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dc.creatorBandolon, Adrian
dc.date2014-07-23T19:43:47Z
dc.date2014-07-23T19:43:47Z
dc.date2014-07-23
dc.identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/1969.6/557
dc.descriptionSubmitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
dc.descriptionSea urchins shape their environment primarily through their feeding behavior. For Lytechinus variegatus this behavior is largely guided by the detection and response to chemical stimulus. The extent of which compounds and how these specific chemicals influence behavior in sea urchins has received only cursory investigation. The purpose of this study is to characterize the role of several amino acids in the feeding behavior of the sea urchin Lytechinus variegatus. Specimens of L. variegatus were collected from Cape San Blas within the Port St. Joseph Peninsula State Park, FL, USA (30 °N, 85.5 °W). Sea urchins were maintained in a semi-recirculating system and fed a standard reference diet (SRD) at ad libitum levels. This diet is used routinely in all sea urchin research at the Shrimp Mariculture Project. To standardize conditions for testing olfactory and gustatory response, a series of experiments were performed to evaluate the effects of water flow rate and hunger on the chemical response of L. variegatus. To characterize the effects of flow rate, feed consumption rate and travel speed was measured while the sea urchins were subjected to different current velocities. Lytechinus variegatus was subjected to different lengths of food deprivation to assess the effects of hunger on their feeding behavior. Finally, olfactory and gustatory response was evaluated by exposing L. variegatus to one of eight concentrations of six individual amino acids (L-alanine, L-arginine, DL-glutamate, glycine, L-leucine and L-tyrosine). Results from these studies suggest that Lytechinus variegatus is positively rheotactic and under the conditions of the study, increases feed consumption rate with increased flow rate. Also, during periods of prolonged food limitation, L. variegatus decreases physical activity but consumes larger amounts of food when it becomes available. Lytechinus variegatus also employ food-sourced amino acids to identify food sources and evaluate food palatability. These findings help expose components of scantily studied mechanisms that drive sea urchin navigation, foraging, distribution, food choice and interactions. These findings could also impact sea urchin aquaculture, affecting both feed formulation and sea urchin husbandry techniques.
dc.descriptionLife Sciences
dc.descriptionCollege of Science and Engineering
dc.languageen_US
dc.rightsThis material is made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright law. The user assumes full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used should be fully credited with its source. All rights are reserved and retained regardless of current or future development or laws that may apply to fair use standards. Permission for publication of this material, in part or in full, must be secured with the author and/or publisher.
dc.subjectAmino acid
dc.subjectfeeding
dc.subjectfood
dc.subjectgustation
dc.subjectsea urchin
dc.subjectstimulant
dc.titleEvaluation of dietary feeding stimulants for the sea urchin Lytechinus variegatus
dc.typeText
dc.typeDissertation


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