Regulation of polyp-to-jellyfish transition in Aurelia aurita.

Authors:
Björn Fuchs, Wei Wang, Simon Graspeuntner, Yizhu Li, Santiago Insua, Eva-Maria Herbst, Philipp Dirksen, Anna-Marei Böhm, Georg Hemmrich, Felix Sommer, Tomislav Domazet-Lošo, Ulrich C Klostermeier, Friederike Anton-Erxleben, Philip Rosenstiel, Thomas C G Bosch, Konstantin Khalturin
Year of publication:
2014
Volume:
24
Issue:
3
Issn:
0960-9822
Journal title abbreviated:
CURR BIOL
Journal title long:
CB : current biology : dispatches from the front lines of biology
Impact factor:
8.983
Abstract: 
The life cycle of scyphozoan cnidarians alternates between sessile asexual polyps and pelagic medusa. Transition from one life form to another is triggered by environmental signals, but the molecular cascades involved in the drastic morphological and physiological changes remain unknown.Our findings uncover the molecule framework controlling the polyp-to-jellyfish transition in a basal metazoan and provide insights into the evolution of complex life cycles in the animal kingdom.We show in the moon jelly Aurelia aurita that the molecular machinery controlling transition of the sessile polyp into a free-swimming jellyfish consists of two parts. One is conserved and relies on retinoic acid signaling. The second, novel part is based on secreted proteins that are strongly upregulated prior to metamorphosis in response to the seasonal temperature changes. One of these proteins functions as a temperature-sensitive "timer" and encodes the precursor of the strobilation hormone of Aurelia.