Background: Twin-tail ornamental goldfish have “bifurcated median fins,” a peculiar morphology known to be caused by a mutation in the chdA gene. However, several ambiguities regarding the development of the phenotype remain due to a paucity of detailed observations covering the entire developmental timeframe. Results: Here, we report a detailed comparative description of embryonic and postembryonic development for two representative twin-tail ornamental goldfish strains and single-tail common goldfish. Our observations reveal a polymorphic developmental process for bifurcated median fins; disrupted axial skeletal development at early larval stages; and modified bilateral location of the pelvic fin. Conclusions: Variations in development of bifurcated median fins and disrupted axial skeletal patterns reflect how artificial selection for adult morphological features influenced molecular developmental mechanisms during the domestication of twin-tail ornamental goldfish. The polymorphic appearance of bifurcated median fins also implies that, unlike previously proposed hypotheses, the development of these structures is controlled by molecular mechanisms independent of those acting on the pelvic fin. Our present findings will facilitate further study of how modifications of preexisting developmental systems may contribute to novel morphological features. Developmental Dynamics 248:251–283, 2019.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental Biology