Plakortis simplex




Plakortis simplex can reproduce by means of both sexual and asexual reproduction.  During sexual reproduction, choanocytes are converted into spermatocytes.  The zygote egg experiences repeated cleavage to form a parenchymula larva.  This parenchymula larva is essentially a collection of large cells on the inside which are enclosed by smaller flagellated cells. This motile larva swims through the central cavity and is ejected by the exiting current.


Asexual reproduction by P. simplex is achieved by means of budding.  The cells of P. simplex are totipotent, meaning that a single cell can divide and differentiate into any of the cells found in sponges.  During budding, sponges release fragments of themselves called gemmules.  Gemmules are aggregates of these totipotent cells which have a coat of spongin that protects them.  These aggregates of cells are released from the surface of the original organism to form a new organism when conditions are right for them to germinate.


For information on interactions of other species with P. simplex click here.