Selfing in a malacostracan crustacean: why a tanaidacean but not decapods.

Die Naturwissenschaften

PubMedID: 23846305

Kakui K, Hiruta C. Selfing in a malacostracan crustacean: why a tanaidacean but not decapods. Naturwissenschaften. 2013;100(9):891-4.
The crustacean class Malacostraca, with over 22,000 species, includes commercially important members, such as crabs, shrimps, and lobsters. A few simultaneous hermaphrodites are known in this group, but self-fertilization was unknown. Here we show, through microscopy and breeding experiments, that the simultaneously hermaphroditic malacostracan Apseudes sp. (order Tanaidacea) can self-fertilize; individuals reared in isolation become hermaphroditic via a male-like phase and produce eggs that develop into fertile adults. Although selfing occurs in crustaceans like the Branchiopoda, in which simultaneous hermaphrodites have the sex ducts united, in decapods the separation of gonadal ducts and gonopores, specialized mating organs, and complex mating behavior appear to have constrained the evolution of selfing. In contrast, in most tanaidaceans, sperm is released externally by a male and reaches the eggs in the female brood pouch, where fertilization occurs. This mode of fertilization permitted Apseudes sp. to achieve selfing without large modifications in morphology or behavior.