SICB Annual Meeting 2016
January 3-7, 2016
Oregon Convention Center - Portland, OR

Symposium: Extraocular, non-visual, and simple photoreceptors

It has been recognized for decades that animals sense light using photoreceptors in addition to those that are used for vision. However, the nature of these receptors, their molecular components, their physiological responses, and their biological function was originally obscure. Only recently have researchers begun to learn how critical these nonvisual or simple visual responses are to organismal function. Historically, these types of receptors have been described primarily among invertebrates, and the presence of nonvisual photoreception in mammals was completely unsuspected until the end of the 20th century. This symposium brings together an even dozen specialists in the field to review the current state of knowledge regarding extraocular, nonvisual, and simple photoreceptors in animals, covering mainly invertebrates but with three papers on vertebrate nonvisual photoreception.

New approaches, including the explosion of high-throughput molecular genetic techniques, have led to a revolution in our understanding of the evolution and function of nonvisual photoreception in a diverse selection of animals, particularly the arthropods, molluscs, and vertebrates, but also organisms with much simpler body plans. New systems of photoreception that involve unusual photoreceptor molecules, such as the cryptochromes, have begun to yield their secrets, and an astonishing diversity of new classes of opsins - the traditional receptor proteins that underlie all visual photoreception - are being found, with many of these devoted to photoreceptive functions outside of vision. Equally surprisingly, many visual opsins are now being located in isolated receptor cells or other structures that are not involved at all in imaging vision. Through these discoveries, the fundamental roles of nonvisual processes are finally beginning to be revealed. In just the last two or three years, dozens of new papers have appeared documenting the evolution, distribution, and physiological function of many of these cryptic or very simple photoreceptors. By bringing together many of the major researchers in the field, the proposed symposium offers a badly needed synthesis of this new field. This is thought to be the first time in many years that the field has been reviewed from a fully comparative viewpoint.

This symposium is expected to appeal to a broad audience of comparative biologists who attend annual meetings of SICB - evolutionary and behavioral biologists, physiologists, biochemists, zoologists, and of course neurobiologists.

Sponsors: DCPB, DIZ, DNB, AMS



S4.1 Tuesday, Jan. 5, 07:45 CRONIN, T.W.: Extraocular, nonvisual, and simple photoreceptors: Introduction

S4.2 Tuesday, Jan. 5, 08:00 PORTER, M.L.: Beyond the eye: extraocular opsin evolution

S4.3 Tuesday, Jan. 5, 08:30 COLLEY, N.J.*; NILSSON, D-E.: Photoreception in Phytoplankton

S4.4 Tuesday, Jan. 5, 09:00 OAKLEY, TH*; RAMIREZ, MD: Opsins without eyes – precursors or derivatives?

S4.5 Tuesday, Jan. 5, 10:00 HEATH-HECKMAN, Elizabeth/A.C.*; PEYER, Suzanne; MCFALL-NGAI, Margaret: Bacterial regulation of host cryptochrome expression in a squid photophore

S4.6 Tuesday, Jan. 5, 10:30 KINGSTON, ACN*; CRONIN, TW: Extraocular opsins in skin and nervous systems of aquatic animals

S4.7 Tuesday, Jan. 5, 11:00 BATTELLE, B-A: Ocular and extraocular photosensitivity and opsin expression in the American horseshoe crab Limulus polyphemus, a chelicerate arthropod.

S4.8 Tuesday, Jan. 5, 11:30 BOK, M.J.*; PORTER, M.L.; NILSSON, D.-E.: Looking with gills: The function and evolution of fan worm branchial photoreceptors

S4.9 Tuesday, Jan. 5, 13:30 WALKER, Marquis T.*; RUPP, Alan; WENG, Shijun; BERSON, David M.; HATTAR, Samer; MONTELL, Craig: A mouse homolog of Drosophila RDGB functions in ipRGC dim light activation

S4.10 Tuesday, Jan. 5, 14:00 SCHMIDT, T.M.*; SONODA, T.; ALAM, N.M; CHEN, S.; KOFUJI, P.; LI, W; PRUSKY, G.T.: New roles for ganglion cell photoreceptors

S4.11 Tuesday, Jan. 5, 14:30 SPEISER, D.I.: Eyes most numerous: extracephalic visual systems in molluscs

S4.12 Tuesday, Jan. 5, 15:00 JOHNSEN, S.: What Next? Unanswered questions about extraocular photoreception and how we might answer them