Encephalic photoreception and phototactic response in the troglobiont Somalian blind cavefish Phreatichthys andruzzii.
A protocol has been developed for reconstituting visual pigments in intact retinae by delivering synthetic isomers of retinal incorporated in phospholipid vesicles. Calibration curves have been constructed relating the lambda(max) of the native porphyropsins (visual pigments based on 11-cis 3-dehydroretinal) of the rods and four spectral classes of cone in the goldfish, and the equivalent photosensitive pigments regenerated from 11-cis retinal (rhodopsins) and the commercially available isomer, 9-cis retinal (isorhodopsins). The relationship between the lambda(max) of rhodopsins and isorhodopsins appears to be linear, such that the difference in lambda(max) changes sign at about 380 nm. We therefore conclude that the protocol for reconstituting visual pigments with 9-cis retinal is suitable for all classes of vertebrate opsin-based photopigments.