Istituto di Biofisica     
Musio C., Santillo S., Taddei-Ferretti C., Robles L., Vismara R., Barsanti L., Gualtieri P. First identification and localization of a visual pigment in Hydra (Cnidaria, Hydrozoa). In: Journal of Comparative Physiology A-Neuroethology Sensory Neural and Behavioral Physiology, vol. 187 (1) pp. 79 - 81. Springer, 2001.
The cnidarian Hydra does not possess identified photoreceptive structures or specialized cells for light detection; nevertheless, it shows a marked photosensitivity. So far no evidence has been previously reported about the localization of the proteins involved in the photoresponse. We used polyclonal antibodies and immunofluorescence microscopy on whole-mount Hydra to identify a putative rhodopsin-like protein. Our results show an immunoreactivity in the ectodermal layer of Hydra, which corresponds in position to the nervous epidermal sensory cells. These data provide the first identification of a rhodopsin-like protein in a phylogenetically old invertebrate and give a new insight into the Hydra photoreceptive response.
DOI: 10.1007/s003590100180
Subject Hydra
Visual pigments
Rhodopsin-like proteins

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