Byssus threads of the green mussel attach to a wet, solid surface due to glycosylated hydroxytryptophan in one of its adhesive proteins.

Some mussels adhere to rocks and other ocean substrates using a that contains an called Dopa (3,4-dihydroxyphenyl-L-alanine). However, the invasive green mussel, Perna viridis, has a more complcated adhesive chemistry based on a protein with an elaborate modification of the amino acid tryptophan.

The stickiness of the green mussel’s foot, especially how it works in wet environments could be mimicked to form new adhesives, including use for teeth, bones, and for repairing ships at sea that have developed cracks.

(adapted from an article at–tig082709.php)

Last Updated August 23, 2016