Istituto di Biofisica     
Walne P. L., Passarelli V., Barsanti L., Gualtieri P. Rhodopsin: A Photopigment for Phototaxis in Euglena gracilis. In: Critical Reviews in Plant Sciences, vol. 17 (5) pp. 559 - 574. Taylor, 1998.
For over 100 years, a major focus of photobiological studies has been the unicellular flagellate, Euglena gracilis, an organism well suited for such investigations by its special complement of organelles that may be considered an ancient, yet complete "visual" system. The possible photoreceptive roles of the cytoplasmic stigma and the photoreceptor (paraflagellar swelling) of E. gracilis are still under debate, because of conflicting interpretations of the results produced so far by the different research groups working on this microorganism. This article deals with our hypothesis, first put forward in the late 1980s, that rhodopsin-like proteins are responsible for photo-detection and that the paraxial rod is involved in the control of flagellar movements. This hypothesis uses oriented dipole and electroconformational coupling mechanisms as the physical phenomena that produce signal transduction. A model for phototaxis is presented.
DOI: 10.1080/07352689891304267
Subject Electroconformational coupling
Optical bistability
Proteic crystal
Rhodopsin like protein

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