Spectral and polarization sensitivity of juvenile Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar): Phylogenetic considerations

C. W. Hawryshyn, S. D. Ramsden, K. M. Betke, S. Sabbah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

We were interested in comparing the characteristics of polarization sensitivity in Atlantic salmon to those in Pacific salmon. Here we show that the common ancestor to the clade containing Salmo salar, Oncorhynchus mykiss, O. nerka, O. clarkii and Salvelinus fontinalis has the trait of ultraviolet polarization sensitivity. We examined spectral and polarization sensitivity of juvenile Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) using both optic nerve compound action potential (CAP) and electroretinogram (ERG) recordings. Our experiments employed photic manipulation to adjust the sensitivity of the four cone mechanisms of Atlantic salmon. A spectrally broad background was used to ensure a contribution of all cone mechanisms to both spectral and polarization sensitivity. Chromatic adaptation was used to isolate the sensitivity of each of the four cone mechanisms for both spectral and polarization sensitivity. Under spectrally broad conditions, UV sensitive (UVS), mid wavelength sensitive (MWS) and long wavelength sensitive (LWS) cone mechanisms contributed to polarization sensitivity. CAP recordings produced the typical 'W' shaped polarization sensitivity curve reflecting two active polarization detectors with peaks at e-vector orientations of 0 deg, 90 deg and 180 deg, and troughs at 30 deg and 150 deg. ERG recordings produced a four-peaked polarization sensitivity curve reflecting two active polarization detectors and negative feedback activity, with peaks at e-vectors 0 deg, 45 deg, 90 deg, 135 deg and 180 deg, and troughs at 30 deg, 60 deg, 120 deg and 150 deg. Polarization-sensitivity measurements of isolated cone mechanisms revealed two orthogonal polarization detector mechanisms in Atlantic salmon, identical to that found in rainbow trout and other Pacific salmonid fishes. Moreover, under spectrally broad background conditions, CAP and ERG polarization sensitivity of Atlantic salmon did not differ significantly from that reported in Pacific salmonids.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)3187-3197
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Experimental Biology
Volume213
Issue number18
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2010
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Atlantic salmon
  • Compound action potentials
  • Cone photoreceptors
  • Electroretinogram
  • Polarization sensitivity
  • Salmoninae
  • Spectral sensitivity
  • Ultraviolet sensitivity

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