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MEPS prepress abstract   -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/meps13294

Uridine-5'-tri-phosphate is a candidate component of the soluble sex pheromone bouquet in a marine shrimp, Lysmata wurdemanni

Dong Zhang*, Xin Liu, Maggy A. Harley, Jörg D. Hardege*

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ABSTRACT: Characterization of distance sex pheromone in decapods is still a challenge although great efforts have been made in this field in the past 50 years. In a previous study we identified a component of distance (soluble) sex pheromone bouquet of the peppermint shrimp Lysmata wurdemanni as a uridine-5'-di-phosphate (UDP)-like chemical. However, UDP does not elicit pre-copulatory behavior, approach and follow, in the peppermint shrimp. Here, we tested the hypothesis that the UDP-like chemical is uridine-5'-tri-phosphate (UTP), a metabolic product from the shrimp’s chitin synthesis, and is the component of the distance sex pheromone of the shrimp. We ran a series of bioassays to examine whether UDP, UTP or their mixtures elicit male mating behavior. Our results show that male L. wurdemanni responded to UTP through displaying their stereotyped courtship behaviour (approach and follow), same as the behaviour that water collected from moulting female elicits. Combining UTP and UDP as mixtures did not enhance the intensity of this male courtship behaviour. Minimum effective concentration of UTP to elicit the courtship behaviour in the male shrimp was between 10–6 and 10–7 M. HPLC analysis showed the existence of UTP in the moulting water of female shrimp and partial conversion of UTP to UDP during the sample preparation procedure. Both bioassay and chemical analysis results presented in this study suggest that UTP is a component of the distance sex pheromone in L. wurdemanni. The major peak of chromatogram of L. wurdemanni pheromone identified in previous studies might be a breakdown product of UTP.