The lateral line can mediate rheotaxis in fish

Montgomery, John C., Baker, Cindy F., and Carton, Alexander G. (1997) The lateral line can mediate rheotaxis in fish. Nature, 389. pp. 960-963.

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Rheotaxis is a behavioural orientation to water currents. It has been demonstrated physiologically that some lateral-line receptors are particularly well suited to provide information on water currents, but their contribution to rheotaxis has been largely overlooked. The accepted view is that rheotaxis is mediated by visual and tactile cues, and that in rheotactic orientation "the lateral lines play only a minor role". Here we provide a direct demonstration that rheotaxis can be mediated by the lateral line, and indeed by one specific receptor class of this system. In three diverse fish species, pharmacological block of the entire lateral-line system substantially increases the velocity threshold for rheotactic behaviour. The same effect is observed when only superficial neuromasts are ablated, whereas blockade of the other receptor class, canal neuromasts, has no such effect. Our results therefore demonstrate that superficial neuromasts make an important contribution to rheotactic behaviour in fish.

Item ID: 31397
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1476-4687
Funders: Marsden Fund, Underwater World
Date Deposited: 21 Oct 2015 03:24
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0699 Other Biological Sciences > 069999 Biological Sciences not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 100%
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