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Evidence of compositional and ultrastructural shifts during the development of calcareous tubes in the biofouling tubeworm, Hydroides elegans.

Journal of structural biology (2015-01-21)
Vera Bin San Chan, Olev Vinn, Chaoyi Li, Xingwen Lu, Anatoliy B Kudryavtsev, J William Schopf, Kaimin Shih, Tong Zhang, Vengatesen Thiyagarajan
ABSTRACT

The serpulid tubeworm, Hydroides elegans, is an ecologically and economically important species whose biology has been fairly well studied, especially in the context of larval development and settlement on man-made objects (biofouling). Nevertheless, ontogenetic changes associated with calcareous tube composition and structures have not yet been studied. Here, the ultrastructure and composition of the calcareous tubes built by H. elegans was examined in the three early calcifying juvenile stages and in the adult using XRD, FTIR, ICP-OES, SEM and Raman spectroscopy. Ontogenetic shifts in carbonate mineralogy were observed, for example, juvenile tubes contained more amorphous calcium carbonate and were predominantly aragonitic whereas adult tubes were bimineralic with considerably more calcite. The mineral composition gradually shifted during the tube development as shown by a decrease in Sr/Ca and an increase of Mg/Ca ratios with the tubeworm's age. The inner tube layer contained calcite, whereas the outer layer contained aragonite. Similarly, the tube complexity in terms of ultrastructure was associated with development. The sequential appearance of unoriented ultrastructures followed by oriented ultrastructures may reflect the evolutionary history of serpulid tube biominerals. As aragonitic structures are more susceptible to dissolution under ocean acidification (OA) conditions but are more difficult to be removed by anti-fouling treatments, the early developmental stages of the tubeworms may be vulnerable to OA but act as the important target for biofouling control.

MATERIALS
Product Number
Brand
Product Description

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