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    Medusozoa (Cnidaria) are characterized by diverse life cycles, with different semaphoronts (medusa, medusoid, fixed gonophore, polyp) representing the sexual phase and carrying the gametes. Although egg size is often considered a proxy to understand reproductive and developmental traits of medusozoans, understanding of the processes influencing egg size variation in the group under an evolutionary context is still limited. We carried out a comprehensive review of the variation of egg size in Medusozoa to test whether this variation is related to biological/sexual or environmental traits. Egg size presents a strong phylogenetic signal (λ = 0.79, K = 0.67), explaining why closely related species with different reproductive strategies and different individual sizes have similar egg sizes. However, variation in egg size is influenced by the number of eggs, depth and temperature, with larger eggs frequently present in species with few eggs (1-15), in deep-sea species and in cold-water species. Conversely, the production of small eggs among cold-water species of Staurozoa might be associated with the development of a small benthic larvae in this group. Our study reinforces that egg sizes respond to reproductive and environmental traits, although egg size is highly conserved within medusa classes.


    Jimena García-Rodríguez, Amanda Ferreira Cunha, Adriana Morales-Guerrero, Adrian González-Chaves, Agustín Camacho, Lucília Souza Miranda, Filipe C Serrano, Adrian Jaimes-Becerra, Antonio Carlos Marques. Reproductive and environmental traits explain the variation in egg size among Medusozoa (Cnidaria). Proceedings. Biological sciences. 2023 Aug 09;290(2004):20230543

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    PMID: 37528708

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