A molecular overview of diapause in embryos of the crustacean, Artemia franciscana

Zhijun Qiu, Thomas H. MacRae

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

9 Scopus citations


Diapause-destined embryos of Artemia franciscana arrest as gastrulae and are enclosed within a chitinous shell to form cysts. Upon release from females encysted embryos enter diapause, becoming essentially ametabolic and very stress tolerant. An objective of our research is to characterize the molecular mechanisms of diapause initiation and maintenance. Subtractive hybridization was therefore used to identify up-regulated genes in diapause-destined Artemia embryos and these were divided into functional categories including cellular growth and stress tolerance, metabolism, and genetic and environmental information processing. Of particular interest mRNA for p8, a stress-inducible transcription co-factor, increased early in diapause-destined Artemia embryos, representing one of the few transcription co-factors known to be up-regulated during diapause. mRNAs encoding the three small heat shock proteins p26, ArHsp21, and ArHsp22 were also up-regulated and these proteins may promote diapause maintenance by enhancing stress tolerance. The work has revealed proteins potentially crucial to diapause, a physiological condition of fundamental and applied significance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationDormancy and Resistance in Harsh Environments
EditorsEsther Lubzens
Number of pages23
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameTopics in Current Genetics
ISSN (Print)1610-2096
ISSN (Electronic)1610-6970

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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