Bioadhesion in Caulerpa Mexicana (Chlorophyta): Rhizoid-Substrate Adhesion


The attachment of the psammophytic alga Caulerpa mexicana Sond. ex Kutz., a coenocytic green alga, to crushed CaCO3 particles was examined utilizing the scanning electron microscope and fluorescently tagged antivitronectin antibodies. Plants attached to the substrate through morphologically variable tubular rhizoidal extensions that grew from the stolon. In this study, we describe two means of attachment: (i) the rhizoid attachment to limestone gravel by thigmoconstriction, where tubular extensions of the rhizoid wrapped tightly around the substrate and changed morphology to fit tightly into crevices in the limestone, and (ii) through adhesion pads that formed in contact with the limestone granules. Flattened rhizoidal pads were observed to secrete a fibrillar material that contained vitronectin-like proteins identified through immunolocialization and that facilitated binding of the rhizoid to the substrate.

Publication Date


Journal Title

Journal of Phycology


John Wiley and Sons

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


Scientific Contribution Number


Document Type



© 2012 Phycological Society of America