Multiple shifts between violet and ultraviolet vision in a family of passerine birds with associated changes in plumage coloration
2012 (English)In: Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Biological Sciences, ISSN 0962-8452, E-ISSN 1471-2954, Vol. 279, no 1732, 1269-1276 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Colour vision in diurnal birds falls into two discrete classes, signified by the spectral sensitivity of the violet- (VS) or ultraviolet-sensitive (UVS) short wavelength-sensitive type 1 (SWS1) single cone. Shifts between sensitivity classes are rare; three or four are believed to have happened in the course of avian evolution, one forming UVS higher passerines. Such shifts probably affect the expression of shortwave-dominated plumage signals. We have used genomic DNA sequencing to determine VS or UVS affinity in fairy-wrens and allies, Maluridae, a large passerine family basal to the known UVS taxa. We have also spectrophotometrically analysed male plumage coloration as perceived by the VS and UVS vision systems. Contrary to any other investigated avian genus, Malurus (fairy-wrens) contains species with amino acid residues typical of either VS or UVS cone opsins. Three bowerbird species (Ptilonorhynchidae) sequenced for outgroup comparison carry VS opsin genes. Phylogenetic reconstructions render one UVS gain followed by one or more losses as the most plausible evolutionary scenario. The evolution of avian ultraviolet sensitivity is hence more complex, as a single shift no longer explains its distribution in Passeriformes. Character correlation analysis proposes that UVS vision is associated with shortwave-reflecting plumage, which is widespread in Maluridae.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 279, no 1732, 1269-1276 p.
UV vision, SWS1 opsin sequencing, plumage spectrophotometry, Maluridae, Malurus, fairy-wren
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-172021DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2011.1777ISI: 000300822400003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-172021DiVA: diva2:513457