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

Harley, M; Hardege, Jorg


M Harley


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 (TM) 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.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jan 31, 2010
Print ISSN 0025-3162
Publisher Springer Verlag
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 157
Issue 1
Pages 42887
APA6 Citation Harley, M., & Hardege, J. (2010). Characterization of a sex pheromone in a simultaneous hermaphroditic shrimp, Lysmata wurdemanni. Marine Biology, 157(1), (42887). ISSN 0025-3162