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Cellular Origins of Kinocilia, Stereocilia, and Microvilli on Tentacles of Sea Anemones of the Genus Calliactis (Cnidaria: Anthozoa)
Jane A. Westfall, Kelley L. Sayyar and Carol F. Elliott
Vol. 117, No. 3 (Summer, 1998), pp. 186-193
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3226984
Page Count: 8
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Sea anemones feed by orchestrated movements of tentacles covered with ciliary cones overlying both nematocytes and sensory neurons and mediating nematocyst discharge into prey. The purpose of this study was to investigate the functional morphology of tentacle sensory receptors on Calliactis parasitica and C. tricolor with a combination of scanning electron microscopy (SEM) of surface features and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) of internal cellular details. We found that the ciliary cones of two types of nematocysts differed: mastigophore-containing nematocytes had an inner ring of large-diameter stereocilia, and basitrich-containing nematocytes had small-diameter stereocilia. Two types of sensory neurons were identified: one had a ciliary cone with an inner ring of large-diameter stereocilia, and the other had a long kinocilium surrounded by a basal ring of short, stubby microvilli. Varying lengths of stereocilia on peripheral supportive cells contributed to both ciliary cones of nematocytes and sensory neurons. Both the supportive epithelial cells with stereocilia and the nonsupportive epithelial cells without stereocilia had a single long kinocilium with a basal body, an accessory centriole, and a thick striated rootlet. Gland cells had a short cilium surrounded by even shorter microvilli. Spirocysts formed apical domes on spirocytes, which had two peripheral rings of short microvilli but no cilium. We believe this combined SEM and TEM study of sensory hairs on tentacles of two species of Calliactis adds to our knowledge of ciliary structures and their cellular associations in sea anemones.
Invertebrate Biology © 1998 American Microscopical Society