Morphological changes in the retina in Pacific ocean salmon Oncorhynchus masou fry in response to neutralization of the geomagnetic field in conditions of normal illumination
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The studies reported here provide the first demonstration that retinal responses in both the fry of the migratory salmon trout Oncorhynchus masou and the dwarf form of this species changed in conditions of experimental neutralization of the geomagnetic field (GMF); migratory salmon trout fry and dwarves showed different changes. The responses of different types of retinal photoreceptor in migratory salmon trout fry to neutralization of the GMF differed: while rods and double cones perceived neutralization of the GMF as the onset of darkness (the scotopic reaction), single (generally blue-sensitive) cones responded to neutralization of the GMF both as presentation of blue light or (very rarely) ultraviolet irradiation. The retina of dwarf male salmon trout responded to neutralization of the GMF with a double response: rods showed a light (photopic) response, while double (red/green-sensitive) cones produced dark (scotopic) responses. Single (blue-sensitive) cones responded to neutralization of the GMF as bright blue light. Thus, the morphological picture of the retina in dwarf male salmon trout in these experimental conditions corresponds to the perception of blue light. The initial conditions were different — normal diffuse daylight with a brightness of about 7.5 Lx. It is likely that neutralization of the magnetic field had no effect on rods, while double, red-green, cones responded as to darkness, i.e., the fish did not perceive red or green light in the visible spectrum, but perceived only blue and, possibly, ultraviolet light by means of central blue-sensitive and accessory cones. Thus, these experiments demonstrated that in conditions of normal daylight illumination, retinal photoreceptors in salmon fry respond to changes in the earth’s magnetic field, i.e., objectively function as magnetoreceptors.
Key wordsretina photoreceptor cells geomagnetic field Pacific ocean salmon
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