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Curr Opin Microbiol. 2008 Apr;11(2):168-78. doi: 10.1016/j.mib.2008.02.014. Epub 2008 Apr 8.

Photoregulation in prokaryotes.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, The University of Chicago, 929 E. 57th Street, Gordon Center for Integrative Science W125, Chicago, IL 60637, United States.


The spectroscopic identification of sensory rhodopsin I by Bogomolni and Spudich in 1982 provided a molecular link between the light environment and phototaxis in Halobacterium salinarum, and thus laid the foundation for the study of signal transducing photosensors in prokaryotes. In recent years, a number of new prokaryotic photosensory receptors have been discovered across a broad range of taxa, including dozens in chemotrophic species. Among these photoreceptors are new classes of rhodopsins, BLUF-domain proteins, bacteriophytochromes, cryptochromes, and LOV-family photosensors. Genetic and biochemical analyses of these receptors have demonstrated that they can regulate processes ranging from photosynthetic pigment biosynthesis to virulence.

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