Cell lineage analysis of the amphipod crustacean Parhyale hawaiensis reveals an early restriction of cell fates

Matthias Gerberding, William E. Browne, Nipam H. Patel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Scopus citations


In the amphipod crustacean, Parhyale hawaiensis, the first few embryonic cleavages are total and generate a stereotypical arrangement of cells. In particular, at the eight-cell stage there are four macromeres and four micromeres, and each of these cells is uniquely identifiable. We describe our studies of the cell fate pattern of these eight blastomeres, and find that the eight clones resulting from these cells set up distinct cell lineages that differ in terms of proliferation, migration and cell fate. Remarkably, the cell fate of each blastomere is restricted to a single germ layer. The ectoderm originates from three of the macromeres, while the remaining macromere generates the visceral mesoderm. Two of the micromeres generate the somatic mesoderm, a third micromere generates the endoderm and the fourth micromere generates the germline. These findings demonstrate for the first time a total cleavage pattern in an arthropod which results in an invariant cell fate of the blastomeres, but notably, the cell lineage pattern of Parhyale reported shows no clear resemblance to those found in spiralians, nematodes or deuterostomes. Finally, the techniques we have developed for the analysis of Parhyale development suggest that this arthropod may be particularly useful or future functional analyses of crustacean development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5789-5801
Number of pages13
Issue number24
StatePublished - Dec 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Cell lineage
  • Crustacea
  • Fate map
  • Parhyale
  • Pattern formation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Cell Biology


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