Edwards, K. A.. Dauphin Island Sea Lab REU, email@example.com
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THE ROLE OF THE EGG JELLY COAT IN RESISTANCE TO SHEAR STRESS IN THE SEA URCHIN LYTECHINUS VARIEGATUS
The ability of free-spawning marine invertebrates living in turbulent waters to successfully reproduce is challenged by gamete damage and rates of diffusion. The turbulent conditions faced by the common sea urchin Lytechinus variegatus during spawning were simulated to ascertain the role that extracellular egg jelly coats play in promoting increased/successful fertilization. All experiments were run using eggs both with and without intact jelly coats to determine whether presence or absence of coats affected egg survivorship and fertilization success. Lethal and non lethal damage due to shear stress exposure was observed in both the coated and uncoated eggs. Up to 20% of eggs without coats were destroyed upon exposure to shear stress, and attempts to fertilize non-coated eggs showed that many of the eggs which survive the initial stress are subsequently unable to achieve successful fertilization. Although some losses were sustained by the eggs sheared with intact jelly coats, both the percentage of eggs lost due to shear stress and the percentage of unfertilizable eggs after exposure to shear stress were lower than those of eggs without coats. The jelly coat plays a potentially significant role in promoting resistance to shear stress and fertilization success in L. variegatus.
Day: Wednesday, Feb. 3
Location: Sweeney Center