Two novel visual pigment genes, mouse blue and bovine blue, have been isolated from mouse and bovine genomic libraries, respectively, using a human blue cone pigment cDNA as probe. Corresponding cDNA clones have also been obtained from mouse retinas. The intron-exon boundaries for the mouse gene were determined by comparing the genomic and cDNA sequences. The visual pigments encoded by the mouse and bovine blue pigment genes are highly homologous to each other (89% amino acid identity) and to human blue and chicken violet cone pigments (greater than 80% identity), but are less homologous to chicken or goldfish blue cone pigments (less than 50% identity). These results indicate that phylogenetically both mouse and bovine blue pigments belong to the S branch of visual pigments, rather than to the M branch.
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