Growth and development of the barnacle Amphibalanus amphitrite: time and spatially resolved structure and chemistry of the base plate.
The radial growth and advancement of the adhesive interface to the substratum of many species of acorn barnacles occurs underwater and beneath an opaque, calcified shell. Here, the time-dependent growth processes involving various autofluorescent materials within the interface of live barnacles are imaged for the first time using 3D time-lapse confocal microscopy. Key features of the interface development in the striped barnacle, Amphibalanus (= Balanus) amphitrite were resolved in situ and include advancement of the barnacle/substratum interface, epicuticle membrane development, protein secretion, and calcification. Microscopic and spectroscopic techniques provide ex situ material identification of regions imaged by confocal microscopy. In situ and ex situ analysis of the interface support the hypothesis that barnacle interface development is a complex process coupling sequential, timed secretory events and morphological changes. This results in a multi-layered interface that concomitantly fulfills the roles of strongly adhering to a substratum while permitting continuous molting and radial growth at the periphery.
Burden, DK; Spillmann, CM; Everett, RK; Barlow, DE; Orihuela, B; Deschamps, JR; Fears, KP; Rittschof, D; Wahl, KJ
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