Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Evolution of ultraviolet vision in the largest avian radiation: the passerines
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Animal Ecology.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Organismal Biology.
2011 (English)In: BMC Evolutionary Biology, ISSN 1471-2148, E-ISSN 1471-2148, Vol. 11, 313- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Interspecific variation in avian colour vision falls into two discrete classes: violet sensitive (VS) and ultraviolet sensitive (UVS). They are characterised by the spectral sensitivity of the most shortwave sensitive of the four single cones, the SWS1, which is seemingly under direct control of as little as one amino acid substitution in the cone opsin protein. Changes in spectral sensitivity of the SWS1 are ecologically important, as they affect the abilities of birds to accurately assess potential mates, find food and minimise visibility of social signals to predators. Still, available data have indicated that shifts between classes are rare, with only four to five independent acquisitions of UV sensitivity in avian evolution. Results: We have classified a large sample of passeriform species as VS or UVS from genomic DNA and mapped the evolution of this character on a passerine phylogeny inferred from published molecular sequence data. Sequencing a small gene fragment has allowed us to trace the trait changing from one stable state to another through the radiation of the passeriform birds. Their ancestor is hypothesised to be UVS. In the subsequent radiation, colour vision changed between UVS and VS at least eight times. Conclusions: The phylogenetic distribution of SWS1 cone opsin types in Passeriformes reveals a much higher degree of complexity in avian colour vision evolution than what was previously indicated from the limited data available. Clades with variation in the colour vision system are nested among clades with a seemingly stable VS or UVS state, providing a rare opportunity to understand how an ecologically important trait under simple genetic control may co-evolve with, and be stabilised by, associated traits in a character complex.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 11, 313- p.
National Category
Evolutionary Biology
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-162700DOI: 10.1186/1471-2148-11-313ISI: 000296963700001OAI: diva2:462380
Available from: 2011-12-07 Created: 2011-12-05 Last updated: 2016-04-19Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

fulltext(331 kB)215 downloads
File information
File name FULLTEXT01.pdfFile size 331 kBChecksum SHA-512
Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf

Other links

Publisher's full text

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Ödeen, AndersAlström, Per
By organisation
Animal EcologyDepartment of Organismal Biology
In the same journal
BMC Evolutionary Biology
Evolutionary Biology

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
Total: 215 downloads
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Altmetric score

Total: 182 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link