Helgoländer Meeresuntersuchungen

, Volume 34, Issue 4, pp 463–484 | Cite as

Die Cnidogenese der Octocorallia (Anthozoa, Cnidaria): I. Sekretionund Differenzierung von Kapsel und Schlauch

  • H. Schmidt

The cnidogenesis of the Octocorallia (Anthozoa, Cnidaria): I. Secretion and differentiation of capsule and tube


The ultrastructural differentiation of capsule and its relation to tube development is described in several Octocorallia species(Alcyonaria: Alcyonium digitatum, Parerythropodium coralloides, Cornularia cornucopiae, Paralcyonium elegans; Pennatularia: Pteroeides spinosum, Veretillum cynomorium; Gorgonaria: Pseudopterogorgia aerosa), all of which have only one type nematocyst. In the Octocorallia, capsule and tube are secreted successively by the Golgi apparatus associated with a primary centriolar complex. During the secretion of the external tube, the outer capsular wall (sclera) is structurally differentiated; inside the capsule the material of the inner capsular wall is separated from the later capsular content (matrix). The primary wall differentiation enables the capsules to “grow” after capsular secretion has been completed. Following tube secretion, the external tube is completely transferred into the capsule, without the tube wall being transformed into capsular wall, as previously suggested (Westfall, 1966; Ivester, 1977). During early invagination of the tube wall, the coarse, granulated matrix of the external tube is transferred into the internal tube. From this material the spines are developed, which are observed before the tube is completely transferred into the capsule. By a secondary wall differentiation the previously structureless inner capsular wall changes to a complex structure, extending again the capsule, thus mixing the capsular content and enabling the tube to shift to a position, which corresponds with that of mature capsules. These observations demonstrate for the first time the differentiation of the capsule and its close relationship to the differentiation of the tube in nematocysts of Octocorallia.

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Copyright information

© Biologische Anstalt Helgoland 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Schmidt
    • 1
  1. 1.Zoologisches Institut I der Universität HeidelbergHeidelbergBundesrepublik Deutschland

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