• We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
Logo of pnasPNASInfo for AuthorsSubscriptionsAboutThis Article
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Dec 1990; 87(23): 9315–9318.

Convergent evolution of the red- and green-like visual pigment genes in fish, Astyanax fasciatus, and human.


We have isolated and sequenced genes from the blind cave fish, Astyanax fasciatus, that are homologous to the human red and green visual pigment genes. The data strongly suggest that, like human, these fish have one red-like visual pigment gene and multiple green-like visual pigment genes. By comparing the DNA sequences of the human and fish visual pigment genes and knowing their phylogenetic relationship, one can infer the direction of amino acid substitutions in the red and green visual pigments. The results indicate that the red pigments in human and fish evolved from the green pigment independently by identical amino acid substitutions in only a few key positions.

Full text

Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (737K), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Links to PubMed are also available for Selected References.

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Nathans J, Thomas D, Hogness DS. Molecular genetics of human color vision: the genes encoding blue, green, and red pigments. Science. 1986 Apr 11;232(4747):193–202. [PubMed]
  • Nathans J, Piantanida TP, Eddy RL, Shows TB, Hogness DS. Molecular genetics of inherited variation in human color vision. Science. 1986 Apr 11;232(4747):203–210. [PubMed]
  • Nathans J, Davenport CM, Maumenee IH, Lewis RA, Hejtmancik JF, Litt M, Lovrien E, Weleber R, Bachynski B, Zwas F, et al. Molecular genetics of human blue cone monochromacy. Science. 1989 Aug 25;245(4920):831–838. [PubMed]
  • Drummond-Borg M, Deeb S, Motulsky AG. Molecular basis of abnormal red-green color vision: a family with three types of color vision defects. Am J Hum Genet. 1988 Nov;43(5):675–683. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Drummond-Borg M, Deeb SS, Motulsky AG. Molecular patterns of X chromosome-linked color vision genes among 134 men of European ancestry. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1989 Feb;86(3):983–987. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Neitz J, Neitz M, Jacobs GH. Analysis of fusion gene and encoded photopigment of colour-blind humans. Nature. 1989 Dec 7;342(6250):679–682. [PubMed]
  • Yokoyama S, Yokoyama R. Molecular evolution of human visual pigment genes. Mol Biol Evol. 1989 Mar;6(2):186–197. [PubMed]
  • Loew ER, Lythgoe JN. The ecology of cone pigments in teleost fishes. Vision Res. 1978;18(6):715–722. [PubMed]
  • Archer SN, Lythgoe JN. The visual pigment basis for cone polymorphism in the guppy, Poecilia reticulata. Vision Res. 1990;30(2):225–233. [PubMed]
  • Yokoyama R, Yokoyama S. Isolation, DNA sequence and evolution of a color visual pigment gene of the blind cave fish Astyanax fasciatus. Vision Res. 1990;30(6):807–816. [PubMed]
  • Sanger F, Nicklen S, Coulson AR. DNA sequencing with chain-terminating inhibitors. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1977 Dec;74(12):5463–5467. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Hattori M, Hidaka S, Sakaki Y. Sequence analysis of a KpnI family member near the 3' end of human beta-globin gene. Nucleic Acids Res. 1985 Nov 11;13(21):7813–7827. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Nathans J, Hogness DS. Isolation and nucleotide sequence of the gene encoding human rhodopsin. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1984 Aug;81(15):4851–4855. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Nathans J, Hogness DS. Isolation, sequence analysis, and intron-exon arrangement of the gene encoding bovine rhodopsin. Cell. 1983 Oct;34(3):807–814. [PubMed]
  • Takao M, Yasui A, Tokunaga F. Isolation and sequence determination of the chicken rhodopsin gene. Vision Res. 1988;28(4):471–480. [PubMed]
  • Wilbur WJ, Lipman DJ. Rapid similarity searches of nucleic acid and protein data banks. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1983 Feb;80(3):726–730. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Saitou N, Nei M. The neighbor-joining method: a new method for reconstructing phylogenetic trees. Mol Biol Evol. 1987 Jul;4(4):406–425. [PubMed]
  • Chakraborty R, Nei M. Dynamics of gene differentiation between incompletely isolated populations of unequal sizes. Theor Popul Biol. 1974 Jun;5(3):460–469. [PubMed]
  • Kosower EM. Assignment of groups responsible for the "opsin shift" and light absorptions of rhodopsin and red, green, and blue iodopsins (cone pigments). Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1988 Feb;85(4):1076–1080. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Karnik SS, Sakmar TP, Chen HB, Khorana HG. Cysteine residues 110 and 187 are essential for the formation of correct structure in bovine rhodopsin. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1988 Nov;85(22):8459–8463. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Oprian DD, Molday RS, Kaufman RJ, Khorana HG. Expression of a synthetic bovine rhodopsin gene in monkey kidney cells. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1987 Dec;84(24):8874–8878. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Nathans J, Weitz CJ, Agarwal N, Nir I, Papermaster DS. Production of bovine rhodopsin by mammalian cell lines expressing cloned cDNA: spectrophotometry and subcellular localization. Vision Res. 1989;29(8):907–914. [PubMed]
  • Nathans J. Determinants of visual pigment absorbance: role of charged amino acids in the putative transmembrane segments. Biochemistry. 1990 Jan 30;29(4):937–942. [PubMed]

Articles from Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America are provided here courtesy of National Academy of Sciences


Related citations in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Cited by other articles in PMC

See all...


Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...