Morphology and Electrophysiology of the Through-Conducting Systems in Pennatulid Coelenterates

  • Richard A. Satterlie
  • Peter A. V. Anderson
  • James Case


Recent electrophysiological investigations of colonial anthozoan nervous systems (Anderson and Case, 1975; Shelton, 1975) have supplemented behavioral studies which found that colonial control was either through-conducted (Parker, 1920; Nicol, 1955; Horridge, 1957; Buck, 1973), or restricted to a finite portion of the colony with subsequent incremental spread (Horridge, 1957). In the Pennatulacea, colonial nervous systems have been found to be through-conducting (Anderson and Case, 1975; Shelton, 1975). A possible morphological basis for such coordination, namely ectodermal, mesogleal, and endodermal nerve nets, has been described within the rachis of some pennatulids (Titschack, 1968, 1970; Buisson, 1970). However, there is no conclusive evidence to link these nerve nets with through-conducted colonial coordination, and the exact morphological circuitry has yet to be elucidated. Here we correlate the morphology of possible conducting elements with the colonial behavior and the electrophysiology of the through-conducting systems of five species of pennatulids as a contribution towards determination of the anatomical basis for through-conduction.


Nerve Cell Conduction Velocity Longitudinal Muscle Water Canal Nerve Bundle 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Anderson, P.A.V., and J.F. Case, 1975. Electrical activity associated with luminescence and other colonial behavior in the pennatulid Renilla köllikeri. Biol. Bull. 149:80–95.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Buck, J., 1973. Bioluminescent behavior in Renilla. I. Colonial responses. Biol. Bull., 144:19–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Buisson, B., 1970. Les supports morphologiques de l’integration dans la colonie de Veretillum cynomorium Pall. (Cnidaria, Pennatularia). Z. Morph. Tiere, 68:1–36.Google Scholar
  4. Dietrich, H.F., and A.R. Fontaine, 1975. A decalcification method for ultrastructure of echinoderm tissues. Stain Teah., 50: 351–354.Google Scholar
  5. Gabe, M., 1968. Techniques His tologiques. Masson and Cie, Paris.Google Scholar
  6. Horridge, G.A., 1957. The co-ordination of the protective retraction of coral polyps. Phil. Trans. Roy. Soc. Lond. B., 240:495–529.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Nicol, J.A.C., 1955. Nervous regulation of luminescence in the sea pansy Renilla köllikeri. J. Exp. Biol., 32:619–635.Google Scholar
  8. Parker, G.H., 1920. Activities of colonial animals. II. Neuromuscular movements and phosphorescence in Renilla. J. Exp. Zool., 34:475–515.Google Scholar
  9. Polyak, S., 1942. The Retina. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.Google Scholar
  10. Shelton, G.A.B., 1975. Colonial conduction systems in the anthozoa: Octocorallia. J., Exp. Biol., 62:571–578.Google Scholar
  11. Titschack, H., 1968. Über das Nervensystem der Seefeder Veretillum cynomorium (Pallas). Z. Zellforsch., 90:347–371.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Titschack, H., 1970. Histologische Untersuchung des mesogloealen Nervenplexus der Seefedern Pennatula rubra (Ellis) und Pteroides griseum (Bohadsch). Vie Milieuu 21:102.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard A. Satterlie
    • 1
  • Peter A. V. Anderson
    • 1
  • James Case
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of Biological SciencesUniversity of CaliforniaSanta BarbaraUSA

Personalised recommendations