Signal Transduction in Halobacteria

  • D. Oesterhelt
  • W. Marwan
Conference paper
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (volume 29)


The search for photosynthetically efficient green light and the avoidance of inefficient blue light or lethal ultra-violet light allows halobacteria to survive by means of photosynthesis in a natural habitat of brines and salt ponds under strong sunlight. The entire photobiochemistry of these archaebacteria is based upon the activation of retinal proteins. Two light-driven ion pumps, bacteriorhodopsin as a proton pump and halorhodopsin as a chloride pump, representlight energy converters that power the energy-driven processes of the cell (Lanyi, 1984). Two light sensors, sensory rhodopsin and protein P480 (also called SR-II or phoborhodopsin) mediate “colour” vision that aids the cell in finding the optimal photosynthetic environment (Spudich & Bogomolni, 1984; Takahashi et al., 1985; Marwan & Oesterhelt, 1987).


Retinal Protein Flagellar Motor Microbeam Irradiation Sensory Rhodopsin Halobacterium Halobium 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. Oesterhelt
    • 1
  • W. Marwan
    • 1
  1. 1.Max-Planck-Institut für BiochemieMartinsriedFederal Republic of Germany

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