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Two opsin genes from the vetch aphid, Megoura viciae


Dr Jim Hardie, Aphid Biology Group, Department of Biology, Imperial College at Silwood Park, Ascot, Berks SL5 7PY, UK. E-mail:


The cDNAs of two opsins (Megopsin1 and Megopsin2) from the vetch aphid, Megoura viciae, have been sequenced and encoded for gene products with 378 and 371 amino acid residues, respectively. Phylogenetic analysis reveals that Megopsin1 falls into the insect long-wavelength opsin group and Megopsin2 is a member of the insect UV-wavelength opsins. Both opsins share the key features of G-protein-coupled receptors and the specific motifs of photopigments. In situ hybridization demonstrated that the transcripts of Megopsin1 and Megopsin2 were expressed in the retinula cells of the compound eyes.