Opsin Expression in the Central Nervous System of the Mantis Shrimp Neogonodactylus oerstedii
Links to Fileshttps://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/abs/10.1086/694421
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Type of Work12 pages
Citation of Original PublicationMary W. Donohue, Karen L. Carleton, and Thomas W. Cronin, "Opsin Expression in the Central Nervous System of the Mantis Shrimp Neogonodactylus oerstedii," The Biological Bulletin 233, no. 1 (August 2017): 58-69. https://doi.org/10.1086/694421
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SubjectsCentral Nervous System
tripartite eye structure
Visual pigments, each composed of an opsin protein covalently bound to a chromophore molecule, confer light sensitivity for vision. The eyes of some species of stomatopod crustaceans, or mantis shrimp, can express dozens of different opsin genes. The opsin diversity, along with spectral filters and unique tripartite eye structure, bestow upon stomatopods unusually complex visual systems. Although opsins are found in tissues outside typical image-forming eyes in other animals, extraocular opsin expression in stomatopods, animals well known for their diversity of opsins, was unknown. Caudal photoreception in the central nervous system of decapod crustaceans, a group closely related to stomatopod crustaceans, is thought to be opsin based. However, electrophysiological data suggest that stomatopods do not have caudal photoreceptors. In this study, we identified mRNAs that could encode four different opsins and several components of a potential Gq-mediated phototransduction pathway in the central nervous system of the Caribbean mantis shrimp Neogonodactylus oerstedii. The four opsins are abundantly expressed in the cerebral ganglion, or brain, with little or no expression in the remainder of the ventral nerve cord. Our data suggest that there are previously undiscovered cerebral photoreceptors in stomatopods.