An Exploratory Review on the Molecular Mechanisms of Diapause Termination in the Waterflea, Daphnia

  • Evelyne Vanvlasselaer
  • Luc De Meester
Part of the Topics in Current Genetics book series (TCG, volume 21)


The production of dormant stages is a key trait in many organisms, including those animals that inhabit freshwater systems. Dormancy has important ecological and evolutionary consequences, and traits related to induction of dormancy, survival during the dormant state, and termination of dormancy are likely to be under strong selection and may profoundly impact the dynamics of natural populations. Insight into the biochemical pathways that lead to diapause termination may allow more efficient hatching of dormant stages, which is currently a major bottleneck in many experimental studies and applications. We review the current knowledge on the biochemical pathways leading to the termination of dormancy in the waterflea, Daphnia. Even though Daphnia is a key model organism in ecology, evolution, and ecotoxicology, there is surprisingly little known about the mechanistic underpinnings of diapause termination. We provide a general but still hypothetical scheme on potential biochemical pathways that may be involved in diapause termination in Daphnia, largely based on studies that were carried out on related organisms, and suggest approaches for future research.


Calcium Ionophore A23187 Dormant Stage Light Receptor Mechanistic Underpinning Artemia Cyst 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Evelyne Vanvlasselaer
    • 1
  • Luc De Meester
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Aquatic Ecology and Evolutionary BiologyKatholieke Universiteit LeuvenLeuvenBelgium

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