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Ultrastructure and lipid chemistry of specialized epidermal structure of Indian porcupines and hedgehog

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Poddar-Sarkar, M., Raha, P., Bhar, R., Chakraborty, A. and Brahmachary, R.L. 2011. Ultrastructure and lipid chemistry of specialized epidermal structure of Indian porcupines and hedgehog. —Acta Zoologica (Stockholm) 92: 134–140.

In the present study, we investigated the ultrastructural variations of specialized epidermal structure of Indian porcupines (Hystrix indica and Atherurus macrourus) and hedgehog (Hemiechinus collaris) as well as the variation in the fatty acid composition of total lipid fraction. Scanning electron microscope images reveal the usual scaly structure in surface view and network of channels in cross-section but with different orientation of partition walls. The lipid profile reveals the presence of free sterol, long-chain alcohol, free fatty acids, wax ester and sterol ester in all the three cases and trace amount of triglyceride, diglyceride and monoglyceride. Gas chromatography–mass spectrometry analysis of fatty acid methyl ester of total lipid fraction indicates the presence of C8-C22 fatty acids in Hystrix indica, C8-C18 in Atherurus macrourus and C8-C20 fatty acids in Hemiechinus collaris. It is interesting to note that the total lipid fraction of hedgehog shows no branched-chain, unsaturated and odd-carbon fatty acids. Odd-carbon fatty acid and branched-chain fatty acids detected in the adult H. indica but were absent in juvenile H. indica as well as in A. macrourus. With the exception of C18:1, the other unsaturated fatty acids were also absent in both juvenile H. indica and A. macrourus.
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Keywords: SEM; epidermal structure; fatty acids; hedgehog; lipid; porcupine

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Botany, University of Calcutta, Kolkata-700 019, India 2: Department of Zoology, Bethune College, 181, Bidhan Sarani, Kolkata-700 006, India 3: Department of Instrumentation Science, Jadavpur University, Kolkata-700 032, India 4: Gurgaon-Multilab, Gurgaon 122 015, Haryana, India 5: Nanobiology Project, AERU, Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata-700 035, India

Publication date: 2011-04-01

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