Larval metamorphosis of the mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis in response to Alteromonas sp. 1: evidence for two chemical cues?
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Bacterial isolates from multi-species biofilms were identified by 16S rDNA gene sequences and investigated for their inductive effects as monospecific biofilms on larval metamorphosis of Mytilus galloprovincialis. Alteromonas sp. 1 biofilm was found to have inductive activity, which increased with increasing cell density. The cue(s) of Alteromonas sp. 1 biofilm responsible for inducing larval metamorphosis was further investigated. Treatment of the biofilm with formalin, ethanol, heat or ultraviolet irradiation resulted in a significant reduction in the inductive activity of Alteromonas sp. 1, and the crude extract of surface-bound products of the biofilm showed no activity. These results indicated that if the cue was a surface-bound chemical cue, it was unstable, or susceptible to the treatments or the extraction process. On the other hand, the inductive activity of treated biofilms had a linear regression to the cell survival of bacteria, indicating a metabolically active biofilm was a requirement for larval metamorphosis. Conditioned water of the biofilm did not induce larvae to metamorphose. However, larval crawling behavior in the conditioned water was the same as that in the biofilm prior to larval metamorphosis, and significantly different to larval behavior in seawater. This indicated that a potential or partial waterborne cue existed, but remained inactive when alone. A synergistic effect of the conditioned water with formalin-fixed Alteromonas sp. 1 biofilm resulted in a significant increase in larval metamorphosis. Heat treatment and fractionation of the conditioned water demonstrated that the waterborne cue was heat-stable and <3,000 Da in molecular weight. Platinum-coating, Lentil Lectin and Wheat Germ Agglutinin treatments of the formalin-fixed biofilm significantly reduced its synergistic effect with the conditioned water, suggesting that a surface-bound cue was present on the biofilm and that the cue might be associated with the bacterial exopolysaccharide or glycoprotein. Evidence presented here suggests that two chemical cues derived from bacteria act synergistically on larval metamorphosis of Mytilus galloprovincialis.
KeywordsInductive Activity Alteromonas Larval Behavior Conditioned Water Larval Metamorphosis
The authors are grateful to Dr. K. Kanai of Nagasaki University for guidance in the identification of the bacteria and the staff of the Nagasaki Prefectural Institute of Fisheries for cooperation in the collection of adult mussels. The authors thank 2 anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments. The first author acknowledges Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology for providing a scholarship during the study period. All experiments complied with the current Japanese laws.
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