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Arrested development in Fucus spiralis (Phaeophyceae) germlings exposed to copper

  • PETER R. BOND (a1), MURRAY T. BROWN (a1), ROY M. MOATE (a1), MARTHA GLEDHILL (a2), STEPHEN J. HILL (a2) and MALCOLM NIMMO (a2)...
    • Published online: 01 November 1999
Abstract

Exposure of Fucus spiralis germlings to precise copper concentrations (0 to 844 nM Cu2+) in chemically defined medium demonstrated a relationship between ultrastructural changes and growth retardation with increasing copper concentration. Electron-translucent vesicles, present in ova, which normally disappear after fertilization, accumulated in germlings exposed to Cu2+ above 10·6 nM, suggesting that copper may inhibit a metabolic pathway involved in cell wall formation which is initiated by fertilization. No membrane damage was observed during the exposure period. During a post-exposure period in copper-free medium, recovery occurred (rhizoid extension, apical hair formation) in germlings previously exposed to concentrations below 106 nM Cu2+ and electron-translucent vesicles became granular and disappeared. It is proposed that the electron-translucent vesicles contain a cell wall precursor and that copper inhibits its incorporation into the cell wall, preventing growth and development of the zygote.

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Corresponding author
Correspondence to: Peter Bond, Plymouth Electron Microscopy Centre, University of Plymouth, Drake Circus, Plymouth, Devon PL4 8AA, UK. Tel/fax: +44 (0) 1752 233092. e-mail: pbond@plymouth.ac.uk
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European Journal of Phycology
  • ISSN: 0967-0262
  • EISSN: 1469-4433
  • URL: /core/journals/european-journal-of-phycology
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