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Céline Neutens, Bart de Dobbelaer, Peter Claes, Dominique Adriaens
All syngnathid fishes are characterized by a tail with a vertebral column that is surrounded by dermal Plates - four per vertebra. Seahorses and pipehorses have prehensile tails, a unique characteristic among teleosts that allows them to grasp and hold onto substrates. Pipefishes, in contrast, possess a more rigid tail. Previous research (Neutens et al., 2014) showed a wide range of variation within the skeletal morphology of different members in the syngnathid family. The goal of this study is to explore whether the diversity in the three-dimensional (3D) shape of different tail types reflects grasping performance, and to what degree grasping tails occupy a different and more constrained diversity...
November 18, 2016: Zoology: Analysis of Complex Systems, ZACS
N M Monteiro, D Carneiro, A Antunes, N Queiroz, M N Vieira, A G Jones
The origin and maintenance of mating preferences continues to be an important and controversial topic in sexual selection research. Leks and lek-like mating systems, where individuals gather in particular spots for the sole purpose of mate choice, are particularly puzzling, because the strong directional selection imposed by mate choice should erode genetic variation among competing individuals and negate any benefit for the choosing sex. Here, we take advantage of the lek-like mating system of the worm pipefish (Nerophis lumbriciformis) to test the phenotype-linked fertility hypothesis for the maintenance of mating preferences...
November 19, 2016: Molecular Ecology
Anne Beemelmanns, Olivia Roth
The transfer of acquired and specific immunity against previously encountered bacteria from mothers to offspring boosts the immune response of the next generation and supports the development of a successful pathogen defense. While most studies claim that the transfer of immunity is a maternal trait, in the sex-role-reversed pipefish Syngnathus typhle, fathers nurse the embryos over a placenta-like structure, which opens the door for additional paternal immune priming. We examined the potential and persistence of bacteria-type-specific parental immune priming in the pipefish S...
September 2016: Ecology and Evolution
Masahito Tsuboi, Adam Chee Ooi Lim, Boon Leong Ooi, Mei Yee Yip, Ving Ching Chong, Ingrid Ahnesjö, Niclas Kolm
Brain size varies greatly at all taxonomic levels. Feeding ecology, life history and sexual selection have been proposed as key components in generating contemporary diversity in brain size across vertebrates. Analyses of brain size evolution have, however, been limited to lineages where males predominantly compete for mating and females choose mates. Here, we present the first original data set of brain sizes in pipefishes and seahorses (Syngnathidae) a group in which intense female mating competition occurs in many species...
October 17, 2016: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Tingting Lin, Dong Zhang, Xin Liu, Dongxue Xiao
In the present study, the sexual dimorphism in immune response in the seahorse Hippocampus erectus in which males compete for mates and invest heavily in parental care was assessed. Variability in immunocompetence in virginal seahorses with differing levels of sexual maturity (i.e., immaturity, early maturity and maturity) and with different mating statuses (i.e., virginal, experienced mating failure and experienced mating success) were analyzed by evaluating immune parameters in the plasma. Additionally, ultrastructural characteristics of the inner epithelium of the brood pouch were compared between males that had experienced mating failure and those that had succeeded...
October 1, 2016: Fish & Shellfish Immunology
Sarah P Flanagan, Emily Rose, Adam G Jones
A major goal of molecular ecology is to identify the causes of genetic and phenotypic differentiation among populations. Population genomics is suitably poised to tackle these key questions by diagnosing the evolutionary mechanisms driving divergence in nature. Here, we set out to investigate the evolutionary processes underlying population differentiation in the Gulf pipefish, Syngnathus scovelli. We sampled approximately 50 fish from each of 12 populations distributed from the Gulf coast of Texas to the Atlantic coast of Florida and performed restriction-site-associated DNA sequencing to identify SNPs throughout the genome...
October 2016: Molecular Ecology
Anne Beemelmanns, Olivia Roth
The transfer of immunity from parents to offspring (trans-generational immune priming (TGIP)) boosts offspring immune defence and parasite resistance. TGIP is usually a maternal trait. However, if fathers have a physical connection to their offspring, and if offspring are born in the paternal parasitic environment, evolution of paternal TGIP can become adaptive. In Syngnathus typhle, a sex-role reversed pipefish with male pregnancy, both parents invest into offspring immune defence. To connect TGIP with parental investment, we need to know how parents share the task of TGIP, whether TGIP is asymmetrically distributed between the parents, and how the maternal and paternal effects interact in case of biparental TGIP...
August 2016: Zoology: Analysis of Complex Systems, ZACS
Sven O Kullander
Gustaf Johan Billberg's review of ichthyology, published in Swedish in 1833 in the Linnéska samfundets handlingar, mentions 92 fish taxa at genus and species level, 41 of which represent new taxa, unnecessary replacement names, or unjustified emendations. Billberg presents his own classification of fishes, in which five new family names are introduced: Ballistidae, Diodontidae, Ooididae, Chironectidae, and Macrorhyncidae. Diodontidae has priority over Diodontidae Bonaparte, 1835. Macrorhyncidae was published earlier than Gempylidae Gill, 1862, but the latter has priority by prevailing usage...
2016: Zootaxa
Gry Sagebakken, Ingrid Ahnesjö, Charlotta Kvarnemo
Trade-offs between brood size and offspring size, offspring survival, parental condition or parental survival are classic assumptions in life history biology. A reduction in brood size may lessen these costs of care, but offspring mortality can also result in an energetic gain, if parents are able to utilize the nutrients from the demised young. Males of the broad-nosed pipefish (Syngnathus typhle) care for the offspring by brooding embryos in a brood pouch. Brooding males can absorb nutrients that emanate from embryos, and there is often a reduction in offspring number over the brooding period...
2016: PloS One
Ines Braga Goncalves, Ingrid Ahnesjö, Charlotta Kvarnemo
For animals that reproduce in water, many adaptations in life-history traits such as egg size, parental care, and behaviors that relate to embryo oxygenation are still poorly understood. In pipefishes, seahorses and seadragons, males care for the embryos either in some sort of brood pouch, or attached ventrally to the skin on their belly or tail. Typically, egg size is larger in the brood pouch group and it has been suggested that oxygen supplied via the pouch buffers the developing embryos against hypoxia and as such is an adaptation that has facilitated the evolution of larger eggs...
April 24, 2016: Ecology and Evolution
K L Parkinson, D J Booth
The life-history traits of two species of pipefish (Syngnathidae) from seagrass meadows in New South Wales, Australia, were examined to understand whether they enhance resilience to habitat degradation. The spotted pipefish Stigmatopora argus and wide-bodied pipefish Stigmatopora nigra exhibit some of the shortest life spans known for vertebrates (longevity up to 150 days) and rapid maturity (male S. argus 35 days after hatching (DAH) and male S. nigra at 16-19 DAH), key characteristics of opportunistic species...
May 2016: Journal of Fish Biology
Mari Kawaguchi, Yuko Nakano, Ryouka Kawahara-Miki, Mayu Inokuchi, Makiko Yorifuji, Ryohei Okubo, Tatsuki Nagasawa, Junya Hiroi, Tomohiro Kono, Toyoji Kaneko
Syngnathiform fishes carry their eggs in a brood structure found in males. The brood structure differs from species to species: seahorses carry eggs within enclosed brood pouch, messmate pipefish carry eggs in the semi-brood pouch, and alligator pipefish carry eggs in the egg compartment on abdomen. These egg protection strategies were established during syngnathiform evolution. In the present study, we compared the hatching mode of protected embryos of three species. Electron microscopic observations revealed that alligator pipefish and messmate pipefish egg envelopes were thicker than those of seahorses, suggesting that the seahorse produces a weaker envelope...
March 2016: Journal of Experimental Zoology. Part B, Molecular and Developmental Evolution
Masahito Tsuboi, Jun Shoji, Atsushi Sogabe, Ingrid Ahnesjö, Niclas Kolm
The brain is one of the most energetically expensive organs in the vertebrate body. Consequently, the high cost of brain development and maintenance is predicted to constrain adaptive brain size evolution (the expensive tissue hypothesis, ETH). Here, we test the ETH in a teleost fish with predominant female mating competition (reversed sex roles) and male pregnancy, the pacific seaweed pipefish Syngnathus schlegeli. The relative size of the brain and other energetically expensive organs (kidney, liver, heart, gut, visceral fat, and ovary/testis) was compared among three groups: pregnant males, nonpregnant males and egg producing females...
February 2016: Ecology and Evolution
K A Paczolt, W E Martin, N L Ratterman, A G Jones
Microsatellite parentage analysis was applied to 22 broods of the northern pipefish Syngnathus fuscus for the first time. The majority of males mated singly, 23% of males mated with two females, and no males mated with more than two females. The arrangement of embryos within the brood pouch of multiply mated males reflects a previously undocumented fill pattern where full-sib groups are segregated within the pouch by both right and left sides as well as anterior and posterior ends.
April 2016: Journal of Fish Biology
Emily Rose, Sarah P Flanagan, Adam G Jones
Species exhibiting sex-role reversal provide an unusual perspective on the evolution of sex roles and sex differences. However, the proximate effects of sex-role reversal are largely unknown. Endocrine disruptors provide an experimental mechanism to address hormonal regulation of sexually dimorphic gene expression in sex-role-reversed taxa. Here, we investigate gene expression patterns in the liver of the sex-role-reversed Gulf pipefish, because the liver is known to be sexually dimorphic and estrogen-regulated in species with conventional sex roles...
2015: PloS One
Camilla M Whittington, Oliver W Griffith, Weihong Qi, Michael B Thompson, Anthony B Wilson
Viviparity (live birth) has evolved more than 150 times in vertebrates, and represents an excellent model system for studying the evolution of complex traits. There are at least 23 independent origins of viviparity in fishes, with syngnathid fishes (seahorses and pipefish) unique in exhibiting male pregnancy. Male seahorses and pipefish have evolved specialized brooding pouches that provide protection, gas exchange, osmoregulation, and limited nutrient provisioning to developing embryos. Pouch structures differ widely across the Syngnathidae, offering an ideal opportunity to study the evolution of reproductive complexity...
December 2015: Molecular Biology and Evolution
Ines Braga Goncalves, Ingrid Ahnesjö, Charlotta Kvarnemo
Offspring fitness generally improves with increasing egg size. Yet, eggs of most aquatic organisms are small. A common but largely untested assumption is that larger embryos require more oxygen than they can acquire through diffusion via the egg surface, constraining egg size evolution. However, we found no detrimental effects of large egg size on embryo growth and survival under hypoxic conditions. We tested this in the broad-nosed pipefish, Syngnathus typhle, whose males provide extensive care (nourishment, osmoregulation and oxygenation) to their young in a brood pouch on their bodies...
August 22, 2015: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
Ines Braga Goncalves, Ingrid Ahnesjö, Charlotta Kvarnemo
The pipefish brood pouch presents a unique mode of parental care that enables males to protect, osmoregulate, nourish and oxygenate the developing young. Using a very fine O2 probe, we assessed the extent to which males of the broad-nosed pipefish (Syngnathus typhle) oxygenate the developing embryos and are able to maintain pouch fluid O2 levels when brooding in normoxia (100% O2 saturation) and hypoxia (40% O2 saturation) for 24 days. In both treatments, pouch fluid O2 saturation levels were lower compared with the surrounding water and decreased throughout the brooding period, reflecting greater offspring demand for O2 during development and/or decreasing paternal ability to provide O2 to the embryos...
June 2015: Journal of Experimental Biology
Kimberly A Paczolt, Adam G Jones
Syngnathid fishes (pipefishes, seahorses and seadragons) are characterized by a unique mode of paternal care in which embryos develop on or in the male's body, often within a structure known as a brood pouch. Evidence suggests that this pouch plays a role in mediating postcopulatory sexual selection and that males have some control over the events occurring within the pouch during the pregnancy. These observations lead to the prediction that males should invest differently in broods depending on the availability of food...
2015: PloS One
Huixian Zhang, Yanhong Zhang, Geng Qin, Qiang Lin
This study determined the mitochondrial genome sequence of the network pipefish (Corythoichthys flavofasciatus) (Gasterosteiformes: Syngnathidae). The mitogenome was a circular molecule consisting of 16,961 nucleotides, including 13 protein-coding genes, 22 tRNA genes, two rRNA genes and a control region. The nucleotide composition of the genome was biased toward A+T content at 59.3%. All tRNA genes had typical cloverleaf secondary structure except for tRNA(Ser (AGY)), in which the dihydrouridine arm was missing...
February 2015: Marine Genomics
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