Application of microsatellite markers for the genetic determination of fish reproductive behavior
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The use of hypervariable microsatellite loci to uncover cryptic patterns associated with the genetic mating systems in fish has further enhanced our knowledge of their unique and diverse reproductive biology. In separate yet related studies, microsatellite markers were developed and employed to assess the reproductive behavior in three fish species: the dollar sunfish, the Molly Miller blenny, and the mangrove killifish. Two of these studies involved formal parentage analyses to determine whether or not an alternative reproductive tactic was successfully utilized by males within the population. Our findings show that males of the Molly Miller blenny exhibit intrasexual variation in behavior in order to gain access to fertilization events, yet males of the dollar sunfish strictly adopt the bourgeois (parental) behavioral phenotype. The third study provides the first genetic evidence for reproductive outcrossing between different laboratory inbred strains of Kryptolebias marmoratus, the only known obligate self-fertilizing hermaphroditic vertebrate.