The evolution of red color vision is linked to coordinated rhodopsin tuning in lycaenid butterflies
- Journal Article
Opsins are photosensitive receptors capturing specific wavelengths of incoming light to convey color vision across animals. Lack of reliable expression systems to study invertebrate Gq opsins has limited our ability to tease apart genotype–phenotype relationships underlying spectral tuning and visual adaptations in insects compared to homologous yet phylogenetically distant vertebrate Gt opsin lineages. We developed a robust method to express invertebrate opsin proteins in vitro, which we apply to study the visual system of a lycaenid butterfly. Our detailed molecular characterization of red-shifted long-wavelength and duplicate short-wavelength Gq insect opsins, together with a broad mutagenesis approach for exploring invertebrate opsin sequence-visual pigment functions, begins pinpointing the proximate evolutionary mechanisms underlying the diversification of color vision systems across animal life. Show more
Journal / seriesProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Pages / Article No.
PublisherNational Academy of Sciences
SubjectMolecular evolution; Ecological adaptation; Visual system; Spectral sensitivity; Insects
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