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Encyclopedia > Photopigment

Photoreceptors are light-sensitive proteins involved in the function of photoreceptor cells. Some examples are rhodopsin in our retina, phytochrome in plants, and bacteriorhodopsin in some bacteria.


Photoreceptor can also refer to the cells found in ommatidia and retina that contain these photosensitive pigments (see photoreceptor cell).


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Fundamentals of Vision: INFERRING THE RETINAL ANATOMY AND VISUAL CAPACITIES OF EXTINCT VERTEBRATES (1459 words)
When a photopigment is created, the retinal is in a configuration named 11-cis to denote the orientation of the bonds around the eleventh carbon atom (Figure 5).
Figure 6 shows the absorption probability of a typical vertebrate photopigment as a function of wavelength and, essentially, the absorption spectrum of a photoreceptor as well, since in most cases, all of the opsin molecules within a given photoreceptor are chemically identical.
With such data we can reasonably conclude that the starling's photopigment complement has been handed down through every generation since before its ancestors became terrestrial; that is, the starling's four cone pigments are likely orthologs of the four cone pigments of the common ancestor of a starling and a goldfish.
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