Genetic basis for the evolution of pelvic-fin brooding, a new mode of reproduction, in a Sulawesian fish

Javier Montenegro, Shingo Fujimoto, Satoshi Ansai, Atsushi J. Nagano, Masahiro Sato, Yusuke Maeda, Rieko Tanaka, Kawilarang W.A. Masengi, Ryosuke Kimura, Jun Kitano, Kazunori Yamahira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Modes of reproduction in animals are diverse, with different modes having evolved independently in multiple lineages across a variety of taxa. However, an understanding of the genomic change driving the transition between different modes of reproduction is limited. Several ricefishes (Adrianichthyidae) on the island of Sulawesi have a unique mode of reproduction called “pelvic-fin brooding,” wherein females carry externally fertilized eggs until hatching using their pelvic fins. Phylogenomic analysis demonstrated pelvic-fin brooders to have evolved at least twice in two distant clades of the Adrianichthyidae. We investigated the genetic architecture of the evolution of this unique mode of reproduction. Morphological analyses and laboratory observations revealed that females of pelvic-fin brooders have longer pelvic fins and a deeper abdominal concavity, and that they can carry an egg clutch for longer than nonbrooding adrianichthyids, suggesting that these traits play important roles in this reproductive mode. Quantitative trait locus mapping using a cross between a pelvic-fin brooder Oryzias eversi and a nonbrooding O. dopingdopingensis reveals different traits involved in pelvic-fin brooding to be controlled by different loci on different chromosomes. Genomic analyses of admixture detected no signatures of introgression between two lineages with pelvic-fin brooders, indicating that introgression is unlikely to be responsible for repeated evolution of pelvic-fin brooding. These findings suggest that multiple independent mutations may have contributed to the convergent evolution of this novel mode of reproduction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3798-3811
Number of pages14
JournalMolecular ecology
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Jul


  • Adrianichthyidae
  • genetic architecture
  • introgression
  • modes of reproduction
  • parallel evolution
  • quantitative trait locus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Genetics


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