Induction of gametogenesis in the basal cnidarian Nematostella vectensis(Anthozoa)

Dev Genes Evol. 2002 Mar;212(2):99-103. doi: 10.1007/s00427-002-0214-7. Epub 2002 Feb 21.


A protocol was established to reproducibly induce spawning in the basal cnidarian Nematostella vectensis (Anthozoa). We found that a combination of feeding regime, dark-light cycle and temperature shift synergistically induced gametogenesis in adult polyps. Females lay between 100-600 eggs. This procedure led reproducibly to the production of thousands of eggs over the course of more than 1 year in weekly cycles. Gametes are released in a time window of about 2 h resulting in predictable and fairly synchronized development. We also present a method for in vitro fertilization allowing manipulation of early embryos. These methods as well as the simple culture conditions could provide important prerequisites for the use of Nematostella as a model system for the development of a basal Metazoa.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cnidaria / embryology
  • Cnidaria / physiology*
  • Food
  • Gametogenesis / physiology*
  • Light
  • Temperature