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Marine Biology

, Volume 151, Issue 4, pp 1417–1431 | Cite as

Influence of bacteria and diatoms in biofilms on metamorphosis of the marine slipper limpet Crepidula onyx

  • Jill Man-Ying Chiu
  • Vengatesen Thiyagarajan
  • Jan A. Pechenik
  • Oi-Shing Hung
  • Pei-Yuan Qian
Research Article

Abstract

Larvae of the slipper limpet Crepidula onyx metamorphose in response to marine biofilms. In this study, we investigated how the percentage of larval metamorphosis in this species was affected by biofilms that differed in certain attributes. To manipulate bacterial and diatom cell densities and community composition, we developed biofilms in the laboratory (1) at different temperatures (16, 23 and 30°C) and salinities (20, 27 and 34‰), (2) with or without addition of antibiotics, and (3) in the light or in the dark. We also allowed biofilms to develop at three field sites with different prevailing environmental conditions so as to generate biofilms with different, but natural, attributes. Bacterial and diatom community composition in biofilms were determined using a DNA fingerprinting technique and microscopic examination, respectively. The effects of biofilms on metamorphosis were investigated in laboratory assays. The percentage of larval metamorphosis correlated with bacterial and diatom cell densities in only one of the three experiments conducted, but was substantially affected by differences in bacterial and diatom community composition in all three experiments. It also appears that metamorphosis of C. onyx depends on the simultaneous presence of both bacterial and diatom communities in biofilms.

Keywords

Bacterial Community Community Composition Onyx Bacterial Community Composition Diatom Community 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgments

This manuscript was greatly benefited by the comments and suggestions by two anonymous reviewers, especially those on the statistical analysis and interpretation. We also wish to thank Stanley Lau (National University of Singapore) for his advice on drafting this manuscript. We are grateful to Mandy Tsoi and Ki Tam for kindly assisting in the terminal-restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis and technical supports. This study was supported by the Area of excellence scheme of UGC (project#AoE/P–04/2004) and RGC grants (HKUST 6402/05M) to PY Qian.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jill Man-Ying Chiu
    • 1
  • Vengatesen Thiyagarajan
    • 1
  • Jan A. Pechenik
    • 2
  • Oi-Shing Hung
    • 1
  • Pei-Yuan Qian
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biology/Coastal Marine LaboratoryThe Hong Kong University of Science and TechnologyHong Kong SARChina
  2. 2.Biology DepartmentTufts UniversityMedfordUSA

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