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Early development of the digestive tract (pharynx and gut) in the embryos and pre-larvae of the European sea bass Dicentrarchus labrax

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The European sea bass Dicentrarchus labrax is a marine teleost important in Mediterranean aquaculture. The development of the entire digestive tract of D. labrax, including the pharynx, was investigated from early embryonic development to day 5 post hatching (dph), when the mouth opens. The digestive tract is initialized at stage 12 somites independently from two distinct infoldings of the endodermal sheet. In the pharyngeal region, the anterior infolding forms the pharynx and the first gill slits at stage 25 somites. The other three gill arches and slits are formed between 1 and 5 dph. Posteriorly, in the gut tube region, a posterior infolding forms the foregut, midgut and hindgut. The anus opens before hatching, at stage 28 somites. Associated organs (liver, pancreas and gall bladder) are all discernable from 3 dph. Some aspects of the development of the two independent initial infoldings seem original compared with data in the literature. These results are discussed and compared with embryonic and post-embryonic development patterns in other teleosts.

Keywords: Moronidae; gill arches; gill slits; histology; ontogeny

Document Type: Regular Paper


Affiliations: Equipe Adaptation Ecophysiologique et Ontogenèse, UMR 5119, Laboratoire Ecosystèmes Lagunaires, Université Montpellier II, Place Eugène Bataillon, CC 092, 34095 Montpellier, Cedex 05, France

Publication date: October 1, 2009


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