Can encapsulated embryos of crepidula fornicata (L.) use extracapsular dissolved organic matter? an experimental study with a 13 C-enriched amino acid
PublisherJournal of Molluscan Studies
DescriptionArtículo de publicación ISI
MetadataShow full item record
Many marine gastropod species brood their embryos in thin-walled capsules to protect them during development. Despite its beneficial effects, encapsulation has two major constraints, nutrition and oxygen supply, which affect embryo development and larval survival. Developing embryos usually rely on intracapsular food sources provided by the mother, in the form of yolk, nurse eggs and intracapsular fluid. However, it is still not clear if they are able to feed on extracapsular sources that may cross the capsule wall. We investigated this possibility in the calyptraeid species Crepidula fornicata. In this species, the internal capsule wall thickness sharply decreases during embryonic development, which might change wall permeability to small organic molecules, thus providing embryos with external dissolved organic matter. To test this hypothesis, encapsulated and excapsulated embryos of C. fornicata were placed for 48 h in a 13C-enriched amino acid (L-alanine) solution. Excapsulated embryos were enriched in 13C (þ5.75‰), which suggested that they were able to assimilate the labelled amino acid. In contrast, encapsulated embryos were weakly enriched (þ0.75‰), suggesting that encapsulation greatly reduces the potential for the use of extracapsular amino acids and that encapsulated embryos mainly rely on maternal food.