Spectral sensitivity of cone photoreceptors and opsin expression in two colour-divergent lineages of the lizard Ctenophorus decresii

Yewers, Madeleine S., McLean, Claire A., Moussalli, Adnan, Stuart-Fox, Devi, Bennett, Andrew T.D. and Knott, Ben 2015, Spectral sensitivity of cone photoreceptors and opsin expression in two colour-divergent lineages of the lizard Ctenophorus decresii, Journal of experimental biology, vol. 218, pp. 1556-1563, doi: 10.1242/jeb.119404.

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Title Spectral sensitivity of cone photoreceptors and opsin expression in two colour-divergent lineages of the lizard Ctenophorus decresii
Author(s) Yewers, Madeleine S.
McLean, Claire A.
Moussalli, Adnan
Stuart-Fox, Devi
Bennett, Andrew T.D.ORCID iD for Bennett, Andrew T.D. orcid.org/0000-0001-8512-2805
Knott, Ben
Journal name Journal of experimental biology
Volume number 218
Start page 1556
End page 1563
Total pages 8
Publisher The Company of Biologists
Place of publication Cambridge, Eng.
Publication date 2015
ISSN 1477-9145
Keyword(s) Agamidae
Ctenophorus decresii
Visual pigment
Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Life Sciences & Biomedicine - Other Topics
Summary Intraspecific differences in sensory perception are rarely reported but may occur when a species range extends across varying sensory environments, or there is coevolution between the sensory system and a varying signal. Examples in colour vision and colour signals are rare in terrestrial systems. The tawny dragon lizard Ctenophorus decresii is a promising candidate for such intraspecific variation, because the species comprises two geographically and genetically distinct lineages in which throat colour (a social signal used in intra- and inter-specific interactions) is locally adapted to the habitat and differs between lineages. Male lizards from the southern lineage have UV-blue throats, whereas males from the northern lineage are polymorphic with four discrete throat colours that all show minimal UV reflectance. Here, we determine the cone photoreceptor spectral sensitivities and opsin expression of the two lineages, to test whether they differ, particularly in the UV wavelengths. Using microspectrophotometry on retinal cone photoreceptors, we identified a long-wavelength-sensitive (LWS) visual pigment, a 'short' and 'long' medium-wavelength-sensitive (MWS) pigment and a short-wavelength-sensitive (SWS) pigment, all of which did not differ in λmax between lineages. Through transcriptome analysis of opsin genes we found that both lineages express four cone opsin genes, including the SWS1 opsin with peak sensitivity in the UV range, and that amino acid sequences did not differ between lineages with the exception of a single leucine to valine substitution in the RH2 opsin. Counts of yellow and transparent oil droplets associated with LWS+MWS and SWS+UVS cones, respectively, showed no difference in relative cone proportions between lineages. Therefore, contrary to predictions, we find no evidence of differences between lineages in single cone photoreceptor spectral sensitivity or opsin expression. However, we confirm the presence of four single cone classes, suggesting tetrachromacy in C. decresii, and we also provide the first evidence of UV sensitivity in agamid lizards.
Language eng
DOI 10.1242/jeb.119404
Field of Research 060399 Evolutionary Biology not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 960805 Flora
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2015, The Company of Biologists
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30082187

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