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Biol Bull. 1998 Dec;195(3):326-36.

Late postembryonic development of the symbiotic light organ of Euprymna scolopes (Cephalopoda: Sepiolidae).

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Pacific Biomedical Research Center, University of Hawaii, Honolulu 96813, USA.


The symbiotic light organ of the sepiolid squid Euprymna scolopes undergoes significant anatomical, morphological, and biochemical changes during development. Previously we described the embryonic organogenesis and early postembryonic development of the light organ. During embryogenesis, tissues are developed that will promote the onset of an association with Vibrio fischeri, the light organ symbiont. Upon inoculation, and in response to the first interactions with the bacterial symbionts, the light organ undergoes a dramatic morphogenesis during the first 4-5 days of postembryonic development. Here we describe the final developmental stage of the light organ system, a period of late postembryonic development in which particular tissues of the light organ mature that eventually mediate the functional symbiosis. The maturation of the light organ occurs within 1 to 2 weeks posthatch and entails two principal processes: (1) changes in the shape of the organ and elaboration of the accessory tissues that modify the bacterially produced light; and (2) branching of the epithelial crypts, where the bacterial symbionts reside, and restriction of epithelial cell proliferation to the deepest branches of the crypts. The gross morphological changes of the organ occur in the absence of V. fischeri, although rudiments of the ciliated field of the hatchling remain in animals not exposed to the microbial symbiont.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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