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Supplementary Material for: Developmental Characterization of Tail Movements in the Appendicularian Urochordate Oikopleura dioica

posted on 23.11.2016, 14:57 by Kreneisz O., Glover J.C.

Using high-speed video cinematography, we characterized kinematically the spontaneous tail movements made by the appendicularian urochordate Oikopleura dioica. Videos of young adult (1-day-old) animals discriminated 4 cardinal movement types: bending, nodding, swimming and filtering, each of which had a characteristic signature including cyclicity, event or cycle duration, cycle frequency, cycle frequency variation, laterality, tail muscle segment coordination and episode duration. Bending exhibited a more common, unilateral form (single bending) and a rarer, bilateral form (alternating bending). Videos of developing animals showed that bending and swimming appeared in rudimentary form starting just after hatching and exhibited developmental changes in movement excursion, duration and frequency, whereas nodding and filtering appeared in the fully mature form in young adults at the time of first house production. More complex behaviors were associated with inflating, entering and exiting the house. We also assessed the influence of descending inputs by separating the tail (which contains all muscles and most likely the neural circuits that generate most motor outputs) from the head. Isolated tails spontaneously generated either bending or swimming movements in abnormally protracted episodes. This together with other observations of interactions between bending and swimming behaviors indicates the presence of several types of descending inputs that regulate the activity of the pattern generating circuitry in the tail nervous system.