, Volume 91, Issue 1, pp 63–75 | Cite as

The duo-gland adhesive system of the archiannelidsProtodrilus andSaccocirrus and the turbellarianMonocelis

  • Gary G. Martin


The duo-gland adhesive systems in three archiannelids(Protodrilus sp.,Saccocirrus sonomacus andS. eroticus) and one turbellarian(Monocelis cincta) were studied by scanning and transmission electron microscopy.Protodrilus attaches to the substrate by the posterior margin of its bilobed and dorso-ventrally flattened pygidium.Saccocirrus also adheres by a bilobed pygidium, but each lobe is ovoid in transverse section, and its median-ventral surface is divided into numerous ridges. Adhesive glands open along the crest of each ridge.Saccocirrus also adheres along bands of adhesive structures that encircle each body segment.Monocelis attaches to the substrate by a crescent shaped area at the posterior margin of the ventral surface. Although the external morphology of the adhesive area is different in each species examined, the basic cellular organization is similar. The adhesive areas contain two types of glands named viscid and releasing. The viscid glands produce granules (0.8–2.0 μm long) that are thought to contain the adhesive that binds the worm to surfaces. The releasing glands secrete granules (0.15–0.2 μm in diameter) that are believed to break the attachment. The releasing granules are identical to those described in other species, whereas the viscid granules have a variety of complex substructures unlike any described previously. The possible homology of the adhesive systems in the archiannelids and those in other taxa with duo-glands is discussed.


Electron Microscopy Transmission Electron Microscopy Developmental Biology Crest Posterior Margin 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gary G. Martin
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA

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