Expression of the prospective mesoderm genes twist, snail, and mef2 in penaeid shrimp

Jiankai Wei, Richard Samuel Elliot Glaves, Melony J. Sellars, Jianhai Xiang, Philip L. Hertzler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


In penaeid shrimp, mesoderm forms from two sources: naupliar mesoderm founder cells, which invaginate during gastrulation, and posterior mesodermal stem cells called mesoteloblasts, which undergo characteristic teloblastic divisions. The primordial mesoteloblast descends from the ventral mesendoblast, which arrests in cell division at the 32-cell stage and ingresses with its sister dorsal mesendoblast prior to naupliar mesoderm invagination. The naupliar mesoderm forms the muscles of the naupliar appendages (first and second antennae and mandibles), while the mesoteloblasts form the mesoderm, including the muscles, of subsequently formed posterior segments. To better understand the mechanism of mesoderm and muscle formation in penaeid shrimp, twist, snail, and mef2 cDNAs were identified from transcriptomes of Penaeus vannamei, P. japonicus, P. chinensis, and P. monodon. A single Twist ortholog was found, with strong inferred amino acid conservation across all three species. Multiple Snail protein variants were detected, which clustered in a phylogenetic tree with other decapod crustacean Snail sequences. Two closely-related mef2 variants were found in P. vannamei. The developmental mRNA expression of these genes was studied by qPCR in P. vannamei embryos, larvae, and postlarvae. Expression of Pv-twist and Pv-snail began during the limb bud stage and continued through larval stages to the postlarva. Surprisingly, Pv-mef2 expression was found in all stages from the zygote to the postlarva, with the highest expression in the limb bud and protozoeal stages. The results add comparative data on the development of anterior and posterior mesoderm in malacostracan crustaceans, and should stimulate further studies on mesoderm and muscle development in penaeid shrimp.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-324
Number of pages8
JournalDevelopment Genes and Evolution
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016


  • Mesoderm
  • Penaeid shrimp
  • mef2
  • snail
  • twist


Dive into the research topics of 'Expression of the prospective mesoderm genes twist, snail, and mef2 in penaeid shrimp'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this