Navigation Links
Stinging came before seeing

New research from the University of California shows how the ability to detect light could have evolved before anything like an eye.

As published today (March 5) in the journal BMC Biology, the research is based on the stinging mechanism in the tiny, brainless and eyeless freshwater polyp Hydra magnipapillata. Part of a group of animals called cnidarians that includes sea anemones, corals and jellyfish, a hydra is essentially a mouth surrounded by tentacles armed with stinging cells, or cnidocytes.

The researchers David Plachetzki, now a postdoctoral researcher at UC Davis, working with undergraduate Caitlin Fong and Professor Todd Oakley in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology at UC Santa Barbara discovered a simple nervous system linking the stinging cells and nerve cells that detect light using a process similar to the human eye's.

The nerve cells express a set of genes including opsin, a light-sensitive pigment; cyclic nucleotide gated ion channels; and arrestin. These components are basically the same as those in the light-detecting pathway in animals with eyes, including people.

The hydra fire their stingers less in bright than in dim light, the researchers found. When they blocked one of the pathway's components, the hydra acted as if they were in dim light and fired their stingers more.

Most of the hydra's cnidarian relatives lack eyes. But all cnidarians have cnidocyte stinging cells.

"This capacity for stinging cell regulation by light-sensitive neurons could have predated the evolution of eyes in cnidarians," Plachetzki said. Future work will be aimed at how these findings relate to the evolution of eyes in other groups of animals.


Contact: Andy Fell
University of California - Davis

Page: 1

Related biology news :

1. European Neandertals were on the verge of extinction even before the arrival of modern humans
2. Malaria parasite goes bananas before sex: New study
3. 3-D laser map shows earthquake zone before and after
4. MU researchers photoacoustic device finds cancer cells before they become tumors
5. Before sounding an alarm, chimps consider their audience
6. Plasma treatment zaps viruses before they can attack cells
7. Exposure to chemical BPA before birth linked to behavioral, emotional difficulties in girls
8. Exercise before and during early pregnancy increases two beneficial proteins for mothers-to-be
9. Moms who eat high-fat diet before, during pregnancy program babies to be fat, at risk
10. Chronic pain: Watch out before accepting diagnosis and treatment
11. Alzheimers risk gene disrupts brains wiring 50 years before disease hits
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Stinging came before seeing
(Date:3/31/2016)... BOCA RATON, Florida , March 31, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... LEGX ) ("LegacyXChange" or the "Company") ... presentation for potential users of its soon to be ... The video ( ) will also ... by the use of DNA technology to an industry ...
(Date:3/23/2016)... March 23, 2016 ... Sicherheit Gesichts- und Stimmerkennung mit Passwörtern ... (NASDAQ: MESG ), ein führender Anbieter ... Unternehmen mit SpeechPro zusammenarbeitet, um erstmals dessen ... wird die Möglichkeit angeboten, im Rahmen mobiler ...
(Date:3/21/2016)... Unique technology combines v ... security   Xura, Inc. ... digital communications services, today announced it is working alongside ... customers, particularly those in the Financial Services Sector, the ... within a mobile app, alongside, and in combination with, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)...  Regular discussions on a range of subjects including policies, ... entities said Poloz. Speaking at a lecture to ... he pointed to the country,s inflation target, which is set ... "In certain areas there needs ... economic goals, why not sit down and address strategy together?" ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... While the majority ... as the Cary 5000 and the 6000i models are higher end machines that use ... height of the spectrophotometer’s light beam from the bottom of the cuvette holder. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Seattle, WA (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2016 ... ... technology, announces the release of its second eBook, “Clinical Trials Patient Recruitment and ... patient recruitment and retention in this eBook by providing practical tips, tools, and ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016   Boston ... of novel compounds designed to target cancer stemness ... has been granted Orphan Drug Designation from the ... treatment of gastric cancer, including gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) ... inhibitor designed to inhibit cancer stemness pathways by ...
Breaking Biology Technology: