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Locating the barnacle settlement pheromone: Spatial and ontogenetic expression of the settlement-inducing protein complex of Balanus amphitrite

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Catherine Dreanno, Professor Tony Clare


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Barnacles are prominent members of hard substratum benthic communities and their study has been important to advances in experimental ecology and contemporary ecological theory. Having recently characterized the cue to gregarious settlement of Balanus amphitrite, the settlement-inducing protein complex (SIPC)3 we use two polyclonal antibodies to examine the tissue distribution and ontogenetic expression of this glycoprotein. These antibodies were raised against two separate peptides located near the N- and C-termini of the SIPC and werc used to detect the glycoprotein by western blotting and immunohistochemistry. By in situ hybridization we also show that the SIPC mRNA co-occurs with the expressed glycoprotein in the cuticles of both nauplius and cypris larval stages and the adult. In the larvae, the SIPC is expressed most strongly in the mouthparts and the hindgut of the stage 2 nauplius and in the thoracopods, antennules and bivalved carapace of the cyprid. In adult B. amphitrite, the expressed SIPC is present in protein extracts of the shell and in all organs that are lined by cuticular tissues. We suggest that the SIPC is produced by the epidermal cell 5 that secrete the cuticle and discuss these observations with regard to earlier studies and the role of the SIPC as a contact pheromone. © 2006 The Royal Society.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Dreanno C, Kirby R, Clare AS

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences

Year: 2006

Volume: 273

Issue: 1602

Pages: 2721-2728

ISSN (print): 0962-8436

ISSN (electronic): 1471-2970

Publisher: The Royal Society Publishing


DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2006.3649

PubMed id: 17015319


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