Onset of feeding in juvenile sea urchins and its relation to nutrient signalling

Alyaa Elsaid Abdelaziz Fadl, Magdy Elsayed Mahfouz, Mona Mabrouk Taha El-Gamal, Andreas Heyland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The purple sea urchin, Strongylocentrotus purpuratus, has been the focus of extensive ecological and developmental research over the years. Strongylocentrotus purpuratus larvae transition into the juvenile stage after an extensive planktonic period. The metamorphic transition is characterized by dramatic changes in morphology and physiology of the juvenile compared to the larval form and mechanisms underlying this process, especially the early days post-settlement, remain poorly understood. We used SEM and phalloidin stain analysis as well as whole mount in situ hybridization to gain a detailed understanding of juvenile development in relation to nutrient signalling [insulin-like growth factor (IIS), FoxO (forkhead box, sub-group ‘O’) and TOR (target of rampamycin), also known as IIS/TOR/FoxO signalling]. Our results show that the majority of juvenile feeding features are fully developed only after 8-days of juvenile development, leaving an extensive period of nutritional stress. We found that FoxO gene expression increases during that time period and is localized in juvenile tube feet, potentially associated with sensory structures involved in nutrient signalling. Our data complement existing work on sea urchin juvenile development and shed new light on the perimetamorphic period of Strongylocentrotus purpuratus, with respect to nutrient signalling and the potential stressful pre-feeding period of juvenile sea urchins.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11-22
Number of pages12
JournalInvertebrate Reproduction and Development
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Generated from Scopus record by KAUST IRTS on 2023-09-25

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Animal Science and Zoology


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