The structure of the statocyst of the freshwater snail Biomphalaria glabrata (Pulmonata, Basommatophora)

Wenyuan Gao, Michael L. Wiederhold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

The structure of the statocyst of the freshwater snail Biomphalaria glabrata has been examined by light and electron microscopy. The two statocysts are located on the dorsal-lateral side of the left and right pedal ganglion. The statocysts are spherical, fluid-filled capsules with a diameter of approximately 60 μm for young and 110 μm for adult snails. The wall of the cyst is composed of large receptor cells and many smaller supporting cells. The receptor cells bear cilia which are evenly distributed on the apical surface. The cilia have the typical 9+2 internal tubule configuration. Striate rootlets originate from the base of the basal body and run downward into the cytoplasm. Side-roots arise from one side of the basal body and a basal foot from the other. For each receptor cell, the basal foot always points to the periphery of the surface, indicating that the receptor cell is non-polarized. The receptor cells contain cytoplasmic organelles such as mitochondria, ribosomes, rough and smooth endoplasmic reticulum, compact Golgi bodies and multivesicular bodies. Supporting cells bearing microvilli are interposed between the receptor cells. The junction complex between the supporting cells and the receptor cells is composed of adherens and septate junctions, while between supporting cells only the adherens junctions are present. The static nerve arises from the lateral side of the cyst and contains axons in which parallel neurotubules and mitochondria are found. The axons arise directly from the base of the receptor cells without synapse. In the cyst lumen there are unattached statoconia. The statoconia have a plate- like or concentric membranous ring structure. Based on the morphology, the function of the statocyst in Biomphalaria is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)109-124
Number of pages16
JournalHearing Research
Volume109
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1997

Keywords

  • Biomphalaria glabrata
  • Cilia
  • Ciliary orientation
  • Statocyst
  • Ultrastructure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sensory Systems

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