13 September 2018

Hossain and colleagues, 2018

Hossain MS, Patoka J, Kouba A, Buřič M. 2018. Clonal crayfish as biological model: a review on marbled crayfish. Biologia 73(9): 841-855. https://doi.org/10.2478/s11756-018-0098-2


Since the mid-twentieth century, numerous vertebrates and invertebrates have been used as model organisms and become indispensable tools for exploring a broad range of biological and ecological processes. Crayfish seem to be adequate models which resulted in their involvement in research. In the two decades since its discovery, ongoing research has confirmed that the marbled crayfish (Procambarus virginalis Lyko, 2017) is an ideal taxon in this regard, especially due to its almost continuous asexual reproduction providing a source of genetically identical offspring. This review provides an overview of the occurrence, biology, ecology, ethology, and human exploitation of marbled crayfish with primary focus on its use as a laboratory model organism as well as potential risks to native biota in case of its introduction. Genetic uniformity, ease of culture, and a broad behaviour repertoire fosters the use of marbled crayfish in epigenetics and developmental biology, as well as physiological, ecotoxicological, and ethological research. Marbled crayfish could be further exploited for basic and applied fields of science such as evolutionary biology and clonal tumour evolution. However, due to its high invasive potential in freshwater environments security measures must be taken to prevent its escape into the wild.

Keywords: model species • epigenetics • developmental biology • Procambarus virginalis • biological invasion

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