Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Red Fish, Blue Fish: Distinctive Color Keeps Gene Pools Healthy

Date:
August 29, 2006
Source:
University Of California - Riverside
Summary:
Long-running evolutionary biology research on fish populations by UC Riverside scientist David Reznick has yielded new findings into how fish keep their gene pools healthy. Female fish tend to choose males with distinctive or rare coloration, thus ensuring that no one genetic line smothers out less common ones.

Long-running evolutionary biology research on fish populations by UC Riverside scientist David Reznick has yielded new findings into how fish keep their gene pools healthy. Female fish tend to choose males with distinctive or rare coloration, thus ensuring that no one genetic line smothers out less common ones.

Related Articles


The phenomenon is known as "negative frequency-dependent selection," and has been widely accepted in theory but has not been widely tested through experimentation. Previous experimentation had been in laboratory situations, not in the wild.

Reznick has co-authored a paper with former post-doctoral researcher Kimberly A Hughes, now an assistant professor at the University of Illinois, Urbana, which shows how mate selection by female guppies for mates with rare color patterns keeps the gene pool deep.

The paper, titled, Frequency-Dependent Survival in Natural Guppy Populations, recently published in the journal Nature, puts the theory to the test and showed that, indeed, preference for males with rare color patterns-- a reflection of a rare phenotype in the population -- maintains broad genetic variation among the fish in any given natural population.

"This paper for the first time shows that this inferred feature, which we've accepted as a matter of faith, has been put through experimentation and replicated and that now there's nothing to take on faith," Reznick said.

This preference for the rare is thought to be self regulating mechanism that keeps uncommon phenotypes from disappearing and maintains genetic variation.

The research was carried out on three natural guppy populations in Trinidad with 34 separate experiments on populations in 19 separate pools along three streams. The work was carried out over four years -- 1996, 1999, 2003 and 2004. It includes the contributions of University of Illinois, Urbana colleague Robert Olendorf; Helen Rodd of the University of Toronto; Anne E. Houde of Lake Forest College, Ill.; and Carla Hurt of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Station, Panama City, Panama.

Reznick's role in the research emerged from his long-standing study of guppy populations in the rivers and streams of Trinidad and his development of the methods used to study wild fish populations.

So what does this say beyond the guppy world?

"It suggests that frequency dependent selection can serve as a general mechanism for sustaining genetic variation in natural populations since it has been experimentally demonstrated to be effective in a new context and has been shown to be effective in a natural setting," Reznick said.

The research was supported by the National Science Foundation's Division of Environmental Biology, Population Biology Program.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of California - Riverside. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of California - Riverside. "Red Fish, Blue Fish: Distinctive Color Keeps Gene Pools Healthy." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 August 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/08/060829091931.htm>.
University Of California - Riverside. (2006, August 29). Red Fish, Blue Fish: Distinctive Color Keeps Gene Pools Healthy. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/08/060829091931.htm
University Of California - Riverside. "Red Fish, Blue Fish: Distinctive Color Keeps Gene Pools Healthy." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/08/060829091931.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Fossils & Ruins News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) Miniature deep sea animals discovered off the Australian coast almost three decades ago are puzzling scientists, who say the organisms have proved impossible to categorise. Academics at the Natural History of Denmark have appealed to the world scientific community for help, saying that further information on Dendrogramma enigmatica and Dendrogramma discoides could answer key evolutionary questions. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Fossil Treasures at Risk in Morocco Desert Town

Fossil Treasures at Risk in Morocco Desert Town

AFP (Oct. 23, 2014) Hundreds of archeological jewels in and around the town of 30,000 people prompt geologists and archeologists to call the Erfoud area "the largest open air fossil museum in the world". Duration: 02:17 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Oldest Bone Ever Sequenced Shows Human/Neanderthal Mating

Oldest Bone Ever Sequenced Shows Human/Neanderthal Mating

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) A 45,000-year-old thighbone is showing when humans and neanderthals may have first interbred and revealing details about our origins. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Weird-Looking Dinosaur Solves 50-Year-Old Mystery

Weird-Looking Dinosaur Solves 50-Year-Old Mystery

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) You've probably seen some weird-looking dinosaurs, but have you ever seen one this weird? It's worth a look. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins