Early embryonic development of the freshwater shrimp Caridina multidentata (Crustacea, Decapoda, Atyidae)


Decapod crustaceans show a great diversity of developmental modes at all levels. In particular, early cleavage varies from total via mixed to superficial modes and from determinate cleavage with a stereotyped pattern to indeterminate cleavage. However, the ground pattern of early decapod development is not clear. To address this problem, we studied the early embryonic development of the caridean shrimp Caridina multidentata with a combination of confocal laser scanning microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, 4D microscopy and 3-D reconstruction software. Despite a yolk-rich egg, the cleavage is holoblastic and shows a distinct pattern of blastomere arrangement, characterized by two interlocking cell bands. This resembles the conditions in dendrobranchiate shrimps, which most likely are the sister group to Pleocyemata to which C. multidentata belongs. Hence, our results offer the possibility to assume total cleavage with blastomeres arranged in two interlocking cell bands as ancestral cleavage mode for Decapoda.

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We would like to thank Dr. Carsten Wolff and Peer Martin for their help with technical and methodological issues. Furthermore, thanks must go to Prof. Maurice Elphick for his comments on the manuscript. We are grateful to two anonymous reviewers for helpful comments. Finally, we owe thanks to Megazoo Berlin-Waltersdorf for providing us with an aquarium starter kit together with essential specimens of Cardina multidentata. The study was supported by Cluster of Excellence ‘Image Knowledge Gestaltung’, base project ‘Genesis and Genealogy of Form’ at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.

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Correspondence to Gerhard Scholtz.

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Communicated by A. Schmidt-Rhaesa.

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Klann, M., Scholtz, G. Early embryonic development of the freshwater shrimp Caridina multidentata (Crustacea, Decapoda, Atyidae). Zoomorphology 133, 295–306 (2014).

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  • Cleavage
  • Gastrulation
  • Egg-nauplius
  • Malacostraca
  • Evolution
  • Cell lineage