The X-chromosomal locality of the red-green-sensitive opsin genes has been the norm for all mammals and is essential for color vision of higher primates. Owl monkeys (Aotus), a genus of New World monkeys, are the only nocturnal higher primates and are severely color-blind. We demonstrate that the owl monkeys possess extra red-green opsin genes on the Y-chromosome. The Y-linked opsin genes were found to be extremely varied, in one male appearing to be a functional gene and in other males to be multicopy pseudogenes. These Y-linked opsin genes should offer a rare opportunity to study the evolutionary fate of genes translocated to the Y chromosome.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Structural Biology
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology