Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2440/88988
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Type: Journal article
Title: Opsin transcripts of predatory diving beetles: a comparison of surface and subterranean photic niches
Author: Tierney, S.
Cooper, S.
Saint, K.
Bertozzi, T.
Hyde, J.
Humphreys, W.
Austin, A.
Citation: Royal Society Open Science, 2015; 2(1):140386-1-140386-12
Publisher: Royal Society
Issue Date: 2015
ISSN: 2054-5703
2054-5703
Statement of
Responsibility: 
Simon M. Tierney, Steven J. B. Cooper, Kathleen M. Saint, Terry Bertozzi, Josephine Hyde, William F. Humphreys, and Andrew D. Austin
Abstract: The regressive evolution of eyes has long intrigued biologists yet the genetic underpinnings remain opaque. A system of discrete aquifers in arid Australia provides a powerful comparative means to explore trait regression at the genomic level. Multiple surface-ancestors from two tribes of diving beetles (Dytiscidae) repeatedly invaded these calcrete aquifers and convergently evolved eye-less phenotypes. We use this system to assess transcription of opsin photoreceptor genes among the transcriptomes of two surface and three subterranean dytiscid species and test whether these genes have evolved under neutral predictions. Transcripts for UV, longwavelength and ciliary-type opsins were identified from the surface beetle transcriptomes. Two subterranean beetles showed parallel loss of all opsin transcription, as expected under ‘neutral’ regressive evolution. The third species Limbodessus palmulaoides retained transcription of a longwavelength opsin (lwop) orthologue, albeit in an aphotic environment. Tests of selection on lwop indicated no significant differences between transcripts derived from surface and subterranean habitats, with strong evidence for purifying selection acting on L. palmulaoides lwop. Retention of sequence integrity and the lack of evidence for neutral evolution raise the question of whether we have identified a novel pleiotropic role for lwop, or an incipient phase of pseudogene development.
Keywords: regressive evolution; opsin; pleiotropy; pseudogene; Bidessini; Hydroporini
Rights: © 2015 The Authors. Published by the Royal Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which permits unrestricted use, provided the original author and source are credited.
RMID: 0030021072
DOI: 10.1098/rsos.140386
Grant ID: http://purl.org/au-research/grants/arc/DP120102132
Published version: http://rsos.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/2/1/140386
Appears in Collections:Ecology, Evolution and Landscape Science publications

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