Did you know that jellyfish have amazingability to repair their tissues? These primitive animals evolved in the oceans about 600 million years ago. One of the reasons for their evolutionary success is that some species are able to grow lost tissue. And this feature, as you know, is rarely found in the animal kingdom. Recently, scientists have uncovered the biological mechanisms that underlie the unique abilities of these inhabitants of the deep sea.
Unique abilities of jellyfish
To learn more about this poorly understoodfaculties, a team of researchers from Tohoku University in Japan investigated the biology of a species of jellyfish known as Cladonema pacificum - these jellyfish have tentacles similar to tree branches. The results of the study are published in the journal PeerJ.
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According to one of the authors of the study, YuchiroNakajima, due to the fact that most of the biology research was carried out using the so-called laboratory animals - rats, rabbits, worms, etc., the modern knowledge of specialists is limited. Meanwhile, the study of millions of species of living creatures on Earth can significantly enrich our knowledge.
Experts wanted to understand how jellyfish cellsbreed during various stages of development. The species Cladonema pacificum proved to be suitable for studying these processes, because its vital activity is easily maintained in the laboratory. Also, these jellyfish breed rapidly. In the course of the work, the team investigated the distribution of special proliferating cells, which are important for the cell division process in the jellyfish body. Another goal of scientists was to understand how the processes of food consumption affect the size, shape and regenerative abilities of jellyfish.
Recall that cell division is a process in which a “parent” cell produces two identical cells.
The results of the study showed that during the so-called phase of the "jellyfish" - the life cycle of the jellyfish - these cells were distributed throughout the body in different ways.
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What is the jellyfish phase?
So, the jellyfish phase is the most familiarstage of development of a jellyfish to a person. The fact is that it is in this phase that we can observe the inhabitants of the deep sea. Outwardly, their body resembles the shape of an umbrella with tentacles hanging down. During this phase, jellyfish actively reproduce.
While working on a study, scientists noticedthat proliferating cells in Cladonema pacificum were evenly distributed over the umbrella-like part of the body, while in tentacles they were collected in separate clusters. When researchers took food from jellyfish or blocked cell proliferation using a special substance, they found that the animals grew less. In addition, it also caused defects in the branching of the tentacles during development and caused problems with regeneration. The results show that proliferating cells are key to determining body size, tentacle shape, and jellyfish's regenerative abilities.
In the future, specialists intend to study other types of jellyfish in order to better understand the work of profiling cells and their influence on the ability to regenerate.