Examining population-specific hatching cues of salinity and light for Artemia franciscana
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Dormancy, the physiological start of rest, occurs in numerous animal species. Many crustaceans release various types of encased embryos in a state of dormancy (e.g., cysts, ephippia, etc.). These dormant propagules require specific combinations of abiotic environmental cues to terminate dormancy. Our goal was to determine if population-specific responses to varying levels of salinity and light (photoperiod) would be present in dormancy termination of the brine shrimp, Artemia franciscana, from distinct environments. Therefore, we cross-factored different salinity concentrations and photoperiods with three A. franciscana populations collected from geographically distinct environments. To measure population-specific response, hatching success (i.e., hatching percentage) was calculated for each treatment. Our results supported the hypothesis that diverse populations of A. franciscana do have population-specific responses to photoperiod and salinity ranges, which affect hatching success (e.g., a population from Portugal showed the greatest hatching success at a salinity of 50 g/l, while populations from Spain and the U.S.A. exhibited the greatest hatching success at 25 g/l). These population-level differences should be taken into consideration during experimentation, especially when examining hatching success in this model organism.
KeywordsBrine shrimp Abiotic environmental factors Aquaculture Dormancy
The authors thank R. Hartnett for her intellectual contributions, technical advice, and research assistance. The authors are grateful for the research assistance provided by E. Kiehnau, B. Culver, F. L. Speer, and T. R. Ledford. The authors appreciate the Estacion Biologica Doñana for providing cyst samples used in this study. Furthermore, the authors want to express their gratitude to M.H. Hoefnagels for revisions and preparations of the manuscript. Funding for this study was provided by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF-IOS-OEI) Grants #0924289 and #1256881 to L. J. W. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. Further, the authors thank the Joe C. and Carole Kerr McClendon Honors College, the University of Oklahoma, for the financial support. This study represents an independent research project conducted by FWS in the laboratory of LJW, in partial fulfillment of the requirements for a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree at The University of Oklahoma.
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