The structure of the desiccated Richtersius coronifer (Richters, 1903)

Michaela Czernekova, K. Ingemar Jönsson, Lukasz Chajec, Sebastian Student, Izabela Poprawa

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikelPeer review

17 Citeringar (Scopus)


Tun formation is an essential morphological adaptation for entering the anhydrobiotic state in tardigrades, but its internal structure has rarely been investigated. We present the structure and ultrastructure of organs and cells in desiccated Richtersius coronifer by transmission and scanning electron microscopy, confocal microscopy, and histochemical methods. A 3D reconstruction of the body organization of the tun stage is also presented. The tun formation during anhydrobiosis of tardigrades is a process of anterior-posterior body contraction, which relocates some organs such as the pharyngeal bulb. The cuticle is composed of epicuticle, intracuticle and procuticle; flocculent coat; and trilaminate layer. Moulting does not seem to restrict the tun formation, as evidenced from tardigrade tuns that were in the process of moulting. The storage cells of desiccated specimens filled up the free inner space and surrounded internal organs, such as the ovary and digestive system, which were contracted. All cells (epidermal cells, storage cells, ovary cells, cells of the digestive system) underwent shrinkage, and their cytoplasm was electron dense. Lipids and polysaccharides dominated among reserve material of storage cells, while the amount of protein was small. The basic morphology of specific cell types and organelles did not differ between active and anhydrobiotic R. coronifer.

Sidor (från-till)1367-1377
Antal sidor10
StatusPublicerad - 2017

Nationell ämneskategori

  • Zoologi (10608)


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