Systematic variations in microvilli banding patterns along fiddler crab rhabdoms

Alkaladi, Ali, How, Martin and Zeil, Jochen (2013) Systematic variations in microvilli banding patterns along fiddler crab rhabdoms. Journal of Comparative Physiology A, 199 2: 99-113. doi:10.1007/s00359-012-0771-9

Author Alkaladi, Ali
How, Martin
Zeil, Jochen
Title Systematic variations in microvilli banding patterns along fiddler crab rhabdoms
Journal name Journal of Comparative Physiology A   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0340-7594
Publication date 2013-02-01
Year available 2012
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/s00359-012-0771-9
Volume 199
Issue 2
Start page 99
End page 113
Total pages 15
Place of publication Heidelberg, Germany
Publisher Springer
Language eng
Abstract Polarisation sensitivity is based on the regular alignment of dichroic photopigment molecules within photoreceptor cells. In crustaceans, this is achieved by regularly stacking photopigment-rich microvilli in alternating orthogonal bands within fused rhabdoms. Despite being critical for the efficient detection of polarised light, very little research has focused on the detailed arrangement of these microvilli bands. We report here a number of hitherto undescribed, but functionally relevant changes in the organisation of microvilli banding patterns, both within receptors, and across the compound eye of fiddler crabs. In all ommatidia, microvilli bands increase in length from the distal to the proximal ends of the rhabdom. In equatorial rhabdoms, horizontal bands increase gradually from 3 rows of microvilli distally to 20 rows proximally. In contrast, vertical equatorial microvilli bands contain 15-20 rows of microvilli in the distal 30 μm of the rhabdom, shortening to 10 rows over the next 30 μm and then increase in length to 20 rows in parallel with horizontal bands. In the dorsal eye, horizontal microvilli occupy only half the cross-sectional area as vertical microvilli bands. Modelling absorption along the length of fiddler crab rhabdoms suggests that (1) increasing band length assures that photon absorption probability per band remains constant along the length of photoreceptors, indicating that individual bands may act as units of transduction or adaptation; (2) the different organisation of microvilli bands in equatorial and dorsal rhabdoms tune receptors to the degree and the information content of polarised light in the environment.
Keyword Dichroism
Fiddler crab
Microvilli banding
Polarisation vision
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published online: 30 October 2012.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Queensland Brain Institute Publications
Official 2013 Collection
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 8 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Thu, 22 Nov 2012, 19:52:46 EST by Debra McMurtrie on behalf of Queensland Brain Institute