An ultrastructural study of the cuticle in the byssus of marine mussel (Mytilus coruscus)

홍합 (Mytilus coruscus) 족사 cuticle의 초미세구조 연구

Kim, Sangsik;Choi, Seung Hwan;Yoon, Sung Jin;Hwang, Dong Soo

  • Received : 2014.12.23
  • Accepted : 2015.01.12
  • Published : 2014.12.31


Mussel byssus is a bundle of threads used to attach mussels to wet substrates. Recently, a thin cuticle layer on the byssus has attracted public attentions due to its remarkable toughness - stiff as epoxy resin and extensible as rubber. Here, we observed ultrastructure of the cuticle layer in a far eastern mussel (Mytilus coruscus) to understand underlying mechanisms for the mechanical properties. The cuticle layer observed by TEM was composed of submicron-sized granular inclusions in a continuous matrix phase. In addition, ultrastructural study in the presence of tertiary amine (Tetraethylammonium, TEA) showed an evidence that the cuticle is stabilized by cation-${\pi}$ interaction.


Byssal coating;cuticle;cation-${\pi}$ interaction


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Supported by : Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries