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Trends Plant Sci. 1999 Feb;4(2):58-63.

Rhodopsin-mediated photosensing in green flagellated algae.

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Biology Faculty, Moscow State University, 119899 Moscow, Russia.


Green flagellated algae possess a primitive visual system that regulates the activity of their motor apparatus. Photoexcitation of a rhodopsin-type photoreceptor protein gives rise to the photoreceptor current, which, above a certain threshold of stimulus intensity, induces the flagellar current. It is probable that the photoinduced alteration in flagellar beating is governed by changes in intracellular Ca2+ concentration. This rhodopsin-mediated sensory system serves to align the swimming path with the direction of the light stimulus, whereas processes of energy metabolism determine whether the oriented movement is directed towards or away from the light source.

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