For the discussion of catfish systematics. Post here to draw our attention to new publications or to discuss existing works.
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Scarabotti, P., Govezensky, T., Bolcatto, P. & R.A. Barrio. (2020). Universal model for the skin colouration patterns of neotropical catfishes of the genus Pseudoplatystoma
. Sci Rep
, 12445. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-68700-0
Fish skin colouration has been widely studied because it involves a variety of processes that are important to the broad field of the developmental biology. Mathematical modelling of fish skin patterning first predicted the existence of morphogens and helped to elucidate the mechanisms of pattern formation. The catfishes of the genus Pseudoplatystoma
offer a good biological study model, since its species exhibit the most spectacular and amazing variations of colour patterns on the skin. They present labyrinths, closed loops (or cells), alternate spots and stripes, only spots and combinations of these. We have extended a well known mathematical model to study the skin of Pseudoplatystoma
. The basic model is a two component, non-linear reaction diffusion system that presents a richness of bifurcations. The extended model assumes that there are two interacting cell/tissue layers in which morphogens diffuse and interact giving rise to the skin colouration pattern. We have found that by varying only two parameters we are able to accurately reproduce the distinct patterns found in all species of Pseudoplatystoma
. The histological analysis of skin samples of two species of this genus, with different patterns, revealed differences on the disposition of the colouration cells that are consistent with our theoretical predictions.
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It's very interesting. Because an extrapolation is plausible. We now know that the coloring and its patterns are dependent on few genome parameters. And that they are often linked to the pressure of the biotope. So that this is surely extrapolable, for all fish. And what is most wonderful is that this map shows 4 large distinct areas of different biotope type (different pressure). For example, we unconsciously classify the corydorras in these large known areas (for example to make aquariums), avoiding for example mixing a corydoras from Rio Orinoco, with a corydoras from Rio Madeira. Now we have another form of proof, of the importance of respecting the zones. But it's even more important than that. These 4 large zones correspond, like twins, to the Large Hydrological basins. It overlaps completely.