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Uncovering secrets of life in the ocean
Date:11/19/2008

the photoreceptor.

"Platynereis can be considered a living fossil," says Gspr Jkely, former member of Arendt's lab who now heads a group at the MPI for Developmental Biology, "it still lives in the same environment as its ancestors millions of years ago and has preserved many ancestral features. Studying the eyespots of its larva is probably the closest we can get to figuring out what eyes looked like when they first evolved."

It is likely that the close coupling of light sensor to cilia marks an important, early landmark in the evolution of animal eyes. Many contemporary marine invertebrates still employ the strategy for phototaxis.


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Contact: Anna-Lynn Wegener
wegener@embl.de
49-622-138-7452
European Molecular Biology Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert  

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