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Settlement behaviour of marine invertebrate larvae measured by EthoVision 3.0

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Jean-Philippe Marechal, Dr Claire Hellio, Professor Tony Clare


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Submerged marine surfaces are rapidly colonized by fouling organisms. Current research is aimed at finding new, non-toxic, or at least environmentally benign, solutions to this problem. Barnacles are a major target organism for such control as they constitute a key component of the hard fouling community. A range of standard settlement assays is available for screening test compounds against barnacle cypris larvae, but they generally provide little information on mechanism(s) of action. Towards this end, a quick and reliable video-tracking protocol has been developed to study the behaviour of the cypris larvae of the barnacle, Balanus amphitrite, at settlement. EthoVision 3.0 was used to track individual cyprids in 30-mm Petri dishes. Experiments were run to determine the optimal conditions vis-à-vis acclimation time, tracking duration, number of replicates, temperature and lighting. A protocol was arrived at involving a two Petri dish system with backlighting, and tracking over a 5-min period after first acclimating the cyprids to test conditions for 2 min. A minimum of twenty replicates was required to account for individual variability in cyprid behaviour from the same batch of larvae. This methodology should be widely applicable to both fundamental and applied studies of larval settlement and with further refinements, to that of smaller fouling organisms such as microalgae and bacteria.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Marechal J, Hellio C, Sebire M, Clare AS

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Biofouling

Year: 2004

Volume: 20

Issue: 4-5

Pages: 211-217

Print publication date: 01/08/2004

ISSN (print): 0892-7014

ISSN (electronic): 1026-7867

Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd.


DOI: 10.1080/08927010400011674

PubMed id: 15621642


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