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Photoreceptors and Photoprocesses in the Living Cell

  • Jerome J. Wolken
Conference paper
Part of the The Jerusalem Symposia on Quantum Chemistry and Biochemistry book series (JSQC, volume 10)

Abstract

Living organisms from bacteria to man exhibit various kinds of sensitivity to the visible part of the electromagnetic spectrum of energy. This is seen in behavior, for an organism will bend, move, or swim toward or away from a light source. Such behavior is described as phototropism and phototaxis. Plant cells utilize solar radiation directly in photosynthesis. In animals, photo-sensory cells evolved, giving rise to eyes and to vision. Other photobiological phenomena are now known, such as photoperiodism and photomorphogenesis, which control many developmental growth processes as well as hormonal stimulation of the sexual cycles, the timing of the flowering of plants, and the color and shade changes in the skin of animals. Also, there is photodynamic action, the photosensitization by a molecule which becomes activated by light and causes destructive photooxidation in the cell, and photoreactivation, the recovery of ultraviolet damage by visible radiation.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jerome J. Wolken
    • 1
  1. 1.Carnegie-Mellon UniversityPittsburghUSA

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