Ultrastructure of the copulatory organ of Haplopharynx quadristimulus and its phylogenetic significance (Plathelminthes, Haplopharyngida)

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:1986

The male reproductive system in Haplopharynx quadristimulus consists of paired testes, sperm ducts, seminal vesicles, seminal ducts, a copulatory organ containing prostatic vesicle and stylet apparatus, and the male canal. By electron microscopy all components appeared to be regional specializations of a canal extending from the testes to the body wall and lined by a multiciliated epithelium. The epithelium of the stylet apparatus contained six different cell types. One cell type (matrix syncytium) formed the stylet and the other five were located distal to the stylet/ prostatic-vesicle junction along the male system epithelium. Each cell type was attached to the supporting intercellular matrix at a different level along the stylet apparatus. All cell types extended to the distal end of the stylet apparatus regardless of where they originated along its length. The cells in the apparatus lacked cilia, but one of the cell types contained rootlets. Modified rootlets or rootlet derivatives were possibly present in another cell type in the form of rootlet-like ribbons. The findings support the monophyly of the Macrostomida Haplopharyngida (by common occurrence of a matrix syncytium) and at the same time suggest their separation as two distinct taxa (by differences in the structure of the prostatic vesicle and other parts of the stylet apparatus).



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Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith