, Volume 132, Issue 4, pp 359-377
Date: 26 Jul 2013

Morphology of the jaw apparatus in 8 species of Patellogastropoda (Mollusca, Gastropoda) with special reference to Testudinalia tesulata (Lottiidae)

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The fine structure of the jaw apparatus was studied by scanning electron microscopy in eight species of Patellogastropoda. The jaw apparatus is an unpaired two-layered dorsolateral structure with anterior and posterior wings attached to the odontophore by muscles. The jaw of Testudinalia tesulata (O.F. Müller, 1776) is a derivative of the cuticle typical for the foregut. The tissue forming the jaw is a specialized foregut epithelium (gnathoepithelium), consisting of a special type of cells called gnathoblasts. The jaw grows in areas of the epithelium characterized by high concentration of electron-dense vesicles, ER and long microvilli that penetrate deep into the jaw plate. This indicates that the gnathoblasts take an active part in jaw growth. In most cases, these areas of the gnathoepithelium are highly folded. The main differences between the species studied are form and thickness of the frontal edge of the jaw. These differences do not correlate with the systematic position of the species studied but likely depend more on the feeding mode. The transmission electron microscopy studies yielded new morphological criteria for comparison between various gastropod species and other members of Trochozoa, in particular, Annelida. The jaws of Annelida are cuticular structures formed on the surface of specialized epithelial cells, often also called gnathoblasts. The jaw of Patellogastropoda can be attributed to the first type of annelid jaw formation characterized by an epithelium with long microvilli and continuous growth.