Ciliated band structure in planktotrophic and lecithotrophic larvae of Heliocidaris species (Echinodermata: Echinoidea) : A demonstration of conservation and change
Byrne, M.; Emlet, R.B.; Cerra, A.
Acta Zoologica 82(3): 189-199
The evolution of lecithotrophic (non-feeding) development in sea urchins is associated with reduction or loss of structures found in the planktotrophic (feeding) echinopluteus larvae. Reductions or losses of larval feeding structures include pluteal arms, their supporting skeleton and the ciliated band that borders them. The barrel-shaped lecithotrophic larva of Heliocidaris erythrogramma has, at its posterior end, two or three ciliated band segments comprised of densely packed, elongate cilia. These cilia may be expressions of the epaulettes that would have been present in an ancestral larval form, represented today by the feeding echinopluteus of H. tuberculata. We compared the development and cellular organization of the larval ciliary structures of both Heliocidaris species to assess whether the ciliary bands of H. erythrogramma are expressions of the feeding ciliated band or epaulettes of an echinopluteus. Epaulette development in feeding larvae of H. tuberculata involves separation of specific parts of the ciliated band from the rest of the feeding ciliated band, hyperplastic addition of ciliated cells and hypertrophic growth of the cilia. Like epaulettes, the ciliated bands of H. erythrogramma are composed of long spindle-shaped cells arranged in a cup-shaped collection that bulges into the blastocoel; and these cells have elongated cilia. In their developmental origin and topological arrangement however, the ciliated bands of H. erythrogramma correspond more closely with parts of the pluteal feeding ciliated band than with epaulettes. The larvae of this echinoid appear to develop epaulette-like bands from parts of the original (but reduced) feeding ciliated band. The evolution of development in H. erythrogramma has thus involved both conservation and change in echinopluteal ciliary structures.