Image of the Month: Terror on the High Seas
LC-MS reveals how tiny predators terrify their plankton prey with chemical signals.
Charlotte Barker | | Quick Read
Copepods (pictured) imprint seawater with a unique chemical signature that induces defensive traits in the phytoplankton they eat, according to a Swedish study (1). The University of Gothenburg researchers used LC-MS to measure chemicals released by the copepods (copepodamides) and found that, as the levels of copepodamides increased, the phytoplankton generated more toxins and formed smaller colonies – tactics designed to evade predation. Image credit: Erik Selander.
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- E Selander et al., “Copepods drive large-scale trait-mediated effects in marine plankton”, Sci Adv, 5, eaat5096 (2019). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aat5096.