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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2000 Jun 20;97(13):7366-71.

Ultraviolet pigments in birds evolved from violet pigments by a single amino acid change.

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  • 1Department of Biology, Syracuse University, 130 College Place, Syracuse, NY 13244, USA. syokoyama@mailbox.syr.edu

Abstract

UV vision has profound effects on the evolution of organisms by affecting such behaviors as mating preference and foraging strategies. Despite its importance, the molecular basis of UV vision is not known. Here, we have transformed the zebra finch UV pigment into a violet pigment by incorporating one amino acid change, C84S. By incorporating the reverse mutations, we have also constructed UV pigments from the orthologous violet pigments of the pigeon and chicken. These results and comparative amino acid sequence analyses of the pigments in vertebrates demonstrate that many avian species have achieved their UV vision by S84C.

PMID:
10861005
PMCID:
PMC16551
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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