Data from: Rapid adaptive evolution of colour vision in the threespine stickleback radiation
Cite this dataset
Rennison, Diana J. et al. (2016). Data from: Rapid adaptive evolution of colour vision in the threespine stickleback radiation [Dataset]. Dryad. https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.1mc01
Vision is a sensory modality of fundamental importance for many animals, aiding in foraging, detection of predators, and mate choice. Adaptation to local ambient light conditions is thought to be commonplace, and a match between spectral sensitivity and light spectrum is predicted. We use opsin gene expression to test for local adaptation and matching of spectral sensitivity in multiple independent lake populations of threespine stickleback populations derived since the last ice age from an ancestral marine form. We show that sensitivity across the visual spectrum is shifted repeatedly towards longer wavelengths in freshwater compared with the ancestral marine form. Laboratory rearing suggests this shift is largely genetically based. Using a new metric, we found that the magnitude of shift in spectral sensitivity in each population corresponds strongly to the transition in the availability of different wavelengths of light between the marine and lake environment. We also found evidence of local adaptation by sympatric benthic and limnetic ecotypes to different light environments within lakes. Our findings indicate rapid parallel evolution of the visual system to altered light conditions. The changes have not, however, yielded a close matching of spectrum-wide sensitivity to wavelength availability, for reasons we discuss.