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Author Notes:

Corresponding author: E-mail: syokoya@emory.edu

Associate editor: Takashi Gojobori


Research Funding:

This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health (ROIEY016400) and Emory University.


  • opsin
  • visual pigment
  • gene duplication
  • evolutionary rate
  • vertebrates

Evolutionary Dynamics of Rhodopsin Type 2 Opsins in Vertebrates


Journal Title:

Molecular Biology and Evolution


Volume 27, Number 1


, Pages 133-141

Type of Work:

Article | Post-print: After Peer Review


Among the five groups of visual pigments in vertebrates, the rhodopsin type 2 (RH2) group shows the largest number of gene duplication events. We have isolated three intact and one nonfunctional RH2 opsin genes each from Northern lampfish (Stenobrachius leucopsarus) and scabbardfish (Lepidopus fitchi). Using the deduced amino acid sequences of these and other representative RH2 opsin genes in vertebrates, we have estimated the divergence times and evolutionary rates of amino acid substitution at various stages of RH2 opsin evolution. The results show that the duplications of the lampfish and scabbardfish RH2 opsins have occurred ∼60 and ∼30 million years ago (Ma), respectively. The evolutionary rates of RH2 opsins in the early vertebrate ancestors were ∼0.25 × 10−9/site/year, which increased to ∼1 × 10−9 to 3 × 10−9/site/year in euteleost lineages and to ∼0.3 × 10−9 to 0.5 × 10−9/site/year in coelacanth and tetrapods.

Copyright information:

© The Author 2009. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oxfordjournals.org

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