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Ovary organization and oogenesis in the tardigrade Macrobiotus polonicus Pilato, Kaczmarek, Michalczyk & Lisi, 2003 (Eutardigrada, Macrobiotidae): ultrastructural and histochemical analysis

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Abstract

The female reproductive system, the process of oogenesis, and the morphology of the egg capsule of Macrobiotus polonicus were analyzed using transmission and scanning electron microscopy and histochemical methods. The female reproductive system of Macrobiotus polonicus consists of a single ovary and a single oviduct that opens into the cloaca. The seminal receptacle filled with sperm cells is present. The ovary is divided into two parts: a germarium that is filled with oogonia and a vitellarium that is filled with branched clusters of the germ cells. Meroistic oogenesis occurs in the species that was examined. The yolk material is synthesized by the oocyte (autosynthesis) and by the trophocytes and is transported to the oocyte through cytoplasmic bridges. The process of the formation of the egg envelopes starts in the late vitellogenesis. The egg capsule is composed of two envelopes—the vitelline envelope and the three-layered chorion. The vitelline envelope is of the primary type while the chorion is of a secondary type. The surface of the chorion is covered with conical processes that terminate with a strongly indented terminal disc.

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Acknowledgments

We would like to express our gratitude to Dr. Łukasz Kaczmarek (A. Mickiewicz University, Poznań, Poland) for collecting and determining the species taxonomically, Dr. Magdalena Rost-Roszkowska (University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland) for reading the manuscript critically, Dr. Jagna Karcz (University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland), MSc Justyna Płoszaj-Pyrek (University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland), and MSc Malwina Marona (University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland) for their technical assistance.

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The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

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Correspondence to Izabela Poprawa.

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Poprawa, I., Schlechte-Wełnicz, W. & Hyra, M. Ovary organization and oogenesis in the tardigrade Macrobiotus polonicus Pilato, Kaczmarek, Michalczyk & Lisi, 2003 (Eutardigrada, Macrobiotidae): ultrastructural and histochemical analysis. Protoplasma 252, 857–865 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00709-014-0725-x

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