Supplementary material from "Acid secretion by the boring organ of the burrowing giant clam, <i>Tridacna crocea</i>"

Published on 2018-05-24T16:14:38Z (GMT) by
The giant clam <i>Tridacna crocea</i>, native to Indo-Pacific coral reefs, is noted for its unique ability to bore fully into coral rock and is a major agent of reef bioerosion. However, <i>T. crocea</i>'s mechanism of boring has remained a mystery despite decades of research. By exploiting a new, two-dimensional pH-sensing technology and manipulating clams to press their presumptive boring tissue (the pedal mantle) against pH-sensing foils, we show that this tissue lowers the pH of surfaces it contacts by greater than or equal to 2 pH units below seawater pH day and night. Acid secretion is likely mediated by vacuolar-type H<sup>+</sup>-ATPase, which we demonstrate (by immunofluorescence) is abundant in the pedal mantle outer epithelium. Our discovery of acid secretion solves this decades-old mystery and reveals that, during bioerosion, <i>T. crocea</i> can liberate reef constituents directly to the soluble phase, rather than producing sediment alone as earlier assumed.

Cite this collection

W. Hill, Richard; Armstrong, Eric J.; Inaba, Kazuo; Morita, Masaya; Tresguerres, Martin; H. Stillman, Jonathon; et al. (2018): Supplementary material from "Acid secretion by the boring organ of the burrowing giant clam, Tridacna crocea". The Royal Society. Collection.