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IU biologists discover highly complex communication system in aquatic cyanobacteria

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Researchers believe they have uncovered unique, advantageous machinery for aquatic life.

Land plants can "see," but can microscopic plants see better? New research from Indiana University has uncovered a give-and-take communication system between and within photoreceptors in freshwater-dwelling cyanobacteria that works at a level of complexity beyond those seen in plants or other organisms.

The new work by IU Bloomington biologist David M. Kehoe and Ph.D. student Adam N. Bussell -- published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences -- not only identifies a new type of photoreceptor that can sense four different light colors at once, but for the first time demonstrates the regulation of the abundance of one photoreceptor by a second in cyanobacteria.

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