Visual Pigment Fluorescence

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Science  19 Jan 1968:
Vol. 159, Issue 3812, pp. 312-314
DOI: 10.1126/science.159.3812.312


The fluorescence of cattle rod outer segments (dried) and of rhodopsin in solution lies in the range of 575 to 600 millimicrons with a quantum efficiency of 0.005 if excitation is in the visible band near 500 millimicrons. The emission is abolished by bleaching at -196°C but can be reversibly regenerated by irradiation with light of longer wavelength (600 millimicrons). This behavior reflects the known interconversion of rhodopsin to prelumirhodopsin at this temperature.