Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Fish Go Mad For Ginger Gene

Date:
September 29, 2009
Source:
BioMed Central
Summary:
There may be plenty of fish in the sea but the medaka knows what it likes. A new study shows how a single gene mutation that turns Japanese Killifish a drab gray color renders them significantly less attractive to more colorful members of the opposite sex.

There may be plenty of fish in the sea but the medaka knows what it likes. A new study published in the open-access journal BMC Biology shows how a single gene mutation that turns Japanese Killifish a drab gray color renders them significantly less attractive to more colorful members of the opposite sex.
Credit: Shoji Fukamachi et al BMC Biology 2009

There may be plenty of fish in the sea but the medaka knows what it likes. A new study published in the open access journal BMC Biology shows how a single gene mutation that turns Japanese Killifish a drab grey colour renders them significantly less attractive to more colourful members of the opposite sex.

The medaka, found commonly in Southeast Asia, can be observed in a wide range of colours; from brown, to more uncommon orange and grey variations. Shoji Fukamachi led a team of researchers from the University of Konstanz, Germany and the University of Tokyo, who studied the effects of alterations in a colour-determining gene on mating preferences of the fish.

According to Fukamachi, "We observed that the grey medaka were often rejected in favour of their brown or orange rivals. This is the first demonstration of a single gene that can change both secondary sexual characteristics and mating preferences."

The greys, however, need not be completely despondent at these findings, as the study also showed that they were preferentially selective for each other.

Orange colour in medaka is determined by the presence of pigmented structures known as xanthophores, and these are reduced in the grey fish carrying the mutant gene. By over-expressing this same gene, the researchers created super attractive bright orange medaka that induced hyperactivity in similarly engineered members of the opposite sex while other potential mates were ignored almost completely.

"Thus, the present finding of the xanthophore-dependent mate choice enables many ingenious experiments to be designed in this and other fish species" said Fukamachi, adding: "This discovery should further facilitate molecular dissection/manipulation of visual-based mate choice."

The strong like-for-like colour preference of medaka mating, suggests that sympatric speciation could occur as reproductive isolation follows colour switches due to mutations in this colour-determining gene.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Shoji Fukamachi, Masato Kinoshita, Kouichi Aizawa, Shoji Oda, Axel Meyer and Hiroshi Mitani. Dual control by a single gene of secondary sexual characters and mating preferences in medaka. BMC Biology, 2009; (in press) [link]

Cite This Page:

BioMed Central. "Fish Go Mad For Ginger Gene." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 September 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090928191810.htm>.
BioMed Central. (2009, September 29). Fish Go Mad For Ginger Gene. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090928191810.htm
BioMed Central. "Fish Go Mad For Ginger Gene." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090928191810.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

AP (July 27, 2014) A live-streaming webcam catches loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings emerging from a nest in the Florida Keys. (July 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Russia Saves Gecko Sex Satellite, Media Has Some Fun With It

Russia Saves Gecko Sex Satellite, Media Has Some Fun With It

Newsy (July 27, 2014) The satellite is back under ground control after a tense few days, but with a gecko sex experiment on board, the media just couldn't help themselves. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. 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:
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