Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Mol Ecol. 2004 Aug;13(8):2471-9.

Hybridization and contemporary evolution in an introduced cichlid fish from Lake Malawi National Park.

Author information

  • 1Hubbard Center For Genome Studies, 4th Floor, Environmental Technology Building, University of New Hampshire, 35 Colovos Road, Durham, NH 03824, USA. todd.streelman@biology.gatech.edu

Abstract

Rapidly evolving systems offer the chance to observe genetic and phenotypic change in real time. We exploit a well-characterized introduction of cichlid fish into Lake Malawi National Park to document a short history of habitat colonization and the evolution of genes and colour pattern. In the early 1960s, a fish exporter introduced individuals of Cynotilapia afra to a single site (Mitande Point) of Thumbi West Island and, as late as 1983, the species was confined to this location. In 2001, C. afra had colonized the entire perimeter of Thumbi West. In July of that year, we sampled C. afra individuals from six sites around the island and scored variation in dorsal fin colour as well as allelic diversity at six microsatellite loci. We found that, in two decades, C. afra had diverged into genetically distinct, phenotypically different northern and southern populations. We observed a high proportion of hybrids between the introduced C. afra and the native Metriaclima zebra on the southern coast of Thumbi West, and speculate that hybridization is facilitated by low water clarity at these windward sites. The short history of C. afra at Thumbi West is a microcosm of contemporary evolutionary divergence and may provide the opportunity to study the process from start to finish in genetic detail.

Copyright 2004 Blackwell Publishing Ltd

PMID:
15245419
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Blackwell Publishing
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk