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Behavioural Responses of the Colonial Sea Squirt Botrylloides violaceus Oka to Suspended Food Micro-Particles in Laboratory Cultures

1
Integrative Marine Ecology Department, Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn, Villa Comunale, 80121 Naples, Italy
2
Department of Life and Environmental Sciences, Polytechnic Univeristy of Marche, 60131 Ancona, Italy
3
BluBiotech Department, Ischia Marine Centre, Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn, Punta San Pietro, 80077 Ischia (Naples), Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2020, 8(12), 1021; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse8121021
Received: 15 October 2020 / Revised: 30 November 2020 / Accepted: 10 December 2020 / Published: 14 December 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Marine Biology)
Violet sea squirts are noteworthy model organisms, because they provide insights into various physiologic processes, including cell senescence, ageing, apoptosis and allorecognition. Consequently, their culture is critical to permit experimental studies. Most papers refer to short periods of rearing using various feeds, both living and conserved, missing a formal justification for their use or indications of their actual nutritional value. Here, we use two behavioural responses—the percentage of open siphons and the frequency of zooid contractions—as compared to the abundance of suspended microparticles during feeding tests, to identify feeds able to promote filter-feeding. The results will enable to formulate compound diets that maximise positive physiological responses. Our tests demonstrated that plant items, such as dry microalgae and cyanobacteria (Arthrospira platensis, commercially known as Spirulina), along with living planktonic Haptophyta (Isochrysis galbana), trigger clear positive reactions, represented by a higher frequency of zooid contractions and larger proportions of open siphons. These responses correspond to decreases in the concentrations of suspended microparticles during the experiment and indicate higher filter-feeding activity. In contrast, feeds commonly administered to colonies, such as milk powder, dried eggs and artificial plankton, triggered negative behavioural responses, and their intake was lower during the feeding trials. View Full-Text
Keywords: suspension feeds; tunicates; behavioural response; model organism; rearing; culture optimisation suspension feeds; tunicates; behavioural response; model organism; rearing; culture optimisation
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MDPI and ACS Style

Gregorin, C.; Musco, L.; Somma, E.; Zupo, V. Behavioural Responses of the Colonial Sea Squirt Botrylloides violaceus Oka to Suspended Food Micro-Particles in Laboratory Cultures. J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2020, 8, 1021. https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse8121021

AMA Style

Gregorin C, Musco L, Somma E, Zupo V. Behavioural Responses of the Colonial Sea Squirt Botrylloides violaceus Oka to Suspended Food Micro-Particles in Laboratory Cultures. Journal of Marine Science and Engineering. 2020; 8(12):1021. https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse8121021

Chicago/Turabian Style

Gregorin, Chiara, Luigi Musco, Emanuele Somma, and Valerio Zupo. 2020. "Behavioural Responses of the Colonial Sea Squirt Botrylloides violaceus Oka to Suspended Food Micro-Particles in Laboratory Cultures" Journal of Marine Science and Engineering 8, no. 12: 1021. https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse8121021

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