The International Journal of Developmental Biology

Int. J. Dev. Biol. 44: 451 - 456 (2000)

Vol 44, Issue 5

Effect of inducers and inhibitors on the expression of bcs genes involved in cypris larval attachment and metamorphosis of the barnacles Balanus amphitrite

Published: 1 August 2000

Y Okazaki and Y Shizuri

Marine Biotechnology Institute Co. Ltd., Shimizu Laboratory, Shizuoka, Japan.


We examined the expression of six barnacle cypris larva-specific gene (bcs) cDNAs (bcs-1, -2, -3, -4,- 5, and -6), the bcs genes, by using Northern blot analysis under various conditions that induced or inhibited cypris larval attachment and metamorphosis. Inducers of larval attachment and metamorphosis, such as a neurotransmitter, tended to increase the expression of bcs mRNAs. All inhibitors of larval attachment and metamorphosis, such as G protein-coupled receptor agonists/antagonists, inhibitors of tyrosine kinase-linked receptors and inhibitors of their signal transduction, suppressed the expression of bcs-6 mRNA alone, but affected differentially other bcs genes. These results strongly suggest that the bcs-6 product plays a key role in triggering the attachment and metamorphosis of cypris larvae into juvenile barnacles. The roles of four late bcs genes (bcs-3,-4, -5 and -6) are discussed.

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