Development of swimming behaviour in the larva of the ascidian Ciona intestinalis

Giuliana Zega, Michael C Thorndyke, Euan R Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The aim of this study was to characterize the swimming behaviour of C. intestinalis larvae during the first 6 h after hatching by measuring tail muscle field potentials. This recording method allowed a quantitative description of the responses of the larva under light and dark conditions. Three different larval movements were distinguished by their specific frequencies: tail flicks, 'spontaneous' swimming, and shadow response, or dark induced activity, with respective mean frequencies of about 10, 22 and 32 Hz. The shadow response develops at about 1.5 h post hatching (h.p.h.). The frequency of muscle potentials associated with this behaviour became higher than those of spontaneous swimming activity, shifting from 20 to 30 Hz, but only from about 2 associated with this behaviour became higher than those of spontaneoush. p. h. onwards. Swimming rate was influenced positively for about 25 s after the beginning of the shadow response. Comparison of swimming activity at three different larval ages (0-2, 2-4 and 4-6 h.p.h.) showed that Ciona larvae swim for longer periods and more frequently during the first hours after hatching. Our results provide a starting point for future studies that aim to characterize the nervous control of ascidian locomotion, in wild-type or mutant larvae.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3405-3412
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Experimental Biology
Volume209
Issue number17
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2006

Cite this

Zega, Giuliana ; Thorndyke, Michael C ; Brown, Euan R. / Development of swimming behaviour in the larva of the ascidian Ciona intestinalis. In: Journal of Experimental Biology. 2006 ; Vol. 209, No. 17. pp. 3405-3412.
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Development of swimming behaviour in the larva of the ascidian Ciona intestinalis. / Zega, Giuliana; Thorndyke, Michael C; Brown, Euan R.

In: Journal of Experimental Biology, Vol. 209, No. 17, 09.2006, p. 3405-3412.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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