Data from: Adult plasticity in African Cichlids: rapid changes in opsin expression in response to environmental light differences
Nandamuri, Sri Pratima, University of Maryland, College Park
Yourick, Miranda R., University of Maryland, College Park
Carleton, Karen L., University of Maryland, College Park
Published Aug 15, 2017 on Dryad.
Cite this dataset
Nandamuri, Sri Pratima; Yourick, Miranda R.; Carleton, Karen L. (2017). Data from: Adult plasticity in African Cichlids: rapid changes in opsin expression in response to environmental light differences [Dataset]. Dryad. https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.v20gh
Phenotypic plasticity allows organisms to adapt quickly to local environmental conditions and could facilitate adaptive radiations. Cichlids have recently undergone an adaptive radiation in Lake Malawi where they inhabit diverse light environments and tune their visual sensitivity through differences in cone opsin expression. While cichlid opsin expression is known to be plastic over development, whether adults remain plastic is unknown. Adult plasticity in visual tuning could play a role in cichlid radiations by enabling survival in changing environments and facilitating invasion into novel environments. Here we examine the existence of and temporal changes in adult visual plasticity of two closely related species. In complementary experiments, wild adult Metriaclima mbenji from Lake Malawi were moved to the lab under UV-deficient fluorescent lighting; while lab raised M. benetos were placed under UV-rich lighting designed to mimic light conditions in the wild. Surprisingly, adult cichlids in both experiments showed significant changes in the expression of the UV-sensitive single cone opsin, SWS1, in only three days. Modeling quantum catches in the light environments revealed a possible link between the light available to the SWS1 visual pigment and SWS1 expression. We conclude that adult cichlids can undergo rapid and significant changes in opsin expression in response to environmental light shifts that are relevant to their habitat and evolutionary history in Lake Malawi. This could have contributed to the rapid divergence characteristic of these fantastic fishes.
Opsin expression data for Natural to Narrow experiment
Expression values of all opsins normalized to cone type (single /double cones) and housekeeping gene (GNAT2).
Opsin expression data for Narrow to Broad experiment
Expression values for all opsins normalized to cone type (single/double cone) and housekeeping gene (GNAT2).
Relative SWS1 cone opsin expression for Figure 6.
Expression values for SWS1 opsin relative to single cones for all species shown in Figure 6.