, Volume 95, Issue 1, pp 1–15 | Cite as

Adhesive organs of the gastrotricha

I. Duo-gland organs
  • Seth Tyler
  • Gunde E. Rieger


Adhesive organs of 17 gastrotrich species of the order Macrodasyida and 2 species of the order Chaetonotida (Chaetonotida-Paucitubulatina) can be seen by transmission electron microscopy to comprise two gland cell types. These cells are morphologically similar to viscid and releasing glands of the Turbellaria and so are identified by these same names; the adhesive system in these gastrotrichs is therefore called a duo-gland system considered at least functionally comparable to the duo-gland organs of turbellarians. The two gland cell types project their necks through tubiform extensions of the animal's cuticle. Some adhesive tubules have only one of each gland type; others, even in the same species, may have two viscid and one releasing glands; and compound organs such as posterior footlike appendages may have three and four viscid glands and one releasing gland per tubule. Gland cells in some species have fibers, evidently cytoskeletal in function. The adhesive tubules are quite similar in all of these species and provide few characters for determining within-group relationships of the gastrotrichs. The duo-gland system of the Gastrotricha is probably not homologous with that of the Turbellaria.


Electron Microscopy Transmission Electron Microscopy Compound Organ Developmental Biology Gland Cell 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Abbreviations Used in Figures




epidermal cell




lateral adhesive organ




posterior adhesive organ


releasing gland


sensory cilium


sensory cell body


viscid gland


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Seth Tyler
    • 1
  • Gunde E. Rieger
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyUniversity of MaineOronoUSA
  2. 2.Department of ZoologyUniversity of North CarolinaChapel HillUSA

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