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Evolution under pressure and the adaptation of visual pigment compressibility in deep-sea environments
Porter, M.L.; Roberts, N.W.; Partridge, J.C. (2016). Evolution under pressure and the adaptation of visual pigment compressibility in deep-sea environments. Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 105: 160-165. hdl.handle.net/10.1016/j.ympev.2016.08.007
In: Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. Elsevier: Orlando, FL. ISSN 1055-7903, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Compressibility; Deep sea; Evolution; Cephalopoda [WoRMS]; Teleostei [WoRMS]; Marine
Author keywords
    Opsin; Teleost; Cephalopod

Authors  Top 
  • Porter, M.L.
  • Roberts, N.W.
  • Partridge, J.C.

Abstract
    Understanding the link between how proteins function in animals that live in extreme environments and selection on specific properties of amino acids has proved extremely challenging. Here we present the discovery of how the compressibility of opsin proteins in two evolutionarily distinct animal groups, teleosts and cephalopods, appears to be adapted to the high-pressure environment of the deep-sea. We report how in both groups, opsins in deeper living species are calculated to be less compressible. This is largely due to a common set of amino acid sites (bovRH#159, 196, 213, 275) undergoing positive destabilizing selection in six of the twelve amino acid physiochemical properties that determine protein compressibility. This suggests a common evolutionary mechanism to reduce the adiabatic compressibility of opsin proteins. Intriguingly, the sites under selection are on the proteins’ outer faces at locations known to be involved in opsin-opsin dimer interactions.

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