Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Hybrid 'Muttsucker' Has Genes Of Three Species

Date:
August 15, 2008
Source:
University of Wyoming
Summary:
In the murky waters of an inconspicuous stream in a remote area of Wyoming, researchers detail the potential impact that an introduced fish, the white sucker, could have on the evolutionary biology of fishes.

If you have driven Wyoming Highway 789 between Creston Junction and Baggs, you've seen Muddy Creek. Or maybe you haven't.

Related Articles


"It's a pretty inconspicuous stream," says David B. McDonald, an associate professor in the University of Wyoming's Department of Zoology and Physiology. "In fact, when you look at the creek, a lot of times you have trouble even seeing any water."

What's happening in the murky waters of the appropriately-named creek also is not readily noticeable: An introduced species of fish is threatening the existence of two native Wyoming fish species -- the flannelmouth sucker and the bluehead sucker.

In a paper that will publish this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, McDonald and four co-authors detail the potential impact that the introduced fish, the white sucker, could have on "the evolutionary biology of fishes in general, and the genetic integrity of the two native fishes in particular."

The paper is the result of seven years of research by McDonald and a team of UW professors and graduate students.

Thomas Parchman, a UW zoology and physiology postdoctoral resident associate; Michael R. Bower, a former UW graduate student who now works for the National Park Service at Death Valley National Park in California; Wayne A. Hubert, leader of the Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit; and Frank J. Rahel, a UW zoology and physiology professor, are the paper's co-authors.

"It took a lot of detective work by a lot of people," McDonald says. "And what we found was really an intriguing pattern of genetics."

By hybridizing with both the flannelmouth sucker, named for its unusual, puffy lips, and the bluehead sucker, named for the color of its head, the white sucker has created a reticulate evolution in which a species has three ancestors rather than one parent species and two descendant species. McDonald and his colleagues have tabbed the cross between the three species as a "muttsucker."

In addition, the white sucker helped facilitate introgression between the two native species, which had previously been isolated by reproductive barriers.

It's unknown how the white sucker, native to the eastern United States, found its way west. Now, McDonald says, the species is "pretty widespread" in the Colorado River region.

"We have interesting fish, like the flannelmouth and bluehead suckers -- not many people see them, admittedly -- but we have these really interesting and different fish in the rivers of the west and this white sucker could come in and turn everything into one kind of a mutt fish," McDonald explains. "There are now quite a few of these hybrid fish out there that actually have genes from all three species."

To build the basis on their paper, McDonald and his colleagues scoured Muddy Creek to collect DNA samples from the fish, amplified the DNA markers in the laboratory and then cross-checked between the three species.

Bower, who now studies one of America's rarest creatures, the Devil's Hole pupfish -- the entire population lives in a 10-foot by 70-foot thermal pool in Death Valley -- spearheaded the research project while schooling at UW, McDonald says.

The UW paper will first publish on PNAS' Early Edition (http://www.pnas.org/content/early/recent).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Wyoming. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. McDonald, D.B., T.L. Parchman, M.R. Bower, W.A. Hubert, and F.J. Rahel. An introduced and a native vertebrate hybridize to form a genetic bridge to a second native species. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, (in press)

Cite This Page:

University of Wyoming. "Hybrid 'Muttsucker' Has Genes Of Three Species." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 August 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080723190731.htm>.
University of Wyoming. (2008, August 15). Hybrid 'Muttsucker' Has Genes Of Three Species. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080723190731.htm
University of Wyoming. "Hybrid 'Muttsucker' Has Genes Of Three Species." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080723190731.htm (accessed November 24, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Monday, November 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Stray Dog Follows Adventure Racing Team for 6-Day Endurance Race

Stray Dog Follows Adventure Racing Team for 6-Day Endurance Race

Buzz60 (Nov. 24, 2014) A Swedish Adventure racing team travels to try and win a world title, but comes home with something way better: a stray dog that joined the team for much of the grueling 430-mile race. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Deadly Japanese Pufferfish Discovered in Crimean Waters

Deadly Japanese Pufferfish Discovered in Crimean Waters

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Nov. 24, 2014) The capture of deadly Japanese pufferfish in the waters of Crimea is causing concern for fishermen and scientists alike. Sharon Reich reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Terrifying Black Seadevil Fish Captured on First-of-Its Kind Video

Terrifying Black Seadevil Fish Captured on First-of-Its Kind Video

Buzz60 (Nov. 24, 2014) An aquarium captures a first-of-its kind video of a notoriously camera-shy fish that’s also not so camera-friendly. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Red Panda Cubs Explore the Bratislava Zoo

Red Panda Cubs Explore the Bratislava Zoo

AFP (Nov. 24, 2014) Four-month old Red Panda twins Pim and Pam still rely on their mother for breast milk at the Bratislava Zoo in Slovakia, but the precocious cubs have begun to branch out to solid foods, as well. Duration: 00:41 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:

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