The research focus of the WG Senthilan is on Photoreceptors
Many animals have the possibility to perceive their environment by means of different senses.
The sense of sight seems to play an important role here.
It is not only well developed and highly adapted to a wide range of environmental influences, it also seems to be the most sensitive sense. Already one photon, the smallest light unit, is sufficient to trigger a signal cascade in which several proteins are involved.Photoreceptors, such as the rhodopsins, are crucial for light perception.
Rhodopsins are G-protein-coupled membrane proteins that receive the photon and process the light information to specific brain regions. In order to have a sensitive but also a broad visual spectrum, many animals have evolved several photoreceptors, which are specialized on specific cell types or on wavelengths.
In my work group, we are studying different photoreceptors concerning their structural, functional, and sensitivity characteristics. Particular attention is paid to the developmental and evolutionary biology of those photoreceptors.
In my work group, we are mainly dealing with molecular biological and genetical methods, but also with histological, behavioral and bioinformatical methods.