"Bathymodiolus" childressi, Deep-sea bivalve
We describe culturing techniques and development for the cold-seep mussel “Bathymodiolus” childressi, the only deep-sea bivalve for which development has been detailed. Spawning was induced in mature mussels by injection of 2 mmol l−1 serotonin into the anterior adductor muscle. The mean egg diameter is 69.15 ± 2.36 μm (±S.D.; n = 50) and eggs are negatively buoyant. Cleavages are spiral and at 7–8 °C occur at a rate of one per 3–9 h through hatching, with free-swimming blastulae hatching by 40 h and shells beginning to develop by day 12. When temperature was raised to 12–14 °C after hatching, larvae developed to D-shell veligers by day 8 without being fed. Egg size and larval shell morphology indicate that “B.” childressi has a planktotrophic larva, but we did not observe feeding in culture. Wide distribution of this species throughout the Gulf of Mexico and amphi-Atlantic distributions of closely related congeners suggest that larvae may spend extended periods in the plankton. Duration of larval life was estimated for “B.” childressi by comparing calculated settlement times to known spawning seasons. These estimates suggest variability in the larval duration, with individuals spending more than a year in the plankton.
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Shawn M. Arellano and Craig M. Young, "Spawning, Development, and the Duration of Larval Life in a Deep-Sea Cold-Seep Mussel," The Biological Bulletin 216, no. 2 (April 2009): 149-162.
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