Author(s): Westfall JA, Bradbury PC, Townsend JW
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Abstract Development of the nematocyst-taeniocyst complex in the four-zooid stage of a dinoflagellate, Polykrikos kofoidi, was studied by electron microscopy. We observed the following stages: formation of large spherical bodies in islets of cytoplasm containing extensive rough endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi complexes; differentiation of an anlage of first the nematocyst and then the taeniocyst into a tandem pair; and, maturation of the complex into a nematocyst with operculum and capsule, and a taeniocyst with head, neck and body. In the intermediate stages of dinoflagellate cnidogenesis the structurally elaborate pattern of development differed from that of coelenterate nematocysts but in certain features the mature organelles of both groups were similar. Nematocyst-taeniocyst complexes migrated into chutes on zooids and four near the junction of the annulus and sulcus at the flagellar bases. The specialized chute was partially lined by thimble-shaped organelles of unknown function. The taeniocyst protruded from the surface in association with a striated fibre whose structure and position were those of a trigger to discharge the two organelles. We found no cytostome in this holozoic colony; the structure of the chute suggested that it might also function as a cytostome.
This article was published in J Cell Sci
and referenced in Biological Systems: Open Access