|Xenoturbella (Deuterostomia) probably feeds on dissolved organic matter|In: Marine Biology Research. Taylor & Francis: Oslo; Basingstoke. ISSN 1745-1000, more
Asexual reproduction; Bioaccumulation; Dissolved organic matter; Feeding behaviour; Nutrient uptake; Nutrition; Animalia [WoRMS]; Bivalvia [WoRMS]; Nuculidae Gray, 1824 [WoRMS]; Xenoturbella Westblad, 1949 [WoRMS]; Marine
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The enigmatic deuterostome Xenoturbella does ubiquitously contain exogenous nucleic acids. This has been used in several papers as proof of selective feeding by Xenoturbella on nuculid bivalves. However, their feeding biology is unknown and exogenous nucleic acids might not originate from their main nutrient source. I have examined the possible pathways of nutrient uptake. The animals neither took up cells nor dissolved dyes through the 'mouth'. Instead, they possessed extensive pinocytosis through the epidermis. Therefore, it is probable that the main source of nutrients is dissolved organic matter uptaken through the epidermis. This does not exclude that phagocytosis in the gastrodermis does occur, e.g. due to direct expose of the gastrodermis during asexual reproduction. The ubiquitously present exogenous nucleic acids in Xenoturbella probably do originate from such events and not from their main food source. (c) 2008 Taylor & Francis.