Navigation Links
Freshwater herring had salty origin
Date:4/22/2008

East Africas Lake Tanganyika has a highly diverse fauna which closely resembles marine animals. A researcher at the University of Zurich has traced the origins of the freshwater herring of the Lake to a marine invasion which occurred in West Africa 25 to 50 million years ago, coincident with a major oceanic incursion into the region. The ancient freshwater capture of marine organisms may help to explain the origins of other species unique to this Lake. The findings are published this week in the journal PLoS ONE.

Lake Tanganyika in East Africa is the oldest of the African Great Lakes and has the highest diversity of endemic species of any lake in the region. Its unique marine-like crabs, shrimps, snails and fishes led early researchers to suggest that the Lake must have once been directly connected to the ocean. More recent geophysical reconstructions clearly show that Lake Tanganyika originated through rifting in the African continent and was never directly connected to the sea.

While the history of the Lake basin is now well understood, the origins of the highly specialized and unique fauna of Lake Tanganyika have remained a puzzle. The absence of closely-related species outside of Lake Tanganyika has made it extremely difficult to determine when the Lake was colonized and how much of its diversity arose within its borders, explains Tony Wilson. As the herring of Lake Tanganyika belong to a large group of freshwater fishes distributed throughout western and southern Africa, they offer one of the best opportunities to trace the evolutionary ancestry of members of the Lakes fauna.

The analysis of DNA data by Wilsons team allowed the construction of the evolutionary tree of African herring, which clearly shows that the herring of West Africa colonized freshwater 25 to 50 million years ago, at the time of a massive marine incursion in the region. These freshwater colonists subsequently spread across central Africa, reaching Lake Tanganyika in the early stages of its formation. Although Lake Tanganyika was never directly connected to the ocean, explains Wilson, the endemic herring of the Lake are the products of a marine invasion that occurred long ago. The extent of this marine incursion raises the possibility that other members of the endemic fauna of the Lake may also have marine origins.


'/>"/>
Contact: Prof. Tony Wilson
tony.wilson@zm.uzh.ch
41-446-354-790
Public Library of Science
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Conservation of freshwater fish biodiversity: a challenge for the countries of the South
2. Ecological genetics of freshwater bacteria surveyed
3. Dartmouth researchers alarmed by levels of mercury and arsenic in Chinese freshwater ecosystem
4. Canadas pristine freshwater fisheries at risk
5. Canadas pristine freshwater fisheries at risk
6. Freshwater supplies threatened in central Pacific
7. Clues to ancestral origin of placenta emerge in Stanford study
8. Researchers close in on origins of main ingredient of Alzheimers plaques
9. Technique traces origins of disease genes in mixed human populations
10. Experts prove the geochemical origin of part of the CO2 emissions in semiarid climates
11. Fungi can tell us about the origin of sex chromosomes
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/23/2017)... The report "Gesture Recognition and Touchless Sensing Market by Technology (Touch-based and ... 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the market is expected to be worth USD 18.98 ... Continue Reading ... ...      ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... March 21, 2017   Neurotechnology , a ... technologies, today announced the release of the ... provides improved facial recognition using up to 10 ... single computer. The new version uses deep neural-network-based ... and it utilizes a Graphing Processing Unit (GPU) ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... , March 21, 2017 Vigilant ... company serving law enforcement agencies, announced today the appointment ... as director of public safety business development. ... law enforcement experience, including a focus on the aviation ... his most recent position, Mr. Sheridan served as the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/24/2017)... , March 24, 2017   Sienna Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. ... company, today announced that Richard Peterson will ... 24.   Peterson, who brings more than two ... Smither , who is retiring at the end of ... advisory capacity. Peterson joins Sienna from Novan, Inc., where ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... ... March 23, 2017 , ... ... exhibits both viscous and elastic characteristics when deformed, which is identical to how ... to gently absorb compressive forces and return to its natural state along a ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... , Mar 23, 2017 Research ... Products: Global Markets" report to their offering. ... The Global ... $466.6 Billion in 2016 at a CAGR of 8.9%, ... energetic and non-energetic bioproducts into seven major product segments: bio-derived ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... Mass. , March 23, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... partner to global in vitro diagnostics manufacturers ... of the industry,s first multiplexed Inherited ... disease testing by next-generation sequencing (NGS). The ... were developed with input from industry experts ...
Breaking Biology Technology: