Survey of Photomotile Responses in Microorganisms

  • Wilhelm Nultsch
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 211)


As light is used as energy source in photosynthesis, plants and photosynthetic microorganisms have developed several different photosensing and photomotile systems, respectively. They enable them to find places of proper irradiances and to stay there, or to bring themselves or their organs into a position in which they can capture an optimal number of photons. Moreover, the same or other photosensing systems can be used to avoid places of too high irradiances and/or UV, this way preventing the cells from photodamage. Even some non-photosynthetic organisms can respond to light stimuli, e.g., the sporangiophores of some fungi as well as some colorless flagellates and other protozoa. In the latter case photomovement may have also a photoprotective function, whereas in fungi phototropic responses facilitate the propagation of spores whose germination is light-dependent.


Fluence Rate Light Direction Euglena Gracilis Steady State Velocity Positive Phototaxis 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Galland, P., 1990, Phototropism of the Phycomyces sporangiophore: a comparison with higher plants, Photochem. Photobiol., 52, 233.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Häder, D.-P., Lebert, M., and DiLena, M. R., 1987, New evidence for mechanism of phototactic orientation of Euglena gracilis, Curr. Microbiol., 14, 157.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Jennings, H. S., 1906, Behavior of the Lower Organisms, Indiana University Press. Bloomington, 1976 reprint.Google Scholar
  4. Mast, S. O., 1911, Light and Behavior of Organisms, Wiley, New York.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Melkonian, M., and Robenek, H., 1980, Eyespot membranes of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii: a freeze-frac-ture study, J.Ultrastruct. Res., 72, 90.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Nultsch, W., 1975, Phototaxis and photokinesis. In “Primitive Sensory and Communication Systems,” Carlile, M. J., ed., Academic Press, London, pp. 29.Google Scholar
  7. Nultsch, W., 1983, The photocontrol of movement of Chlamydomonas. In “The Society for Experimental Biology Symposium XXXVI,” Cosens, D. J., and Vince-Prue, D., eds., Society for Experimental Biology, Great Britain, pp. 521.Google Scholar
  8. Nultsch, W., 1985, Photosensing in cyanobacteria. In “Sensory Perception and Transduction in Aneural Organisms,” Colombetti, G., Lenci, F., and Song, P.-S., Plenum Press, New York, pp. 147.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Nultsch, W., and Hader, D.-P., 1979, Photomovement of motile microorganisms, Photochem. Photobiol., 29, 423.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Nultsch, W., and Hader, D.-P., 1988, Photomovement in motile microorganisms-II, Photochem. Photobiol., 47, 837.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Nultsch, W., and Schuchart, H., 1980, Photomovement of red alga Porphyridium omentum (Ag., Naegeli.) II. Phototaxis, Arch. Microbiol, 125, 181.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Nultsch, W., and Schuchart, H., 1985, A model of the phototactic reaction chain of the cyanobacterium Anabaena variabilis, Arch. Microbiol., 142, 180.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Riiffer U., and Nultsch, W., 1985, High-speed cinematographic analysis of the movement of Chlamydomonas, Cell Motility Cytoskeleton, 5, 251.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Riiffer, U., and Nultsch, W., 1987, Comparison of the beating of cis and trans flagella of Chlamydomonas cells held on micropipettes, Cell Motility Cytoskeleton, 7, 87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Riiffer, U., and Nultsch, W., 1990, Flagellar photoresponses of Chlamydomonas cells held on micropipettes: I. Change in flagellar beat frecency, Cell Motility Cytoskeleton, 15, 162.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Walne, P. L., and Arnott, J. J., 1967, The comparative ultrastructure and possible function of eyespots: Euglena granulata and Chlamydomonas eugametos, Planta, 77, 289.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wilhelm Nultsch
    • 1
  1. 1.Lehrstuhl für BotanikFachbereich Biologie - BotanikMarburg 1Germany

Personalised recommendations