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Epitoky in polychaetes: when benthic worms go pelagic

Vries, P. de (2009) Epitoky in polychaetes: when benthic worms go pelagic. Bachelor's Thesis, Marine Biology.

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Polychaetes, also known as bristle worms, are multi-segmented worms of the class of annelids and with more than 10.000 described species. The majority of the polychaetes are benthic, but there are fifty planktonic species distributed throughout the world as well. Polychaetes have many reproduction strategies, including external brooding, viviparity and hermaphrodism. These animals can be semelparous (reproducing only once during their life) or iteroparous (reproducing more than one time during their life). Before reproducing, most species undergo morphological and physiological modifications when they become sexually mature. This sexual transformation is known as epitoky: atokous (juvenile) polychaetes transform and become epitokous (sexually mature). Epitoky prepares the worms for a brief pelagic existence and improves the chances that sexual partners will find each other (Clark, 1961 in Chatelain et al, 2007; Schöttler, 1989; Fischer, 1999). Two aspects of epitoky are discussed in this paper: physical transformation (Mitochondrial aerobic metabolism, anaerobic metabolism, amino acid metabolism, defense capacities against oxidative stress and the digestive capacity) and the influence of moonlight as a trigger for epitoky.

Item Type: Thesis (Bachelor's Thesis)
Supervisor name: Hoving, Henk-Jan and Stam, Wytze
Degree programme: Marine Biology
Thesis type: Bachelor's Thesis
Language: English
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2018 07:29
Last Modified: 18 Apr 2019 12:22

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