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Genetic support for random mating between left and right-mouth morphs in the dimorphic scale-eating cichlid fish Perissodus microlepis from Lake Tanganyika

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Population genetic analyses were conducted to investigate whether random mating occurs between left and right-mouth morphs of the dimorphic scale-eating cichlid fish Perissodus microlepis from two geographical sites in southern Lake Tanganyika. The mitochondrial and nuclear DNA markers (13 microsatellite loci) revealed no genetic differentiation between left and right morphs (i.e. widespread interbreeding). The observed lack of genetic divergence between the different morphs allowed for the exclusion of the possibility of assortative mating between same morph types. The microsatellite data showed no significant departures of heterozygosity from Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium, suggesting purely random mating between the morphs. Overall, this study indicated no genetic evidence for either assortative or disassortative mating, but it did provide support for the random mating hypothesis. Highly significant, albeit weak, spatial population structure was also found when samples of different morphs were pooled according to geographical sites. An additional analysis of two microsatellite loci that were recently suggested to be putatively linked to the genetic locus that determines the laterality of these mouth morphs did not show any such association.

Keywords: antisymmetry; genetic linkage; heritability; phenotypic plasticity; random mating; scale-eating cichlid fish

Document Type: Regular Paper

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1095-8649.2010.02620.x

Affiliations: Lehrstuhl f├╝r Zoologie und Evolutionsbiologie, Department of Biology, University of Konstanz, Universit├Ątstrasse 10, 78457 Konstanz, Germany

Publication date: May 1, 2010

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