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Convergent evolution of coloration in experimental introductions of the guppy (Poecilia reticulata).

  • Author(s): Dick, Cynthia
  • Hinh, Jasmine
  • Hayashi, Cheryl Y
  • Reznick, David N
  • et al.

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Despite the multitude of examples of evolution in action, relatively fewer studies have taken a replicated approach to understand the repeatability of evolution. Here, we examine the convergent evolution of adaptive coloration in experimental introductions of guppies from a high-predation (HP) environment into four low-predation (LP) environments. LP introductions were replicated across 2 years and in two different forest canopy cover types. We take a complementary approach by examining both phenotypes and genetics. For phenotypes, we categorize the whole color pattern on the tail fin of male guppies and analyze evolution using a correspondence analysis. We find that coloration in the introduction sites diverged from the founding Guanapo HP site. Sites group together based on canopy cover, indicating convergence in response to light environment. However, the axis that explains the most variation indicates a lack of convergence. Therefore, evolution may proceed along similar phenotypic trajectories, but still maintain unique variation within sites. For the genetics underlying the divergent phenotypes, we examine expression levels of color genes. We find no evidence for differential expression, indicating that the genetic basis for the color changes remains undetermined.

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