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Photoreception and vision in the ultraviolet

Cronin, Thomas W. and Bok, Michael J. LU (2016) In Journal of Experimental Biology 219(18). p.2790-2801
Abstract

Ultraviolet (UV) light occupies the spectral range of wavelengths slightly shorter than those visible to humans. Because of its shorter wavelength, it is more energetic (and potentially more photodamaging) than 'visible light', and it is scattered more efficiently in air and water. Until 1990, only a few animals were recognized as being sensitive to UV light, but we now know that a great diversity, possibly even the majority, of animal species can visually detect and respond to it. Here, we discuss the history of research on biological UV photosensitivity and review current major research trends in this field. Some animals use their UV photoreceptors to control simple, innate behaviors, but most incorporate their UV receptors into their... (More)

Ultraviolet (UV) light occupies the spectral range of wavelengths slightly shorter than those visible to humans. Because of its shorter wavelength, it is more energetic (and potentially more photodamaging) than 'visible light', and it is scattered more efficiently in air and water. Until 1990, only a few animals were recognized as being sensitive to UV light, but we now know that a great diversity, possibly even the majority, of animal species can visually detect and respond to it. Here, we discuss the history of research on biological UV photosensitivity and review current major research trends in this field. Some animals use their UV photoreceptors to control simple, innate behaviors, but most incorporate their UV receptors into their general sense of vision. They not only detect UV light but recognize it as a separate color in light fields, on natural objects or living organisms, or in signals displayed by conspecifics. UV visual pigments are based on opsins, the same family of proteins that are used to detect light in conventional photoreceptors. Despite some interesting exceptions, most animal species have a single photoreceptor class devoted to the UV. The roles of UV in vision are manifold, from guiding navigation and orientation behavior, to detecting food and potential predators, to supporting high-level tasks such as mate assessment and intraspecific communication. Our current understanding of UV vision is restricted almost entirely to two phyla: arthropods and chordates (specifically, vertebrates), so there is much comparative work to be done.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Chromatic aberration, Dorsal rim, Opsin, Ultraviolet, Vision, Visual pigments
in
Journal of Experimental Biology
volume
219
issue
18
pages
12 pages
publisher
The Company of Biologists Ltd
external identifiers
  • scopus:84988683859
  • wos:000384250600007
ISSN
0022-0949
DOI
10.1242/jeb.128769
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
a6f36e34-1bde-4da9-8d6b-deed73ae7224
date added to LUP
2016-11-03 10:59:42
date last changed
2017-10-22 05:21:24
@article{a6f36e34-1bde-4da9-8d6b-deed73ae7224,
  abstract     = {<p>Ultraviolet (UV) light occupies the spectral range of wavelengths slightly shorter than those visible to humans. Because of its shorter wavelength, it is more energetic (and potentially more photodamaging) than 'visible light', and it is scattered more efficiently in air and water. Until 1990, only a few animals were recognized as being sensitive to UV light, but we now know that a great diversity, possibly even the majority, of animal species can visually detect and respond to it. Here, we discuss the history of research on biological UV photosensitivity and review current major research trends in this field. Some animals use their UV photoreceptors to control simple, innate behaviors, but most incorporate their UV receptors into their general sense of vision. They not only detect UV light but recognize it as a separate color in light fields, on natural objects or living organisms, or in signals displayed by conspecifics. UV visual pigments are based on opsins, the same family of proteins that are used to detect light in conventional photoreceptors. Despite some interesting exceptions, most animal species have a single photoreceptor class devoted to the UV. The roles of UV in vision are manifold, from guiding navigation and orientation behavior, to detecting food and potential predators, to supporting high-level tasks such as mate assessment and intraspecific communication. Our current understanding of UV vision is restricted almost entirely to two phyla: arthropods and chordates (specifically, vertebrates), so there is much comparative work to be done.</p>},
  author       = {Cronin, Thomas W. and Bok, Michael J.},
  issn         = {0022-0949},
  keyword      = {Chromatic aberration,Dorsal rim,Opsin,Ultraviolet,Vision,Visual pigments},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {09},
  number       = {18},
  pages        = {2790--2801},
  publisher    = {The Company of Biologists Ltd},
  series       = {Journal of Experimental Biology},
  title        = {Photoreception and vision in the ultraviolet},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1242/jeb.128769},
  volume       = {219},
  year         = {2016},
}