Istituto di Biofisica     
Lenci F., Checcucci G., Ghetti F., Gioffrè D., Sgarbossa A. Sensory perception and transduction of UV-B radiation by the ciliate Blepharisma japonicum. In: Biochimica et Biophysica Acta-General Subjects, vol. 1336 (1) pp. 23 - 27. Elsevier, 1997.
A key question to answer studying the biological effects of ultraviolet radiation on planktonic micro-organisms is whether they can perceive UV-B radiation as a sensory signal, likewise they do with visible light. We have faced this problem performing an individual-cell analysis of Blepharisma japonicum photomotile responses to UV-B stimuli. Our results on spectral responsiveness and on the effects of a photoresponse inhibitor indicate that B. japonicum is capable to perceive and transduce UV-B radiation as an environmental sensory stimulus, which it escapes from gathering in shadowed areas. Similar UV-B avoidance motile reactions could serve as a behavioural defence mechanism contributing to avoid harmful overexposure to UV-B.
DOI: 10.1016/S0304-4165(97)00005-6
Subject Blepharisma japonicum
Photosensory perception
Sensory transduction
Ultraviolet radiation
UV-B stimulus

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