Entrainment of the Circadian Rhythm in Egg Hatching of the Crab Dyspanopeus sayi by Chemical Cues from Ovigerous Females.
The subtidal crab Dyspanopeus sayi has a circadian rhythm in larval release with a free-running period of 24.1 h. Under constant conditions, eggs hatch primarily in the 4-h interval after the time of sunset. The study tested the new model for entrainment in subtidal crabs, which proposes that the female perceives the environmental cycles and entrains the endogenous rhythm in the embryos. Results verified the model for D. sayi. Hatching by embryos collected from the field when they had not yet developed eye pigments, and were kept in constant conditions attached to their mother, exhibited the circadian hatching rhythm. Attached embryos could also be entrained to a new photoperiod in the laboratory before they developed eye pigments. Further, mature embryos removed from the female hatched rhythmically, indicating that a circadian rhythm resides in the embryos. However, if mature embryos with eye pigments were removed from the female and exposed to a new light-dark cycle, they could not be entrained to the new cycle; rather, they hatched according to the timing of the original light-dark cycle. Nevertheless, detached, mature embryos would entrain to a new light-dark cycle if they were in chemical, but not physical, contact with the female. Thus, the female perceives the light-dark cycle, and uses chemical cues to entrain the circadian rhythm of hatching by the embryos.
Forward, RB; Sanchez, KG; Riley, PP
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