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Calcium-dependent sensory-motor response of a marine dinoflagellate to CO2

Abstract

EXTERNAL calcium levels have been shown to have an important role in the regulation of sensory responses of freshwater protozoa1,2. Such responses in many species seem to be associated with transient changes in calcium permeability of the cell membrane, which lead to action potentials that in turn seem to modify swimming behaviour. In view of the many intriguing similarities of such phenomena to events observed in neurones, it is of interest to establish whether marine protozoa, living in a high sodium environment, exhibit sodium- or calcium-dependent behaviour. We report here calcium-dependent sensory-motor behaviour in the marine dinoflagellate, Crypthecodinium cohnii.

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