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Photomovement in Dunaliella salina: Fluence rate-response curves and action spectra


We determined the action spectra of the photophobic responses as well as the phototactic response in Dunaliella salina (Volvocales) using both single cells and populations. The action spectra of the photophobic responses have maxima at 510 nm, the spectrum for phototaxis has a maximum at 450–460 nm. These action spectra are not compatible with the hypothesis that flavoproteins are the photoreceptor pigments, and we suggest that carotenoproteins or rhodopsins act as the photoreceptor pigments. We also conclude that the phototactic response in Dunaliella is an elementary response, quite independent of the step-up and step-down photophobic responses. We also determined the action spectra of the photoaccumulation response in populations of cells adapted to two different salt conditions. Both action spectra have a peak a 490 nm. The photoaccumulation response may be a complex response composed of the phototactic and photophobic responses. Blue or blue-green light does not elicit a photokinetic response in Dunaliella.

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Diagrams of the optical set-ups used for measuring the responses at the single-cell level and of the plans for building the phototaxometer described in this paper are available to the interested reader

We thank Mr. M. Kubota for a tremendous amount of technical assistance and Mr. R. Nagy for building the phototaxometer. We thank T. Kondo, Professor H. Imaseki and the members of the Laboratory of Biological Regulation, NIBB, for their help and support in various aspects of this research. This research was supported, in part, from grants from the Okazaki Large Spectrograph (Project Nos. 86-535, 87-518, 88-523), the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science, and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University to R. W.

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Wayne, R., Kadota, A., Watanabe, M. et al. Photomovement in Dunaliella salina: Fluence rate-response curves and action spectra. Planta 184, 515–524 (1991). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00197901

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Key words

  • Action spectra (Dunaliella)
  • Blue and blue-green light responses
  • Dunaliella
  • Light-induced motile responses
  • Photophobic responses
  • Phototaxis