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Title: Cephalochordate Hemocytes: First Demonstration for Asymmetron lucayanum (Bahamas Lancelet) Plus Augmented Description for Branchiostoma floridae (Florida Amphioxus)
AbstractWithin phylum Chordata, the subphylum Cephalochordata (amphioxus and lancelets) has figured large in considerations of the evolutionary origin of the vertebrates. To date, these discussions have been predominantly based on knowledge of a single cephalochordate genus (Branchiostoma), almost to the exclusion of the other two genera (Asymmetron and Epigonichthys). This uneven pattern is illustrated by cephalochordate hematology, until now known entirely from work done on Branchiostoma. The main part of the present study is to describe hemocytes in the dorsal aorta of a species of Asymmetron by serial block-face scanning electron microscopy. This technique, which demonstrates three-dimensional fine structure, showed that the hemocytes have a relatively uniform morphology characterized by an oval shape and scanty cytoplasm. Ancillary information is also included for Branchiostoma hemocytes, known from previous studies to have relatively abundant cytoplasm; our serial block-face scanning electron microscopy provides more comprehensive views of the highly variable shapes of these cells, which typically extend one or several pseudopodium-like protrusions. The marked difference in hemocyte morphology found between Asymmetron and Branchiostoma was unexpected and directs attention to investigating comparable cells in the genus Epigonichthys. A broader knowledge of the hemocytes in all three cephalochordate genera would provide more balanced insights into the evolution of vertebrate hematopoiesis.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
Author(s) / Creator(s):
Publisher / Repository:
Biological Bulletin/University of Chicago Press
Date Published:
Journal Name:
The Biological Bulletin
Page Range / eLocation ID:
71 to 81
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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