Self-cloning is quite rare in shrimp, lobsters, crayfish and crabs. Here we report the discovery of four natural clones of red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii), each containing 2-6 genetically identical individuals, during the genotyping of 120 individuals with five microsatellites. The four clones were heterozygote at most of the five microsatellite loci. Phylogenetic analysis using microsatellite genotypes suggests recent origin of the four clones. Sequencing a part of the mitochondrial gene Cox I confirmed that the four clones were from the species Procambarus clarkii.
crayfish; self-cloning; invasion; microsatellite
Biogenic amines, particularly serotonin, are recognised to play an important role in controlling the aggression of invertebrates, whereas the effect of neurohormones is still underexplored. The crustacean Hyperglycemic Hormone (cHH) is a multifunctional member of the eyestalk neuropeptide family. We expect that this neuropeptide influences aggression either directly, by controlling its expression, or indirectly, by mobilizing the energetic stores needed for the increased activity of an animal. Our study aims at testing such an influence and the possible reversion of hierarchies in the red swamp crayfish, Procambarus clarkii, as a model organism. Three types of pairs of similarly sized males were formed: (1) ‘control pairs’ (CP, n = 8): both individuals were injected with a phosphate saline solution (PBS); (2) ‘reinforced pairs’ (RP, n = 9): the alpha alone was injected with native cHH, and the beta with PBS; (3) ‘inverted pairs’ (IP, n = 9): the opposite of (2). We found that, independently of the crayfish’s prior social experience, cHH injections induced (i) the expression of dominance behaviour, (ii) higher glycemic levels, and (iii) lower time spent motionless. In CP and RP, fight intensity decreased with the establishment of dominance. On the contrary, in IP, betas became increasingly likely to initiate and escalate fights and, consequently, increased their dominance till a temporary reversal of the hierarchy. Our results demonstrate, for the first time, that, similarly to serotonin, cHH enhances individual aggression, up to reverse, although transitorily, the hierarchical rank. New research perspectives are thus opened in our intriguing effort of understanding the role of cHH in the modulation of agonistic behaviour in crustaceans.
The red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) was introduced to China in the early 20th century. It has been spread to almost all forms of fresh water bodies including lakes, rivers and even paddyfields in most provinces of China. To clarify issues such as the initial entry point(s), dispersal pattern, genetic diversity and genetic structure of Procambarus clarkii in China, the genetic structure and diversity of P. clarkii populations at 37 sampling sites (35 from China, one from the USA and one from Japan) were analyzed using both mitochondrial gene sequences (COI and 16S rRNA) and 12 nuclear microsatellites. Multiple tests including phylogenetic analyses, Bayesian assignment and analysis of isolation by distance showed that (i) the population from Japan and those collected from China, particularly from NanJing (BGt and XG) and its some neighboring sites (CJr, NT and NB), have similar genetic composition, (ii) relatively high genetic diversity was detected in Chinese populations, (iii) the P. clarkii populations in China did not experience significant population expansions. Taken together, Nanjing, Jiangsu province is the presumed initial entry point, and human-mediated dispersal and adaptive variation are likely responsible for the observed genetic pattern of P. clarkii in China.
Biological invasions are a significant driver of human-induced global change and many ecosystems sustain sympatric invaders. Interactions occurring among these invaders have important implications for ecosystem structure and functioning, yet they are poorly understood. Here we apply newly developed metrics derived from stable isotope data to provide quantitative measures of trophic diversity within populations or species. We then use these to test the hypothesis that sympatric invaders belonging to the same functional feeding group occupy a smaller isotopic niche than their allopatric counterparts. Two introduced, globally important, benthic omnivores, Louisiana swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) and carp (Cyprinus carpio), are sympatric in Lake Naivasha, Kenya. We applied our metrics to an 8-year data set encompassing the establishment of carp in the lake. We found a strong asymmetric interaction between the two invasive populations, as indicated by inverse correlations between carp abundance and measures of crayfish trophic diversity. Lack of isotopic niche overlap between carp and crayfish in the majority of years indicated a predominantly indirect interaction. We suggest that carp-induced habitat alteration reduced the diversity of crayfish prey, resulting in a reduction in the dietary niche of crayfish. Stable isotopes provide an integrated signal of diet over space and time, offering an appropriate scale for the study of population niches, but few isotope studies have retained the often insightful information revealed by variability among individuals in isotope values. Our population metrics incorporate such variation, are robust to the vagaries of sample size and are a useful additional tool to reveal subtle dietary interactions among species. Although we have demonstrated their applicability specifically using a detailed temporal dataset of species invasion in a lake, they have a wide array of potential ecological applications.
New neurons are produced and integrated into circuits in the adult brains of many organisms, including crustaceans. In some crustacean species, the 1st- generation neuronal precursors reside in a niche exhibiting characteristics analogous to mammalian neurogenic niches. However, unlike mammalian niches where several generations of neuronal precursors coexist, the lineage of precursor cells in crayfish is spatially separated allowing the influence of environmental and endogenous regulators on specific generations in the neuronal precursor lineage to be defined. Experiments also demonstrate that the 1st-generation neuronal precursors in the crayfish Procambarus clarkii are not self-renewing. A source external to the neurogenic niche must therefore provide cells that replenish the 1st-generation precursor pool, because although these cells divide and produce a continuous efflux of 2nd-generation cells from the niche, the population of 1st-generation niche precursors is not diminished with growth and aging. In vitro studies show that cells extracted from the hemolymph, but not other tissues, are attracted to and incorporated into the neurogenic niche, a phenomenon that appears to involve serotonergic mechanisms. We propose that in crayfish, the hematopoietic system may be a source of cells that replenish the niche cell pool. These and other studies reviewed here establish decapod crustaceans as model systems in which the processes underlying adult neurogenesis, such as stem cell origins and transformation, can be readily explored. Studies in diverse species where adult neurogenesis occurs will result in a broader understanding of fundamental mechanisms and how evolutionary processes may have shaped the vertebrate/mammalian condition.
neurogenic niche; serotonin; bromodeoxyuridine; hematopoietic system; Procambarus clarkii
Serotonin (5-HT) is a potent regulator of adult neurogenesis in the crustacean brain, as in the vertebrate brain. However, there are relatively few data regarding the mechanisms of serotonin's action and which precursor cells are targeted. Therefore, we exploited the spatial separation of the neuronal precursor lineage that generates adult-born neurons in the crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) brain to determine which generation(s) is influenced by serotonin, and to identify and localize serotonin receptor subtypes underlying these effects.
RT-PCR shows that mRNAs of serotonin receptors homologous to mammalian subtypes 1A and 2B are expressed in P. clarkii brain (referred to here as 5-HT1α and 5-HT2β). In situ hybridization with antisense riboprobes reveals strong expression of these mRNAs in several brain regions, including cell clusters 9 and 10 where adult-born neurons reside. Antibodies generated against the crustacean forms of these receptors do not bind to the primary neuronal precursors (stem cells) in the neurogenic niche or their daughters as they migrate, but do label these second-generation precursors as they approach the proliferation zones of cell clusters 9 and 10. Like serotonin, administration of the P. clarkii 5-HT1α-specific agonist quipazine maleate salt (QMS) increases the number of bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU)-labeled cells in cluster 10; the P. clarkii 5-HT2β-specific antagonist methiothepin mesylate salt (MMS) suppresses neurogenesis in this region. However, serotonin, QMS and MMS do not alter the rate of BrdU incorporation into niche precursors or their migratory daughters.
Our results demonstrate that the influences of serotonin on adult neurogenesis in the crayfish brain are confined to the late second-generation precursors and their descendants. Further, the distribution of 5-HT1α and 5-HT2β mRNAs and proteins indicate that these serotonergic effects are exerted directly on specific generations of neuronal precursors. Taken together, these results suggest that the influence of serotonin on adult neurogenesis in the crustacean brain is lineage dependent, and that 5-HT1α and 5-HT2β receptors underlie these effects.
Reproductive strategy is a central feature of the ecology of invasive species as it determines the potential for population increase and range expansion. The red swamp crayfish, Procambarus clarkii, has invaded many countries and caused serious problems in freshwater ecosystems. However, little is known about the effects of environmental conditions on crayfish paternity and offspring traits in the wild. We studied these reproductive characteristics of P. clarkii in wild populations from two different habitats (ponds and ditches) in three locations with different environmental conditions in China. Genotyping of 1,436 offspring and 30 mothers of 30 broods was conducted by using four microsatellites. An analysis of genotyping results revealed that gravid females were the exclusive mother of the progeny they tended. Twenty-nine of 30 mothers had mated with multiple (2-4) males, each of which contributed differently to the number of offspring in a brood. The average number of fathers per brood and the number of offspring per brood were similar (P > 0.05) among six sampling sites, indicating that in P. clarkii multiple paternity and offspring number per brood are independent of environmental conditions studied. Indirect benefits from increasing the genetic diversity of broods, male and sperm competition, and cryptic female choice are a possible explanation for the high level multiple paternity and different contribution of fathers to offspring in this species.
Decapod; allochthonous species; microsatellite; mating system; multiple paternity
The sperm of the crayfish, Procambarus clarkii, is relatively simple among decapod sperm and was described in the first paper of this series (28). The present paper details the development of this sperm as followed with the light and electron microscopes. The process is divided into six stages for purposes of description. The main points of interest discussed are the absence of mitochondria or mitochondrial derivatives in the mature sperm, the development of a complex acrosome in the absence of highly organized characteristic Golgi apparatus but in the presence of small stacks of annulate lamellae, and the changes in the nucleus. Of the latter, the elaborate convoluted sheets of membrane that are extensions of the nuclear envelope are unique. The nucleus undergoes unusual changes in size and shape that are accompanied by several phases of organization of the chromatin. In the mature sperm the nucleus is empty-appearing and notably lacking in any apparent high degree of order. The entire development of the sperm is consonant with the idea that the fate of the mitochondria and centrioles, structures that figure prominently in the elaborate architecture of flagellate sperm, is associated with the lack of a flagellum.
Adult neurogenesis, the production and integration of new neurons into circuits in the brains of adult animals, is a common feature of a variety of organisms, ranging from insects and crustaceans to birds and mammals. In the mammalian brain the 1st-generation neuronal precursors, the astrocytic stem cells, reside in neurogenic niches and are reported to undergo self-renewing divisions, thereby providing a source of new neurons throughout an animal's life. In contrast, our work shows that the 1st-generation neuronal precursors in the crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) brain, which also have glial properties and lie in a neurogenic niche resembling that of vertebrates, undergo geometrically symmetrical divisions and both daughters appear to migrate away from the niche. However, in spite of this continuous efflux of cells, the number of neuronal precursors in the crayfish niche continues to expand as the animals grow and age. Based on these observations we have hypothesized that (1) the neuronal stem cells in the crayfish brain are not self-renewing, and (2) a source external to the neurogenic niche must provide cells that replenish the stem cell pool.
In the present study, we tested the first hypothesis using sequential double nucleoside labeling to track the fate of 1st- and 2nd-generation neuronal precursors, as well as testing the size of the labeled stem cell pool following increasing incubation times in 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine (BrdU). Our results indicate that the 1st-generation precursor cells in the crayfish brain, which are functionally analogous to neural stem cells in vertebrates, are not a self-renewing population. In addition, these studies establish the cycle time of these cells. In vitro studies examining the second hypothesis show that Cell Tracker™ Green-labeled cells extracted from the hemolymph, but not other tissues, are attracted to and incorporated into the neurogenic niche, a phenomenon that appears to involve serotonergic mechanisms.
These results challenge our current understanding of self-renewal capacity as a defining characteristic of all adult neuronal stem cells. In addition, we suggest that in crayfish, the hematopoietic system may be a source of cells that replenish the niche stem cell pool.
Extraction of two visual pigments from crayfish eyes prompted an electrophysiological examination of the role of visual pigments in the compound eyes of six arthropods. The intact animals were used; in crayfishes isolated eyestalks also. Thresholds were measured in terms of the absolute or relative numbers of photons per flash at various wavelengths needed to evoke a constant amplitude of electroretinogram, usually 50 µv. Two species of crayfish, as well as the green crab, possess blue- and red-sensitive receptors apparently arranged for color discrimination. In the northern crayfish, Orconectes virilis, the spectral sensitivity of the dark-adapted eye is maximal at about 550 mµ, and on adaptation to bright red or blue lights breaks into two functions with λmax respectively at about 435 and 565 mµ, apparently emanating from different receptors. The swamp crayfish, Procambarus clarkii, displays a maximum sensitivity when dark-adapted at about 570 mµ, that breaks on color adaptation into blue- and red-sensitive functions with λmax about 450 and 575 mµ, again involving different receptors. Similarly the green crab, Carcinides maenas, presents a dark-adapted sensitivity maximal at about 510 mµ that divides on color adaptation into sensitivity curves maximal near 425 and 565 mµ. Each of these organisms thus possesses an apparatus adequate for at least two-color vision, resembling that of human green-blinds (deuteranopes). The visual pigments of the red-sensitive systems have been extracted from the crayfish eyes. The horse-shoe crab, Limulus, and the lobster each possesses a single visual system, with λmax respectively at 520 and 525 mµ. Each of these is invariant with color adaptation. In each case the visual pigment had already been identified in extracts. The spider crab, Libinia emarginata, presents another variation. It possesses two visual systems apparently differentiated, not for color discrimination but for use in dim and bright light, like vertebrate rods and cones. The spectral sensitivity of the dark-adapted eye is maximal at about 490 mµ and on light adaptation, whether to blue, red, or white light, is displaced toward shorter wavelengths in what is essentially a reverse Purkinje shift. In all these animals dark adaptation appears to involve two phases: a rapid, hyperbolic fall of log threshold associated probably with visual pigment regeneration, followed by a slow, almost linear fall of log threshold that may be associated with pigment migration.
Successful viruses have evolved superior strategies to escape host defenses or exploit host biological pathways. Most of the viral immediate-early (ie) genes are essential for viral infection and depend solely on host proteins; however, the molecular mechanisms are poorly understood. In this study, we focused on the modification of viral IE proteins by the crayfish small ubiquitin-related modifier (SUMO) and investigated the role of SUMOylation during the viral life cycle. SUMO and SUMO ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme 9 (UBC9) involved in SUMOylation were identified in red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii). Both SUMO and UBC9 were upregulated in crayfish challenged with white spot syndrome virus (WSSV). Replication of WSSV genes increased in crayfish injected with recombinant SUMO or UBC9, but injection of mutant SUMO or UBC9 protein had no effect. Subsequently, we analyzed the mechanism by which crayfish SUMOylation facilitates WSSV replication. Crayfish UBC9 bound to all three WSSV IE proteins tested, and one of these IE proteins (WSV051) was covalently modified by SUMO in vitro. The expression of viral ie genes was affected and that of late genes was significantly inhibited in UBC9-silenced or SUMO-silenced crayfish, and the inhibition effect was rescued by injection of recombinant SUMO or UBC9. The results of this study demonstrate that viral IE proteins can be modified by crayfish SUMOylation, prompt the expression of viral genes, and ultimately benefit WSSV replication. Understanding of the mechanisms by which viruses exploit host components will greatly improve our knowledge of the virus-host “arms race” and contribute to the development of novel methods against virulent viruses.
To test whether male body size affects female reproductive investment in the polygamous crayfish Procambarus clarkii, we described mating behaviour of virgin females paired with either small or large males, and analysed the number, size and weight of both eggs and juveniles sired by either types of male. Along with confirming the overt selection by females of larger mates, we found that the size and weight of both the eggs and the juveniles were higher when sired by larger fathers. This suggests that P. clarkii females exert a form of cryptic choice for large males, seemingly adjusting the quantity of egg deutoplasm in function of the mate body size. The question of why females spend time and energy to brood low-fitness offspring is finally raised.
Procambarus clarkii; reproductive investment; egg size; cryptic choice
Highly branched Class IV multidendritic sensory neurons of the Drosophila larva function as polymodal nociceptors that are necessary for behavioral responses to noxious heat (>39°C) or noxious mechanical (>30 mN) stimuli. However, the molecular mechanisms that allow these cells to detect both heat and force are unknown. Here, we report that the pickpocket(ppk) gene, which encodes a Degenerin/ Epithelial Sodium Channel (DEG/ENaC) subunit, is required for mechanical nociception but not thermal nociception in these sensory cells. Larvae mutant for pickpocket show greatly reduced nociception behaviors in response to harsh mechanical stimuli. However, pickpocket mutants display normal behavioral responses to gentle touch. Tissue specific knockdown of pickpocket in nociceptors phenocopies the mechanical nociception impairment without causing defects in thermal nociception behavior. Finally, optogenetically-triggered nociception behavior is unaffected by pickpocket RNAi which indicates that ppk is not generally required for the excitability of the nociceptors. Interestingly, DEG/ENaCs are known to play a critical role in detecting gentle touch stimuli in C. elegans and have also been implicated in some aspects of harsh touch sensation in mammals. Our results suggest that neurons which detect harsh touch in Drosophila utilize similar mechanosensory molecules.
Stomach contents of 131 specimens of five elasmobranch species (Mustelus lunulatus, Dasyatis longa, Rhinobatos leucorhynchus, Raja velezi and Zapteryx xyster) caught in the central fishing zone in the Pacific Ocean of Colombia were counted and weighed to describe feeding habits and dietary overlaps.
Twenty-one prey items belonging to four major groups (stomatopods, decapods, mollusks and fish) were identified. Decapod crustaceans were the most abundant prey found in stomachs. The mantis shrimp Squilla panamensis was the main prey item in the diet of M. lunulatus; tiger shrimp Trachypenaeus sp. was the main prey item in the diet of Rhinobatos leucorhynchus and Raja velezi, and Penaeidae shrimp were the main prey items in the diet of Z. xyster. Furthermore, fish were important in the diet of Raja velezi, Z. xyster and D. longa. The greatest diet breadth corresponded to Z. xyster whereas M. lunulatus was the most specialized predator. Finally, four significant diet overlaps between the five species were found, attributable mainly to Squillidae, Penaeidae and Fish.
Shrimps (Penaeidae and stomatopods) and benthic fishes were the most important food types in the diet of the elasmobranch species studied. Diet breadth and overlap were relatively low. Determination of food resource partitioning among the batoid species studied was not possible. However, we identified partitions in other niche axes (time of feeding activity and habitat utilization). It is possible to assume that diffuse competition could be exceeding the biunivocal competition among the studied species. Therefore, this assemblage would have a strong tendency to trophic guild formation.
Pulsed ultraviolet light (PUV), a novel food processing and preservation technology, has been shown to reduce allergen levels in peanut and soybean samples. In this study, the efficacy of using PUV to reduce the reactivity of the major shrimp allergen, tropomyosin (36-kDa), and to attenuate immunoglobulin E (IgE) binding to shrimp extract was examined. Atlantic white shrimp (Litopenaeus setiferus) extract was treated with PUV (3 pulses/s, 10 cm from light source) for 4 min. Tropomyosin was compared in the untreated, boiled, PUV-treated and [boiled+PUV]-treated samples, and changes in the tropomyosin levels were determined by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE). IgE binding of the treated extract was analyzed via immunoblot and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) using pooled human plasma containing IgE antibodies against shrimp allergens. Results showed that levels of tropomyosin and IgE binding were reduced following PUV treatment. However, boiling increased IgE binding, while PUV treatment could offset the increased allergen reactivity caused by boiling. In conclusion, PUV treatment reduced the reactivity of the major shrimp allergen, tropomyosin, and decreased the IgE binding capacity of the shrimp extract.
allergen; allergy; shrimp; pulsed ultraviolet light; PUV; tropomyosin; IgE antibodies
Anthropogenically-induced climate change can alter the current climatic habitat of non-native species and can have complex effects on potentially invasive species. Predictions of the potential distributions of invasive species under climate change will provide critical information for future conservation and management strategies. Aquatic ecosystems are particularly vulnerable to invasive species and climate change, but the effect of climate change on invasive species distributions has been rather neglected, especially for notorious global invaders.
We used ecological niche models (ENMs) to assess the risks and opportunities that climate change presents for the red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii), which is a worldwide aquatic invasive species. Linking the factors of climate, topography, habitat and human influence, we developed predictive models incorporating both native and non-native distribution data of the crayfish to identify present areas of potential distribution and project the effects of future climate change based on a consensus-forecast approach combining the CCCMA and HADCM3 climate models under two emission scenarios (A2a and B2a) by 2050. The minimum temperature from the coldest month, the human footprint and precipitation of the driest quarter contributed most to the species distribution models. Under both the A2a and B2a scenarios, P. clarkii shifted to higher latitudes in continents of both the northern and southern hemispheres. However, the effect of climate change varied considerately among continents with an expanding potential in Europe and contracting changes in others.
Our findings are the first to predict the impact of climate change on the future distribution of a globally invasive aquatic species. We confirmed the complexities of the likely effects of climate change on the potential distribution of globally invasive species, and it is extremely important to develop wide-ranging and effective control measures according to predicted geographical shifts and changes.
Nociception is the detection of a noxious tissue-damaging stimulus and is sometimes accompanied by a reflex response such as withdrawal. Pain perception, as distinct from nociception, has been demonstrated in birds and mammals but has not been systematically studied in lower vertebrates. We assessed whether a fish possessed cutaneous nociceptors capable of detecting noxious stimuli and whether its behaviour was sufficiently adversely affected by the administration of a noxious stimulus. Electrophysiological recordings from trigeminal nerves identified polymodal nociceptors on the head of the trout with physiological properties similar to those described in higher vertebrates. These receptors responded to mechanical pressure, temperatures in the noxious range (more than 40 degrees C) and 1% acetic acid, a noxious substance. In higher vertebrates nociceptive nerves are either A-delta or C fibres with C fibres being the predominating fibre type. However, in the rainbow trout A-delta fibres were most common, and this offers insights into the evolution of nociceptive systems. Administration of noxious substances to the lips of the trout affected both the physiology and the behaviour of the animal and resulted in a significant increase in opercular beat rate and the time taken to resume feeding, as well as anomalous behaviours. This study provides significant evidence of nociception in teleost fishes and furthermore demonstrates that behaviour and physiology are affected over a prolonged period of time, suggesting discomfort.
White spot syndrome virus (WSSV) virions were purified from the hemolymph of experimentally infected crayfish Procambarus clarkii, and their proteins were separated by 8 to 18% gradient sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) to give a protein profile. The visible bands were then excised from the gel, and following trypsin digestion of the reduced and alkylated WSSV proteins in the bands, the peptide sequence of each fragment was determined by liquid chromatography-nano-electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry (LC-nanoESI-MS/MS) using a quadrupole/time-of-flight mass spectrometer. Comparison of the resulting peptide sequence data against the nonredundant database at the National Center for Biotechnology Information identified 33 WSSV structural genes, 20 of which are reported here for the first time. Since there were six other known WSSV structural proteins that could not be identified from the SDS-PAGE bands, there must therefore be a total of at least 39 (33 + 6) WSSV structural protein genes. Only 61.5% of the WSSV structural genes have a polyadenylation signal, and preliminary analysis by 3′ rapid amplification of cDNA ends suggested that some structural protein genes produced mRNA without a poly(A) tail. Microarray analysis showed that gene expression started at 2, 6, 8, 12, 18, 24, and 36 hpi for 7, 1, 4, 12, 9, 5, and 1 of the genes, respectively. Based on similarities in their time course expression patterns, a clustering algorithm was used to group the WSSV structural genes into four clusters. Genes that putatively had common or similar roles in the viral infection cycle tended to appear in the same cluster.
White spot syndrome virus (WSSV) virions were purified from the tissues of infected Procambarus clarkii (crayfish) isolates. Pure WSSV preparations were subjected to Triton X-100 treatment to separate into the envelope and nucleocapsid fractions, which were subsequently separated by 12% sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. The major envelope and nucleocapsid proteins were identified by either matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry or defined antibody. A total of 30 structural proteins of WSSV were identified in this study; 22 of these were detected in the envelope fraction, 7 in the nucleocapsid fraction, and 1 in both the envelope and the nucleocapsid fractions. With the aid of specific antibodies, the localizations of eight proteins were further studied. The analysis of posttranslational modifications revealed that none of the WSSV structural proteins was glycosylated and that VP28 and VP19 were threonine phosphorylated. In addition, far-Western and coimmunoprecipitation experiments showed that VP28 interacted with both VP26 and VP24. In summary, the data obtained in this study should provide an important reference for future molecular studies of WSSV morphogenesis.
The freshwater prawn Macrobrachium rosenbergii is a tropical crustacean with characteristics similar to those of lobsters and crayfish. Adult males develop through three morphological types—small (SC), yellow (YC), and blue claws (BC)—with each representing a level in the dominance hierarchy of a group, BC males being the most dominant. We are interested in understanding the role played by neuropeptides in the mechanisms underlying aggressive behavior and the establishment of dominance hierarchies in this type of prawn. SIFamides are a family of arthropod peptides recently identified in the central nervous system of insects and crustaceans, where it has been linked to olfaction, sexual behavior, and gut endocrine functions. One of the six SIFamide isoforms, GYRKPPFNGSIFamide (Gly-SIFamide), is highly conserved among decapod crustaceans such as crabs and crayfish. We wanted to determine whether Gly-SIFamide plays a role in modulating aggression and dominant behavior in the prawn. To do this, we performed behavioral experiments in which interactions between BC/YC pairs were recorded and quantified before and after injecting Gly-SIFamide directly into the circulating hemolymph of the living animal. Behavioral data showed that aggression among interacting BC/YC prawns was enhanced by injection of Gly-SIFamide, suggesting that this neuropeptide does have a modulatory role for this type of behavior in the prawn.
Parasitic dinoflagellates of the genus Hematodinium are significant pathogens affecting the global decapod crustacean fishery. Despite this, considerable knowledge gaps exist regarding the life history of the pathogen in vivo, and the role of free living life stages in transmission to naïve hosts.
In this study, we describe a novel disease in European brown shrimp (Crangon crangon) caused by infection with a parasitic dinoflagellate of the genus Hematodinium. This is the second example host within the Infraorder Caridea (shrimp) and significantly, the first description within the superfamily Crangonoidea. Based upon analysis of the rRNA gene (SSU) and spacers (ITS1), the parasite in C. crangon is the same as that previously described infecting Nephrops norvegicus and Cancer pagurus from European seas, and to the parasite infecting several other commercially important crab species in the Northern Hemisphere. The parasite is however distinct from the type species, H. perezi, found infecting type hosts (Carcinus maenas and Liocarcinus depurator) from nearby sites within Europe. Despite these similarities, the current study has also described for the first time, a bacteria-like endosymbiont within dinospore stages of the parasite infecting shrimp. The endosymbionts were either contained individually within electron lucent vacuoles within the parasite cell cytoplasm, or remained in direct contact with the parasite cytoplasm or in some cases, the nucleoplasm. In all of these cases, no apparent detrimental effects of colonization were observed within the parasite cell.
The presence of bacteria-like endosymbionts within dinospore life stages presumes that the relationship between the dinoflagellate and the bacteria is extended beyond the period of liberation of spores from the infected host shrimp. In this context, a potential role of endosymbiosis in the survival of free-living stages of the parasite is possible. The finding offers a further intriguing insight into the life history of this enigmatic pathogen of marine crustacean hosts and highlights a potential for mixotrophy in the parasitic dinoflagellates contained within the genus Hematodinium.
ITS1; Phylogenetics; Dinoflagellate; Bacteria; Crustacean; Disease; Fishery
Many species of marine shrimp in the Family Penaeidae, viz. Penaeus (Litopenaeus) vannamei, Penaeus monodon, Penaeus (Fenneropenaeus) chinensis, and Penaeus (Marsupenaeus) japonicus, are animals of economic importance in the aquaculture industry. Yet information about their DNA and protein sequences is lacking. In order to predict their collective proteome, we combined over 270,000 available EST and cDNA sequences from the 4 shrimp species with all protein sequences of Drosophila melanogaster and Caenorhabditis elegans. EST data from 4 other crustaceans, the crab Carcinus maenas, the lobster Homarus americanus (Decapoda), the water flea Daphnia pulex, and the brine shrimp Artemia franciscana were also used.
Similarity searches from EST collections of the 4 shrimp species matched 64% of the protein sequences of the fruit fly, but only 45% of nematode proteins, indicating that the shrimp proteome content is more similar to that of an insect than a nematode. Combined results with 4 additional non-shrimp crustaceans increased matching to 78% of fruit fly and 56% of nematode proteins, suggesting that present shrimp EST collections still lack sequences for many conserved crustacean proteins. Analysis of matching data revealed the presence of 4 EST groups from shrimp, namely sequences for proteins that are both fruit fly-like and nematode-like, fruit fly-like only, nematode-like only, and non-matching. Gene ontology profiles of proteins for the 3 matching EST groups were analyzed. For non-matching ESTs, a small fraction matched protein sequences from other species in the UniProt database, including other crustacean-specific proteins.
Shrimp ESTs indicated that the shrimp proteome is comprised of sub-populations of proteins similar to those common to both insect and nematode models, those present specifically in either model, or neither. Combining small EST collections from related species to compensate for their small size allowed prediction of conserved expressed protein components encoded by their uncharacterized genomes. The organized data should be useful for transferring annotation data from model species into shrimp data and for further studies on shrimp proteins with particular functions or groups.
Biological invasions are impacting biota worldwide, and explaining why some taxa tend to become invasive is of major scientific interest. North American crayfish species, particularly of the family Cambaridae, are prominent invaders in freshwaters, defying the “tens rule” which states that only a minority of species introduced to new regions become established, and only a minority of those become invasive and pests. So far, success of cambarid invaders has largely been attributed to rapid maturation, high reproductive output, aggressiveness, and tolerance to pollution. We provide experimental evidence that females of one cambarid species particularly widespread in Europe, the spiny-cheek crayfish Orconectes limosus, are capable of facultative parthenogenesis. Such reproductive mode has never before been recognized in decapods, the most diverse crustacean order. As shown by analysis of seven microsatellite loci, crayfish females kept physically separated from males produced genetically homogeneous offspring identical with maternal individuals; this suggests they reproduced by apomixis, unlike those females which mated with males and had a diverse offspring. Further research is needed to clarify what environmental conditions are necessary for a switch to parthenogenesis in O. limosus, and what role it plays in natural crayfish populations. However, if such reproductive plasticity is present in other cambarid crayfish species, it may contribute to the overwhelming invasive success of this group.
In classical conditioning, an alteration in response occurs when two stimuli are regularly paired in close succession. An area of particular research interest is classical conditioning with a chemical signal and visual and/or tactile stimuli as the unconditional stimuli, to test manipulative and motor behaviors in a learning paradigm. A classical learning task chamber was developed to examine learning trends in a sighted surface-dwelling crayfish, Procambarus clarkii, and in a blind cave-dwelling crayfish, Orconectes australis packardi. We examined whether learning is influenced by environmental factors and/or reliance on different primary sensory modalities. Crayfish were trained to manipulate a large, cumbersome cheliped through a small access point to obtain a food reward. In both species, acquisition of the learning task was rapid when they were in nonstressed conditions. The blind crayfish tested in low white light did not successfully complete the task, suggesting a stress response.
Cardiac; central nervous system; crustaceans; instrumental; respiratory
Using pairings of male crayfish Procambarus clarkii with a 3–7% difference in size, we confirmed that physically larger crayfish were more likely to win encounters (winning probability of over 80%). Despite a physical disadvantage, small winners of the first pairings were more likely to win their subsequent conflicts with larger naive animals (winning probability was about 70%). By contrast, the losers of the first pairings rarely won their subsequent conflicts with smaller naive animals (winning probability of 6%). These winner and loser effects were mimicked by injection of serotonin and octopamine. Serotonin-injected naive small crayfish were more likely to win in pairings with untreated larger naive crayfish (winning probability of over 60%), while octopamine-injected naive large animals were beaten by untreated smaller naive animals (winning probability of 20%). Furthermore, the winner effects of dominant crayfish were cancelled by the injection of mianserin, an antagonist of serotonin receptors and were reinforced by the injection of fluoxetin, serotonin reuptake inhibitor, just after the establishment of social order of the first pairings. Injection of octopamine channel blockers, phentolamine and epinastine, by contrast, cancelled the loser effects. These results strongly suggested that serotonin and octopamine were responsible for winner and loser effects, respectively.