Acta Parasitologica

, Volume 57, Issue 3, pp 235–246 | Cite as

Ultrastructure of the vitellarium in the digeneans Phyllodistomum angulatum (Plagiorchiida, Gorgoderidae) and Azygia lucii (Strigeida, Azygiidae)

  • Larisa G. Poddubnaya
  • Magdaléna Bruňanská
  • Zdzisław Świderski
  • David I. Gibson
Original Paper


Fine structural features of the vitellarium of two digeneans, Phyllodistomum angulatum and Azygia lucii, are documented and compared with those of other digenean species. The cytodifferentiation of immature vitelline cells (vitellocytes) assumes the production and subsequent accumulation in their cytoplasm of several inclusions. Mature vitelline cells of P. angulatum are characterized by the presence of vitelline clusters (∼2.7 μm in diameter, with ∼100 vitelline globules of ∼0.35 μm in diameter) and osmiophobic, saturated lipid droplets (∼2-3 μm in diameter), and in A. lucii vitelline clusters of the same diameter include much fewer vitelline globules (∼50 globules of ∼0.5 μm in diameter), osmiophilic lipid droplets and α-glycogen. In both P. angulatum and A. lucii, interstitial cells are also present within the vitellarium. Two types of contact sites (septate and tight junctions) between adjoining interstitial cells also occur in both digenean species. Judging from the present and previous ultrastructural studies, it is suggested that there are three potential discriminatory characters of the digenean vitellarium (the number of different types of cell components within the vitellarium, the presence and type of junctional complexes between these cells, and the isolation of the vitellarium from the surrounding tissue) which may prove useful for a better understanding of the biology and evolutionary history of the different digenean groups.


Digenea ultrastructure vitellarium vitelline inclusions interstitial cells contact sites discriminatory traits phylogeny 


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Copyright information

© Versita Warsaw and Springer-Verlag Wien 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Larisa G. Poddubnaya
    • 1
  • Magdaléna Bruňanská
    • 2
  • Zdzisław Świderski
    • 3
    • 4
  • David I. Gibson
    • 5
  1. 1.I.D. Papanin Institute for Biology of Inland WatersRussian Academy of SciencesBorok, Yaroslavl ProvinceRussia
  2. 2.Institute of ParasitologySlovak Academy of SciencesKošiceSlovak Republic
  3. 3.W. Stefański Institute of ParasitologyPolish Academy of SciencesWarsawPoland
  4. 4.Department of General Biology and ParasitologyMedical University of WarsawWarsawPoland
  5. 5.Department of ZoologyNatural History MuseumLondonUK

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