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Phalloidin-rhodamine preparations of Macrostomum hystricinum marinum (Plathelminthes): morphology and postembryonic development of the musculature

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A whole-mount fluorescence technique using rhodamine-labeled phalloidin was used to demonstrate for the first time the whole muscle system of a free-living plathelminth, Macrostomum hystricinum marinum. As expected, the body-wall musculature consisted of circular, longitudinal, and diagonal fibers over the trunk. Also distinct were the musculature of the gut and of the mouth and pharynx (circular, longitudinal, and radial). Dorsoventral fibers where restricted in this species to the head and tail regions. Circular muscle fibers in the body wall were often grouped into bands of up to four parallel strands. Surprisingly, diagonal fibers formed two distinct sets, one dorsal and one ventral. Certain diagonal muscle fibers entered the wall of the mouth and were continuous with some longitudinal muscles of the pharynx. Dorsoventral fibers in the rostrum occurred partly in regularly spaced pairs, a fact not known for free-living Plathelminthes. All muscle fibers appeared to be mononucleated. During postembryonic development, the number of circular muscle fibers can be estimated to increase by a factor of 3.5 and that of longitudinal muscles by a factor of 2. Apparently as many as 700–800 circular muscle cells must be added in the region of the gut alone during postembryonic development. Stem cells (neoblasts), identified by TEM in the caudalmost region of the gut, lie along the lateral nerve cords. In the same body region most perikarya of circular muscle cells occurred in a similar position. This suggests that the nucleus-containing part of the cell remains in the position where differentiation starts.

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Correspondence to R. M. Rieger.

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Rieger, R.M., Salvenmoser, W., Legniti, A. et al. Phalloidin-rhodamine preparations of Macrostomum hystricinum marinum (Plathelminthes): morphology and postembryonic development of the musculature. Zoomorphology 114, 133–147 (1994). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00403261

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  • Body Wall
  • Phalloidin
  • Longitudinal Muscle
  • Nerve Cord
  • Circular Muscle