Project Title: Sex change in sequentially hermaphroditic slipper limpets
Lead Investigator: Maryna Lesoway
Affiliation: MBL Whitman Fellow, University of Illinois at Champaign Urbana (home institution)
Funding Source(s): MBL Whitman Fellowship, Fonds de recherche du Québec Nature et Technologie (FRQNT) Postdoctoral Fellowship, NSF
Unlike most animals, slipper limpets change sex from male to female as they grow. This is thought to be a way to increase the reproductive output of these sedentary, filter-feeding snails. However, the developmental mechanisms are poorly known, even though sex change in these animals has been studied for more than a century. Comparing development in the slipper limpets Crepidula fornicata, Crepidula convexa, and Crepidula plana, I will explore the developmental origins of the reproductive system, development of the reproductive organs, and the transition from male to female using developmental techniques including lineage tracing and cell ablation, as well as pharmacological manipulations to induce sex change.