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The ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi has a flow-through system for digestion with three consecutive phases of extracellular digestion

Bumann, D. and Puls, G.. (1997) The ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi has a flow-through system for digestion with three consecutive phases of extracellular digestion. Physiological Zoology, 70 (1). pp. 1-6.

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Abstract

The ctenophore (comb jelly) Mnemiopsis leidyi is a periodically abundant and voracious predator in U.S. coastal waters. Mnemiopsis leidyi is especially competitive at high prey concentrations because of its very efficient extracellular digestion. We investigated the functional basis for these outstanding digestion capabilities. Extracellular digestion takes place in the pharynx and consists of three distinct and consecutive phases. The three phases take place in different regions of the pharynx so that various prey items can be treated simultaneously in each phase. The first phase is acidic, while the second and the third are alkaline. Extracellular digestion is completed by ciliary currents that mechanically disrupt the predigested food. Bulky indigestible food fragments are expelled through the mouth. Except for a small area, the paths for ingestion and egestion are separate. Hence, both ingestion and egestion can occur simultaneously. The flattened and elongated shape of the pharynx provides the morphological basis for this flow-through system with various regions for different digestive treatments of the food. This system is highly elaborated compared with those of other lower invertebrates and allows for an efficient, fast, and simultaneous digestion of many prey items, which accounts for the outstanding feeding capabilities of M. leidyi.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Biozentrum > Infection Biology > Molecular Microbiology (Bumann)
UniBasel Contributors:Bumann, Dirk
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Bibsysno:Link to catalogue
Publisher:University of Chicago Press
ISSN:0031-935X
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
Language:English
Identification Number:
Last Modified:27 Nov 2017 07:05
Deposited On:22 Mar 2012 13:23

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