1. The evolution of pineal and parapineal photopigments (Matsumasa Koyanagi) 2. The evolution and function of melanopsin (Wayne Davies) 3. The evolution of non-visual photopigments in the CNS of vertebrates (Mark Hankins) 4. The evolution of invertebrate photoreceptors and photopigments (Tom Cronin) 5. Visual adaptations in insect photopigments (Amanda Briscoe) 6. The evolution of photoreceptors and visual photopigments in vertebrates (David Hunt) 7. Diversity and functional properties of bistable photopigments (Akihisa Terakita) 8. Adaptations to dim light (Julian Partridge) 9. The role of visual photopigment evolution in speciation (Karen Carleton) Authors have not been confirmed.¿
Photopigments are molecules that react to light and mediate a number of processes and behaviours in animals. Visual pigments housed within the photoreceptors of the eye, such as the rods and cones in vertebrates are the best known, however, visual pigments are increasingly being found in other tissues, including other retinal cells, the skin and the brain. Other closely related molecules from the G protein family, such as melanopsin mediate light driven processes including circadian rhythmicity and pupil constriction. This Volume examines the enormous diversity of visual pigments and traces the evolution of these G protein coupled receptors in both invertebrates and vertebrates in the context of the visual and non-visual demands dictated by a species' ecological niche.