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Euglena gracilis, a unicellular freshwater protist exhibits different photomovement responses, such as phototaxis (oriented movement toward or away from the light source) and photophobic (abrupt turn in response to a rapid increase [step-up] or decrease [step-down] in the light fluence rate) responses. Photoactivated adenylyl cyclase (PAC) has been isolated(More)
Anabaena sensory rhodopsin (ASR) is a novel microbial rhodopsin recently discovered in the freshwater cyanobacterium Anabaena sp. PCC7120. This protein most likely functions as a photosensory receptor as do the related haloarchaeal sensory rhodopsins. However, unlike the archaeal pigments, which are tightly bound to their cognate membrane-embedded(More)
Channelrhodopsins act as photoreceptors for control of motility behavior in flagellates and are widely used as genetically targeted tools to optically manipulate the membrane potential of specific cell populations ("optogenetics"). The first two channelrhodopsins were obtained from the model organism Chlamydomonas reinhardtii (CrChR1 and CrChR2). By(More)
In the absence of other external stimuli the motile, unicellular freshwater flagellate Euglena gracilis normally swims upward in the water column (negative gravitaxis). This behavior is most likely triggered by active physiological orientation mechanisms. Recently it was found that negative gravitaxis often inverts to a positive one upon high light(More)
The German Aerospace Center (DLR) enabled German participation in the joint space campaign on the unmanned Shenzhou 8 spacecraft in November 2011. In this report, the effect of microgravity on Euglena gracilis cells is described. Custom-made dual compartment cell fixation units (containing cells in one chamber and fixative - RNA lysis buffer - in another(More)
There is strong evidence that gravitactic orientation in flagellates and ciliates is mediated by an active physiological gravireceptor rather than by passive alignment of the cells in the water column. In flagellates the threshold for graviorientation was found to be at 0.12 x g on a slow rotating centrifuge during the IML-2 mission on the Shuttle Columbia(More)
The unicellular, green flagellate wild-type Euglena gracilis(strain Z) and its colorless phototaxis-mutant strains as well as the non-photosynthetic close relative, Astasia longa, possess several genes of the photoactivated adenylyl cyclase (PAC) family. The corresponding gene products were found to be responsible for step-up (but not step-down) photophobic(More)
The unicellular freshwater flagellate Euglena gracilis regulates its position in the water column by means of phototactic and gravitactic behavior. Recent experiments have revealed that the cells switch between negative and positive gravitaxis depending upon environmental stimuli such as solar radiation. In this study, the effect of increased salinity on(More)
The unicellular, green flagellate wild-type Euglena gracilis (strain Z) possesses two genes of the photoactivated adenylyl cyclase (PAC) family. The corresponding gene products were found to be responsible for step-up (but not step-down) photophobic responses as well as both positive and negative phototaxis. The proteins consist of two PACalpha (Mr 105 kDa)(More)