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Proc Biol Sci. 2018 Dec 5;285(1892). pii: 20182180. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2018.2180.

Molecular palaeontology illuminates the evolution of ecdysozoan vision.

Author information

1
School of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol, Queen's Road, Bristol, UK.
2
Natural History Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark.
3
Division of Polar Earth-System Sciences, Korea Polar Research Institute, Incheon 21990, Republic of Korea.
4
Institute for Advanced Biosciences, Keio University, Tsuruoka, Yamagata, Japan.
5
Institute of Evolutionary Biology, School of Biological Sciences, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK.
6
Department of Life Sciences, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Via G. Campi 213/D, Modena, Italy.
7
School of Biological Sciences, University of Bristol, Tyndall Avenue, Bristol, UK.
8
School of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol, Queen's Road, Bristol, UK davide.pisani@bristol.ac.uk.

Abstract

Colour vision is known to have arisen only twice-once in Vertebrata and once within the Ecdysozoa, in Arthropoda. However, the evolutionary history of ecdysozoan vision is unclear. At the molecular level, visual pigments, composed of a chromophore and a protein belonging to the opsin family, have different spectral sensitivities and these mediate colour vision. At the morphological level, ecdysozoan vision is conveyed by eyes of variable levels of complexity; from the simple ocelli observed in the velvet worms (phylum Onychophora) to the marvellously complex eyes of insects, spiders, and crustaceans. Here, we explore the evolution of ecdysozoan vision at both the molecular and morphological level; combining analysis of a large-scale opsin dataset that includes previously unknown ecdysozoan opsins with morphological analyses of key Cambrian fossils with preserved eye structures. We found that while several non-arthropod ecdysozoan lineages have multiple opsins, arthropod multi-opsin vision evolved through a series of gene duplications that were fixed in a period of 35-71 million years (Ma) along the stem arthropod lineage. Our integrative study of the fossil and molecular record of vision indicates that fossils with more complex eyes were likely to have possessed a larger complement of opsin genes.

KEYWORDS:

evolution; opsin; phylogeny; vision

PMID:
30518575
PMCID:
PMC6283943
DOI:
10.1098/rspb.2018.2180
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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