Chitin is a functional component of the larval adhesive of barnacles

Type Article
Date 2020-01
Language English
Author(s) Aldred Nick1, Chan Bin San2, 3, Emami Kaveh4, Okano Keiju5, Clare Anthony S.1, Mount Andrew S.2
Affiliation(s) 1 : School of Natural and Environmental Sciences, Newcastle University, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 7RU, UK
2 : Biological Sciences, Clemson University, Clemson, SC, 29634, USA
3 : Ifremer, Physiologie Fonctionnelle des Organismes Marins UMR 6539 LEMAR (CNRS/UBO/IRD/Ifremer), CS 10070, F-29280, Plouzane, France
4 : Biosciences Institute, Newcastle University, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 7RU, UK
5 : Department of Biotechnology, Akita Prefectural University, Akita, Japan
Source Communications Biology (2399-3642) (Springer Science and Business Media LLC), 2020-01 , Vol. 3 , N. 1 , P. 31 (8p.)
DOI 10.1038/s42003-020-0751-5
WOS© Times Cited 16

Barnacles are the only sessile crustaceans, and their larva, the cyprid, is supremely adapted for attachment to surfaces. Barnacles have a universal requirement for strong adhesion at the point of larval attachment. Selective pressure on the cyprid adhesive has been intense and led to evolution of a tenacious and versatile natural glue. Here we provide evidence that carbohydrate polymers in the form of chitin provide stability to the cyprid adhesive of Balanus amphitrite. Chitin was identified surrounding lipid-rich vesicles in the cyprid cement glands. The functional role of chitin was demonstrated via removal of freshly attached cyprids from surfaces using a chitinase. Proteomic analysis identified a single cement gland-specific protein via its association with chitin and localized this protein to the same vesicles. The role of chitin in cyprid adhesion raises intriguing questions about the evolution of barnacle adhesion, as well as providing a new target for antifouling technologies.

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Publisher's official version 8 2 MB Open access
Supplementary Information 8 1 MB Open access
Description of Additional Supplementary Files 1 418 KB Open access
Supplementary Data 1 14 KB Open access
Supplementary Data 2 21 KB Open access
Reporting Summary 2 67 KB Open access
Peer Review File 8 192 KB Open access
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