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New ways from photon to behaviour: Finding new phototransduction cascades in fan worms

Project description

Looking for a worm's eye view

The visual system is part of the central nervous system, which gives humans and other organisms the ability to process visual detail such as sight, as well as enabling the formation of several non-image photo response functions. But what does the world look like for animals with visual systems different to this system? While some worms have no visible eyes at all, but perhaps photosensitive cells not discernable without technical help, others have simple eyes consisting of a photoreceptor and a pigment cell. There are also others that have complicated compound eyes. The EU-funded PhoToBe project will investigate the different species and vision systems.


Vision is the sense for human beings. We can imagine how the world looks like for animals with visual systems like ours. But for animals with very different visual systems this differs, such as fan worms. Fan worms from different differ in their visual systems tremendously. Some have no visible eyes at all, maybe photosensitive cells not visible without technical help. Others have simple eyes consisting of a photoreceptor and a pigment cell. Others have complicated compound eyes, possibly mediating true vision. The different species form a progressing systems for studying eye evolution. These eyes evolved independently from vertebrate and insect eyes, because they are not in the head but on head appendages called fan. These eyes use also other phototransduction cascades than vertebrates or insects. However, what the exact components are, is unknown. My proposal seeks to answer that question.



Net EU contribution
€ 212 933,76
Beacon house queens road
BS8 1QU Bristol
United Kingdom

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South West (England) Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Bristol/Bath area Bristol, City of
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Other funding
€ 0,00