Navigation Links
Solar-powered sea-slugs live like plants, prof says
Date:11/25/2008

COLLEGE STATION, Nov. 25, 2008 The lowly sea slug, "Elysia chlorotica," may not seem like the most exciting of creatures, but don't be fooled: it behaves like a plant and is solar-powered, says a Texas A&M University biologist who has been studying these tiny creatures for the past decade and, along with collaborators from several universities, has identified a possible cause of their ability to behave like plants.

Biology professor James Manhart is a member of a research group that believes they have identified some of the secrets of the sea slug and its curious plant-like behavior. These research findings have been published in the current issue of "Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences" with an image of a green slug gracing the cover.

Manhart says plants can be compared to solar-powered machinestheir cells contain tiny organelles called plastids that trap sunlight and convert it into energy by a process known as photosynthesis. Animals, on the other hand, depend on plants or other animals for their energy needs.

The sea slug, however, works a little differently. Its main food source is a specific type of alga. "It makes a cut in the alga, sucks out the cytoplasm [the material inside the alga] and digests most of it," explains Manhart.

But there's a twistit retains the plastids that trap the solar energy.

These plastids remain in the slug, continue to photosynthesize and provide food for the slug. In effect, the creature becomes a solar-powered slug and is able to make its own food like plants do.

"Photosynthesis needs around 2,000 to 3,000 genes, and animals do not have many of the critical genes," says Manhart. So Manhart and his co-workers looked into how the plastids consumed by the slug can continue photosynthesizing.

"We found that the slug has at least one gene required for photosynthesis in its nuclear genome, which has never been found in any animal," says Manhart. "The critical thing is the plastids come f
'/>"/>

Contact: Dr. James Manhart
manhart@mail.bio.tamu.edu
979-845-3356
Texas A&M University
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. The future of solar-powered houses is clear
2. Relationship between invasive plants, fire subject of new report
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:9/18/2014)... form of camouflage: you don,t just blend in, the ... as uncommon as you might think. Kathryn Feller, from ... the larval life stages of many marine species are ... that most creatures cannot make transparent. Feller explains that ... individual eye unit with an opaque pigment to prevent ...
(Date:9/18/2014)... spend their entire lives nestling in the protective tentacles ... babies they sometimes travel hundreds of kilometres across the ... reef fish has been predicted, this is the first ... distant populations has been observed. , Dr Steve Simpson, ... the University of Exeter, and colleagues from the Australian ...
(Date:9/17/2014)... instrumental in the creation of the Santa Ana Wildfire ... fire threat potential of the powerful, hot, dry Santa ... inferno. The index was introduced Sept. 17 by the ... Diego Gas and Electric. , The index includes four ... be used to help fire agencies and other emergency ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Transparent larvae hide opaque eyes behind reflections 2Expedition finds Nemo can travel great distances to connect populations 2Expedition finds Nemo can travel great distances to connect populations 3UCLA scientists play key role in developing new Santa Ana Wildfire Threat Index 2
... Science of Food and Agriculture shows that konjac gum ... of E. coli and Salmonella bacteria. The study by ... Centre, the Netherlands, shows that these foodstuffs act as binders ... to the fibrous foods instead of the gut cells of ...
... published online today in the International Journal of Obesity ... of a reduced-calorie diet, helps overweight adults lose more weight ... breakfast of equal calories. [1] This study supports previous ... of Nutrition , which showed that people who ate eggs ...
... Dalton, professor and Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar of ... awarded $9.2 million as part of a major new ... Sciences, part of the National Institutes of Health. ... molecular biology, will address the molecular underpinnings of the ...
Cached Biology News:Adults who eat eggs for breakfast lose 65 percent more weight 2Adults who eat eggs for breakfast lose 65 percent more weight 3UGA researchers win $9.2 million stem cell grant from NIH 2
(Date:9/18/2014)... , Pennsylvanie, 18 septembre 2014 /PRNewswire/ ... en 1974, a été depuis ... compléter les évaluations cliniques traditionnelles par des ... Outcomes) et sur les impacts économiques des ... A cours d,une ...
(Date:9/18/2014)... September 18, 2014 OMICS Group ... globe to participate in the ‘Open Access Week’ ... to OMICS Group Pharma Journals from ... of the fastest emerging Sciences, accelerating with a ... services across the globe. The industry is gearing ...
(Date:9/18/2014)... dysplasia is a group of rare diseases that ... cartilage. Its onset hits at the fetal stage ... in the gene encoding fibroblast growth factor receptor ... of skeletal dysplasia, thanatophoric dysplasia (TD), a skeletal ... and is often lethal, and achondroplasia (ACH), which ...
(Date:9/18/2014)... weight loss and diabetes prevention, could actually hasten the ... do it in a surprising way: by changing the ... substantial population of bacteria residing in our intestines. These ... were published today in Nature . Among other ... Immunology Department, who led this research together with Prof. ...
Breaking Biology Technology:1974 - 2014 - Mapi fête ses 40 ans 2Pharma and Omics Journals to Address Global Challenges during Open Access Week 2Pharma and Omics Journals to Address Global Challenges during Open Access Week 3Researchers use iPS cells to show statin effects on diseased bone 2Researchers use iPS cells to show statin effects on diseased bone 3Gut bacteria, artificial sweeteners and glucose intolerance 2Gut bacteria, artificial sweeteners and glucose intolerance 3
... Elsevier announced today,that its flagship product Scopus, the world,s ... nearly doubling its Arts &,Humanities (A&H) titles. Access to ... April 2009. Currently the Scopus database contains 1,600,titles in ... Many countries will be better represented as ...
... Nov. 24 Imaging,Diagnostic Systems, Inc., (OTC Bulletin Board: ... pleased to announce the issuance of its,21st US Patent ... Digitization of the Temporal Point Spread,Function of the Detected ... (Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20040412/IMDSLOGO ) ...
... 24 Poniard,Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: PARD ... an agreement with Baxter Oncology GmbH for the,commercial ... is developing picoplatin, its lead product candidate, as ... solid tumors. The Company is,evaluating picoplatin in ...
Cached Biology Technology:Scopus to Expand Arts & Humanities Coverage 2Scopus to Expand Arts & Humanities Coverage 3Imaging Diagnostic Systems is Recognized for Its Advanced Engineering in Time-Resolved Techniques by the US Patent Office 2Imaging Diagnostic Systems is Recognized for Its Advanced Engineering in Time-Resolved Techniques by the US Patent Office 3Poniard Pharmaceuticals Announces Commercial Supply Agreement for Picoplatin 2Poniard Pharmaceuticals Announces Commercial Supply Agreement for Picoplatin 3
... Normal;heading 1;heading ... types and experimental ... for standard transfection ... transduction systems. ViraPower ...
... Product Rabbit polyclonal to ... conjugated to KLH, corresponding to amino ... / Specificity Cross-reacts with Rat.Expected to ... Mouse (100% identity with immunogen), Rabbit (100% ...
RayBio Human Angiogenesis Antibody Array 2.1 (8 array membranes) with Accessory, detects 23 angiogenic factors (for lysate) Class: Antibody Array Products Product Group: Antibody Array...
... Inventory Racks for cryogenic vials. ... cardboard or stainless steel boxes ... cryo vials. Vapor phase ... Platform risers to be ...
Biology Products: