Ultrastructure of the anterior adhesive apparatus of the gill parasite Macrogyrodactylus clarii and skin parasite M. congolensis (Monogenea; Gyrodactylidae) from the catfish Clarias gariepinus

Mohammed Mohammed El-Naggar, Safaa Zaky Arafa, Samir Ahmed El-Abbassy, Graham C Kearn, Jo Cable

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Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) was used for the first time to study the anterior adhesive apparatus of the monogeneans Macrogyrodactylus clarii Gussev, 1961 and M. congolensis (Prudhoe, 1957) Yamaguti, 1963 inhabiting gills and skin respectively of the same catfish Clarias gariepinus. Despite the different microhabitats occupied by these parasites, the present study revealed that they have a similar anterior adhesive system. In both parasites, the anterior adhesive apparatus consists of three types of gland cells: G1 cells that produce rod-shaped bodies (S1), G2 cells manufacture irregularly shaped bodies (S2) and G3 cells form mucoid-like secretions (S3). In the cytoplasm of G1 cells, a single layer of microtubules encloses each developing rod-shaped body. A unique feature of S1 secretory bodies is that some fully developed S1 bodies are attached to each other, forming large condensed globules in the cytoplasm of G1 gland cells and terminal portion of the G1 ducts, but none were detected in the adhesive sacs outside the ducts. In the adhesive sacs, G1 ducts open with multiple apertures whereas each of the G2 and G3 ducts have a single opening. The adhesive sacs are lined with two types of tegument (st1 and st2). A third tegument type (st3) connects the st2 tegument with the general body tegument. Only st1 has microvilli. Each adhesive sac is provided with a spike-like sensillum and single uniciliated sense organ. The possible functions of microvilli in increasing the surface area and assistance in spreading and mixing of the adhesive secretion, and the role of sense organs associated with the adhesive sacs are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-159
Number of pages9
JournalParasitology International
Early online date8 Mar 2019
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019

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