Photoreceptor membrane shedding and assembly can be initiated locally within an insect retina

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Science  26 Nov 1982:
Vol. 218, Issue 4575, pp. 898-900
DOI: 10.1126/science.7134980


Photoreceptors of locust compound eyes add new receptor membrane at dusk and shed membrane at dawn. When part of an eye is masked before dusk, premature assembly of new membrane is initiated in the masked ommatidia but not in the adjacent unmasked ommatidia. Similarly, masking some ommatidia just before dawn prevents normal shedding only in the masked ommatidia. Therefore, the shedding and assembly phases of photoreceptor membrane turnover can be initiated by a change in the state of illumination of individual ommatidia.