BackgroundAnnelids exhibit remarkable postembryonic developmental abilities. Most annelids grow during their whole life by adding segments through the action of a segment addition zone (SAZ) located in front of the pygidium. In addition, they show an outstanding ability to regenerate their bodies. Experimental evidence and field observations show that many annelids are able to regenerate their posterior bodies, while anterior regeneration is often limited or absent. Syllidae, for instance, usually show high abilities of posterior regeneration, although anterior regeneration varies across species. Some syllids are able to partially restore the anterior end, while others regenerate all lost anterior body after bisection. Here, we used comparative transcriptomics to detect changes in the gene expression profiles during anterior regeneration, posterior regeneration and regular growth of two syllid species: Sphaerosyllis hystrix and Syllis gracilis; which exhibit limited and complete anterior regeneration, respectively.ResultsWe detected a high number of genes with differential expression: 4771 genes in S. hystrix (limited anterior regeneration) and 1997 genes in S. gracilis (complete anterior regeneration). For both species, the comparative transcriptomic analysis showed that gene expression during posterior regeneration and regular growth was very similar, whereas anterior regeneration was characterized by up-regulation of several genes. Among the up-regulated genes, we identified putative homologs of regeneration-related genes associated to cellular proliferation, nervous system development, establishment of body axis, and stem-cellness; such as rup and JNK (in S. hystrix); and glutamine synthetase, elav, slit, Hox genes, β-catenin and PL10 (in S. gracilis).ConclusionsPosterior regeneration and regular growth show no significant differences in gene expression in the herein investigated syllids. However, anterior regeneration is associated with a clear change in terms of gene expression in both species. Our comparative transcriptomic analysis was able to detect differential expression of some regeneration-related genes, suggesting that syllids share some features of the regenerative mechanisms already known for other annelids and invertebrates.
Syllidae is one of the most species‐rich groups within Annelida, with a wide variety of reproductive modes and different regenerative processes. Syllids have striking ability to regenerate their body anteriorly and posteriorly, which in many species is redeployed during sexual (schizogamy) and asexual (fission) reproduction. This review summarizes the available data on regeneration in syllids, covering descriptions of regenerative mechanisms in different species as well as regeneration in relation to reproductive modes. Our survey shows that posterior regeneration is widely distributed in syllids, whereas anterior regeneration is limited in most of the species, excepting those reproducing by fission. The latter reproductive mode is well known for a few species belonging to Autolytinae, Eusyllinae, and Syllinae. Patterns of fission areas have been studied in these animals. Deviations of the regular regeneration pattern or aberrant forms such as bifurcated animals or individuals with multiple heads have been reported for several species. Some of these aberrations show a deviation of the bilateral symmetry and antero‐posterior axis, which, interestingly, can also be observed in the regular branching body pattern of some species of syllids.
The sponge‐dwelling Syllidae Ramisyllis multicaudata and Syllis ramosa are the only annelid species for which a branched body with one head and multiple posterior ends is known. In these species, the head is located deep within the sponge, and the branches extend through the canal system of their host. The morphology of these creatures has captivated annelid biologists since they were first discovered in the late XIXth century, and their external characteristics have been well documented. However, how their branched bodies fit within their symbiotic host sponges and how branches translate into internal anatomy has not been documented before. These features are crucially relevant for understanding the body of these animals, and therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate these aspects. In order to assess these questions, live observation, as wells as histology, immunohistochemistry, micro‐computed tomography, and transmission electron microscopy techniques were used on specimens of R. multicaudata. By using these techniques, we show that the complex body of R. multicaudata specimens extends greatly through the canal system of their host sponges. We demonstrate that iterative external bifurcation of the body is accompanied by the bifurcation of the longitudinal organ systems that are characteristic of annelids. Additionally, we also highlight that the bifurcation process leaves an unmistakable fingerprint in the form of newly‐described “muscle bridges.” These structures theoretically allow one to distinguish original and derived branches at each bifurcation. Last, we characterize some of the internal anatomical features of the stolons (reproductive units) of R. multicaudata, particularly their nervous system. Here, we provide the first study of the internal anatomy of a branched annelid. This information is not only crucial to deepen our understanding of these animals and their biology, but it will also be key to inform future studies that try to explain how this morphology evolved.
The diversity and distribution of molluscs from the Amazon Coast of Maranhão State, Brazil, are poorly understood. The aim of this study was to investigate how molluscs in two mangrove creeks (Buenos Aires and Tronco) at the São Marcos Bay, coast of the Maranhão State, respond to spatial and temporal variations in the environment. Sampling was performed in the intertidal area along three zones established using a straight line transect of 100 m. Abiotic variables of water and sediment were measured at each creek. We found 5,912 specimens belonging to 23 species and 15 families of epifaunal and infaunal molluscs. The patterns of their distribution in the two creeks were different. Salinity, dissolved oxygen, and rainfall were the main variables that affected the temporal distribution of molluscs. We found low species richness in the overall mollusc composition. Diversity in the Buenos Aires Creek was lower than that observed in the Tronco Creek, possibly because of activities of a port located in proximity to the former. The spatial distribution of molluscs along the zones followed an abundance and diversity gradient, mainly influenced by exposure time during low tide. Port activities may influence the patterns of mollusc distribution in the surrounding mangroves, and we thus highlight the importance of management and monitoring of these areas.KEYWORDS: benthic fauna, diversity, Littoraria, Melampus, salt creek. Padrões de distribuição de moluscos em manguezais da Baía de São Marcos, costa do Estado do Maranhão, Brasil RESUMOA diversidade e distribuição de moluscos na Costa Amazônica do Estado do Maranhão, Brasil, são pobremente conhecidas. O objetivo deste estudo foi investigar como os moluscos em dois igarapés de manguezal (Buenos Aires e Tronco) na Baía de São Marcos, costa do Estado do Maranhão, respondem a variações espaciais e temporais no ambiente. A amostragem foi conduzida no entre-marés ao longo de três zonas estabelecidas a partir de um transecto em linha reta de 100 m. As variáveis abióticas de água e sedimento foram medidas para cada igarapé. Foram contabilizados 5.912 espécimes pertencentes a 23 espécies e 15 famílias na epifauna e endofauna. Os padrões de distribuição de moluscos foram distintos entre os dois igarapés. Salinidade, oxigênio dissolvido e precipitação foram as principais variáveis que influenciaram a distribuição temporal dos moluscos. Observou-se baixa riqueza de espécies na composição geral de moluscos. A diversidade no igarapé Buenos Aires foi menor do que a observada no igarapé Tronco, possivelmente por causa das atividades portuárias nas proximidades do primeiro. A distribuição espacial vertical de moluscos ao longo das zonas seguiu um gradiente de abundância e diversidade influenciado principalmente pelo tempo de exposição durante a maré baixa. As atividades portuárias podem estar influenciando os padrões de distribuição de moluscos nos manguezais do entorno, portanto destacamos a importância do manejo e monitoramento dessas áreas.
The polychaete fauna from the mangroves of the Amazon Coast in Maranhão state, Brazil, is reported in this study. Fourteen species are listed, namely Alitta succinea (Leuckart, 1847); Arabella (Arabella) iricolor Montagu, 1804; Capitella capitata (Fabricius, 1780) complex; Exogone (Exogone) breviantennata Hartmann-Schröder, 1959; Heteromastus filiformis (Claparède, 1864); Isolda pulchella Müller, 1858; Mediomastus californiensis Hartman, 1944; Namalycastis fauveli Nageswara Rao, 1981; Namalycastis geayi (Gravier, 1901); Namalycastis senegalensis (Saint-Joseph, 1901); Nephtys simoni Perkins, 1980; Paraonis amazonica sp. n.; Sigambra bassi (Hartman, 1945); and Sigambra grubii Müller, 1858. Among them, Namalycastis fauveli and Namalycastis geayi are recorded for the first time in Brazil. Paraonis amazonica sp. n. is a new species for science, characterized by a rounded prostomium, 4–8 pairs of foliaceous branchiae, absent eyes, and two types of modified neurochaetae, acicular and hook-shaped.
Background In syllids (Annelida, Syllidae), the regenerative blastema was subject of many studies in the mid and late XXth century. This work on syllid regeneration showed that the blastema is developed by a process of dedifferentiation of cells near the wound, followed by their proliferation and redifferentiation (cells differentiate to the original cell type) or, in some specific cases, transdifferentiation (cells differentiate to a cell type different from the original). Up to date, participation of stem cells or pre-existing proliferative cells in the blastema development has never been observed in syllids. This study provides the first comprehensive description of Syllis malaquini’s regenerative capacity, including data on the cellular proliferation dynamics by using an EdU/BrdU labelling approach, in order to trace proliferative cells (S-phase cells) present before and after operation. Results Syllis malaquini can restore the anterior and posterior body from different cutting levels under experimental conditions, even from midbody fragments. Our results on cellular proliferation showed that S-phase cells present in the body before bisection do not significantly contribute to blastema development. However, in some specimens cut at the level of the proventricle, cells in S-phase located in the digestive tube before bisection participated in regeneration. Also, our results showed that nucleus shape allows to distinguish different types of blastemal cells as forming specific tissues. Additionally, simultaneous and sequential addition of segments seem to occur in anterior regeneration, while only sequential addition was observed in posterior regeneration. Remarkably, in contrast with previous studies in syllids, sexual reproduction was not induced during anterior regeneration of amputees lacking the proventricle, a foregut organ widely known to be involved in the stolonization control. Conclusions Our findings led us to consider that although dedifferentiation and redifferentiation might be more common, proliferative cells present before injury can be involved in regenerative processes in syllids, at least in some cases. Also, we provide data for comparative studies on resegmentation as a process that differs between anterior and posterior regeneration; and on the controversial role of the proventricle in the reproduction of different syllid lineages.
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