, Volume 110, Issue 3, pp 165–174 | Cite as

Alternative modes of asexual reproduction inTrichoplax adhaerens (Placozoa)

  • Martin Thiemann
  • August Ruthmann


Hollow swarmers are budded off at the dorsal surface ofTrichoplax and are covered by dorsal epithelium. Their inner cavity is lined with the flagellated cells of the ventral epithelium. There is no indication that the fiber cells included between the epithelia take any part either in morphologenesis or the separation of the bud from the mother animal. The early primordium forms in the interspace. A single layer of cells derived from both epithelia surrounds a cavity filled with granular matter that stains like proteins. The latter is used up during the floating phase of the swarmers that may last for a week. After settling at the bottom, the hollow sphere opens at one point. The concave ventral epithelium gradually flattens as more cells become incorporated in it. The latter form new flagella and flagellar pits. More frequently found than swarmers are small spherical forms that are unable to float and possess a distinct polarity. Their upper half is covered by dorsal epithelium and their lower half by ventral epithelium. Large fiber cells are in the center. Their site and mode of formation is unknown. Rarely observed are dorsal stolons whose bulbous end flattens upon touching the substrate. Since they are totally covered by the flat cells of the dorsal epithelium, they may have to undergo a transformation, like the hollow swarmers, to bring the ventral epithelium into contact with the substrate.


Hollow Sphere Dorsal Surface Asexual Reproduction Fiber Cell Alternative Mode 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martin Thiemann
    • 1
  • August Ruthmann
    • 1
  1. 1.Lehrstuhl für Zellmorphologie, Fakultät für BiologieRuhr-Universität BochumBochum 1Federal Republic of Germany

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