The flavoprotein, CRYPTOCHROME (CRY), is now generally believed to be a magne-tosensor, providing geomagnetic information via a quantum effect on a light-initiated radical pair reaction. Whilst there is considerable physical and behavioural data to support this view, the precise molecular basis of animal magnetosensitivity remains frustratingly unknown. A key reason for this is the difficulty in combining molecular and behavioural biological experiments with the sciences of magnetics and spin chemistry. In this review, we highlight work that has utilised the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, which provides a highly tractable genetic model system that offers many advantages for the study of magnetosensitivity. Using this ‘living test-tube’, significant progress has been made in elucidating the molecular basis of CRY-dependent magnetosensitivity.
|Publication status||Accepted/In press - 25 Jan 2021|