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

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

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SALZBURGER, Walter, Ingo BRAASCH, Axel MEYER, 2007. Adaptive sequence evolution in a color gene involved in the formation of the characteristic egg-dummies of male haplochromine cichlid fishes. In: BMC Biology. 5(51), pp. 51. ISSN 1741-7007. eISSN 1741-7007

@article{Salzburger2007Adapt-7227, title={Adaptive sequence evolution in a color gene involved in the formation of the characteristic egg-dummies of male haplochromine cichlid fishes}, year={2007}, doi={10.1186/1741-7007-5-51}, number={51}, volume={5}, issn={1741-7007}, journal={BMC Biology}, author={Salzburger, Walter and Braasch, Ingo and Meyer, Axel} }

Salzburger, Walter Braasch, Ingo Salzburger, Walter Adaptive sequence evolution in a color gene involved in the formation of the characteristic egg-dummies of male haplochromine cichlid fishes Background<br />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.<br /><br />Results<br />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.<br /><br />Conclusion<br />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. 2011-03-24T17:32:47Z 2007 deposit-license Braasch, Ingo 2011-03-24T17:32:47Z Meyer, Axel application/pdf eng First publ. in: BMC Biology 2007, 5:51 Meyer, Axel

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