Two partly independent electrophysiological methods are described for measuring the number of rhodopsin molecules (R) in single ventral photoreceptors. Method 1 is based on measurements of the relative intensity required to elicit a quantal response and the relative intensity required to half-saturate the early receptor potential (ERP). Method 2 is based on measurements of the absolute intensity required to elicit a quantal response. Both methods give values of R approximately equal to 10(9). From these and other measurements, estimates are derived for the surface density of rhodopsin (8,000/micrometer2), the charge movement during the ERP per isomerized rhodopsin (20 X 10(-21) C), and the half-time for thermal isomerization of rhodopsin (36yr).

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