Photic Responses and Sensory Transduction in Motile Protists

  • B. Diehn
Part of the Handbook of Sensory Physiology book series (SENSORY, volume 7 / 6 / 6 A)


The fact that some unicellular organisms respond to illumination by accumulating either at the light or dark side of the vessel in which they are contained, has been the subject of scientific study for more than 150 years. The reason for this interest is, of course, the realization that such organisms contain a sensory system that enables them not only to perceive light, but apparently also to determine its direction. As will be seen, recent work has shown that in most cases, the observed accumulation pattern is not in fact a consequence of truly directional responses. Nevertheless, the obvious ability of certain motile protists to exhibit a distinctive behavioral response to stimulation with light, has continued to fascinate researchers to this day.


Action Spectrum Euglena Gracilis Purple Membrane Sensory Transduction Phototactic Response 
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© Springer-Verlag, Berlin · Heidelberg 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. Diehn
    • 1
  1. 1.ToledoUSA

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