Euplectella

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Introduction of Euplectella

Euplectella is a genus that contains sponges from the sea. Due to the presence of silica spicules, they are also known as glass sponges. It involves the flower baskets of Venus. They are found abundantly, deep in the ocean, in marine water. Their bodies are curved, tubular, basket-like, or in the form of a vase. The circulation of water occurs through the canal system. The type of canal system is syconoid. They are found in a symbiotic relationship with shrimp.


A genus that contains sponges from the sea is called euplectella. The baskets of Venus are also included in euplectella. These genera are found in the deep oceans abundantly in marine water. The term glass sponges are also used for the respective genus because of the presence of silica spicules. Syconoid is the term used to name the canal system that helps them to regulate water throughout.


Shrimp do have a symbiotic relationship with euplectella. They have a basket-like, tubular body structure, some of them also look like vases. They have a canal system in which the circulation of water is generated.  Porifera phylum has the Euplectella under its categorization. The Euplectella aspergillium is the most commonly known species of Euplectella. Hexactinellida class is the class of euplectella and cause they have sic rays they are distinguished by the skeleton of the triaxon. 


Euplectella - Features 

The body of euplectella is structured cylindrical somewhat it looks like a basket and they are connected through their fibres of tuft to the bottom of the seas. There is a well-functioned canal system for the circulation of water. The second is presented as the canal system for euplectella. There are in current channels present as an attachment to radial channels that are open into spongocoel on both inside and outside of the body. The radial canal has some lining of choanocytes. The offspring of euplectella is called shrimp. As they do both sexual and asexual reproduction the shrimp are founded both on males and females throughout their lives inside the sponge’s body. These shrimp clean the basket and in return, they receive their food from it. Offsprings after the birth look for their basket.


Skeleton is made of triaxon spicules. The glassy appearance of the respective genus is due to silica spicules. There is no true Ostia present on the euplectella. Many perforations do have parietal gaps on the outer surface of their body. These genera are found in the rocky region of the seafloor approximately 100m to 1000m under the surface. Euplectella has both sexual and asexual reproduction systems. Many durable optical fibres are created by examining the binding of the glassy euplectella in the ocean bed. Most of the efficient solar cells are created through euplectella which is low cost. 


Euplectella Diagram

The below-given image shows the euplectella diagram.


(Image will be uploaded soon)


Classification of Euplectella

Euplectella is categorized under the Porifera phylum. They belong to the Hexactinellida class, distinguished by the skeleton of triaxon spicules with six rays.


An example of a very common species of Euplectella is Euplectella aspergillum.

The below-given table shows the classification of euplectella:-


Kingdom

Animalia

Phylum

Porifera

Class

Hexactinellida

Order

Lyssacinosida

Family

Euplectellidae

Genus

Euplectella


Structure and Characteristics of Euplectella 

  • The body is cylindrical and basket-like, connected to the sea bottom by the tuft of fibres. 

  • Triaxon spicules make up the skeleton. The silica spicules give them a glassy appearance. 

  • The true Ostia is not present. Numerous perforations are parietal gaps on the outer surface.

  • For water circulation, a well-connected canal system is present. The canal system is found to be syconoid. Within the body and outside, the incurrent channels are attached to radial channels and open into spongocoel. 

  • The lining of choanocytes is found in the radial canal.

  • Throughout the lives of males and females, a pair of sponge cola shrimps are found inside the sponge's body. Their tiny offspring come out to find their basket. Shrimp receives the food from the basket and cleans the basket from the inside, in exchange. 

  • They reproduce both asexually and sexually.

  • Euplectella's glassy fibrous binding to the ocean bed is being examined to make more durable optical fibres for fibre optics. This can also be used to make solar cells that are low-cost and more efficient.


Euplectella Habitat:

The euplectella habitat is such that it is found to be attached to rocky regions of the seafloor. It is identified under the surface from 100 to 1000 m and it is most abundant at depths greater than 500 m. A small region of the sea near the Philippine Islands is home to Venus' flower baskets. Some of the similar species are found Near Japan and in certain other parts of the Indian Ocean and the western Pacific Ocean. 


Euplectella Morphology:

  • The body is found to be curved, tubular, and basket-like and composed of spicules of triaxons. Numerous apertures perforate the body, which is not actual Ostia, but rather parietal gaps. 

  • There is a syconoid type of canal system where Ostia communicates with incurrent canals that communicate through prosopyles with radial canals. These radial canals, in turn, open up to spongocoel and to osculum outside. 

  • A thin-walled, cylindrical, vase-shaped tube with a deep central atrium is the body structure of these animals. 

  • The entire body is made up of silica, in the shape of 6-pointed silica spicules, thus are generally called glass sponges. The spicules are made up of three perpendicular rays that give them 6 points. 

  • Spicules inside the sponge's tissues are small, pin-like structures that provide the sponge with structural support. It is the combination of the types of spicules inside the tissues of a sponge that helps classify the species.

  • The spicules 'weave' together in the case of glass sponges to form a very fine mesh that gives the sponge's body rigidity whereas the same is not observed in other sponge species. It enables glass sponges to live in the water column at great depths.

  • To draw plankton, it is speculated that the sponge harnesses bioluminescence.


Reproduction in Euplectella:

  • Asexual reproduction (it tends to happen when conditions are not favorable): amebocytes (carrier cells) are observed being attached to the deteriorating sponge. The amoebocytes are surrounded later by epithelial cells, and a new species emerges from the clump of cells when the dying sponge is all gone.

  • Sexual reproduction: Through the interior current, sperm enters the sponge and then fertilizes the ova. An amebocyte is responsible for carrying out ovum fertilization. After this, both the amoebocyte and the sperm enter the ovum and generate a cytostome that engulfs both the sperm and carrier cell. Then this zygote moves through radial holoblastic cleavage, producing cells of comparable size and form. A free-swimming larva is produced from an embryo which ultimately grows into a new sponge.


Conclusion

Euplectella is found to carry marine sponges. They are also recognized as glass sponges because of the presence of silica spicules. It is counted under the phylum Porifera and is believed to belong to the class Hexactinellida. Further, they are distinguished by the presence of a skeleton of triaxon spicules with six rays. Euplectella is tended to show both kinds of reproduction, i.e., sexual and Asexual Reproduction.

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FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What Makes Euplectella a Precious Ornamental Gift?

The skeleton of some silica sponges such as Euplectella is renowned for beauty and is in great demand in Japan for marriage ceremonies. A glass sponge belonging to the Hexactinellida class is Euplectella, also known as the Venus flower basket. The sponge is reached by a young shrimp pair, and they develop and are unable to exit the sponge. The shrimps' undergo the process of breeding and the offspring escape in search of a new sponge for them. The shrimps help in cleaning the sponge from the inside, which is in turn rewarded with shelter and food. Further, the shrimps are observed to stay inside sponges till they completely die. Therefore, the symbiotic relationship of Euplectella sponge shrimps gives an example of the union until death and the dried and dead sponge is offered in Japan as a wedding gift to symbolize the 'till death do us part' affection.

2. Give Some Applications of Euplectella.

Some applications are given below: 

  • For fibre optics researchers, the glassy fibres that bind the sponge to the ocean floor, 5-20 centimetres (2-8 in) long and thin as human hair, are of interest.

  • The sponge extracts and converts silicon acid from seawater into silica and then shapes it into an intricate glass fibre skeleton.

  • A new type of structural lattice with greater strength to weight ratio has been influenced by its skeletal structure than any other diagonally reinforced square lattices being used in engineering applications.

3. What are the characteristics of euplectella and its structure?

Euplectella is quite a basket-like cylindrical creature. There is no true Ostia present on the euplectella. Many perforations do have parietal gaps on the outer surface of their body. The radial canal has some lining of choanocytes. Euplectella has both sexual and asexual reproduction systems. Skeleton is made of triaxon spicules. The glassy appearance of the respective genus is due to silica spicules. These genera are found in the rocky region of the seafloor approximately 100m to 1000m under the surface.

4. What is the water circulation system of euplectella. And how do they circulate water in their bodies?

There is a well-functioned canal system for the circulation of water. Syconiod is presented as the canal system for euplectella. There are in current channels present as an attachment to radial channels that are open into spongocoel on both inside and outside of the body. They circulate water through their canal system all over their body as they are cylindrical the water circulation is improved.

5. What kind of reproduction does euplectella do asexual or sexual? Describe their offspring.

Euplectella’s are both sexual and asexual reproduction systems. The offspring of euplectella is called shrimp. As they do both sexual and asexual reproduction the shrimp are founded both on males and females throughout their lives inside the sponge’s body. These shrimp clean the basket and in return, they receive their food from it. Offsprings after the birth look for their own basket.

6. Describe the habitat where euplectella can survive and live.

These genera are found in the rocky region of the seafloor approximately 100m to 1000m under the surface. They like to live in the most abundant depth in the sea at least 500m in dept. The home of these creatures lives in a small region under the sea near the Philippine island, it is called Venus’ flower island. Some of the likely species of this genera live near Japan and also in the Indian ocean.

7. How euplectellas are helpful to humans and what they give to us?

The term glass sponges are also used for the respective genus because of the presence of silica spicules. Many durable optical fibres are created by examining the binding of the glassy euplectella in the ocean bed. Most of the efficient solar cells are created through euplectella which is low cost.

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