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Ultrastructure of the body wall of three species of Grania (Annelida: Clitellata: Enchytraeidae)

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De Wit P., Erséus C. and Gustavsson L.M. 2011. Ultrastructure of the body wall of three species of Grania (Annelida: Clitellata: Enchytraeidae). —Acta Zoologica (Stockholm) 92: 1–11.

The body wall of three species of Grania, including the cuticle, epidermis and the musculature, are studied using TEM. The cuticle is similar to previously studied enchytraeids, with an orthogonal grid pattern of collagen fibers. This pattern is also seen in Crassiclitellata, which has been suggested as the sister taxon of Enchytraeidae. Variation of epicuticular and fiber zone patterns seen in Naididae (formerly Tubificidae and Naididae) seem to be lacking in Enchytraeidae. The fiber thickness, however, varies between Grania species and may be a phylogenetically informative character. The epidermis consists of supporting cells, secretory cells and sensory cells. Basal cells, typical for Crassiclitellata, were not observed. The clitellum of Grania seems to consist of two types of gland cells, which develop from regular epidermal tissue. It is possible that more cell types exist in different regions of the clitellum, however. The body wall musculature is arranged somewhat differently from that of closely related taxa; this refers to the reduction of circular and outer, triangular longitudinal muscle fibers, while the inner, ribbon-shaped longitudinal muscle fibers are well-developed. A search was conducted for the cause of the peculiar green coloration of Grania galbina De Wit and Erséus 2007, and it was concluded that neither cyanobacteria nor epidermal pigment granules were present in the fixed material.

Keywords: Enchytraeidae; Grania; clitellum; cuticle; epidermis; musculature; ultrastructure

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Zoology, University of Gothenburg, Box 463, SE-405 30 Göteborg, Sweden 2: Department of Invertebrate Zoology, Swedish Museum of Natural History, Box 50007, SE-10405 Stockholm, Sweden

Publication date: 2011-01-01

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