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Print version ISSN 0001-3765On-line version ISSN 1678-2690


FABRIN, THOMAZ M.C.; PRIOLI, SONIA MARIA A.P.  and  PRIOLI, ALBERTO JOSÉ. Long-wavelength sensitive opsin (LWS) gene variability in Neotropical cichlids (Teleostei: Cichlidae). An. Acad. Bras. Ciênc. [online]. 2017, vol.89, n.1, pp.213-222. ISSN 0001-3765.

Cichlid fishes are an important group in evolutionary biology due to their fast speciation. This group depends widely of vision for feeding and reproduction. During the evolutionary process it plays a significant role in interspecific and intraspecific recognition and in its ecology. The molecular basis of vision is formed by the interaction of the protein opsin and retinal chromophore. Long-wavelength sensitive opsin (LWS) gene is the most variable among the opsin genes and it has an ecological significance. Current assay identifies interspecific variation of Neotropical cichlids that would modify the spectral properties of the LWS opsin protein and codons selected. Neotropical species present more variable sites for LWS gene than those of the African lakes species. The LWS opsin gene in Crenicichla britskii has a higher amino acid similarity when compared to that in the African species, but the variable regions do not overlap. Neotropical cichlids accumulate larger amounts of variable sites for LWS opsin gene, probably because they are spread over a wider area and submitted to a wider range of selective pressures by inhabiting mainly lotic environments. Furthermore, the codons under selection are different when compared to those of the African cichlids.

Keywords : convergence; ecology; evolution; visual system..

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