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[The organization of germinal material and dynamics of mother sporocyst reproduction in the genus Echinostoma (Trematoda: Echinostomatidae)].


The reproduction in the first parthenogenetic generation--mother sporocyst (MS) in two species of echinostomes (E. caproni, E. paraensei) is investigated. A group of densely packed cells, which noticeably differ from others, occupies the posterior part of the miracidium. They are characterized by large sizes and a large bubble-shaped nucleus with heterogeneous nucleolus and strong dispersed chromatin. The use of histological and electron microscopic methods has shown that with observed similarity these cells are classified in two tyoes and have a completely different origin. First of all, large secretory cells stand out. In E. caproni miracidia their number averages 6.8 +/- 0.2 and linear sizes is 10-12 microns. Secretory cells possess a large bubble-shaped nucleus. The caryoplasm looks optically empty because of strong dispersion of chromatin. A large nucleolus occupies a bit eccentric position. Eosinophilic cytoplasm contains poorly noticeable at light-optical level accumulation of small granules. The second group of cells is represented by typical germinal cells (GC). The number of GC does not exceed six. Their polymorphy is well above that of secretory cells. The sizes of GC vary from 5.4 to 9 microns. The largest cells (8.1-9 microns) occupy the front position and usually are located between secretory cells. Intensively basophilic cytoplasm surrounds bubble-shaped nucleus with a large nucleolus like border with uniforming thickness. The heterochromatin is evenly distributed over the caryoplasm. Its content of nuclei is more than that in nuclei of secretory cells. That is why they do not look optically empty. So, it is "mature" germinal cells. Four or five cells are located directly behind "mature" cells. Their sizes are gradually decrease towards the posterior of the miracidium (the diameter of the smallest cells reaches 5.4 microns). Nuclei with a centrally located nucleolus are characterized by larger amount and more condensation of the heterochromatin than those in "mature" cells. Meanwhile, they concern to nuclei of bubble-shaped type. In general, all cells of second type represent the primary germinal cells distinguished by the stage of their differentiation. Also, 2-3 undifferentiated cells occupy the most posterior part of the miracidium. Their sizes average 5.55 +/- 0.18 microns. The nucleus contains a lot of densely packed heterochromatin. On parasitic phase of MS development undifferentiated cells give rise to secondary GC. Electron microscopic data in details confirm the situation described above. The essentially similar results were received during the investigation of E. Paraensei miracidia. The differences are observed in parameterical characteristics of germinal material and in small variability of the extent of germinal material development. With E. paraensei, germinal material may be represented by not only GC and undifferentiated cells, but one germ as well. So, our investigation has shown that germinal material of echinostomes represents typical germinal mass. The germinal material condition does not change on parasitic phase of E. caproni MS development during the first day of post infection (PI). The activization of germinal material coincides in the time with the beginning of schizocoel formation in 2 Days PI. On the 3rd day of PI, the proliferation of undifferentiated cells begins and the first germs are free to float in enormous schizocoel. After 8 days of PI, MS release the first rediae. During the following 2-3 days the other rediae formed by primary GC left MS. The release of rediae derived from secondary GC was observed later. So, E. caproni MS give rise to 12-16 rediae which is much less than the number of GC formed in MS. The earlier release of the first E. paraensei rediae by MS is predetermined by the difference in the structure of germinal mass in E. paraensei miracidia. Therefore, Echinostomatidae is intermediate between two groups of trematodes. The first group has MS that completely realize reproductive function in the time of miracidial formation; but the second group includes higher trematodes characterized by the transfer of reproductive time on a parasitic phase of MS development. The question concerning to so-called "pedogenetic larvae of trematodes" is discussed.



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Parazitologiia 35:4 pg 307-19


Biological Evolution
Life Cycle Stages

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Journal Article



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