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Ontogenesis of the digestive gland through the planktotrophic stages of Strombus gigas

Abstract : ABSTRACT The queen conch, Strombus gigas (Linnaeus, 1758), is a marine mollusc of ecological and economic importance in the Caribbean. Its populations are declining due to overexploitation. We describe ontogenesis of the digestive gland in S. gigas during the larval stages. Larvae were studied over a period of 42 d in laboratory culture, from eggs to crawling stage. Experiments were conducted at 28 ± 1°C. Veligers were reared at a density of 100 larvae l−1 in 10-l containers. Larvae were fed with the microalgae Nannochloropsis oculata at a concentration of 1,000 cells l−1. In this study, we analysed ultrastructural ontogenesis of the digestive gland in strombid larvae using light and electron microscopy. Examination for Coccidia (Apicomplexa) symbionts in the digestive gland was done by viewing sections with light and scanning electron microscopes at different larval development stages during a 42-d period. In early veligers (9 d after hatching), only digestive cells were observed in the digestive gland. By the late veliger stages (17 d old), both digestive and crypt cells were apparent in the digestive gland. Within crypt cells, spherocrystals were detected and the presence of Ca, Cl, Cu, P and Zn was identified by energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy. In late pediveligers (35 d old), the digestive gland still exhibited only digestive and crypt cells. Vacuolated cells (i.e. harbour the coccidian symbionts in adults) were only observed in newly settled juveniles (42 d old) and were devoid of apicomplexan structures. While coccidian symbionts were found in the digestive gland of adult S. gigas, they were not observed in the digestive gland of S. gigas larvae from hatching to settlement under laboratory conditions. This suggests that this symbiont is not vertically transmitted to new host generations in this marine gastropod species.
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Submitted on : Monday, April 18, 2022 - 10:19:06 PM
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Olivier Gros, Dalila Aldana Aranda, Martha Enríquez Díaz. Ontogenesis of the digestive gland through the planktotrophic stages of Strombus gigas. Journal of Molluscan Studies, Oxford University Press (OUP), 2020, 86 (4), pp.352-360. ⟨10.1093/mollus/eyaa026⟩. ⟨hal-03644168⟩



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