Supplemental materials.pdf: Supplemental materials including Supplemental Figures 1-4, Supplemental Tables 1-4, captions for Supplemental Videos 1-2, and Supplemental methods. from The role of cell replacement in benthic–pelagic coupling by suspension feeders

2016-11-08T06:27:50Z (GMT) by Amanda S. Kahn Sally P. Leys
Benthic–pelagic coupling through suspension feeders and their detrital pathways is integral to carbon transport in oceans. In food-poor ecosystems, however, a novel mechanism of carbon recycling has been proposed that involves direct uptake of dissolved carbon by suspension feeders followed by shedding of cells as particulate carbon. We studied cell replacement rates in a range of cold-water sponge species to determine how universal this mechanism might be. We show that cell replacement rates of feeding epithelia in explants vary from 30 h up to 7 days, and change during different seasons and life-history stages. We also found that feeding epithelia are not replaced through direct replication but instead arise from a population of stem cells that differentiate and integrate into epithelial tissues. Our results reveal a surprising amount of complexity in the control of cell processes in sponges, with cell turnover depending on environmental conditions and using stem cells as rate-limiting mechanisms. Our results also suggest that for species in cold water with high particulate organic matter, cell turnover is not the mechanism delivering carbon flux to surrounding communities.