Jun 30, 2005

Complex colony-level organization of the deep-sea siphonophore Bargmannia elongata (Cnidaria, Hydrozoa) is directionally asymmetric and arises by the subdivision of pro-buds

Developmental Dynamics : an Official Publication of the American Association of Anatomists
Casey W Dunn


Siphonophores are free-swimming colonial hydrozoans (Cnidaria) composed of asexually produced multicellular zooids. These zooids, which are homologous to solitary animals, are functionally specialized and arranged in complex species-specific patterns. The coloniality of siphonophores provides an opportunity to study the major transitions in evolution that give rise to new levels of biological organization, but siphonophores are poorly known because they are fragile and live in the open ocean. The organization and development of the deep-sea siphonophore Bargmannia elongata is described here using specimens collected with a remotely operated underwater vehicle. Each bud gives rise to a precise, directionally asymmetric sequence of zooids through a stereotypical series of subdivisions, rather than to a single zooid as in most other hydrozoans. This initial description of development in a deep-sea siphonophore provides an example of how precise colony-level organization can arise, and illustrates that the morphological complexity of cnidarians is greater than is often assumed.

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  • References22
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Mentioned in this Paper

Bud - CHV Concept
Bargmannia elongata
Animal Organs
Homologous Gene
Embryonic Pattern Formation
Scanning Electron Microscopy

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