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Euprymna scolopes, the Hawaiian Bobtailed Squid, thriving in Wisconsin

Amphibious

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In 2004 I had the privilege of designing and installing a squid rearing system at the U of WI Madison for Professors Margaret McFall-Ngai and Ned Ruby. I recently returned to Madison (from my home now in FL) for the 25th Anniversary Pow-Wow of Ned and Margaret’s research on the Hawaiian Bobtailed squid. It was great seeing the Profs again and meeting many of their students, both current and graduates. Most interesting to me was the success they are having in not only keeping the little Bobtailed squid in my systems but getting phenomenal egg production and hatch success so necessary to their research. Squid Meister, Nell Bekiares, took me on a tour of the new lab housing my nine year old systems. I was happy to see they are operating as intended and look in fantastic shape for being Acrylic.



Two years ago the Lab moved into a new building on campus. Above is a picture of one of three systems showing some good piping modification made due to cutting the original PVC for the move. A fourth system was designed as a hatchery.



Nell reported to me they harvest 7,000 baby squid a year. Greater production than they were experiencing in Hawaii, where they circulated NSW continuous flow through. To me that is incredible considering we are using artificial SW and 1000s of miles from their endemic home waters.



Euprymna scolopes, the Hawaiian Bobtailed Squid less than 24 hours old. What an awesome sight.

In 2013 I got to do it again here in FL. One of the squid labs graduates, Associate Professor Jamie Foster Ph.D., of the U of FL contacted me as a result of my association with the U of WI connection. I recently finished a similar installation at the Department of Microbiology and Cell Science, U of FL, Space Life Sciences Lab, located in Exploration Park on the Kennedy Space Center grounds. We filled the system about a month ago and Jamie reported all is well with squid in residence.

Thanks for reading,

Dick
 
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This is great! Thanks for sharing! Very impressive setup and hatchling success! Do they keep them through their entire life cycle?
 

Amphibious

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You’re welcome. Happy to share. The two professors are a perfect match. Margaret’s research and teaching involves the adult squid. Ned researches and teaches on the baby squid and the up-take of the bacteria, "Vibrio fischeri" that ignites the squid’s light organ. The babies are “sacrificed” in the name of higher education. None are raised to adulthood. But I believe it is possible.

As an add-on note here, Jamie Foster Ph.D., of the U of FL, has experiments ongoing with the Space Center. Two of her experiments have flown into space on the last two shuttle flights. I’m not familiar enough with her experiment to answer any questions on the subject, however. I just think it’s all pretty cool.
 

DWhatley

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Journal of Molluscan Studies
Mating behaviour and general spawning patterns of the southern dumpling squid Euprymna tasmanica (Sepiolidae): a laboratory study

[URL="http://mollus.oxfordjournals.org/search?author1=Zoe+E.+Squires&sortspec=date&submit=Submit"]Zoe E. Squires
, Mark D. Norman, Devi Stuart-Fox[/URL]

Abstract

We provide the first detailed description of mating behaviour and multiple mating in the southern dumpling squid, Euprymna tasmanica (Pfeffer, 1884) in the laboratory, as well as details on their general spawning patterns. We found that male E. tasmanica increase the number of ‘pumps’ (mantle contractions) when mating with females that had recently mated, showing that males are able to determine the recent mating history of females. We also found that at the conclusion of mating, the male's hectocotylus was enlarged. To our knowledge, neither had previously been described in sepiolid squid. Euprymna tasmanica females lay multiple clutches over a large proportion of their lifespan, from 1 to 121 d. There was a considerable variation in the number of eggs produced per female in captivity, ranging from 6 to 646 eggs, and in the number of eggs per clutch, from 6 to 163 eggs. Egg number per clutch declined significantly over the spawning period. Larger females produced larger hatchlings, and egg mass and hatchling mass were significantly correlated. At higher ambient water temperatures the rate at which females produced clutches increased and the size of the eggs laid decreased.
 

DWhatley

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How to Terraform a Squid Ed Yong reports on studies by Margret McFall-Ngai and Natach Kramer discover on how the bobtailed squid and the Vibrio fischeri bacteria develop their symbiotic relationship.

Margaret McFall-Ngai from the University of Wisconsin has been studying this partnership for almost 25 years and her team, led by postdoc Natacha Kremer, have now uncovered its very first moments. They’ve shown how the incoming bacteria activate the squid’s genes to create a world that’s more suitable for their kind. And remarkably, it takes just five of these microbial pioneers to start the terraforming (teuthoforming?) process.

She found thatthe light organs can sense the presence of just five V.fischeri cells among millions of other bacteria. These microbes touch just two or three of the squid’s own cells at most, but that’s enough to change the activity of 84 genes across the whole light organ.
see linked article for info.
 

DWhatley

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Glowing squid use bacterial flashlights that double as an extra pair of “eyes” Another Ed Yong summary on the bobtail squid's relationship with its Vibro fischeri bacteria.
Deyan Tong from the University of Wisconsin has discovered that the organs generate nervous signals when they sense light and they’re loaded with proteins responsible for detecting it. The light organs are effectively an extra set of primitive eyes, each equipped with its own “iris” and “lens”. The squid comes equipped with a pair of living, ‘seeing’ flashlights.
 

DWhatley

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Eye-specification genes in the bacterial light organ of the bobtail squid Euprymna scolopes, and their expression in response to symbiont cues[/h] Suzanne M. Peyer, M. Sabrina Pankey, Todd H. Oakley, Margaret J. McFall-Nga

Abstract
The squid Euprymna scolopes has evolved independent sets of tissues capable of light detection, including a complex eye and a photophore or ‘light organ’, which houses the luminous bacterial symbiont Vibrio fischeri. As the eye and light organ originate from different embryonic tissues, we examined whether the eye-specification genes, pax6, eya, six, and dac, are shared by these two organs, and if so, whether they are regulated in the light organ by symbiosis. We obtained sequences of the four genes with PCR, confirmed orthology with phylogenetic analysis, and determined that each was expressed in the eye and light organ. With in situ hybridization (ISH), we localized the gene transcripts in developing embryos, comparing the patterns of expression in the two organs. The four transcripts localized to similar tissues, including those associated with the visual system ∼1/4 into embryogenesis (Naef stage 18) and the light organ ∼3/4 into embryogenesis (Naef stage 26). We used ISH and quantitative real-time PCR to examine transcript expression and differential regulation in postembryonic light organs in response to the following colonization conditions: wild-type, luminescent V. fischeri; a mutant strain defective in light production; and as a control, no symbiont. In ISH experiments light organs showed down regulation of the pax6, eya, and six transcripts in response to wild-type V. fischeri. Mutant strains also induced down regulation of the pax6 and eya transcripts, but not of the six transcript. Thus, luminescence was required for down regulation of the six transcript. We discuss these results in the context of symbiont-induced light-organ development. Our study indicates that the eye-specification genes are expressed in light-interacting tissues independent of their embryonic origin and are capable of responding to bacterial cues. These results offer evidence for evolutionary tinkering or the recruitment of eye development genes for use in a light-sensing photophore.
 

DWhatley

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Euprymna Behavior papers (via @Taollan)
Notes on the Behavior of Euprymna Scolopes M. Moynihan 1982 (pdf)

Escape responses of Euprymna scolopes Berry, 1911 (Cephalopoda: Sepiolidae) Roland C. Anderson, Jennifer A. Mather 1996 Research Notes (pdf)

Mating behaviour and general spawning patterns of the southern dumpling squid Euprymna tasmanica (Sepiolidae): a laboratory study Zoe E. Squires, Mark D. Norman, Devi Stuart-Fox 2012 (Subscription:Journal of Molluscan Studies)
Abstract
We provide the first detailed description of mating behaviour and multiple mating in the southern dumpling squid, Euprymna tasmanica (Pfeffer, 1884) in the laboratory, as well as details on their general spawning patterns. We found that male E. tasmanica increase the number of ‘pumps’ (mantle contractions) when mating with females that had recently mated, showing that males are able to determine the recent mating history of females. We also found that at the conclusion of mating, the male's hectocotylus was enlarged. To our knowledge, neither had previously been described in sepiolid squid. Euprymna tasmanica females lay multiple clutches over a large proportion of their lifespan, from 1 to 121 d. There was a considerable variation in the number of eggs produced per female in captivity, ranging from 6 to 646 eggs, and in the number of eggs per clutch, from 6 to 163 eggs. Egg number per clutch declined significantly over the spawning period. Larger females produced larger hatchlings, and egg mass and hatchling mass were significantly correlated. At higher ambient water temperatures the rate at which females produced clutches increased and the size of the eggs laid decreased.
 

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