Traditional electrophysiological research on invertebrate photoreceptors has been conducted in vivo, using intracellular recordings from intact compound eyes. The only exception used to be Drosophila melanogaster, which was exhaustively studied by both intracellular recording and patch-clamp methods. Recently, several patch-clamp studies have provided new information on the biophysical properties of photoreceptors of diverse insect species, having both apposition and neural superposition eyes, in the contexts of visual ecology, behavior, and ontogenesis. Here, I discuss these and other relevant results, emphasizing differences between fruit flies and other species, between photoreceptors of diurnal and nocturnal insects, properties of distinct functional types of photoreceptors, postembryonic developmental changes, and relationships between voltage-gated potassium channels and visual ecology.
- insect photoreceptor
- voltage-gated potassium channels
- visual ecology
- Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society
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