Theme overview

The Chemosensory Communication Systems theme encompasses all research on lamprey chemical senses and their role in modulating behavior, physiology, and development. Previous and current research has focused on chemosensory cues that induce neuronal, endocrine or behavioral changes in sea lamprey during the adult phase. Migratory adults orient towards cues released by stream-resident larvae and away from cues released by dead or injured conspecifics. Spawning sea lampreys communicate with pheromones, such as a male pheromone that attracts females to spawning nests and elicits nesting behaviors. Future research will continue to focus on the identity, neuronal processing, and ecological function of chemosensory cues used during migration and reproduction, but may also include chemosensory cues used during other life stages. Studies that address the basic mechanisms and functions of chemosensory cues and pheromones and provide a framework with which they can be mimicked, altered, or disrupted are critical to this research area. Furthermore, studies that directly evaluate the utility of chemical cues to direct, disrupt, or monitor sea lamprey behavior in either adult or larval stages are important for application to sea lamprey control.

Theme paper

Li, W., Twohey, M., Jones, M., and Wagner, M. 2007. Research to Guide Use of Pheromones to Control Sea Lamprey. Journal of Great Lakes Research 33: 70-86.

Theme leaders

Weiming Li
Michigan State University
Department of Fisheries and Wildlife
13 Natural Resources Building
East Lansing, MI 48824
Phone: (517) 353-9837

Relevant resources

A complete list of completion reports and scientific papers resulting from this theme can be found in the commission's publication database.