The direction of genital asymmetry is expressed stochastically in internally fertilizing anablepid fishes

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Comparative genomics of parallel in repeated adaptive radiations (GenAdap)
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Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B : Biological Sciences. Royal Society of London. 2020, 287(1930), 20200969. ISSN 0962-8452. eISSN 1471-2954. Available under: doi: 10.1098/rspb.2020.0969
Zusammenfassung

Animal genitalia vary considerably across taxa, with divergence in many morphological traits, including striking departures from symmetry. Different mechanisms have been proposed to explain this diversity, mostly assuming that at least some of the phenotypic variation is heritable. However, heritability of the direction of genital asymmetry has been rarely determined. Anablepidae are internally fertilizing fish where the anal fin of males has been modified into an intromittent organ that transfers sperm into the gonopore of females. Males of anablepid fishes exhibit asymmetric genitalia, and both left- and right-sided individuals are commonly found at similar proportions within populations (i.e. antisymmetry). Although this polymorphism was described over a century ago, there have been no attempts to determine if genital asymmetry has a genetic basis and whether the different morphs are accumulating genetic differences, as might be expected since in some species females have also asymmetric gonopores and thereby can only be fertilized by compatible asymmetric males. We address this issue by combining breeding experiments with genome-wide data (ddRAD markers) in representative species of the two anablepid genera with asymmetric genitalia: Anableps and Jenynsia. Breeding experiments showed that all offspring were asymmetric, but their morphotype (i.e. right- or left-sided) was independent of parental morphotype, implying that the direction of asymmetry does not have a strong genetic component. Consistent with this conclusion, association analyses based on approximately 25 000 SNPs did not identify markers significantly associated with the direction of genital asymmetry and there was no evidence of population structure between left- and right-sided individuals. These results suggest that the direction of genital asymmetry in anablepid fishes might be stochastic, a commonly observed pattern in species with antisymmetry in morphological traits.

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570 Biowissenschaften, Biologie
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Jenynsia, Anableps, antisymmetry, heritability, random asymmetry, stochastic determination
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ISO 690TORRES-DOWDALL, Julián, Sina J. ROMETSCH, Andreas F. KAUTT, Gastón AGUILERA, Axel MEYER, 2020. The direction of genital asymmetry is expressed stochastically in internally fertilizing anablepid fishes. In: Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B : Biological Sciences. Royal Society of London. 2020, 287(1930), 20200969. ISSN 0962-8452. eISSN 1471-2954. Available under: doi: 10.1098/rspb.2020.0969
BibTex
@article{TorresDowdall2020-07-08direc-50506,
  year={2020},
  doi={10.1098/rspb.2020.0969},
  title={The direction of genital asymmetry is expressed stochastically in internally fertilizing anablepid fishes},
  number={1930},
  volume={287},
  issn={0962-8452},
  journal={Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B : Biological Sciences},
  author={Torres-Dowdall, Julián and Rometsch, Sina J. and Kautt, Andreas F. and Aguilera, Gastón and Meyer, Axel},
  note={Article Number: 20200969}
}
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