Distinct patterns of water and osmolyte control between intertidal (Bunodosoma caissarum) and subtidal (Anemonia sargassensis) sea anemones

Amado, Enelise Marcelle; Vidolin, Denilton; Freire, Carolina Arruda; Souza, Marta Marques de


Anemones are frequently found in rocky intertidal coasts. As they have highly permeable body surfaces, exposure to the air or to salinity variations inside tidal pools can represent intense osmotic and ionic challenges. The intertidal Bunodosoma caissarum has been compared with the subtidal Anemonia sargassensis concerning their response to air exposure or salinity changes. B. caissarum maintains tissue hydration through mucus production and dome-shape formation when challenged with air exposure or extreme salinities (fresh water or hypersaline seawater, 45 psu) for 1–2 h. Upon exposure to mild osmotic shocks for 6 h (hyposmotic: 25 psu, or hyperosmotic: 37 psu), B. caissarum was able to maintain its coelenteron fluid (CF) osmolality stable, but only in 25 psu. A. sargassensis CF osmolality followed the external medium in both salinities. Isolated cells of the pedal disc of B. caissarum showed full capacity for calcium-dependent regulatory volume decrease (RVD) upon 20% hyposmotic shock, at least partially involving the release of KCl via K+–Cl− cotransport, and also of organic osmolytes. Aquaporins (HgCl2-inhibited) likely participate in this process. Cells of A. sargassensis showed partial RVD, after 20 min. Cells from both species were not capable of regulatory volume increase upon hyperosmotic shock (20%). Whole organism and cellular mechanisms allow B. caissarum to live in the challenging intertidal habitat, frequently facing air exposure and seawater dilution.

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