Walter Salzburger

Walter Salzburger
University of Basel | UNIBAS · Zoological Institute

Dr.

About

557
Publications
89,203
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12,677
Citations
Citations since 2016
132 Research Items
7243 Citations
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201620172018201920202021202202004006008001,0001,200
201620172018201920202021202202004006008001,0001,200

Publications

Publications (557)
Article
Full-text available
Cichlid fishes are an important model system in evolutionary biology, primarily because of their exceptional diversity. However , while some cichlid assemblages, such as the ones of the African Great Lakes, have received considerable attention, others are not well studied, including many riverine species. Here, we focus on the Australoheros autrani...
Article
The small cyprinid genus Prolabeops Schultz 1941 is restricted to the Nyong and Sanaga River systems in Cameroon. In the past, the genus had been suggested to be either a member of the Labeoninae, Torinae or the Smiliogastrinae mainly on the basis of morphological similarities and it nowadays is considered as incertae sedis within the Cypriniformes...
Article
African cichlids (subfamily: Pseudocrenilabrinae) are among the most diverse vertebrates, and their propensity for repeated rapid radiation has made them a celebrated model system in evolutionary research. Nonetheless, despite numerous studies, phylogenetic uncertainty persists, and riverine lineages remain comparatively underrepresented in higher-...
Preprint
Full-text available
With the advent of high-throughput genome sequencing, bioinformatics training has become essential for research in evolutionary biology and related fields. However, individual research groups are often not in the position to teach students about the most up-to-date methodology in the field. To fill this gap, extended bioinformatics courses have bee...
Article
Full-text available
The visual sensory system is essential for animals to perceive their environment and is thus under strong selection. In aquatic environments, light intensity and spectrum differ primarily along a depth gradient. Rhodopsin (RH1) is the only opsin responsible for dim‐light vision in vertebrates and has been shown to evolve in response to the respecti...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding the dynamics of speciation is a central topic in evolutionary biology. Here, we investigated how morphological and genomic differentiation accumulated along the speciation continuum in the African cichlid fish Astatotilapia burtoni. While morphological differentiation was continuously distributed across different lake-stream populatio...
Article
Visual opsin genes expressed in the rod and cone photoreceptor cells of the retina are core components of the visual sensory system of vertebrates. Here, we provide an overview of the dynamic evolution of visual opsin genes in the most species-rich group of vertebrates, teleost fishes. The examination of the rich genomic resources now available for...
Article
Full-text available
Evolutionary innovations can facilitate diversification if the novel trait enables a lineage to exploit new niches or by expanding character space. The elaborate pharyngeal jaw apparatus of cichlid fishes is often referred to as an evolutionary “key innovation” that has promoted the spectacular adaptive radiations in these fishes. This goes back to...
Article
Sex is a fundamental trait determined by environmental and/or genetic factors, including sex chromosomes. Sex chromosomes are studied in species scattered across the tree of life, yet little is known about tempo and mode of sex chromosome evolution among closely related species. Here, we examine sex chromosome evolution in the adaptive radiation of...
Article
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The morphology of fish scales has been investigated for > 200 years, but research on evolutionary patterns of scale morphology is scarce. Here, we study scale morphology and its evolution in the adaptive radiation of cichlid fishes from Lake Tanganyika, which are known for their exceptional diversity in habitat use, feeding ecology and morphology....
Preprint
Full-text available
Understanding the drivers and dynamics of diversification is a central topic in evolutionary biology. Here, we investigated the dynamics of diversification in the cichlid fish Astatotilapia burtoni that diverged along a lake-stream environmental gradient. Whole-genome and morphometric analyses revealed that divergent selection was essential at the...
Article
Adaptive radiation is a major source of biodiversity. Still, many aspects of this evolutionary process remain poorly understood. Our recent integrative examination of the cichlid adaptive radiation in African Lake Tanganyika provides new insights into the process of explosive diversification. The in-depth phylogenetic comparative analysis of nearly...
Article
Evolutionary radiations are responsible for much of the variation in biodiversity. Cichlid fishes are well known for spectacular evolutionary radiations, as they have repeatedly evolved into large and phenotypically diverse arrays of species. Cichlid genomes carry signatures of past events and, at the same time, are the substrate for ongoing evolut...
Article
Full-text available
Changes in gene expression play a fundamental role in phenotypic evolution. Transcriptome evolutionary dynamics have so far mainly been compared among distantly related species and remain largely unexplored during rapid organismal diversification, in which gene regulatory changes have been suggested as particularly effective drivers of phenotypic d...
Article
Full-text available
Adaptive radiation is the likely source of much of the ecological and morphological diversity of life1–4. How adaptive radiations proceed and what determines their extent remains unclear in most cases1,4. Here we report the in-depth examination of the spectacular adaptive radiation of cichlid fishes in Lake Tanganyika. On the basis of whole-genome...
Article
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Cichlid fishes are celebrated for their vast taxonomic, phenotypic, and ecological diversity; however, a central aspect of their evolution - the timeline of their diversification - remains contentious. Here, we generate draft genome assemblies of 14 species representing the global cichlid diversity and integrate these into a new phylogenomic hypoth...
Article
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Variation in gene expression contributes to ecological speciation by facilitating population persistence in novel environments. Likewise, immune responses can be of relevance in speciation driven by adaptation to different environments. Previous studies examining gene expression differences between recently diverged ecotypes have often relied on on...
Preprint
Full-text available
Sex is a fundamental trait that is determined, depending on the species, by different environmental and/or genetic factors, including various types of sex chromosomes. However, while the functioning and evolution of sex chromosomes have been explored in species scattered across the eukaryotic tree of life, little is known about tempo and mode of se...
Article
Full-text available
Food resource specialization within novel environments is considered a common axis of diversification in adaptive radiations. Feeding specializations are often coupled with striking morphological adaptations and exemplify the relation between morphology and diet (phenotype–environment correlations), as seen in, for example, Darwin finches, Hawaiian...
Article
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Many animals can modify the environments in which they live, thereby changing the selection pressures they experience. A common example of such niche construction is the use, creation or modification of environmental resources for use as nests or shelters. Because these resources often have correlated structural elements, it can be difficult to dis...
Article
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The Neogene and Quaternary are characterized by enormous changes in global climate and environments, including global cooling and the establishment of northern high-latitude glaciers. These changes reshaped global ecosystems, including the emergence of tropical dry forests and savannahs that are found in Africa today, which in turn may have influen...
Preprint
Full-text available
Many animals can modify the environments in which they live, thereby changing the selection pressures they experience. A common example of such niche-construction is the use, creation, or modification of environmental resources for use as nests or shelters. Because these resources often have correlated structural elements, it can be difficult to di...
Article
Full-text available
Background and Aims: Environmental DNA (eDNA) metabarcoding provides a highly sensitive method of surveying freshwater fish communities, although studies to date have largely been restricted to temperate ecosystems. Due to limited reference sequence availability and challenges identifying closely related and rare species in diverse tropical ecosyst...
Article
The Neogene and Quaternary are characterized by enormous changes in global climate and environments, including global cooling and the establishment of northern high-latitude glaciers. These changes reshaped global ecosystems, including the emergence of tropical dry forests and savannahs that are found in Africa today, which in turn may have influen...
Article
Full-text available
The adaptive radiation of cichlid fishes in East Afrian Lake Malawi encompasses over 500 species that are believed to have evolved within the last 800 thousand years from a common founder population. It has been proposed that hybridisation between ancestral lineages can provide the genetic raw material to fuel such exceptionally high diversificatio...
Article
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Background The impressive adaptive radiation of notothenioid fishes in Antarctic waters is generally thought to have been facilitated by an evolutionary key innovation, antifreeze glycoproteins, permitting the rapid evolution of more than 120 species subsequent to the Antarctic glaciation. By way of contrast, the second-most species-rich notothenio...
Article
Full-text available
Dam constructions cause fundamental changes in the natural landscape, creating new ecological and evolutionary challenges for aquatic organisms. In some cases, such water impoundments have been related with morphological changes in organisms. Understanding how populations respond to rapid environmental changes imposed by dams is the first step to e...
Article
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Cichlid fishes, with their repeated colonization of lakes and subsequent radiations at different scales of phylogenetic and ecological diversification, offer an excellent model system to understand the factors shaping the host-gut microbiota association in nature. Here, we characterized the gut microbiota of the Amphilophus species complex from Cen...
Article
In deep‐water animals, visual sensory system is often challenged by the dim‐light environment. Here, we focus on the molecular mechanisms involved in rapid deep‐water adaptations. We examine visual system evolution in a small‐scale yet phenotypically and ecologically diverse adaptive radiation, the species flock of cichlid fishes in deep crater lak...
Article
Although sexual dimorphism is widespread in nature, its evolutionary causes often remain elusive. Here we report a case where a sex-specific conflicting functional demand related to parental care, but not to sexual selection, explains sexual dimorphism in a primarily trophic structure, the gill rakers of cichlid fishes. More specifically, we examin...
Preprint
Full-text available
The adaptive radiation of cichlid fishes in East Afrian Lake Malawi encompasses over 500 species that are believed to have evolved within the last 800 thousand years from a common founder population. It has been proposed that hybridisation between ancestral lineages can provide the genetic raw material to fuel such exceptionally high diversificatio...
Article
Full-text available
Ancient Lake Tanganyika in East Africa houses the world's ecologically and morphologically most diverse assemblage of cichlid fishes, and the third most species-rich after lakes Malawi and Victoria. Despite long-lasting scientific interest in the cichlid species flocks of the East African Great Lakes, for example in the context of adaptive radiatio...
Article
Fish catch color with rods Vertebrates are typically thought to have a consistent system for processing light, in which multiple cone opsins permit color vision during the day, but a single rod opsin provides only monochrome vision in the dark. Musilova et al. analyzed more than 100 deep-sea fish genomes and found a previously unknown proliferatio...
Article
How new species form in the ocean, and thus what determines the diversity of fish in the sea, is not well understood. A study in Caribbean coral-reef fishes sheds light on the genomic underpinnings of diversification in the marine realm.
Article
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Feeding upon the scales of other fish— lepidophagy—is a highly specialized foraging strategy in fish. Scale-eating is rare in teleosts, yet has evolved several times in East African cichlids, the most famous case being the Perissodini clade in Lake Tanganyika. Here, we examined the prey spectrum of the scale- eater Perissodus microlepis (Boulenger,...
Article
Full-text available
Differences in habitat and diet between species are often associated with morphological differences. Habitat and trophic adaptation have therefore been proposed as important drivers of speciation and adaptive radiation. Importantly, habitat and diet shifts likely impose changes in exposure to different parasites and infection risk. As strong select...
Article
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A key question in ecological speciation is to understand the causes and consequences of phenotypic divergence among populations. In this work, we analyzed the body shape and size variation in Jenynsia lineata across different coastal habitats along the Atlantic coast of South America. We hypothesized that J. lineata presents morphological variation...
Article
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1.Available underwater visual census methods such as line transects or point count observations are widely used to obtain community data of underwater species assemblages, despite their known pit‐falls. As interest in the community structure of aquatic life is growing, there is need for more standardized and replicable methods for acquiring underwa...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Differential gene expression can be translated into differing phenotypic traits. Especially during embryogenesis, specific gene expression networks regulate the development of different body structures. Cichlid fishes, with their impressive phenotypic diversity and propensity to radiate, are an emerging model system in the genomics era...
Article
Full-text available
Why sex chromosomes turn over and remain undifferentiated in some taxa, whereas they degenerate in others, is still an area of ongoing research. The recurrent occurrence of homologous and homomorphic sex chromosomes in distantly related taxa suggests their independent evolution or continued recombination since their first emergence. Fishes display...
Conference Paper
Sensory adaptation is essential for animal survival and reproduction. As species are constantly challenged by their environment (e.g. predator-prey interactions, reproduction, finding food), their sensory systems are very diverse and highly micro-habitat specific, thus enabling the direct detection of environmental conditions and changes in the sur...
Article
Understanding how reproductive barriers evolve and which barriers contribute to speciation requires the examination of organismal lineages that are still in the process of diversification and the study of the full range of reproductive barriers acting at different life stages. Lake and river ecotypes of the East African cichlid fish Astatotilapia b...
Preprint
Full-text available
Vertebrate vision is accomplished through a set of light-sensitive photopigments, which are located in the photoreceptors of the retina and consist of a visual opsin protein bound to a chromophore. In dim-light, vertebrates generally rely upon a single rod opsin (RH1) for obtaining visual information. By inspecting 101 fish genomes, we found that t...
Article
Owing to their taxonomic, phenotypic, ecological and behavioural diversity and propensity for explosive diversification, the assemblages of cichlid fish in the East African Great Lakes Victoria, Malawi and Tanganyika are important role models in evolutionary biology. With the release of five reference genomes and many additional genomic resources,...
Article
Random asymmetry, that is the co‐existence of left‐ and right‐sided (or ‐handed) individuals within a population, is a particular case of natural variation; what triggers and maintains such dimorphisms remains unknown in most cases. Here, we report a field‐based cage experiment in the scale‐eating Tanganyikan cichlid Perissodus microlepis (Boulenge...
Article
Full-text available
Adaptive phenotypic plasticity and fixed genotypic differences have long been considered opposing strategies in adaptation. More recently, these mechanisms have been proposed to act complementarily and under certain conditions jointly facilitate evolution, speciation, and even adaptive radiations. Here, we investigate the relative contributions of...
Article
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Astatotilapia burtoni is a member of the “modern haplochromines,” the most species‐rich lineage within the family of cichlid fishes. Although the species has been in use as research model in various fields of research since almost seven decades, including developmental biology, neurobiology, genetics and genomics, and behavioral biology, little is...