Roux's archives of developmental biology

, Volume 201, Issue 3, pp 169–172

Heat shock as inducer of metamorphosis in marine invertebrates


  • Michael Kroiher
    • Zoologisches Institut der Universität Köln
  • Michael Walther
    • Zoologisches Institut der Universität Köln
  • Stefan Berking
    • Zoologisches Institut der Universität Köln
Original Articles

DOI: 10.1007/BF00188715

Cite this article as:
Kroiher, M., Walther, M. & Berking, S. Roux's Arch Dev Biol (1992) 201: 169. doi:10.1007/BF00188715


In most sessile marine invertebrates, metamorphosis is dependent on environmental cues. Here we report that heat stress is capable of inducing metamorphosis in the hydroid Hydractinia echinata. The onset of heat-induced metamorphosis is correlated with the appearance of heat-shock proteins. Larvae treated with the metamorphosis-inducing agents Cs+ or NH4+ also synthesize heat-shock proteins. In heat-shocked larvae, the internal NH4+-concentration increases. This fits the hypothesis that methylation plays a central role in control of metamorphosis. In the tunicate Ciona intestinalis, a heat shock is able to induce metamorphosis too.

Key words

Heat-shock proteinsMetamorphosisInvertebratesHydractinia echinataCiona intestinalis

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1992