403 pages, colour photos, colour & b/w illustrations, tables
Biology and Evolution of the Mexican Cavefish features contributions by leading researchers in a comprehensive, unique work that examines a number of distinct areas of biology – evolution, development, ecology, and behavior – using the Mexican cavefish as a powerful model system to further understanding of basic biological processes such as eye degeneration, hearing, craniofacial development, sleep, and metabolic function.
These fish are currently being used to better understand a number of issues related to human health, including age-related blindness, sleep, obesity, mood-related disorders, and aging. The recent sequencing of the cavefish genome broadens the interest of this system to groups working with diverse biological systems, and has helped researchers identify genes that regulate sleep, eye degeneration, and metabolic function.
Mexican cavefish are particularly powerful for the study of biological processes because these fish evolved independently in twenty-nine caves in the Sierra de el Abra Region of Northeast Mexico. These fish have dramatic adaptations to the cave environment, and this can be used to identify genes involved in disease-related traits.
This scholarly text will be of interest to researchers and students throughout diverse areas of biology and ecology. It includes photographs of animals and behavior in laboratory and natural settings that will also increase interest and accessibility to non-experts.
Mexican cavefish as a model for the study of evolution, development and behavior
Ecology and Evolution
1. Cave exploration and mapping in the Sierra de El Abra region
William R. Elliott
2. Hydrogeology of caves in the Sierra de El Abra region
3. Biodiversity and ecology of Sierra de El Abra caves
William R. Elliott
4. Phylogeny and evolutionary history of A. mexicanus
Claudia Patricia Ornelas-García
Genetics and Genomics
5. Population genetics and QTL mapping approaches
6. Genome sequencing and population genomics
7. Selection through standing variation
Morphology and Development
8. Regressive evolution of albinism
9. The molecular evolution of eye loss
10. The evolution of the cavefish craniofacial complex
11. Jaws and teeth: Adaptation to cave living
Tamara Franz Odenaal
12. Neural development in A. mexicanus
13. Sensory regulation of foraging behaviors in A. mexicanus
14. Feeding Behavior and starvation response
15. Evolutionary convergence of sleep loss
16. Circadian Rhythms and light entrainment
17. Social behavior and Aggression
Yannick Elipot and Helene Hinaux
18. Spatial Mapping in Perpetual Darkness: EvoDevo of Behavior in Astyanax mexicanus Cavefish
Transgenesis and future applications for cavefish research
Bill Jeffery (University of Maryland)
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