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Cryptobia sp. in the snail Triadopsis multilineata (Say): fine structure of attached flagellates and their mode of attachment to the spermatheca


, : Cryptobia sp. in the snail Triadopsis multilineata (Say): fine structure of attached flagellates and their mode of attachment to the spermatheca. Journal of Protozoology, 273: 278-287

A Cryptobia sp., which appeared to differ structurally from C. helicis, occurred as 2 distinct populations within the spermatheca of Triadopsis multilineata collected from along the Platte River in Nebraska, USA. 82 (79%) of 104 sexually mature snails were infected, all but 2 of which had flagellates attached firmly to the lumenal side of the spermathecae (resident population), as well as pleomorphic free-swimming forms moving freely within the reproductive tract (transient population). 36 immature snails were not infected. The slender free-swimming flagellate is apparently the venereally transmitted form. Electron microscopy revealed that attachment was achieved through an extensive morphological transformation of the first 5 to 10 mu m of the anterior flagellum which resulted in the formation of numerous pseudopodium-like structures ('flagellapodia') capable of invading the microvillus border of the host tissue. The flagellapodia were delimited by a single unit membrane, contained granular cytoplasm devoid of organelles, and were long, branched finger-like structures interdigitating extensively with the host cell microvilli. Cryptobia sp. can be distinguished from C. helicis by a number of ultrastructural features, including the structure and position of the pre-oral ridge, cytostome-cytopharynx, and recurrent flagellum, and the presence of the flagellapodia.

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