Section 6
Chapter 5,118

Detection of high concentration of magnesium and calcium in the nematocysts of various cnidarians

Weber, J.; Klug, M.; Tardent, P.

Experientia 43(9): 1022-1025


ISSN/ISBN: 0014-4754
Accession: 005117223

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An X-ray spectral analysis (EDAX) of isolated undischarged nematocysts of various cnidarians Hydrozoa, Scyphozoa, Anthozoa) revealed the presence of extremely high concentrations of divalent cations. In Hydra nematocysts both Ca2+ (conc. 0.36 .mu.mole/mg dry cysts) and Mg2+ (conc. 0.80 .mu.mole/mg dry cysts) ions add up to a total in situ concentration of 0.5 to 1.0 M. More than 85% of the cations, which are believed to be involved in cyst discharge, are contained in the soluble fraction of the cysts, where they must be bound to high molecular weight molecules.

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