Characterization of Compounds That Induce Symbiosis Between Sea Anemone and Anemone Fish

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Science  31 Oct 1986:
Vol. 234, Issue 4776, pp. 585-587
DOI: 10.1126/science.234.4776.585


The species-specific partnership between the sea anemone and anemone fish in many parts of the Indo-Pacific region is a well-known phenomenon. Chemicals secreted by the sea anemone to elicit symbiotic behavior of the fish have been studied for two host-guest pairs, Radianthus kuekenthali (sea anemone)—Amphiprion perideraion (anemone fish) and Stoichactis kenti-A. ocellaris. A new pyridinium compound, amphikuemin, which induces characteristic attracted swimming (toward the chemical stimulus) in A. perideraion, has been isolated from R. kuekenthali and characterized. Several other chemicals that elicit characteristic symbiotic movements have also been identified.