Data from: Effect of craniofacial genotype on the relationship between morphology and feeding performance in cichlid fishes
Matthews, Dave G.; Albertson, R. Craig; Matthews, David G. (2017), Data from: Effect of craniofacial genotype on the relationship between morphology and feeding performance in cichlid fishes, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.mf287
The relationship between morphology and performance is complex, but important for understanding the adaptive nature of morphological variation. Recent studies have sought to better understand this system by illuminating the interconnectedness of different functional systems; however, the role of genetics is often overlooked. In this study, we attempt to gain insights into this relationship by examining the effect of genotypic variation at putative craniofacial loci on the relationship between morphology and feeding performance in cichlids. We studied two morphologically disparate species, as well as a morphologically intermediate hybrid population. We assessed feeding performance, jaw protrusion, and general facial morphology for each fish. We also genotyped hybrid animals at six previously identified craniofacial loci. Cichlid species were found to differ in facial geometry, kinematic morphology, and performance. Significant correlations were also noted between these variables; however, the explanatory power of facial geometry in predicting performance was relatively poor. Notably, when hybrids were grouped by genotype, the relationship between shape and performance improved. This relationship was especially robust in animals with the specialist allele at sox9b, a well-characterized regulator of craniofacial development. These data suggest a novel role for genotype in influencing complex relationships between form and function.
National Science Foundation, Award: IOS-1054909