Acquisition of Ca2+ and HCO3-/CO32- for shell formation in embryos of the common pond snail Lymnaea stagnalis

Sue C. Ebanks, Michael J. O'Donnell, Martin Grosell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Embryos of the freshwater common pond snail Lymnaea stagnalis develop to hatch within 10 days under control conditions (22°C, Miami-Dade tap water) and this development is impaired by removal of ambient calcium. In contrast, embryos did not exhibit dependence upon an ambient HCO3-/CO32- source, developing and hatching in HCO3-/CO32--free water at rates comparable to controls. Post-metamorphic, shell-laying embryos exhibited a significant saturation-type calcium uptake as a function of increasing ambient calcium concentration. However, changes in ambient bicarbonate concentration did not influence calcium or apparent titratable alkalinity uptake. There was a distinct shift from no significant flux in pre-metamorphic embryos to net uptake of calcium in post-metamorphic stages as indicated by an increased uptake from the micro-environment surrounding the egg mass and increased net uptake in 24-h, whole egg mass flux measurements. Furthermore, HCO3-/CO32- acquisition as measured by titratable alkalinity flux is at least partially attributable to an endogenous carbonate source that is associated with acid extrusion. Thus, calcium requirements for embryonic shell formation are met via uptake but HCO3-/CO32-, which is also necessary for shell formation is acquired in part from endogenous sources with no detectable correlation to ambient HCO3-/CO32- availability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)953-965
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Comparative Physiology B: Biochemical, Systemic, and Environmental Physiology
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2010


  • Calcification
  • Calcium uptake kinetics
  • Carbonate
  • Development
  • Freshwater
  • Snail metamorphosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology


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