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Gene duplications play an important role in the evolution of functional protein diversity. Some models of duplicate gene evolution predict complex forms of paralog divergence; orthologous proteins may diverge as well, further complicating patterns of divergence among and within gene families. Consequently, studying the link between protein sequence(More)
The honeybee (Apis mellifera) visual system contains three classes of retinal photoreceptor cells that are maximally sensitive to light at 440 nm (blue), 350 nm (ultraviolet), and 540 nm (green). We performed a PCR-based screen to identify the genes encoding the Apis blue- and ultraviolet (UV)-sensitive opsins. We obtained cDNAs that encode proteins having(More)
The vast diversity in spectral sensitivities in the vision of many organisms is mediated mostly (although not entirely) through variation in the photosensitive visual pigments (opsins) of the eye. Specifically, shifts in absorption maxima of visual pigments are thought to be a result of interactions within the binding pocket of the opsin, between amino acid(More)
BACKGROUND The diversity of visual systems in fish has long been of interest for evolutionary biologists and neurophysiologists, and has recently begun to attract the attention of molecular evolutionary geneticists. Several recent studies on the copy number and genomic organization of visual pigment proteins, the opsins, have revealed an increased opsin(More)
BACKGROUND Vertebrate SWS1 visual pigments mediate visual transduction in response to light at short wavelengths. Due to their importance in vision, SWS1 genes have been isolated from a surprisingly wide range of vertebrates, including lampreys, teleosts, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. The SWS1 genes exhibit many of the characteristics of genes(More)
One of the most striking features of avian vision is the variation in spectral sensitivity of the short wavelength sensitive (SWS1) opsins, which can be divided into two sub-types: violet- and UV- sensitive (VS & UVS). In birds, UVS has been found in both passerines and parrots, groups that were recently shown to be sister orders. While all parrots are(More)
BACKGROUND The Dmbx1 gene is important for the development of the midbrain and hindbrain, and mouse gene targeting experiments reveal that this gene is required for mediating postnatal and adult feeding behaviours. A single Dmbx1 gene exists in terrestrial vertebrate genomes, while teleost genomes have at least two paralogs. We compared the loss of function(More)
Synonymous codon usage can affect many cellular processes, particularly those associated with translation such as polypeptide elongation and folding, mRNA degradation/stability, and splicing. Highly expressed genes are thought to experience stronger selection pressures on synonymous codons. This should result in codon usage bias even in species with(More)
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