A Solar Salamander

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This week, while procrastinating with my homework and spending time on facebook I stumbled upon a link to a very interesting article. This article entitled A Solar Salamander. from nature news suggests that photosynthetic alga was found inside the cells of spotted salamander embryos. This alga (Oophila amblystomatis) was previously thought to have only a symbiotic relationship with the salamander embryos. The salamanders benefit from the increased oxygen content surrounding them that the alga releases and the alga benefiting from the nitrogen rich wastes that the embryo releases. It is thought that the alga might get into the salamander while they are expelling wastes. However, this alga has also been found in the cells of the reproductive organs of female salamanders suggesting that they might pass the alga onto their embryos through their eggs. Other close relationships between invertebrates and photosynthetic organisms have been seen before, but never in vertebrates. It is hypothesized that if researchers start looking for other examples like the spotted salamander, they will find many more examples.

1 Comment

Thanks for drawing my attention to such an interesting article. It is not my area but I love to hear of the different ways life evolves to find better ways of exploiting its environment.

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This page contains a single entry by lars3425 published on October 13, 2010 9:29 PM.

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