Variation and heritability of retinal cone ratios in a free‐ranging population of rhesus macaques

Munds, R, Cooper, E, Janiak, MC ORCID:, Lam, L, DeCasien, A, Bauman Surratt, S, Montague, M ORCID:, Martinez, M, Research Unit, C, Kawamura, S, Higham, J and Melin, A ORCID: 2022, 'Variation and heritability of retinal cone ratios in a free‐ranging population of rhesus macaques' , Evolution: International Journal of Organic Evolution, 76 (8) , pp. 1776-1789.

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A defining feature of catarrhine primates is uniform trichromacy—the ability to distinguish red (long; L), green (medium; M), and blue (short; S) wavelengths of light. Although the tuning of photoreceptors is conserved, the ratio of L:M cones in the retina is variable within and between species, with human cone ratios differing from other catarrhines. Yet, the sources and structure of variation in cone ratios are poorly understood, precluding a broader understanding of color vision variability. Here, we report a large‐scale study of a pedigreed population of rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta). We collected foveal RNA and analyzed opsin gene expression using cDNA and estimated additive genetic variance of cone ratios. The average L:M ratio and standard error was 1.03:1 ± 0.02. There was no age effect, and genetic contribution to variation was negligible. We found marginal sex effects with females having larger ratios than males. S cone ratios (0.143:1 ± 0.002) had significant genetic variance with a heritability estimate of 43% but did not differ between sexes or age groups. Our results contextualize the derived human condition of L‐cone dominance and provide new information about the heritability of cone ratios and variation in primate color vision.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of Environment and Life Sciences
Journal or Publication Title: Evolution: International Journal of Organic Evolution
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 1558-5646
SWORD Depositor: Publications Router
Depositing User: Publications Router
Date Deposited: 01 Aug 2022 11:07
Last Modified: 06 Sep 2022 10:45

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