Scyphozoa, Cubozoa and Hydrozoa are classes in the phylum Cnidaria that undergo metagenesis involving a dramatic morphological transition. In Scyphozoa and Cubozoa, when exposed to species- or strain-specific transition-inducing stimuli, asexually reproducing benthic polyps transform into sexually reproducing planktonic medusae. In Hydrozoa, exposure to species- or strainspecific transition-inducing stimuli causes formation of medusa buds in the polyp's body. In Aurelia aurita (Linnaeus, 1758) (Scyphozoa, Semaeostomeae), polyp-to-jellyfish transition is induced by some simple indole compounds. However, whether indole compounds can induce polyp-to-jellyfish transition in Cubozoa and Hydrozoa remains unknown. In the present study, we show that an indole compound, 5-methoxy-2-methylindole, induces polyp-to-jellyfish transition in Scyphozoa and Cubozoa. This inducing action suggests that the downstream steps of polyp-to-jellyfish transition are regulated by the same biochemical reactions in Scyphozoa and Cubozoa, irrespective of the type of transition-inducing environmental stimuli.
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Vol. 34 • No. 3