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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2003 Jul 08;10014:8308-13. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1532535100.
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Molecular analysis of the evolutionary significance of ultraviolet vision in vertebrates.

Shi Y , Yokoyama S .

Many fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and some mammals use UV vision for such basic activities as foraging, mate selection, and communication. UV vision is mediated by UV pigments in the short wavelength-sensitive type 1 (SWS1) group that absorb light maximally (lambda max) at approximately 360 nm. Reconstructed SWS1 pigments of most vertebrate ancestors have lambda max values of approximately 360 nm, whereas the ancestral avian pigment has a lambda max value of 393 nm. In the nonavian lineage, UV vision in many modern species is inherited directly from the vertebrate ancestor, whereas violet vision in others has evolved by different amino acid replacements at approximately 10 specific sites. In the avian lineage, the origin of the violet pigment and the subsequent restoration of UV pigments in some species are caused by amino acid replacements F49V/F86S/L116V/S118A and S90C, respectively. The use of UV vision is associated strongly with UV-dependent behaviors of organisms. When UV light is not available or is unimportant to organisms, the SWS1 gene can become nonfunctional, as exemplified by coelacanth and dolphin.

PubMed ID: 12824471
PMC ID: PMC166225
Article link: Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A

Species referenced: Xenopus
Genes referenced: opn1lw opn1sw opn3 opn4 opn5 opn8 zswim7

References [+] :
Bennett, Ultraviolet vision in birds: what is its function? 1994, Pubmed