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Vision Res. 2009 Jul;49(14):1860-8. doi: 10.1016/j.visres.2009.04.023. Epub 2009 May 5.

Adaptation of visual spectra and opsin genes in seabreams.

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Marine Research Station, Institute of Cellular and Organismic Biology, Academia Sinica, Jiaoshi, I-Lan County 262, Taiwan.


Three species of seabreams, Acanthopagrus berda, Acanthopagrus schlegelii and Pagrus major, living at different depths, were chosen to investigate how visual spectra and opsin genes evolve in response to various photic environments. The lambda max of photoreceptors and opsin genes were measured and cloned from these species. Eight to twelve nm spectral shifts in the rod and blue cone cells were observed between the deep-sea, P. major, and shallow-sea species, A. berda and A. schlegelii. Furthermore, the deep-sea P. major has lost its red light vision. Six opsin genes, Rh1, Rh2A, Rh2B, SWS1, SWS2 and LWS, were identified from all three seabream species, with the LWS genes of P. major having undergone pseudogenization. These data indicate that the photic environment of habitats select for the physiology of visual spectra and coding of opsin genes.

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