Document Detail

Identification and characterization of visual pigments in caecilians (Amphibia: Gymnophiona), an order of limbless vertebrates with rudimentary eyes.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  20889838     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
In comparison with the other amphibian orders, the Anura (frogs) and Urodela (salamanders), knowledge of the visual system of the snake-like Gymnophiona (caecilians) is relatively sparse. Most caecilians are fossorial with, as far as is known any surface activity occurring mainly at night. They have relatively small, poorly developed eyes and might be expected to possess detectable changes in the spectral sensitivity of their visual pigments. Microspectrophotometry was used to determine the spectral sensitivities of the photoreceptors in three species of caecilian, Rhinatrema bivittatum, Geotrypetes seraphini and Typhlonectes natans. Only rod opsin visual pigment, which may be associated with scotopic (dim light) vision when accompanied by other 'rod-specific' components of the phototransduction cascade, was found to be present. Opsin sequences were obtained from the eyes of two species of caecilian, Ichthyophis cf. kohtaoensis and T. natans. These rod opsins were regenerated in vitro with 11-cis retinal to give pigments with spectral sensitivity peaks close to 500 nm. No evidence for cone photoreception, associated with diurnal and colour vision, was detected using molecular and physiological methods. Additionally, visual pigments are short-wavelength shifted in terms of the maximum absorption of light when compared with other amphibian lineages.
S M Mohun; W L Davies; J K Bowmaker; D Pisani; W Himstedt; D J Gower; D M Hunt; M Wilkinson
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The Journal of experimental biology     Volume:  213     ISSN:  1477-9145     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Exp. Biol.     Publication Date:  2010 Oct 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-10-04     Completed Date:  2011-01-12     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0243705     Medline TA:  J Exp Biol     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  3586-92     Citation Subset:  IM    
UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, 11-43 Bath Street, London EC1V9EL, UK.
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MeSH Terms
Amphibians / metabolism*
Bayes Theorem
Conserved Sequence / genetics
Eye / metabolism*
Retinal Pigments / metabolism*
Rod Opsins / chemistry,  genetics
Sequence Analysis, Protein
Grant Support
//Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Retinal Pigments; 0/Rod Opsins

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