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Mol Reprod Dev. 1991 Apr;28(4):346-50.

Ultrastructural study of the mature egg of the marine sponge Stelletta grubii (Porifera Demospongiae).

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Istituto di Zoologia e Anatomia comparata, Università di Bari, Italy.


Stelletta grubii is an oviparous demosponge, which, during its reproductive period from summer to autumn, has small eggs (80-90 microns) dispersed uniformly in the mesohyl. The nucleolated nucleus is surrounded by dictyosomes containing small vesicles, which contribute to form reserve material. Vesicles, numerous food vacuoles, and groups of mitochondria are observed in the granular cytoplasm. Electron-dense yolk inclusions and lipids are found peripherally. The cortical portion of the egg cytoplasm possesses vacuoles with fibrillar contents. The egg forms pseudopodia, which could permit the capture of numerous bacteria present in the surrounding mesohyl. A thick layer of collagen fibrils, including lophocytes, separates the egg from the surrounding sponge mesohyl. Ultrastructural analysis has demonstrated the presence both of cellular components capable of autosynthetic activity (nutrient vesicles) and of phagocytosis mechanisms (pseudopod capture of bacteria) for the storage of nutrients by the egg.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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