January 23, 2014

Unraveling Jellyfish Metamorphosis

How does one genome create two completely different body plans in one animal?  This was the question Konstantin Khalturin was attempting to answer when he began working on jellyfish.  The fascinating story he discovered along the way answers questions about the regulation of metamorphosis, an animal changing from one physical form to another, in the moon jellyfish Aurelia aurita.  In the February 3rd edition of Current Biology, Khalturin and colleagues working at the Zoological Institute in Kiel, Germany described a new hormone responsible for metamorphosis in jellyfish and linked it to a common developmental biology pathway found in more complex animals.