Evolution and functional diversity of jellyfish opsins

Suga, H. and Schmid, V. and Gehring, W. J.. (2008) Evolution and functional diversity of jellyfish opsins. Current biology, Vol. 18, H. 1. pp. 51-55.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A5257275

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Cnidaria are the most basal animal phylum possessing complex eyes [1]. Their eyes predominantly use ciliary photoreceptor cells (c-PRCs) like vertebrates, whereas insect eyes use rhabdomeric photoreceptor cells (r-PRCs) [1-4]. These two cell types show not only different cytoarchitectures but distinct phototransduction cascades, which are triggered by the respective types of opsins (e.g., [5]), ciliary opsins (c-opsins) and rhabdomeric opsins (r-opsins) [6]. Recent reports suggested that the c- and r-PRCs and their respective opsins diverged at least before the deuterostome-protostome split [7-9]. To study the earlier evolution of animal PRCs and opsins, we investigated two hydrozoan jellyfishes. We report here the first-characterized cnidarian opsins. Molecular phylogeny revealed that the cloned 20 jellyfish opsins, together with all the opsins from a hydra and some from a sea anemone, are more closely related to the c-opsins than to any other major opsin subfamily, indicating that the divergence of c- and r-opsins antedates the Cnidaria-Bilateria split. Possible scenarios of animal PRC evolution are discussed. Furthermore, Cladonema opsins show several distinct tissue- and stage-specific expression patterns. The expression of specific opsins in the eyes suggests a role in vision, whereas that in the gonads suggests a role in light-controlled release of gametes.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Biozentrum > Former Organization Units Biozentrum > Cell Biology (Gehring)
UniBasel Contributors:Gehring, Walter Jakob
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:Cell Press
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
Last Modified:22 Mar 2012 14:19
Deposited On:22 Mar 2012 13:17

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