Papers in the Biological Sciences


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Published in the Journal of Parasitology (December 1976) 62(6): 975-981. Copyright 1976, the American Society of Parasitologists. Used by permission.


Ultrastructural aspects of interlamellar Henneguya exilis infections in channel catfish are reported. The plasmodium wall of this form differs from that of other species in that it is composed of two outer unit membranes which give rise to a zone of numerous pinocytic canals. Single-membraned canals appeared to be a stable feature of the wall while double-membraned canals are interpreted as those actively carrying out pinocytosis. Evidence suggests that host cellular cytoplasm as well as interstitial material is taken in by plasmodia. Plasmodium wall integrity, aggregation of parasite ectoplasmic components, numbers of pinocytic canals, and number of mitochondria proximal to the wall vary among different plasmodium profiles and may be related to plasmodium maturity. The parasite causes extensive hyperplasia of basal cells, which in turn replaces most other cell types found in noninfected gill filaments. Cytoarchitectural differences between basal cells of noninfected filaments and basal cells adjacent to plasmodia include significantly shorter microfilament bundles in the latter.

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