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Requirement of exogenous inducers for metamorphosis of axenic larvae and buds of Cassiopea andromeda (Cnidaria: Scyphozoa)
Fitt, W.K.; Hofmann, D.K.; Wolk, M.; Rahat, M. (1987). Requirement of exogenous inducers for metamorphosis of axenic larvae and buds of Cassiopea andromeda (Cnidaria: Scyphozoa). Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 94(3): 415-422. hdl.handle.net/10.1007/BF00428248
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Cassiopea andromeda (Forsskål, 1775) [WoRMS]; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Fitt, W.K.
  • Hofmann, D.K.
  • Wolk, M.
  • Rahat, M.

Abstract
    Planula larvae and asexually-produced buds of the rhizostome scyphozoan Cassiopea andromeda (collected throughout the year in Eilat, Israel) have the ability, under axenic conditions, to attach to a substrate and undergo morphogenetic development to form a polyp (=scyphistoma) in: (1) the presence of unidentified inducers found in the adult habitat and (2) the presence of cefined organic compounds. Axenic planulae and buds were unable to settle and complete metamorphosis in autoclaved artificial or natural seawater from the North Sea when maintained without food, but continued swimming while decreasing in size and protein content, eventually dying within three months. When maintained in autoclaved seawater from the Red Sea, between 25 and 46% of the planulae and 4 and 11% of the buds metamorphosed within 30 d. Axenic solutions of cholera toxin, thyroid stimulating hormone, and pancreatic casein hydrolysate peptides in artificial seawater induced morphogenic development of 20 to 100% of planulae and buds within 2 to 18 d. The natural inducer(s) in Red Sea seawater, though unidentified, may have characteristics similar to the large proteins and small peptide inducers used in this study. Planulae and buds older than 20 d metamorphosed sooner and responded to lower concentrations of pancreatic casein hydrolysate peptides than younger individuals. This may be a physiological mechanism for enhancing metamorphosis and survival in nature. The data show that settlement and metamorphosis can be induced by solutions of cholera toxin and thyroid stimulating hormone, suggesting that, as in mammalian systems, the mechanism of action of these chemicals may involve cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) as an intermediate messenger. However, dibutyric cAMP, which is capable of passing through membranes and functioning normally inside the cell, did not induce metamorphosis of buds, and the levels of intracellular cAMP in buds and larvae typically increased slowly during induction of metamorphosis, unlike the high and rapid increases associated with cAMP-mediated biochemical events in mammalian cells. These results suggest that the observed cAMP changes seen were associated with metamorphic development, but not with the triggering mechanism.

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