Applications of endocrinology to the management of commercially important crustaceans in Alaska

Commercially important crustaceans in Alaska include but are not limited to red king crab, snow crab, Dungeness crab, Tanner crab and Northern spot shrimp. Crab fisheries are size selected male only fisheries while all sexes of shrimp may be harvested. The Tanner crab (Chionoecetes bairdi) and northern spot shrimp (Pandalus platyceros) both undergo male specific sexual differentiation that is important to their life history and to the fishery, and these life history events can be studied through their endocrinology. Molting hormones (ecdysteroids) regulate growth in all crustaceans. In crabs such as Tanner and snow crabs, these hormones can be used in association with morphometrics to distinguish terminally molted male crabs, a life history stage distinguished by an allometric increase in chelae size. Sexual differentiation of male crustaceans is mediated by the insulin-like androgenic gland hormone (IAG), a product of the androgenic gland (AG). The role of this hormone is to promote the male phenotype during the life history of the animal. For gonochoristic species such as C. bairdi, and protandric species such as P. platyceros, IAG is thought to be the hormone responsible for promoting spermatogenesis and secondary sexual characteristics (such as the large claw morphology of C. bairdi). In protandric shrimp, in which functional males become functional females, the mechanism for transition from male to female is hypothesized to be the degeneration of the AG; thus elimination of IAG. Professor Tamone will present data on our current understanding of the endocrine basis for sexual differentiation in Tanner crab and spot shrimp.

Speaker: Sherry Tamone, University of Alaska Southeast

Wednesday, 04/26/17


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