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Asplanchna rotifers, light microscopy


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The footage shows Asplanchna sp., a huge predatory freshwater rotifer. Inside the huge, sack-like body of this individual the inner organs of this invertebrate are clearly visible. Shortly after the overview shot the animals protonephridial system is shown with a higher magnification. The Asplanchna protonephridial system, a primitive excretory organ concerned with water and salt balance, consists of 3 4 multinucleate cells with diverse structural and functional characteristics. The cells form a system of tubules lying in the pseudocoel cavity, one of which bears numerous ciliated flame bulbs. Pseudocoel fluid is filtered across the slotted flame bulb wall into the bulb lumen, presumably by a negative filtration pressure induced by the beating of the flame cilia. The cilia were shown to beat in a two-dimensional sinusoidal stroke pattern showing ciliary axial microtubule alignment in the electron microscope. The pseudocoel filtrate is circulated through the two main protonephridial tubules, where electrolyte and water reabsorption apparently occur. The hypotonic filtrate then flows into the bladder and is expelled from the organism.

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