Settlement behaviour of marine invertebrate larvae measured by EthoVision 3.0

J. Marechal, Claire Hellio, M. Sebire, A. Clare

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-217
Number of pages7
JournalBiofouling
Volume20
Issue number4-5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2004

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