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Rhodopsin is a visual pigment ubiquitous in multicellular animals. If visual pigments have a common ancient origin, as is believed, then some unicellular organisms might also use a rhodopsin photoreceptor. We show here that the unicellular alga Chlamydomonas does indeed use a rhodopsin photoreceptor. We incorporated analogues of its retinal chromophore into(More)
The unicellular eukaryote Chlamydomonas reinhardtii is a phototactic alga that swims toward or away from light, using rhodopsin as the photopigment. The activity of retinal analogues was tested in the mutant FN68, which has high phototactic sensitivity only after incubation with retinal or analogues of retinal. Analogues prevented from isomerizing about the(More)
The interaction of the bovine opsin apoprotein with transducin in rod outer segment membranes was investigated using a guanyl nucleotide exchange assay. In exhaustive binding experiments, opsin activates transducin, with half-maximal exchange activity occurring at 0.8 mol of opsin/mol of transducin. The opsin activity was light-insensitive,(More)
The unicellular green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii steers through water with a pair of cilia (eukaryotic flagella). Long-term observation of the beating of its cilia with controlled stimulation is improving our understanding of how a cell responds to sensory inputs. Here we describe how to record ciliary motion continuously for long periods. We also(More)
With an instrument that can record the motion of both cilia of the unicellular alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii for many hours, the behavioral differences of its two cilia have been studied to determine their specific role in phototaxis. The organism was held on a fixed micropipette with the plane of ciliary beating rotated into the imaging plane of a(More)
Experimental evidence indicates that during phototropism, Phycomyces sporangiophores use their own net rotation to convert an apparently spatial stimulus to a temporal one. Conversion to a continuous temporal stimulus insures that phototropism never adapts as long as the spatial asymmetry in illumination is maintained. If this temporal stimulus is(More)
A sensitive assay for the induction of carotenoid and rhodopsin synthesis, based on the phototactic response, has been developed in a mutant of the unicellular alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. In the dark, the mutant fails to synthesize carotene and retinal, but it contains the apoprotein opsin. When retinal synthesis is induced by light treatment, the(More)
When it is gliding, the unicellular euglenoid Peranema trichophorum uses activation of the photoreceptor rhodopsin to control the probability of its curling behavior. From the curled state, the cell takes off in a new direction. In a similar manner, archaea such as Halobacterium use light activation of bacterio- and sensory rhodopsins to control the(More)
Retinal normally binds opsin forming the chromophore of the visual pigment, rhodopsin. In this investigation synthetic analogs were bound by the opsin of living cells of the alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii; the effect was assayed by phototaxis to give an activation spectrum for each rhodopsin analog. The results show the influence of different chromophores(More)