Journal Article

Evolution of time-control mechanisms in subterranean organisms: cave fishes under light-dark cycles (Teleostei: Siluriformes, Characiformes)

Trajano, E., Ueno, J.C.H. and Menna-Barreto, L.

Record Number:
2586
Year:
2012
Journal:
Biological Rhythm Research
Pages:
191-203
Volume:
43
Abstract:
Subterranean organisms are excellent models for chronobiological studies, yet relatively few taxa have been investigated with this focus. Former results were interpreted as a pattern of regression of circadian locomotor activity rhythms in troglobitic (exclusively subterranean) species. In this paper we report results of experiments with cave fishes showing variable degrees of troglomorphism (reduction of eyes, melanic pigmentation and other specializations related to the hypogean life) submitted to light-dark cycles, preceded and followed by several days in constant darkness. Samples from seven species have been monitored in our laboratory for the detection of significant circadian rhythms in locomotor activity: S. typhlops, an extremely troglomophic species, presented the lowest number of significant components in the circadian range (only one individual out of eight in DD1 and three other fish in LD), all weak (low values of spectral power). Higher incidence of circadian components was observed for P. kronei only one among six studied catfish without significant circadian rhythms under DD1 and DD2; spectral powers were generally high. Intermediate situations were observed for the remaining species, however all of them presented relatively strong significant rhythms under LD. Residual oscillations (circadian rhythms in DD2) were detected in at least part of the studied individuals of all species but S. typhlops, without a correlation with spectral powers of LD rhythms, i.e., individuals exhibiting residual oscillations were not necessarily those with the strongest LD rhythms. In conclusion, the accumulated evidence for troglobitic fishes strongly supports the hypothesis of external, environmental selection for circadian locomotor rhythms.
Times Cited:
2
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