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Buccal glands of adults of the lamprey Mordacia mordax, including comparisons with other species

Potter, I.C., Thomson, G.J., Cook, R.D., Cox, J.M. and Macey, D.J. (1995) Buccal glands of adults of the lamprey Mordacia mordax, including comparisons with other species. Journal of Morphology, 226 (3). pp. 339-349.

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Mordacia mordax is one of the two anadromous parasitic lamprey species of the southern hemisphere family Mordaciidae. Its adults possess two lateral buccal glands and one central buccal gland. When the tongue-like piston is retracted, the buccal glands occupy much of the opening of the oral cavity at the rear of the buccal cavity. The glands contain numerous tube-like, ductless secretory units, which discharge directly into the buccal cavity. Their secretory epithelial cells contain numerous granules, some of which are zymogen-like, while others have a beaded, spiralled appearance. The similarity of the latter to mast cell granules suggests that they may likewise produce an anticoagulant, which would be valuable to a presumed blood feeder such as M. mordax. The mucus produced by these cells could act as a carrier for the secretions and as an adhesive for promoting retention of t he secretions on the host's surface. When the young adults is transferred to salt water, the buccal glands increase their production and discharge of secretions. Since the glands are not enclosed in musculature, their secretions are probably discharged by mechanical pressure applied by the forward movement of the head of the tooth-bearing piston into the buccal cavity. An account is given of the way in which the location, number, glandular organization, secretory granules, and type of secretion of the buccal glands of M. mordax, and thus presumably also their mode of function, differ markedly from those of members of the other lamprey family found in the southern hemisphere, and of all holarrctic lampreys.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Biological and Environmental Sciences
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
Copyright: © 1995 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
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