Ultrastructure and function of the pharynx of Gnathostomula paradoxa (Gnathostomulida)
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The pharynx of Gnathostomula paradoxa consists of the partly syncytial pharyngeal musculature, a pharyngeal epithelium, myoepitheliocytes, receptors, nerves, and three solid parts, called the jugum, the basal plate, and the jaw. Extended non-contractile regions of both pharyngeal and body wall musculature form the so-called parenchymatous tissue between the digestive tract and the body wall. The pharyngeal epithelium mediates the force from the pharyngeal musculature to the solid parts. The basal plate and jaw contain longitudinal cuticular rods which are elastic antagonists of the musculature. There is no buccal ganglion in G. paradoxa. The study supports the monophyly of the Gnathostomulida and Gnathifera.
KeywordsDigestive Tract Basal Plate Body Wall Wall Musculature Solid Part
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