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Photographer: Fernando Trindade
Taken on: 2019-08-21 13:49:50
Uploaded on: 2013-09-13 09:01:40
Camera: No camera associated
Marine Animal: Elysia viridis, (Montagu, 1804)
Business: No business associated
Photo description: A very small Elysia viridis, on Codium (cf) fragile Chloroplasts of Codium fragile, which remain photosynthetically active for long periods after entry into the digestive cells of Elysia viridis, are naturally very `robust' organelles. Their capacity for photosynthetic carbon fixation in vitro declines at a very much slower rate than that of higher plant chloroplasts, with some activity detectable seven days after isolation. They are resistant to mild physical abrasion and to the high osmotic pressure of seawater. Chloroplasts from the tip of Codium plants have much higher rates of photosynthesis than those from the base, and, in laboratory feeding experiments, animals acquired more chloroplasts from the tip than from the base. Accurate measurements of rates of chloroplast turnover in Elysia during feeding proved difficult, but the fastest rate was probably about one-third to one-half of the chloroplast population replaced in a week. Elysia could select Codium, in the presence of other seaweeds, at temperatures of 8-9 degrees, but not 18-19 degrees. The method of selecting Codium appears to be by `trial and error' rather than by chemosensory means. Elysia moved towards light intensities of up to 12 W/m^2 and away from intensities above 24 W/m^2, which is approximately the intensity at which maximum rates of photosynthesis occur.
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