Venom and cnidome ontogeny of the cubomedusae Chironex fleckeri

McClounan, S., and Seymour, J. (2012) Venom and cnidome ontogeny of the cubomedusae Chironex fleckeri. Toxicon, 60 (8). pp. 1335-1341.

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This is the first study to explore venom and cnidome variation of individual cubomedusae, Chironex fleckeri, of different ages and from different regional locations in relation to feeding ecology. As medusae matured the proportion of mastigophores (those nematocysts containing the lethal venom component) in the cnidome increased, along with proportion of the vertebrate toxic fraction, in the venom profile. This switch in cnidome and venom occurred at the seven to ten tentacle stage. Whole venom was found to be toxic specifically to vertebrate cardiac cells, as opposed to vertebrate skeletal cells, and dose dependent, along with the vertebrate toxic fraction. The venom and cnidome ontogeny, along with venom toxicity, is correlated with C. fleckeri's known feeding ecology. Large and mature C. fleckeri feed predominantly on vertebrates, and have a greater proportion of mastigophores in their cnidome along with more vertebrate toxic fraction in their venom, compared to when they are young and small feeding on invertebrates.

Item ID: 25527
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1879-3150
Keywords: Chironex fleckeri, venom, nematocyst, Cnidome, variation, ontogeny
Date Deposited: 13 Mar 2013 05:25
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9699 Other Environment > 969902 Marine Oceanic Processes (excl. Climate Related) @ 100%
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