Sustainable Onshore Lobster Aquaculture
Sustainable Onshore Lobster Aquaculture

Redefining metamorphosis in spiny lobsters: Molecular analysis of the phyllosoma to puerulus transition in Sagmariasus verreauxi


The molecular understanding of crustacean metamorphosis is hindered by small sized individuals and inability to accurately define molt stages. We used the spiny lobster Sagmariasus verreauxi where the large, transparent larvae enable accurate tracing of the transition from a leaf-shaped phyllosoma to an intermediate larval-juvenile phase (puerulus). Transcriptomic analysis of larvae at well-defined stages prior to, during, and following this transition show that the phyllosoma-puerulus metamorphic transition is accompanied by vast transcriptomic changes exceeding 25% of the transcriptome. Notably, genes previously identified as regulating metamorphosis in other crustaceans do not fluctuate during this transition but in the later, morphologically-subtle puerulus-juvenile transition, indicating that the dramatic phyllosoma-puerulus morphological shift relies on a different, yet to be identified metamorphic mechanism. We examined the change in expression of domains and gene families, with focus on several key genes. Our research implies that the separation in molecular triggering systems between the phyllosoma-puerulus and puerulus-juvenile transitions might have enabled the extension of the oceanic phase in spiny lobsters. Study of similar transitions, where metamorphosis is uncoupled from the transition into the benthic juvenile form, in other commercially important crustacean groups might show common features to point on the evolutionary advantage of this two staged regulation


Research Hub Investigator(s)
Publication Year
Ventura, T., Fitzgibbon, Q.P., Battaglene, S.C. & Elizur, A. 2015, "Redefining metamorphosis in spiny lobsters: Molecular analysis of the phyllosoma to puerulus transition in Sagmariasus verreauxi", Scientific Reports, vol. 5.
Link to this Publication
Back to our Publication List
Sustainable Onshore Lobster AquacultureSustainable Onshore Lobster Aquaculture
The ARC Research Hub for Sustainable Onshore Lobster Aquaculture is funded by the Australian Government through the Australian Research Council Industrial Transformation Research Program. 

For more information about the Research Hub please contact us at or phone +61 3 6226 8268.
Australian Research CouncilInstitute of Marine and Antarctic StudiesUniversity of TasmaniaOrnatasUniversity of Sunshine CoastPFG GroupUniversity of New Zealand
Copyright 2024 ARC Research Hub for Sustainable Onshore Lobster Aquaculture.
Top linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram