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Biol Bull. 2006 Dec;211(3):208-11.

Induction of metamorphosis decreases nitric oxide synthase gene expression in larvae of the marine mollusc Ilyanassa obsoleta (say).

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1
Department of Biology, University of North Carolina Greensboro, P.O. Box 26170, Greensboro, North Carolina 27402, USA. mdhens@uncg.edu

Abstract

Many marine organisms spend the early part of their lives as larvae suspended in the water column before metamorphosing into benthic reproductive adults. Metamorphosis does not occur until a larva has become competent to respond to appropriate stimuli and after a suitable habitat for the young juvenile has been encountered. The gaseous neurotransmitter nitric oxide is thought to be important in the regulation of metamorphosis by holding the organism in the larval state. We have investigated expression of the neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) gene in larval and metamorphosing individuals of the marine mud snail Ilyanassa obsoleta. Our results indicate that nNOS is expressed at constant levels throughout larval development. In contrast, expression of nNOS decreases markedly during the first 24 h of metamorphosis. Our observations support previous findings that demonstrate that nitric oxide is present in larvae though competence. The decrease in nNOS gene expression that occurs during metamorphosis corresponds with a previously described reduction in nNOS activity.

PMID:
17179380
DOI:
10.2307/4134543
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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