Antennular morphology and contribution of Aesthetascs in the detection of food-related compounds in the Shrimp Palaemon adspersus Rathke, 1837 (Decapoda: Palaemonidae)
SOLARI, PAOLO;SOLLAI, GIORGIA;MASALA, CARLA;LOY, FRANCESCO;PALMAS, FRANCESCO;SABATINI, ANDREA;CRNJAR, ROBERTO MASSIMO
AbstractShrimp are an essential ecological component of marine ecosystems, and have commercial importance for human consumption and aquaculture. Like other decapod crustaceans, shrimp rely on chemical senses to detect and localize food resources by means of chemosensilla that are located mainly on the cephalothoracic appendages. Using the shrimp Palaemon adspersus, a model organismwith omnivorous feeding behavior, we aimed to provide comparative information on the role of aesthetascs, antennular sensilla, and flicking behavior in food detection. To this end, we examined i) the morphology of antennular sensilla by field emission scanning electron microscopy, ii) the shrimp’s sensitivity to a number of food related compounds (amino acids and sugars) by means of whole animal bioassays, and iii) the contribution of the aesthetasc sensilla to food detection. Our results showed that, aside from the aesthetascs, only three other main morphotypes of setae with chemoreceptive features were present in the antennules, thus accounting for relatively simple sensillar equipment. Nevertheless, we found broad-spectrum sensitivity of the shrimp to a number of amino acids (i.e., isoleucine, leucine, methionine, phenylalanine, glycine, tryptophan, cysteine, and tyrosine) and carbohydrates (trehalose,maltose, cellobiose, and fructose) that was consistent with the omnivorous or scavenging habits of the animal. Although aesthetasc ablation attenuated flicking behavior in a chemical stimulus-independent manner, success in detection and short-range localization of food did not rely on the presence of aesthetasc sensilla. This finding confirms the existence of a non-aesthetasc alternative pathway for feeding, with functional redundancy in simple generalist feeder models such as shrimp.
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