Peptide pheromones synchronize crustacean egg hatching and larval release
At the time of egg hatching in the crab Rhithropanopeus harrisii, pheromones are released from the eggs. These pheromones induce a stereotypic larval release behaviour in which the female vigorously pumps her abdomen. This action breaks open the unhatched eggs and results in the synchronizes release of larvae. A previous study suggested the pheromone was composed of a group of small peptides. The present study identifies active peptides. This behaiour is evoked by di-and tripeptides, which have a neutral amino acid at the amino terminus and a basic amino acid at the carboxy terminus. The most effective peptides also have a hydrophohic functionality at the amino terminus. The two most active peptides tested were leucylarginine and glycyl-glycyl-arginine, which had lower thresholds of 10-10and 9.0 × 10-9M respectiely. These peptides are predicted to be present in the pheromone mixture, and the concentrations that evoke reponses are consistent with their predicted aailability in natie material, Free amino acids composing the active peptides inituate the female's laral release behaiour but only at concentrations > 10-6M. Thus specific small paptides appear to act as crustaeean pheromones © 1987 IRL Press Ltd.
Forward, RB; Rittschof, D; Vries, MCD
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