Free Content The Significance of Zooxanthella-Containing Pellets Extruded by Sea Anemones

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A number of sea anemones normally release pellets containing zooxanthellae in various stages of the life history. All stages are not always present at the same time. Most contain ciliates which ingest the zooxanthellae and other microscopic invertebrates are often present.

In these anemones, ejected zooxanthella-containing pellets represent the pathway through which either excess symbionts are discarded or broken down zooxanthella material is voided.

Evidence obtained from some species indicates that the zooxanthella life history may include a step in which zoospore formation follows cell division and that this only occurs in extruded pellets. In addition, since motile zoospores are present in pellets for up to five days after collection, then it seems almost certain that the zoospore is the dispersal phase of the zooxanthella.

Differences between zoospores from different anemones with respect to color and morphology have been observed and to date two types of zoospore can be regularly recognized.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 1977

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  • The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.
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