The Assimilation and Distribution of Dissolved Organic Matter By Planulae of Sea Anemones

Amy Slott, '07, William Jaeckle

Research output: Other contribution


The free-living developmental stage of sea anemones (phylum Cnidaria) is the planula larva. In general the feeding biology of planulae is poorly known and there is only one report of the ability of planulae to assimilate dissolved organic materials (DaM, specifically amino acids) from seawater (Ben-David-Zaslow and Benayahu, 2000). We examined the ability of planula l arvae to assimilate dissolved proteins and polysaccharides from seawater and then distribute these materials throughout their bodies. Planulae were incubated, for known time intervals, in seawater containing ferritin, iron dextran, or bovine serum albumin ( l mg / mL) and examined using light and fluorescence microscopy. With longer exposure times there w as an increase in the amount of label in only the larval pharynx and endoderm; there was no evidence that these materials were distributed to the overlying ectoderm. Our results reveal a potential source of nutrition for the development of planula larvae.Originally presented in the John Wesley Powell Student Research Conference - April 14, 2007 and used with permission.
Original languageAmerican English
StatePublished - Apr 14 2007


  • Biology
  • Physiology

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