Do benthic and planktonic diatoms produce equivalent effects in crustaceans? Academic Article uri icon


  • Hippolyte inermis Leach 1814 is a benthic shrimp characterized by a peculiar mechanism of sex reversal influenced by diatom foods. In fact, the appearance of primary females in spring is due to an apoptotic early disruption of the androgenic gland and of the male gonad, triggered by still unknown compounds present in diatoms of the genus Cocconeis. The influence of diatoms on the reproductive ecology and life cycle of planktonic crustaceans has been demonstrated previously: some planktonic diatoms produce aldehydes inducing apoptosis in the embryos and in the larvae of marine copepods, reducing their viability. Both benthic and planktonic diatoms therefore produce compounds having an apoptotic effect on some tissues of target crustaceans, although the ecological significance of the two processes is different: deleterious for copepod populations, regulative for shrimps associated with Posidonia oceanica. In the present article we experimentally administered specific planktonic diatoms, their fractions and ...

publication date

  • January 1, 2007