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An ultrastructural study of alimentary tract development in the cercariae of Prosorhynchoides borealis (Digenea, Bucephalidae)

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Podvyaznaya I. 2011. An ultrastructural study of alimentary tract development in the cercariae of Prosorhynchoides borealis (Digenea, Bucephalidae). —Acta Zoologica (Stockholm) 92: 170–178.

The development of digestive system in Prosorhynchoides borealis cercariae was studied using transmission electron microscopy. The foregut and caecum primordia arise in early cercarial embryos as two adjoining cellular cords. The primordial pharynx appears as a cluster of myoblasts in the mid-part of the foregut primordium whose proximal end abuts onto the ventral embryonic tegument. Later, a lumen develops within the gut primordia and their component cells form the embryonic cellular epithelium with an essentially similar structure in the foregut and caecal regions. Subsequently, the foregut epithelial cells merge to form a syncytium. This process proceeds asynchronously and the most proximal foregut area remains cellular for the longest time. The syncytial lining of the foregut establishes syncytial connections with secretory cytons differentiating in the surrounding parenchyma. These cytons produce secretory granules, which are transported through cytoplasmic connections to the foregut syncytium. Before cercariae reach maturity, their foregut epithelium becomes anucleate and continuous with the external tegument. By the end of cercarial development, numerous short lamellae appear on the luminal surface of the caecal epithelium. The caecal cells become involved in secretory activity as indicated by the presence of Golgi-derived secretory bodies in their cytoplasm.

Keywords: Bucephalidae; cercaria; development; digestive system; ultrastructure

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2011-04-01

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