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Reproduction and development of Anemonia sulcata (Anthozoa, Actiniaria). I. Reproductive-cycle and oocyte structure before and after insemination - Fortpflanzung und Entwicklung von Anemonia sulcata (Anthozoa, Actiniaria). I. Fortpflanzungszyklus und Struktur der Oocyten vor und nach der Besamung



Reproduction and development of Anemonia sulcata (Anthozoa, Actiniaria). I. Reproductive-cycle and oocyte structure before and after insemination - Fortpflanzung und Entwicklung von Anemonia sulcata (Anthozoa, Actiniaria). I. Fortpflanzungszyklus und Struktur der Oocyten vor und nach der Besamung



Helgoländer Meeresuntersuchungen 38(2): 135-148



The onset of gametogenesis in the Mediterranean shallow-water ecotype of Anemonia sulcata is in the middle of June. In late autumn, advanced developmental stages of gametes can be found. The latter appear to be mature in March/April of the following year; the main spawning period ranges from May to June. Oocytes contain numerous zooxanthellae that are usually crowded around the egg nucleus and may partially be extruded. The oolemma develops approximately 18,000 spines distributed on the entire oocyte surface except an area around the animal pole of about 40 .mu.m in diameter where only normal microvilli are present. After insemination, the membranes of those cortical granules located most peripherally in the egg cortex fuse with the oolemma and secrete their matrix to the environment. The membranes of more inner cortical granules then fuse and form coalescent vesicles still embedded into a framework of ooplasm. Following this stage, further fusion of coalescent vesicles results in the disappearance of portions of the peripheral cytoplasm and the original oolemma including its spines. The new oolemma seems to originate from innermost parts of the coalescent vesicles binding membranes. The egg surface is covered by a heterogeneous layer that consists of fragments of cytoplasm, disrupted spines, extruded zooxanthellae and dispersed granular material representing the ancient matrix of cortical granules. This layer may contribute to prevent polyspermy.

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