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Characterization of a sex pheromone in a simultaneous hermaphroditic shrimp, Lysmata wurdemanni

Zhang, Dong; Lin, Junda; Harley, Maggy; Hardege, Jörg D.


Dong Zhang

Junda Lin

Maggy Harley

Jörg D. Hardege


Olfactory chemical cues have been described to play important roles in the control of mate recognition in many decapod crustaceans. However, we still know very little about the chemical characteristics of the cues that coordinate pre-copulative behaviour. In this study, we partially characterized a waterborne sex pheromone of a marine shrimp, Lysmata wurdemanni. Female moulting water was collected and ultrafiltered using 1,000 and 500-Da membranes, respectively, and analysed using HPLC with a Lichrosphere™ RP18 (C18) column. The sex pheromone is likely to be a molecule between 500 and 1,000 Da in size because behavioural bioassays showed that males responded to the supernatant of 500-Da and to the 1,000-Da filtrate, but did not respond to the supernatant of 1,000-Da or to the 500-Da filtrate. There was only one dominant peak (2.86 min) detectable in HPLC chromatograms of the supernatant of the 500-Da filtration. This peak showed a UV absorbance maximum at 274 nm, similar to the recently identified shore crab sex pheromone Uridine-di-phosphate (UDP). Behavioural bioassays confirmed that this peak is a bioactive component of a potential pheromone bouquet, but is different from UDP, which showed no bioactivity in Lysmata wurdemanni. Our results lay the foundation for future studies to purify and eventually identify this sex pheromone.


Zhang, D., Lin, J., Harley, M., & Hardege, J. D. (2010). Characterization of a sex pheromone in a simultaneous hermaphroditic shrimp, Lysmata wurdemanni. Marine Biology, 157(1), 1-6.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 19, 2009
Online Publication Date Sep 16, 2009
Publication Date 2010-01
Journal Marine Biology
Print ISSN 0025-3162
Publisher Springer Verlag
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 157
Issue 1
Pages 1-6
Keywords Decapod crustacean; Receptive female; Shore crab; Behavioural bioassay; Contact pheromone
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