Visual pigment homologies revealed by DNA hybridization

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Science  06 Jun 1986:
Vol. 232, Issue 4755, pp. 1266-1269
DOI: 10.1126/science.3010467


A bovine rhodopsin complementary DNA probe was used to detect homologous visual pigment genes in a variety of species. Under stringent DNA hybridization conditions, genomic DNA from most vertebrate species carried a single homologous fragment. Additional homologies were detected in some vertebrates by reducing the hybridization stringency. Homologous fragments were also detected in DNA isolated from invertebrate species, a unicellular alga, and an archaebacterium; many of these fragments were homologous to a Drosophila opsin probe. These results suggest that photosensory pigments in a wide variety of species arose from a common precursor.