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METHODS 1N ENZYMOLOGY, VOL. 81 Copyright © 1982 by Academic Press, Inc, All rights of reproduction in any form reserved. ISBN 0-12-181981-7 30 ISOLATION OF ORGANELLES AND MEMBRANES  The actual dissection procedure consists of three steps: (i) enucleation of the eyeball, (ii) hemisection or opening of the eyeball, and (iii) isolation of the retina. Although the enucleation is usually a simple operation, the hemisection of small eyes may be difficult. Frog eyes may be easily opened with the aid of a spring-driven cutter with a razor blade as cutting edge.
Yet withal the different kinds of eyes, ocelli, and eyespots and the diversity of light-sensitive organelles, there is one feature that all visual organs have in common: expanses of membrane loaded with photopigment. Eons in the past--perhaps two billion or more years a g o - - a unicellular organism evolved a sequence of nucleotides in its DNA that coded for a photopigment consisting perhaps of the aldehyde of vitamin A (retinaldehyde) conjugated with a protein carder (opsin). This macromolecule somehow became a structural component of the cell membrane of an early protist with a favorable orientation for trapping photons.
Szamier, Science 197, 1001 (1977). 16 T. S. Okada, Y. Itoh, K. Watanabe, and G. Eguchi, Dev. Biol. 45, 318 (1975). 17 R. D. Cahn, H. G. Coon, and M. B. Cahn, in " M e t h o d s in Developmental Biology" (F. H. Wilt and N. K. ), p. 493. CroweU (Collier), N e w York, 1967. 18 W. B. Jakoby and I. H. , " M e t h o d s in E n z y m o l o g y , " Volume 58. A c a d e m i c Press, N e w York, 1979. 19 j. Paul, "Cell and Tissue C u l t u r e , " 5th ed. C h u r c h i l l - L i v i n g s t o n e , Edinburgh and London, 1975.