Navigation Links
Movement without muscles
Date:5/12/2011

This release is available in German.

All animals move cheetahs faster, snails more slowly. Muscle contractions are the basis of all movements, at least according to general opinion. But there are animal groups, that don't have any muscles at all, as they branched off from the evolutionary path before muscle cells evolved. However these animal groups, for instance the sea sponges, are not immovable. Sponges are able to contract without muscles. These contractions were already known to sponge divers in ancient Greece, as Aristotele described in 350 BC.

A group of scientists headed by associate professor Dr. Michael Nickel of Friedrich Schiller University Jena (Germany) is looking into movement without muscles. The scientists from the Institute of Systematic Zoology and Evolutionary Biology are mostly interested in the evolutionary aspect, especially in the question: Which evolutionary forerunners did the muscle cells derive from?

In a new study which will be published in the Journal of Experimental Biology (Band 214, doi: 10.1242/jeb.049148) on 15 May 2011, the evolutionary biologists are giving new answers to the question: Which cells in the sponges are contracting? In this paper the researchers are relying on the 3dimensional (3D) images, which they created with synchrotron radiation-based X-ray microtomography. Thus, the Jena scientists in co-operation with the Helmholtz-Zentrum Gesthacht at the Deutsches Elektronen Synchrotron Hamburg could compare and visualise the 3D structure of contracted and expanded sponges.

"A key feature of our approach is the use of 3D data for measuring the volume and surface of our sponges," says Nickel. "Although the 3D volumetric analysis is widely known and used in the technical sciences, it has rarely been used in zoology in spite of its enormous information potential." Thus, Nickel's team was able to show that the inner and outer surfaces and therefore the epithelial cells, so-called pinacozytes, cause the strong body contractions of the sponges. So finally, the Jena scientists could also settle a hundred year old debate about the cause of cellular contractions. Until now far spindle-shaped cells in the tissue of sponges as well as epithelial cells have been thought to be possible 'candidates' but now the Jena scientists could identify the true initiator of the contractions.

The new findings of the researchers from Jena University make new approaches about the evolutionary development of musculature possible. "The early evolution of muscles has not been fully understood so far. According to current scientific knowledge muscle cells seem to have surfaced from nowhere", Nickel says. "But surely there must have been evolutionary predecessor systems, that have been unknown until now." The sponge epithelial cells are now moving to the forefront in the evolutionary biologists' further research into the context of this. "There is a lot of evidence that the sponge epithelial cells and the muscle cells of all the other animals are going back to a common contractile cellular predecessor." In future this will be analysed by international co-operations, by also using genome and gene expression related data.


'/>"/>

Contact: Axel Burchardt
presse@uni-jena.de
49-364-193-1031
Friedrich-Schiller-Universitaet Jena
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Paleozoic sediment curve provides new tool for tracking sea-floor sediment movements
2. Scientists identify a molecule that coordinates the movement of cells
3. Metastatic movements in 3-D
4. Genetic evidence for avian influenza movement from Asia to North America via wild birds
5. Cell movements totally modular, Stanford study shows
6. New movement models tested at the Smithsonian in Panama
7. Caltech researchers get first look at how groups of cells coordinate their movements
8. Effects of maternal exercise on fetal breathing movements
9. Effects of maternal exercise on fetal breathing movements
10. Resilin springs simplify the control of crustacean limb movements
11. Protein regulates movement of mitochondria in brain cells
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Movement without muscles
(Date:2/4/2016)... -- The field of Human Microbiome research and ... hubs of the biotechnology industry. While the Human ... human microbiota, have garnered a lot of attention ... has literally exploded in terms of both basic ... on biomedical aspects of research, development, and commercial ...
(Date:2/3/2016)... , February 3, 2016 ... new market research report "Automated Fingerprint Identification System Market ... Latent Search), Application (Banking & Finance, Government, Healthcare, and ... by MarketsandMarkets, the market is expected to be worth ... of 21.0% between 2015 and 2020. The transformation and ...
(Date:2/3/2016)... , Feb. 3, 2016 ... addition of the "Emotion Detection and ... Learning, and Others), Software Tools (Facial Expression, ... End Users,and Regions - Global forecast to ... --> http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/d8zjcd/emotion_detection ) has announced ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/10/2016)...  Matchbook, Inc., a company specializing in procurement ... announced today the appointment of Jim Shuman ... nearly 25 years of experience in supply chain, ... two decades in executive level roles as the ... and, most recently headed global logistics and procurement ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... HOLLOWAY AMERICA, a ... Engineering (ISPE) Rocky Mountain Chapter 21st Annual Vendor Exhibition on Thursday, February 18, ... 100 tables for its annual event, which will run from 3:00 p.m. - ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... 2016 , ... SonaCare Medical, LLC reports the introduction of ... monitoring. The inaugural launch of this new technology occurred over the course of ... to a HIFU technical expert at SonaCare Medical headquarters. , Sonalink allows ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... Curoverse announced today that the ... provides capabilities for managing and processing genomic and health data at petabyte scale. ... collecting and analyzing genomic data,” said Adam Berrey chief executive officer at Curoverse. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: