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Laboratory culture and evaluation of the tubeworm Ficopomatus enigmaticus for biofouling studies

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Regina Gabilondo Toscano, Helen Graham, Dr Gary Caldwell, Professor Tony Clare


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Ficopomatus enigmaticus, a euryhaline tube-building polychaete worm with a subtropical to temperate distribution, is an increasingly problematic fouling organism. In this study, laboratory protocols for maintaining adult broodstock, destructive spawning, larval culture and a settlement bioassay were developed. The method routinely yielded approximately 200 larvae per spawning adult. The mean number of eggs released by females was 1,517 and the mean number of spermatozoids per male was 4.425 x 106. Fertilisation success, using an initial concentration of 2.5 x 106 spermatozoids and 45 eggs ml-1, was 76% after a contact time of 60 min. The first cleavage occurred after 20 min and the trocophore larval stage was attained by 18 h. Metatrochophores were observed 4 d post-fertilisation and were competent to settle 1 day later. The proportion of larvae that settled after 48 h was surface-dependent: 10.24% on glass, 1.39% on polystyrene and 11.07% on a poly(dimethylsiloxane) elastomer. The presence of a biofilm on glass increased the rate of settlement 7-fold compared to clean glass.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Gabilondo R, Graham H, Caldwell GS, Clare AS

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Biofouling

Year: 2013

Volume: 29

Issue: 7

Pages: 869-878

Print publication date: 12/07/2013

ISSN (print): 0892-7014

ISSN (electronic): 1029-2454

Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd


DOI: 10.1080/08927014.2013.810214


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Funder referenceFunder name
European Commission
Marie Curie Actions
237997EC SEACOAT project