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PLoS One. 2014 Jul 21;9(7):e102628. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0102628. eCollection 2014.

Cell proliferation in cubozoan jellyfish Tripedalia cystophora and Alatina moseri.

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Marine Biological Section, Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.


Cubozoans (box jellyfish) undergo remarkable body reorganization throughout their life cycle when, first, they metamorphose from swimming larvae to sessile polyps, and second, through the metamorphosis from sessile polyps to free swimming medusae. In the latter they develop complex structures like the central nervous system (CNS) and visual organs. In the present study several aspects of cell proliferation at different stages of the life cycle of the box jellyfish Tripedalia cystophora and Alatina moseri have been examined through in vivo labeling of cells in the synthetic phase (S phase) of the cell cycle. Proliferation zones were found in metamorphosing polyps, as well as in juvenile medusae, where both the rhopalia and pedalia have enhanced rates of proliferation. The results also indicate a rather fast cell turnover in the rhopalia including the rhopalial nervous system (RNS). Moreover, T. cystophora showed diurnal pattern of cell proliferation in certain body parts of the medusa, with higher proliferation rates at nighttime. This is true for two areas in close connection with the CNS: the stalk base and the rhopalia.

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