• M. A. Ali
  • M. Anctil
  • L. Cervetto
Part of the NATO Advanced Study Institutes Series book series (NSSA, volume 18)


Sensitivity to solar radiation is a widespread phenomenon among living forms and is commonly expressed in phototropic, phototactic or visual responses. Whenever sufficiently detailed investigations have been made, a molecular mechanism involving photolabile pigments and associated membrane specialisations was found to mediate this photosensitivity. We find this applicable to the bacteriorhodopsin of some bacteria (Oesterhelt and Stoeckenius, 1971), the flavin-type and carotenoid pigments of the phototropic fungi (Wolken, 1975), the chloroplast-based chlorophyl of green plants and, of course, the photopigments of animal photoreceptors. Photoreception, especially vision, has a prominent role among the sensory modalities used by many animal forms to provide information on the Nature of the environment. It is reasonable to assert that, in the most organised visual systems, the sensory information contained in the visual messages is one of the richest, both in quality and detail.


Spectral Sensitivity Outer Segment Visual Pigment Cone Outer Segment Stizostedion Vitreum 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. A. Ali
    • 1
    • 2
  • M. Anctil
    • 1
    • 2
  • L. Cervetto
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Dépt. Biol.Univ. MontréalMontréalCanada
  2. 2.Lab. di NeurofisiologiaCNRPisaItaly

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