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By Frederick W. Harrison

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If not, why not? 44 ASPECTS OF SPONGE BIOLOGY HARRISON: Dr. P. Korotkova at Leningrad has subjected Sponges to carcinogens. This is the only relevant paper that I know of. SIMPSON: There is one reason to consider that it may not be possible to get sponges to proliferate in a pure culture con­ dition. That is because most sponges genetically are capable of indefinite, but organized, growth. It may be that this balance is very, very tight in such a way that the sponge will go on proliferating, but only in a very specific manner.

35 DISCUSSION TOPIC 6 SIMPSON: But you say you do have a correlation between the increase in alkalinity and the formation of gemmules? POIRRIER: Yes. I have this correlation with the morphology of the gemmule, also. I noticed in one of your papers that you referred to a variety of Spongilla lacustris without the pneumatic layer present in the gemmule coat. I can induce the formation of gemmoscleres and the gemmule coat pneumatic layer in Spongilla lacustris by modifying the physiocochemical characteristics of the water.

I've used this in order to identify sponges without gemmules and to work with ecomorphic variation. SIMPSON: POIRRIER: Do you know what the pH of your water is? I have never really monitored it. I have just 36 ASPECTS OF SPONGE BIOLOGY used this as a mechanism to identify immature sponges with­ out gemmules. I have done this with all of those I have collected without gemmules from a habitat. SIMPSON: You always use habitat water? POIRRIER: Always habitat water. I have allowed it to eva­ porate a little bit.

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