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Life history specializations of monogenean flatworms: a review of experimental and microscopical studies

Cable, Joanne, Harris, P. D. and Tinsley, R. C. 1998. Life history specializations of monogenean flatworms: a review of experimental and microscopical studies. Microscopy Research and Technique 42 (3) , pp. 186-199. 10.1002/(SICI)1097-0029(19980801)42:3<186::AID-JEMT3>3.0.CO;2-R

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This review illustrates the use of experimental approaches combined with microscopy to study the biology of monogenean parasites. Studies of feeding, development, reproduction, and systematics have been based on gyrodactylids, flatworms infecting teleost fishes. In a contrasting system involving an amphibian host in a desert environment, analysis of adaptations to extreme conditions has focused on Pseudodiplorchis americanus. The unusual reproductive strategies, particularly the interactions between mother and offspring, are highlighted for both monogeneans. Species of Gyrodactylus are viviparous, maintaining up to three generations of embryos simultaneously in utero, and many of their reproductive specializations are related to progenesis. Embryo nutrition takes place via a metabolically-active syncytial uterine lining that has close association with the parental gut. Microscopy has also proved an essential adjunct to molecular studies of speciation and host specificity. P. americanus is ovoviviparous and the adaptations for embryo maintenance are unique. The primary keratin-type eggshell is replaced by a flexible secondary elastin capsule produced by the uterus; parental nutrients are transferred through cytoplasmic connections to the developing embryo. TEM has demonstrated unique adaptations of P. americanus to its micro-environments, including secretion of tegumental vesicles that provide protection from digestive enzymes during migration through the host gut. This paper highlights the potential of monogeneans for studies of fundamental biological principles.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Microscopy; histology; TEM; SEM; PCR; ITS; Gyrodactylus; Pseudodiplorchis.
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN: 1059-910X
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 06:38

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