Marine Biology

, Volume 157, Issue 5, pp 1041–1047 | Cite as

Regulation of spirocyst discharge in the model sea anemone, Nematostella vectensis

  • Sherry L. Krayesky
  • Janna L. Mahoney
  • Katherine M. Kinler
  • Stacey Peltier
  • Warnesha Calais
  • Kate Allaire
  • Glen M. Watson
Original Paper

Abstract

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.

Notes

Acknowledgments

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.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sherry L. Krayesky
    • 1
  • Janna L. Mahoney
    • 1
  • Katherine M. Kinler
    • 1
  • Stacey Peltier
    • 1
  • Warnesha Calais
    • 1
  • Kate Allaire
    • 1
  • Glen M. Watson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of Louisiana at LafayetteLafayetteUSA

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