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Physiological and evolutionary changes to the legs of the copepod Eurytemora affinis during saline to freshwater invasions

Carol E. Lee wrote:

The laboratory of Carol E. Lee participated in a research exchange with colleagues at the Université de Montpellier in France, including Professors Guy Charmantier, Catherine Lorin-Nebel, and Jehan-Herve Lignot. Our labs engaged in cross-training of students and collaborative experiments. While in France, Lee Lab students gained invaluable expertise and formed international ties with French and other students. We localized the sites of physiological and evolutionary change during saline to freshwater invasions to the legs of the copepod Eurytemora affinis, at newly discovered organs that we named the “Crusalis organs”.  At these sites, we found changes in ion transporter function, allowing the evolutionary increase in ion uptake during invasions. Given that ion transport is a universal feature of all cells and ion transporters are found from bacteria to humans, the pathways of evolutionary change that we discovered might be a common mechanism of adaptation into novel osmotic environments.


Gerber, L, CE Lee, E Grousset, E Blondeau-Bidet, NB Boucheker, C Lorin-Nebel, M Charmantier-Daures, G Charmantier.  The Legs Have It: Localizing and quantifying expression of ion transporters V-Type H+ ATPase and Na+/K+-ATPase in the swimming legs of the freshwater invading copepod Eurytemora affinis. Physiological and Biochemical Zoology.