Anion and cation permeabilities in dark-adapted Balanus photoreceptors were determined by comparing changes in the membrane potential in response to replacement of the dominant anion (Cl-) or cation (Na+) by test anions or cations in the superfusing solution. The anion permeability sequence obtained was PI greater than PSO4 greater than PBr greater than PCl greater than Pisethionate greater than Pmethanesulfonate. Gluconate, glucuronate, and glutamate generally appeared more permeable and propionate less permeable than Cl-. The alkali-metal cation permeability sequence obtained was PK greater than PRb greater than PCx greater than PNa approximately PLi. This corresponds to Eisenman's IV which is the same sequencethat has been obtained for other classes of nerve cells in the resting state. The values obtained for the permeability ratios of the alkali-metal cations are considered to be minimal. The membrane conductance measured by passing inward current pulses in the different test cations followed the sequence, GK greater than GRb greater than GCs greater than GNa greater than GLi. The conductance ratios obtained for a full substitution of the test cation agreed quite well with permeability ratios for all the alkali-metal cations except K+ which was generally higher.

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