Genetic and plastic variation in opsin gene expression, light sensitivity, and female response to visual signals in the guppy

Yusuke Sakai, Shoji Kawamura, Masakado Kawata

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

According to the sensory drive model, variation in visual properties can lead to diverse female preferences, which in turn results in a range of male nuptial colors by way of sexual selection. However, the cause of variation in visual properties and the mechanism by which variation drives female response to visual signals remain unclear. Here, we demonstrate that both differences in the long-wavelength–sensitive 1 (LWS-1) opsin genotype and the light environment during rearing lead to variation in opsin gene expression. Opsin expression variation affects the visual sensitivity threshold to long wavelengths of light. Moreover, a behavioral assay using digitally modified video images showed that the expression of multiple opsin genes is positively correlated with the female responsiveness to images of males with luminous orange spots. The findings suggest that genetic polymorphisms and light environment in habitats induce variations in opsin gene expression levels. The variations may facilitate variations in visual sensitivity and female responsiveness to male body colors within and among populations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12247-12252
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume115
Issue number48
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Nov 27

Keywords

  • Color perception
  • Female preference
  • Poecilia
  • Sexual selection
  • Visual pigment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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