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Structure of the apical cells of the testis of the tenebrionid beetles: Tenebrio molitor and Zophobas rugipes



Structure of the apical cells of the testis of the tenebrionid beetles: Tenebrio molitor and Zophobas rugipes



Journal of Morphology 127(4): 409-429



The developmental cytology of the apical tissue of the testis of Tenebrio molitor and Zophobas rugipes was studied with light and electron microscopy. In the early larvae of both species the tisue was found to be a thickened protrusion of nongerminal cells appearing at the apical end of each testis follicle following gonadal differentiation. The cells persist through pupal and adult stages in both species, becoming more prominent at these stages in Z. rugipes, despite tracheal invasion in both species. In older adults the apical tissue regresses and ultimately distintegrates.Ultrastructurally the apical cells are distinguished from adjacent germinal cells by their (1) small, rounded or oval nuclei, (2) highly convoluted plasma membrane, (3) electron-opaque cytoplasm, (4) profuse concentrically-stacked, granular endoplasmic reticulum, (5) large aggregates of glycogen-like granules, (6) numerous small, tubular mitochondria, (7) well-developed Golgi centers and (8) striking arrays of microtubules. These cells have many cytological features in common with the androgenic gland cells of crustaceans, but not with the steroidogenic cells of vertebrates. Evidence for the formation of protein granules is also lacking. As yet, experimental procedures have not indicated an endocrine function for these cells in tenebrionids. However, their cytology is consistent with secretory activity of some kind.

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Accession: 017146437

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DOI: 10.1002/jmor.1051270403


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