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On the muscle fibres and locomotor activity of doliolids (Tunicata: Thaliacea)


, : On the muscle fibres and locomotor activity of doliolids (Tunicata: Thaliacea). Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, 693: 597-607

The rapidly-contracting circular locomotor muscle bands of doliolids are composed of small fibres 2.0-3.5 .mu.m wide which lack any internal tubular system or vesicles of sarcoplasmic reticulum. Contraction is preceded by rapid decremental potentials which vary in amplitude, reaching zero potential close to innervated sites. Ca2+-channel blockers such as Co2+ rapidly (and reversibly) block muscle potentials and contraction; since there is no sarcoplasmic reticulum which might act as an internal Ca2+ store, it is concluded that the contractile apparatus is activated by Ca2+ entry during the action potential. Electrical coupling between fibres of the muscle bands is limited to bundles of neighbouring fibres and appears to decline with age.

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