Convergent selection pressures drive the evolution of rhodopsin kinetics at high altitudes via nonparallel mechanisms
We investigate functional convergence in the visual system of two distantly related lineages of high-altitude adapted Andean and Himalayan catfishes
Convergent evolution in response to similar selective pressures is a well-known phenomenon in evolutionary biology
Statistical analyses revealed in the two high-altitude lineages, a parallel acceleration of evolutionary rates in rhodopsin, the dim-light visual pigment
Experiments substituting Andean- or Himalayan-specific residues significantly accelerated the kinetic rates of rhodopsin, destabilizing the ligand-bound forms
Our study suggests that molecular convergence in protein function can be driven by parallel shifts in evolutionary rates but via nonparallel molecular mechanisms
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