Ilke van Hazel

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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 typically(More)
The molecular mechanisms underlying the enormous diversity of visual pigment wavelength sensitivities found in nature have been the focus of many molecular evolutionary studies, with particular attention to the short wavelength-sensitive 1 (SWS1) visual pigments that mediate vision in the ultraviolet to violet range of the electromagnetic spectrum. Over a(More)
Resurrecting ancestral proteins in the laboratory can be a powerful tool in studies of protein structure and function as they can offer a rare glimpse into the evolutionary history of molecular function (Malcolm et al. Another, perhaps even more intriguing reason for reconstructing ancestral proteins lies in the hope of achieving a better understanding of(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)
The nocturnal origin of mammals is a longstanding hypothesis that is considered instrumental for the evolution of endothermy, a potential key innovation in this successful clade. This hypothesis is primarily based on indirect anatomical inference from fossils. Here, we reconstruct the evolutionary history of rhodopsin--the vertebrate visual pigment(More)
Rhodopsin is the visual pigment responsible for initiating the phototransduction cascade in vertebrate rod photoreceptors. Although well-characterized in a few model systems, comparative studies of rhodopsin function, particularly for nonmammalian vertebrates are comparatively lacking. Bowerbirds are rare among passerines in possessing a key substitution,(More)
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