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Observations On the Action of the Oesophageal Pump in Longidor Us (Nematoda)

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For more content, see Nematology.

Ultrastructural studies on the oesophageal bulb of Longidorus elongatus were used as a basis for comparing the relative effectiveness of the normal 3-rayed pump with that of a 2-rayed mutant. The lumen cross sectional area was calculated for different degrees of opening of a model 3-ray Longidorus pump chamber. Plots of apex angle against cross sectional area showed that the most efficient opening of the 3-rayed pump chamber in Longidorus was apex angle 90°. A 2-rayed mutant had a larger segment size which would allow it to attain 77 % of the maximum cross sectional area of the 3-rayed lumen and 92 % of its optimum cross section. If the 2-rayed and 3-rayed configurations had the same segment size then, the 3-rayed specimen would have a 2.5 fold advantage in maximum cross sectional area. It is suggested that the peripheral muscles act as springs and are stretched by the contraction of the radial muscles. The contractile filaments are arranged longitudinally, transversely and diagonally and conserve the volume of the bulb when the bulb extends and shortens during the pumping action; longitudinal invaginations beneath the peripheral muscles absorb the excess surface area of the shortened bulb.

Affiliations: 1: Scottish Crop Research Institute, Invergowrie, Dundee DD2 5DA, Scotland


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