Navigation Links
Sea hares outsmart peckish lobsters with sticky opaline
Date:3/28/2013

Sea hares are not the favourite food choice of many marine inhabitants, and it's easy to see why when you find out about the chemical weapons they employ when provoked namely, two unpalatable secretions, ink and opaline, which they squirt at unsuspecting peckish predators. However, while much is known about the consequences of purple ink secretion, how the whitish and viscous opaline outsmarts a potential predator remains unknown. Charles Derby from Georgia State University, USA, wondered whether opaline could decrease the activity of a predator's sensory system. Along with his colleagues Tiffany Love-Chezem and Juan Aggio, he set out to test the effect of opaline on spiny lobsters, which occasionally try to snack on sea hares. The investigating trio find that it is opaline's sticky nature, rather than the chemicals present in the opaline, that is responsible for plugging their sense of smell and published their results in The Journal of Experimental Biology at http://jeb.biologists.org.

To begin, they extracted the water-soluble fraction of opaline, and although this lacks the amino acids and other chemical attractants that make up opaline, it is nonetheless just as sticky and possesses the physical properties of opaline. The team then painted this sticky, water-soluble fraction onto the tips of the lobsters' antennules, which act as the lobster's 'nose' and are important for motivation and ability to feed upon smelling a delicious treat. The trio then presented them with tasty smelling 'shrimp juice' and measured electrical activity in both chemosensory and motor neurons. Unlike lobsters with clean, gunk-free antennules, the shrimp juice failed to whet the appetite of opaline-treated lobsters, with the response of chemosensory and motor neurons being significantly reduced.

The team next wondered whether the amino acids present in opaline could also dampen neuronal activity. Mixing together the five most prominent amino acids found in opaline, they again painted the antennules and tempted the lobsters with the scent of shrimp juice. This time, however, the neurons fired robustly in reaction to the delicious shrimpy aroma. When the amino acids were mixed with the sticky substance carboxymethylcellulose, the neuron reactions were again inhibited. Furthermore, carboxymethylcellulose alone also stopped neurons firing. So, it seems that stickiness is the key to blocking neurons and allowing the sea hare to escape as the lobster preens and cleans itself of the gungy opaline.


'/>"/>

Contact: Nicola Stead
nicola.stead@biologists.com
44-012-234-25525
The Company of Biologists
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. UCSB researchers to examine the effects of year-old NOAA West Coast Catch Shares program
2. University spin-out company shares in £7.9 million marine energy funding boost
3. Catching up with catch shares
4. New nanoglue is thin and supersticky
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/15/2016)... DUBLIN , April 15, 2016 ... of the,  "Global Gait Biometrics Market 2016-2020,"  report ... http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160330/349511LOGO ) , ,The global gait ... CAGR of 13.98% during the period 2016-2020. ... movement angles, which can be used to compute ...
(Date:3/31/2016)... -- Genomics firm Nabsys has completed a financial  restructuring under ... M.D., who returned to the company in October 2015. ... including Chief Technology Officer, John Oliver , Ph.D., ... Vice President of Software and Informatics, Michael Kaiser ... Bready served as CEO of Nabsys from 2005-2014 and ...
(Date:3/22/2016)... Ontario , PROVO and ... Newborn Screening Ontario (NSO), which operates the ... for molecular testing, and Tute Genomics and UNIConnect, ... management technology respectively, today announced the launch of a ... next-generation sequencing (NGS) testing panel. NSO ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... -- Global demand for enzymes is forecast to grow ... billion.  This market includes enzymes used in industrial ... animal feed, and other markets) and specialty applications ... beverages will remain the largest market for enzymes, ... containing enzymes in developing regions.  These and other ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... NC (PRWEB) , ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... mission to bring innovative medical technologies, services and solutions to the healthcare market. ... and implementation of various distribution, manufacturing, sales and marketing strategies that are necessary ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016 Epic Sciences ... detects cancers susceptible to PARP inhibitors by targeting ... cells (CTCs). The new test has already been ... in multiple cancer types. Over 230 ... damage response pathways, including PARP, ATM, ATR, DNA-PK ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016   Boston Biomedical ... novel compounds designed to target cancer stemness pathways, ... been granted Orphan Drug Designation from the U.S. ... of gastric cancer, including gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) cancer. ... designed to inhibit cancer stemness pathways by targeting ...
Breaking Biology Technology: