IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis

Microbial rhodopsins

19th October, 2023 Environment

Disclaimer: Copyright infringement not intended.


  • Microbial rhodopsins, as per a new study, are proposed to be major light capturers in the ocean.


  • Estimates suggest they may absorb as much light as chlorophyll-based photosynthesis in the sea, which also captures light to generate energy and food.
  • However, their biological role in these organisms was unclear before the study.

Microbial rhodopsins

  • Microbial rhodopsins, also known as bacterial rhodopsins, are retinal-binding proteins that provide light-dependent ion transport and sensory functions in halophilic and other bacteria.
  • They are integral membrane proteins with seven transmembrane helices, the last of which contains the attachment point (a conserved lysine) for the retinal.s