ZFIN ID: ZDB-PUB-201208-39
Evolution of the potassium channel gene Kcnj13 underlies colour pattern diversification in Danio fish
Podobnik, M., Frohnhöfer, H.G., Dooley, C.M., Eskova, A., Nüsslein-Volhard, C., Irion, U.
Date: 2020
Source: Nature communications   11: 6230 (Journal)
Registered Authors: Frohnhöfer, Hans Georg, Irion, Uwe, Nüsslein-Volhard, Christiane, Podobnik, Marco
Keywords: none
MeSH Terms:
  • Animals
  • Chromatophores/metabolism
  • Color*
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Hybridization, Genetic
  • Phenotype
  • Pigmentation/genetics*
  • Potassium Channels, Inwardly Rectifying/genetics*
  • Species Specificity
  • Zebrafish/classification
  • Zebrafish/genetics*
  • Zebrafish Proteins/genetics*
PubMed: 33277491 Full text @ Nat. Commun.
The genetic basis of morphological variation provides a major topic in evolutionary developmental biology. Fish of the genus Danio display colour patterns ranging from horizontal stripes, to vertical bars or spots. Stripe formation in zebrafish, Danio rerio, is a self-organizing process based on cell-contact mediated interactions between three types of chromatophores with a leading role of iridophores. Here we investigate genes known to regulate chromatophore interactions in zebrafish that might have evolved to produce a pattern of vertical bars in its sibling species, Danio aesculapii. Mutant D. aesculapii indicate a lower complexity in chromatophore interactions and a minor role of iridophores in patterning. Reciprocal hemizygosity tests identify the potassium channel gene obelix/Kcnj13 as evolved between the two species. Complementation tests suggest evolutionary change through divergence in Kcnj13 function in two additional Danio species. Thus, our results point towards repeated and independent evolution of this gene during colour pattern diversification.