Y-chromosomal red-green opsin genes of nocturnal New World monkey

Shoji Kawamura, Naomi Takenaka, Chihiro Hiramatsu, Momoki Hirai, Osamu Takenaka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70-72
Number of pages3
JournalFEBS Letters
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - Oct 23 2002
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology


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