RRC ID 71895
Author Hara T, Hasegawa S, Iwatani Y, Nishino AS.
Title The trunk-tail junctional region in Ciona larvae autonomously expresses tail-beating bursts at ∼20 second intervals.
Journal J Exp Biol
Abstract Swimming locomotion in aquatic vertebrates, such as fish and tadpoles, is expressed through neuron networks in the spinal cord. These networks are arranged in parallel, ubiquitously distributed and mutually coupled along the spinal cord to express undulation patterns accommodated to various inputs into the networks. While these systems have been widely studied in vertebrate swimmers, their evolutionary origin along the chordate phylogeny remains unclear. Ascidians, representing a sister group of vertebrates, give rise to tadpole larvae that swim freely in seawater. In the present study, we examined the locomotor ability of the anterior and posterior body fragments of larvae of the ascidian Ciona that had been cut at an arbitrary position. Examination of more than 200 fragments revealed a necessary and sufficient body region that spanned only ∼10% of the body length and included the trunk-tail junction. 'Mid-piece' body fragments, which included the trunk-tail junctional region, but excluded most of the anterior trunk and posterior tail, autonomously expressed periodic tail-beating bursts at ∼20 s intervals. We compared the durations and intervals of tail-beating bursts expressed by mid-piece fragments, and also by whole larvae under different sensory conditions. The results suggest that body parts outside the mid-piece effect shortening of swimming intervals, particularly in the dark, and vary the burst duration. We propose that Ciona larvae express swimming behaviors by modifying autonomous and periodic locomotor drives that operate locally in the trunk-tail junctional region.
Volume 225(13)
Published 2022-7-1
DOI 10.1242/jeb.243828
PII 275646
PMID 35678124
MeSH Animals Ciona* Ciona intestinalis* / physiology Larva / physiology Swimming / physiology Vertebrates
IF 3.014
C.intestinalis / (O.japonicus) Wild C. int