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image of Journal of Crustacean Biology

ABSTRACT The architecture and ultrastructure of the alimentary canal in Lepeophtheirus salmonis is described and compared with that of other copepods. The midgut of L. salmonis cannot be divided into different zones, and, hence, differs from most other copepods in this respect. The midgut cells seem to be involved in secretion/excretion, absorption, and intracellular digestion. Three different distinct cell types are identified in the midgut epithelium. Two of these cells could represent early and late stages of the same cell type. Bacteria were found in association with the midgut, both in the midgut lumen and in the midgut cells. Large colonies of bacteria were also found on the surface of L. salmonis. It is suggested that L. salmonis may function as a vector in the spread of pathogenic diseases in salmonids.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Fisheries and Marine Biology, University of Bergen, N-5020 Bergen, Norway.


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