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:12/22/2016)... YORK , December 22, 2016 ... provider of secure solutions for the e-Government, Public Safety, HealthCare, and ... subsidiary of SuperCom, has been selected to implement and deploy a ... in Northern California , further expanding its presence ... ...
(Date:12/20/2016)... 20, 2016   Valencell , the leading ... STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM), a global semiconductor leader ... announced today the launch of a new, highly ... that includes ST,s compact SensorTile turnkey ... biometric sensor system. Together, SensorTile and Benchmark deliver ...
(Date:12/16/2016)... --  IdentyTechSolutions America LLC , a leading provider ... a cutting-edge manufacturer of software and hardware security ... integrated solutions that comprise IDT biometric readers and ... IdentyTech,s customers with combined physical identification and anti-tailgating ... theft. "We are proud to use ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/12/2017)... , ... January 12, 2017 , ... Each year, Crain’s ... Index – a process that evaluates the patent estate of a company, its impact ... , a biomedical firm leading the way in technologies that transform energy sources such ...
(Date:1/12/2017)... AURORA, Colo (PRWEB) , ... January 12, 2017 ... ... and then to targeted treatments, 26-year-old Lisa Rosendahl’s doctors gave her only a ... eLife describes a new drug combination that has stabilized Rosendahl’s disease and increased ...
(Date:1/12/2017)... January 12, 2017 A new report published by Allied Market ... Global Opportunity Analysis and Industry Forecast, 2014-2022," projects that the global in vitro toxicity ... at a CAGR of 15.07% during the forecast period. ... ... ...
(Date:1/11/2017)... Colo. (PRWEB) , ... January 11, 2017 , ... ... the journal Clinical Cancer Research show early promise of the investigational anti-cancer agent ... despite a median 5 previous treatment regimens. Twenty-seven percent of these heavily pretreated ...
Breaking Biology Technology: