Graviperception and gravitaxis in algae.

Häder DP, Lebert M (2001)

Publication Type: Journal article

Publication year: 2001


Publisher: Elsevier

Book Volume: 27

Pages Range: 861 - 870

DOI: 10.1016/S0273-1177(01)00149-1


Photosynthetic flagellates are among the most intensely studied unicellular organisms in the field of graviperception and gravitaxis. While the phenomenon of graviorientation has been known for many decades, only recently was the molecular mechanism unveiled. Earlier hypotheses tried to explain the precise orientation by a passive buoy mechanism assuming the tail end to be heavier than the front. In the photosynthetic flagellate Euglena gracilis, the whole cell body is denser than the surrounding medium, pressing onto the lower cell membrane where it seems to activate mechanosensitive ion channels specific for calcium. The calcium entering the cells during reorientation can be visualized by the fluorescence probe, Calcium Crimson. Cyclic AMP is likewise involved in the molecular pathway. Inhibitors of calcium channels and ionophores impair gravitaxis while caffeine, a blocker of the phosphodiesterase, enhances the precision of orientation. © 2001 COSPAR. Published by Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

Authors with CRIS profile

How to cite


Häder, D.-P., & Lebert, M. (2001). Graviperception and gravitaxis in algae. Advances in Space Research, 27, 861 - 870.


Häder, Donat-Peter, and Michael Lebert. "Graviperception and gravitaxis in algae." Advances in Space Research 27 (2001): 861 - 870.

BibTeX: Download