Independent migration of cell populations in the early gastrulation of the amphipod crustacean Parhyale hawaiensis. Academic Article uri icon


  • Cells are the principal component of tissues and can drive morphogenesis through dynamic changes in structure and interaction. During gastrulation, the primary morphogenetic event of early development, cells change shape, exchange neighbors, and migrate long distances to establish cell layers that will form the tissues of the adult animal. Outside of Drosophila, little is known about how changes in cell behavior might drive gastrulation among arthropods. Here, we focus on three cell populations that form two aggregations during early gastrulation in the crustacean Parhyale hawaiensis. Using cytoskeletal markers and lineage tracing we observe bottle cells in anterior and visceral mesoderm precursors as gastrulation commences, and find that both Cytochalasin D, an inhibitor of actin polymerization, and ROCKOUT, an inhibitor of Rho-kinase activity, prevent gastrulation. Furthermore, by ablating specific cells, we show that each of the three populations acts independently during gastrulation, confirming previous hypotheses that cell behavior during Parhyale gastrulation relies on intrinsic signals instead of an inductive mechanism.

publication date

  • November 1, 2012