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Biol Bull. 2012 Oct;223(2):192-204.

Morphology of the cement apparatus and the cement of the buoy barnacle Dosima fascicularis (Crustacea, Cirripedia, Thoracica, Lepadidae).

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  • 1Faculty of Life Sciences, Core Facility of Cell Imaging and Ultrastructure Research, University of Vienna, Austria.


Barnacles produce a proteinaceous adhesive called cement to attach permanently to rocks or to other hard substrata. The stalked barnacle Dosima fascicularis is of special interest as it produces a large amount of foam-like cement that can be used as a float. The morphology of the cement apparatus and of the polymerized cement of this species is almost unknown. The current study aims at filling these gaps in our knowledge using light and electron microscopy as well as x-ray microtomography. The shape of the cement gland cells changes from round to ovoid during barnacle development. The cytoplasm of the gland cells, unlike that of some other barnacles, does not have distinct secretory and storage regions. The cement canals, which transport the cement from the gland cells to the base of the stalk, end at different positions in juvenile and mature animals. With increasing size of the cement float, the exit of the cement canals shift from the centrally positioned attachment disk of the vestigial antennules to more lateral positions on the stalk. The bubbles enclosed in the foam-like float are most likely filled with CO(2) that diffuses from the hemolymph into the cement canal system and from there into the cement.

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