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:

(Date:4/26/2016)... Research and Markets has announced ... 2016-2020"  report to their offering.  , ,     (Logo: ... analysts forecast the global multimodal biometrics market to ... period 2016-2020.  Multimodal biometrics is being ... the healthcare, BFSI, transportation, automotive, and government for ...
(Date:4/15/2016)... Research and Markets has announced ... 2016-2020,"  report to their offering.  , ... global gait biometrics market is expected to grow ... 2016-2020. Gait analysis generates multiple variables ... to compute factors that are not or cannot ...
(Date:3/31/2016)... Florida , March 31, 2016 ... ) ("LegacyXChange" or the "Company") LegacyXChange ... potential users of its soon to be launched online ... ( ) will also provide potential ... use of DNA technology to an industry that is ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016   EpiBiome , ... secured $1 million in debt financing from Silicon Valley ... up automation and to advance its drug development efforts, ... new facility. "SVB has been an incredible ... the services a traditional bank would provide," said Dr. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Apellis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today announced positive ... its complement C3 inhibitor, APL-2. The trials were ... studies designed to assess the safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics ... healthy adult volunteers. Forty subjects were ... dose (ranging from 45 to 1,440mg) or repeated ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... CA (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... software, is exhibiting at the Pennsylvania Convention Center and will showcase its product’s ... conference. ClinCapture will also be presenting a scientific poster on Disrupting Clinical Trials ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 ... report to its pharmaceuticals section with historic and ... and much more. Complete report on ... pages, profiling 15 companies and supported with 261 ... . The Global Cell ...
Breaking Biology Technology: