Send to

Choose Destination
PLoS One. 2014 Jun 5;9(6):e98870. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0098870. eCollection 2014.

Ocular and extraocular expression of opsins in the rhopalium of Tripedalia cystophora (Cnidaria: Cubozoa).

Author information

Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology, University of California at Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, California, United States of America.
Marine Biological Section, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.


A growing body of work on the neuroethology of cubozoans is based largely on the capabilities of the photoreceptive tissues, and it is important to determine the molecular basis of their light sensitivity. The cubozoans rely on 24 special purpose eyes to extract specific information from a complex visual scene to guide their behavior in the habitat. The lens eyes are the most studied photoreceptive structures, and the phototransduction in the photoreceptor cells is based on light sensitive opsin molecules. Opsins are photosensitive transmembrane proteins associated with photoreceptors in eyes, and the amino acid sequence of the opsins determines the spectral properties of the photoreceptors. Here we show that two distinct opsins (Tripedalia cystophora-lens eye expressed opsin and Tripedalia cystophora-neuropil expressed opsin, or Tc-leo and Tc-neo) are expressed in the Tripedalia cystophora rhopalium. Quantitative PCR determined the level of expression of the two opsins, and we found Tc-leo to have a higher amount of expression than Tc-neo. In situ hybridization located Tc-leo expression in the retinal photoreceptors of the lens eyes where the opsin is involved in image formation. Tc-neo is expressed in a confined part of the neuropil and is probably involved in extraocular light sensation, presumably in relation to diurnal activity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center