Predators Induce Cloning in Echinoderm Larvae

  title={Predators Induce Cloning in Echinoderm Larvae},
  author={Dawn Vaughn and Richard R. Strathmann},
  pages={1503 - 1503}
Asexual propagation (cloning) is a widespread reproductive strategy of plants and animals. Although larval cloning is well documented in echinoderms, identified stimuli for cloning are limited to those associated with conditions favorable for growth and reproduction. Our research shows that larvae of the sand dollar Dendraster excentricus also clone in response to cues from predators. Predator-induced clones were smaller than uncloned larvae, suggesting an advantage against visual predators… 

Predator-Induced Larval Cloning in the Sand Dollar Dendraster excentricus: Might Mothers Matter?

  • D. Vaughn
  • Environmental Science, Biology
    The Biological Bulletin
  • 2009
The hypothesis that cloning in D. excentricus plutei is maternally influenced by mothers is tested and reduced larval size was a uniform response to fish mucus and did not indicate an effect of mothers.

Abrupt Change in Food Environment Induces Cloning in Plutei of Dendraster excentricus

Results indicate that a change in food concentration can induce cloning in plutei, and demonstrate that anterior autotomization does occur in 4- to 6-arm pluteo.

Why run and hide when you can divide? Evidence for larval cloning and reduced larval size as an adaptive inducible defense

This study tested the hypothesis that the small size of predator-induced clones reduces vulnerability during encounters with planktivorous fish, and offered a new ecological context for asexual reproduction: rapid size reduction as a defense.

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There is strong evidence emerging that endocrine signaling, immunity, and host-microbe interactions play major roles in larval development and physiology, and future research should take advantage of sea urchin larvae as a model to study these processes in more detail.

Manipulation of Developing Juvenile Structures in Purple Sea Urchins (Strongylocentrotus purpuratus) by Morpholino Injection into Late Stage Larvae

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Ocean acidification induces budding in larval sea urchins

Ocean acidification (OA), the reduction of ocean pH due to hydration of atmospheric CO2, is known to affect growth and survival of marine invertebrate larvae. Survival and transport of vulnerable

Overview of Polyembryony

Polyembryony is a unique form of asexual reproduction whereby multiple offspring are produced from a single egg or zygote and has evolved and been maintained in a wide range of taxa, including rust fungi, algae, and animals.

The evolution of developmental strategy in Cretaceous spatangoid sea urchins

Sea urchins, like many marine invertebrates, have two major strategies for larval development. Some species have planktotrophic (feeding) larvae, which feed in the water column for a period of weeks

A detailed staging scheme for late larval development in Strongylocentrotus purpuratus focused on readily-visible juvenile structures within the rudiment

A detailed staging scheme of rudiment development in the purple urchin using soft structures of the rudiment and the primordia of these juvenile skeletal elements is presented, and evidence is provided that this scheme is robust and applicable across a range of temperature and feeding regimes.



Reproduction: Widespread cloning in echinoderm larvae

Sp spontaneous larval cloning is described in three species from two more echinoderm classes: a sea cucumber, a sand dollar and a sea urchin (Echinoidea).

Effects of food concentration and availability on the incidence of cloning in planktotrophic larvae of the sea star Pisaster ochraceus.

The authors' experiments indicate that cloning generally occurs after larvae have attained asymptotic body length and only when food is abundant and of high quality, and production of clones under optimal conditions of temperature and food may serve to increase larval populations when the environment is most conducive to larval growth.

Multiple Modes of Asexual Reproduction by Tropical and Subtropical Sea Star Larvae: an Unusual Adaptation for Genet Dispersal and Survival.

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Size-Specific Predation on Marine Invertebrate Larvae

Assumptions of constant mortality rates during development should be modified to account for the effects of larval size and age, as shown in the results of this study.

Parasitoids: Behavioral and Evolutionary Ecology

This book synthesizes the work of both schools of parasitoid biology and asks how a consideration of evolutionary biology can help to understand the behavior, ecology, and diversity of the approximately one to two million species of Parasitoids found on earth.

Age and size-selective predation on larval fishes: the bigger-is-better hypothesis revisited

It is shown that being smaller at a given age may actually confer a survival advantage to larvae, contrary to the current view, when the predators were offered a mixture of small versus large larvae, the larger larvae experienced higher mortality.

Effect of prey size on vulnerability of copepods to predation by the scyphomedusae Aurelia aurita and Cyanea sp.

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Materials and methods are available on Science Online

    Britt for collecting the fish predators used in this study; and K. Vaughn for assistance. Funding was provided by the Friday Harbor Laboratories and NSF (grant OCE0623102)

      Strathmann for discussion