Cone contributions to the photopic spectral sensitivity of the zebrafish ERG

Vis Neurosci. 1998 Nov-Dec;15(6):1029-37. doi: 10.1017/s095252389815602x.


Microspectrophotometry studies show that zebrafish (Danio rerio) possess four cone photopigments. The purpose of this study was to determine the cone contributions to the zebrafish photopic increment threshold spectral-sensitivity function. Electroretinogram (ERG) b-wave responses to monochromatic lights presented on a broadband or chromatic background were obtained. It was found that under the broadband background condition, the zebrafish spectral-sensitivity function showed several peaks that were narrower in sensitivity compared to the cone spectra. The spectral-sensitivity function was modeled with L - M and M - S opponent interactions and nonopponent S- and U-cone mechanisms. Using chromatic adaptation designed to suppress the contribution of the S-cones, a strong U-cone contribution to the spectral-sensitivity function was revealed, and the contributions of the S-cones to the M - S mechanism were reduced. These results show that the b-wave component of the ERG receives input from all four cone types and appears to reflect color opponent mechanisms. Thus, zebrafish may possess the fundamental properties necessary for color vision.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological / physiology
  • Animals
  • Color Perception / physiology*
  • Electroretinography*
  • Female
  • Male
  • Models, Biological
  • Retinal Cone Photoreceptor Cells / physiology*
  • Zebrafish / physiology*