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Sperm activation in acorn barnacles by elevation of seawater pH

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Gary Caldwell, Professor Tony Clare


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The sperm of most barnacle species show negligible motility unless exposed to oviducal gland fluid; a secretion associated with oviposition. Artificial activation has previously been induced in Semibalanus balanoides by elevating seawater pH using an ammonia buffer. To date, the information pertaining to barnacle sperm biology is rather limited. Current work has investigated the activation of vesicular sperm from three species of acorn barnacle in response to the elevation of seawater pH using alkaline buffers; either sodium hydroxide (NaOH) or ammonium (NH4+). Elevation of seawater pH was observed to increase activation success, particularly for Balanus amphitrite and Elminius modestus. In all cases there was a high degree of variability in the data. A median value of 20% sperm activation (mean±SE = 20.65±4.86%) was determined for E. modestus at pH 9 (NH4+). The lowest activation success was observed in S. balanoides which displayed maximal median activation of 1.79% at pH 8.4 (NaOH) (mean±SE = 1.93±0.44%). B. amphitrite and E. modestus showed greatest activation in seawater buffered with NH4+. This is the first study to artificially activate E. modestus and B. amphitrite sperm.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Wright S, Caldwell GS, Clare AS

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Invertebrate Reproduction and Development

Year: 2012

Volume: 56

Issue: 1

Pages: 79-85

Print publication date: 01/01/2012

ISSN (print): 0792-4259

Publisher: Balaban Publishers, International Science Services


DOI: 10.1080/07924259.2011.614123

Notes: Proceedings of the 12th International Congress on Invertebrate Reproduction and Development (ICIRD), Prague, Czech Republic, August 16-20, 2010


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