Phototropic responses to unilateral ultraviolet stimuli were studied to determine whether the response of one side of the cell is affected by the previous exposure of the opposite side to ultraviolet. It has been found that the direction of bending is not parallel to the stimulus direction, but is along a straight line rotated 17° clockwise from the stimulus direction. This deviation indicates that the photoreceptors may be in a state of continual clockwise rotation. If before the stimulus the cell is exposed briefly to ultraviolet and rotated through 90°, the response is not along the 17° line, but is deviated a greater or lesser amount, depending on whether the 90° rotation is clockwise or counterclockwise. This difference is evidence that the first ultraviolet exposure leaves a persistent patch of light-adapted receptors and the shaded part of the cell remains dark adapted. The phototropic stimulus straddles the edge between light- and dark-adapted regions, and the differing responses of the two regions affects the direction of phototropic bending. A phototropic mechanism is proposed which combines the features of local adaptation and photoreceptor rotation.

This content is only available as a PDF.