An Evo-devo View of Post-genomic African Cichlid Biology: Enhanced Models for Evolution and Biomedicine

By Parsons, Kevin J & K. McWhinnie, T. Armstrong

The Behavior, Ecology and Evolution of Cichlid Fishes. Abate, M.E., Noakes, D.L.G. (Editors.), pp. 779-802 20-Sep-2021. DOI: 10.1007/978-94-024-2080-7_21


" Major advances towards our understanding of adaptive genetic variation are now readily obtainable in the post-genomic era. Cichlid biology has a continuing history of benefitting from the latest technical advances in sequencing technology. This is now allowing for the discovery of allelic variation related to key evolutionary traits such as colour, morphology, brain and behavioural variation, and sex. However, just as the ability to explore cichlid genomes has increased, it is becoming apparent that phenotypes are influenced by an array of factors, sometimes with environmental conditions determining the genetic basis of traits. This mirrors a growing awareness across biology of the range of mechanisms beyond genetic variation that can be responsible for generating phenotypic variation. Fortunately, cichlids provide a highly tractable study system that can be leveraged to account for such complexity. We outline some of the major findings in cichlid genomics over the past years and provide a framework for effective approaches that can be used to make further discoveries about complex traits within a genomic context. We then move on to some of the core topics facing the field, such as the environmental drivers of phenotypes, sex determination mechanisms, and neurobiology. The utility of a genomic understanding of these traits from cichlids is also clearly relevant within a clinical context, especially as we tackle an understanding of more complex and continuous phenotypic variation "

Classification: Genes and genetics.

Language: English

Parsons, Kevin J & K. McWhinnie, T. Armstrong. 2021. "An Evo-devo View of Post-genomic African Cichlid Biology: Enhanced Models for Evolution and Biomedicine". The Behavior, Ecology and Evolution of Cichlid Fishes. Abate, M.E., Noakes, D.L.G. (Editors.). pp. 779-802. DOI: 10.1007/978-94-024-2080-7_21 (crc11705) (abstract)