Biological Bulletin (BIOL BULL-US )

Publisher: Marine Biological Laboratory (Woods Hole, Mass.)

Description

The Biological Bulletin publishes outstanding experimental research on the full range of biological topics and organisms, from the fields of Neurobiology, Behavior, Physiology, Ecology, Evolution, Development and Reproduction, Cell Biology, Biomechanics, Symbiosis, and Systematics. Published since 1897 by the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, The Biological Bulletin is one of America's oldest, peer-reviewed scientific journals. The journal is aimed at a general readership, and especially invites articles about those novel phenomena and contexts characteristic of intersecting fields.

  • Impact factor
    1.23
    Show impact factor history
     
    Impact factor
  • 5-year impact
    2.20
  • Cited half-life
    0.00
  • Immediacy index
    0.34
  • Eigenfactor
    0.00
  • Article influence
    0.77
  • Website
    The Biological Bulletin website
  • Other titles
    The Biological bulletin
  • ISSN
    0006-3185
  • OCLC
    1536426
  • Material type
    Periodical, Internet resource
  • Document type
    Journal / Magazine / Newspaper, Internet Resource

Publications in this journal

  • [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The squid has been the most studied cephalopod, and it has served as a very useful model for investigating the events associated with nerve impulse generation and synaptic transmission. While the physiology of squid giant axons has been extensively studied, very little is known about the distribution and function of the neurotransmitters and receptors that mediate inhibitory transmission at the synapses. In this study we investigated whether γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) activates neurotransmitter receptors in stellate ganglia membranes. To overcome the low abundance of GABA-like mRNAs in invertebrates and the low expression of GABA in cephalopods, we used a two-electrode voltage clamp technique to determine if Xenopus laevis oocytes injected with cell membranes from squid stellate ganglia responded to GABA. Using this method, membrane patches containing proteins and ion channels from the squid's stellate ganglion were incorporated into the surface of oocytes. We demonstrated that GABA activates membrane receptors in cellular membranes isolated from squid stellate ganglia. Using the same approach, we were able to record native glutamate-evoked currents. The squid's GABA receptors showed an EC50 of 98 μmol l–1 to GABA and were inhibited by zinc (IC50 = 356 μmol l–1). Interestingly, GABA receptors from the squid were only partially blocked by bicuculline. These results indicate that the microtransplantation of native cell membranes is useful to identify and characterize scarce membrane proteins. Moreover, our data also support the role of GABA as an ionotropic neurotransmitter in cephalopods, acting through chloride-permeable membrane receptors
    Biological Bulletin 02/2013; 224(1):47-52.
  • Biological Bulletin 06/2012; 222(3):176-181.
  • Source
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    ABSTRACT: When conditions fluctuate unpredictably, selection may favor bet-hedging strategies that vary offspring characteristics to avoid reproductive wipe-outs in bad seasons. For many marine gastropods, the dispersal potential of offspring reflects both maternal effects (egg size, egg mass properties) and larval traits (development rate, habitat choice). I present data for eight sea slugs in the genus Elysia (Opisthobranchia: Sacoglossa), highlighting potentially adaptive variation in traits like offspring size, timing of metamorphosis, hatching behavior, and settlement response. Elysia zuleicae produced both planktotrophic and lecithotrophic larvae, a true case of poecilogony. Both intracapsular and post-hatching metamorphosis occurred among clutches of "Boselia" marcusi, E. cornigera, and E. crispata, a dispersal dimorphism often misinterpreted as poecilogony. Egg masses of E. tuca hatched for up to 16 days but larvae settled only on the adult host alga Halimeda, whereas most larvae of E. papillosa spontaneously metamorphosed 5-7 days after hatching. Investment in extra-capsular yolk may allow mothers to increase larval size relative to egg size and vary offspring size within and among clutches. Flexible strategies of larval dispersal and offspring provisioning in Elysia spp. may represent adaptations to the patchy habitat of these specialized herbivores, highlighting the evolutionary importance of variation in a range of life-history traits.
    Biological Bulletin 07/2009; 216(3):355-72.
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    ABSTRACT: Asking the right questions about evolution of development, larval morphology, and life history requires knowledge of ancestral state. Two hypotheses dominate current opinion about the ancestral life cycle of bilaterians: the "larva-first" and the "intercalation" hypotheses. Until recently, the larva-first hypothesis was preeminent. This proposes that the original indirect life cycle of bilaterians included a planktotrophic larva followed by a benthic adult. Phylogenetic evidence suggests that a planktotrophic larva is plesiomorphic for echinoderms. A preponderance of developmental studies on echinoderms may have fostered a tendency to extrapolate conclusions about echinoderm development to other clades, particularly the concept that larval and juvenile/adult bodies are mostly separate entities. However, some of the recent reconstructions of bilaterian phylogeny suggest that nonfeeding larvae may have been ancestral for bilaterians, and these may have been intercalated into a life cycle that was originally direct. I review comparative data on molluscan development that suggests the trochophore-like stage is little more than a gastrula with transient structures (prototroch and apical sensory organ) to allow a temporary planktonic phase during development. Most lineage founder cells of molluscan embryos generate progeny that develop through the veliger stage into structures of the juvenile, which becomes benthic when the prototroch and apical sensory organ are lost. In light of this, the model of separate larval and juvenile bodies with the latter developing from nests of multipotent cells within the larva is inappropriate for molluscs. The intercalation hypothesis may be a better model for interpreting development of molluscs and other lophotrochozoans.
    Biological Bulletin 07/2009; 216(3):216-25.
  • [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Despite the large variation in adult bodyplan phenotypes, a worm-shaped morphology is considered plesiomorphic for both Lophotrochozoa and Bilateria. Although almost all larval and adult lophotrochozoan worms have serially arranged ring muscles in their body wall, a comparison of their ontogeny reveals no less than six different developmental pathways that lead to this homogenous arrangement of ring muscles. However, in all taxa, with the exception of chaetodermomorph molluscs and the segmented annelids, ring muscle development starts with synchronous formation of certain pioneer myocytes, which is thus considered basal for Lophotrochozoa. Recent studies on spiralian neurogenesis revealed remnants of ancestral segmentation in echiurans and sipunculans, thus confirming molecular phylogenetic studies that propose a close relationship of these three taxa. Larval entoprocts exhibit a mosaic of larval and adult molluscan characters and, among other apomorphies, share with polyplacophoran Mollusca a complex larval apical organ and a tetraneurous nervous system, strongly suggesting a monophyletic assemblage of Entoprocta and Mollusca. The term Tetraneuralia is proposed herein for this lophotrochozoan clade. Overall, formation of the lophotrochozoan neuromuscular bodyplan appears as a highly dynamic process on both the ontogenetic and the evolutionary timescales, highlighting the importance of insights into these processes for reconstructing ancestral bodyplan features and phylogenetic relationships.
    Biological Bulletin 07/2009; 216(3):293-306.
  • [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We describe development of the hoplonemertean Paranemertes peregrina from fertilization to juvenile, using light, confocal, and electron microscopy. We discovered that the uniformly ciliated lecithotrophic larva of this species has a transitory epidermis, which is gradually replaced by the definitive epidermis during the course of planktonic development. The approximately 90 large multiciliated cleavage-arrested cells of the transitory larval epidermis become separated from each other by intercalating cells of the definitive epidermis, then gradually diminish in size and disappear more or less simultaneously. Rudiments of all major adult structures-the gut, proboscis, cerebral ganglia, lateral nerve cords, and cerebral organs-are already present in 4-day-old larvae. Replacement of the epidermis is the only overt metamorphic transformation of larval tissue; larval structures otherwise prefigure the juvenile body, which is complete in about 10 days at 7-10 degrees C. Our findings on development of digestive system, nervous system, and proboscis differ in several ways from previous descriptions of hoplonemertean development. We report development with transitory epidermis in two other species, review evidence from the literature, and suggest that this developmental type is the rule for hoplonemerteans. The hoplonemertean planuliform larva is fundamentally different both from the pilidium larva of the sister group to the Hoplonemertea, the Pilidiophora, and from the hidden trochophore of palaeonemerteans. We discuss the possible function and homology of the larval epidermis in development of other nemerteans and spiralians in general.
    Biological Bulletin 07/2009; 216(3):273-92.
  • [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Larval behaviors prior to settlement are important for both dispersal and the likelihood that larvae will encounter settlement habitat. The role of endogenous factors such as larval age and size are likely to be important in determining pre-settlement behavior but are less well understood than exogenous factors. In a simple experiment we explored the role of larval age and size on pre-settlement behavior in two species of bryozoan. We then used the results of this experiment to develop a theoretical model, which explored potential fitness benefits associated with phenotype-dependent changes in larval behavior (i.e., behaviors that changed depending on larval age or larval size) in a heterogeneous environment. In the experiment we delayed the metamorphosis of larvae of Bugula neritina andWatersipora arcuata and assessed the changes in the behavior of individual larvae (exploring the substratum vs. swimming away from it) as a function of larval age and size. In B. neritina, larval size had no effect on larval swimming behavior, but the youngest and oldest larvae spent more time exploring the substrate than did larvae of intermediate age. In W. arcuata, larval size and age had interactive effects on larval behavior. Our theoretical model predicted that phenotype-dependent behaviors carried a fitness benefit relative to phenotype-independent behaviors, but this depended strongly on the availability and quality of habitat elsewhere. We suggest that, taken together, larval age and size are important endogenous factors that act to affect pre-settlement larval behavior and that changes in behavior may act to increase fitness.
    Biological Bulletin 07/2009; 216(3):344-54.
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    ABSTRACT: Egg size is one of the most important aspects of the life history of free-spawning marine organisms, and it is correlated with larval developmental mode and many other life-history characters. Egg size is simple to measure and data are available for a wide range of taxa, but we have a limited understanding of how large and small eggs differ in composition; size is not always the best measure of the characters under selection. Large eggs are generally considered to reflect increased maternal investment, but egg size alone can be a poor predictor of energetic content within and among taxa. We review techniques that have been used to measure the energetic content and biochemical makeup of invertebrate eggs and point out the strengths and difficulties associated with each. We also suggest a number of comparative and descriptive approaches to biochemical constituent analysis that would strengthen our understanding of how natural selection shapes oogenic strategies. Finally, we highlight recent empirical research on the intrinsic factors that drive intraspecific variation in egg size. We also highlight the relative paucity of these data in the literature and provide some suggestions for future research directions.
    Biological Bulletin 07/2009; 216(3):226-42.
  • [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Pacific herring reproduce in the San Francisco Bay estuary during times of the year when suspended sediment loads are highest due to freshwater input, yet little is known about the effects of sediment on herring early life stages. During the first 2 h after eggs contacted water, embryos were adhesive and susceptible to having sediment particles attach permanently to the chorion. Treatment with suspended San Francisco Bay dredged sediments at ecologically relevant concentrations of 250 or 500 mg/l during this time period increased self-aggregation of the eggs and led to sublethal and lethal effects. After the first 2 h in water, sediments that contacted embryos did not attach to chorions and did not have an observable impact. Sediment treatment during the first 2 h was not linked statistically to declines in fertilization or total larval hatch rate, but it did produce significant sublethal effects that included increases in precocious larval hatch and higher percentages of abnormal larvae, as well as an increase in larval mortality.
    Biological Bulletin 05/2009; 216(2):175-87.

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