Slipper snail tales: How Crepidula fornicata and Crepidula atrasolea became model molluscs

Deirdre C. Lyons, Jonathan Q. Henry

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Despite the great abundance and diversity of molluscs, only a few have attained “model research organism” status. One of those species is the slipper snail Crepidula fornicata. Its embryos were first used for classical lineage tracing studies in the late 19th century, and over a 100 years later they were “re-discovered” by our labs and used for modern fate mapping, gene perturbation, in vivo imaging, transcriptomics, and the first application of CRISPR/Cas9-mediated genome editing among the Spiralia/Lophotrochozoa. Simultaneously, other labs made extensive examinations of taxonomy, phylogeny, ecology, life-history, mode of development, larval feeding behavior, and responses to the environment in members of the family Calyptraeidae, which includes the genus Crepidula. Recently, we developed tools, resources, and husbandry protocols for another, direct-developing species, Crepidula atrasolea. This species is an ideal “lab rat” among molluscs. Together these species will be valuable for probing the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying molluscan biology and evolution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEmerging Model Systems in Developmental Biology
EditorsBob Goldstein, Mansi Srivastava
PublisherAcademic Press Inc.
Number of pages25
ISBN (Print)9780128201541
StatePublished - Jan 2022
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameCurrent Topics in Developmental Biology
ISSN (Print)0070-2153


  • Aquaculture
  • Crepidula
  • Eco-evo-devo
  • Evo-devo
  • Gene regulatory network
  • Lophotrochozoa
  • Marine Biological Laboratory
  • Mollusc
  • Morphogenesis
  • Spiral cleavage
  • Spiralia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Developmental Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Slipper snail tales: How Crepidula fornicata and Crepidula atrasolea became model molluscs'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this