Avian retinal oil droplets : dietary manipulation of colour vision?

Knott, Ben, Berg, Mathew L., Morgan, Eric R., Buchanan, Katherine L., Bowmaker, James K. and Bennett, Andrew T. D. 2010, Avian retinal oil droplets : dietary manipulation of colour vision?, Proceedings of the Royal Society B-biological sciences, vol. 277, no. 1683, pp. 953-962.

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Title Avian retinal oil droplets : dietary manipulation of colour vision?
Author(s) Knott, Ben
Berg, Mathew L.
Morgan, Eric R.
Buchanan, Katherine L.
Bowmaker, James K.
Bennett, Andrew T. D.
Journal name Proceedings of the Royal Society B-biological sciences
Volume number 277
Issue number 1683
Start page 953
End page 962
Total pages 10
Publisher The Royal Society
Place of publication London, England
Publication date 2010-03-22
ISSN 0962-8452
1471-2954
Keyword(s) avian vision
retinal oil droplets
carotenoids
colour vision
visual ecology
resource allocation
Summary Avian vision is highly developed, with bird retinas containing rod and double-cone photoreceptors, plus four classes of single cones subserving tetrachromatic colour vision. Cones contain an oil droplet, rich in carotenoid pigments (except VS/ultraviolet-sensitive cones), that acts as a filter, substantially modifying light detected by the photoreceptor. Using dietary manipulations, we tested the effects of carotenoid availability on oil droplet absorbance properties in two species: Platycercus elegans and Taeniopygia guttata. Using microspectrophotometry, we determined whether manipulations affected oil droplet carotenoid concentration and whether changes would alter colour discrimination ability. In both species, increases in carotenoid concentration were found in carotenoid-supplemented birds, but only in the double cones. Magnitudes of effects of manipulations were often dependent on retinal location. The study provides, to our knowledge, the first experimental evidence of dietary intake over a short time period affecting carotenoid concentration of retinal oil droplets. Moreover, the allocation of carotenoids to the retina by both species is such that the change potentially preserves the spectral tuning of colour vision. Our study generates new insights into retinal regulation of carotenoid concentration of oil droplets, an area about which very little is known, with implications for our understanding of trade-offs in carotenoid allocation in birds.
Language eng
Field of Research 060299 Ecology not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 960899 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity of Environments not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
HERDC collection year 2010
Copyright notice ©2009, The Royal Society
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30021488

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Created: Fri, 08 Jan 2010, 10:43:59 EST by Ben Knott

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