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Abstract

We have identified the photoreceptors of Trachemys scripta elegans, an intensely studied species that is a model for color vision work. To recognize and count the different photoreceptor types, we labeled them with a combination of morphological and immunohistochemistry markers. The counts for the determination of the density of each photoreceptor type were made in wholemount retinas. The percentages found for each cone type were 29, 23, 21, 12, and 6%, respectively, for L (both types), double, M, S, and ultraviolet cones. The cones were found to be organized horizontally in a visual streak, a linear region with a higher density of photoreceptors that ends temporally in the periphery and more centrally in the nasal side. This region of high density of photoreceptors was not symmetrical along its extension; there was a region with conspicuous central density peaks in the temporal area, suggestive of an area centralis. We also observed a dorsoventral asymmetry in photoreceptor density, with greater density in the ventral region. This asymmetry was observed in cones and rods, but it was more pronounced in the rods. Our results corroborate and extend the findings of previous work in the literature describing the retinal photoreceptors of T. s. elegans and their spatial organization. The higher cone density within the visual streak reflects increased spatial resolution and its existence suggests the possibility of binocular vision. It is remarkable that within this region the entire potential for color vision is also present.

Authors

Grotzner, Sonia Regina;  Grotzner, Sonia Regina;  de Farias Rocha, Fernando Allan;  de Farias Rocha, Fernando Allan;  Corredor, Vitor Henrique;  Corredor, Vitor Henrique;  Passos Liber, Andre Mauricio;  Passos Liber, Andre Mauricio;  Hamassaki, Dania Emi;  Hamassaki, Dania Emi;  Oliveira Bonci, Daniela Maria;  Oliveira Bonci, Daniela Maria;  Ventura, Dora Fix;  Ventura, Dora Fix

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