Inducing metamorphosis in the irukandji jellyfish Carukia barnesi

O'Hara, E., and Seymour, J. (2022) Inducing metamorphosis in the irukandji jellyfish Carukia barnesi. Scientific Reports, 12. 9052.

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Here we utilize chemical ecology as a tool to manipulate the biological system of a small, but highly venomous to humans, cubozoan jellyfish, Carukia barnesi. We trialled a range of chemical reagents including indole compounds, 9-cis-retinoic acid and lugols solution to induce metamorphosis between the polyp and medusa life stages. An optimum method was determined resulting in a 90% metamorphosis rate to healthy medusa by exposing the polyps to 1 μM of 5-methoxy-2-methylindole for 24 h. Of note is that chemical exposure time significantly impacts health and metamorphosis rates in this species. We also present a theoretical mechanism for the chemical/biological interactions occurring during metamorphosis. This is a significant methodological advancement which now enables rearing of this animal en mass in aquaria—a world first for this species—which will subsequently supply and facilitate venom research into this understudied jellyfish.

Item ID: 75139
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2045-2322
Copyright Information: © The Author(s) 2022. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit
Date Deposited: 22 Jun 2022 09:30
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310303 Ecological physiology @ 50%
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3109 Zoology > 310903 Animal developmental and reproductive biology @ 50%
SEO Codes: 20 HEALTH > 2001 Clinical health > 200105 Treatment of human diseases and conditions @ 30%
28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280102 Expanding knowledge in the biological sciences @ 70%
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