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Larval development of Myzostoma cirriferum (Myzostomida)
Eeckhaut, I.; Fievez, L.; Müller, M.C.M. (2003). Larval development of Myzostoma cirriferum (Myzostomida). J. Morphol. (1931) 258(3): 269-283.
In: Journal of Morphology (1931). The Wistar Institute Press/Wiley: Philadelphia, Pa . ISSN 0362-2525, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Eeckhaut, I., more
  • Fievez, L.
  • Müller, M.C.M.

    The larval development of Myzostoma cirriferum is described by means of SEM, TEM, and cLSM. It is similar to that of other myzostomids and includes three stages: the protrochophore, the trochophore, and the metatrochophore. The protrochophore is a ball-shaped larva present in culture from 18–48 h after egg laying. It has no internal organs and its body is made of three cell types: covering cells and ciliated cells that are external and surrounded by a cuticle, and resting cells that fill the blastocoel. The trochophore is a pear-shaped larva that develops 20–72 h after egg laying; the body includes the same three cell types as the previous stage. The metatrochophore is a pear-shaped larva that develops between 40 h and 14 days and is characterized by the presence of two bundles of four chaetae. When fully developed, the metatrochophore has a digestive system (made of a pharynx, an esophagus, and a blind digestive pouch), two pairs of protonephridia, and a nervous system composed of a supraesophageal ganglion, circumesophageal connectives, and dorsal and ventral nerves. Metamorphosis generally occurs 7 days after egg laying. At that time, the metatrochophore loses its chaetae and becomes pleated ventrally. This ultrastructural analysis suggests that chaetae and the five ventral longitudinal nerve cords of M. cirriferum metatrochophores are homologous structures to those observed in some polychaete trochophores. Coupled with recent phylogenetic analyses, where the Myzostomida are placed outside the Annelida, homologies between myzostomid and polychaete larvae support the view that a trochophore appeared early during the spiralian evolution.

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