- Published: Wednesday, 24 October 2012
A report of a new method to experimentally reduce maternal investment in marine invertebrates by Dr. Bruno Pernet was recently published in the journal Invertebrate Biology. These findings were generated during a sabbatical visit in the Seaver lab at Kewalo Marine Laboratory. In collaboration with Dr. Aldine Amiel, Bruno used an infrared laser to perform targeted deletions of large yolky cells in early stage embryos of the polychaete annelid Capitella teleta. The goal was to reduce energy content in the embryo and determine the subsequent effects on larvae and juveniles. A number of features were examined including larval and juvenile morphology, size and survivorship, and ability to undergo metamorphosis. Experimental larvae and juveniles were smaller than unmanipulated controls, but otherwise morphologically normal. The findings are consistent with the hypothesis that maternally derived energy is largely used to form the juvenile body rather than the larva. Congratulations Bruno!