Reference : Ontogenetic and phylogenetic simplification during white stripe evolution in clownfishes
Scientific journals : Article
Life sciences : Anatomy (cytology, histology, embryology...) & physiology
Life sciences : Aquatic sciences & oceanology
Life sciences : Multidisciplinary, general & others
Life sciences : Zoology
Ontogenetic and phylogenetic simplification during white stripe evolution in clownfishes
Salis, Pauline [> >]
Roux, Natacha [> >]
Soulat, Olivier [> >]
Lecchini, David [> >]
Laudet, Vincent [> >]
Frederich, Bruno mailto [Université de Liège - ULiège > Département de Biologie, Ecologie et Evolution > Département de Biologie, Ecologie et Evolution >]
BMC Biology
BioMed Central
Yes (verified by ORBi)
United Kingdom
[en] ontogeny ; diversification ; Pomacentridae ; coral reef fishes ; color evolution ; adaptive coloration ; damselfishes ; ancestral state ; color pattern
[en] Background: Biologists have long been fascinated by the striking diversity of complex color patterns in tropical reef fishes. However, the origins and evolution of this diversity are still poorly understood. Disentangling the evolution of simple color patterns offers the opportunity to dissect both ultimate and proximate causes underlying color diversity.
Results: Here, we study clownfishes, a tribe of 30 species within the Pomacentridae that displays a relatively simple color pattern made of zero to three vertical white stripes on a dark body background. Mapping the number of white stripes on the evolutionary tree of clownfishes reveals that their color pattern diversification results from successive caudal to rostral losses of stripes. Moreover, we demonstrate that stripes always appear with a rostral to caudal stereotyped sequence during larval to juvenile transition. Drug treatments (TAE 684) during this period leads to a dose-dependent loss of stripes, demonstrating that white stripes are made of iridophores and that these cells initiate the stripe formation. Surprisingly, juveniles of several species (e.g., Amphiprion frenatus) have supplementary stripes when compared to their respective adults. These stripes disappear caudo-rostrally during the juvenile phase leading to the definitive color pattern. Remarkably, the reduction of stripe number over ontogeny matches the sequences of stripe losses during evolution, showing that color pattern diversification among clownfish lineages results from changes in developmental processes. Finally, we reveal that the diversity of striped patterns plays a key role for species recognition.
Conclusions: Overall, our findings illustrate how developmental, ecological, and social processes have shaped the diversification of color patterns during the radiation of an emblematic coral reef fish lineage.
Freshwater and OCeanic science Unit of reSearch - FOCUS
Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique (Communauté française de Belgique) - F.R.S.-FNRS ; Politique Scientifique Fédérale (Belgique) = Belgian Federal Science Policy
Researchers ; Professionals ; Students

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