Quantitative trait loci mapping in cichlid fishes: Aulonocara koningsi x Metriaclima mbenjii and Labidochromis caeruleus x Labeotropheus trewavasae
Since the time of Darwin, biologists have sought to understand the evolution and origins of phenotypic variation. To understand the genetic and molecular sources of morphological differences, we capitalize on the cichlid fish system. Cichlids of the East African Rift Lakes have undergone an extensive adaptive radiation, including variation in body shape, head shape, and pigmentation. These morphological differences are often intimately linked to the ecology and behavior of these animals. Here, we investigate the genetic basis of these phenotypes using quantitative trait loci (QTL) mapping using four genera of Lake Malawi cichlids and two F2 hybrid populations. The first hybrid cross is between Aulonocara koningsi, which lives in the open sandy region and feeds insects from the open sand, and Metriaclima mbenjii, an omnivore rock-dwelling fish. The second cross is between Labidochromis caeruleus, a suction-feeding insectivore that swims continuously searching for prey, and Labeotropheus trewavasae, which feeds by biting or scraping attached algae from the rocks in its benthic habitat. Such work can provide insights into the molecular basis of phenotypic adaptation, the genetic architecture of morphology, and the evolution of cichlid fishes.
Peterson, Erin; Moore, Emily; Mathews, Destiny; Powder, Kara; Ciccotto, Patrick; Joglekar, Mansi; Carmona Baez, Aldo; Stull, Clare; DeLorenzo, Leah; Roberts, Natalie; Roberts, Reade; DeBrock, Victoria (2023), "Quantitative trait loci mapping in cichlid fishes: Aulonocara koningsi x Metriaclima mbenjii and Labidochromis caeruleus x Labeotropheus trewavasae", Zenodo, doi: 10.5061/dryad.4mw6m90cz