The acquisition of environmental osmolality tolerance traits in individuals and gametes is an important event in the evolution and diversification of organisms. Although teleost fish exhibit considerable intra- and interspecific variation in salinity tolerance, the genetic mechanisms underlying this trait remain unclear. Oryzias celebensis survives in sea and fresh water during both the embryonic and adult stages, whereas its close relative Oryzias woworae cannot survive in sea water at either stage. A linkage analysis using backcross progeny identified a single locus responsible for adult hyperosmotic tolerance on a fused chromosome that corresponds to O. latipes linkage groups (LGs) 6 and 23. Conversely, O. woworae eggs fertilised with O. celebensis sperm died in sea water at the cleavage stages, whereas O. celebensis eggs fertilised with O. woworae sperm developed normally, demonstrating that maternal factor(s) from O. celebensis are responsible for hyperosmotic tolerance during early development. A further linkage analysis using backcrossed females revealed a discrete single locus relating to the maternal hyperosmotic tolerance factor in a fused chromosomal region homologous to O. latipes LGs 17 and 19. These results indicate that a maternal factor governs embryonic hyperosmotic tolerance and maps to a locus distinct from that associated with adult hyperosmotic tolerance.
ASJC Scopus subject areas