Photoreceptor Adaptation

One of the most amazing properties of the visual system is its functional range. This is particularly true for cone photoreceptors that function over several log units of brightness. We analyze different components of the visual transduction cascade to assess their contribution to light adaptation. A number of these components are cone specific, providing a molecular logic for differences in light sensitivity and recovery kinetics of rod and cone photoreceptors.
Apart from biochemical mechanisms, the fish outer retina has a number of additional morphological adaptation mechanisms. We are interested in how the relative positional changes of photoreceptor components in response to light adaptation relate to functional changes, what signals trigger these changes, and which cellular structures are involved.

Selected publications:
Hodel, C, Neuhauss, SCF, Biehlmaier, O (2006). Time course and development of light adaptation processes in the outer zebrafish retina. Anatomical Records A 288 (6): 653-662

Rinner, O, Makhankov, YM, Biehlmaier, O, Neuhauss, SCF (2005). Knockdown of Cone-Specific Kinase GRK7 in Larval Zebrafish Leads to Impaired Cone Response Recovery and Delayed Dark Adaptation. Neuron 47, 231-242