Gonopod tegumental glands: A new accessory sex gland in the Brachyura

Marine Biology (Impact Factor: 2.39). 09/1998; 132(3):435-444. DOI: 10.1007/s002270050409


It is not yet known whether gonopod tegumental glands (GTG) previously described in one species of brachyuran crab (Chionoecetes opilio) are a general feature in this large taxon. In order to determine the prevalence and role of GTG in the Brachyura, the first
gonopods of six species of boreo-temperate and tropical brachyurans belonging to four families were examined morphologically
and histologically, using the PAS–Alcian-blue staining protocol: Carcinus maenas, Portunus sebae, and Ovalipes ocellatus (Portunidae), Cancer irroratus (Cancridae), Grapsus grapsus (Grapsidae), and Petrolisthes armatus (Porcellanidae). Discrete rosette-type GTG were found in all species examined, although the longitudinal extent and location
differed somewhat between taxa. The GTG were invariably grouped about the ejaculatory canal, and communicated with the lumen
of the ejaculatory canal via ducts which traversed pores in the cuticle; staining properties of secretions at the duct openings
to the ejaculatory canal matched those of the GTG. Neither GTG, ducts, nor pores were observed in regions distal to the ejaculatory
canal. These data indicate that the prime, if not exclusive, role of the GTG is in reproduction, and that GTG may therefore
be considered accessory sex glands. Together with previous and current investigations such GTG have been observed in all eight
brachyuran species examined from five families, and are thus probably ubiquitous within the Brachyura. The organization and
nature of the gland secretions differed between taxa: alternating acid (AMPS) and neutral mucopolysaccharide (NMPS) layers
in the three Portunidae, AMPS only in Cancer irroratus, and NMPS only in Grapsus grapsus and Petrolisthes armatus. When combined with data on gonopod morphology and occurrence of spermatophore-less sealant in the ejaculate of various brachyurans,
two plausible functions of the AMPS GTG secretions emerge: protection of the male's genetic investment (stored spermatophores)
from opportunistic microbes following copulation, and the reciprocal processes of sperm competition and paternity assurance.
The NMPS secretions may function as a lubricant to reduce mechanical wear of the ejaculatory canal by the second gonopod during
copulation, and to reduce the viscosity of the ejaculate from the vas deferens as it enters the narrow ejaculatory canal.

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    • "Tegumental glands are subepidermal glands that are located at the integument of various organs; they commonly are of the rosette glands, either a single or compound types (Beninger and Larocque, 1998; Gorvett, 1946; Stepanyan et al., 2005). In Penaeus monodon these glands were revealed such as at base of the eyestalk, the head region (cephalothorax ) and the walking legs as well as in the retina. "
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    ABSTRACT: Molt-inhibiting hormone (MIH) is commonly localized in the X-organ sinus gland complex (XOSG) of the crustacean. The present study aimed to elucidate the expression of MIH at the subcellular and cellular levels in the eyestalks and integument of juvenile Penaeus monodon during the molting cycle. Gene expression of Pem-MIH1 in the optic lobes showed a single PCR product at 172 bp, and was restricted only to the eyestalk XOSG but not detected in pleopods, cephalothorax integument, muscle, hepatopancreas or retina. Quantitative analysis of gene expression in the eyestalks demonstrated no significant alteration of Pem-MIH1 mRNA in XOSG during the molt cycle. Immunohistochemistry using antibody against recombinant molt-inhibiting hormone-like peptide (anti-MIH-like) revealed variable staining intensities of individual MTXOs but were most persistently intense in SGs. During the molt cycle, the mean numbers of XO immunoreactive cells were slightly oscillated but not statistically different. The quantitative immunohistochemistry measured from XOSG illustrated minimal fluctuations of the values obtained suggesting the periodical synthesis and release of MIH from XOSG system during the molt cycle. The positive reaction was also detected in the tegumental glands located at the retina and the integument of walking leg, base of eyestalk and cephalothorax of the shrimp. The large variations of immunostaining and amount of reactive tegumental glands in the eyestalk were noted throughout the molt cycle. The numbers of the MIH-like immunoreactive glands obtained from the retina as well as the integument base did not significantly change during the molt cycle but tend to increase during postmolt to intermolt and decrease during premolt. These results suggest that the MIH-like peptides in the tegumental glands are probably released mostly during the late premolt. Our findings thus propose the novel storage site of MIH besides SG of the eyestalk including a new target tissue, an epidermal cell, the role of which may link to the complicated molting regulation and/or the dark-adaptation of shrimp.
    Aquaculture 03/2015; 438. DOI:10.1016/j.aquaculture.2015.01.003 · 1.88 Impact Factor
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    • "Furthermore , secretions may function directly in the transport of the sperm inside the G1 . Beninger and Larocque ( 1998 ) proposed that they might act as a lubricant to reduce mechanical wear of the ejaculatory canal by G2 or by reducing the viscosity of the ejaculate as it enters the narrow ejaculatory canal . The secretions of the PTGs may also help in building up pressure inside the tubular system of G1 , which is necessary for the transport of spermato - zoa . "
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    ABSTRACT: The male copulatory system of the European pinnotherid species Pinnotheres pisum, Pinnotheres pectunculi, and Nepinnotheres pinnotheres was investigated by gross morphology, scanning electron microscopy, histological methods, and confocal laser scanning microscopy. The brachyuran copulatory system is consistently formed by paired penes and two pairs of abdominal appendages, the gonopods, functioning in sperm transfer. In pinnotherids, the long first gonopods transfer the sperm mass into the female ducts. The first gonopod has the ejaculatory canal inside that opens both basally and distally. The second gonopod is solid, short, and conical. During copulation, the penis and the second gonopod are inserted into the basal lumen of the first gonopod. While the penis injects the sperm mass, the second gonopod functions in the transport of spermatozoa inside the ejaculatory canal toward its distal opening. The second gonopod is adapted for the sealing of the tubular system in the first gonopod by its specific shape and the ability to swell. Longitudinal cuticle foldings of the second gonopod hook into structures inside the first gonopod. The second gonopod can interact with the penis during copulation by a flexible flap separating the lumina in which the second gonopod and the penis are inserted. J. Morphol., 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Journal of Morphology 11/2012; 273(11):1306-18. DOI:10.1002/jmor.20065 · 1.74 Impact Factor
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    • "Our results suggested that the electro-lucid vesicles are of a mucopolysaccharide nature. In Penaeidea and Brachyura, it was found that the mucopolysaccharides, among other functions, can act as anti-microbial agents (Radha and Subramoniam, 1985; Sasikala and Subramoniam, 1987; Beninger and Larocque, 1998). On the other hand, the content of electron-dense vesicles in PeTGs of Aegla platensis indicate the proteinic nature due to the different degrees of electron density (different stages of maturation) and the granulo-fibrillar nature. "
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    ABSTRACT: Tegumental glands are a ubiquitous feature of the decapod cuticle. In the fifth pair of pereiopods (P5) of Aegla platensis Schmitt, 1942, these tegumental glands (PeTG's) are similar to those described in other decapod crustaceans. Type 1 PeTG's, with mucous and serous cells and type 2 PeTG's, with serous cells only are organized into proximal, medial and distal clusters along the appendage. Both types of PeTG's possess secretory cells arranged concentrically around a central duct. These secretory cells have well developed Rough endoplasmic reticulum (RER) and numerous Golgi Complexes, and possess electron-lucid and electron dense vesicles. The finely granular aspect of the electron-lucid vesicles suggest they contain a mucous-like substance, while electron-dense vesicles probably contain a substance of a proteinaceous nature. Despite various hypotheses, there are few indications that these substances act as cleaning agents. However, the cytoplasm of the secretory cells appear to be composed of concentric lamellas that could be responsible for the production of surfactants (cleaning substances). In the Anomura, P5 is involved in grooming but there presently is insufficient evidence to show that the glands play a role in this process.
    Journal of Crustacean Biology 01/2009; 27(Nov 2007):529-533. DOI:10.1651/S-2836.1 · 1.08 Impact Factor
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