Secretory products of the haptoral reservoirs and peduncular glands in two species of Bravohollisia (Monogenea : Ancyrocephalidae)

Meng Seng (Kenn Wong, Gerard Brennan, David Halton, Aaron Maule, Lik Thai Lim

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12 Citations (Scopus)


Light and electron microscopy were used to characterize the structure of secretory cells and their products involved in attachment of two monogenean parasites of fish, in order to understand their role in the attachment process. In Bravohollisia rosetta and Bravohollisia gussevi, peduncular gland cells with two nuclei, granular endoplasmic reticulum, and Golgi bodies produce dual electron-dense (DED) secretory bodies with a homogenous electron-dense rind and a less electron-dense fibrillar core (oval and concave in B. rosetta and oval in B. gussevi). The DED secretory bodies are altered as they migrate from the gland cell to the haptoral reservoir, the superficial anchor grooves, and into the gill tissues. The contents of the DED secretory bodies are exocytosed into the reservoirs, fibrillar cores persisting in the matrix, some of which condense, forming highly electron-dense spherical bodies. Small, oval, electron-dense bodies occur in the grooves, while no inclusions are visible in the homogenous exudate within the gill tissues. The single tubular extension of the reservoir enters a bifurcate channel within the anchor via a concealed, crevice-like opening on one side of the anchor. The channel directs secretions into the left and the right grooves via concealed apertures. The secretions, introduced into the tissues by the anchors, probably assist in attachment. The secretions are manifested externally as net-like structures and observed in some cases to be still attached to the point of exudation, on anchors detached from the gill tissues. This suggests that despite having the anchors detached, the worms can still remain anchored to the gill tissues via these net-like structures. Based on this, it is postulated that the net-like secretions probably function as a safety line to anchor the worm during the onset of locomotion and in doing so reduce the risk of tearing host tissues.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-152
Number of pages14
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology

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