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 December 20, 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 December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Fossils & Ruins News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Researchers Bring Player Pianos Back to Life

Researchers Bring Player Pianos Back to Life

AP (Dec. 17, 2014) Stanford University wants to unlock the secrets of the player piano. Researchers are restoring and studying self-playing pianos and the music rolls that recorded major composers performing their own work. (Dec. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Domestication Might've Been Bad For Horses

Domestication Might've Been Bad For Horses

Newsy (Dec. 16, 2014) A group of scientists looked at the genetics behind the domestication of the horse and showed how human manipulation changed horses' DNA. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mozart, Beethoven, Shubert and Bizet Manuscripts to Go on Sale

Mozart, Beethoven, Shubert and Bizet Manuscripts to Go on Sale

AFP (Dec. 16, 2014) A collection of rare manuscripts by composers Mozart, Beethoven, Shubert and Bizet are due to go on sale at auction on December 17. Duration: 00:57 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Old Ship Records to Shed Light on Arctic Ice Loss

Old Ship Records to Shed Light on Arctic Ice Loss

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 15, 2014) Researchers are looking to the past to gain a clearer picture of what the future holds for ice in the Arctic. A project to analyse and digitize ship logs dating back to the 1850's aims to lengthen the timeline of recorded ice data. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
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