Zoomorphologie

, Volume 88, Issue 3, pp 189–246 | Cite as

The ultrastructure of the marine gastrotrichTurbanella cornuta Remane (Macrodasyoidea) and its functional and phylogenetical importance

  • Gertraud Teuchert
Article

Summary

The organization of marine gastrotrichs (Macrodasyoidea) is reviewed by ultrastructural analysis of one representative,Turbanella cornuta Remane, and the fine structure of tissues and cells is described.

Turbanella cornuta has a mono-layeredcellular epidermis rich withsensory hairs, epidermal bodies, isolatedepidermal glands, glandular adhesive organs belonging to a duo-gland type, andventral ciliated epidermal cells of the multiciliated type. The voluminous neuropil of thebrain consists of a circular commissure which sends out four anterior and posterior longitudinal headnerves. The posterior ones unite on each side to one single longitudinal nerve of the periphery which is occupied with single peripheral neurons and has thin commissures that make it anorthogon. The position and the structure of the neurons indicate their sensitive, associative, motoric, and neurosecretory functions. The different forms of synapses give first hints to neuronal connections within gastrotrichs. There is a big cellularglia around the brain commissure and a small cellular glia within the brain neurons. In between the cross-striated muscle fibrils of thepharyngeal wall there are also nerves and sensory hairs.

TheY-organ lies in the interior of the lateral body cavities, which are delimited by an outer musculature of the body wall and an inner musculature of the intestinal tract. In the pharyngeal region, theY-organ fills the body cavities completely and, in the intestinal region, it covers thegonads, which also lie in the lateral body cavities, dorsally. The testicles lie separately in front of the paired ovaries. Single states of oogenesis could be identified as oogonia, and young and old oocytes. There is a paired gland organ in front of the dorsomedian ovary which may produce a mucous cover for the egg.

Theintestinal tract is adapted to mechanical stress by a myoepithelium in the pharyngeal region, by various interdigitations, and by narrow intercellular gaps with hemidesmosomal adhesions to the basement membrane. The majority of the resorbing intestinal cells have a high seam of microvilli and contain various numbers of lysosomes. In addition, there are some secerning cells without microvilli, but with a centrically arranged ER and with big secretion granules in the dorsomedian sector.

The ultrastructure affirms a close correlation between the conditions of life in the interstitium and structural adaptations, such as may be observed in single structures of the body wall, the y-organ, the intestinal tract and, in some respect, even in the nervous system and in the formerly researched musculature and spermatohistogenesis. On the other hand, for the construction of the glandular adhesive organs, the nervous system, and the formerly investigated body cavities, a phylogenetical relevance is discussed. Thereafter, gastrotrichs have more primitive characters than the closely related nematodes.

Abbreviations

a

sensory hair cells

am

ampoule

at

outleading tube

b

basement membrane

bb

basal body

c

cilium

cr

rootlet of the cilium

cu

cuticle

cw

cell wall

d

d-cells of the brain

de

desmosomes

e

e-cells of the brain

eb

epidermal bodies

ee

ripe egg in the dorsomedian ovary

ep

epidermis

er

endoplasmatic reticulum

ev

ventral ciliated epidermal cells

f

f-cells of the brain

fr

fibrillar structure

g

gland cell

ge

germ epithelium

gl(1+2)

small and big cellular glia of the br

go

Golgi-apparatus

gp

genital pore

h

h-cells of the brain

hf

lateral adhesive tubules

hfp

posterior adhesive tubules

i

intestine

il

intestinal lumen

1

lumen of the organ

li

lipid granules

ly

lysosomes

m

mitochondrium

mb

multivesicular body

mc

circular musculature

mi

microvilli

ml

longitudinal musculature

mo

mouth opening

mt

microtubules

mpl

longitudinal muscle fibers of the pharyngeal wall

mpr

radial muscle fibers of the pharyngeal wall

n

nucleus

nb

brain neurons

nc

brain commissure

nf

nerve fibers

nl

lateral headnerve

nm

nuclear membrane

nn

nucleolus

nv

ventrolateral headnerve

nz

peripheric neuron

ncp

peripheric nerve commissure

nvp

longitudinal peripheric nerve

o

lateral ovary

oc

oocyte

oo

oogonium

ow

wall cells of the ovary

p

secretory pore

ph

pharynx

po

palpar organ

phb

pharyngeal bulbs

phl

pharyngeal lumen

phn

nerve plexus of the pharynx wall

sa

anterior sense organ

sg

secretory granules

sh

sensory hair cell

sp

posterior sense organ

st

supporting stick

su

supporting cell

sv

synaptic vesicles

sy

synaptic gap

t

testicles

tl

testicular lumen

tw

wall cells of the testicles and the vas deferens

v

ventral

va

vacuoles

vd

vas deferens

vs

vesicles

y

y-organ

yc

anterior commissure of the y-organ

z

yolk granules

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gertraud Teuchert
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für Anatomie der UniversitÄtRegensburgFederal Republic of Germany

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