Sympatric colour polymorphisms associated with nonrandom gene flow in cichlid fish of Lake Victoria

Magalhaes, I.; Mwaiko, S.; Seehausen, Ole (2010). Sympatric colour polymorphisms associated with nonrandom gene flow in cichlid fish of Lake Victoria. Molecular Ecology, 19(16), pp. 3285-3300. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2010.04751.x

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Colour polymorphisms have fascinated evolutionary ecologists for a long time. Yet, knowledge on the mechanisms that allow their persistence is restricted to a handful of well-studied cases. We studied two species of Lake Victoria cichlid fish, Neochromis omnicaeruleus and Neochromis greenwoodi, exhibiting very similar sex-linked colour polymorphisms. The ecology and behaviour of one of these species is well studied, with colour-based mating and aggression preferences. Here, we ask whether the selection potentially resulting from female and male mating preferences and aggression biases reduces gene flow between the colour morphs and permits differentiation in traits other than colour. Over the past 14 years, the frequencies of colour morphs have somewhat oscillated, but there is no evidence for directional change, suggesting the colour polymorphism is persistent on an ecological timescale. We find limited evidence of ecomorphological differentiation between sympatric ancestral (plain) and derived (blotched) colour morphs. We also find significantly nonrandom genotypic assignment and an excess of linkage disequilibrium in the plain morph, which together with previous information on mating preferences suggests nonrandom mating between colour morphs. This, together with negative frequency-dependent sexual selection, found in previous studies, may facilitate maintenance of these polymorphisms in sympatry

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Ecology and Evolution (IEE) > Aquatic Ecology

UniBE Contributor:

Seehausen, Ole








Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:17

Last Modified:

01 Sep 2015 16:29

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URI: (FactScience: 209989)

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