Microsatellite variation demonstrates multiple paternity in lekking cichlid fishes from Lake Malawi, Africa

K. A. Kellogg, J. A. Markert, J. R. Stauffer, T. D. Kocher

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138 Scopus citations


The genotypes of two microsatellite loci were determined for the mouthbrooded progeny of 13 females, representing seven species of both rock- and sand-dwelling Lake Malawi cichlid fishes. Multiple paternity is clearly demonstrated for all but two broods. One brood contained the progeny of at least six males. Heterozygosity of these two microsatellite loci in a sample of 18 male Copadichromis cyclicos was 89 % and 83 %, respectively. Each locus displayed 16 alleles among the 18 males. The expected average exclusion probability using both loci, given a mother/offspring pair, is 0.968, suggesting that microsatellite variation will be useful for quantifying mate choice in these taxa. The low heterozygosity of a Melanochromis auratus brood is consistent with reduced levels of mtDNA polymorphism previously documented in this species. Thus microsatellite variation may provide insight into the genetic history of these populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-84
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Issue number1357
StatePublished - 1995

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Environmental Science
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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