Gibson, Daniel Gilbert
The steroid analogue ecdysone (20-Hydroexyecdysone 2B, 3B, 14a, 20B, 22,25-Hexahydroxy-7-cholesten) causes molting in horseshoe crabs as in other arthropods (Flynn, 1997) but its origin in chelicerates is unknown. I have used standard immune electron microscopy to search for it in premolt larva. Its source has not yet been determined, possibly because steroid antigenicity could be affected by osmium fixation. It is quite likely ecdysone is stored or produced in these lecithotrophic larvae.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
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Biology and Biotechnology