Complementary DNA clones have been isolated from the crustacean Artemia franciscana coding for a serum response factor (SRF)-homologue that is more than 96% identical to human and Drosophila melanogaster SRFs in their MADS boxes. The SRF homologue is expressed in ectodermal tissues, as determined by in situ hybridization experiments. A SRF-binding site has been identified in the promoter region of the Actin403 gene that is also expressed in ectodermal tissues, in accordance with its transcriptional regulation by the SRF homologue. The mRNA coding for A. franciscana SRF is present at similar levels in cryptobiotic encysted embryos and in developing nauplii. However, there is a significant increase in CArG-binding activity at the later developmental stage, indicating a postranscriptional regulation of SRF during A. franciscana embryonic development.