The early receptor potential (ERP) was recorded intracellularly from Limulus ventral photoreceptors. The ERP in cells dissected under red light was altered by exhaustive illumination. No recovery to the original wafeform was observed, even after 1 h in the dark. The ERP waveform could be further altered by chromatic adaptation or by changes in pH. The results indicate that at pH 7.8 there are two interconvertible pigment states with only slightly different lambdamax, whereas at pH 9.6 there are two interconvertible states with very different lambdamax. Under all conditions studied the ERPs were almost identical with those previously obtained in squid retinas. This strongly suggests that light converts Limulus rhodopsin to a stable photoequilibrium mixture of rhodopsin to a stable photoequilibrium mixture of rhodopsin and metarhodopsin and that, as in squid, the lambdamax of metarhodopsin depends on pH. This conversion at pH 7.8 is associated with a small (0.7 log unit) decrease in the maximum sensitivity of the late receptor potential. Thus the component of adaptation linked to changes in rhodopsin concentration is unimportant in comparison to the "neural" component.

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