Marine Biology

, Volume 157, Issue 8, pp 1705–1712 | Cite as

Ultrastructure of pedal muscle as a function of temperature in nacellid limpets

  • Glenn Lurman
  • Till Blaser
  • Miles Lamare
  • Koh-Siang Tan
  • Hans Poertner
  • Lloyd S. Peck
  • Simon A. Morley
Original Paper


Temperature and mitochondrial plasticity are well studied in fishes, but little is known about this relationship in invertebrates. The effects of habitat temperature on mitochondrial ultrastructure were examined in three con-familial limpets from the Antarctic (Nacella concinna), New Zealand (Cellana ornata), and Singapore (Cellana radiata). The effects of seasonal changes in temperature were also examined in winter and summer C. ornata. Stereological methods showed that limpet pedal myocytes were 1–2 orders of magnitude smaller in diameter (≈3.5 μm) than in vertebrates, and that the diameter did not vary as a function of temperature. Mitochondrial volume density (Vv(mt,f)) was approximately 2–4 times higher in N. concinna (0.024) than in the other species (0.01 and 0.006), which were not significantly different from each other. Mitochondrial cristae surface density (Sv(im,mt)) was significantly lower in summer C. ornata (24.1 ± 0.50 μm2 μm−3) than both winter C. ornata (32.3 ± 0.95 μm2 μm−3) and N. concinna (34.3 ± 4.43 μm2 μm−3). The surface area of mitochondrial cristae per unit fibre volume was significantly higher in N. concinna, due largely to the greater mitochondrial volume density. These results and previous studies indicate that mitochondrial proliferation in the cold is a common, but not universal response by different species from different thermal habitats. Seasonal temperature decreases on the other hand, leading preferentially to an increase in cristae surface density. Stereological measures also showed that energetic reserves, i.e. lipid droplets and glycogen in the pedal muscle changed greatly with season and species. This was most likely related to gametogenesis and spawning.


Volume Density Glycogen Content Glycogen Granule Aerobic Scope Intracellular Lipid Droplet 



Marianne Hofstetter and Kerstin Meyer are thanked for their assistance during histological preparation. Ruth Vock, Hans Hoppeler, Jean-Michel Weber and Daniela Lurman-Lange are thanked for insightful discussions. This project was financed in part by the ESF ThermAdapt short visit grant (2148) awarded to GL, a Society for Experimental Biology travel grant awarded to GL, a TransAntarctic Association grant awarded to SM, the University of Bern, and funding from the Natural Environment Research Council via the British Antarctic Survey BIOREACH project in the BIOFLAME programme.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Glenn Lurman
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Till Blaser
    • 2
  • Miles Lamare
    • 4
  • Koh-Siang Tan
    • 5
  • Hans Poertner
    • 3
  • Lloyd S. Peck
    • 1
  • Simon A. Morley
    • 1
  1. 1.British Antarctic SurveyNational Environment Research CouncilCambridgeUK
  2. 2.Institut fuer Anatomie der Universitaet BernBernSwitzerland
  3. 3.Alfred-Wegener-Institut fuer Polar und MeeresforschungBremerhavenGermany
  4. 4.Portobello Marine LabUniversity of OtagoDunedinNew Zealand
  5. 5.Tropical Marine Science InstituteNational University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore

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