Insights into the Evolution of Neoteny from the Genome of the Asian Icefish Protosalanx chinensis.
ABSTRACT: Salangids, known as Asian icefishes, represent a peculiar radiation within the bony fish order Protacanthopterygii where adult fish retain larval characteristics such as transparent and miniaturized bodies and a cartilaginous endoskeleton into adulthood. Here, we report a de novo genome of Protosalanx chinensis, the most widely distributed salangid lineage. The P. chinensis genome assembly is more contiguous and complete than a previous assembly. We estimate that P. chinensis, salmons, trouts, and pikes diverged from a common ancestor 185 million years ago. A juxtaposition with other fish genomes revealed loss of the genes encoding ectodysplasin-A receptor (EDAR), SCPP1, and four Hox proteins and likely lack of canonical fibroblast growth factor 5 (FGF5) function. We also report genomic variations of P. chinensis possibly reflecting the immune system repertoire of a species with a larval phenotype in sexually mature individuals. The new Asian icefish reference genome provides a solid foundation for future studies.
Project description:Interspecific hybridization or barriers to hybridization may have contributed to the diversification of Antarctic icefishes (Channichthyidae), but data supporting these hypotheses is scarce. To understand the potential for hybridization and to investigate reproductive isolating mechanisms among icefish species, we performed in vitro fertilization experiments using eggs from a female blackfin icefish Chaenocephalus aceratus and sperm from a male of another genera, the ocellated icefish Chionodraco rastrospinosus. Sequencing of genomic and mitochondrial DNA confirmed the intergeneric hybrid nature of resulting embryos which successfully developed and hatched as active larvae at about four and a half months during the Antarctic winter. This result demonstrates the compatibility of gametes of these two species and the viability of resulting zygotes and larvae. Due to logistic constraints and the slow developmental rate of icefishes, we could not test for long-term hybrid viability, fertility, fitness, or hybrid breakdown. Analysis of our fishing records and available literature, however, suggests that the strongest barriers to hybridization among parapatric icefish species are likely to be behavioral and characterized by assortative mating and species-specific courtship and nesting behaviors. This conclusion suggests that, in long-lived fish species with late sexual maturity and high energetic investment in reproduction like icefishes, pre-mating barriers are energetically more efficient than post-mating barriers to prevent hybridization.
Project description:Icefishes (suborder Notothenioidei; family Channichthyidae) are the only vertebrates that lack functional haemoglobin genes and red blood cells. Here, we report a high-quality genome assembly and linkage map for the Antarctic blackfin icefish Chaenocephalus aceratus, highlighting evolved genomic features for its unique physiology. Phylogenomic analysis revealed that Antarctic fish of the teleost suborder Notothenioidei, including icefishes, diverged from the stickleback lineage about 77 million years ago and subsequently evolved cold-adapted phenotypes as the Southern Ocean cooled to sub-zero temperatures. Our results show that genes involved in protection from ice damage, including genes encoding antifreeze glycoprotein and zona pellucida proteins, are highly expanded in the icefish genome. Furthermore, genes that encode enzymes that help to control cellular redox state, including members of the sod3 and nqo1 gene families, are expanded, probably as evolutionary adaptations to the relatively high concentration of oxygen dissolved in cold Antarctic waters. In contrast, some crucial regulators of circadian homeostasis (cry and per genes) are absent from the icefish genome, suggesting compromised control of biological rhythms in the polar light environment. The availability of the icefish genome sequence will accelerate our understanding of adaptation to extreme Antarctic environments.
Project description:Background:Chinese clearhead icefish, Protosalanx hyalocranius , is a representative icefish species with economic importance and special appearance. Due to its great economic value in China, the fish was introduced into Lake Dianchi and several other lakes from the Lake Taihu half a century ago. Similar to the Sinocyclocheilus cavefish, the clearhead icefish has certain cavefish-like traits, such as transparent body and nearly scaleless skin. Here, we provide the whole genome sequence of this surface-dwelling fish and generated a draft genome assembly, aiming at exploring molecular mechanisms for the biological interests. A total of 252.1 Gb of raw reads were sequenced. Subsequently, a novel draft genome assembly was generated, with the scaffold N50 reaching 1.163 Mb. The genome completeness was estimated to be 98.39 % by using the CEGMA evaluation. Finally, we annotated 19?884 protein-coding genes and observed that repeat sequences account for 24.43 % of the genome assembly. We report the first draft genome of the Chinese clearhead icefish. The genome assembly will provide a solid foundation for further molecular breeding and germplasm resource protection in Chinese clearhead icefish, as well as other icefishes. It is also a valuable genetic resource for revealing the molecular mechanisms for the cavefish-like characters.
Project description:Cannibalism is considered one of the causes of intra-cohort size divergence in fish and is usually believed to result in increased fitness in terms of survival and reproduction, but direct evidence of this is lacking. Population demographics of the clearhead icefish (<i>Protosalanx chinensis</i>) from Lake Xingkai (Khanka) were investigated for one year. Size-frequencies exhibited a bimodal distribution from July through January, where the population diverged into an upper and a lower modal group based on size. Stomach content analysis confirmed the occurrence of cannibalism, where fish belonging to the larger, upper modal group preyed upon those of the smaller, lower modal group. We found <i>P. chinensis</i> does not spawn until all of the oocytes have reached maturity and then a single spawning event occurs although the oocytes may develope asynchronously in the ovary. Upper modal group females matured slightly earlier than those of the lower modal group, and reproductive investment was considerably greater in the upper modal group than the lower modal group. The lower modal males made up the majority of the population after the spawning period, which meant they may have few opportunities to participate in reproduction. Therefore, piscivory and cannibalism of <i>P. chinensis</i> appears to have increased fitness of the fish belonging to the upper modal group and greatly reduced the fitness of those belonging to the lower modal group.
Project description:Neoteny, the maintenance of larval features in sexually mature adults, is a radical way of generating evolutionary novelty through shifts in relative timing of developmental programmes. While controlled by the environment in facultative neotenics, retention of larval features is obligatory in many species of Lycidae (net-winged beetles). They are studied here as an example of how developmental shifts and ecology interact to produce macroevolutionary impacts. We conducted a phylogenetic analysis of Lycidae based on DNA sequences from nuclear (18S and 28S rRNA) and mitochondrial (rrnL, cox1, cob and nad5) genes from a representative set of lineages (73 species), including 17 neotenic taxa. Major changes of basal relationships compared with those implied in the current classification generally supported three independent origins of neotenics in Lycidae. The southeast Asian Lyropaeinae and Ateliinae were in basal positions indicating evolutionary antiquity, also confirmed by molecular clock estimates, unlike the neotropical leptolycines nested within Calopterini and presumably much younger. neotenics exhibit typical K-selected traits including slow development, large body size, high investment in offspring and low dispersal. This correlated with low species richness and restricted ranges of neotenic lineages compared with their sisters. Yet, these factors did not impede the evolutionary persistence of affected lineages, even without reversals to fully metamorphosed forms, contradicting earlier suggestions of recent evolution from dispersive non-neotenics.
Project description:Albinism is the most common color variation described in fish and is characterized by a white or yellow phenotype according to the species. In rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss, aside from yellow-albino phenotypes, cobalt blue variants with autosomal, recessive inheritance have also been reported. In this study, we investigated the inheritance pattern and chromatophores distribution/abundance of cobalt blue trouts obtained from a local fish farm. Based on crosses with wild-type and dominant yellow-albino lines, we could infer that cobalt blue are dominant over wild-type and co-dominant in relation to yellow-albino phenotype, resulting in a fourth phenotype: the white-albino. Analysis of chromatophores revealed that cobalt blue trouts present melanophores, as the wild-type, and a reduced number of xanthophores. As regards to the white-albino phenotype, they were not only devoid of melanophores but also presented a reduced number of xanthophores. Cobalt blue and white-albino trouts also presented reduced body weight and a smaller pituitary gland compared to wild-type and yellow-albino phenotypes. The transcription levels of tshb and trh were up regulated in cobalt blue compared to wild type, suggesting the involvement of thyroid hormone in the expression of blue color. These phenotypes represent useful models for research on body pigmentation in salmonids and on the mechanisms behind endocrine control of color patterning.
Project description:BACKGROUND:It is well known that fish predation alters ecosystem processes by top-down effects. Salmonids are described as aggressive, visually and size-selective predators. Thus, prey selection by the non-native rainbow trout was examined on a seasonal basis at two streams: Nant y Fall (NyF) and Cabeza de Vaca (CVA) at Patagonia, a region where this kind of information is lacking. RESULTS:The benthos density at NyF was higher than that at CVA, and at both streams, riffles supported higher macroinvertebrate densities than pools. The diet of trouts from both streams was dominated by aquatic macroinvertebrates, was diverse, and was varied seasonally. The individuals represented in the stomachcontents were among the largest available at the streams. Diet diversity peaked during spring at NyF and during summer at CVA, whereas at both streams, the niche width peaked during spring. Preyselectivity varied seasonally. The selected preys included both aquatic (Gasteropoda, Crustacea, Plecoptera, Trichoptera, Ephemeroptera, Coleoptera, Diptera, and Odonata) and terrestrial organisms (adult dipterans, Oligochaeta, Araneae, Homoptera, Hymenoptera, Orthoptera, and Hemiptera). Some infaunal invertebrates like oligochaetes and some small Coleoptera and Diptera larvae (mainly Chironomidae) were not selected by trouts. CONCLUSIONS:Despite of the overall dominance of trichopteran species, the composition of the diet of the rainbow trout varied seasonally. This fish positively selected both aquatic and terrestrial organisms. We observed that in both streams, trouts consumed the larger individuals available in those environments.
Project description:The Chinese beard eel (Cirrhimuraena chinensis Kaup) is an intertidal fish and a model organism for the study of impacts caused by topological fluctuations during the Pleistocene and current intricate hydrological conditions on fauna living in the coastal areas of China. In this study, we examined the phylogeographical pattern, population genetic profile and demographical history of C. chinensis using mitochondrial DNA (cytochrome b (cyt b) and control region (CR)) from 266 individuals sampled in seven localities across the coastal area of southeastern China. The combined data indicated high levels of haplotype diversity and low levels of nucleotide diversity. Analyses of molecular variance (AMOVA) and FST statistics suggested the absence of a significant population structure across the Chinese coast. Neutrality tests, mismatch distributions and Bayesian skyline plots uniformly indicated a recent population expansion. The phylogeographic structure of C. chinensis may be attributed to past population expansion and long-distance pelagic larval dispersal facilitated by present-day ocean currents.
Project description:The aim of this study was to confirm the taxonomic status of Piscicola pojmanskae Bielecki, 1994 found on Salmonidae fish. The fish leech was identified based on a diligent morphological analysis as well as COI gene sequence (DNA barcoding). The phylogenetic relationship with other piscicolid leeches was analyzed as well. Piscicola pojmanskae was found on various fins of both graylings and the resident form of trouts. The prevalence of infection was 1.63%. In this paper, probable causes of the lack of relation between the number of leeches on the fins and the fish body length as well as the host-searching strategy used by P. pojmanskae are discussed.
Project description:Alone among piscine taxa, the antarctic icefishes (family Channichthyidae, suborder Notothenioidei) have evolved compensatory adaptations that maintain normal metabolic functions in the absence of erythrocytes and the respiratory oxygen transporter hemoglobin. Although the uniquely "colorless" or "white" condition of the blood of icefishes has been recognized since the early 20th century, the status of globin genes in the icefish genomes has, surprisingly, remained unexplored. Using alpha- and beta-globin cDNAs from the antarctic rockcod Notothenia coriiceps (family Nototheniidae, suborder Notothenioidei), we have probed the genomes of three white-blooded icefishes and four red-blooded notothenioid relatives (three antarctic, one temperate) for globin-related DNA sequences. We detect specific, high-stringency hybridization of the alpha-globin probe to genomic DNAs of both white- and red-blooded species, whereas the beta-globin cDNA hybridizes only to the genomes of the red-blooded fishes. Our results suggest that icefishes retain inactive genomic remnants of alpha-globin genes but have lost, either through deletion or through rapid mutation, the gene that encodes beta-globin. We propose that the hemoglobinless phenotype of extant icefishes is the result of deletion of the single adult beta-globin locus prior to the diversification of the clade.