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The effect of elevated hydrostatic pressure on the spectral absorption of deep-sea fish visual pigments

Partridge, J. C., White, E. M. and Douglas, R. H. (2006). The effect of elevated hydrostatic pressure on the spectral absorption of deep-sea fish visual pigments. The Journal of Experimental Biology (JEB), 209(2), pp. 314-319. doi: 10.1242/jeb.01984

Abstract

The effect of hydrostatic pressure (0.1-54 MPa, equivalent to pressures experienced by fish from the ocean's surface to depths of ca. 5400 m) on visual pigment absorption spectra was investigated for rod visual pigments extracted from the retinae of 12 species of deep-sea fish of diverse phylogeny and habitat. The wavelength of peak absorption (λmax) was shifted to longer wavelengths by an average of 1.35 nm at 40 MPa (a pressure approximately equivalent to average ocean depth) relative to measurements made at one atmosphere (ca. 0.1 MPa), but with little evidence of a change in absorbance at the λmax. We conclude that previousλ max measurements of deep-sea fish visual pigments, made at a pressure close to 0.1 MPa, provide a good indication ofλ max values at higher pressures when considering the ecology of vision in the deep-sea. Although not affecting the spectral sensitivity of the animal to any important degree, the observed shift inλ max may be of interest in the context of understanding opsin-chromophore interaction and spectral tuning of visual pigments.

Publication Type: Article
Publisher Keywords: visual pigment, retina, deep-sea fish, pressure
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Departments: School of Health Sciences > Optometry & Visual Science
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/2034
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