Folia Parasitologica 55 207-218 (2008) | DOI: 10.14411/fp.2008.028
The surface structures and gland cells of the posterior rosette organ of Gyrocotyle urna Grube et Wagener, 1852, a member of the group presumed to be the most basal of the tapeworms (Cestoda: Gyrocotylidea), was studied by scanning electron and transmission electron microscopy. Surface structures on the outer (oriented away from the intestinal wall) and inner (in contact with the intestinal wall) rosette surfaces differ from each other and represent a transitional form between microvilli and microtriches typical of tapeworms (Eucestoda). The inner surface of the rosette possesses numerous glands. On the basis of the size and electron-density of their secretory granules, three types of unicellular gland cells can be distinguished. The least common type (Type I) is characterized by the production of small, round, electron-dense granules of about 0.3 µm in diameter, whereas another type of secretion (Type II) is formed from homogenous, moderately electron-dense, spheroidal granules of about 0.7 µm in diameter. The most common type of glands (Type III) is recognized by a secretion comprising large, elongate, electron-dense granules of about 1 µm long and 0.5 µm broad. The secretory granules of the three types of the glands are liberated by an eccrine mechanism and the gland ducts open via small pores on the inner rosette surface. The complex of secretory glands of the posterior rosette of G. urna is similar to those in the anterior attachment glands of monogeneans (as opposed to the types of glands present in other helminth groups). However, the tegumental surface structures of Gyrocotyle are supporting evidence for the relationship between the Gyrocotylidea and Eucestoda.
Received: April 1, 2008; Accepted: July 12, 2008; Published: September 1, 2008