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The Burmese python genome reveals the molecular basis for extreme adaptation in snakes
TLDR
The python and king cobra genomes are compared along with genomic samples from other snakes and transcriptome analysis is performed to gain insights into the extreme phenotypes of the python, finding rapid and massive transcriptional responses in multiple organ systems that occur on feeding and coordinate major changes in organ size and function.
Visual pigment molecular evolution in the Trinidadian pike cichlid (Crenicichla frenata): a less colorful world for neotropical cichlids?
TLDR
The results represent the first molecular evolutionary study of visual pigments in a Neotropical cichlid and thus provide a foundation for further study of a morphologically and ecologically diverse clade that has been understudied with respect to the link between visual ecology and diversification.
Retinal counterion switch in the photoactivation of the G protein-coupled receptor rhodopsin
TLDR
A model where the counterion switch occurs by transferring a proton from GLU-181 to Glu-113 through an H-bond network formed primarily with residues on extracellular loop II (EII) is proposed, which may be a general element of G protein-coupled receptor activation.
Evolution of Coral Pigments Recreated
TLDR
In the great star coral Montastraea cavernosa, a recreated common ancestor of green and red proteins turned out to be green, indicating that in this case red proteins evolved their color independently from most other homologous red proteins.
An improved likelihood ratio test for detecting site-specific functional divergence among clades of protein-coding genes.
TLDR
Using simulations, it is shown that the Clade model C versus M1a test for functional divergence among clades is prone to false positives under simple evolutionary conditions, and a new null model is proposed (M2a_rel) that better accounts for among-site variation in selective constraint.
Honeybee Blue- and Ultraviolet-Sensitive Opsins: Cloning, Heterologous Expression in Drosophila, and Physiological Characterization
TLDR
Spectral sensitivity measurements of these flies demonstrated that the blue and UV visual pigments are maximally sensitive to light at 439 and 353 nm, respectively, which are in excellent agreement with those determined previously by single-cell recordings from Apis photoreceptor cells and provide definitive evidence that the genes described here encode visual Pigments having blue andUV sensitivity.
A novel rhodopsin-like gene expressed in zebrafish retina
TLDR
This study suggests that rh1-2 is a functional opsin gene that is expressed in the retina later in development, surprising given zebrafish's status as a model system for studies of vertebrate vision and visual development.
Recreating a functional ancestral archosaur visual pigment.
TLDR
The results show that ancestral genes from ancient organisms can be reconstructed de novo and tested for function using a combination of phylogenetic and biochemical methods.
Opsin phylogeny and evolution: a model for blue shifts in wavelength regulation.
TLDR
Reconstruction of the phylogeny of the opsin molecule allowed us to track amino acid substitutions in specific sites within the opsIn and to target those particular substitutions that are repeatedly associated with marked changes in peak absorbance, shifting the spectral sensitivity of the Opsin toward shorter or longer wavelengths.
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