SELECTION AND THE MAINTENANCE OF A COLOUR PATTERN POLYMORPHISM IN THE GREEN SWORDTAIL (XIPHOPHORUS HELLERI) 1 by DIERK FRANCK 2,4) , MARION DIKOMEY 2) and MANFRED SCHARTL 3,5) ( 2 Zoologisches Institut und Zoologisches Museum der Universität, Arbeitsbereich Ethologie, Martin-Luther-King-Platz3, D-20146 Hamburg, Germany; 3 Theodor-Boveri-Institutfür Biowissenschaften der Universität, Physiologische Chemie I, Am Hubland, D-97074 Würzburg, Germany) (Acc. 25-I-2001) Summary Many Xiphophorus populations include a number of individuals with black spots on body sides or ns. In many cases such spots are composed of extremely large melanophore cells, the so-called macromelanophores. Macromelanophore pattern polymorphism is known in 10 out of 22 Xiphophorus species. In at least 8 species alleles of the macromelanophore determining locus Mdl are intimately linked to a dominant oncogene, ONC-X mrk , which can give rise to malignant skin tumors (melanoma). We present, for the rst time, evidence that macromelanophore pattern polymorphisms may be maintained by selection in a seasonally variable environment. In school-choice experiments single Xiphophorus helleri females spent more time with groups of spotted females than with non-spotted females under turbid, but not under clear water conditions. Similarly, receptive females preferred spotted males in turbid, but not in clear water. Thus, in
Behaviour – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2001
Keywords: POLYMORPHISM; TURBIDITY; MACROMELANOPHORE COLOUR PATTERNS; GENETIC HITCH-HIKING; XIPHOPHORUS HELLERI
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