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Stenophagy as a Pathway for the Occurrence of Unique Coral Fatty Acid Biomarkers in Higher Branches of the Marine Tree of Life: The Nudibranch Armina maculata Case

  • Rui RosaEmail author
  • Catarina Santos
  • Ana Lopes
  • Miguel Baptista
  • Eduardo Sampaio
  • Inês C. Rosa
  • Tiago Repolho
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  • 8 Downloads

Abstract

Tetracosapolyenoic fatty acids (TPA), namely tetracosapentaenoic (24:5n-6) and tetracosahexaenoic (24:6n-3) acids, are chemotaxonomic biomarkers of octocorals (Cnidaria, Octocorallia) in the marine environment. The present study confirms the occurrence of TPA on a marine non-cnidarian taxon, the nudibranch mollusc Armina maculata. This discovery is explained by the specialized feeding regime (stenophagy) of this sea slug that preys upon the octocoral Veretillum cynomorium. The prevalence of 24:5n-6 and 24:6n-3 in the body of A. maculata was demonstrated through the analysis of specimens starved for 30 days in captivity. Since the time frame is superior to the residence time of ingested octocorals, the present findings provide empirical evidence that the reported TPA are allocated from nudibranch tissues. Here we found support for previous claims that the presence of TPA in the marine tree of life is not restricted to its lower branches, as stenophagous trophic interactions may allow its transfer to or posterior biosynthesis in more evolved taxa.

Keywords

stenophagy tetracosapolyenoic fatty acids molluscs sea slugs corals 

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Copyright information

© Korea Institute of Ocean Science & Technology (KIOST) and the Korean Society of Oceanography (KSO) and Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rui Rosa
    • 1
    Email author
  • Catarina Santos
    • 1
  • Ana Lopes
    • 1
  • Miguel Baptista
    • 1
  • Eduardo Sampaio
    • 1
  • Inês C. Rosa
    • 1
  • Tiago Repolho
    • 1
  1. 1.Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre (MARE)Guia Marine Laboratory, Faculty of Sciences, University of LisbonCascaisPortugal

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