Test probes were touched to tentacles to investigate whether discharge of spirocysts likely is regulated by hair bundle mechanoreceptors. Significantly more spirocysts discharge onto test probes in the presence of vibrations at 11–15 Hz as compared to 0 Hz. Adding N-acetylneuraminic acid, NANA, shifts maximal discharge of spirocysts upwards to 36–40 Hz, and possibly to 21–25 Hz. In contrast, NANA shifts maximal discharge of basitrichous isorhiza nematocysts downwards to 1–20 Hz. Thus, discharge of cnidae (‘stinging capsules’) is differentially regulated according to the type of cnida. Furthermore, it appears that chemodetection of N-acetylated sugars is not a prerequisite to capturing prey because, in seawater alone, maximal discharge of cnidae occurs at frequencies overlapping movements of calmly swimming prey. Nevertheless, chemodetection of N-acetylated sugars broadens the range of frequencies stimulating maximal discharge of cnidae and, therefore, likely enhances prey capture.
Hair Cell Test Probe Maximal Discharge Prey Capture Hair Bundle
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
We appreciate financial support from the National Science Foundation of the United States (NSF IOB0542574). We invite scientists interested in testing vibration sensitivity in other cnidarians to contact us.
Mire-Thibodeaux P, Watson GM (1995) Cyclical morphodynamics of hair bundles in sea anemones: second messenger pathways. J Exp Zool 270:517–526CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Price RB, Anderson PAV (2006) Chemosensory pathways in the capitates tentacles of the hydroid Cladonema. Invert Neurosci 6:23–32CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
Purcell JE (1984) The functions of nematocysts in prey capture by epipelagic siphonophores (Coelenterata, Hydrozoa). Biol Bull 166:310–327CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Purcell JE, Anderson PAV (1995) Electrical responses to water-soluble components of fish mucus recorded from the cnidocytes of a fish predator, Physalia physalis. Mar Freshw Behav Physiol 26:149–162CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sebens KP (1998) Marine flora and fauna of the Eastern United States. Anthozoa: Actiniaria, Corallimorpharia, Ceriantharia and Zoanthidea. N.O.A.A. Technical Rpt. NMFS. 141, 68 pGoogle Scholar
Thorington GU, Hessinger DA (1990) Control of cnida discharge: III. Spirocysts are regulated by three classes of chemoreceptors. Biol Bull 178:74–83CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Watson GM, Hessinger DA (1989) Cnidocyte mechanoreceptors are tuned to the movements of swimming prey by chemoreceptors. Science 243:1589–1591CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
Watson GM, Hessinger DA (1991) Chemoreceptor-mediated elongation of stereocilium bundles tunes vibration-sensitive mechanoreceptors on cnidocyte-supporting cell complexes to lower frequencies. J Cell Sci 99:307–316Google Scholar
Watson GM, Mariscal RN (1983) Comparative ultrastructure of catch tentacles and feeding tentacles in the sea anemone Haliplanella. Tissue Cell 15:939–953CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
Watson GM, Mire P (2004) Dynamic tuning of hair bundle mechanoreceptors in a sea anemone during predation. Hydrobiologica 530(531):123–128CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Watson GM, Roberts J (1995) Chemoreceptor-mediated polymerization and depolymerization of actin in hair bundles of sea anemones. Cell Motil Cytoskel 30:208–220CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Watson GM, Mire P, Hudson RR (1998) Frequency specificity of vibration dependent discharge of nematocysts in sea anemones. J Exp Zool 281:582–593CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
Watson GM, Mire P, Kinler KM (2009) Mechanosensitivity in the model sea anemone Nematostellavectensis. Mar Biol 156:2129–2137CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Westfall JA, Landers DD, McCallum JD (1998) Different nematocytes have different synapses in the sea anemone Aiptasia pallida (Cnidaria, Anthozoa). J Morph 238:53–62CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Westfall JA, Landers DD, McCallum JD (1999) Ultrastructure of neuro-spirocyte synapses in the sea anemone Aiptasia pallida (Cnidaria, Anthozoa, Zoantharia). J Morph 241:165–173CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar