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Color discrimination in the red range with only one long-wavelength sensitive opsin

Zaccardi, Guillermo LU ; Kelber, Almut LU ; Sison-Mangus, MP and Briscoe, AD (2006) In Journal of Experimental Biology 209(10). p.1944-1955
Abstract
The basic precondition for color vision is the presence of at least two receptor types with different spectral sensitivities. The sensitivity of a receptor is mostly defined by the opsin-based visual pigment expressed in it. We show here, through behavioral experiments, that the nymphalid butterfly Heliconius erato, although it expresses short and medium wavelength opsins and only one long wavelength opsin, discriminates colors in the long-wavelength range (590 nm, 620 nm and 640 nm), whereas another nymphalid, Vanessa atalanta, despite having color vision, is unable to do so. In the eyes of H. erato we identified filtering pigments very close to the rhabdom which differ between ommatidia and produce the yellow and red ommatidial... (More)
The basic precondition for color vision is the presence of at least two receptor types with different spectral sensitivities. The sensitivity of a receptor is mostly defined by the opsin-based visual pigment expressed in it. We show here, through behavioral experiments, that the nymphalid butterfly Heliconius erato, although it expresses short and medium wavelength opsins and only one long wavelength opsin, discriminates colors in the long-wavelength range (590 nm, 620 nm and 640 nm), whereas another nymphalid, Vanessa atalanta, despite having color vision, is unable to do so. In the eyes of H. erato we identified filtering pigments very close to the rhabdom which differ between ommatidia and produce the yellow and red ommatidial reflection seen under orthodromic illumination. The eyes of V. atalanta lack the filtering pigments, and reflect a homogeneous orange. We hypothesize that the filtering pigments found in the eyes of H. erato may shift the spectral sensitivity peak of the long wavelength receptors in some ommatidia towards longer wavelengths. The comparison of the signals between the two new receptor types makes color discrimination in the red range possible. To our knowledge, this is the first behavioral proof of color vision based on receptors expressing the same opsin. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
; ; and
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
color vision, butterfly, Heliconius erato, filter pigment, insect, opsin
in
Journal of Experimental Biology
volume
209
issue
10
pages
1944 - 1955
publisher
The Company of Biologists Ltd
external identifiers
  • wos:000237236500020
  • pmid:16651559
  • scopus:33745640727
ISSN
1477-9145
DOI
10.1242/jeb.02207
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
1d9d4120-4e95-42e4-b09b-19c16d47bc43 (old id 410414)
date added to LUP
2016-04-01 11:33:05
date last changed
2021-08-11 03:04:05
@article{1d9d4120-4e95-42e4-b09b-19c16d47bc43,
  abstract     = {The basic precondition for color vision is the presence of at least two receptor types with different spectral sensitivities. The sensitivity of a receptor is mostly defined by the opsin-based visual pigment expressed in it. We show here, through behavioral experiments, that the nymphalid butterfly Heliconius erato, although it expresses short and medium wavelength opsins and only one long wavelength opsin, discriminates colors in the long-wavelength range (590 nm, 620 nm and 640 nm), whereas another nymphalid, Vanessa atalanta, despite having color vision, is unable to do so. In the eyes of H. erato we identified filtering pigments very close to the rhabdom which differ between ommatidia and produce the yellow and red ommatidial reflection seen under orthodromic illumination. The eyes of V. atalanta lack the filtering pigments, and reflect a homogeneous orange. We hypothesize that the filtering pigments found in the eyes of H. erato may shift the spectral sensitivity peak of the long wavelength receptors in some ommatidia towards longer wavelengths. The comparison of the signals between the two new receptor types makes color discrimination in the red range possible. To our knowledge, this is the first behavioral proof of color vision based on receptors expressing the same opsin.},
  author       = {Zaccardi, Guillermo and Kelber, Almut and Sison-Mangus, MP and Briscoe, AD},
  issn         = {1477-9145},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {10},
  pages        = {1944--1955},
  publisher    = {The Company of Biologists Ltd},
  series       = {Journal of Experimental Biology},
  title        = {Color discrimination in the red range with only one long-wavelength sensitive opsin},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1242/jeb.02207},
  doi          = {10.1242/jeb.02207},
  volume       = {209},
  year         = {2006},
}