Data from: Evidence for repeated loss of selective constraint in rhodopsin of amblyopsid cavefishes (Teleostei: Amblyopsidae)

Matthew Lance Niemiller, Benjamin Minault Fitzpatrick, Premal Shah, Lars Schmitz & Thomas J. Near
The genetic mechanisms underlying regressive evolution—the degeneration or loss of a derived trait—are largely unknown, particularly for complex structures such as eyes in cave organisms. In several eyeless animals, the visual photoreceptor rhodopsin appeared to retain functional amino-acid sequences. Hypotheses to explain apparent maintenance of function include weak selection for retention of light-sensing abilities and its pleiotropic roles in circadian rhythms and thermotaxis. In contrast, we show that there has been repeated loss of functional...

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  • University of Pennsylvania
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  • Scripps College
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  • University of Tennessee at Knoxville
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  • Yale University
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