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Evolution of opsin genes in guppies (Poecilia reticulata) relative to male colour: a window into the genetics of mate choice

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "OPSINEVOL" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
city: LONDON
postcode: WC1E 6BT
website: n.a.

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country United Kingdom [UK]
 Project website
 Total cost 195˙454 €
 EC max contribution 195˙454 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.3.2. (Nurturing excellence by means of cross-border and cross-sector mobility)
 Code Call H2020-MSCA-IF-2014
 Funding Scheme MSCA-IF-EF-ST
 Starting year 2015
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2015-04-15   to  2017-08-15


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    UNIVERSITY COLLEGE LONDON UK (LONDON) coordinator 195˙454.00


 Project objective

The spectacular colours displayed by males during courtship often result from sexual selection by female choice. Female visual perception should therefore play a critical role in the evolution of male colours. In guppies, both sexual dimorphism and male colour have evolved multiple times as a trade-off between female preference and predation pressures. Populations under low-predation regimes have repeatedly and independently evolved more colourful, sexually dimorphic males, and females with relatively strong preferences for colour. I will study opsins, the visual pigments that mediate vision, to shed light into the evolutionary relationship between male colour and female preferences. Guppies present a unique opportunity to systematically study multiple aspects of opsin evolution, asking whether it mirrors the pattern of parallel evolution of sexually selected traits. Initially, I will use next-generation sequencing to evaluate the total number of opsin genes, their distribution through the genome and their conservation across populations. I will then study variation in opsin sequence and expression associated with the evolution of colourful and sexually dimorphic guppy populations. Finally, I will study divergence in the visual system, beyond opsins, using comparative transcriptomics of the retina and the brain’s optic lobes. The results of this work will provide a cohesive, integrative and multi-faceted understanding of the role of opsin variation in this model system of evolution by sexual selection, and will determine the role of opsins and the visual system in driving female mate preferences and male colour evolution. This project will help us understand the genetic underpinnings of key adaptive traits, linking genes to the phenotype and opening up new research agendas.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2017 Alberto Corral-López, Natasha I. Bloch, Alexander Kotrschal, Wouter van der Bijl, Severine D. Buechel, Judith E. Mank, Niclas Kolm
Female brain size affects the assessment of male attractiveness during mate choice
published pages: e1601990, ISSN: 2375-2548, DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1601990
Science Advances 3/3 2019-07-23
2017 Alison E. Wright, Iulia Darolti, Natasha I. Bloch, Vicencio Oostra, Ben Sandkam, Severine D. Buechel, Niclas Kolm, Felix Breden, Beatriz Vicoso, Judith E. Mank
Convergent recombination suppression suggests role of sexual selection in guppy sex chromosome formation
published pages: 14251, ISSN: 2041-1723, DOI: 10.1038/ncomms14251
Nature Communications 8 2019-07-23

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The information about "OPSINEVOL" are provided by the European Opendata Portal: CORDIS opendata.

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