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Ultrastructure and Function of the Anterior Feeding Apparatus in Mononchus Aquaticus

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For more content, see Nematology.

The structure and function of the anterior feeding apparatus of Mononchus aquaticus, a predatory nematode, were studied by electron microscopic and cinematographic analysis. The lip region is composed of cuticular material and bears two sets of outgrowths, the liplets, projecting into the vestibulum. The buccal capsule, described here as a functional unit, is composed of three sets of plates. Ontogenetically, however, the anterior oblique plates belong to the cheilostome. Two sets of eight modified somatic muscles, the labial and stomatal muscles, are present at the level of the buccal capsule. During attack on the prey the lip region is pulled backwards by contraction of the labial muscles, and the anterior part of the buccal capsule, thus brought into close contact with the prey's cuticle, is dilated. Simultaneously the oesophageal muscles contract, creating suction. During ingestion the posterior oblique plates of the buccal capsule are drawn backwards into a vertical position and the oesophageal lumen becomes fully dilated. The structure of the lumen lining of the anterior oesophagus suggests a sequence of two phases of dilation necessitated by the bulky meal. The stomatal muscles probably provide a good hold for the buccal capsule on the struggling of the prey. Further they may restore the head region to its original shape after feeding, thus acting as retractors. Marginal muscles of the oesophagus are well developed and are thought to assist in the closure of the complex oesophageal lumen lining. The structure of the anterior feeding apparatus in M. aquaticus is compared with that of the Dorylaimoidea.

Affiliations: 1: Instituut voor Dierkunde, Rijksuniversiteit, Ledeganckstraat 35, B-9000 Gent, Belgium; 2: Institut für Pflanzenkrankheiten und Pflanzenschutz der Universität, D-3000 Hannover-Herrenhausen, B.R. Deutschland

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/content/journals/10.1163/187529279x00181
1979-01-01
2016-12-05

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