The induction of larval settlement and metamorphosis of two sea urchins, Pseudocentrotus depressus and Anthocidaris crassispina , by free fatty acids extracted from the coralline red alga Corallina pilulifera
Lipophilic inducers of larval settlement and metamorphosis of Pseudocentrotus depressus and Anthocidaris crassispina, two commercially important sea urchin species in Japan, were isolated from the foliose coralline red alga Corallina pilulifera (collected in 1990 near Saga, Japan) and identified. Larval assays of the fractions obtained by silica gel column chromatography of the total lipids showed that non-polar groups of lipids were effective at inducing larval settlement and metamorphosis. The effective fractions were further subjected to gel filtration (Sephadex LH-20) and also to silica gel column chromatography, and the effective components isolated as single spots by thin-layer chromatography. The components at a concentration of ca. 0.4 mg paper-1 (sample was adsorbed on a paper with 20 cm2) induced high rates of larval settlement of both P. depressus and A. crassispina. Chemical analyses of the components revealed a mixture of free fatty acids (FFAs), dominated by eicosapentaenoic acid (20:5, 41 to 50%), palmitic acid (16:0, 11 to 17%), arachidonic acid (20:4, 9 to 15%), and palmitoleic acid (16:1, 4 to 5%). In assays with the four standard FFAs, only 20:4 and 20:5 induced larval settlement and metamorphosis of the two species, while 16:0 and 16:1 were ineffective. The larvae underwent significant rates of settlement and metamorphosis in response to the two former FFAs at levels as low as 0.18 mg paper-1. Amongst the free fatty acid components of the alga, 20:5 was isolated as the chemical inducer of larval settlement and metamorphosis of the sea urchins in the laboratory.
- 1 - sciences appliquees, technologies et medecines
- 2 - sciences biologiques et medicales
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- 1 - Physical Sciences ; 2 - Environmental Science ; 3 - Ecology
- 1 - Life Sciences ; 2 - Agricultural and Biological Sciences ; 3 - Aquatic Science
- 1 - Life Sciences ; 2 - Agricultural and Biological Sciences ; 3 - Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics