Istituto di Biofisica     
Ferraro F., Passarelli V., Barsanti L., Gualtieri P. Euglena gracilis photoreception. In: International Journal of Medicine, Biology and the Environment, vol. 29 (1) pp. 35 - 40. Assoc. Médecine Biologie Environnement, 2001.
For over 100 years, a major focus of photobiological studies has been the unicellular flagellate, Euglena gracilis, an organism well suited for such investigation by its special complement of organelles that may be considered an ancient, yet complete "visua" system. The possible photoreceptive roles of the cytoplasmic stigma and the photoreceptor (old terminology: 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 paper deals with our hypothesis, firt forward in the late 1980s, tha rhodopsin-like proteins are responsible for photo-detection and the paraxial rod is involved in the controll of flagellar movements. A brief introduction on the theoretical assumptions of the functioning of the rhodopsin-like proteins along with a survey of their distribution on the theoretical assumptions of the description of the Euglena case. tha main characteristics of its photobehaviour and the experiments wich have strengthened the hypotesis of the presence of rhodopsin-like proteins have been outlined. A model for phototaxis is presented.
Subject Rodhopsin-like proteins

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