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Segmentation and limb formation during naupliar development of Tigriopus californicus (Copepoda, Harpacticoida)

Hein, Hendrikje, Smyth, Sandra, Altamirano, Ximena, Scholtz, Gerhard
Arthropod structure & development 2019 v.50 pp. 43-52
Tigriopus californicus, arthropods, confocal laser scanning microscopy, histology, larval development, nauplii, scanning electron microscopy
Naupliar development in copepods includes the generation of usually five pairs of post-mandibular segments. Since copepod nauplii show no outer body articulation, the only indication of larval segmentation is the expression of limb buds. Yet, in copepods the timing and sequence of limb bud expression in larval development varies to a large degree. In harpacticoid nauplii for instance, the 1st maxillae are formed at an early naupliar stage. By contrast, the four remaining pairs of limb buds frequently appear simultaneously with the last naupliar stage. The complete process of larval segment formation takes place under the body surface and has never been described in detail. To broaden our knowledge of early segmentation in copepods, we here describe the segmentation of the harpacticoid nauplius Tigriopus californicus by analysing the expression of the segment marker Engrailed and uncover the sequential addition of seven post-mandibular segments. The stripe formation and arrangement of labelled cells corresponds largely to those of other crustaceans studied in this respect. Together with a morphological approach using histology, SEM, and 3D-reconstructions based on CLSM we solve the so far controversial identity of the external limb buds in the final naupliar stage. In contrast to previous studies, we can show that all limb pairs from the 1st maxillae to the 3rd thoracopods are formed. Yet, the anlage of the maxilliped (1st thoracopod) remains hidden underneath the cuticle being never externally expressed in the nauplius.