Patterns of cell lineage, movement, and migration from germ layer specification to gastrulation in the amphipod crustacean Parhyale hawaiensis

Dev Biol. 2011 Nov 1;359(1):110-123. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2011.07.029. Epub 2011 Jul 28.


The acquisition of specific cell fates throughout embryonic development is one of the core problems in developmental and evolutionary biology. In the amphipod Parhyale hawaiensis all three germ layers and the germ line are determined by the eight-cell stage. Despite this early fate determination, multiple cell types can be replaced following ablation of their founder cells, showing that this embryo also has significant regulative properties. Here we present a cellular-level resolution lineage analysis for P. hawaiensis embryos between fertilization and gastrulation, including analysis of cleavage patterns, division times, and clonal behaviors. We compare these cellular behaviors in wild type embryos with those in embryos where specific founder cells have been ablated, or where zygotic transcription has been inhibited. We observe that when germ line, endoderm or mesoderm founder cells are ablated, the remaining cells do not alter their cleavage or migration behaviors before the onset of gastrulation. In the absence of zygotic transcription, ingression movements proceed normally, but epibolic movements are disrupted. This indicates that the embryo's regulative response to germ layer founder loss, in the form of altered cell behavior, is realized in the ~32h between gastrulation and early germ band elongation, and is likely to require zygotic reprogramming rather than alternative deployment of maternally supplied determinants. Combining these data with the observations of previous studies, we propose a framework to elucidate the molecular mechanisms that regulate the determinative and regulative properties of the P. hawaiensis embryo.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Lineage*
  • Cell Movement*
  • Crustacea / embryology*
  • Gastrulation*