Variation in the Outcomes Following Chimera Formation in the Colonial Tunicate Botryllus Schlosseri
Abstract:The outcomes following chimera formation in the colonial tunicate Botryllus schlosseri from Monterey, California, were followed in two sets of laboratory experiments. In the first, 49 pairs of subcloned chimeras from 11 pairs of fusible colonies were followed for up to 106 days. In the second set 68 pairs of fused oozooids were observed in two observational protocols: once a week (56 pairs) and daily (12 pairs). In the first set of experiments a resorption was the result in almost half of the pairs, while the other pairs exhibited disconnections between the partners (as a result of unsuccessful fusion, a retreat growth phenomenon, or reciprocal resorption) or death of the chimera. In the second set of experiments a fourth consequence was recorded: formation of a “stable” chimera. However, this consequence was recorded only in the chimeras which were followed once every week (23.2%). We suggest that: 1. A complete resorption of one partner in the chimera is not the only outcome of fusion between genetically nonidentical partners; other physiological parameters may lead to separation between the partners, or to death of the chimera. 2. A “stable” chimera cannot be formed by heterozygotic partners which do not share in common all the alleles on the gene loci governing fusibility and resorption. 3. The disconnection and the death outcomes in colonies growing in the field are proposed to occur over very short time frames, much faster than in laboratory maintained chimeras.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: September 1, 1989
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