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.

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 July 30, 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 July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Fossils & Ruins News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre

Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre

AP (July 29, 2014) Food scraps and other items left on the grounds by picnickers brings unwelcome visitors to the grounds of the world famous and popular Louvre Museum in Paris. (July 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
London's Famed 'Gherkin' Goes on Sale for 650 Mln

London's Famed 'Gherkin' Goes on Sale for 650 Mln

AFP (July 29, 2014) London's "Gherkin" office tower, one of the landmarks on the British capital's skyline, went on sale for about 650 million ($1.1 billion, 820 million euros) on Tuesday after being placed into receivership. Duration: 00:36 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Newsy (July 28, 2014) The asteroid that killed the dinosaurs struck at the worst time for them. A new study says that if it hit earlier or later, they might've survived. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tourists Disappointed to Find Rome Attractions Under Restoration

Tourists Disappointed to Find Rome Attractions Under Restoration

AFP (July 26, 2014) Tourists visiting Italy at the peak of the summer season are disappointed to find some of Rome's most famous attractions being restored and offering limited access. Duration: 01:01 Video provided by AFP
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:
from the past week

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