Navigation Links
In the sea slug's defense against lobsters, confusion is key

Like many other marine creatures, Aplysia, a common sea slug, enlists chemical defenses against its predators, but the mechanisms by which such chemical attacks actually work against their intended targets are not well understood by researchers. New work has now shown that such chemical defenses can involve modes of trickery that had not previously been appreciated as components of chemical defense.

When attacked by predatory spiny lobsters, sea slugs (also known as sea hares) release an inky secretion, termed ink and opaline, from a pair of glands. The new findings show that Aplysia's defensive secretion includes a variety of chemicals that together comprise a multi-pronged attack on the predator's nervous system, resulting in the usurpation of its normal behavioral control system and a confused response that facilitates the slug's ultimate escape.

The team of researchers conducting the study, Cynthia Kicklighter, Zeni Shabani, and Paul Johnson, led by Charles Derby of Georgia State University, discovered that in addition to containing unpalatable, aversive chemicals, Aplysia's inky secretion contains large quantities of chemicals that are also found in the food of spiny lobsters and that indeed these chemicals serve to activate nervous-system pathways that control feeding behaviors of the lobster. The inky secretion also stimulates other behaviors in the lobster, including grooming and avoidance. Ironically, the slug's ability to trick the lobster's nervous system into activating feeding-associated behaviors succeeds, in combination with ink and opaline's other effects, in distracting the lobster sufficiently to enable the slug's successful evasion.

Because the set of behaviors stimulated by the slug's secretions resemble activation of a feeding pathway, the researchers named this novel chemical defense "phagomimicry." The stickiness of the slug's secretions appears to contribute to long-lasting effects on the target despite the aqueous envi ronment, enhancing the effectiveness of the slug's defense.

Cynthia E. Kicklighter, Shkelzen Shabani, Paul M. Johnson, and Charles D. Derby: "Sea Hares Use Novel Antipredatory Chemical Defenses"


'"/>

Source:Cell Press


Related biology news :

1. Female sex hormones play a vital role in defense against sexually transmitted diseases
2. Disease diagnosis, biodefense among UH chemical research projects
3. Comprehensive biodefense text published
4. Ancient immune defense mechanism is no match for HIV-1
5. Discovery could be key to bioterrorism defense
6. Variation in HIVs ability to disable host defenses contributes to rapid evolution
7. Scientists show that tick-borne flaviviruses use a novel mechanism to evade host defenses
8. Researchers uncover E. colis defense mechanism
9. Energy management in cells may hold key to cancer defense
10. Bacteria recognize antimicrobials, respond with counter-defenses
11. Researchers discover new tumor defense system
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:4/28/2016)... Sweden , April 28, 2016 First ... M (139.9), up 966% compared with the first quarter of 2015 ... profit totaled SEK 589.1 M (loss: 18.8) and the operating margin ... 7.12 (loss: 0.32) Cash flow from operations was SEK ... The 2016 revenue guidance is unchanged, SEK 7,000-8,500 M. ...
(Date:4/15/2016)... CHICAGO , April 15, 2016  A ... companies make more accurate underwriting decisions in a ... offering timely, competitively priced and high-value life insurance ... health screenings. With Force Diagnostics, rapid ... and lifestyle data readings (blood pressure, weight, pulse, ...
(Date:3/31/2016)... 31, 2016   ... the "Company") LegacyXChange is excited to release ... soon to be launched online site for trading 100% ... ) will also provide potential shareholders a sense of ... to an industry that is notorious for fraud. The ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... While the majority of ... the Cary 5000 and the 6000i models are higher end machines that use the ... of the spectrophotometer’s light beam from the bottom of the cuvette holder. , ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Mosio, a leader ... “Clinical Trials Patient Recruitment and Retention Tips.” Partnering with experienced clinical research professionals, ... providing practical tips, tools, and strategies for clinical researchers. , “The landscape of ...
(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 ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 A person commits a ... crime scene to track the criminal down. An ... Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses DNA evidence to track ... Sound far-fetched? It,s not. The FDA has increasingly ... support investigations of foodborne illnesses. Put as simply as possible, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: