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Light-induced pigment granule migration in the retinular cells of Drosophila melanogaster. Comparison of wild type with ERG-defective mutants

  • Published Date:

    Feb 1981

  • Source:
    J Gen Physiol. 77(2):155-175.
Filetype[PDF-1.25 MB]

  • Alternative Title:
    J Gen Physiol
  • Description:
    The dependence of pigment granule migration (PGM) upon the receptor potential was examined using several strains of electroretinogram (ERG)-defective mutants of Drosophila melanogaster. The mutants that have a defective lamina component but a normal receptor component of the ERG (no on-transient A [nonA] and tan) exhibited normal pigment granule migration. The mutants that have very small or no receptor potentials (certain no receptor potential A [norpA] alleles), on the other hand, exhibited no PGM. In the case of the temperature-sensitive norpA mutant, norpAH52, normal PGM was present at 17 degrees but not at 32 degrees C or above, corresponding to its electrophysiological phenotype. In the transient receptor potential (trp) mutant, whose receptor potential decays to the baseline within a few seconds during a sustained light stimulus, the pigment granules initially moved close to the rhabdomere when light was turned on but moved away after about 5 s during a sustained light stimulus. All these results lend strong support to the notion that PGM is initiated by a light-evoked depolarization of the receptor membrane, i.e., the receptor potential. However, under certain experimental conditions, the receptor potentials failed to induce PGM in the trp mutant. The depolarization of the receptor, thus, appears to be closely associated with PGM but is not a sufficient condition for PGM.
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