Cryptochromes-a potential magnetoreceptor: what do we know and what do we want to know?

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


Cryptochromes have been suggested to be the primary magnetoreceptor molecules underlying light-dependent magnetic compass detection in migratory birds. Here we review and evaluate (i) what is known about these candidate magnetoreceptor molecules, (ii) what characteristics cryptochrome molecules must fulfil to possibly underlie light-dependent, radical pair based magnetoreception, (iii) what evidence supports the involvement of cryptochromes in magnetoreception, and (iv) what needs to be addressed in future research. The review focuses primarily on our knowledge of cryptochromes in the context of magnetoreception.


  • Miriam Liedvogel
  • Henrik Mouritsen
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Biological Sciences


  • night-migratory birds, migration, bird, magnetic sense, orientation and navigation, magnetic compass
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S147-S162
JournalJournal of the Royal Society Interface
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Publication categoryResearch