Biology and Evolution of the Mexican Cavefish

Biology and Evolution of the Mexican Cavefish

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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.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 412 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 22.86mm | 910g
  • Academic Press Inc
  • San Diego, United States
  • English
  • colour illustrations
  • 0128021489
  • 9780128021484

Table of contents


Mexican cavefish as a model for the study of evolution, development and behavior

Clifford Tabin

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

Luis Espinasa

3. Biodiversity and ecology of Sierra de El Abra caves

William R. Elliott

4. Phylogeny and evolutionary history of A. mexicanus

Claudia Patricia Ornelas-Garcia

Genetics and Genomics

5. Population genetics and QTL mapping approaches

Richard Borowsky

6. Genome sequencing and population genomics

Suzanne McGaugh

7.Selection through standing variation

Nicholas Rohner

Morphology and Development

8. Regressive evolution of albinism

William Jeffery

9. The molecular evolution of eye loss

Yoshi Yamamoto

10. The evolution of the cavefish craniofacial complex

Joshua Gross

11. Jaws and teeth: Adaptation to cave living

Tamara Franz Odenaal

12. Neural development in A. mexicanus

Sylvie Retaux


13. Sensory regulation of foraging behaviors in A. mexicanus

Masato Yoshizawa

14. Feeding Behavior and starvation response

Helene Volkoff

15. Evolutionary convergence of sleep loss

Alex Keene

16. Circadian Rhythms and light entrainment

David Whitmore

17. Social behavior and Aggression

Yannick Elipot and Helene Hinaux

18. Spatial Mapping in Perpetual Darkness: EvoDevo of Behavior

in Astyanax mexicanus Cavefish

Ernesto Maldanato

Future Applications

Transgenesis and future applications for cavefish research

Harold Burgess

Concluding remarks

Bill Jeffery (University of Maryland)
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Review quote

"The book provides a large amount of information and fully covers the literature. Those who seek to enter the field need look no further. Overall, this book is clear evidence that the Mexican cavefish has become a powerful research system for studying organismal evolution at the population level..." --The Quarterly Review of Biology, Vol. 92, No. 4
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