Zebrafish provide insight into development of colour vision

New research from the University of Tokyo has explored how some animals regulate their ability to see blue light

rainbow smoke
Pixabay/Chris Martin

New research published in Science Advances has provided further insight into the evolutionary history and control mechanisms of colour vision.

Scientists have previously studied mice to understand how violet and red-wavelength sensitivity is regulated, but mice do not have the ability to differentiate between blue and green wavelengths.

The latest study, from researchers at the University of Tokyo, involved experiments in zebrafish, which have all four colour sensitive proteins.

The scientists were able to explore how zebrafish regulate their ability to see blue light.

University of Tokyo lecturer, Daisuke Kojima, shared: "In the long term, foundational biological studies like this on how colour vision is possible may eventually be helpful in future attempts to cure colour blindness."

Emeritus Professor Yoshitaka Fukada, also from the University of Tokyo, highlighted that when he first started studying the evolution of vision in 1989 it was thought that light sensitivity and colour differentiation all came from the same protein.

“Since then, our group has identified colour-sensitive proteins, mapped their evolution between species, and we now understand their regulation," he shared.