Pheromonal Control of Metamorphosis in the Pacific Sand Dollar, Dendraster excentricus

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  27 Jul 1984:
Vol. 225, Issue 4660, pp. 442-443
DOI: 10.1126/science.225.4660.442


Competent larvae are induced to undergo metamorphosis by sand from a sand dollar bed or an aqueous extract of the sand. Gel permeation chromatography and high-performance liquid chromatography of the extract yielded a 980-dalton peptide that will induce metamorphosis between 10-6 and 10-5 molar. Extracts of whole adults and gonads were also able to induce metamorphosis, and adults can condition substrates to induce metamorphosis. Therefore, the initiation of metamorphosis in Dendraster excentricus is controlled by a pheromone released by adult sand dollars.