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Photoreceptor topography and spectral sensitivity in the common brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula)

Vlahos,LM, Knott,B, Valter,K and Hemmi,JM 2014, Photoreceptor topography and spectral sensitivity in the common brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula), Journal of comparative neurology, vol. 522, no. 15, pp. 3423-3436, doi: 10.1002/cne.23610.

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Title Photoreceptor topography and spectral sensitivity in the common brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula)
Author(s) Vlahos,LM
Knott,B
Valter,K
Hemmi,JM
Journal name Journal of comparative neurology
Volume number 522
Issue number 15
Start page 3423
End page 3436
Total pages 14
Publisher John Wiley & Sons
Place of publication Hoboken, NJ
Publication date 2014-10-15
ISSN 1096-9861
Keyword(s) color vision
cone
immunohistochemistry
mammal
marsupial
microspectrophotometry
retina
rod
Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Neurosciences
Zoology
Neurosciences & Neurology
WALLABY MACROPUS-EUGENII
CONE VISUAL PIGMENTS
OPOSSUM DIDELPHIS-VIRGINIANA
FAT-TAILED DUNNART
GANGLION-CELLS
TAMMAR WALLABY
MONOCLONAL-ANTIBODIES
AUSTRALIAN MARSUPIALS
TARSIPES-ROSTRATUS
OIL DROPLETS
Summary Marsupials are believed to be the only non-primate mammals with both trichromatic and dichromatic color vision. The diversity of color vision systems present in marsupials remains mostly unexplored. Marsupials occupy a diverse range of habitats, which may have led to considerable variation in the presence, density, distribution, and spectral sensitivity of retinal photoreceptors. In this study we analyzed the distribution of photoreceptors in the common brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula). Immunohistochemistry in wholemounts revealed three cone subpopulations recognized within two spectrally distinct cone classes. Long-wavelength sensitive (LWS) single cones were the largest cone subgroup (67-86%), and formed a weak horizontal visual streak (peak density 2,106 ± 435/mm2) across the central retina. LWS double cones were strongly concentrated ventrally (569 ± 66/mm2), and created a "negative" visual streak (134 ± 45/mm2) in the central retina. The strong regionalization between LWS cone topographies suggests differing visual functions. Short-wavelength sensitive (SWS) cones were present in much lower densities (3-10%), mostly located ventrally (179 ± 101/mm2). A minority population of cones (0-2.4%) remained unlabeled by both SWS- and LWS-specific antibodies, and may represent another cone population. Microspectrophotometry of LWS cone and rod visual pigments shows peak spectral sensitivities at 544 nm and 500 nm, respectively. Cone to ganglion cell convergences remain low and constant across the retina, thereby maintaining good visual acuity, but poor contrast sensitivity during photopic vision. Given that brushtail possums are so strongly nocturnal, we hypothesize that their acuity is set by the scotopic visual system, and have minimized the number of cones necessary to serve the ganglion cells for photopic vision.
Language eng
DOI 10.1002/cne.23610
Field of Research 059999 Environmental Sciences not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970105 Expanding Knowledge in the Environmental Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2014, John Wiley & Sons
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30072260

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