Injection of Parhyale hawaiensis blastomeres with fluorescently labeled tracers. Academic Article uri icon


  • The great diversity of arthropod body plans, together with our detailed understanding of fruit fly development, makes arthropods a premier taxon for examining the evolutionary diversification of developmental patterns and hence the diversity of extant life. Crustaceans, in particular, show a remarkable range of morphologies and provide a useful outgroup to the insects. The amphipod crustacean Parhyale hawaiensis is becoming established as a model organism for developmental studies within the arthropods. This protocol describes the injection of P. hawaiensis blastomeres with fluorescently labeled tracers for the purpose of cell-lineage analysis. The total (holoblastic) cleavages that characterize early embryogenesis in P. hawaiensis generate an eight-cell embryo with a stereotypical arrangement of blastomeres, each of which already possesses an invariant cell fate. Fluorochrome-conjugated dextran solutions, mRNAs encoding fluorescent proteins, and biotin-dextran have all proven to be useful lineage markers. The relative merits of various tracers are considered.

publication date

  • January 2009