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Cassiopea xamachana jellyfish are an attractive model system to study metamorphosis and/or cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbiosis due to the ease of cultivation of their planula larvae and scyphistomae through their asexual cycle, in which the latter can bud new larvae and continue the cycle without differentiation into ephyrae. Then, a subsequent induction of metamorphosis and full differentiation into ephyrae is believed to occur when the symbionts are acquired by the scyphistomae. Although strobilation induction and differentiation into ephyrae can be accomplished in various ways, a controlled, reproducible metamorphosis induction has not been reported. Such controlled metamorphosis induction is necessary for an ensured synchronicity and reproducibility of biological, biochemical and molecular analyses. For this purpose, we tested if differentiation could be pharmacologically stimulated as in Aurelia aurita, by the metamorphic inducers thyroxine, KI, NaI, lugol's iodine, H2O2, indomethacin,or retinol. We found reproducibly induced strobilation by 50 µM indomethacin after 6 days of exposure, and 10-25 µM after 7 days. Strobilation under optimal conditions reached 80-100% with subsequent ephyrae release after exposure. Thyroxine yielded inconsistent results as it caused strobilation occasionally, while all other chemicals had no effect. Thus, indomethacin can be used as a convenient tool for assessment of biological phenomena through a controlled metamorphic process in C. xamachana scyphistomae.
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Control or indomethacin concentration used for induction of C. xamachana polyp strobilation
Control or indomethacin concentration used for induction of C. xamachana polyp strobilation. Raw data for Fig 4. Controls or indomethacin concentrations used and strobilation results after days of treatment. Five polyps per well in triplicate wells were employed for every treatment. The number of polyps undergoing metamorphosis (numbers in red) was quantified on the mentioned day. No. of strobilating polyps was converted to percentages (numbers in black) and used for the statistical analysis.
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