, Volume 209, Issue 4, pp 226-238

Development of the musculature in the limpet Patella (Mollusca, Patellogastropoda)

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 Whole-mount technique using fluorescent-labelled phalloidin for actin staining and confocal laser scanning microscopy as well as semi-thin serial sectioning, scanning and transmission electron microscopy were applied to investigate the ontogeny of the various muscular systems during larval development in the limpets Patella vulgata L. and P. caerulea L. In contrast to earlier studies, which described a single or two larval shell muscles, the pretorsional trochophore-like larva shows no less than four different muscle systems, namely the asymmetrical main head/foot larval retractor muscle, an accessory larval retractor with distinct insertion area, a circular prototroch/velar system, and a plexus-like pedal muscle system. In both Patella species only posttorsional larvae are able to retract into the shell and to close the aperture by means of the operculum. Shortly after torsion the two adult shell muscles originate independently in lateral positions, starting with two fine muscle fibres which insert at the operculum and laterally at the shell. During late larval development the main larval retractor and the accessory larval retractor become reduced and the velar muscle system is shed. In contrast, the paired adult shell muscles and the pedal muscle plexus increase in volume, and a new mantle musculature, the tentacular muscle system, and the buccal musculature arise. Because the adult shell muscles are entirely independent from the various larval muscular systems, several current hypotheses on the ontogeny and phylogeny of the early gastropod muscle system have to be reconsidered.