Maria Ntefidou

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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)
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)
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)
Euglena gracilis responds to abiotic stress factors (high light, salinity, heavy metals) with a sign change of its gravitactic behavior. This phenomenon is oxygen dependent and can be suppressed by the application of the reductant dithionite. It is not mediated by the photoreceptor since also blind mutants change their movement behavior upon high light(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)
In recent times Euglena gracilis Z was employed as primary producer in closed environmental life-support system (CELSS), e.g. in space research. The photosynthetic unicellular flagellate is not capable of utilizing nitrate, nitrite, and urea as nitrogen source. Therefore, ammonium is supplied as an N-source in the lab (provided as(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 flagellate Euglena gracilis orients itself in the water column by means of pronounced phototaxis and gravitaxis. The antagonism of phototaxis and gravitaxis brings the cells in a position in the water column providing them with optimal light conditions for their photosynthetic apparatus (about 30 Wm). Long exposure to solar or artificial(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)