Title

Methyl farnesoate couples environmental changes to testicular development in the crab Carcinus maenas

Authors

Authors

G. P. C. Nagaraju;D. W. Borst

Comments

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Abbreviated Journal Title

J. Exp. Biol.

Keywords

methyl farnesoate; testis; crustacean; salinity; reproduction; temperature; OZIOTELPHUSA-SENEX-SENEX; MANDIBULAR ORGAN; SHORE CRAB; COLOR FORMS; GREEN CRAB; NEUROENDOCRINE CONTROL; LIBINIA-EMARGINATA; HEMOLYMPH; LEVELS; CANCER-PAGURUS; IN-VITRO; Biology

Abstract

Carcinus maenas males have two major color phases. Green-phase males molt frequently and tend to live in brackish estuaries during the summer. After becoming red-phase males, they molt infrequently, have higher mating success, and live in cooler, deeper water. We found profound differences between these two phases in the way salinity and temperature affect hemolymph levels of methyl farnesoate (MF), a hormone that affects crustacean reproduction. Few green-phase males (< 10%) had detectable MF in 33 ppt seawater (SW) at 11 or 18 degrees C. By contrast, about 30% of the red-phase males had detectable MF at either temperature. After transfer to 5 ppt SW, none of the green-phase males had detectable MF at 11 degrees C whereas 100% of green-phase males did at 18 degrees C. By contrast, 100% of the red-phase males had detectable MF in 5 ppt SW at either temperature. At 11 degrees C, green-phase males had detectable MF after eyestalk ablation (ESA), showing that they can produce MF. There was no additional increase in MF levels when ESA animals of either color phase were transferred to 5 ppt SW, suggesting that the eyestalk is the primary regulator of the MF response to low salinity. MF levels of green-phase males were increased by injecting MF, by ESA, or by exposure to 5 ppt SW at 18 degrees C. The testicular index of these treated animals nearly doubled after two weeks. Our results strongly suggest that environmental conditions such as temperature and salinity, affect testicular development in this crab by changing its MF levels.

Journal Title

Journal of Experimental Biology

Volume

211

Issue/Number

17

Publication Date

1-1-2008

Document Type

Article

Language

English

First Page

2773

Last Page

2778

WOS Identifier

WOS:000258665700015

ISSN

0022-0949

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