Factors influencing larval metamorphosis in Golfingia misakiana (Sipuncula)
Experiments on settlement and metamorphosis of oceanic larvae of the sipunculan worm, Golfingia misakiana, have demonstrated that under laboratory conditions sea water previously occupied by adults of that species will enhance percentage metamorphosis in the presence of natural substratum. The effective factor associated with the adult is a water-soluble, heat-labile substance of low molecular weight (less than 500) that shows some degree of species-specificity. It is stable at room temperature for at least 8 days and is not dependent on the presence of micro-organisms in the water. Larvae respond to the factor only in combination with untreated substratum into which they burrow at the time of metamorphosis. The exact role of the substratum is not clearly defined by the experiments; possible functions are as an adsorptive surface for inducers, potential source of critical microorganisms or food material, or an essential medium for larval burrowing.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: September 1, 1986
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