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Hymenolepis nana: the fine structure of the embryonic envelopes

  • I. Fairweather (a1) and L. T. Threadgold (a1)
Summary

The fine structure of the envelopes surrounding hatched and unhatched oncospheres of Hymenolepis nana has been investigated by transmission and scanning electron microscopy (SEM), together with light microscope histochemical observations of JB-4 embedded material. The oncosphere is surrounded by 3 layers – the capsule, the outer envelope and the inner envelope, the latter giving rise to the embryophore and the ‘oncospheral membrane’. An additional layer – the polar filament layer – lies between the ‘oncospheral membrane’ and the oncosphere. Shell material is deposited on the capsule as a thin layer. It is secreted by the outer envelope, which degenerates once shell formation is complete. The uterus may also contribute to shell formation. The embryophore forms a thin, incomplete and peripheral layer within the inner envelope. In the basal region of this envelope, partial development of an ‘oncospheral membrane’ takes place, but it does not become detached as a separate layer. The polar filaments, which are characteristic of the oncosphere of H. nana, are derived from the epithelial covering of the oncosphere itself, which delaminates to form a separate polar filament layer. The filaments arise from knob-like projections at opposite poles of this layer. The design of the embryonic envelopes in H. nana show a number of modifications from the basic cyclophyllidean pattern, and these can be related to the demands of its ‘direct’ life-cycle.

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Parasitology
  • ISSN: 0031-1820
  • EISSN: 1469-8161
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