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  Sexual dimorphism in a photoreceptor

Franceschini, N., Hardie, R., Ribi, W., & Kirschfeld, K. (1981). Sexual dimorphism in a photoreceptor. Nature, 291(5812), 241-244. doi:10.1038/291241a0.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0006-0824-9 Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0006-0825-8
Genre: Journal Article

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https://www.nature.com/articles/291241a0.pdf (Publisher version)
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 Creators:
Franceschini, N1, 2, Author              
Hardie, R1, 2, Author              
Ribi, W1, 2, Author              
Kirschfeld, K1, 2, Author              
Affiliations:
1Former Department Comparative Neurobiology, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society, ou_1497800              
2Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society, ou_1497794              

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 Abstract: The recent observation of fluorescence emission from photoreceptor cells in flies1 offers a new opportunity to map the distribution of the various spectral types in a highly organized retinal mosaic. Previous studies had led to the conclusion that in each ommatidium the two central receptor cells are quite distinct from their six neighbours in terms of anatomical projection2,3, visual pigment and physiology4. We show here that in a restricted, well defined region of the male eye only, one of these central cells resembles its six neighbours not only in having the same visual pigment and physiological properties, but also in sending its axon to the same neuropile. A clue to the function of this sexually dimorphic retinal organization is given by the fact that these male-specific cells dominate the frontal-dorsal part of the retina (fovea) which is used by the male to track females in aerobatic chases5,6. We suggest that the male fovea, already known to drive sex-specific higher-order neurones7, has sacrificed colour vision for other more vital kinds of information processing such as improving quantum catch and possibly also contrast transfer or movement detection.

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 Dates: 1981-05
 Publication Status: Published in print
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 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1038/291241a0
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Title: Nature
  Abbreviation : Nature
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: London : Nature Publishing Group
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 291 (5812) Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 241 - 244 Identifier: ISSN: 0028-0836
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954925427238