The vitellogenin cDNA of Cherax quadricarinatus encodes a lipoprotein with calcium binding ability, and its expression is induced following the removal of the androgenic gland in a sexually plastic system Academic Article uri icon


  • Abstract Oocyte maturation in decapod crustaceans is a two step process. Primary vitellogenesis is followed by a variable hiatus that lasts up to the onset of secondary vitellogenesis, which is marked by the rapid accumulation of yolk proteins in the oocytes. We have cloned a complete Cherax quadricarinatus vitellogenin cDNA. The sequenced cDNA contains a 2584 aa open reading frame which shows sequence similarity to vitellogenins from other crustaceans. The mRNA encodes at least two of the previously identified vitellin components, indicating that the primary translation product is subject to post-translational modification, including proteolytic cleavage. The region close to the 3 ′ end of the mRNA encodes a previously characterized negatively charged protein (provisionally designated P 106 ). We show here that the negative charge of P 106 could be due to its ability to bind calcium. Northern blot data show that this gene is expressed as a single 8000 nt transcript and is present in the hepatopancreas of secondary-vitellogenic females. Primary vitellogenic and other tissues examined in male and female animals were negative. In sexually plastic intersex animals, removal of the androgenic gland results in vitellogenin transcription, indicating that the gene is negatively regulated by the androgenic gland.

publication date

  • January 1, 2002