BRA-2, a major C-type lectin in the hemolymph of the acorn barnacle Megabalanus rosa was detected in shell-associated proteins. Immobilized BRA-2 promoted CaCO3 crystallization as determined by an in vitro pH-drift mineralization assay. In nature, calcification occurs as wound repair in M. rosa after breakage of the shell plate. To observe this phenomenon, we inserted a rubber cube inside the mantle cavity of M. rosa through the basal plate, and kept the organisms in a tank for several weeks. The rubber cube was covered first with brownish-colored material, probably a melanin, and then with CaCO3 5 weeks after the insertion. In the CaCO3-associated proteins, BRA-3, a minor component of M. rosa hemolymph lectins, was present in addition to BRA-2. The presence of both the lectins and their ligands on the hemocyte was also observed. These results suggest that the C-type lectins of the M. rosa hemolymph participate in mineralization as well as defense in these organisms.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Aquatic Science