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An ultrastructural study of the regenerating breast feather of the fowl

, : An ultrastructural study of the regenerating breast feather of the fowl. Journal of Morphology 158(3): 275-290

The developmental morphology of regenerating male breast feathers of the jungle fowl Gallus gallus was studied at the ultrastructural level. Keratinization was observed in the 3 types of cells which form feather barbs: barbule cells, cortical cells and medulla cells. Keratinization first became evident in the barbule cells and resembled keratinization as seen in hair cortical cells and embryonic down feathers. Eventually the whole cytoplasmic area of the barbule cell was occupied by keratin. The barb cortex cells became keratinized similarly to the barbule cells but not until they were developmentally twice as old as the barbule cells. When keratinization was complete in these cells, the keratin was in the form of large agglomerates scattered in the cytoplasm. The barb medulla cells showed no obvious signs of keratinization until they were developmentally 3 times as old as the barbule cells. Keratin filament bundles were first seen near the plasma membranes of the medulla cells. Large empty vacuoles also containing moderate amounts of glycogen appeared in the cytoplasm.


DOI: 10.1002/jmor.1051580303

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