Examination of the roles of microtubules and microfilaments in developing nematocytes of the sea anemone metridium senile

Michael Genco


This study explores the differences in protein expression during development of nematocytes. I have examined microtubule involvement around the capsule and tubule in differentiating nematocytes in an attempt to discover how the microtubules support the capsule and tubule, and if their role is primarily one of support or if they are also involved in transport of materials to the growing nematocysts. In addition, I have examined the migration of nematocytes isolated from M. senile. In a study similar to that presented by Agosti and Stidwill (1992), I have looked at the substrates on which these cells migrate as well as the role of the cytoskeleton, especially microtubules, in this migration. Since Anthozoa nematocytes develop above the mesoglea, while Hydra nematocytes develop in the ectoderm of the Hydra body column, the mechanisms of nematocyte migration could differ. Hydra nematocytes are thought to use the mesoglea as a primary substrate for movement. Anthozoan nematocytes migrate away from the mesoglea and therefore cannot use the mesoglea as a substrate.