Ultrastructural studies on egg envelopes surrounding the miracidia of Mediogonimus jourdanei Mas-Coma et Rocamora, 1978 (Digenea, Microphalloidea, Prosthogonimidae)
The intrauterine, mature and fully embryonated eggs of the prosthogonimid trematode Mediogonimus jourdanei Mas-Coma et Rocamora, 1978 were examined by means of transmission electron microscopy (TEM), using high pressure freezing, freeze substitution and infiltration with resin techniques. Each embryonated egg is composed of a miracidium surrounded by three envelopes: (1) the egg shell, (2) the outer and (3) inner envelopes. Egg envelopes play an important role in the protection, metabolism, storage of nutritive reserves and the general biology of the M. jourdanei egg. The inner envelope is characterised by large, flattened nuclei, and its syncytial cytoplasm contains a heavy accumulation of glycogen, lipid droplets, mitochondria and large vesicles. These traits indicate that this layer has the features of a metabolically-active syncytial layer with an energy storage capability. In the infective eggs observed before the hatching of the miracidium, areas of so-called “focal cytoplasmic degradation” were frequently observed, which may be involved in the autolytic process of all components of this envelopes.
KeywordsTrematoda Prosthogonimidae Mediogonimus jourdanei egg envelopes ultrastructure
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