A whole-animal behavioral assay was developed to measure responses to chemical stimulation of the walking leg (taste) receptors of lobsters. Lesions of only the taste receptors abolished the dactyl clasping response, a result demonstrating that such receptors are necessary to elicit this response. Then the stimulatory effectiveness of natural and synthetic mixtures was determined, particularly of 6 single compounds (glutamate, glutamine, NH 4 Cl 2 betaine, aspartate, and taurine) for which the legs have prominent, narrowly tuned receptor cell populations. The results showed that a synthetic mixture of the 22 principal amino acids and amines present in mussel tissue is as powerful a stimulus as either a homogenate of such tissue or its purified extract. Of the single compounds, only NH 4 Cl was stimulatory at the behavioral level; glutamate was not despite the fact that glutamate receptors are the predominant cell population known in lobster legs. Even a mixture of the 6 single compounds in their natural mixture ratio was not very stimulatory (it was even less stimulatory than the sum of the responses to each single compound), a result suggesting the occurrence of suppressive interactions. The complementary mixture, that is, the synthetic mixture without the 6 single compounds, was equally unstimulatory. It is unlikely that mixture suppression alone is responsible for the poor behavioral responses to single compounds such as glutamate, and to the partial mixtures that were tested. Full response to the more complex mixture of 22 compounds demonstrates that special mixture combinations can "override" mixture suppression. Such signal mixtures may represent the lobster leg's picture of food.
|Titolo:||The role of narrowly tuned taste cell populations in lobster (Homarus americanus) feeding behavior.|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore BIO/09 - Fisiologia|
|Data di pubblicazione:||1986|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.1037/0735-7044.100.2.206|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01 - Articolo su periodico|