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Zuoqiong Zhou, Xiyang Peng, Jianbin Chen, Xiushan Wu, Yuequn Wang, Yunhan Hong
Magnetoreception is essential for magnetic orientation in animal migration. The molecular basis for magnetoreception has recently been elucidated in fruitfly as complexes between the magnetic receptor magnetoreceptor (MagR) and its ligand cryptochrome (Cry). MagR and Cry are present in the animal kingdom. However, it is unknown whether they perform a conserved role in diverse animals. Here we report the identification and expression of zebrafish MagR and Cry homologs towards understanding their roles in lower vertebrates...
September 6, 2016: Science China. Life Sciences
Jobin John Jacob, K Suthindhiran
Geomagnetism aided navigation has been demonstrated by certain organisms which allows them to identify a particular location using magnetic field. This attractive technique to recognize the course was earlier exhibited in numerous animals, for example, birds, insects, reptiles, fishes and mammals. Magnetotactic bacteria (MTB) are one of the best examples for magnetoreception among microorganisms as the magnetic mineral functions as an internal magnet and aid the microbe to move towards the water columns in an oxic-anoxic interface (OAI)...
November 1, 2016: Materials Science & Engineering. C, Materials for Biological Applications
Daniel Nohr, Sophie Franz, Ryan Rodriguez, Bernd Paulus, Lars-Oliver Essen, Stefan Weber, Erik Schleicher
The cryptochrome/photolyase protein family possesses a conserved triad of tryptophans that may act as a molecular wire to transport electrons from the protein surface to the FAD cofactor for activation and/or signaling-state formation. Members from the animal (and animal-like) cryptochrome subclade use this process in a light-induced fashion in a number of exciting responses, such as the (re-)setting of circadian rhythms or magnetoreception; however, electron-transfer pathways have not been explored in detail yet...
July 26, 2016: Biophysical Journal
Susannah Worster, Daniel R Kattnig, P J Hore
Long-lived spin coherence and rotationally ordered radical pairs have previously been identified as key requirements for the radical pair mechanism of the avian magnetic compass sense. Both criteria are hard to meet in a biological environment, where thermal motion of the radicals creates dynamic disorder and drives efficient spin relaxation. This has long been cited as a major stumbling block of the radical pair hypothesis. Here we combine Redfield relaxation theory with analytical solutions to a rotational diffusion equation to assess the impact of restricted rotational motion of the radicals on the operation of the compass...
July 21, 2016: Journal of Chemical Physics
P J Hore, Henrik Mouritsen
Although it has been known for almost half a century that migratory birds can detect the direction of the Earth's magnetic field, the primary sensory mechanism behind this remarkable feat is still unclear. The leading hypothesis centers on radical pairs-magnetically sensitive chemical intermediates formed by photoexcitation of cryptochrome proteins in the retina. Our primary aim here is to explain the chemical and physical aspects of the radical-pair mechanism to biologists and the biological and chemical aspects to physicists...
July 5, 2016: Annual Review of Biophysics
Chia-Lin Wu, Tsai-Feng Fu, Meng-Hsuan Chiang, Yu-Wei Chang, Jim-Long Her, Tony Wu
The possible neurological and biophysical effects of magnetic fields on animals is an area of active study. Here, we report that courtship activity of male Drosophila increases in a magnetic field and that this effect is regulated by the blue light-dependent photoreceptor cryptochrome (CRY). Naïve male flies exhibited significantly increased courtship activities when they were exposed to a ≥ 20-Gauss static magnetic field, compared with their behavior in the natural environment (0 Gauss). CRY-deficient flies, cryb and crym, did not show an increased courtship index in a magnetic field...
2016: PloS One
Roswitha Wiltschko, Margaret Ahmad, Christine Nießner, Dennis Gehring, Wolfgang Wiltschko
The Radical Pair Model proposes that the avian magnetic compass is based on spin-chemical processes: since the ratio between the two spin states singlet and triplet of radical pairs depends on their alignment in the magnetic field, it can provide information on magnetic directions. Cryptochromes, blue light-absorbing flavoproteins, with flavin adenine dinucleotide as chromophore, are suggested as molecules forming the radical pairs underlying magnetoreception. When activated by light, cryptochromes undergo a redox cycle, in the course of which radical pairs are generated during photo-reduction as well as during light-independent re-oxidation...
May 2016: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Patricia Pais-Roldán, Ajeet Pratap Singh, Hildegard Schulz, Xin Yu
Magnetoreception in animals illustrates the interaction of biological systems with the geomagnetic field (geoMF). However, there are few studies that identified the impact of high magnetic field (MF) exposure from Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanners (>100,000 times of geoMF) on specific biological targets. Here, we investigated the effects of a 14 Tesla MRI scanner on zebrafish larvae. All zebrafish larvae aligned parallel to the B0 field, i.e. the static MF, in the MRI scanner. The two otoliths (ear stones) in the otic vesicles of zebrafish larvae older than 24 hours post fertilization (hpf) fused together after the high MF exposure as short as 2 hours, yielding a single-otolith phenotype with aberrant swimming behavior...
2016: Scientific Reports
E Pascal Malkemper, Michael S Painter, Lukas Landler
A wealth of evidence provides support for magnetic alignment (MA) behavior in a variety of disparate species within the animal kingdom, in which an animal, or a group of animals, show a tendency to align the body axis in a consistent orientation relative to the geomagnetic field lines. Interestingly, among vertebrates, MA typically coincides with the north-south magnetic axis, however, the mean directional preferences of an individual or group of organisms is often rotated clockwise from the north-south axis...
June 21, 2016: Journal of Theoretical Biology
David A Ernst, Kenneth J Lohmann
The Caribbean spiny lobster, Panulirus argus, is a migratory crustacean that uses Earth's magnetic field as a navigational cue, but how these lobsters detect magnetic fields is not known. Magnetic material thought to be magnetite has previously been detected in spiny lobsters, but its role in magnetoreception, if any, remains unclear. As a first step toward investigating whether lobsters might have magnetite-based magnetoreceptors, we subjected lobsters to strong, pulsed magnetic fields capable of reversing the magnetic dipole moment of biogenic magnetite crystals...
June 15, 2016: Journal of Experimental Biology
Hamish G Hiscock, Susannah Worster, Daniel R Kattnig, Charlotte Steers, Ye Jin, David E Manolopoulos, Henrik Mouritsen, P J Hore
Migratory birds have a light-dependent magnetic compass, the mechanism of which is thought to involve radical pairs formed photochemically in cryptochrome proteins in the retina. Theoretical descriptions of this compass have thus far been unable to account for the high precision with which birds are able to detect the direction of the Earth's magnetic field. Here we use coherent spin dynamics simulations to explore the behavior of realistic models of cryptochrome-based radical pairs. We show that when the spin coherence persists for longer than a few microseconds, the output of the sensor contains a sharp feature, referred to as a spike...
April 26, 2016: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
K Tomanova, M Vacha
Studies on weak man-made radiofrequency (RF) electromagnetic fields affecting animal magnetoreception aim for a better understanding of the reception mechanism and also point to a new phenomenon having possible consequences in ecology and environmental protection. RF impacts on magnetic compasses have recently been demonstrated in migratory birds and other vertebrates. We set out to investigate the effect of RF on the magnetic orientation of the Antarctic krill species Gondogeneia antarctica, a small marine crustacean widespread along the Antarctic littoral line...
June 1, 2016: Journal of Experimental Biology
Daniel R Kattnig, Ilia A Solov'yov, P J Hore
The magnetic compass sense of migratory birds is thought to rely on magnetically sensitive radical pairs formed photochemically in cryptochrome proteins in the retina. An important requirement of this hypothesis is that electron spin relaxation is slow enough for the Earth's magnetic field to have a significant effect on the coherent spin dynamics of the radicals. It is generally assumed that evolutionary pressure has led to protection of the electron spins from irreversible loss of coherence in order that the underlying quantum dynamics can survive in a noisy biological environment...
May 14, 2016: Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics: PCCP
Chao-Hung Liang, Cheng-Long Chuang, Joe-Air Jiang, En-Cheng Yang
Honey bees have the ability to detect the Earth's magnetic field, and the suspected magnetoreceptors are the iron granules in the abdomens of the bees. To identify the sensing route of honey bee magnetoreception, we conducted a classical conditioning experiment in which the responses of the proboscis extension reflex (PER) were monitored. Honey bees were successfully trained to associate the magnetic stimulus with a sucrose reward after two days of training. When the neural connection of the ventral nerve cord (VNC) between the abdomen and the thorax was cut, the honey bees no longer associated the magnetic stimulus with the sucrose reward but still responded to an olfactory PER task...
2016: Scientific Reports
Daniel R Kattnig, Emrys W Evans, Victoire Déjean, Charlotte A Dodson, Mark I Wallace, Stuart R Mackenzie, Christiane R Timmel, P J Hore
Magnetic fields as weak as the Earth's can change the yields of radical pair reactions even though the energies involved are orders of magnitude smaller than the thermal energy, kBT, at room temperature. Proposed as the source of the light-dependent magnetic compass in migratory birds, the radical pair mechanism is thought to operate in cryptochrome flavoproteins in the retina. Here we demonstrate that the primary magnetic field effect on flavin photoreactions can be amplified chemically by slow radical termination reactions under conditions of continuous photoexcitation...
April 2016: Nature Chemistry
Petra Bolte, Florian Bleibaum, Angelika Einwich, Anja Günther, Miriam Liedvogel, Dominik Heyers, Anne Depping, Lars Wöhlbrand, Ralf Rabus, Ulrike Janssen-Bienhold, Henrik Mouritsen
Cryptochromes are ubiquitously expressed in various animal tissues including the retina. Some cryptochromes are involved in regulating circadian activity. Cryptochrome proteins have also been suggested to mediate the primary mechanism in light-dependent magnetic compass orientation in birds. Cryptochrome 1b (Cry1b) exhibits a unique carboxy terminus exclusively found in birds so far, which might be indicative for a specialised function. Cryptochrome 1a (Cry1a) is so far the only cryptochrome protein that has been localised to specific cell types within the retina of migratory birds...
2016: PloS One
Christine Nießner, Julia Christina Gross, Susanne Denzau, Leo Peichl, Gerta Fleissner, Wolfgang Wiltschko, Roswitha Wiltschko
Cryptochromes, blue-light absorbing proteins involved in the circadian clock, have been proposed to be the receptor molecules of the avian magnetic compass. In birds, several cryptochromes occur: Cryptochrome 2, Cryptochrome 4 and two splice products of Cryptochrome 1, Cry1a and Cry1b. With an antibody not distinguishing between the two splice products, Cryptochrome 1 had been detected in the retinal ganglion cells of garden warblers during migration. A recent study located Cry1a in the outer segments of UV/V-cones in the retina of domestic chickens and European robins, another migratory species...
2016: PloS One
Bao-Ming Xu, Jian Zou
What is the real role of the quantum coherence and entanglement in the radical pair (RP) compass, and what determines the singlet yield have not been fully understood. In this paper, we find that the dark states of the two-electron Zeeman energy operator (TEZE) play an important role in the RP compass. We respectively calculate the singlet yields for two initial states in this dark state basis: the coherent state and the same state just removing the dark state coherence. For the later there is neither dark state coherence nor entanglement in the whole dynamical process...
2016: Scientific Reports
Christine Nießner, Susanne Denzau, Erich Pascal Malkemper, Julia Christina Gross, Hynek Burda, Michael Winklhofer, Leo Peichl
Cryptochromes are a ubiquitous group of blue-light absorbing flavoproteins that in the mammalian retina have an important role in the circadian clock. In birds, cryptochrome 1a (Cry1a), localized in the UV/violet-sensitive S1 cone photoreceptors, is proposed to be the retinal receptor molecule of the light-dependent magnetic compass. The retinal localization of mammalian Cry1, homologue to avian Cry1a, is unknown, and it is open whether mammalian Cry1 is also involved in magnetic field sensing. To constrain the possible role of retinal Cry1, we immunohistochemically analysed 90 mammalian species across 48 families in 16 orders, using an antiserum against the Cry1 C-terminus that in birds labels only the photo-activated conformation...
2016: Scientific Reports
Rachel Muheim, Sissel Sjöberg, Atticus Pinzon-Rodriguez
Magnetoreception of the light-dependent magnetic compass in birds is suggested to be mediated by a radical-pair mechanism taking place in the avian retina. Biophysical models on magnetic field effects on radical pairs generally assume that the light activating the magnetoreceptor molecules is nondirectional and unpolarized, and that light absorption is isotropic. However, natural skylight enters the avian retina unidirectionally, through the cornea and the lens, and is often partially polarized. In addition, cryptochromes, the putative magnetoreceptor molecules, absorb light anisotropically, i...
February 9, 2016: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
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