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:3/24/2017)... , March 24, 2017 The Controller General ... Controller Mr. Abdulla Algeen have received the prestigious international IAIR ... Continue Reading ... ... picture) and Deputy Controller Abdulla Algeen (small picture on the right) have ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... , Mar. 23, 2017 Research and ... System Market Analysis & Trends - Industry Forecast to 2025" ... ... grow at a CAGR of around 8.8% over the next decade ... industry report analyzes the market estimates and forecasts for all the ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... , March 21, 2017 Vigilant ... company serving law enforcement agencies, announced today the appointment ... as director of public safety business development. ... law enforcement experience, including a focus on the aviation ... his most recent position, Mr. Sheridan served as the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/22/2017)... ... ... Building on the success of the inaugural RAADfest last year, RAADfest 2017 will ... radical life extension. RAADfest combines cutting edge science presented for a lay audience, with ... it the largest most comprehensive and inclusive super longevity event in the world. RAAD ...
(Date:6/22/2017)... ... June 22, 2017 , ... For the months of ... a Spotlight series on “Cell Therapy Regulation” for its regenerative medicine ... on the unique regulatory challenges of stem cell medical research. , Stem cell ...
(Date:6/22/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... June 22, 2017 , ... ... provider, announced the release of Limfinity® version 6.5, a content-packed update to the ... continue to gain a larger and more diverse base of customers among labs ...
(Date:6/20/2017)... , ... June 20, 2017 , ... Biologist Dawn Maslar ... While researching her latest book, Men Chase, Women Choose: The Neuroscience of Meeting, Dating, ... has a physiological effect on men. ”The logical next step, in my estimation, was ...
Breaking Biology Technology: