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Yule Contributes to Study on Coregonus kiyi Deep Water Vision Evolution

February 12, 2021

Examination of genetic variation in kiyi related to vision adaptations compared to coregonines found in shallower water

juvenile kiyi
A juvenile kiyi caught during a 2015 survey in Lake Superior.  These fish were used in a genetics study how vision adapts to differing light conditions. These fish are inhabit deeper waters than many other coregonine species in Lake Superior and have adapted to the lower light levels.

Dan Yule (GLSC, Ashland, Wisconsin) worked with researchers at the University of Buffalo on a recently published a paper entitled, “Nanopore amplicon sequencing reveals molecular convergence and local adaptation of rhodopsin in Great Lakes Salmonids,” in Genome Biology and Evolution. Rhodopsin plays a key role in color vision. Kiyi (Coregonus kiyi) have different alleles in this gene than other Lake Superior coregonines sampled in shallow water, matching differences in light availability at depths occupied by the different species. These changes provide some insight into how genetic variation relates to ecological differentiation—in this case how vision adapts to different light environments. The work was funded by a grant received by the Great Lakes Fishery Commission. Read the University of Buffalo press release at

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