Marine Biology

, Volume 65, Issue 1, pp 25–33 | Cite as

Carbon metabolism and strobilation in Cassiopea andromedea (Cnidaria: Scyphozoa): Significance of endosymbiotic dinoflagellates

  • D. K. Hofmann
  • B. P. Kremer


Scyphopolyps and scyphomedusae of Cassiopea andromeda Forskål (Cnidaria, Scyphozoa) containing dinoflagellate endosymbionts (zooxanthellae) were investigated for rates and pathways of carbon fixation. Photosynthesis by the algae, accounting for 80 and 15 μmol C h-1 on a dry weight basis in medusae and polyps, respectively, by far exceeds dark incorporation of inorganic carbon by the intact association. Photosynthetic carbon fixation is operated via C3 pathway of carbon reduction. DCMU-treatment (1×10-6 M and 1×10-5 M) completely inhibits light-dependent carbon assimilation. Major photosynthates presumably involved in a metabolite flow from algal symbionts to animal tissue are glycerol and glucose. A total of 5–10% net algal photosynthate appears to be seleased in vivo to the host. This is probably less than the energy supply ultimately required for the nutrition of the polyps and medusae. The presence of zooxanthellae proved to be indispensable for strobilation in the scyphopolyps. However, photosynthesis by algal symbionts as well as photosynthate release is obviously not essential for the initiation of ephyrae as is shown by DCMU-treatment, culture in continous darkness, and aposymbiotic controls. It is therefore concluded that strobilation is supported, but not triggered by algal photosynthetic activity. The induction of strobilation thus seems to depend on a more complex system of regulation.


Assimilation Photosynthesis Dinoflagellate Carbon Fixation Carbon Assimilation 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. K. Hofmann
    • 1
  • B. P. Kremer
    • 2
  1. 1.Lehrstuhl für Spezielle ZoologieRuhr-Universität BochumBochum 1Germany (FRG)
  2. 2.Seminar für Didaktik der BiologieUniversität zu KölnKöln 41Germany (FRG)

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