The excretory organs in Sphaerodorum flavum (Phyllodocida, Sphaerodoridae) : a rare case of co-occurrence of protonephridia, coelom and blood vascular system in Annelida
Kuper, M.; Purschke, G.
Zoomorphology (Berlin) 120(4): 191-203
The excretory organs of Sphaerodorum flavum (Sphaerodoridae) were investigated by TEM and reconstructed from serial ultrathin sections. These organs are segmentally arranged paired protonephridia, which are in close association with a well-developed blood vascular system. Each protonephridium consists of a terminal part made up of two monociliary terminal cells (solenocytes), and a nephridioduct, formed by two cells. The two solenocytes lie close together. Each cilium is surrounded by 12 microvillar rods projecting from the perikaryon of each solenocyte. These rods form a weir-like structure in the coelomic space. The distal part of the weir is embedded in the proximal nephridioduct. The largest part of the cell bodies of the solenocytes, containing the nucleus, is lateral or basal to the weir-like structures. The lumen of the nephridioduct is formed by two multiciliated cells, which enclose the extracellular nephridial canal one behind the other. The canal opens through the nephropore beneath the cuticle without penetrating the cuticle. Both nephridioduct cells are surrounded by a blood vessel, which is partially folded into several layers. The significance of a simultaneous occurrence of protonephridial excretory organs and a well-developed blood vascular system as well as coelomic cavities is discussed. The results of this investigation indicate a close relationship of Sphaerodoridae to Phyllodocidae instead of to Syllidae within the Phyllodocida.