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The evolution of eyes and visually guided behaviour

Nilsson, Dan-E LU (2009) In Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 364(1531). p.2833-2847
Abstract
The morphology and molecular mechanisms of animal photoreceptor cells and eyes reveal a complex pattern of duplications and co-option of genetic modules, leading to a number of different light-sensitive systems that share many components, in which clear-cut homologies are rare. On the basis of molecular and morphological findings, I discuss the functional requirements for vision and how these have constrained the evolution of eyes. The fact that natural selection on eyes acts through the consequences of visually guided behaviour leads to a concept of task-punctuated evolution, where sensory systems evolve by a sequential acquisition of sensory tasks. I identify four key innovations that, one after the other, paved the way for the evolution... (More)
The morphology and molecular mechanisms of animal photoreceptor cells and eyes reveal a complex pattern of duplications and co-option of genetic modules, leading to a number of different light-sensitive systems that share many components, in which clear-cut homologies are rare. On the basis of molecular and morphological findings, I discuss the functional requirements for vision and how these have constrained the evolution of eyes. The fact that natural selection on eyes acts through the consequences of visually guided behaviour leads to a concept of task-punctuated evolution, where sensory systems evolve by a sequential acquisition of sensory tasks. I identify four key innovations that, one after the other, paved the way for the evolution of efficient eyes. These innovations are (i) efficient photopigments, (ii) directionality through screening pigment, (iii) photoreceptor membrane folding, and (iv) focusing optics. A corresponding evolutionary sequence is suggested, starting at non-directional monitoring of ambient luminance and leading to comparisons of luminances within a scene, first by a scanning mode and later by parallel spatial channels in imaging eyes. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
evolution, vision, eye, visual information, visual task, photoreceptor
in
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
volume
364
issue
1531
pages
2833 - 2847
publisher
Royal Society Publishing
external identifiers
  • wos:000269378800005
  • scopus:70349668307
  • pmid:19720648
ISSN
1471-2970
DOI
10.1098/rstb.2009.0083
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
ba28069e-0756-49ea-acdc-f82b78577d70 (old id 1475814)
date added to LUP
2016-04-01 14:57:07
date last changed
2021-10-06 03:06:29
@article{ba28069e-0756-49ea-acdc-f82b78577d70,
  abstract     = {The morphology and molecular mechanisms of animal photoreceptor cells and eyes reveal a complex pattern of duplications and co-option of genetic modules, leading to a number of different light-sensitive systems that share many components, in which clear-cut homologies are rare. On the basis of molecular and morphological findings, I discuss the functional requirements for vision and how these have constrained the evolution of eyes. The fact that natural selection on eyes acts through the consequences of visually guided behaviour leads to a concept of task-punctuated evolution, where sensory systems evolve by a sequential acquisition of sensory tasks. I identify four key innovations that, one after the other, paved the way for the evolution of efficient eyes. These innovations are (i) efficient photopigments, (ii) directionality through screening pigment, (iii) photoreceptor membrane folding, and (iv) focusing optics. A corresponding evolutionary sequence is suggested, starting at non-directional monitoring of ambient luminance and leading to comparisons of luminances within a scene, first by a scanning mode and later by parallel spatial channels in imaging eyes.},
  author       = {Nilsson, Dan-E},
  issn         = {1471-2970},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1531},
  pages        = {2833--2847},
  publisher    = {Royal Society Publishing},
  series       = {Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences},
  title        = {The evolution of eyes and visually guided behaviour},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2009.0083},
  doi          = {10.1098/rstb.2009.0083},
  volume       = {364},
  year         = {2009},
}