Multiple ancestral and a plethora of recent gene duplications during the evolution of the green sensitive opsin genes (RH2) in teleost fishes [article]

Zuzana Musilova, Fabio Cortesi
2021 bioRxiv   pre-print
Vertebrates have four visual cone opsin classes that, together with a light-sensitive chromophore, provide sensitivity from the ultraviolet to the red wavelengths of light. The rhodopsin-like 2 (RH2) opsin is sensitive to the centre blue-green part of the spectrum, which is the most prevalent light underwater. While various vertebrate groups such as mammals and sharks have lost the RH2 gene, in teleost fishes this opsin has continued to proliferate. By investigating the genomes of 115 teleost
more » ... ecies, we find that RH2 shows an extremely dynamic evolutionary history with repeated gene duplications, gene losses and gene conversion affecting entire orders, families and species. At least four ancestral duplications provided the substrate for todays RH2 diversity with duplications occurring in the common ancestors of Clupeocephala, Neoteleostei, and Acanthopterygii. Following these events, RH2 has continued to duplicate both in tandem and during lineage specific genome duplications. However, it has also been lost many times over so that in the genomes of extant teleosts, we find between zero to eight RH2 copies. Using retinal transcriptomes in a phylogenetic representative dataset of 30 species, we show that RH2 is expressed as the dominant green-sensitive opsin in almost all fish lineages. The exceptions are the Osteoglossomorpha (bony tongues and mooneyes) and several characin species that have lost RH2, and tarpons, other characins and gobies which do not or only lowly express the gene. These fishes instead express a green-shifted long-wavelength-sensitive LWS opsin. Our study highlights the strength of using modern genomic tools within a comparative framework to elucidate the detailed evolutionary history of gene families.
doi:10.1101/2021.05.11.443711 fatcat:2lb4ahuoinfzfcnpqc6xypqtga