Coexpression of three middle wavelength-absorbing visual pigments in sexually dimorphic photoreceptors of the butterfly Colias erate

Yuri Ogawa, Hiroko Awata, Motohiro Wakakuwa, Michiyo Kinoshita, Doekele G. Stavenga, Kentaro Arikawa*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The tiered ommatidia of the Eastern Pale Clouded yellow butterfly, Colias erate, contain nine photoreceptor cells, four of which contribute their rhabdomeral microvilli to the distal tier of the rhabdom. We analyzed the visual pigments and spectral sensitivities of these distal photoreceptors in both sexes of Colias erate. A subset of photoreceptor cells expresses a newly discovered middle wavelength-absorbing opsin, ColiaserateBlue (CeB), in addition to two previously described middle wavelength-absorbing opsins, CeV1 and CeV2. The other photoreceptors either coexpress CeV1 and CeV2, or exclusively express a short wavelength-absorbing opsin, CeUV, or a long wavelength-absorbing opsin, CeL. Males and females have the same visual pigment expression patterns, but the photoreceptor spectral sensitivities are sexually dimorphic. The photoreceptors coexpressing three middle wavelength-absorbing opsins are broad-blue receptors in males, but in females they are narrow-blue receptors. Those with CeV1 and CeV2 are violet receptors in females, while they are shouldered-blue receptors in males. The sexual dimorphism in spectral sensitivity is caused by a sex-specific distribution of fluorescent pigment that functions as a spectral filter.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)857-867
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Comparative Physiology A: Neuroethology, Sensory, Neural, and Behavioral Physiology
Volume198
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Color vision
  • Compound eye
  • Insect
  • Ommatidia
  • Opsin

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