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Secondary metabolite and inorganic contents in Cystodytes sp. (Ascidiacea): temporal patterns and association with reproduction and growth
López-Legentil, S.; Bontemps-Subielos, N.; Turon, X.; Banaigs, B. (2007). Secondary metabolite and inorganic contents in Cystodytes sp. (Ascidiacea): temporal patterns and association with reproduction and growth. Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 151(1): 293-299. http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s00227-006-0472-4
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • López-Legentil, S.
  • Bontemps-Subielos, N.
  • Turon, X.
  • Banaigs, B.

Abstract
    Temporal variation is one of the least known components of defence production in marine organisms. Here we examined whether there is a predictable temporal pattern in the production of chemical and structural defences by a marine invertebrate. To assess the seasonal variation in chemical defence, we measured ascididemin, the main pyridoacridine alkaloid in the blue Mediterranean morph of the ascidian Cystodytes sp. Structural defence variability was assessed on the basis of colony ash content, as it contains mainly spicules. Ascididemin concentration and the colony ash content displayed an annual cycle, reaching a minimum in spring and peaking in summer. Cross-correlation analyses with existing data on growth and reproduction suggested a significant trade-off between investment in reproduction and the other biological parameters considered (growth, inorganic content and ascididemin concentration). Our results suggest that optimization of resource allocation, probably influenced by biotic interactions and physical factors, shaped the temporal trends observed in secondary metabolite concentration and inorganic content.

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