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:5/12/2016)... -- WearablesResearch.com , a brand of Troubadour Research ... the Q1 wave of its quarterly wearables survey. A ... to a program where they would receive discounts for ... "We were surprised to see that so ... , CEO of Troubadour Research, "primarily because there are ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... -- First quarter 2016:   , Revenues ... first quarter of 2015 The gross margin was 49% ... and the operating margin was 40% (-13) Earnings per ... from operations was SEK 249.9 M (21.2) , Outlook ... 7,000-8,500 M. The operating margin for 2016 is estimated ...
(Date:4/15/2016)...  A new partnership announced today will help ... in a fraction of the time it takes ... life insurance policies to consumers without requiring inconvenient ... Diagnostics, rapid testing (A1C, Cotinine and HIV) and ... weight, pulse, BMI, and activity data) available at ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... Rolf K. Hoffmann, former ... of the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School effective June ... UNC Kenan-Flagler, with a focus on the school’s international efforts, leading classes and ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... Ginkgo Bioworks , a leading organism design company ... as one of the World Economic Forum,s Technology ... companies. Ginkgo Bioworks is engineering biology to manufacture ... the nutrition, health and consumer goods sectors. The ... Fortune 500 companies to design microbes for their ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016 Epic Sciences ... detects cancers susceptible to PARP inhibitors by targeting ... cells (CTCs). The new test has already been ... in multiple cancer types. Over 230 ... damage response pathways, including PARP, ATM, ATR, DNA-PK ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... NC (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Researchers ... the most commonly-identified miRNAs in people with peritoneal or pleural mesothelioma. Their findings are ... to read it now. , Diagnostic biomarkers are signposts in the blood, lung ...
Breaking Biology Technology: