Marine Biology

, Volume 97, Issue 2, pp 199–206

Inhibition of attachment of larval barnacles, Balanus amphitrite, by bacterial surface films


  • J. S. Maki
    • Laboratory of Microbial Ecology, Division of Applied SciencesHarvard University
  • D. Rittschof
    • Duke University Marine Laboratory
  • J. D. Costlow
    • Duke University Marine Laboratory
  • R. Mitchell
    • Laboratory of Microbial Ecology, Division of Applied SciencesHarvard University

DOI: 10.1007/BF00391303

Cite this article as:
Maki, J.S., Rittschof, D., Costlow, J.D. et al. Mar. Biol. (1988) 97: 199. doi:10.1007/BF00391303


Films of bacteria on solid substrata can positively or negatively influence the attachment of marine invertebrate larvae. Effects of marine bacteria on the attachment of cypris larvae of the barnacle Balanus amphitrite Darwin were examined in the laboratory. Bacteria, grown to mid-exponential phase and allowed to adsorb irreversibly to polystyrene petri dishes, attached in densities of 107 cells cm-2. Assays (22h) were used to compare the effects of adsorbed cells of 18 different bacterial species on larval barnacle attachment. Most of the adsorbed bacteria either inhibited or had no effect on larval attachment compared to clean surfaces. Experiments testing the effect of larval age on barnacle attachment were conducted with six species of bacteria and showed that older larvae attached in higher percentages to clean surfaces and that bacterial films generally inhibited larval attaschment. Both the species of bacteria and the in situ age of the adsorbed bacteria affected barnacle attachment response: older films of Deleya (Pseudomonas) marina were more inhibitory. Bacterial extracellular materials may be involved in the inhibitory process.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1988