Free Cupric Ion Activity in Seawater: Effects on Metallothionein and Growth in Crab Larvae

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Science  07 Oct 1983:
Vol. 222, Issue 4619, pp. 53-55
DOI: 10.1126/science.222.4619.53


Crab zoeae (Rhithropanopeus harrisii) were exposed during their development opment to a range of free cupric ion activities regulated in seawater by use of a copper chelate buffer system. Most cytosolic copper was found to be associated with metallothionein. Copper-thionein could be related to free cupric ion activity, and a shift in copper-thionein accumulation was correlated with inhibition of larval growth. These data reveal predictable relations between cupric ion activity in seawater and processes at the cellular and organismic levels.