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Fish Chromatophores - From Molecular Motors to Animal Behavior

Review article
Authors Helen Nilsson Sköld
Sara Aspengren
Karen L. Cheney
Margareta Wallin
Published in International Review of Cell and Molecular Biology
Volume 321
Pages 171-219
ISSN 1937-6448
Publication year 2016
Published at The Sven Lovén Centre for Marine Sciences
Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences
Pages 171-219
Language en
Subject categories Biological Sciences


Chromatophores are pigment-bearing cells of lower vertebrates, including fish that cater for the ability of individual animals to shift body coloration and pattern. Color change provides dynamic camouflage and various kinds of communication. It is also a spectacular example of phenotypic plasticity, and of significant importance for adaptation and survival in novel environments. Through different cellular mechanisms, color change can occur within minutes or more slowly over weeks. Chromatophores have different pigment types and are located not only in the skin, but also in the eyes and internally. While morphological color change, including seasonal color change, has received a lot of interest from evolutionary biologists and behavioral ecologists, the more rapid physiological color change has been largely a research subject for cell physiologists. In this cross-disciplinary review, we have highlighted emerging trends in pigment cell research and identified unsolved problems for future research.

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012

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