[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Gregarious settlement, an essential behavior for many barnacle species that can only reproduce by mating with a nearby barnacle, has long been thought to rely on larval ability to recognize chemical signals from conspecifics during settlement. However, the cyprid, the settlement stage larva in barnacles, has one pair of compound eyes that appear only at the late nauplius VI and cyprid stages, but the function(s) of these eyes remains unknown. Here we show that cyprids of the intertidal barnacle Balanus (=Amphibalanus) amphitrite can locate adult barnacles even in the absence of chemical cues, and prefer to settle around them probably via larval sense of vision. We also show that the cyprids can discriminate color and preferred to settle on red surfaces. Moreover, we found that shells of adult B. amphitrite emit red auto-fluorescence and the adult extracts with the fluorescence as a visual signal attracted cyprid larvae to settle around it. We propose that the perception of specific visual signals can be involved in behavior of zooplankton including marine invertebrate larvae, and that barnacle auto-fluorescence may be a specific signal involved in gregarious larval settlement.
Full-text · Article · Mar 2014 · Journal of Experimental Biology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Barnacles are major sessile components of the intertidal areas worldwide, and also one of the most dominant fouling organisms in fouling communities. Larval settlement has a crucial ecological effect not only on the distribution of the barnacle population but also intertidal community structures. However, the molecular mechanisms involved in the transition process from the larval to the juvenile stage remain largely unclear. In this study, we carried out comparative proteomic profiles of stage II nauplii, stage VI nauplii, cyprids, and juveniles of the barnacle Balanus amphitrite using label-free quantitative proteomics, followed by the measurement of the gene expression levels of candidate proteins. More than 700 proteins were identified at each stage; 80 were significantly up-regulated in cyprids and 95 in juveniles vs other stages. Specifically, proteins involved in energy and metabolism, the nervous system and signal transduction were significantly up-regulated in cyprids, whereas proteins involved in cytoskeletal remodeling, transcription and translation, cell proliferation and differentiation, and biomineralization were up-regulated in juveniles, consistent with changes associated with larval metamorphosis and tissue remodeling in juveniles. These findings provided molecular evidence for the morphological, physiological and biological changes that occur during the transition process from the larval to the juvenile stages in B. amphitrite.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Marine biofouling refers to the unwanted accumulation of fouling organisms, such as barnacles, on artificial surfaces, resulting in severe consequences for marine industries. Meleagrin is a potential non-toxic antifoulant that is isolated from the fungus Penicillium sp.; however its mechanistic effect mode of action on larval settlement remains unknown. Here, we applied iTRAQ coupled with 2D LC-MS/MS proteomic analysis to investigate the effect of meleagrin on the proteomic expression profile of cyprid development and aging in the barnacle Balanus Amphitrite. Fifty proteins were differentially expressed in response to treatment with meleagrin, among which, 26 proteins were associated with cyprid development/aging and 24 were specifically associated with the meleagrin treatment. The 66 proteins that were associated with aging only remained unaltered during exposure to meleagrin. Using KEGG analysis, those proteins were assigned to several groups, including metabolic pathways, ECM-receptor interactions, and the regulation of the actin cytoskeleton. Among the 24 proteins that were not related to the development/aging process, expression of the cyprid major protein (CMP), a vitellogenin-like protein, increased after the meleagrin treatment, which suggested that meleagrin might affect endocrine system and prevent the larval molting cycle. With the exception of the chitin binding protein that mediate the molting process and ATPase-mediated energy processes, the majority of proteins with significant effects in previous studies in response to cyprid treatment with butenolide and poly-ether B, remained unchanged in the present study, suggesting that meleagrin may exhibit a different mechanism.
Full-text · Article · Mar 2013 · Journal of Proteome Research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The barnacle Balanus ( = Amphibalanus) amphitrite is a major marine fouling animal. Understanding the molecular mechanism of larval settlement in this species is critical for anti-fouling research. In this study, we cloned one isoform of p38 MAPK (Bar-p38 MAPK) from this species, which shares the significant characteristic of containing a TGY motif with other species such as yeast, Drosophila and humans. The activation of p38 MAPK was detected by an antibody that recognizes the conserved dual phosphorylation sites of TGY. The results showed that phospho-p38 MAPK (pp38 MAPK) was more highly expressed at the cyprid stage, particularly in aged cyprids, in comparison to other stages, including the nauplius and juvenile stages. Immunostaining showed that Bar-p38 MAPK and pp38 MAPK were mainly located at the cyprid antennules, and especially the third and fourth segments, which are responsible for substratum exploration during settlement. The expression and localization patterns of Bar-p38 MAPK suggest its involvement in larval settlement. This postulation was also supported by the larval settlement bioassay with the p38 MAPK inhibitor SB203580. Behavioral analysis by live imaging revealed that the larvae were still capable of exploring the surface of the substratum after SB203580 treatment. This shows that the effect of p38 MAPK on larval settlement might be by regulating the secretion of permanent proteinaceous substances. Furthermore, the level of pp38 MAPK dramatically decreased after full settlement, suggesting that Bar-p38 MAPK maybe plays a role in larval settlement rather than metamorphosis. Finally, we found that Bar-p38 MAPK was highly activated when larvae confronted extracts of adult barnacle containing settlement cues, whereas larvae pre-treated with SB203580 failed to respond to the crude adult extracts.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The barnacle Balanus amphitrite is a globally distributed marine crustacean and has been used as a model species for intertidal ecology and biofouling studies. Its life cycle consists of seven planktonic larval stages followed by a sessile juvenile/adult stage. The transitional processes between larval stages and juveniles are crucial for barnacle development and recruitment. Although some studies have been conducted on the neuroanatomy and neuroactive substances of the barnacle, a comprehensive understanding of neuropeptides and peptide hormones remains lacking. To better characterize barnacle neuropeptidome and its potential roles in larval settlement, an in silico identification of putative transcripts encoding neuropeptides/peptide hormones was performed, based on transcriptome of the barnacle B. amphitrite that has been recently sequenced. Potential cleavage sites andstructure of mature peptides were predicted through homology search of known arthropod peptides. In total, 16 neuropeptide families/subfamilies were predicted from the barnacle transcriptome, and 14 of them were confirmed as genuine neuropeptides by Rapid Amplification of cDNA Ends. Analysis of peptide precursor structures and mature sequences showed that some neuropeptides of B. amphitrite are novel isoforms and shared similar characteristics with their homologs from insects. The expression profiling of predicted neuropeptide genes revealed that pigment dispersing hormone, SIFamide, calcitonin, and B-type allatostatin had the highest expression level in cypris stage, while tachykinin-related peptide was down regulated in both cyprids and juveniles. Furthermore, an inhibitor of proprotein convertase related to peptide maturation effectively delayed larval metamorphosis. Combination of real-time PCR results and bioassay indicated that certain neuropeptides may play an important role in cypris settlement. Overall, new insight into neuropeptides/peptide hormones characterized in this study shall provide a platform for unraveling peptidergic control of barnacle larval behavior and settlement process.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A recent global ban on the use of organotin compounds as antifouling agents has increased the need for safe and effective antifouling compounds. In this study, a series of new butenolide derivatives with various amine side chains was synthesized and evaluated for their anti-larval settlement activities in the barnacle, Balanus amphitrite. Side chain modification of butenolide resulted in butenolides 3c-3d, which possessed desirable physico-chemical properties and demonstrated highly effective non-toxic anti-larval settlement efficacy. A structure-activity relationship analysis revealed that varying the alkyl side chain had a notable effect on anti-larval settlement activity and that seven to eight carbon alkyl side chains with a tert-butyloxycarbonyl (Boc) substituent on an amine terminal were optimal in terms of bioactivity. Analysis of the physico-chemical profile of butenolide analogues indicated that lipophilicity is a very important physico-chemical parameter contributing to bioactivity.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The barnacle Balanus amphitrite is among the most dominant fouling species on intertidal rocky shores in tropical and subtropical areas and is thus a target organism in antifouling research. After being released from adults, the swimming nauplius undertakes six molting cycles and then transforms into a cyprid. Using paired antennules, a competent cyprid actively explores and selects a suitable substratum for attachment and metamorphosis (collectively known as settlement). This selection process involves the reception of exogenous signals and subsequent endogenous signal transduction. To investigate the involvement of nitric oxide (NO) and cyclic GMP (cGMP) during larval settlement of B. amphitrite, we examined the effects of an NO donor and an NO scavenger, two nitric oxide synthase (NOS) inhibitors and a soluble guanylyl cyclase (sGC) inhibitor on settling cyprids. We found that the NO donor sodium nitroprusside (SNP) inhibited larval settlement in a dose-dependent manner. In contrast, both the NO scavenger carboxy-PTIO and the NOS inhibitors aminoguanidine hemisulfate (AGH) and S-methylisothiourea sulfate (SMIS) significantly accelerated larval settlement. Suppression of the downstream guanylyl cyclase (GC) activity using a GC-selective inhibitor ODQ could also significantly accelerate larval settlement. Interestingly, the settlement inhibition effects of SNP could be attenuated by ODQ at all concentrations tested. In the developmental expression profiling of NOS and sGC, the lowest expression of both genes was detected in the cyprid stage, a crucial stage for the larval decision to attach and metamorphose. In summary, we concluded that NO regulates larval settlement via mediating downstream cGMP signaling.
No preview · Article · Aug 2012 · Journal of Experimental Biology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Barnacles are one of the most common organisms in intertidal areas. Their life cycle includes seven free-swimming larval stages and sessile juvenile and adult stages. The transition from the swimming to the sessile stages, referred to as larval settlement, is crucial for their survivor success and subsequent population distribution. In this study, we focused on the involvement of calmodulin (CaM) and its binding proteins in the larval settlement of the barnacle, Balanus ( = Amphibalanus) amphitrite. The full length of CaM gene was cloned from stage II nauplii of B. amphitrite (referred to as Ba-CaM), encoding 149 amino acid residues that share a high similarity with published CaMs in other organisms. Quantitative real-time PCR showed that Ba-CaM was highly expressed in cyprids, the stage at which swimming larvae are competent to attach and undergo metamorphosis. In situ hybridization revealed that the expressed Ba-CaM gene was localized in compound eyes, posterior ganglion and cement glands, all of which may have essential functions during larval settlement. Larval settlement assays showed that both the CaM inhibitor compound 48/80 and the CaM-dependent myosin light chain kinase (MLCK) inhibitor ML-7 effectively blocked barnacle larval settlement, whereas Ca(2+)/CaM-dependent kinase II (CaMKII) inhibitors did not show any clear effects. The subsequent real-time PCR assay showed a higher expression level of Ba-MLCK gene in larval stages than in adults, suggesting an important role of Ba-MLCK gene in larval development and competency. Overall, the results suggest that CaM and CaM-dependent MLCK function during larval settlement of B. amphitrite.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The barnacle Balanus amphitrite is a globally distributed biofouler and a model species in intertidal ecology and larval settlement studies. However, a lack of genomic information has hindered the comprehensive elucidation of the molecular mechanisms coordinating its larval settlement. The pyrosequencing-based transcriptomic approach is thought to be useful to identify key molecular changes during larval settlement.
Using 454 pyrosequencing, we collected totally 630,845 reads including 215,308 from the larval stages and 415,537 from the adults; 23,451 contigs were generated while 77,785 remained as singletons. We annotated 31,720 of the 92,322 predicted open reading frames, which matched hits in the NCBI NR database, and identified 7,954 putative genes that were differentially expressed between the larval and adult stages. Of these, several genes were further characterized with quantitative real-time PCR and in situ hybridization, revealing some key findings: 1) vitellogenin was uniquely expressed in late nauplius stage, suggesting it may be an energy source for the subsequent non-feeding cyprid stage; 2) the locations of mannose receptors suggested they may be involved in the sensory system of cyprids; 3) 20 kDa-cement protein homologues were expressed in the cyprid cement gland and probably function during attachment; and 4) receptor tyrosine kinases were expressed higher in cyprid stage and may be involved in signal perception during larval settlement.
Our results provide not only the basis of several new hypotheses about gene functions during larval settlement, but also the availability of this large transcriptome dataset in B. amphitrite for further exploration of larval settlement and developmental pathways in this important marine species.