup composition on tree topology. The data support previous mitochondrial evidence on the tribe’s taxonomy by confirming the polyphyly of the genus Limnochromis and – in contradiction to a recent taxonomic revision – nesting the genus Greenwoodochromis within the Limnochromini. Species relationships suggest that ecological segregation occurred during the rapid basal radiation of the Limnochromini. The large phylogenetic distance between candidate outgroup taxa and the Limnochromini radiation caused random outgroup effects. Bootstrap support for ingroup nodes was lower in outgroup-rooted than in midpoint-rooted trees, and root positions and ingroup tree topologies varied in response to the composition of the outgroup. These observations suggest that the predisposition for homoplastic evolution makes AFLP-based phylogenetic analyses particularly susceptible to random biases introduced by too-distant outgroup taxa. PMID:24055738

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ota, Kazutaka; Hori, Michio; Kohda, Masanori

    2012-01-01

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

  20. Recent eruptive episodes of the Rungwe volcanic field (Tanzania) recorded in lacustrine sediments of the Northern malawi rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williams, T. M.; Henney, P. J.; Owen, R. B.

    1993-07-01

    Discrete ash horizons in Holocene sediments from northern Lake Malawi provide evidence of six eruptive episodes within the nearby Rungwe Volcanic Field between c.9000-360 BP. Rare earth element (REE) analyses show the ash layers to be strongly enriched in La, Ce, Pr, Nd, Sm, Tb, Dy, Er, Tm, Yb and Lu, with low Eu/Eu∗ and high La N/Sm N values, relative to the surrounding muds. Mixing calculations suggest possible affinities between the Rungwe ash emissions and silicic volcanics from other important Quaternary centres (e.g. Naivasha) with respect to HREE geochemistry. The LREE spectra are less comparable and may indicate a less fractionated ash assemblage for Rungwe Field. In the absence of clear in situ evidence regarding the timing and frequency of Holocene eruptions at Rungwe, the Lake Malawi sediments may prove a valuable reconstructive tool. However, the direction and extent of ash dispersal is strongly controlled by wind/climatic factors and the retention of a complete record at any single location is unlikely.

  1. Resources for controlling tuberculosis in Malawi.

    PubMed Central

    Harries, A. D.; Kwanjana, J. H.; Hargreaves, N. J.; Van Gorkom, J.; Salaniponi, F. M.

    2001-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: To document resources for controlling tuberculosis (TB) in Malawi. METHODS: We performed a countrywide study of all 43 hospitals (3 central, 22 district and 18 mission) which register and treat patients with TB. To collect data for 1998 on the TB-related workload, diagnostic facilities, programme staff and treatment facilities, we used laboratory, radiographic and TB registers, conducted interviews and visited hospital facilities. FINDINGS: The data show that in 1998, 88,257 TB suspects/patients contributed approximately 230,000 sputum specimens for smear microscopy, 55,667 chest X-rays were performed and 23,285 patients were registered for TB treatment. There were 86 trained laboratory personnel, 44 radiographers and 83 TB programme staff. Of these, about 40% had periods of illness during 1998. Approximately 20% of the microscopes and X-ray machines were broken. Some 16% of the hospital beds were designated for TB patients in special wards, but even so, the occupancy of beds in TB wards exceeded 100%. Although stocks of anti-TB drugs were good, there was a shortage of full-time TB ward nurses and 50% of district hospitals conducted no TB ward rounds. In general, there was a shortage of facilities for managing associated HIV-related disease; central hospitals, in particular, were underresourced. CONCLUSION: Malawi needs better planning to utilize its manpower and should consider cross-training hospital personnel. The equipment needs regular maintenance, and more attention should be paid to HIV-related illness. The policies of decentralizing resources to the periphery and increasing diagnostic and case-holding resources for central hospitals should be continued. PMID:11357212

  2. Malawi's Special Needs Education (SNE): Perspectives and Comparisons of Practice and Progress

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Itimu, Ambumulire Nellie; Kopetz, Patricia B.

    2008-01-01

    The sub-Saharan country of Malawi is steeped in a robust educational reform movement to ensure "Education for All". Based upon country immersion experience and a review of the literature, this report highlights Malawi's nationwide support for its special needs education (SNE) campaign. First discussed is a brief overview of Malawi, its people and…

  3. 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.

  4. Contextual chemosensory urine signaling in an African cichlid fish

    PubMed Central

    Maruska, Karen P.; Fernald, Russell D.

    2012-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. An economic perspective on Malawi's medical "brain drain"

    PubMed Central

    Record, Richard; Mohiddin, Abdu

    2006-01-01

    Background The medical "brain drain" has been described as rich countries "looting" doctors and nurses from developing countries undermining their health systems and public health. However this "brain-drain" might also be seen as a success in the training and "export" of health professionals and the benefits this provides. This paper illustrates the arguments and possible policy options by focusing on the situation in one of the poorest countries in the world, Malawi. Discussion Many see this "brain drain" of medical staff as wrong with developed countries exploiting poorer ones. The effects are considerable with Malawi facing high vacancy rates in its public health system, and with migration threatening to outstrip training despite efforts to improve pay and conditions. This shortage of staff has made it more challenging for Malawi to deliver on its Essential Health Package and to absorb new international health funding. Yet, without any policy effort Malawi has been able to demonstrate its global competitiveness in the training ("production") of skilled health professionals. Remittances from migration are a large and growing source of foreign exchange for poor countries and tend to go directly to households. Whilst the data for Malawi is limited, studies from other poor countries demonstrate the power of remittances in significantly reducing poverty. Malawi can benefit from the export of health professionals provided there is a resolution of the situation whereby the state pays for training and the benefits are gained by the individual professional working abroad. Solutions include migrating staff paying back training costs, or rich host governments remitting part of a tax (e.g. income or national insurance) to the Malawi government. These schemes would allow Malawi to scale up training of health professionals for local needs and to work abroad. Summary There is concern about the negative impacts of the medical "brain-drain". However a closer look at the evidence

  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. 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

  15. Comparative Transcriptomics in East African Cichlids Reveals Sex- and Species-Specific Expression and New Candidates for Sex Differentiation in Fishes

    PubMed Central

    Böhne, Astrid; Sengstag, Thierry; Salzburger, Walter

    2014-01-01

    Males and females of the same species differ largely in gene expression, which accounts for most of the morphological and physiological differences and sex-specific phenotypes. Here, we analyzed sex-specific gene expression in the brain and the gonads of cichlid fishes from Lake Tanganyika belonging to four different lineages, so-called tribes (Eretmodini, Ectodini, Haplochromini, and Lamprologini), using the outgroup Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) as reference. The comparison between male and female brains revealed few differences between the sexes, consistent in all investigated species. The gonads, on the other hand, showed a large fraction of differentially expressed transcripts with the majority of them showing the same direction of expression in all four species. All here-studied cichlids, especially the three investigated mouth-breeding species, showed a trend toward more male- than female-biased transcripts. Transcripts, which were female-biased in expression in all four species, were overrepresented on linkage group (LG)1 in the reference genome and common male-biased transcripts showed accumulation on LG23, the presumable sex chromosomes of the Nile tilapia. Sex-specific transcripts contained candidate genes for sex determination and differentiation in fishes, especially members of the transforming growth factor-β-superfamily and the Wnt-pathway and also prominent members of the sox-, dm-domain-, and high mobility group-box families. We further confirmed our previous finding on species/lineage-specific gene expression shifts in the sex steroid pathway, including synthesizing enzymes as the aromatase cyp19a1 and estrogen and androgen receptors. PMID:25364805

  16. Trends in life expectancy and the macroeconomy in Malawi.

    PubMed

    Matchaya, Gc

    2007-12-01

    This paper studies the trends in life expectancy in Malawi since independence and offers possible explanations regarding inter-temporal variations. Descriptive analysis reveals that the life expectancy in Malawi has trailed below the Sub Saharan African average. From the 1960s through to the early 1980s life expectancy improved driven mainly by rising incomes and the absence of HIV/AIDS. In the mid 1980s life expectancy declined tremendously and never improved due to the spread of HIV/AIDS, the economic slump that followed the World Bank's Structural Adjustment programmes (SAP) and widespread corruption and poor governance in the era of democracy. At the turn of the new millennium, Malawians were no healthier than their ancestors at the dawn of independence though this improved after 2004. If Malawi is to meet its health Millennium Development Goals by 2015, good governance, improved agricultural performance and an increase in health expenditure should be at the heart of its development policies.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Oldest Homo and Pliocene biogeography of the Malawi Rift.

    PubMed

    Schrenk, F; Bromage, T G; Betzler, C G; Ring, U; Juwayeyi, Y M

    1993-10-28

    The Malawi Rift and Pliocene palaeofaunas, which include a hominid mandible attributed to Homo rudolfensis, provide a biogeographical link between the better known Plio-Pleistocene faunal records of East and Southern Africa. The Malawi Rift is in a latitudinal position suitable for recording any hominid and faunal dispersion towards the Equator that was brought on by increased aridity of the Late Pliocene African landscape. The evidence suggests that Pliocene hominids originated in the eastern African tropical domain and dispersed to southern Africa only during more favourable ecological circumstances.

  20. Rapid assessment of Malawi's civil registration and vital statistics system.

    PubMed

    Nichols, E K; Giles, D; Kang'oma, S; Mwalwanda, L; Onaka, A; Notzon, F

    2015-09-21

    In 2010, Malawi adopted a National Registration Act, making the registration of births and deaths compulsory, and efforts to improve Malawi's civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) system are underway. During a participatory-style workshop, stakeholders completed a rapid assessment of the national civil registration and vital statistics systems. While participants discussed and scored each item in a standard tool, the workshop focused on sharing of partners' roles and challenges. The workshop has enhanced receptiveness in collaboration, and an inter-ministerial technical working group has now been formed to develop a strategic plan and conduct a comprehensive assessment to guide future improvements.

  1. Malawi: HIV surveillance in antenatal women.

    PubMed

    1997-12-01

    From October to December 1996, a surveillance for HIV among antenatal clinic attenders (ANC) was conducted in 19 hospitals serving as sentinel sites in Malawi. The sites consisted of 3 urban, 8 semiurban, and 8 rural hospitals drawn from all 3 regions of the country. Findings showed that of the 4163 samples, 793 were HIV positive, giving an overall prevalence of 19%, with a range from 27% in the urban areas to 18% in the semiurban areas and 10% in the rural areas. The age distribution of infection showed that seroprevalence was highest in the 25-29 age group. In terms of syphilis infection, the rate was more common in the southern than in the central or northern regions, but it did not vary according to urban, semiurban, or rural sites or according to age. Overall, the results showed that ANC HIV seroprevalence remained relatively stable from 1994 to 1996, increasing from 17.4% in 1994 to 18% in 1995 and 19% in 1996. Moreover, the national estimate for seroprevalence in the entire population was 6.4%, essentially the same as that for 1995 (6.6%), indicating that the level of HIV infection had been fairly stable since 1993. Continued close monitoring is required to assess whether the incidence of new infection is actually declining, particularly among young people, and to identify what interventions have the greatest impact.

  2. A platform to integrate climate information and rural telemedicine in Malawi

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lowe, R.; Chadza, T.; Chirombo, J.; Fonda, C.; Muyepa, A.; Nkoloma, M.; Pietrosemoli, E.; Radicella, S. M.; Tompkins, A. M.; Zennaro, M.

    2012-04-01

    It is commonly accepted that climate plays a role in the transmission of many infectious diseases, particularly those transmitted by mosquitoes such as malaria, which is one of the most important causes of mortality and morbidity in developing countries. Due to time lags involved in the climate-disease transmission system, lagged observed climate variables could provide some predictive lead for forecasting disease epidemics. This lead time could be extended by using forecasts of the climate in disease prediction models. This project aims to implement a platform for the dissemination of climate-driven disease risk forecasts, using a telemedicine approach. A pilot project has been established in Malawi, where a 162 km wireless link has been installed, spanning from Blantyre City to remote health facilities in the district of Mangochi in the Southern region, bordering Lake Malawi. This long Wi-Fi technology allows rural health facilities to upload real-time disease cases as they occur to an online health information system (DHIS2); a national medical database repository administered by the Ministry of Health. This technology provides a real-time data logging system for disease incidence monitoring and facilitates the flow of information between local and national levels. This platform allows statistical and dynamical disease prediction models to be rapidly updated with real-time climate and epidemiological information. This permits health authorities to target timely interventions ahead of an imminent increase in malaria incidence. By integrating meteorological and health information systems in a statistical-dynamical prediction model, we show that a long-distance Wi-Fi link is a practical and inexpensive means to enable the rapid analysis of real-time information in order to target disease prevention and control measures and mobilise resources at the local level.

  3. Spatial analysis and mapping of malaria risk in Malawi using point-referenced prevalence of infection data

    PubMed Central

    Kazembe, Lawrence N; Kleinschmidt, Immo; Holtz, Timothy H; Sharp, Brian L

    2006-01-01

    Background Current malaria control initiatives aim at reducing malaria burden by half by the year 2010. Effective control requires evidence-based utilisation of resources. Characterizing spatial patterns of risk, through maps, is an important tool to guide control programmes. To this end an analysis was carried out to predict and map malaria risk in Malawi using empirical data with the aim of identifying areas where greatest effort should be focussed. Methods Point-referenced prevalence of infection data for children aged 1–10 years were collected from published and grey literature and geo-referenced. The model-based geostatistical methods were applied to analyze and predict malaria risk in areas where data were not observed. Topographical and climatic covariates were added in the model for risk assessment and improved prediction. A Bayesian approach was used for model fitting and prediction. Results Bivariate models showed a significant association of malaria risk with elevation, annual maximum temperature, rainfall and potential evapotranspiration (PET). However in the prediction model, the spatial distribution of malaria risk was associated with elevation, and marginally with maximum temperature and PET. The resulting map broadly agreed with expert opinion about the variation of risk in the country, and further showed marked variation even at local level. High risk areas were in the low-lying lake shore regions, while low risk was along the highlands in the country. Conclusion The map provided an initial description of the geographic variation of malaria risk in Malawi, and might help in the choice and design of interventions, which is crucial for reducing the burden of malaria in Malawi. PMID:16987415

  4. Lake Life.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ohrn, Deborah Gore, Ed.

    1993-01-01

    This quarterly publication of the State Historical Society of Iowa features articles and activities for elementary school students. This summer issue focuses on the topic of lake life. The issue includes the following features: (1) "Where the Lakes Are Map"; (2) "Letter from the Lake"; (3) "Lake People"; (4) "Spirit Lake"; (5) "Lake Manawa"; (6)…

  5. Fish faunal resurgence in Lake Nabugabo, East Africa

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2003-01-01

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

  6. History and timing of human impact on Lake Victoria, East Africa.

    PubMed

    Verschuren, Dirk; Johnson, Thomas C; Kling, Hedy J; Edgington, David N; Leavitt, Peter R; Brown, Erik T; Talbot, Michael R; Hecky, Robert E

    2002-02-01

    Lake Victoria, the largest tropical lake in the world, suffers from severe eutrophication and the probable extinction of up to half of its 500+ species of endemic cichlid fishes. The continuing degradation of Lake Victoria's ecological functions has serious long-term consequences for the ecosystem services it provides, and may threaten social welfare in the countries bordering its shores. Evaluation of recent ecological changes in the context of aquatic food-web alterations, catchment disturbance and natural ecosystem variability has been hampered by the scarcity of historical monitoring data. Here, we present high-resolution palaeolimnological data, which show that increases in phytoplankton production developed from the 1930s onwards, which parallels human-population growth and agricultural activity in the Lake Victoria drainage basin. Dominance of bloom-forming cyanobacteria since the late 1980s coincided with a relative decline in diatom growth, which can be attributed to the seasonal depletion of dissolved silica resulting from 50 years of enhanced diatom growth and burial. Eutrophication-induced loss of deep-water oxygen started in the early 1960s, and may have contributed to the 1980s collapse of indigenous fish stocks by eliminating suitable habitat for certain deep-water cichlids. Conservation of Lake Victoria as a functioning ecosystem is contingent upon large-scale implementation of improved land-use practices.

  7. Disrupting Patterns of Educational Inequality and Disadvantage in Malawi

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pridmore, Pat; Jere, Catherine

    2011-01-01

    This paper is concerned with the gap in educational provision for vulnerable learners in Malawi who are at risk of falling behind and dropping out of school due to irregular attendance. It draws on a study in high HIV-prevalence areas that explores the patterns of inequality and disadvantage that disrupt learning and uses this knowledge to design…

  8. Menstruation and School Absenteeism: Evidence from Rural Malawi

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Grant, Monica; Lloyd, Cynthia; Mensch, Barbara

    2013-01-01

    The provision of toilets and menstrual supplies appears to be a promising strategy to promote adolescent girls' school attendance and performance in less developed countries. In this article, we use the first round of the Malawi Schooling and Adolescent Survey (MSAS) to examine the individual- and school-level factors associated with…

  9. The Antlion Project with School Pupils in Zomba, Malawi

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Young, Simon

    2013-01-01

    This article presents an account of a practical outdoor science project using the larvae of antlions with year 5 and 6 (age 10-11) pupils from Sir Harry Johnston International Primary School in Zomba, Malawi. Aim: To conduct a science project outdoors using scientific enquiry and knowledge in a typical African school environment and to see whether…

  10. The Bumpy Road to Mother Tongue Instruction in Malawi

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kamwendo, Gregory Hankoni

    2008-01-01

    In 1996, the Ministry of Education in Malawi directed that in future Standards 1 to 4 would be taught through mother tongues. It took eight years before the pilot phase of the language policy could begin. The paper critically analyses this situation using Bamgbose's framework which says that, in Africa, language policies tend to follow one or more…

  11. Literacy, Ethnolinguistic Diversity and Transitional Bilingual Education in Malawi

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Matiki, Alfred J.

    2006-01-01

    This paper examines recent attempts by the Malawi government to introduce local languages into the primary school system and other secondary domains of national life, breaking more than 30 years of Chichewa/English monopoly. In a country where the language policy has essentially established the hegemony of English over indigenous languages, the…

  12. Extensive Reading in Malawi: Inadequate Implementation or Inappropriate Innovation?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Williams, Eddie

    2007-01-01

    This article reports on the evaluation of an extensive reading programme in primary schools in Malawi, one of the poorest countries in Africa. The programme involved the delivery of book boxes at Years 4 and 5 to every Malawian primary school. Summative evaluation was achieved through baseline and project-end testing, with observations and…

  13. Household Characteristics and Delayed School Enrollment in Malawi

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moyi, Peter

    2010-01-01

    Malawi was the first country after the Jomtien conference to offer free primary education. Despite this policy, universal education has remained elusive. Many children do enroll in school, but not at the official/recommended age and drop out before completing school. Understanding these transition points--entry and completion--is critical to the…

  14. Major Trends in Education in Malawi, 1974-1976.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ministry of Education, Lilongwe (Malawi).

    Since independence from Britain in 1964, the Ministry of Education of Malawi has concentrated on developing a skilled and educated citizenry and on expanding agricultural and technical training. Secondary education was expanded and diversified during the 1960's, a university was established, and a correspondence school was set up to serve the…

  15. Measuring Institutions: Indicators of Political and Property Rights in Malawi

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fedderke, Johannes; Garlick, Julia

    2012-01-01

    This paper constructs a new set of institutional indicators for Malawi. We develop indicators of political rights, of freehold, traditional (communitarian) and intellectual property rights, based on the Malawian legislative framework. In exploring the association between our rights measures and a range of indicators of socio-economic development,…

  16. An Analysis of Free Primary Education Reform Policy in Malawi.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    MacJessie-Mbewe, Samson

    2002-01-01

    Describes the socioeconomic and political context of the formation of the government's free primary-education policy in Malawi. Assesses the impact of the policy on educational access, equity, and quality. Reviews and critiques policies related to free primary education. (Contains 22 references.) (PKP)

  17. Determinants of non-institutional deliveries in Malawi.

    PubMed

    Palamuleni, Martin

    2011-12-01

    Malawi has one of the highest maternal mortality ratios in the world. One of the factors contributing to high maternal mortality is the non-use of health facilities during pregnancy and delivery. The aim of this study is to examine the factors associated with non-institutional deliveries in Malawi. Data from 2004 Malawi Demographic and Health Survey and multinomial logistic regression were used to assess the association between place of delivery and selected socio-economic factors. The study population comprised of 7,218 women, who had at least one child, aged less than five years, at the time the survey. Of these women, 58% delivered at a health facility, 29.4% delivered at home and 12.6% delivered at the home of a traditional birth attendant. Multivariate analysis indicate that region (OR = 1.29 for Central Region), place of residence (OR=0.319 for urban areas), wealth status (OR=6.289 for poor, OR=4.683 for middle), education (OR=3.823 for no education, OR=2.265 for primary education), number of prenatal visits (OR=4.732 no visits, OR=1.696 1-3 visits) and ever use of family (OR=1.29 for never used) showed significant association with non-institutional deliveries. These factors should be considered in designing strategies to improve the maternal health care system in Malawi.

  18. Condom Semiotics: Meaning and Condom Use in Rural Malawi

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tavory, Iddo; Swidler, Ann

    2009-01-01

    This article examines the widespread resistance to condom use in sub-Saharan Africa by describing the major semiotic axes that organize how people talk about condoms and condom use. These axes include the "sweetness" of sex, trust and love between sexual partners, and assessments of risk and danger. Using data from rural Malawi, we show that…

  19. Preventing tuberculosis among health workers in Malawi.

    PubMed Central

    Harries, A. D.; Hargreaves, N. J.; Gausi, F.; Kwanjana, J. H.; Salaniponi, F. M.

    2002-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: Following the introduction of guidelines for the control of tuberculosis (TB) infection in all hospitals in Malawi, a study was carried out to determine whether the guidelines were being implemented, the time between admission to hospital and the diagnosis of pulmonary TB had been reduced, and the annual case notification rates among health workers had fallen and were comparable to those of primary-school teachers. METHODS: The study involved 40 district and mission hospitals. Staff and patients were interviewed in order to determine whether the guidelines had been adopted. In four hospitals the diagnostic process in patients with smear-positive pulmonary TB was evaluated before and after the introduction of the guidelines, with the aid of case notes and TB registers. In all hospitals the proportion of health workers registered with TB before and after the guidelines were introduced, in 1996 and 1999, respectively, was determined by conducting interviews and consulting staff lists and TB registers. A similar method was used to determine the proportion of primary-school teachers who were registered with TB in 1999. FINDINGS: The guidelines were not uniformly implemented. Only one hospital introduced voluntary counselling and testing for its staff. Most hospitals stated that they used rapid systems to diagnose pulmonary TB. However, there was no significant change in the interval between admission and diagnosis or between admission and treatment of patients with smear-positive pulmonary TB. The TB case notification rate for 2979 health workers in 1999 was 3.2%; this did not differ significantly from the value of 3.7% for 2697 health workers in 1996 but was significantly higher than that of 1.8% for 4367 primary-school teachers in 1999. CONCLUSION: The introduction of guidelines for the control of TB infection is an important intervention for reducing nosocomial transmission of the disease, but rigorous monitoring and follow-up are needed in order to ensure

  20. Mouth asymmetry in the textbook example of scale-eating cichlid fish is not a discrete dimorphism after all

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    Individuals of the scale-eating cichlid fish, Perissodus microlepis, from Lake Tanganyika tend to have remarkably asymmetric heads that are either left-bending or right-bending. The ‘left’ morph opens its mouth markedly towards the left and preferentially feeds on the scales from the right-hand side of its victim fish, and the ‘right’ morph bites scales from the victims’ left-hand side. This striking dimorphism made these fish a textbook example of their astonishing degree of ecological specialization and as one of the few known incidences of negative frequency-dependent selection acting on an asymmetric morphological trait, where left and right forms are equally frequent within a species. We investigated the degree and the shape of the frequency distribution of head asymmetry in P. microlepis to test whether the variation conforms to a discrete dimorphism, as generally assumed. In both adult and juvenile fish, mouth asymmetry appeared to be continuously and unimodally distributed with no clear evidence for a discrete dimorphism. Mixture analyses did not reveal evidence of a discrete or even strong dimorphism. These results raise doubts about previous claims, as reported in textbooks, that head variation in P. microlepis represents a discrete dimorphism of left- and right-bending forms. Based on extensive field sampling that excluded ambiguous (i.e. symmetric or weakly asymmetric) individual adults, we found that left and right morphs occur in equal abundance in five populations. Moreover, mate pairing for 51 wild-caught pairs was random with regard to head laterality, calling into question reports that this laterality is maintained through disassortative mating. PMID:23055070

  1. Tectonic controls on rift basin morphology: Evolution of the northern Malawi (Nyasa) rift

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ebinger, C. J.; Deino, A. L.; Tesha, A. L.; Becker, T.; Ring, U.

    1993-01-01

    Radiometric (K-Ar and Ar-40/Ar-39) age determinations of volcanic and volcaniclastic rocks, combined with structural, gravity, and seismic reflection data, are used to constrain the age of sedimentary strata contained within the seismically and volcanically active northern Malawi (Nyasa) rift and to characterize changes in basin and flank morphologies with time. Faulting and volcanism within the Tukuyu-Karonga basin began at approximately 8.6 Ma, when sediments were deposited in abroad, initially asymmetric lake basin bounded on its northeastern side by a border fault system with minor topographic relief. Extensions, primarily by a slip along the border fault, and subsequent regional isostatic compensation led to the development of a 5-km-deep basin bounded by broad uplifted flanks. Along the low-relief basin margin opposite border fault, younger stratigraphic sequences commonly onlap older wedge-shaped sequences, although their internal geometry is often progradational. Intrabasinal faulting, flankuplift, and basaltic and felsic volcanism from centers at the northern end of the basin became more important at about 2.5 Ma when cross-rift transfer faults developed to link the Tukuyu-Karonga basin to the Rukwa basin. Local uplift and volcanic construction at the northern end of the basin led to a southeastward shift in the basin's depocenter. Sequence boundaries are commonly erosional along this low-relief (hanging wall) margin and conformable in the deep lake basin. The geometry of stratigraphic sequences and the distribution of the erosion indicate that horizontal and vertical crustal movements both across and along the length of the rift basin led to changes in levels of the lake, irrespective of paleoclimatic fluctuations.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-22

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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Morphology and Efficiency of a Specialized Foraging Behavior, Sediment Sifting, in Neotropical Cichlid Fishes

    PubMed Central

    Willis, Stuart; Watkins, Crystal; Honeycutt, Rodney L.; Winemiller, Kirk O.

    2014-01-01

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

  13. Specialization training in Malawi: a qualitative study on the perspectives of medical students graduating from the University of Malawi College of Medicine

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background There is a critical shortage of healthcare workers in sub-Saharan Africa, and Malawi has one of the lowest physician densities in the region. One of the reasons for this shortage is inadequate retention of medical school graduates, partly due to the desire for specialization training. The University of Malawi College of Medicine has developed specialty training programs, but medical school graduates continue to report a desire to leave the country for specialization training. To understand this desire, we studied medical students’ perspectives on specialization training in Malawi. Methods We conducted semi-structured interviews of medical students in the final year of their degree program. We developed an interview guide through an iterative process, and recorded and transcribed all interviews for analysis. Two independent coders coded the manuscripts and assessed inter-coder reliability, and the authors used an “editing approach” to qualitative analysis to identify and categorize themes relating to the research aim. The University of Pittsburgh Institutional Review Board and the University of Malawi College of Medicine Research and Ethics Committee approved this study and authors obtained written informed consent from all participants. Results We interviewed 21 medical students. All students reported a desire for specialization training, with 12 (57%) students interested in specialties not currently offered in Malawi. Students discussed reasons for pursuing specialization training, impressions of specialization training in Malawi, reasons for staying or leaving Malawi to pursue specialization training and recommendations to improve training. Conclusions Graduating medical students in Malawi have mixed views of specialization training in their own country and still desire to leave Malawi to pursue further training. Training institutions in sub-Saharan Africa need to understand the needs of the country’s healthcare workforce and the needs of their

  14. Living with climate change: avoiding conflict through adaptation in Malawi

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jørstad, H.; Webersik, C.

    2015-11-01

    In recent years, research on climate change and human security has received much attention among policy makers and academia alike. Communities in the Global South that rely on an intact resource base will especially be affected by predicted changes in temperature and precipitation. The objective of this article is to better understand under what conditions local communities can adapt to anticipated impacts of climate change and avoid conflict over the loss of resources. The empirical part of the paper answers the question to what extent local communities in the Chilwa Basin in Malawi have experienced climate change and how they are affected by it. Further, it assesses one of Malawi's adaptation projects designed to build resilience to a warmer and more variable climate, and points to some of its limitations. This research shows that not all adaptation strategies are suited to cope with a warmer and more variable climate.

  15. 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.

  16. Health spending, illicit financial flows and tax incentives in Malawi.

    PubMed

    O'Hare, B; Curtis, M

    2014-12-01

    This analysis examines the gaps in health care financing in Malawi and how foregone taxes could fill these gaps. It begins with an assessment of the disease burden and government health expenditure. Then it analyses the tax revenues foregone by the government of Malawi by two main routes: Illicit financial flows (IFF) from the country, Tax incentives. We find that there are significant financing gaps in the health sector; for example, government expenditure is United States Dollars (USD) 177 million for 2013/2014 while projected donor contribution in 2013/2014 is USD 207 million and the total cost for the minimal health package is USD 535 million. Thus the funding gap between the government budget for health and the required spending to provide the minimal package for 2013/2014 is USD 358 million. On the other hand we estimate that almost USD 400 million is lost through IFF and corporate utilization of tax incentives each year. The revenues foregone plus the current government health spending would be sufficient to cover the minimal public health package for all Malawians and would help tackle Malawi's disease burden. Every effort must be made, including improving transparency and revising laws, to curtail IFF and moderate tax incentives.

  17. Health spending, illicit financial flows and tax incentives in Malawi.

    PubMed

    O'Hare, B; Curtis, M

    2014-12-01

    This analysis examines the gaps in health care financing in Malawi and how foregone taxes could fill these gaps. It begins with an assessment of the disease burden and government health expenditure. Then it analyses the tax revenues foregone by the government of Malawi by two main routes: Illicit financial flows (IFF) from the country, Tax incentives. We find that there are significant financing gaps in the health sector; for example, government expenditure is United States Dollars (USD) 177 million for 2013/2014 while projected donor contribution in 2013/2014 is USD 207 million and the total cost for the minimal health package is USD 535 million. Thus the funding gap between the government budget for health and the required spending to provide the minimal package for 2013/2014 is USD 358 million. On the other hand we estimate that almost USD 400 million is lost through IFF and corporate utilization of tax incentives each year. The revenues foregone plus the current government health spending would be sufficient to cover the minimal public health package for all Malawians and would help tackle Malawi's disease burden. Every effort must be made, including improving transparency and revising laws, to curtail IFF and moderate tax incentives. PMID:26167264

  18. The difficulties of conducting maternal death reviews in Malawi

    PubMed Central

    Kongnyuy, Eugene J; van den Broek, Nynke

    2008-01-01

    Background Maternal death reviews is a tool widely recommended to improve the quality of obstetric care and reduce maternal mortality. Our aim was to explore the challenges encountered in the process of facility-based maternal death review in Malawi, and to suggest sustainable and logically sound solutions to these challenges. Methods SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis of the process of maternal death review during a workshop in Malawi. Results Strengths: Availability of data from case notes, support from hospital management, and having maternal death review forms. Weaknesses: fear of blame, lack of knowledge and skills to properly conduct death reviews, inadequate resources and missing documentation. Opportunities: technical assistance from expatriates, support from the Ministry of Health, national protocols and high maternal mortality which serves as motivation factor. Threats: Cultural practices, potential lawsuit, demotivation due to the high maternal mortality and poor planning at the district level. Solutions: proper documentation, conducting maternal death review in a blame-free manner, good leadership, motivation of staff, using guidelines, proper stock inventory and community involvement. Conclusion Challenges encountered during facility-based maternal death review are provider-related, administrative, client related and community related. Countries with similar socioeconomic profiles to Malawi will have similar 'pull-and-push' factors on the process of facility-based maternal death reviews, and therefore we will expect these countries to have similar potential solutions. PMID:18786267

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

    PubMed

    Salgado-Maldonado, Guillermo

    2013-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Salgado-Maldonado, Guillermo

    2013-05-01

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

  2. Life Skills and Reproductive Health Education Changes Behaviour in Students and Teachers: Evidence from Malawi

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kalanda, Boniface Francis

    2010-01-01

    Malawi is one of the countries with a youthful population. Youths are susceptible to various social-economic pressures that put their well being into jeopardy. One of the issues that affect youth is early drop out of school, drug abuse and contracting sexually transmitted diseases including HIV. To address these issues, the Malawi Government…

  3. Implementation of Policies and Strategies for Control of Noncommunicable Diseases in Malawi: Challenges and Opportunities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lupafya, Phindile Chitsulo; Mwagomba, Beatrice L. Matanje; Hosig, Kathy; Maseko, Lucy M.; Chimbali, Henry

    2016-01-01

    Malawi is a Sub-Saharan African country experiencing the epidemiological transition from predominantly infectious to noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) with dramatically increasing prevalence of lifestyle-related diseases such as obesity, hypertension, and diabetes. Malawi's 2011-2016 Health Sector Strategic Plan included NCDs, and an NCD Control…

  4. "Can Anything Good Come Out of This Mouth?" Female Experiences of Disability in Malawi

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Braathen, Stine Hellum; Kvam, Marit Hoem

    2008-01-01

    The aim of this article is to give an overview of the daily life stories of 23 women with disabilities in Malawi. The stories were gained through qualitative interviews that covered aspects of being a woman and living with a disability in Malawi. Recent studies from countries in southern Africa have documented how people with disabilities…

  5. Influences on Children's Human Capital in Rural Malawi: Three Essays

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Appiah-Yeboah, Shirley Afua

    2013-01-01

    The circumstances that characterize poor, rural communities in Malawi suggest that children's health-wealth gradient can vary from other settings. This dissertation begins with a description of the methods used to create a household wealth variable using assets data in the Malawi Longitudinal Study of Families and Health project. By using a…

  6. The Changing Roles of Non-Governmental Organisations in Education in Malawi.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kadzamira, Esme Chipo; Kunje, Demis

    A study was commissioned by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Bureau for Africa, to investigate the changing roles of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in basic education in Africa. This Malawi case study was conducted by the Centre for Educational Research and Training of the University of Malawi. Information for…

  7. Bearing the Cost: An Examination of the Gendered Impacts of Water Policy Reform in Malawi

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Marra, Simona

    2008-01-01

    Water insecurity is one of the most pressing issues currently faced by Malawi. The consequences of these issues are borne significantly by women, who are most directly involved with water provision and use, particularly at the household level. Since the mid-1990s, Malawi has undertaken a process of water policy reform. Reflective of international…

  8. Investigating Bilingual Literacy: Evidence from Malawi and Zambia. Education Research Paper.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Williams, E.

    This monograph describes contrasting classroom methods and experiences teaching reading in Malawi (where reading is taught through the medium of a local language) and in Zambia (where the medium used is English). In describing research carried out in Malawi and Zambia, the monograph specifically discusses the importance of the research for those…

  9. Bilateral asymmetry in certain morphological characters of Sarotherodon melanotheron Rüppell 1852 and Coptodon guineensis (Günther 1862) collected from Lake Ahémé and Porto-Novo Lagoon Bénin, West Africa.

    PubMed

    Jawad, Laith; Gnohossou, Pierre; Tossou, Ayoko Géraldine

    2016-02-15

    Asymmetry analysis was carried out for three bilateral characters of two cichlid fish species, Sarotherodon melanotheron and Coptodon guineensis collected from two localities, Lake Ahémé and Porto-Novo lagoon, Republic of Bénin, West Africa. For both S. melanotheron and C. guineensis snout length (SL), eye diameter (ED) and number of scales on lateral line (LLS), bilateral asymmetry was higher in the fish specimens collected from Porto-Novo lagoon compared with that of specimens from Lake Ahémé. Bilateral asymmetry in S. melanotheron and C. guineensis increased with the fish size at all localities. The possible causes of bilateral asymmetry in the two cichlid species are discussed in relation to different pollutants in both water bodies.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

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

    PubMed

    McLaughlin, Kirsty Elizabeth; Kunc, Hansjoerg P

    2015-07-01

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

  18. Developmental Idealism and Cultural Models of the Family in Malawi.

    PubMed

    Thornton, Arland; Pierotti, Rachael S; Young-DeMarco, Linda; Watkins, Susan

    2014-10-01

    This paper examines the extent to which developmental idealism has been disseminated in Malawi. Developmental idealism is a set of beliefs and values about development and the relationships between development and family structures and behavior. Developmental idealism states that attributes of societies and families defined as modern are better than attributes defined as traditional, that modern societies help produce modern families, that modern families facilitate the achievement of modern societies, and that the future will bring family change in the direction of modernity. Previous research has demonstrated that knowledge of developmental idealism is widespread in many places around the world, but provides little systematic data about it in sub-Saharan Africa or how knowledge of it is associated with certain demographic characteristics in that region. In this paper, we address this issue by examining whether ordinary people in two settings in Malawi, a sub-Saharan African country, have received and understood messages that are intended to associate development with certain types of family forms and family behaviors. We then examine associations between demographic characteristics and developmental idealism to investigate possible mechanisms linking global discourse about development to the grassroots. We analyze data collected in face-to-face surveys from two samples of Malawian men in 2009 and 2010, one rural, the other in a low-to-medium income neighborhood of a city. Our analysis of these survey data shows considerable evidence that many developmental idealism beliefs have been spread in that country and that education has positive effects on beliefs in the association between development and family attributes. We also find higher levels of developmental idealism awareness in the urban sample than we do in the rural sample, but once dissimilarities in education and wealth between the two samples are controlled, awareness levels no longer differed between

  19. Constraints to Implementing the Essential Health Package in Malawi

    PubMed Central

    Mueller, Dirk H.; Lungu, Douglas; Acharya, Arnab; Palmer, Natasha

    2011-01-01

    Increasingly seen as a useful tool of health policy, Essential or Minimal Health Packages direct resources to interventions that aim to address the local burden of disease and be cost-effective. Less attention has been paid to the delivery mechanisms for such interventions. This study aimed to assess the degree to which the Essential Health Package (EHP) in Malawi was available to its population and what health system constraints impeded its full implementation. The first phase of this study comprised a survey of all facilities in three districts including interviews with all managers and clinical staff. In the second and third phase, results were discussed with District Health Management Teams and national level stakeholders, respectively, including representatives of the Ministry of Health, Central Medical Stores, donors and NGOs. The EHP in Malawi is focussing on the local burden of disease; however, key constraints to its successful implementation included a widespread shortage of staff due to vacancies but also caused by frequent trainings and meetings (only 48% of expected man days of clinical staff were available; training and meetings represented 57% of all absences in health centres). Despite the training, the percentage of health workers aware of vital diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to EHP conditions was weak. Another major constraint was shortages of vital drugs at all levels of facilities (e.g. Cotrimoxazole was sufficiently available to treat the average number of patients in only 27% of health centres). Although a few health workers noted some improvement in infrastructure and working conditions, they still considered them to be widely inadequate. In Malawi, as in similar resource poor countries, greater attention needs to be given to the health system constraints to delivering health care. Removal of these constraints should receive priority over the considerable focus on the development and implementation of essential packages of

  20. Developmental Idealism and Cultural Models of the Family in Malawi.

    PubMed

    Thornton, Arland; Pierotti, Rachael S; Young-DeMarco, Linda; Watkins, Susan

    2014-10-01

    This paper examines the extent to which developmental idealism has been disseminated in Malawi. Developmental idealism is a set of beliefs and values about development and the relationships between development and family structures and behavior. Developmental idealism states that attributes of societies and families defined as modern are better than attributes defined as traditional, that modern societies help produce modern families, that modern families facilitate the achievement of modern societies, and that the future will bring family change in the direction of modernity. Previous research has demonstrated that knowledge of developmental idealism is widespread in many places around the world, but provides little systematic data about it in sub-Saharan Africa or how knowledge of it is associated with certain demographic characteristics in that region. In this paper, we address this issue by examining whether ordinary people in two settings in Malawi, a sub-Saharan African country, have received and understood messages that are intended to associate development with certain types of family forms and family behaviors. We then examine associations between demographic characteristics and developmental idealism to investigate possible mechanisms linking global discourse about development to the grassroots. We analyze data collected in face-to-face surveys from two samples of Malawian men in 2009 and 2010, one rural, the other in a low-to-medium income neighborhood of a city. Our analysis of these survey data shows considerable evidence that many developmental idealism beliefs have been spread in that country and that education has positive effects on beliefs in the association between development and family attributes. We also find higher levels of developmental idealism awareness in the urban sample than we do in the rural sample, but once dissimilarities in education and wealth between the two samples are controlled, awareness levels no longer differed between

  1. Grass-root health education strategies in Malawi.

    PubMed

    Tembo, K C

    1995-10-01

    Various health education strategies have been observed to be practiced at the grassroots level in Malawi. One approach to communicate health knowledge and information in health education is by teaching people directly by a lecture that may be delivered at prearranged meetings. Generally, lectures stress the value of: good housing, good sanitation practice, personal hygiene, food and nutrition, child care, use of potable water, communicable disease control, and use of available health services in their communities. Another approach to health education is through the use of mass media (radio and newspapers and leaflets). There are articles on health issues in local newspapers. Their disadvantage is that there is delayed feedback with room for misunderstanding the messages; Malawi has a literacy rate of only 30% for women and 60% for men. Health education messages are further disseminated by using visual aids: posters, films, models, flip charts, and photographs. The Ministry of Health and many nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) produce very good visual aids for teaching. Posters on AIDS are displayed in schools and colleges. Other widely practiced methods of communicating health messages to people include role playing through drama and singing health songs in promoting maternal and child health, nutrition, sanitation, and hygiene at clinics. Primary health care started in Malawi in 1979 by embracing both curative, preventive, and promotive aspects of health. Primary health workers (PHWs) in the villages are trained in basic curative medicine, public health work, and health education methods. Village health committees (VHCs) conduct health education. Women's groups, chiefs, church leaders, schools, farmers' clubs, and business associations publicize proposed health education programs in rural and urban communities.

  2. Developmental Idealism and Cultural Models of the Family in Malawi

    PubMed Central

    Pierotti, Rachael S.; Young-DeMarco, Linda; Watkins, Susan

    2014-01-01

    This paper examines the extent to which developmental idealism has been disseminated in Malawi. Developmental idealism is a set of beliefs and values about development and the relationships between development and family structures and behavior. Developmental idealism states that attributes of societies and families defined as modern are better than attributes defined as traditional, that modern societies help produce modern families, that modern families facilitate the achievement of modern societies, and that the future will bring family change in the direction of modernity. Previous research has demonstrated that knowledge of developmental idealism is widespread in many places around the world, but provides little systematic data about it in sub-Saharan Africa or how knowledge of it is associated with certain demographic characteristics in that region. In this paper, we address this issue by examining whether ordinary people in two settings in Malawi, a sub-Saharan African country, have received and understood messages that are intended to associate development with certain types of family forms and family behaviors. We then examine associations between demographic characteristics and developmental idealism to investigate possible mechanisms linking global discourse about development to the grassroots. We analyze data collected in face-to-face surveys from two samples of Malawian men in 2009 and 2010, one rural, the other in a low-to-medium income neighborhood of a city. Our analysis of these survey data shows considerable evidence that many developmental idealism beliefs have been spread in that country and that education has positive effects on beliefs in the association between development and family attributes. We also find higher levels of developmental idealism awareness in the urban sample than we do in the rural sample, but once dissimilarities in education and wealth between the two samples are controlled, awareness levels no longer differed between

  3. Child health and survival remains poor in Malawi.

    PubMed

    1994-01-01

    The results of the 1992 Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) in Malawi show that Malawi still has one of the highest levels of mortality for less than 5 year old children in the world ( 5 mortality = 25%). During the last 10 years, an increase in postneonatal mortality has offset the modest decrease in neonatal mortality. Infant mortality has hovered around 135/1000 live births since the early 1980s. More children in Malawi suffer from chronic undernutrition (stunting) than in any African country surveyed by DHS. In fact, almost 50% of all less than 5 year old children are stunted. Another 6.7% suffer from wasting (acute undernutrition). Poor infant feeding practices contribute to undernutrition and increased vulnerability to death. Just 3% of less than 4 month old infants are exclusively breast fed. 75% of 2-3 month olds receive supplementary feedings. On the other hand, progress has occurred in the provision of basic maternal and child health services. Just 3% of 12-23 month old children have had no vaccinations. 85% have received all their vaccinations. 97% have received their BCG vaccine and the first dose of DPT and polio vaccine. A trained health professional has provided prenatal care to mothers for 90% of recent births. 86% of mothers have had at least 1 dose of tetanus toxoid during pregnancy. More than 50% of recent births occurred at a health facility. The maternal mortality ratio is still high (620/100,000 births). Even though contraceptive use is increasing and fertility is falling (1984-1992, 1-7% using a modern method and 7.5-6.7, respectively), fertility is still high. Ideal family size has fallen from 5 to 6 between 1984 and 1992. Age at first marriage and age at first birth have increased slightly. These findings suggest that Malawi is just entering the demographic transition. AIDS remains a serious public health problem with many people having little knowledge about it, about modes of transmission, and about means of prevention.

  4. Health systems challenges in cervical cancer prevention program in Malawi

    PubMed Central

    Maseko, Fresier C.; Chirwa, Maureen L.; Muula, Adamson S.

    2015-01-01

    Background Cervical cancer remains the leading cause of cancer death among women in sub-Saharan Africa. In Malawi, very few women have undergone screening and the incidence of cervical cancer is on the increase as is the case in most developing countries. We aimed at exploring and documenting health system gaps responsible for the poor performance of the cervical cancer prevention program in Malawi. Design The study was carried out in 14 randomly selected districts of the 29 districts of Malawi. All cervical cancer service providers in these districts were invited to participate. Two semi-structured questionnaires were used, one for the district cervical cancer coordinators and the other for the service providers. The themes of both questionnaires were based on World Health Organization (WHO) health system frameworks. A checklist was also developed to audit medical supplies and equipment in the cervical cancer screening facilities. The two questionnaires together with the medical supplies and equipment checklist were piloted in Chikwawa district before being used as data collection tools in the study. Quantitative data were analyzed using STATA and qualitative in NVIVO. Results Forty-one service providers from 21 health facilities and 9 district coordinators participated in the study. Our findings show numerous health system challenges mainly in areas of health workforce and essential medical products and technologies. Seven out of the 21 health facilities provided both screening and treatment. Results showed challenges in the management of the cervical cancer program at district level; inadequate service providers who are poorly supervised; lack of basic equipment and stock-outs of basic medical supplies in some health facilities; and inadequate funding of the program. In most of the health facilities, services providers were not aware of the policy which govern their work and that they did not have standards and guidelines for cervical cancer screening and

  5. Hydroclimatic and geothermal controls on the salinity of Mbaka Lakes (SW Tanzania): Limnological and paleolimnological implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Delalande, Manuëlla; Bergonzini, Laurent; Branchu, Philippe; Filly, Annick; Williamson, David

    2008-09-01

    SummaryThe hydroclimatic and geothermal controls on the salinity of small tropical crater lakes Masoko, Katubwi, Kyambangunguru, Ilamba and Kingiri, aligned with the Mbaka fault line, north of Lake Malawi, are investigated by water stable isotopes which are used to trace evaporative processes as to establish lake water balances, and by chloride concentrations allowing to identify the main salinity sources. This region shows positive excess in the exchanges between atmosphere and lake surfaces ( P - E > 0). With the exception of Lake Ilamba, the lakes are closed surface basins and their levels are relatively stable. As catchment inflows cannot be neglected, groundwater outflows have to compensate for this excess, the isotopic budgets show that these lakes constitute a series of windows on the local shallow aquifer. In addition, the estimated losses by evaporation cannot solely account for the lake salinity observed, as the most saline lake differs from not the most evaporated. Lake salinity is then investigated from chloride concentrations and seems to be controlled by inflows, which results from the mixing between (i) fresh and (ii) hydrothermal ground waters. The contrasts in lake salinity (almost one order of magnitude) are first related to the hydrothermal contribution, which increases with the proximity of the Mbaka fault. Second, due to positive exchange with the atmosphere, the lake salinity appears systematically diluted in regard to the respective inflows. This dilution effect increases as the fraction of total inputs lost by evaporation or the lake water residence time increases. This current hydrological study shows that local wetter conditions are not inconsistent with higher lake salinity and allows to conciliate the questioned and apparent contradictory Lake Masoko wetter and salty paleoenvironmental and paleoclimatic records for the last glacial maximum and Younger Dryas time intervals. Further, in a general manner, this work addresses the case of

  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. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Lake Eyre

    Atmospheric Science Data Center

    2013-04-16

    ...   View Larger Image Lake Eyre is a large salt lake situated between two deserts in one of Australia's driest regions. ... the effect of sunglint at the nadir camera view angle. Dry, salt encrusted parts of the lake appear bright white or gray. Purple areas have ...

  16. 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

  17. Climate Change Affects the East African Rift Valley Lakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Reilly, C. M.; Plisnier, P.; Cohen, A. S.

    2004-12-01

    Over the last 100 years, air temperatures in eastern African have been warming consistent with the global average temperature increase. This has led to warmer water temperatures in the East African Rift Valley lakes, increasing the stability of the water column. Subsequently, there has been a reduction in the upwelling of deep nutrient-rich waters that are the primary source of nutrients for most of these lakes. There were decreases in surface water N and P and increases in the Si:P ratio over the past 70 years for Lakes Malawi, Tanganyika, Edward, and Albert. The lower nutrient concentrations in the surface waters were associated with reduced algal biomass and increased water clarity. The consistent, regional-scale changes among these lakes provide strong evidence that climate warming may be having a large negative affect on these unique tropical lakes. A decrease in primary productivity of 20% has been indicated for Lake Tanganyika, which would be associated with a 30% decrease in fisheries yields. The human implications of such subtle, but progressive, environmental changes are potentially dire in this densely populated region of the world, where these large lakes are an important nutritional and economic resource.

  18. HIV/AIDS and time allocation in rural Malawi

    PubMed Central

    Bignami-Van Assche, Simona; Van Assche, Ari; Anglewicz, Philip; Fleming, Peter; van de Ruit, Catherine

    2012-01-01

    AIDS-related morbidity and mortality are expected to have a large economic impact in rural Malawi, because they reduce the time that adults can spend on production for subsistence and on income-generating activities. However, households may compensate for production losses by reallocating tasks among household members. The data demands for measuring these effects are high, limiting the amount of empirical evidence. In this paper, we utilize a unique combination of qualitative and quantitative data, including biomarkers for HIV, collected by the 2004 Malawi Diffusion and Ideational Change Project, to analyze the association between AIDS-related morbidity and mortality, and time allocation decisions in rural Malawian households. We find that AIDS-related morbidity and mortality have important economic effects on women’s time, whereas men’s time is unresponsive to the same shocks. Most notably, AIDS is shown to induce diversification of income sources, with women (but not men) reallocating their time, generally from work-intensive (typically farming and heavy chores) to cash-generating tasks (such as casual labor). PMID:22639544

  19. Quantity Versus Quality in Education: Case Studies in Malawi

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chimombo, Joseph Patrick Godson

    2005-05-01

    Free primary education was introduced to Malawi in 1994, and it led to an increase in enrolment of one million pupils. The present contribution gathers case studies of 10 schools which sought information on the general conditions of communities and schools as well as on enrolment, resources, staffing, absenteeism etc. The results highlight the difficulties of implementing Education for All (EFA). Generally speaking, schools have been poorly supplied by the state. Effectively, many pupils have been marshaled into schools not properly equipped in terms of material and human resources. As a result, EFA in Malawi has been undermined by a persistently large number of pupils who drop out before attaining permanent literacy. Yet providing quality education is more than just a question of resources. From the points of view of parents and pupils, quality education requires relevance to local needs; adaptability to local conditions; and flexibility in addressing cultural obstacles. Overall, as is shown here, it appears that increased access to schooling has been achieved at the expense of the quality of education offered.

  20. Soil type influences crop mineral composition in Malawi.

    PubMed

    Joy, Edward J M; Broadley, Martin R; Young, Scott D; Black, Colin R; Chilimba, Allan D C; Ander, E Louise; Barlow, Thomas S; Watts, Michael J

    2015-02-01

    Food supply and composition data can be combined to estimate micronutrient intakes and deficiency risks among populations. These estimates can be improved by using local crop composition data that can capture environmental influences including soil type. This study aimed to provide spatially resolved crop composition data for Malawi, where information is currently limited. Six hundred and fifty-two plant samples, representing 97 edible food items, were sampled from >150 sites in Malawi between 2011 and 2013. Samples were analysed by ICP-MS for up to 58 elements, including the essential minerals calcium (Ca), copper (Cu), iron (Fe), magnesium (Mg), selenium (Se) and zinc (Zn). Maize grain Ca, Cu, Fe, Mg, Se and Zn concentrations were greater from plants grown on calcareous soils than those from the more widespread low-pH soils. Leafy vegetables from calcareous soils had elevated leaf Ca, Cu, Fe and Se concentrations, but lower Zn concentrations. Several foods were found to accumulate high levels of Se, including the leaves of Moringa, a crop not previously been reported in East African food composition data sets. New estimates of national dietary mineral supplies were obtained for non-calcareous and calcareous soils. High risks of Ca (100%), Se (100%) and Zn (57%) dietary deficiencies are likely on non-calcareous soils. Deficiency risks on calcareous soils are high for Ca (97%), but lower for Se (34%) and Zn (31%). Risks of Cu, Fe and Mg deficiencies appear to be low on the basis of dietary supply levels.

  1. Sex, money, and premarital partnerships in southern Malawi.

    PubMed

    Poulin, Michelle

    2007-12-01

    In this paper, I argue two main points. First, in premarital, sexual partnerships in rural Malawi, the purpose of money exchange extends beyond the alleviation of female partners' economic constraints, and, second, by clarifying this broader purpose, it becomes possible to recognize where women exert control over their own sexual selves. These findings come from field observations and a rich set of in-depth interviews (N=54), bolstered on occasion by survey data, conducted with young women and men, aged 15-24 years, in the Balaka district in the southern region of the country. This research demonstrates that, contrary to typical expectations, money and gift transfers in sexual partnerships are part and parcel of the courting practices of young Malawian women and men. Transfers are as much about the expression of love and commitment as they are about meeting the financial needs of women or the acquisition of sex for men. Using narrative information to shed light on the semiotics of the sex-money link, these findings from Malawi offer a new perspective that broadens usual interpretations of transactional sex, the understanding of which is critical in fighting AIDS.

  2. The reach and effect of radio communication campaigns on condom use in Malawi.

    PubMed

    Meekers, Dominique; Van Rossem, Ronan; Silva, Martha; Koleros, Andrew

    2007-06-01

    This study uses data from the 2004 Malawi Demographic and Health Survey to assess the reach of selected radio programs about family planning and health in Malawi and their effect on condom use and discussion of family planning. The results show that such radio programs in Malawi reach a broad audience: eight of the 12 programs were heard by at least half of the respondents, although women were less effectively reached than men. For both women and men, the radio programs were found to have a significant impact on family planning discussion with one's partner. The programs' effect on condom use was limited, however. A positive association was found with ever use of condoms, but no association was found with condom use at last intercourse. This limited impact suggests that such radio communication campaigns need to be informed by research identifying the specific constraints to current condom use in Malawi.

  3. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    McDonnell, Laura H.; Chapman, Lauren J.

    2015-01-01

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

  5. District health managers’ perceptions of supervision in Malawi and Tanzania

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Mid-level cadres are being used to address human resource shortages in many African contexts, but insufficient and ineffective human resource management is compromising their performance. Supervision plays a key role in performance and motivation, but is frequently characterised by periodic inspection and control, rather than support and feedback to improve performance. This paper explores the perceptions of district health management teams in Tanzania and Malawi on their role as supervisors and on the challenges to effective supervision at the district level. Methods This qualitative study took place as part of a broader project, “Health Systems Strengthening for Equity: The Power and Potential of Mid-Level Providers”. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 20 district health management team personnel in Malawi and 37 council health team members in Tanzania. The interviews covered a range of human resource management issues, including supervision and performance assessment, staff job descriptions and roles, motivation and working conditions. Results Participants displayed varying attitudes to the nature and purpose of the supervision process. Much of the discourse in Malawi centred on inspection and control, while interviewees in Tanzania were more likely to articulate a paradigm characterised by support and improvement. In both countries, facility level performance metrics dominated. The lack of competency-based indicators or clear standards to assess individual health worker performance were considered problematic. Shortages of staff, at both district and facility level, were described as a major impediment to carrying out regular supervisory visits. Other challenges included conflicting and multiple responsibilities of district health team staff and financial constraints. Conclusion Supervision is a central component of effective human resource management. Policy level attention is crucial to ensure a systematic, structured process that

  6. Entomological indices of malaria transmission in Chikhwawa district, Southern Malawi

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Although malaria is highly prevalent throughout Malawi, little is known of its transmission dynamics. This paper describes the seasonal activity of the different vectors, human biting indices, sporozoite rates and the entomological inoculation rate in a low-lying rural area in southern Malawi. Methods Vectors were sampled over 52 weeks from January 2002 to January 2003, by pyrethrum knockdown catch in two villages in Chikhwawa district, in the Lower Shire Valley. Results In total, 7,717 anophelines were collected of which 55.1% were Anopheles gambiae sensu lato and 44.9% were Anopheles funestus. Three members of the An. gambiae complex were identified by PCR: Anopheles arabiensis (75%) was abundant throughout the year, An. gambiae s.s. (25%) was most common during the wet season and Anopheles quadriannulatus occurred at a very low frequency (n=16). An. funestus was found in all samples but was most common during the dry season. Anopheles gambiae s.s. and An. funestus were highly anthropophilic with human blood indices of 99.2% and 96.3%, respectively. Anopheles arabiensis had fed predominantly on humans (85.0%) and less commonly on cattle (10.9%; 1.2% of blood meals were of mixed origin). Plasmodium falciparum (192/3,984) and Plasmodium malariae (1/3,984) sporozoites were detected by PCR in An. arabiensis (3.2%) and An. funestus (4.5%), and in a significantly higher proportion of An. gambiae s.s. (10.6%)(p<0.01). All three vectors were present throughout the year and malaria transmission occurred in every month, although with greatest intensity during the rainy season (January to April). The combined human blood index exceeded 92% and the P. falciparum sporozoite rate was 4.8%, resulting in estimated inoculation rates of 183 infective bites/ person per annum, or an average rate of ~15 infective bites/person/month. Conclusions The results demonstrate the importance of An. gambiae s.s., An. arabiensis and An. funestus in driving the high levels of malaria

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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".

  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. Assessing girls' HIV vulnerability: evidence from Botswana, Malawi and Mozambique.

    PubMed

    Underwood, Carol R; Schwandt, Hilary M

    2016-07-01

    Past research documents multiple factors associated with girls' susceptibility to human immunodeficiency virus transmission; yet a literature review found no systematic approach to measure vulnerability. This study characterized, developed and tested a set of indicators to measure girls' vulnerability, resulting in the vulnerable girls index (VGI). A quasi- experimental, separate-sample pre-/post-test design was used to test the index. Adolescent girls were randomly drawn for the pre-test (2277 respondents) and post-test (1418 respondents) from 16 purposively selected communities in Botswana, Malawi and Mozambique. The higher the VGI score-or the more vulnerable the girl-the more likely she was to report premarital sexual experience across the three countries and the more likely she was to report low agency to insist upon condom use in Botswana and Mozambique. The VGI can be used to assess girls' vulnerability levels across time and space for policy and programme planning purposes, and as part of programme evaluations.

  16. An Assessment of Childbearing Preferences in Northern Malawi.

    PubMed

    Machiyama, Kazuyo; Baschieri, Angela; Dube, Albert; Crampin, Amelia C; Glynn, Judith R; French, Neil; Cleland, John

    2015-06-01

    Fertility preferences are an essential component of family planning program evaluation; however, doubts about their validity in sub-Saharan Africa exist and little methodological assessment has been carried out. This study investigates prospective fertility intentions in terms of their temporal stability, intensity, degree of spousal agreement, and association with future childbearing in northern Malawi. A total of 5,222 married women participated in the three-round study. The odds of having a child or becoming pregnant within 36 months were 4.2 times higher when both wife and husband wanted a child within three years and 2 times higher when both wanted to wait at least three years, compared with the odds when both wanted to cease childbearing. The influence of husbands' and wives' preferences on subsequent fertility was equal. Compared with the intention to stop, the intention to postpone childbearing was less stable, recorded less spousal agreement, and was much less strongly predictive of fertility.

  17. School socioeconomic composition and adolescent sexual initiation in Malawi

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Jinho

    2015-01-01

    While numerous studies have documented the determinants of sexual behavior among adolescents in less developed countries, relatively little is known about the influence of social contexts such as school and neighborhood. Using two waves of data from a school-based longitudinal survey conducted in Malawi from 2011 to 2013, this study advances our understanding of the relationship between school-level socioeconomic contexts and adolescents’ sexual activity. The results from two-level multinomial logistic regression models suggest that high socioeconomic composition of the student body in school decreases the odds of initiating sexual activity, independently of other important features of schools as well as individual-level characteristics. This study also finds that the association between school socioeconomic composition and sexual activity is statistically significant only among males, but not females, suggesting that school’s socioeconomic contexts may be more relevant to male adolescents’ initiation of sexual activity. PMID:26347090

  18. Intergenerational impacts of maternal mortality: Qualitative findings from rural Malawi

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Background Maternal mortality, although largely preventable, remains unacceptably high in developing countries such as Malawi and creates a number of intergenerational impacts. Few studies have investigated the far-reaching impacts of maternal death beyond infant survival. This study demonstrates the short- and long-term impacts of maternal death on children, families, and the community in order to raise awareness of the true costs of maternal mortality and poor maternal health care in Neno, a rural and remote district in Malawi. Methods Qualitative in-depth interviews were conducted to assess the impact of maternal mortality on child, family, and community well-being. We conducted 20 key informant interviews, 20 stakeholder interviews, and six sex-stratified focus group discussions in the seven health centers that cover the district. Transcripts were translated, coded, and analyzed in NVivo 10. Results Participants noted a number of far-reaching impacts on orphaned children, their new caretakers, and extended families following a maternal death. Female relatives typically took on caregiving responsibilities for orphaned children, regardless of the accompanying financial hardship and frequent lack of familial or governmental support. Maternal death exacerbated children’s vulnerabilities to long-term health and social impacts related to nutrition, education, employment, early partnership, pregnancy, and caretaking. Impacts were particularly salient for female children who were often forced to take on the majority of the household responsibilities. Participants cited a number of barriers to accessing quality child health care or support services, and many were unaware of programming available to assist them in raising orphaned children or how to access these services. Conclusions In order to both reduce preventable maternal mortality and diminish the impacts on children, extended families, and communities, our findings highlight the importance of financing and

  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. 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. Lake Constance

    Atmospheric Science Data Center

    2013-04-17

    article title:  Lake Constance, Europe     View ... This Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) image of Lake Constance covers an area measuring 355 kilometers x 287 kilometers, and ... wastewater and fertilizers. This leads to overproduction of algae and aquatic plants, exhaustion of available oxygen, loss of some fish ...

  3. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Snekser, Jennifer L.; Itzkowitz, Murray

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Arbour, J H; López-Fernández, H

    2014-11-01

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

  6. 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

  7. Contesting Spaces for Implementation: (Im)Possibilities of Religious Education Curriculum Policy for Secondary Schools In Malawi

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sookrajh, Reshma; McCloud, Salanjira

    2009-01-01

    We review spaces of contest in the formulation and implementation of the Religious Education curriculum through an exploration of the understandings regarding the dual-mode Religious Education (RE) curriculum policy for secondary schools in Malawi. Six leaders of nationally organised faith communities in Malawi were interviewed about their…

  8. Developing Learner-Centred Education among Secondary Trainee Teachers in Malawi: The Dilemma of Appropriation and Application

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mtika, Peter; Gates, Peter

    2010-01-01

    This article is mainly concerned with the capability of trainee teachers to implement learner-centred practice at one of the teacher education institutions in Malawi. The notion of learner-centred education has assumed a positive policy position for teaching and learning in both primary and secondary sectors not only in Malawi, but also in the…

  9. 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

  10. Study on the feasibility of provision of distance learning programmes in surgery to Malawi.

    PubMed

    Mains, Edward A A; Blackmur, James P; Dewhurst, David; Ward, Ross M; Garden, O James; Wigmore, Stephen J

    2011-12-01

    Medical educational opportunities and resources are considerably limited in the developing world. The expansion of computing and Internet access means that there exists a potential to provide education to students through distance learning programmes. This study investigated the feasibility of providing distance learning course in surgery in Malawi. The study investigated the user requirements, technical requirements and Internet connections in two teaching hospitals in Malawi. In addition the appropriateness of current course material from the Edinburgh Surgical Sciences Qualification to Malawi trainees was assessed. The study found a high degree of interest from Malawian trainees in distance learning. The provision of basic science modules such as anatomy and physiology and the ability to access journals were considered highly desirable. The current ESSQ course would require extensive re-modelling to make it suitable to an African trainee's requirements. Internet speeds remain slow and access is currently expensive. There is considerable interest in distance learning programmes in Malawi but access to them is limited partly because of slow and expensive Internet access. Understanding the needs of trainees in countries such as Malawi will allow better direction of educational aid and resources to support surgical training.

  11. Malaria elimination in Malawi: research needs in highly endemic, poverty-stricken contexts.

    PubMed

    Wilson, Mark L; Walker, Edward D; Mzilahowa, Themba; Mathanga, Don P; Taylor, Terrie E

    2012-03-01

    Malaria control in the impoverished, highly endemic settings of sub-Saharan Africa remains a major public health challenge. Successes have been achieved only where sustained, concerted, multi-pronged interventions have been instituted. As one of the world's poorest countries, Malawi experiences malaria incidence rates that have remained high despite a decade of gradually expanding and more intensive prevention efforts. The Malawi International Center for Excellence in Malaria Research (ICEMR) is beginning work to augment the knowledge base for reducing Plasmodium transmission and malaria morbidity and mortality. Among ICEMR goals, we intend to better assess patterns of infection and disease, and analyze transmission by Anopheles vector species in both urban and rural ecological settings. We will evaluate parasite population genetics and dynamics, transmission intensities and vector ecologies, social and environmental determinants of disease patterns and risk, and human-vector-parasite dynamics. Such context-specific information will help to focus appropriate prevention and treatment activities on efforts to control malaria in Malawi. In zones of intense and stable transmission, like Malawi, elimination poses particularly thorny challenges - and these challengers are different from those of traditional control and prevention activities. Working toward elimination will require knowledge of how various interventions impact on transmission as it approaches very low levels. At present, Malawi is faced with immediate, context-specific problems of scaling-up prevention and control activities simply to begin reducing infection and disease to tolerable levels. The research required to support these objectives is critically evaluated here.

  12. What makes staff consider leaving the health service in Malawi?

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Malawi faces a severe shortage of health workers, a factor that has contributed greatly to high maternal mortality in the country. Most clinical care is performed by mid-level providers (MLPs). While utilization of these cadres in providing health care is a solution to the current shortages, demotivating factors within the Malawian health system are pushing them into private, non-governmental, and other non-health related positions. This study aims to highlight these demotivating factors by exploring the critical aspects that influence MLPs’ intention to leave their jobs. Methods This descriptive qualitative study formed part of the larger Health Systems Strengthening for Equity (HSSE) study. Data presented in this paper were collected in Malawi using the Critical Incident Analysis tool. Participants were asked to narrate an incident that had happened during the past three months which had made them seriously consider leaving their job. Data were subjected to thematic analysis using NVivo 8 software. Results Of the 84 respondents who participated in a Critical Incident Analysis interview, 58 respondents (69%) indicated they had experienced a demotivating incident in the previous three months that had made them seriously consider leaving their job. The most commonly cited critical factors were being treated unfairly or with disrespect, lack of recognition of their efforts, delays and inconsistencies in salary payments, lack of transparent processes and criteria for upgrading or promotion, and death of patients. Conclusion Staff motivation and an enabling environment are crucial factors for retaining MLPs in the Malawian health system. This study revealed key ‘tipping points’ that drive staff to seriously consider leaving their jobs. Many of the factors underlying these critical incidents can be addressed by improved management practices and the introduction of fair and transparent policies. Managers need to be trained and equipped with effective

  13. Seroprevalence for Hepatitis E and Other Viral Hepatitides among Diverse Populations, Malawi.

    PubMed

    Taha, Taha E; Rusie, Laura K; Labrique, Alain; Nyirenda, Mulinda; Soko, Dean; Kamanga, Melvin; Kumwenda, Johnstone; Farazadegan, Homayoon; Nelson, Kenrad; Kumwenda, Newton

    2015-07-01

    Data on prevalence of hepatitis E virus (HEV) in Malawi is limited. We tested blood samples from HIV-uninfected and -infected populations of women and men enrolled in research studies in Malawi during 1989-2008 to determine the seroprevalence of HEV, hepatitis A virus (HAV), hepatitis B virus (HBV), and hepatitis C virus (HCV). Samples were tested for IgG against HEV, total antibodies against HAV and HCV, and presence of HBV surface antigens. Of 800 samples tested, 16.5% were positive for HEV IgG, 99.6% were positive for HAV antibodies, 7.5% were positive for HBV surface antigen, and 7.1% were positive for HCV antibodies. No clear trends over time were observed in the seroprevalence of HEV, and HIV status was not associated with hepatitis seroprevalence. These preliminary data suggest that the seroprevalence of HEV is high in Malawi; the clinical effects may be unrecognized or routinely misclassified.

  14. Spatial quantile regression using INLA with applications to childhood overweight in Malawi.

    PubMed

    Mtambo, Owen P L; Masangwi, Salule J; Kazembe, Lawrence N M

    2015-04-01

    Analyses of childhood overweight have mainly used mean regression. However, using quantile regression is more appropriate as it provides flexibility to analyse the determinants of overweight corresponding to quantiles of interest. The main objective of this study was to fit a Bayesian additive quantile regression model with structured spatial effects for childhood overweight in Malawi using the 2010 Malawi DHS data. Inference was fully Bayesian using R-INLA package. The significant determinants of childhood overweight ranged from socio-demographic factors such as type of residence to child and maternal factors such as child age and maternal BMI. We observed significant positive structured spatial effects on childhood overweight in some districts of Malawi. We recommended that the childhood malnutrition policy makers should consider timely interventions based on risk factors as identified in this paper including spatial targets of interventions.

  15. Spatial quantile regression using INLA with applications to childhood overweight in Malawi.

    PubMed

    Mtambo, Owen P L; Masangwi, Salule J; Kazembe, Lawrence N M

    2015-04-01

    Analyses of childhood overweight have mainly used mean regression. However, using quantile regression is more appropriate as it provides flexibility to analyse the determinants of overweight corresponding to quantiles of interest. The main objective of this study was to fit a Bayesian additive quantile regression model with structured spatial effects for childhood overweight in Malawi using the 2010 Malawi DHS data. Inference was fully Bayesian using R-INLA package. The significant determinants of childhood overweight ranged from socio-demographic factors such as type of residence to child and maternal factors such as child age and maternal BMI. We observed significant positive structured spatial effects on childhood overweight in some districts of Malawi. We recommended that the childhood malnutrition policy makers should consider timely interventions based on risk factors as identified in this paper including spatial targets of interventions. PMID:26046633

  16. Demand for Private Health Insurance Where Public Health Services are Free: The Case of Malawi

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Makoka, Donald; Kaluwa, Ben; Kambewa, Patrick

    This study assesses the determinants of demand for private health insurance among formal sector employees in Malawi using a multinomial logit. We examine membership in the three different schemes of Medical Aid Society of Malawi`s (MASM), which was the only health insurance provider at the time of the study. The results indicate that formal sector employees prefer to receive medical treatment from private health facilities, but lack of access to information prevents many from becoming insured. Further, the probability of enrolling in any of MASM`s schemes increases with income and with age for the top and minimum schemes. More children and good health status reduce the probability of enrolling into the two lower schemes. Policies that improve access to information and income among the target group are likely to increase demand for MASM schemes.

  17. Seroprevalence for Hepatitis E and Other Viral Hepatitides among Diverse Populations, Malawi

    PubMed Central

    Rusie, Laura K.; Labrique, Alain; Nyirenda, Mulinda; Soko, Dean; Kamanga, Melvin; Kumwenda, Johnstone; Farazadegan, Homayoon; Nelson, Kenrad; Kumwenda, Newton

    2015-01-01

    Data on prevalence of hepatitis E virus (HEV) in Malawi is limited. We tested blood samples from HIV-uninfected and -infected populations of women and men enrolled in research studies in Malawi during 1989–2008 to determine the seroprevalence of HEV, hepatitis A virus (HAV), hepatitis B virus (HBV), and hepatitis C virus (HCV). Samples were tested for IgG against HEV, total antibodies against HAV and HCV, and presence of HBV surface antigens. Of 800 samples tested, 16.5% were positive for HEV IgG, 99.6% were positive for HAV antibodies, 7.5% were positive for HBV surface antigen, and 7.1% were positive for HCV antibodies. No clear trends over time were observed in the seroprevalence of HEV, and HIV status was not associated with hepatitis seroprevalence. These preliminary data suggest that the seroprevalence of HEV is high in Malawi; the clinical effects may be unrecognized or routinely misclassified. PMID:26079666

  18. Lake Borullus of the Nile Delta: a short history and an uncertain future.

    PubMed

    Dumont, Henri J; El-Shabrawy, Gamal M

    2007-12-01

    Borullus, the most centrally situated of the Nile Delta lakes, probably evolved around the eighth century AD from a preexisting salt marsh by fluviatile deposition of sand dunes north of the lake and subsidence of the preexisting tidal swamp behind this barrier. It was flooded yearly (September-December) by the Sebennytic branch of the Nile, and evacuated water through an exit, Bughaz. At low river levels, this process reversed and Bughaz functioned as a marine inlet. Because of this switch, its fauna and flora contained a mix of marine, freshwater, and brackish-water species. Around the mid-nineteenth century, damming of the Nile began, culminating with the high Aswan Dam (1964) that brought the yearly flood fully under control. As a result, a steady flow of Nile water, used for irrigated delta agriculture, began to drain to the lake and became a constant evacuator to the Mediterranean. It turned almost fresh, and its fishery, formerly marine and mullet-based, became cichlid-catfish based. However, rice and other new delta crops caused huge amounts of nutrients to wash down the drains, and currently the lake is eutrophied and only resists hypertrophication because of the low residence time of its water. Finally, the damming of the Nile terminated the influx to the delta of a yearly sediment layer, but subsidence and coastal erosion continue and are now consuming the sand bar that separates the lake from the sea.

  19. Impact of changing diagnostic criteria for smear-positive tuberculosis: a cohort study in Malawi.

    PubMed

    Koole, O; Munthali, L; Mhango, B; Mpunga, J; Glynn, J R; Crampin, A C

    2014-07-01

    We assessed the impact on measured burden and outcomes of the revised World Health Organization and Malawi guidelines reclassifying people with single (including 'scanty') positive smears as smear-positive pulmonary tuberculosis cases. In a retrospective cohort in rural Malawi, 567 (34%) of 1670 smear-positive episodes were based on single positive smears (including 176 with scanty smears). Mortality rates and the proportion starting treatment were similar in those with two positive smears or single, non-scanty smears. Those with single scanty smears had higher mortality and a lower proportion starting treatment. The reclassification will increase the reported burden substantially, but should improve treatment access.

  20. Assessment of vitamin A deficiency in Republic of Malawi by impression cytology method.

    PubMed

    Escoute, A J; Chirambo, M C; Luzeau, R; Amedée-Manesme, O

    1991-01-01

    During a countrywide survey, we assessed the prevalence of vitamin A deficiency by impression cytology method with transfer in a randomized sample of 650 representative of the children's population of the Republic of Malawi. A vitamin A deficiency was indicated by the results of the ophthalmic examination (XN = 1,4%; X2 = 0,2%) and the ICT test (22% with deficient cytology). Results of ICT were related to age. Vitamin A deficiency seems to be a public health problem in the Republic of Malawi. PMID:1856038

  1. Principles of lake sedimentology

    SciTech Connect

    Janasson, L.

    1983-01-01

    This book presents a comprehensive outline on the basic sedimentological principles for lakes, and focuses on environmental aspects and matters related to lake management and control-on lake ecology rather than lake geology. This is a guide for those who plan, perform and evaluate lake sedimentological investigations. Contents abridged: Lake types and sediment types. Sedimentation in lakes and water dynamics. Lake bottom dynamics. Sediment dynamics and sediment age. Sediments in aquatic pollution control programmes. Subject index.

  2. Migration, Marital Change, and HIV Infection in Malawi

    PubMed Central

    Anglewicz, Philip

    2013-01-01

    Research on the relationship between migration and HIV infection in sub-Saharan Africa often suggests that migrants are at higher risk of HIV infection because they are more likely to engage in risk behavior than non-migrants, and tend to move to areas with a relatively higher HIV prevalence. While migration may be a risk factor for HIV infection, I instead focus on the possibility that the HIV positive are more likely to migrate. Using a longitudinal dataset of permanent rural residents and migrants from Malawi, I find that migrants originating from rural areas are indeed more likely than non-migrants to be HIV positive and to have engaged in HIV risk behavior. The increased HIV risk among migrants may be due to the selection of HIV positive individuals into migration; I find that HIV positive individuals are more likely migrate than those who are HIV negative. The explanation for this phenomenon appears to be marital instability, which occurs more frequently among HIV positive individuals and leads to migration after marital change. PMID:22109083

  3. Adaptive strategies to climate change in Southern Malawi

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chidanti-Malunga, J.

    Climate change poses a big challenge to rural livelihoods in the Shire Valley area of Southern Malawi, where communities have depended almost entirely on rain-fed agriculture for generations. The Shire Valley area comprises of low-altitude dambo areas and uplands which have been the main agricultural areas. Since early to mid 1980s, the uplands have experienced prolonged droughts and poor rainfall distribution, while the dambos have experienced recurrent seasonal floods. This study assessed some of the adaptive strategies exercised by small-scale rural farmers in response to climate change in the Shire Valley. The methodology used in collecting information includes group discussions, household surveys in the area, secondary data, and field observations. The results show that small-scale rural farmers exercise a number of adaptive strategies in response to climate change. These adaptive strategies include: increased use of water resources for small-scale irrigation or wetland farming, mostly using simple delivery techniques; increased management of residual moisture; and increased alternative sources of income such as fishing and crop diversity. It was also observed that government promoted the use of portable motorized pumps for small-scale irrigation in order to mitigate the effects of climate change. However, these external interventions were not fully adopted; instead the farmers preferred local interventions which mostly had indigenous elements.

  4. Migration dynamics, entrepreneurship, and African development: Lessons from Malawi

    PubMed Central

    Thomas, Kevin J. A.; Inkpen, Christopher

    2014-01-01

    Using data from Malawi, this study situates the discourse on migration, entrepreneurship, and development within the context of Africa’s social realities. It examines self-employment differences among three groups of migrants and corresponding group differences in agricultural and non-agricultural self-employment. International migrants are found to be more engaged in self-employment than internal-migrants. However, our results suggest that previous findings on the development-related contributions of returning migrants from the West need to be appropriately contextualized. When returnees from the West invest in self-employment, they typically shy away from Africa’s largest economic sector - agriculture. In contrast, levels of self-employment, especially in agricultural self-employment, are highest among returning migrants and immigrants from other African countries, especially from those nearby. We also underscore the gendered dimensions of migrants’ contribution to African development by demonstrating that female migrants are more likely to be self-employed in agriculture than male migrants. Furthermore, as human-capital increases, migrants are more likely to concentrate their self-employment activities in non-agricultural activities and not in the agricultural sector. The study concludes by using these findings to discuss key implications for policy and future research. PMID:25598569

  5. The AIDS-related activities of religious leaders in Malawi

    PubMed Central

    TRINTAPOLI, J.

    2010-01-01

    The AIDS-related activities of religious leaders in Africa extend far beyond preaching about sexual mortality. This study aims to quantify the involvement of religious leaders in the fight against AIDS and to identify key predictors of the types of prevention strategies they promote. Using data from a random sample of Christian and Muslim leaders in Malawi, I use logistic regression to predict six types of AIDS activities, which correspond to three distinct types: formal messages (i.e., preaching), pragmatic interventions (monitoring the sexual behaviour of members and advising divorce to avoid infection), and the promotion of biomedical prevention strategies (promoting condom use and testing for HIV). Preaching about AIDS is the most common prevention activity, and promoting condom use is the least; sizable proportions of clergy promote testing and engage in pragmatic interventions. Denominational patterns in the type of engagement are weak and inconsistent. However, inquiries into the motivation for leaders' activities show that discussions with members about AIDS is the most consistent predictor, suggesting that religious leaders' engagement with HIV prevention is primarily a demand-driven phenomenon. PMID:20552476

  6. Geospatial analysis of condom availability and accessibility in urban Malawi.

    PubMed

    Shacham, Enbal; Thornton, Rebecca; Godlonton, Susan; Murphy, Ryan; Gilliland, Jake

    2016-01-01

    Prevalence of HIV in sub-Saharan African countries persists at alarming rates. There are currently four promoted methods to prevent HIV infection: adherence to antiretroviral therapy, male circumcision, pre-exposure prophylaxis and use of condoms. This study aimed to assess the availability and accessibility of one of the prevention efforts, condoms, in Kawale, Lilongwe, Malawi. A total of 220 potential condom-selling establishments were surveyed in 2012. Data were collected with store owners or staff and locations were geocoded to assess store density. Descriptive analyses were conducted. Of those audited, 96 stores sold condoms, 13 of which distributed free condoms. The stores were most often small shops and located in markets or trading centres. Condoms were most often found at the back of the store in an open space. There were approximately 1.2 stores per ¼ mile; 44% of the businesses in the study region carried condoms. This one method of prevention exhibited multiple barriers in this region: few stores sold condoms, high costs, condom locations within stores and limited availability. The limited accessibility is likely to influence social norms surrounding condom use. Future research should incorporate assessing norms and addressing barriers to uptake of HIV prevention efforts.

  7. Rupture of the uterus in Malawi and Tanzania.

    PubMed

    Armon, P J

    1977-09-01

    This paper describes the presenting features and possible etiology of 115 cases of rupture of the uterus occurring in Malawi and Tanzania. The series included 62 spontaneous ruptures, 24 traumatic ruptures, and 29 scar ruptures. The rupture was complete in 100 cases but the peritoneum was intact in 15. 72 cases involved obstructed labor and 29 occurred in women with previous cesarean sections. Only 22% of subjects were grand multiparae (7 or more pregnancies), and the average parity was 4.5. Classical symptoms and signs either did not occur or were late in appearing in most cases, and none of the women complained of a tearing or bursting sensation. 23 of the cases died during treatment. Sterilization is recommended in cases where the initial rupture extends into or is primarily situated in the upper segment of the uterus due to the probability of recurrence. Delays in reaching medical care and a lack of medical facilities contribute to the incidence of uterine rupture in developing countries. Careful screening for at-riskmothers and use of partograms to diagnose cephalopelvic disproportion during labor would diminish the occurrence of this complication, however. Also recommended is avoidance of unnecessary cesarean section procedures and extreme caution in the management of patients with uterine scars. The limitation of family size and improvements in maternal haalth education are further important preventive measures.

  8. Menstruation and School Absenteeism: Evidence from Rural Malawi

    PubMed Central

    Grant, Monica J.; Lloyd, Cynthia B.; Mensch, Barbara S.

    2014-01-01

    The provision of toilets and menstrual supplies has emerged as a promising programmatic strategy to support adolescent girls’ school attendance and performance in less developed countries. We use the first round of the Malawi Schooling and Adolescent Survey (MSAS) to examine the individual- and school-level factors associated with menstruation-related school absenteeism. The MSAS is a school-based longitudinal survey of adolescent students enrolled in coed public primary schools in the southern districts of Machinga and Balaka who were aged 14–16 in 2007. Although one-third of female students report missing at least one day of school at their last menstrual period, our data suggest that menstruation only accounts for a small proportion of all female absenteeism and does not create a gender gap in absenteeism. We find no evidence for school-level variance in menstruation-related absenteeism, suggesting that absenteeism is not sensitive to school environments. Rather, co-residence with a grandmother and spending time on school work at home reduce the odds of absence during the last menstrual period. PMID:25580018

  9. Malaria knowledge, attitudes and practices in Malawi: survey population characteristics.

    PubMed

    Ettling, M; Steketee, R W; Macheso, A; Schultz, L J; Nyasulu, Y; Chitsulo, L

    1994-03-01

    A national knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAP) survey was conducted in March-April 1992 to examine malaria illness and the people's response to illness and malaria prevention. Fifty-one households in each of 30 randomly selected communities were sampled and information was recorded from 1,531 households and 7,025 individuals. The population is characterized by low income (average household and per capita income were US $490 and $122, respectively) and low education levels (among adult women, 45% had no formal education and only 3.9% completed more than 8 years of schooling). Characteristics of the population were similar to those found in the 1987 national census, suggesting that the survey population was representative of the larger population of Malawi. Children under 5 years of age made up 15.8% of the population and had the highest rates of fever illness; these children experienced an estimated 9.7 cases/year of fever illness consistent with malaria. Although adults reported fever less frequently, women of reproductive age experienced an estimated 6.9 episodes of fever annually. The burden of malaria morbidity in this population is extremely high and occurs in all age groups.

  10. Incidence of cryptosporidiosis species in paediatric patients in Malawi.

    PubMed

    Morse, T D; Nichols, R A B; Grimason, A M; Campbell, B M; Tembo, K C; Smith, H V

    2007-11-01

    We determined the incidence of cryptosporidiosis in children aged <5 years presenting with diarrhoea in an urban and rural hospital-based setting in Malawi. Stools were collected over a 22-month period during both rainy and dry seasons. A range of microscopic methods were used to determine the presence of Cryptosporidium spp. oocysts. Species determination was by polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) of oocyst-extracted DNA using 18S rRNA and COWP gene loci. Cryptosporidium spp. oocysts were seen in 5.9% (50/848) of samples, of which 43 amplified by PCR-RFLP indicated the following species: C. hominis, C. parvum, C. hominis/C. parvum, C. meleagridis and C. andersoni. Seven samples could not be amplified by PCR. Wider species diversity was found in the rural setting, and may be a result of increased malnutrition and zoonotic exposure in this area. Improvements in water, sanitation, household hygiene and animal control are required to reduce the incidence of infection in this population.

  11. Geospatial analysis of condom availability and accessibility in urban Malawi.

    PubMed

    Shacham, Enbal; Thornton, Rebecca; Godlonton, Susan; Murphy, Ryan; Gilliland, Jake

    2016-01-01

    Prevalence of HIV in sub-Saharan African countries persists at alarming rates. There are currently four promoted methods to prevent HIV infection: adherence to antiretroviral therapy, male circumcision, pre-exposure prophylaxis and use of condoms. This study aimed to assess the availability and accessibility of one of the prevention efforts, condoms, in Kawale, Lilongwe, Malawi. A total of 220 potential condom-selling establishments were surveyed in 2012. Data were collected with store owners or staff and locations were geocoded to assess store density. Descriptive analyses were conducted. Of those audited, 96 stores sold condoms, 13 of which distributed free condoms. The stores were most often small shops and located in markets or trading centres. Condoms were most often found at the back of the store in an open space. There were approximately 1.2 stores per ¼ mile; 44% of the businesses in the study region carried condoms. This one method of prevention exhibited multiple barriers in this region: few stores sold condoms, high costs, condom locations within stores and limited availability. The limited accessibility is likely to influence social norms surrounding condom use. Future research should incorporate assessing norms and addressing barriers to uptake of HIV prevention efforts. PMID:25681262

  12. Impact of pyrethroid resistance on operational malaria control in Malawi

    PubMed Central

    Wondji, Charles S.; Coleman, Michael; Kleinschmidt, Immo; Mzilahowa, Themba; Irving, Helen; Ndula, Miranda; Rehman, Andrea; Morgan, John; Barnes, Kayla G.; Hemingway, Janet

    2012-01-01

    The impact of insecticide resistance on insect-borne disease programs is difficult to quantify. The possibility of eliminating malaria in high-transmission settings is heavily dependent on effective vector control reducing disease transmission rates. Pyrethroids are the dominant insecticides used for malaria control, with few options for their replacement. Their failure will adversely affect our ability to control malaria. Pyrethroid resistance has been selected in Malawi over the last 3 y in the two major malaria vectors Anopheles gambiae and Anopheles funestus, with a higher frequency of resistance in the latter. The resistance in An. funestus is metabolically based and involves the up-regulation of two duplicated P450s. The same genes confer resistance in Mozambican An. funestus, although the levels of up-regulation differ. The selection of resistance over 3 y has not increased malaria transmission, as judged by annual point prevalence surveys in 1- to 4-y-old children. This is true in areas with long-lasting insecticide-treated nets (LLINs) alone or LLINs plus pyrethroid-based insecticide residual spraying (IRS). However, in districts where IRS was scaled up, it did not produce the expected decrease in malaria prevalence. As resistance increases in frequency from this low initial level, there is the potential for vector population numbers to increase with a concomitant negative impact on control efficacy. This should be monitored carefully as part of the operational activities in country. PMID:23118337

  13. A 1.3 million year record of synchronous faulting in the hangingwall and border fault of a half-graben in the Malawi (Nyasa) Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCartney, Tannis; Scholz, Christopher A.

    2016-10-01

    This paper analyzes throw-depth (T-z) profiles from a high resolution 2D reflection seismic grid in the central basin of Lake Malawi to investigate whether evidence exists: 1) for migration of faulting away from the border fault of the half-graben; and 2) that faults in the hangingwall lengthened over the last 1.3 million years. We use the high-precision age model from a 2005 scientific drilling project in our study area to constrain the ages of our seismic horizons and examine a fault array and two individual faults within the hangingwall of the central basin border fault. We account for climatic and sedimentological controls on stratal growth with a lake-level curve that accompanies the age model. A comparison of our hangingwall T-z profiles with published throw-distance (T-x) profiles for the border fault shows synchronous faulting over the last 1.3 m.y. rather than basinward migration of faulting. Furthermore, we find no evidence for significant propagation of the tips of the hangingwall faults in the last 1.3 m.y. and conclude that the lack of basinward migration of faulting is a consequence of strain localization on faults established at an early stage in basin development.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2000-01-01

    According to a widely held view, the more than 300 species of haplochromine cichlid fishes in Lake Victoria (LV), East Africa, originated from a single founder species in less than 12,000 years. This view, however, does not follow from the published geological and molecular evidence. The former does indeed suggest that the LV basin dried out less than 15,000 years ago, but it does not provide any information about the species that re-colonized the new lake or that remained in the rivers draining the area. The molecular evidence is inconclusive with respect to the origin of the LV haplochromines because cichlids from critical regions around LV were not adequately sampled; and as far as the age of the LV haplochromines is concerned, it in fact led to an estimate of 250,000-750,000 years old. In the present study, mitochondrial DNA (control region) variation was determined by heteroduplex and sequencing analyses of more than 670 specimens collected at widely distributed East African riverine and lacustrine localities. The analyses revealed the existence of seven haplogroups (I-VII) distinguishable by characteristic substitutions. All endemic LV samples tested fell into one of these haplogroups (V) which, however, was also found to be present at various other localities, both riverine and lacustrine, outside LV. Within this haplogroup, four subgroups (VA through VD) could be distinguished, two of which (VB and VC) were represented in LV and at other localities. The great majority of the LV haplochromine species could be classified as belonging to the VC subgroup, which was found only in LV and in the rivers draining into it. Hence, while the endemic haplochromine species of LV could not have originated from a single founding population, the lake does harbour a large species flock which probably arose in situ. PMID:10874756

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Lake Powell

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2007-01-01

    The white ring around Lake Powell tells the story. The surface is down 98 feet. This is critical, because Powell, Lake Mead, and other lakes along the Colorado River provide water for millions of people in five states. We are in the eighth year of a drought on the Colorado River. This year was the driest year ever reported in Southern California, and there is a severe drought in Northern California, down to less than 30-percent of snow pack. This ASTER image of part of Lake Powell was acquired in 2001. The gray area depicts the shrunken, reduced 2007 lake extent compared to the extended, larger black area in 2001.

    The image covers an area of 24 x 30 km, and is centered near 37.1 degrees north latitude, 111.3 degrees west longitude.

    The U.S. science team is located at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. The Terra mission is part of NASA's Science Mission Directorate.

  17. Spaces of Contest for Religious Education Reform in Comparative Perspectives: Scotland and Malawi as Cases

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Matemba, Yonah

    2013-01-01

    Educational reforms, particularly in a contested subject such as Religious Education (RE), have unsettled boundaries principally because actors demand or expect different outcomes of these reforms. In the cases of Scotland and Malawi the present paper examines how different stakeholders have engaged with RE reforms. It thus ascertains whether, if…

  18. Applying a Reading Program Based on Cognitive Science in Rural Areas of Malawi: Preliminary Results

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Iyengar, Radhika; Karim, Alia; Chagwira, Florie

    2016-01-01

    Reading fluency is a skill foundational to academic performance, and acquiring this skill in early grades is crucial. Throughout sub-Saharan Africa, reading levels of students are far below grade level, and Malawi is no exception. Research suggests that students, particularly in consistently spelled languages, acquire automaticity most easily by…

  19. Cyclists' helmet usage and characteristics in central and southern Malawi: a cross-sectional study.

    PubMed

    Kraemer, John D; Honermann, Brian J; Roffenbender, Jason S

    2012-01-01

    The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of, and factors associated with, bicycle helmet usage in southern and central Malawi. This study was across-sectional observation of public behaviour. The urban and rural roadways in southern and central Malawi were studied during the dry season. In total, 1900 bicyclists were observed along the roadways of southern and central Malawi over a four-day period. Observer ascertainment of cyclists' helmet status, approximate age, sex and bicycle operator or passenger status were measured. Of the 1900 cyclists observed, no cyclist was identified as wearing a helmet (exact 95% CI: 0.0-0.2%). There was no variation by age, sex or operator/passenger status. Nearly, 91.5% of observed cyclists were males and 87.7% were operating the bicycle. The sizeable majority of male cyclists were classified as young adults from adolescence to 25 years old (47.2%) or adults over age 25 (44.9%); 7.9% of male cyclists were pre-adolescent. Passengers were more likely to be female than operators (39.1% versus 4.2%), though, even for passengers, a higher proportion were males than females (p < 0.001). In Malawi, helmet usage is so rare as to be non-existent. This suggests an opportunity for significant improvement. Based on the observed cyclists' characteristics, interventions should be targeted to adult and young adult males. PMID:22394127

  20. Effects of Democracy on Teachers and Teacher Education in Malawi. Improving Educational Quality (IEQ) Project.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kamangira, Yoas T.; Kasambara, Joyce C.

    Malawi is a small, landlocked country in the southern sub region of the African continent. The few democratic principles inherited from the British government were marred by the biases of the one political party of the time. This resulted in the government making undemocratic decisions such as banning freedom of the press, detention without trial,…

  1. Situation Report--Hong Kong, Malawi, Pakistan, Panama, Philippines, Ryukyu Islands (Okinawa), Sabah, Sarawak.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    International Planned Parenthood Federation, London (England).

    Data relating to population and family planning in eight foreign countries are presented in these situation reports. Countries included are Hong Kong, Malawi, Pakistan, Panama, Philippines, Ryukyu Islands (Okinawa), Sabah, and Sarawak. Information is provided where appropriate and available, under two topics, general background and family planning…

  2. Perceptions of Special Educational Practices in Malawi: Voices from Primary Schools and Communities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lubeski, Nancy J.

    2011-01-01

    This doctoral research work explores the quality of educational experiences and access to opportunities for girls with disabilities in selected rural primary schools in Malawi. The context for this study lies within four of the six goals contained within the World Declaration on Education for All doctrine, a document which lays out a framework for…

  3. Transition and Tertiary Education: A Case Study of Mzuzu University, Malawi

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zozie, Paxton Andrew; Kayira, Peter Benwell

    2012-01-01

    This article reviews the role of guidance and counselling in Malawi in reducing dropout and easing the transition of students to tertiary education, as well as in helping them during their time in tertiary education. It begins by identifying key success factors in guidance and counselling services for learners in both developed and developing…

  4. The Development of Human Capacity in Malawi: The Role of Science and Technology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nampota, Dorothy; Thompson, Jeff; Wikeley, Felicity

    2009-01-01

    Faced with accelerating poverty, the Malawi government has re-awakened its commitment to the development of human capacity and the role of development in this context. This paper explores the relationship between development and science and technology. It goes on to review the country's science and technology needs and how these justify taking…

  5. Links between Higher Education and Employers in Malawi: The Need for a Dialogue?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hall, David; Thomas, Harold

    2005-01-01

    The development of skills for employment is an important international policy area, but one that has been relatively ignored in sub-Saharan Africa. This paper reports on findings from a research project in Malawi, supported by the Department for International Development (DFID), that explored the links that exist between employers and the higher…

  6. Discipline in the Context of Development: A Case of the Social Sciences in Malawi, Southern Africa

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Holland, Dana G.

    2008-01-01

    Changes in research production precipitated by the globalization have generally been theorized as applying across nations and disciplinary projects. This article examines the relation of discipline to research production from the situational vantage point of the developing world, specifically the Southern African country of Malawi, and from the…

  7. Institutionalisation of Assessment Capacity in Developing Nations: The Case of Malawi

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chulu, Bob Wajizigha

    2013-01-01

    Building assessment capacity of educators has historically been unregulated practice in post-independence Malawi. However, recent attempts by government to integrate curriculum and assessment reforms and the introduction of continuous assessment in the system have represented a significant policy shift. These and several other initiatives have…

  8. Outcomes of an HIV Prevention Peer Group Intervention for Rural Adults in Malawi

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kaponda, Chrissie P. N.; Norr, Kathleen F.; Crittenden, Kathleen S.; Norr, James L.; McCreary, Linda L.; Kachingwe, Sitingawawo I.; Mbeba, Mary M.; Jere, Diana L. N.; Dancy, Barbara L.

    2011-01-01

    This study used a quasi-experimental design to evaluate a six-session peer group intervention for HIV prevention among rural adults in Malawi. Two rural districts were randomly assigned to intervention and control conditions. Independent random samples of community adults compared the districts at baseline and at 6 and 18 months postintervention.…

  9. Teachers' Views about Technical Education: Implications for Reforms towards a Broad Based Technology Curriculum in Malawi

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chikasanda, Vanwyk Khobidi; Otrel-Cass, Kathrin; Jones, Alister

    2011-01-01

    Internationally there has been concern about the direction of technical education and how it is positioned in schools. This has also been the case in Malawi where the curriculum has had a strong focus on skills development. However, lately there has been a call for enhancing technological literacy of students, yet little support has been provided…

  10. Changing Patterns of Access to Basic Education in Malawi: A Story of a Mixed Bag?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chimombo, Joseph

    2009-01-01

    Malawi was the first sub-Saharan African country to take a bold decision and declare free primary education after the Jomtien conference in 1990. Fourteen years after the policy was first implemented no serious attempt has been made to find out what has happened to the influx of pupils joining the system. Using secondary sources of data, this…

  11. Marital Aspirations, Sexual Behaviors, and HIV/AIDS in Rural Malawi

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Clark, Shelley; Poulin, Michelle; Kohler, Hans-Peter

    2009-01-01

    We explore how marital aspirations are related to the sexual behaviors of adolescents and young adults in Malawi, where HIV/AIDS prevalence among adults exceeds 10%. We also consider whether the specter of AIDS is shaping ideals about marriage. By combining survey data (N = 1,087) and in-depth interviews (N = 133) with young Malawians from the…

  12. What Do Secondary Trainee Teachers Say about Teaching as a Profession of Their "Choice" in Malawi?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mtika, Peter; Gates, Peter

    2011-01-01

    This interview-based qualitative study is concerned with the recruitment of secondary teachers in Malawi. This study shows a range of perspectives for pursuing a teacher training course: failure to follow a desired career, springboard to other careers, to upgrade, and teaching out of vocation. It shows that trainee teachers held a range of images…

  13. The Condom Divide: Disenfranchisement of Malawi Women by Church and State

    PubMed Central

    Rankin, Sally H.; Lindgren, Teri; Kools, Susan M.; Schell, Ellen

    2008-01-01

    Objective To examine the impact of two mitigating social institutions, religious organizations and the state, on Malawi women's vulnerability to HIV. Design In-depth interviews with a purposive sample of 40 central leaders from 5 faith based organizations (FBOs) in Malawi were recorded and transcribed as part of an on-going larger study. Qualitative description was used to identify themes and categories. Setting Primarily urban and peri-urban areas of south-central Malawi. Participants A minimum of 6 leaders from each FBO were interviewed; the mean age of the primarily male (68%) participants was 44 years (range 26−74). Results Analysis of religious leaders' messages about HIV produced an overarching theme, the condom divide, which conceptualized the divergence between FBOs and the state's prevention messages related to HIV prevention strategies. Conclusion Faith based organizations have “demonized” state messages about condoms as promoting sin. The FBOs' insistence on abstinence and faithfulness leaves women with few options to protect themselves. As socially conscious citizens of the world, nurses can increase the responsiveness to the disparate levels of suffering and death in countries like Malawi. PMID:18811780

  14. A Review of Community Extension Approaches to Innovation for Improved Livelihoods in Ghana, Uganda and Malawi

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wellard, Kate; Rafanomezana, Jenny; Nyirenda, Mahara; Okotel, Misaki; Subbey, Vincent

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: Farmer-to-farmer extension offers a potentially low-cost and wide-reach alternative in supporting agricultural innovation. Various approaches are being promoted but information on their impact and sustainability is sparse. This study examines experiences of Self Help Africa and partners in Ghana, Uganda and Malawi. It asks: What is good…

  15. Understanding the Earth Systems of Malawi: Ecological Sustainability, Culture, and Place-Based Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Glasson, George E.; Frykholm, Jeffrey A.; Mhango, Ndalapa A.; Phiri, Absalom D.

    2006-01-01

    The purpose of this 2-year study was to investigate Malawian teacher educators' perspectives and dispositions toward teaching about ecological sustainability issues in Malawi, a developing country in sub-Sahara Africa. This study was embedded in a larger theoretical framework of investigating earth systems science through the understanding of…

  16. ICT Readiness and Acceptance among TEVT Students in University of Malawi

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gombachika, Harry S. H.; Khangamwa, Gift

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: The paper examines the effects of ICT readiness dimensions on ICT acceptance among Technical, Entrepreneurial and Vocational Training (TEVT) students in the University of Malawi, using correlation and regression analyses. Design/methodology/approach: A cross-sectional survey was used with a sample of 125 respondents drawn from a…

  17. Can Free Primary Education Meet the Needs of the Poor?: Evidence from Malawi

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kadzamira, Esme; Rose, Pauline

    2003-01-01

    Following elections in 1994, the Government of Malawi embarked on an ambitious programme of free primary education (FPE), resulting in a dramatic increase in enrolment. The paper argues that the policy did not sufficiently consider the ways in which direct and indirect costs of schooling continue to be prohibitive for some households, or the…

  18. Process Evaluation of HIV Prevention Peer Groups in Malawi: A Look inside the Black Box

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McCreary, Linda L.; Kaponda, Chrissie P. N.; Kafulafula, Ursula K.; Ngalande, Rebecca C.; Kumbani, Lily C.; Jere, Diana L. N.; Norr, James L.; Norr, Kathleen F.

    2010-01-01

    This paper reports the process evaluation of a peer group intervention for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) prevention which had positive outcomes for three target groups in Malawi: rural adults, adolescents and urban hospital workers. The six-session intervention was delivered to small groups of 10-12 participants by 85 trained volunteer peer…

  19. Curriculum Continuity and School to University Transition: Science and Technology Programmes in Malawi

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nampota, D. C.; Thompson, J. J.

    2008-01-01

    This paper reports on a study that explored issues of curriculum continuity at the school to university level transition in Malawi. It bases its analysis on the school integrated science curriculum and university science and technology programmes. Data were collected through interviews, documentation and classroom observations. The findings show…

  20. Male Youth and Voluntary Counseling and HIV-Testing: The Case of Malawi and Uganda

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Izugbara, Chimaraoke O.; Undie, Chi-Chi; Mudege, Netsayi N.; Ezeh, Alex C.

    2009-01-01

    There is limited research addressing the beliefs of adolescents related to Voluntary Counseling and HIV-Testing (VCT). This paper analyzes qualitative data on such beliefs elicited from male youth in Uganda and Malawi. Although study participants understood the mainstream public health rhetoric on VCT, much of their narratives framed going for HIV…

  1. Retrospective Pilot Study of USAID-Funded Education Projects in Malawi

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Anzar, Uzma; Harpring, Sharon; Cohen, Joseph; Leu, Elizabeth

    2004-01-01

    The retrospective pilot study was designed to provide information on thirteen years of USAID-funded education projects in Malawi. This study provides a preliminary understanding of (i) the conceptualization of education quality that was explicit or implicit in project designs over time; (ii) the interventions carried out to enhance education…

  2. Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and Participatory Development in Basic Education in Malawi

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Makuwira, Jonathan

    2004-01-01

    This article critically examines the extent to which one emerging NGO facilitates the participation of its beneficiaries and other stakeholders in the decision-making processes at the identification, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of basic education programmes in Malawi. The author argues that despite the comparative advantage of this…

  3. Ninetis russellsmithi n. sp., an unusual new pholcid spider species from Malawi (Araneae: Pholcidae).

    PubMed

    Huber, Bernhard A

    2002-01-01

    A new species Ninetis russellsmithi n. sp. is described from Malawi. It lacks the most prominent autapomorphy of pholcid spiders, the retrolateral projection of the cymbium (procursus). Biogeographically this species marks the first record for the genus in a 3000 km gap between its African congeners in Namibia and Tanzania.

  4. Explanations for Child Sexual Abuse Given by Convicted Offenders in Malawi: No Evidence for "HIV Cleansing"

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mtibo, Charles; Kennedy, Neil; Umar, Eric

    2011-01-01

    Objective: A commonly cited, but unproven reason given for the rise in reported cases of child sexual abuse in Sub-Saharan Africa is the "HIV cleansing myth"--the belief that an HIV infected individual can be cured by having sex with a child virgin. The purpose of this study was to explore in Malawi the reasons given by convicted sex offenders for…

  5. The New Language of Instruction Policy in Malawi: A House Standing on a Shaky Foundation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kamwendo, Gregory Hankoni

    2016-01-01

    This research note is a critique of Malawi's new language of instruction (LOI) policy. The new policy stipulates English as the medium of instruction from the first year (Standard 1) of primary school in a country where English is not the dominant language of household communication. The children are now expected to learn (and that includes…

  6. Implementing Free Primary Education Policy in Malawi and Ghana: Equity and Efficiency Analysis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Inoue, Kazuma; Oketch, Moses

    2008-01-01

    Malawi and Ghana are among the numerous Sub-Saharan Africa countries that have in recent years introduced Free Primary Education (FPE) policy as a means to realizing the 2015 Education for All and Millennium Development Goals international targets. The introduction of FPE policy is, however, a huge challenge for any national government that has…

  7. Cyclists' helmet usage and characteristics in central and southern Malawi: a cross-sectional study.

    PubMed

    Kraemer, John D; Honermann, Brian J; Roffenbender, Jason S

    2012-01-01

    The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of, and factors associated with, bicycle helmet usage in southern and central Malawi. This study was across-sectional observation of public behaviour. The urban and rural roadways in southern and central Malawi were studied during the dry season. In total, 1900 bicyclists were observed along the roadways of southern and central Malawi over a four-day period. Observer ascertainment of cyclists' helmet status, approximate age, sex and bicycle operator or passenger status were measured. Of the 1900 cyclists observed, no cyclist was identified as wearing a helmet (exact 95% CI: 0.0-0.2%). There was no variation by age, sex or operator/passenger status. Nearly, 91.5% of observed cyclists were males and 87.7% were operating the bicycle. The sizeable majority of male cyclists were classified as young adults from adolescence to 25 years old (47.2%) or adults over age 25 (44.9%); 7.9% of male cyclists were pre-adolescent. Passengers were more likely to be female than operators (39.1% versus 4.2%), though, even for passengers, a higher proportion were males than females (p < 0.001). In Malawi, helmet usage is so rare as to be non-existent. This suggests an opportunity for significant improvement. Based on the observed cyclists' characteristics, interventions should be targeted to adult and young adult males.

  8. Language Planning in Malawi, Mozambique and the Philippines. Multilingual Matters 113.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kaplan, Robert B., Ed.; Baldauf, Richard B., Jr., Ed.

    This edited volume covers the language situation in Malawi, Mozambique, and the Philippines, explaining the linguistic diversity, the historical and political contexts, and language-in-education planning, the role of the media, the role of religion, and the roles of non-indigenous languages. The book is divided into four chapters: "The Language…

  9. Abolishing School Fees in Malawi: The Impact on Education Access and Equity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Al-Samarrai, Samer; Zaman, Hassan

    2007-01-01

    In 1994, the newly elected Government in Malawi abolished primary school fees. Using household survey data from 1990/91 and 1997/98, this paper assesses the impact this major policy change, combined with increased Government spending on education, has had on access to schooling by the poor. This paper shows that enrolment rates have increased…

  10. Understanding the earth systems of Malawi: Ecological sustainability, culture, and place-based education

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glasson, George E.; Frykholm, Jeffrey A.; Mhango, Ndalapa A.; Phiri, Absalom D.

    2006-07-01

    The purpose of this 2-year study was to investigate Malawian teacher educators' perspectives and dispositions toward teaching about ecological sustainability issues in Malawi, a developing country in sub-Sahara Africa. This study was embedded in a larger theoretical framework of investigating earth systems science through the understanding of nature-knowledge-culture systems from local, place-based perspectives. Specifically, we were interested in learning more about eco-justice issues that are related to environmental degradation in Malawi and the potential role of inquiry-oriented pedagogies in addressing these issues. In a science methods course, the African educators' views on deforestation and teaching about ecological sustainability were explored within the context of the local environment and culture. Teachers participated in inquiry pedagogies designed to promote the sharing of perspectives related to the connections between culture and ecological degradation. Strategies encouraging dialogue and reflection included role-playing, class discussions, curriculum development activities, teaching experiences with children, and field trips to a nature preserve. Data were analyzed from postcolonial and critical pedagogy of place theoretical perspectives to better understand the hybridization of viewpoints influenced by both Western and indigenous science and the political hegemonies that impact sustainable living in Malawi. Findings suggested that the colonial legacy of Malawi continues to impact the ecological sustainability issue of deforestation. Inquiry-oriented pedagogies and connections to indigenous science were embraced by the Malawian educators as a means to involve children in investigation, decision making, and ownership of critical environmental issues.

  11. CORRESPONDENCE INSTRUCTION IN ETHIOPIA, KENYA, TANZANIA, MALAWI, ZAMBIA, AND UGANDA--EXPERIENCES, NEEDS, AND INTEREST.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    EDSTROEM, LARS-OLOF

    THIS REPORT ON THE SALIENT FEATURES AND CONCERNS OF CORRESPONDENCE INSTRUCTION IN ETHIOPIA, KENYA, TANZANIA, MALAWI, ZAMBIA, AND UGANDA--(1) DISCUSSES ADVANTAGES, DISADVANTAGES, AND REQUIREMENTS OF THE CORRESPONDENCE METHOD IN AN AFRICAN CONTEXT, (2) SURVEYS CONDITIONS AND FACILITIES (POSTAL SERVICES, ROADS, INSTRUCTIONAL RADIO AND TELEVISION,…

  12. Couple Decision Making and Use of Cultural Scripts in Malawi

    PubMed Central

    Mbweza, Ellen; Norr, Kathleen F.; McElmurry, Beverly

    2011-01-01

    Purpose To examine the decision-making processes of husband and wife dyads in matrilineal and patrilineal marriage traditions of Malawi in the areas of money, food, pregnancy, contraception, and sexual relations. Methods Qualitative grounded theory using simultaneous interviews of 60 husbands and wives (30 couples). Data were analyzed according to the guidelines of simultaneous data collection and analysis. The analysis resulted in development of core categories and categories of decision-making process. Data matrixes were used to identify similarities and differences within couples and across cases. Findings Most couples reported using a mix of final decision-making approaches: husband-dominated, wife-dominated, and shared. Gender based and nongender based cultural scripts provided rationales for their approaches to decision making. Gender based cultural scripts (husband-dominant and wife-dominant) were used to justify decision-making approaches. Non-gender based cultural scripts (communicating openly, maintaining harmony, and children’s welfare) supported shared decision making. Gender based cultural scripts were used in decision making more often among couples from the district with a patrilineal marriage tradition and where the husband had less than secondary school education and was not formally employed. Conclusions Nongender based cultural scripts to encourage shared decision making can be used in designing culturally tailored reproductive health interventions for couples. Clinical Relevance Nurses who work with women and families should be aware of the variations that occur in actual couple decision-making approaches. Shared decision making can be used to encourage the involvement of men in reproductive health programs. PMID:18302586

  13. Empowering Peer Group Leaders for HIV Prevention in Malawi

    PubMed Central

    McCreary, Linda L.; Kaponda, Chrissie P. N.; Davis, Kristina; Kalengamaliro, Mary; Norr, Kathleen F.

    2013-01-01

    Purpose Behavioral change interventions using peer group leaders are effective and widely used, but few studies have examined how being a peer group leader affects the leaders. This study describes how participants felt being a peer group leader affected their lives. Design This descriptive qualitative study interviewed 18 experienced peer group leaders who had conducted a multisession human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) prevention peer group intervention in rural Malawi. Methods We used inductive content analysis and comparisons within and between cases. Findings: Three major themes were identified. All leaders said they experienced personal changes in their knowledge, attitudes, or HIV prevention behaviors. They described interacting with family, neighbors, and friends, and speaking at church or community meetings, to discuss HIV prevention issues. They increased their self-efficacy to engage others in sensitive HIV prevention issues, developed a self-identity as a change agent, and came to be recognized in their community as trustworthy advisors about HIV and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. These three themes, taken together, form the meta-theme of psychological empowerment. Conclusion Being a peer group leader empowered the leaders as change agents for HIV prevention and had impacts in the community after the intervention ended, potentially increasing the long-term effectiveness and cost effectiveness of peer group interventions. Clinical Relevance Healthcare workers and community volunteers who led HIV prevention sessions continued HIV prevention activities in the community and workplace after the program ended. Training health workers as volunteer HIV prevention leaders offers a strategy to bring HIV prevention to limited-resource settings, despite health worker shortages. PMID:23590557

  14. Health financing in Malawi: Evidence from National Health Accounts

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background National health accounts provide useful information to understand the functioning of a health financing system. This article attempts to present a profile of the health system financing in Malawi using data from NHA. It specifically attempts to document the health financing situation in the country and proposes recommendations relevant for developing a comprehensive health financing policy and strategic plan. Methods Data from three rounds of national health accounts covering the Financial Years 1998/1999 to 2005/2006 was used to describe the flow of funds and their uses in the health system. Analysis was performed in line with the various NHA entities and health system financing functions. Results The total health expenditure per capita increased from US$ 12 in 1998/1999 to US$25 in 2005/2006. In 2005/2006 public, external and private contributions to the total health expenditure were 21.6%, 60.7% and 18.2% respectively. The country had not met the Abuja of allocating at least 15% of national budget on health. The percentage of total health expenditure from households' direct out-of-pocket payments decreased from 26% in 1998/99 to 12.1% in 2005/2006. Conclusion There is a need to increase government contribution to the total health expenditure to at least the levels of the Abuja Declaration of 15% of the national budget. In addition, the country urgently needs to develop and implement a prepaid health financing system within a comprehensive health financing policy and strategy with a view to assuring universal access to essential health services for all citizens. PMID:21062503

  15. Anticipatory child fostering and household economic security in Malawi

    PubMed Central

    Bachan, Lauren K.

    2014-01-01

    BACKGROUND While there is a rich literature on the practice of child fostering in sub-Saharan Africa, little is known about how fostering impacts receiving households, as few studies consider household conditions both before and after fostering. Despite the fact that circumstances surrounding fostering vary, the literature’s key distinction of fostering is often drawn along the simple line of whether or not a household is fostering a child. This paper argues that anticipation of fostering responsibilities, in particular, is a useful dimension to distinguish fostering experiences for receiving households. OBJECTIVE This paper examines the relationship between receiving a foster child and subsequent changes in household wealth. Particular emphasis is placed on how these changes are conditioned by differing levels of anticipation of the fostering event. METHODS This study uses data from Tsogolo la Thanzi (TLT), a longitudinal survey in Balaka, Malawi. Using data from 1754 TLT respondents, fixed effects pooled time-series models are estimated to assess whether and how receiving a foster child changes household wealth. RESULTS This paper demonstrates the heterogeneity of fostering experiences for receiving households. The results show that households that anticipate fostering responsibilities experience a greater increase in household wealth than both households that do not foster and those that are surprised by fostering. CONCLUSION Households that anticipate fostering responsibilities exhibit the greatest increase in household wealth. While fostering households that do not anticipate fostering responsibilities may not experience these gains, there is no evidence to indicate that such households are negatively impacted relative to households that do not foster. This finding suggests that additional childcare responsibilities may not be as detrimental to African households as some researchers have feared. PMID:25419172

  16. Adopt or Adapt: Sanitation Technology Choices in Urbanizing Malawi.

    PubMed

    Chunga, Richard M; Ensink, Jeroen H J; Jenkins, Marion W; Brown, Joe

    2016-01-01

    This paper presents the results of a mixed-methods study examining adaptation strategies that property owners in low-income, rapidly urbanizing areas in Malawi adopt to address the limitations of pit latrines, the most common method of disposing human excreta. A particular challenge is lack of space for constructing new latrines as population density increases: traditional practice has been to cap full pits and simply move to a new site, but increasing demands on space require new approaches to extend the service life of latrines. In this context, we collected data on sanitation technology choices from January to September 2013 through 48 in-depth interviews and a stated preference survey targeting 1,300 property owners from 27 low-income urban areas. Results showed that property owners with concern about space for replacing pit latrines were 1.8 times more likely to select pit emptying service over the construction of new pit latrines with a slab floor (p = 0.02) but there was no significant association between concern about space for replacing pit latrines and intention to adopt locally promoted, novel sanitation technology known as ecological sanitation (ecosan). Property owners preferred to adapt existing, known technology by constructing replacement pit latrines on old pit latrine locations, reducing the frequency of replacing pit latrines, or via emptying pit latrines when full. This study highlights potential challenges to adoption of wholly new sanitation technologies, even when they present clear advantages to end users. To scale, alternative sanitation technologies for rapidly urbanising cities should offer clear advantages, be affordable, be easy to use when shared among multiple households, and their design should be informed by existing adaptation strategies and local knowledge.

  17. A study of fluoride groundwater occurrence in Nathenje, Lilongwe, Malawi

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Msonda, K. W. M.; Masamba, W. R. L.; Fabiano, E.

    A study was carried out to determine fluoride concentration in groundwaters of Nathenje area situated in Lilongwe District in the central region of Malawi. Water samples were collected from 176 boreholes and shallow wells during different months in 2001 and 2002. Samples were then analysed for fluoride by using a fluoride electrode and an ion selective meter. The results showed that fluoride concentrations for the rainy season varied from <0.5 to 6.98 ± 0.01 mg/l with 52.9% of the boreholes above the World Health Organisation (WHO) maximum permissible limit of 1.5 mg/l. Fluoride concentrations for dry season ranged from <0.5 to 7.02 ± 0.02 mg/l with 50.8% of boreholes above 1.5 mg/l. Fluoride concentrations for the two seasons were significantly different from each other ( p < 0.05). Fluoride data was used to produce a fluoride distribution map. From the map, it was observed that fluoride concentrations in this area followed a pattern. The central part of Nathenje had high fluoride concentration of between 2 and 7.02 mg/l and these high fluoride values seemed to extend eastwards beyond the boundary of the study area. However, the southern and western parts had <1 mg/l of fluoride. The high groundwater fluoride values seem to be associated with the weathered basement complex containing biotite that is a probable source of fluoride. The other suspected sources of fluoride in Nathenje groundwater could be due to the dissolution of hornblende, fluorite and amphibole, which are reported to occur in rocks and soils in this area. There was evidence of dental fluorosis in areas where the fluoride concentration was high.

  18. Measurement and determinants of tuberculosis outcome in Karonga District, Malawi.

    PubMed Central

    Glynn, J. R.; Warndorff, D. K.; Fine, P. E.; Munthali, M. M.; Sichone, W.; Pönnighaus, J. M.

    1998-01-01

    Evaluation of disease outcome is central to the assessment of tuberculosis (TB) control programmes. In the study reported in this article we examined the factors influencing the measurement of outcome, survival rates during and after treatment, smear conversion rates, and relapse rates for patients diagnosed with TB in a rural area of Malawi between 1986 and mid-1994. Patients with less certain diagnoses of TB were more likely to die than those with confirmed TB, both among those who were seropositive and those who were seronegative to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The mortality rate among smear-positive patients with a separate culture-positive specimen was half that of patients with no such diagnostic confirmation. Patients not registered by the Ministry of Health had much higher mortality and default rates than did registered patients. Among smear-positive patients, HIV serostatus was the most important influence on mortality both during and after treatment (crude hazard ratios (95% confidence intervals) = 5.6 (3.0-10) and 7.7 (3.4-17), resp.), but HIV serostatus did not influence smear conversion rates. The initial degree of smear positivity influenced smear conversion rates, but not mortality rates. No significant predictors of relapse were identified. Unless considerable care is taken to include all TB patients, and to exclude nontuberculous patients, recorded TB outcome statistics are difficult to interpret and may be misleading. In populations with high rates of HIV infection, TB target cure rates of 85% are unrealistic. When new interventions are assessed it cannot be assumed that factors which influence the smear conversion rate will also influence the mortality rate. PMID:9744250

  19. Distribution of environmental mycobacteria in Karonga District, northern Malawi.

    PubMed

    Chilima, Benson Z; Clark, Ian M; Floyd, Sian; Fine, Paul E M; Hirsch, Penny R

    2006-04-01

    The genus Mycobacterium includes many species that are commonly found in the environment (in soil and water or associated with plants and animals), as well as species that are responsible for two major human diseases, tuberculosis (Mycobacterium tuberculosis) and leprosy (Mycobacterium leprae). The distribution of environmental mycobacteria was investigated in the context of a long-term study of leprosy, tuberculosis, Mycobacterium bovis BCG vaccination, and the responses of individuals to various mycobacterial antigens in Karonga District, northern Malawi, where epidemiological studies had indicated previously that people may be exposed to different mycobacterial species in the northern and southern parts of the district. A total of 148 soil samples and 24 water samples were collected from various locations and examined to determine the presence of mycobacteria. The detection method involved semiselective culturing and acid-fast staining, following decontamination of samples to enrich mycobacteria and reduce the numbers of other microorganisms, or PCR with primers specific for the mycobacterial 16S rRNA gene, using DNA extracted directly from soil and water samples. Mycobacteria were detected in the majority of the samples, and subsequent sequence analysis of PCR products amplified directly from soil DNA indicated that most of the products were related to known environmental mycobacteria. For both methods the rates of recovery were consistently higher for dry season samples than for wet season samples. All isolates cultured from soil appeared to be strains of Mycobacterium fortuitum. This study revealed a complex pattern for the environmental mycobacterial flora but identified no clear differences between the northern and southern parts of Karonga District.

  20. Adopt or Adapt: Sanitation Technology Choices in Urbanizing Malawi

    PubMed Central

    Chunga, Richard M.; Ensink, Jeroen H. J.; Jenkins, Marion W.; Brown, Joe

    2016-01-01

    This paper presents the results of a mixed-methods study examining adaptation strategies that property owners in low-income, rapidly urbanizing areas in Malawi adopt to address the limitations of pit latrines, the most common method of disposing human excreta. A particular challenge is lack of space for constructing new latrines as population density increases: traditional practice has been to cap full pits and simply move to a new site, but increasing demands on space require new approaches to extend the service life of latrines. In this context, we collected data on sanitation technology choices from January to September 2013 through 48 in-depth interviews and a stated preference survey targeting 1,300 property owners from 27 low-income urban areas. Results showed that property owners with concern about space for replacing pit latrines were 1.8 times more likely to select pit emptying service over the construction of new pit latrines with a slab floor (p = 0.02) but there was no significant association between concern about space for replacing pit latrines and intention to adopt locally promoted, novel sanitation technology known as ecological sanitation (ecosan). Property owners preferred to adapt existing, known technology by constructing replacement pit latrines on old pit latrine locations, reducing the frequency of replacing pit latrines, or via emptying pit latrines when full. This study highlights potential challenges to adoption of wholly new sanitation technologies, even when they present clear advantages to end users. To scale, alternative sanitation technologies for rapidly urbanising cities should offer clear advantages, be affordable, be easy to use when shared among multiple households, and their design should be informed by existing adaptation strategies and local knowledge. PMID:27532871

  1. Adopt or Adapt: Sanitation Technology Choices in Urbanizing Malawi.

    PubMed

    Chunga, Richard M; Ensink, Jeroen H J; Jenkins, Marion W; Brown, Joe

    2016-01-01

    This paper presents the results of a mixed-methods study examining adaptation strategies that property owners in low-income, rapidly urbanizing areas in Malawi adopt to address the limitations of pit latrines, the most common method of disposing human excreta. A particular challenge is lack of space for constructing new latrines as population density increases: traditional practice has been to cap full pits and simply move to a new site, but increasing demands on space require new approaches to extend the service life of latrines. In this context, we collected data on sanitation technology choices from January to September 2013 through 48 in-depth interviews and a stated preference survey targeting 1,300 property owners from 27 low-income urban areas. Results showed that property owners with concern about space for replacing pit latrines were 1.8 times more likely to select pit emptying service over the construction of new pit latrines with a slab floor (p = 0.02) but there was no significant association between concern about space for replacing pit latrines and intention to adopt locally promoted, novel sanitation technology known as ecological sanitation (ecosan). Property owners preferred to adapt existing, known technology by constructing replacement pit latrines on old pit latrine locations, reducing the frequency of replacing pit latrines, or via emptying pit latrines when full. This study highlights potential challenges to adoption of wholly new sanitation technologies, even when they present clear advantages to end users. To scale, alternative sanitation technologies for rapidly urbanising cities should offer clear advantages, be affordable, be easy to use when shared among multiple households, and their design should be informed by existing adaptation strategies and local knowledge. PMID:27532871

  2. Building a knowledge translation platform in Malawi to support evidence-informed health policy.

    PubMed

    Berman, Joshua; Mitambo, Collins; Matanje-Mwagomba, Beatrice; Khan, Shiraz; Kachimanga, Chiyembekezo; Wroe, Emily; Mwape, Lonia; van Oosterhout, Joep J; Chindebvu, Getrude; van Schoor, Vanessa; Puchalski Ritchie, Lisa M; Panisset, Ulysses; Kathyola, Damson

    2015-01-01

    With the support of the World Health Organization's Evidence-Informed Policy Network, knowledge translation platforms have been developed throughout Africa, the Americas, Eastern Europe, and Asia to further evidence-informed national health policy. In this commentary, we discuss the approaches, activities and early lessons learned from the development of a Knowledge Translation Platform in Malawi (KTPMalawi). Through ongoing leadership, as well as financial and administrative support, the Malawi Ministry of Health has strongly signalled its intention to utilize a knowledge translation platform methodology to support evidence-informed national health policy. A unique partnership between Dignitas International, a medical and research non-governmental organization, and the Malawi Ministry of Health, has established KTPMalawi to engage national-level policymakers, researchers and implementers in a coordinated approach to the generation and utilization of health-sector research. Utilizing a methodology developed and tested by knowledge translation platforms across Africa, a stakeholder mapping exercise and initial capacity building workshops were undertaken and a multidisciplinary Steering Committee was formed. This Steering Committee prioritized the development of two initial Communities of Practice to (1) improve data utilization in the pharmaceutical supply chain and (2) improve the screening and treatment of hypertension within HIV-infected populations. Each Community of Practice's mandate is to gather and synthesize the best available global and local evidence and produce evidence briefs for policy that have been used as the primary input into structured deliberative dialogues. While a lack of sustained initial funding slowed its early development, KTPMalawi has greatly benefited from extensive technical support and mentorship by an existing network of global knowledge translation platforms. With the continued support of the Malawi Ministry of Health and the

  3. Implementation of Policies and Strategies for Control of Noncommunicable Diseases in Malawi: Challenges and Opportunities.

    PubMed

    Lupafya, Phindile Chitsulo; Mwagomba, Beatrice L Matanje; Hosig, Kathy; Maseko, Lucy M; Chimbali, Henry

    2016-04-01

    Malawi is a Sub-Saharan African country experiencing the epidemiological transition from predominantly infectious to noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) with dramatically increasing prevalence of lifestyle-related diseases such as obesity, hypertension, and diabetes. Malawi's 2011-2016 Health Sector Strategic Plan included NCDs, and an NCD Control Program was established with subsequent development of a National Action Plan for prevention and management of NCDs launched in 2013. The current study was designed to identify gaps in implementation of NCD control program policies and action plan strategies by describing current efforts toward prevention and management of NCDs in Malawi with emphasis on challenges and opportunities. Semistructured questionnaires were used to collect quantitative and qualitative data from Malawi Ministry of Health personnel (senior officers, service providers, health education officers, and nutritionists) in 10 health districts and 3 central hospitals. Frequencies were generated for quantitative data. Qualitative data were used to generate themes and most common responses. Results showed that current services focus on facility-based NCD screening and clinical services rather than active screening, prevention, and community awareness and outreach, although respondents emphasized the importance of prevention, lifestyle education, and community outreach. Respondents indicated inadequate resources for NCD services including financial capital, human resources, equipment and supplies, and transportation. While Malawi has begun to address NCDs, policy and practice implications include (a) better integration of services within the existing infrastructure with emphasis on capacity building; (b) greater implementation of planned NCD activities; (c) a stronger, more comprehensive data management system; and (d) innovative funding solutions. PMID:27037149

  4. Distribution of haematological and chemical pathology values among infants in Malawi and Uganda

    PubMed Central

    Kumwenda, Newton I.; Khonje, Tiwonge; Mipando, Linda; Nkanaunena, Kondwani; Katundu, Pauline; Lubega, Irene; Elbireer, Ali; Bolton, Steve; Bagenda, Danstan; Mubiru, Michael; Fowler, Mary Glenn; Taha, Taha E.

    2013-01-01

    Background Data on paediatric reference laboratory values are limited for sub-Saharan Africa. Objective To describe the distribution of haematological and chemical pathology values among healthy infants from Malawi and Uganda. Methods A cross-sectional study was conducted among healthy infants, 0–6 months old, born to HIV-uninfected mothers recruited from two settings in Blantyre, Malawi and Kampala, Uganda. Chemical pathology and haematology parameters were determined using standard methods on blood samples. Descriptive analyses by age-group were performed based on 2004 Division of AIDS Toxicity Table age categories. Mean values and interquartile ranges were compared by site and age-group. Results A total of 541 infants were included altogether, 294 from Malawi and 247 from Uganda. Overall, the mean laboratory values were comparable between the two sites. Mean alkaline phosphatase levels were lower among infants aged ≤21 days while aspartate aminotransferase, creatinine, total bilirubin and gamma-glutamyl transferase were higher in those aged 0–7 days than in older infants. Mean haematocrit, haemoglobin and neutrophil counts were higher in the younger age-groups (<35 days) and overall were lower than US norms. Red and white blood cell counts tended to decrease after birth but increased after ~2 months of age. Mean basophil counts were higher in Malawi than in Uganda in infants aged 0–1 and 2–7 days; mean counts for eosinophils (for age groups 8–21 or older) and platelets (for all age groups) were higher in Ugandan than in Malawian infants. Absolute lymphocyte counts increased with infant age. Conclusion The chemical pathology and haematological values in healthy infants born to HIV-uninfected mothers were comparable in Malawi and Uganda and can serve as useful reference values in these settings. PMID:23164296

  5. Non-Life Threatening Maternal Morbidity: Cross Sectional Surveys from Malawi and Pakistan