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Histochemical evidence of β-chitin in parapodial glandular organs and tubes of Spiophanes (Annelida, Sedentaria: Spionidae), and first studies on selected Annelida

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Politi,  Yael
Yael Politi, Biomaterialien, Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, Max Planck Society;

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Schütz,  Roman
Biomaterialien, Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, Max Planck Society;

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Mašić,  Admir
Peter Fratzl, Biomaterialien, Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Guggolz, T., Henne, S., Politi, Y., Schütz, R., Mašić, A., Müller, C. H. G., et al. (2015). Histochemical evidence of β-chitin in parapodial glandular organs and tubes of Spiophanes (Annelida, Sedentaria: Spionidae), and first studies on selected Annelida. Journal of Morphology, 276(12), 1433-1447. doi:10.1002/jmor.20432.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0028-4B3A-1
Abstract
A generic character of the genus Spiophanes (Annelida, Sedentaria: Spionidae) is the presence of parapodial glandular organs. Parapodial glandular organs in Spiophanes species include secretory cells with cup-shaped microvilli, similar to those present in deep-sea inhabiting vestimentiferans and frenulate Siboglinidae. These cells are supposed to secrete β-chitin for tube-building. In this study, transverse histological and/or ultrathin sections of parapodial glandular organs and tubes of Spiophanes spp. as well as of Glandulospio orestes (Spionidae) and Owenia fusiformis (Oweniidae) were examined. Fluorescent markers together with confocal laser scanning microscopy, and Raman spectroscopy were used to detect chitin in the parapodial glandular organs of Spiophanes and/or in the glands of Owenia and Glandulospio. Tubes of these taxa were tested for chitin to elucidate the use of it for tube-building. The examinations revealed a distinct labelling of the gland contents. Raman spectroscopy documented the presence of β-chitin in both gland types of Spiophanes. The tubes of Spiophanes were found to have a grid-like structure that seems to be built with this β-chitin. Tests of tubes of Dipolydora quadrilobata (Spionidae) for chitin were negative. However, the results of our study provide strong evidence that Spiophanes species, O. fusiformis and probably also G. orestes produce chitin and supposedly use it for tube-building. This implies that the production of chitin and its use as a constituent part of tube-building is more widespread among polychaetes as yet known. The histochemical data presented in this study support previous assumptions inferring homology of parapodial glandular organs of Spionidae and Siboglinidae based on ultrastructure. Furthermore, transmission electron microscopy-based evidence of secretory cells with nail-headed microvilli in O. fusiformis suggests homology of parapodial grandular organs across annelids including Sipuncula. J. Morphol., 2015. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.