Gemmules of sponges from a warm lake

Micha Ilan, M. Gal Dembo, Avital Gasith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


1. Two types of gemmules were found, each in a different species of sponge, from the warm monomictic Lake Kinneret: (i) clustered gemmules, sharing the pneumatic layer of the gemmular capsule and resembling gemmules of Eunapius; (ii) gemmules that develop non-synchronously, containing amphidisc spicules within the gemmular capsule and resembling those of Ephydatia. Algal cells were not detected within either type of gemmule although they exist in the developed sponges. 2. Sponges began producing gemmules in the lake with the onset of lake drawdown and ceased when lake level was minimal. The gemmules hatched when the lake level began to rise. 3. Under experimental conditions gemmules hatched between 13 and 35°C. Germination was optimal at 20-25°C. Chilling of young gemmules prior to incubation at 25°C improved germination rate. 4. The percentage of germinating dry gemmules diminished 4-6 months after their collection from the lake. None germinated after 10 months. Submerged gemmules maintained high viability with ageing (up to 100% germination 18 months after collection). Desiccation influenced gemmule viability over time, by both decreasing the percentage of germinating gemmules and increasing the lag time before onset of germination. 5. Gemmules kept in the dark germinated significantly less than those illuminated for 12 h day-1.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-172
Number of pages8
JournalFreshwater Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1996


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