L, M and L-M hybrid cone photopigments in man: deriving λ(max) from flicker photometric spectral sensitivities

Lindsay T. Sharpe, Andrew Stockman, Herbert Jägle, Holger Knau, Jeremy Nathans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Using heterochromatic flicker photometry, we have measured the corneal spectral sensitivities of the X-chromosome-linked photopigments in 40 dichromats, 37 of whom have a single opsin gene in their tandem array. The photopigments encoded by their genes include: the alanine variant of the normal middle-wavelength sensitive photopigment, M(A180); the alanine and serine variants of the normal long-wavelength sensitive photopigment, L(A180) and L(S180); four different L-M hybrid or anomalous photopigments, L2M3(A180), L3M4(S180), L4M5(A180) and L4M5(S180); and two variants of the L-cone photopigment, encoded by genes with embedded M-cone exon two sequences, L(M2; A180) and L(M2; S180). The peak absorbances (λ(max)) of the underlying photopigment spectra associated with each genotype were estimated by correcting the corneal spectral sensitivities back to the retinal level, after removing the effects of the macular and lens pigments and fitting a template of fixed shape to the dilute photopigment spectrum. Details of the genotype-phenotype correlations are summarized elsewhere (Sharpe, L. T., Stockman, A., Jagle, H., Knau, H., Klausen, G., Reitner, A. et al. (1998). J. Neuroscience, 18, 10053-10069). Here, we present the individual corneal spectral sensitivities for the first time as well as details and a comparison of three analyses used to estimate the λ(max) values, including one in which the lens and macular pigment densities of each observer were individually measured. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science Ltd.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3513-3525
Number of pages13
JournalVision Research
Issue number21
StatePublished - Oct 1999


  • Color matching
  • Cone fundamental
  • Deuteranopes
  • Dichromacy
  • L-cones
  • Lens pigment
  • M-cones
  • Macular pigment
  • Photopigment genes
  • Photopigments
  • Protanopes
  • Single-gene dichromats
  • Spectral sensitivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems


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