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Arthropod Struct Dev. 2009 Jul;38(4):303-13. doi: 10.1016/j.asd.2009.01.002. Epub 2009 Feb 4.

The ultrastructural investigation of the midgut in the quill mite Syringophilopsis fringilla (Acari, Trombidiformes: Syringophilidae).

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  • 1Zoological Institute, Parasitology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Universitetskaya Embankment 1, 199034 St. Petersburg, Russia.


The midgut of the females of Syringophilopsis fringilla (Fritsch) composed of anterior midgut and excretory organ (=posterior midgut) was investigated by means of light and transmission electron microscopy. The anterior midgut includes the ventriculus and two pairs of midgut caeca. These organs are lined by a similar epithelium except for the region adjacent to the coxal glands. Four cell subtypes were distinguished in the epithelium of the anterior midgut. All of them evidently represent physiological states of a single cell type. The digestive cells are most abundant. These cells are rich in rough endoplasmic reticulum and participate both in secretion and intracellular digestion. They form macropinocytotic vesicles in the apical region and a lot of secondary lysosomes in the central cytoplasm. After accumulating various residual bodies and spherites, the digestive cells transform into the excretory cells. The latter can be either extruded into the gut lumen or bud off their apical region and enter a new digestive cycle. The secretory cells were not found in all specimens examined. They are characterized by the presence of dense membrane-bounded granules, 2-4 microm in diameter, as well as by an extensive rough endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi bodies. The ventricular wall adjacent to the coxal glands demonstrates features of transporting epithelia. The cells are characterized by irregularly branched apical processes and a high concentration of mitochondria. The main function of the excretory organ (posterior midgut) is the elimination of nitrogenous waste. Formation of guanine-containing granules in the cytoplasm of the epithelial cells was shown to be associated with Golgi activity. The excretory granules are released into the gut lumen by means of eccrine or apocrine secretion. Evacuation of the fecal masses occurs periodically. Mitotic figures have been observed occasionally in the epithelial cells of the anterior midgut.

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