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The Retinal Pigments of Filter-feeding Sharks (Rhincodon typus, Cetorhinus maximus, and Megachasma pelagios) and their Role in Foraging Ecology

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dc.contributor.advisor Dr. Jeffry Fasick
dc.contributor.author Serba, Katherine M.
dc.date.accessioned 2020-04-14T16:37:01Z
dc.date.available 2020-04-14T16:37:01Z
dc.date.issued 2020-04-08
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11868/999
dc.description.abstract The spectral tuning properties of the whale shark (Rhincodon typus), basking shark (Cetorhinus maximus), and megamouth shark (Megachasma pelagios) rod (Rh1) and longwavelength sensitive (LWS) cone visual pigments were examined to determine whether these retinal pigments have adapted to the broadband light spectrum available for surface foraging, or to the narrowband blue-shifted light spectrum available at depth. Recently published whale shark Rh1 and LWS cone opsin genes were used to design primers for amplification and sequencing of the opsin proteins from basking and megamouth sharks. Basking and megamouth shark Rh1 and LWS cone coding sequences were PCR amplified and sequenced to identify amino acid residues critical for spectral tuning. The predicted absorbance maxima (λmax) for the whale, basking, and megamouth shark Rh1 visual pigments were 496 nm, 496 nm, and 488 nm, respectively. The deduced amino acid sequence for both the whale and basking shark LWS cone opsins resulted in predicted λmax values near 500 nm. Although Rh1 λmax values near 500 nm are typical of terrestrial vertebrates and surface foraging fish, it is uncommon for vertebrate LWS cone pigments to be so greatly blue-shifted. We propose that the spectral tuning properties of the Rh1 and LWS cone pigments in whale and basking sharks are most likely an adaptation to the broadband light spectrum available at the surface, while the megamouth shark Rh1 pigment is most likely an adaptation to the narrowband light spectrum available in deeper waters. en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher Honors Program, The University of Tampa en_US
dc.subject Filter-feeding sharks en_US
dc.subject Visual pigments en_US
dc.subject Foraging ecology en_US
dc.title The Retinal Pigments of Filter-feeding Sharks (Rhincodon typus, Cetorhinus maximus, and Megachasma pelagios) and their Role in Foraging Ecology en_US
dc.title.alternative The Retinal Pigments of Filter-feeding Sharks and their Role in Foraging Ecology en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US


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