Ultrastructure of the developing protonephridial system of the cercaria ofPhilophthalmus sp. (Trematoda, Digenea)
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The fully developed flame bulb ofPhilopthalmus exhibits the structure characteristic of Trematoda and Monogenea: external and internal ribs forming a weir, external and internal leptotriches, and two longitudinal cytoplasmic cords connected by a septate junction. The proximal canal has a septate junction and surface lamellae. In developing cercariae, perikarya of terminal and proximal canal cells are close together, and sheetlike outgrowths of the terminal cell are externall surrounded by cytoplasm of the proximal canal cell containing a septate junction. Internal outgrowths and external cytoplasm are connected by many “membranes”, i.e. desmosome-like structures. Internal sheets break up into internal ribs, and the external cytoplasm breaks up into external ribs, external and internal ribs connected by the filtration “membrane”. The developing distal excretory duct possesses a septate junction and many branching and looping lamellae. A comparison ofPhilopthalmus with the cestodeAustramphilina elongata, the only other platyhelminth species in which the development of the protonephridia has been studied at the ultrastructural level, revealed that the two species differ in the presence and absence, respectively, of a septate junction in the flame bulb at an early stage of development.
KeywordsStructure Characteristic Ultrastructural Level Terminal Cell Excretory Duct Internal Outgrowth
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