A multidisciplinary team approach is required to understand larval metamorphosis in high-CO2 coastal oceans

Marine invertebrates have a complex life cycle in which the free-swimming planktotrophic larval forms feed on planktons, accumulate energy reserves, develop into complex phase that is capable of selecting right surface for attachment and metamorphose into a benthic juvenile phase. The transformation of larva to adult is energetically demanding and involves complex physiological and molecular network and changes [1]. Understanding this complex larval metamorphic process at developmental, physiological, and molecular levels is extremely important for successful and sustainable aquaculture and fishery management. Moreover, larval attachment and metamorphosis on ship hulls, cooling water pipe lines and several other marine installations cause serious problems to marine industries, called biofouling, which cost us >10 billion USD per year. There is no environmentally friendly and economically viable solution to get rid of metamorphosing larvae from those marine installations [2]. Biofouling from accumulation of barnacles, tubeworms and mussels is largely dependent on their larval calcification at the time of metamorphosis. Calcification by metamorphosing larvae thus forms the basis for the accretion of carbonate shell structures in almost all types of biofouling species. On the other hand, metamorphosis and calcification are encouraged and welcomed by shellfish aquaculturists [3].

Thiyagarajan V., 2012. A multidisciplinary team approach is required to understand larval metamorphosis in high-CO2 coastal oceans. Journal of Marine Biology & Oceanography 1:1. Article.


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