Spectral sensitivity of single cones in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss): A whole-cell voltage clamp study

Leslie G. Anderson, Shai Sabbah, Craig W. Hawryshyn*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The UVS cone mechanism is known to light adapt at low intensities in comparison to other cones. We were interested in whether this property was related to higher sensitivity in UVS cones or to network adjustments in sensitivity. We investigated spectral sensitivity of 107 individual cone photoreceptors in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) using a whole-cell voltage clamp technique. Mean time-to-peak response was 339±90ms and flash sensitivity for a 100ms flash was 4.37×10-3±2.50×10-3pAphotons-1μm2, with no significant differences between the UVS, SWS, MWS and LWS cone classes. The spectral sensitivity of the UVS, SWS and LWS cones conformed to the expression of SWS1, SWS2 and LWS opsin genes. The spectral sensitivity of MWS cones, however, showed clear evidence of co-expression of RH2a and RH2b opsin pigments. The fish used in this study bridged the ontogenetic stage where the MWS cones shift their expression from RH2b to RH2a.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)2055-2061
Number of pages7
JournalVision Research
Issue number20
StatePublished - Sep 2010
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to thank the Fraser Valley Trout Hatchery, Abbottsford, British Columbia for the donation of the fish used in this study. This work was supported by US Air Force Office of Scientific Research operating Grant #F9550-05-1-0070 and the Canada Research Chairs program (CWH). Shai Sabbah was supported by an NSERC Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship.


  • Fish
  • Opsin gene expression
  • Photocurrent responses
  • Ultraviolet
  • Visual pigments


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