The Balanus amphitrite attachment inhibition assay, developed by Rittschof et al. (1992), has been widely used for screening antifouling compounds. One shortcoming of this assay, however, is the low (often < 40%) attachment rate of cyprids, including in the controls that contain seawater only. In this study, trapping of cyprids at the air-water interface was found to be a main contributor to the low attachment rate. Procedures to eliminate the air-water interface were thus introduced. With the improved bioassay, a much higher cyprid attachment rate (>70%) was attained. To further illustrate the usefulness of the improved assay (ie eliminating the air-water interface), the effects of the length of cyprid storage and the effect of a reference biocide, tributyltin chloride, on the survival and attachment rate of the cyprids were examined. The length of cyprid storage was important, with newly molted cyprids, 3- to 9-day old cyprids and 12-day old cyprids having an attachment rate of 43%,>75% and 36%, respectively. The low attachment rate in the newly molted cyprids was due to a high percentage of cyprids that still swam at the end of exposure period, whereas the low attachment rate in the 12-day old cyprids was due to a high mortality rate. The cyprids showed an EC50 of 22 microg l(-1) for attachment inhibition and LC50 of 25 microg l(-1) for mortality. It is concluded that the air-water interface has an important confounding effect on cyprid attachment rate in the conventional B. amphitrite attachment assay. By eliminating the air-water interface more robust quantitative assay results were obtained.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Aquatic Science
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
- Water Science and Technology