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Fine structure of the copulatory apparatus of the tapeworm Tetrabothrius erostris (Cestoda: Tetrabothriidea)

Korneva, Janetta V., Jones, Malcolm K., Kuklin, Vadim V.
Parasitology research 2015 v.114 no.5 pp. 1829-1838
Cestoda, copulation, epithelium, granules, muscle fibers, prostate gland, receptors, spermatozoa, tapeworms, transmission electron microscopy, ultrastructure, vagina
The organization and fine structure of the complex copulatory apparatus of Tetrabothrius erostris (Tetrabothriidea) is investigated by light and transmission electron microscopy. A diversity of microstructures was found on the surface of genital ducts. The apical surfaces of male gonadoducts possess tubular and blade-like microtriches that have specific structure in each section of the duct. The apical part of the tubular microtriches contains numerous constrictions in the proximal section of the sperm duct; blade-like microtriches of cirrus possess longitudinal striation in the apical part, and their basal part is reinforced with electron-dense strands. Two types of microtriches occur on the surface of cirrus, and their presence may be considered as systematic features. Prostate glands containing granules of medium electron density (up to 130 nm diameter) are localized in the cirrus sac. The genital atrium contains numerous non-ciliated receptors. Paramyosin-like fibers (up to 200 nm) were found in the muscle fibers surrounding the male atrium canal. Microtriches on the surface of the distal region of the male atrial canal are covered by a glycocalyx. Electron-dense, membrane-like structures (up to 40 nm) lie under the apical membrane of the genital atrium and vagina. These structures do not form a continuous layer; its edges turn down and sink into the apical invaginations of epithelium. Hypotheses on the possible ways of copulation in T. erostris based on the observed ultrastructure are discussed.