Publications: Peer-reviewed journal articles (by staff)

Scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive X-Ray microanalysis of Perna canaliculus mussel larvae adhesive secretion

  • Petrone L,
  • Ragg NLC,
  • Girvan L,
  • and McQuillan AJ
1 January, 2009
CITATION

Petrone L, Ragg NLC, Girvan L, McQuillan AJ 2009. Scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive X-Ray microanalysis of Perna canaliculus mussel larvae adhesive secretion. Journal of Adhesion 85(2-3): 78-96.

ABSTRACT

The morphology and nature of the adhesive secretion from Perna canaliculus mussel larvae settled on glass and on Teflon was observed by scanning electron microscopy techniques. The settled larvae were imaged by field emission scanning electron microscopy and the adhesive footprints left on the substrate after the organisms' removal by cryo-scanning electron microscopy. Environmental scanning electron microscopy images on glass and Teflon substrates showed the adhesive in its natural hydrated condition. Moreover, micrographs under increasing humidity conditions showed swelling behaviour of the larval adhesive which revealed its hygroscopic nature. The mussel larvae adhesive spreading behaviour on glass compared with Teflon showed that it is hydrophilic. Additionally, energy dispersive X-ray microanalysis provided information of the elemental composition of the larval adhesive, revealing the presence of sulfur, phosphorus, and calcium. Calcium may be present due to its favourable interactions with polyanionic moieties leading to formation of a gel-like adhesive secretion.