BackgroundSensory Bias models for the evolution of mate preference place a great emphasis on the role of sensory system variation in mate preferences. However, the extent to which sensory systems vary across- versus within-species remains largely unknown. Here we assessed whether color vision varies in natural locations where guppies (Poecilia reticulata) and their two closest relatives, Poecilia parae and Poecilia picta, occur in extreme sympatry and school together. All three species base mate preferences on male coloration but differ in the colors preferred.ResultsMeasuring opsin gene expression, we found that within sympatric locations these species have similar color vision and that color vision differed more across populations of conspecifics. In addition, all three species differ across populations in the frequency of the same opsin coding polymorphism that influences visual tuning.ConclusionsTogether, this shows sensory systems vary considerably across populations and supports the possibility that sensory system variation is involved in population divergence of mate preference.
Sandkam BA, Young CM, Breden FM, Bourne GR, Breden F. Color vision varies more among populations than among species of live-bearing fish from South America. BMC Evol Biol. 2015 Oct 16;15:225. doi: 10.1186/s12862-015-0501-3.
BMC Evol Biol
Color Vision Varies More Among Populations Than Among Species of Live-Bearing Fish From South America
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