Journal article

The rod opsin pigments from two marsupial species, the South American bare-tailed woolly opossum and the Australian fat-tailed dunnart.

David M Hunt, Catherine A Arrese, Miranda von Dornum, Jenny Rodger, Alison Oddy, Jill A Cowing, Eleanor I Ager, James K Bowmaker, Lyn D Beazley, Julia Shand

Gene | Published : 2003


Rod visual pigment genes have been studied in a wide range of vertebrates including a number of mammalian species. However, no marsupials have yet been examined. To correct this omission, we have studied the rod pigments in two marsupial species, the nocturnal and frugivorous bare-tailed woolly opossum, Caluromys philander, from Central and South America, and the arhythmic and insectivorous fat-tailed dunnart, Sminthopsis crassicaudata, from Australia. Phylogenetic analysis establishes that the cloned opsin sequences are orthologues of rod opsin genes from other vertebrate species. The deduced amino acid sequences show that both possess glutamate at residue 122, a feature of rod opsins, and ..

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University of Melbourne Researchers