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Specificity of the host induced negative photo taxis of the symbiotic water mite unionicola formosa


, : Specificity of the host induced negative photo taxis of the symbiotic water mite unionicola formosa. Biological Bulletin (Woods Hole) 162(2): 163-170

The water mite U. formosa (Acarina: Unionicolidae) exhibits positive phototaxis when free of any chemical influence of its molluscan host, Anodonta imbecilis. When mites are exposed either to water from the host's mantle cavity or to a homogenate of host mantle tissue, the sign of their phototaxis reverses to negative. The behavioral threshold concentration of mantle homogenate that induces negative phototaxis to monochormatic light is .apprx. 0.7 .mu.g protein/ml. Negative phototaxis does not occur in the presence of any chemical influence of the bivalves Elliptio complanata or A. cataracta, neither of which species harbors this symbiont at the study site. A component of mantle tissue from A. imbecilis that elicits the negative phototaxis is heat labile, sensitive to trypsin, and has a MW in excess of 10,000 daltons.

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