Ciliary photoreceptors with vertebrate-type opsins in an invertebrate brain.
2004
Authors: Arendt D, Tessmar-Raible K, Snyman H, Dorresteijn AW, Wittbrodt J.
CellNetworks People: Wittbrodt Joachim
Journal: "Science. 2004 Oct 29;306(5697):869-71."

For vision, insect and vertebrate eyes use rhabdomeric and ciliary photoreceptor cells, respectively. These cells show distinct architecture and transduce the light signal by different phototransductory cascades. In the marine rag-worm Platynereis, we find both cell types: rhabdomeric photoreceptor cells in the eyes and ciliary photoreceptor cells in the brain. The latter use a photopigment closely related to vertebrate rod and cone opsins. Comparative analysis indicates that both types of photoreceptors, with distinct opsins, coexisted in Urbilateria, the last common ancestor of insects and vertebrates, and sheds new light on vertebrate eye evolution.