Molting in crustaceans is a highly complex physiological process involving negative regulation by two paired endocrine glands, the X-organ/sinus gland complex (XO/SG) and the Y-organ (YO). The XO/SG complex is responsible for making molt-inhibiting hormone (MIH) which negatively regulates synthesis of molting hormones (ecdysteroids) by the YO. Eyestalk ablation (ESA) removes the source of MIH and provides an experimental means to manipulate and induce molting, although the physiological effects of ESA on the YO have not been fully characterized. Analysis of gene expression in the XOs and YOs has lead to the development of a proposed molecular signaling pathway which regulates ecdysteroidogenesis and subsequent molting (ecdysis) in crustaceans. Results presented depict the changes in significantly different protein abundances in the YO over the course of the molting cycle (early, mid and late premolt) in crabs where 5 or more walking legs were lost, termed multiple leg autotomy (MLA). Proteins were characterized using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and Delta2D software for statistical analysis. Future analysis will determine whether ESA can effectively mimic premolt conditions in the YO compared to the natural molting progression through protein identification by MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry. This will further resolve the metabolic and physiological changes associated with the transitions experienced by the YO throughout the molting stages. Determining the efficacy of ESA as a means to induce molting and determining molecular regulation of crustacean molting has broad economic impacts for crustacean fisheries as industry demands increase.


Cell Biology | Cellular and Molecular Physiology | Comparative and Evolutionary Physiology | Endocrinology | Molecular Genetics


Lars Tomanek

Lab site

California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly SLO)

Funding Acknowledgement

This material is based upon work supported by the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation and by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0952013 and Grant No. 0934931. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation or the National Science Foundation. This project has also been made possible with support of the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation. The STAR program is administered by the Cal Poly Center for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Education (CESaME) on behalf of the California State University (CSU).



URL: https://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/star/301


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