evolution of genes for cephalopod eye lenses

Discussion in 'Physiology and Biology' started by monty, Apr 6, 2008.

  1. monty

    monty Colossal Squid Staff Member Supporter

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  2. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Monty,
    Does it strike you at all strange that there are two recent articles about squid noting graduated changes in tissue? I know that the lens and beak papers are not related and I can only half understand the one on the eye lens but it struck me that there was a relationship between this and the recent beak publishing.
     
  3. monty

    monty Colossal Squid Staff Member Supporter

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    I have to admit I didn't read the beak ones in too much detail. It would be interesting if there's some commonality in the developmental mechanism, but I don't know that I'd expect that... they're made of rather different materials, and I wouldn't expect the beak to require the "radiation of protein genes" that the lens requires, because the lens needs as precise a gradation as possible to get good optical quality, where the beak is more "typical" material where it has a hard part, a soft part, and the exact transition from one to the other doesn't impact the functionality much.

    Although the way the eye is able to solve the tough optical problems is interesting, the primary point of those papers was that this is a case where one can track back the evolutionary history of the genes that make the proteins used in the lens to see how they could accumulate mutations that led to exactly the right kind of gradient, whereas the beak paper appeared to be more about the structural or material properties. In both cases, I'd be curious about what the developmental regulatory systems are that differentiate between the different regions in ways to generate the gradients, but I expect they'd be rather different, since the beak just has to connect 2 types of tissue, while the eye has to very precisely keep the refractive index changing smoothly with no irregularities.

    So I guess it strikes me as strange in the "funny coincidence" sense, but not for any other reason I can think of (usual waiver that there's frequently a lot I don't think of applies, of course.)
     
  4. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    I didn't mean to imply there was a relationship on how evolution occurred, the topic of the eye article, in the beak article. The short posting about the beak and its soft tissue connection suggested that we have not considered this idea for replacement parts and that it might be a usable technique. The parallel was just something that hit me as possibly having some significance.
     
  5. monty

    monty Colossal Squid Staff Member Supporter

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    I'm not sure I follow what you're thinking might be significant, so I guess I answered the wrong question, but now I'm confused.
     
  6. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    My sense of similarity in the two, unrelated articles suggests that the development of biologic material that changes properties to meet a need might be more important to the evolutionary success of a creature than how it actually developed the tissue.
     
  7. monty

    monty Colossal Squid Staff Member Supporter

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    Oh, I think I get it now... you're finding it interesting that perhaps a toolkit exists that facilitates a particular style of adaptation in a number of different contexts, right?
     
  8. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    whew, yes. I think sometimes we look for the needle where the haystack is telling the story. I think that understanding the synergy helps to understand the parts but we seem to do research in the opposite way and miss the interrelated similarities of the whole.
     
  9. Level_Head

    Level_Head Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    Here's an article about eyes more generally, and it discusses the lenses of cephalopods compared to other creatures. It talks about the graduated material of the lens, and also the red-blue light problem that spherical-lens eyes have.

    It was interesting, and gives a bigger picture, so to speak.
    The optical structures of animal eyes
    http://www.cell.com/current-biology/retrieve/pii/S0960982205004410
     
  10. monty

    monty Colossal Squid Staff Member Supporter

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    Thanks! Looks interesting. I have that guy's book, actually.
     

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