Marine Biology

, Volume 108, Issue 1, pp 49–58 | Cite as

Comparative ultrastructure of lipid storage sites in femaleEuchaeta marina andPleuromamma xiphias (Copepoda: Calanoida)

  • P. I. Blades-Eckelbarger


FemaleEuchaeta marina (Prestandrea, 1833) have one large, thin-walled lipid sac, whereas femalePleuromamma xiphias (Giesbrecht, 1889) have two separate and morphologically distinct lipid storage sites. One lipid site inP. xiphias corresponds to the mesenteric tissue that surrounds the anterior region of the midgut. The morphology of these cells resembles that of mammalian brown adipocytes. The cytoplasm is filled with extensive smooth endoplasmic reticulum, numerous mitochondria and several deposits of intracellular lipid. The second lipid site ofP. xiphias lies in the posterior region of the metasome and resembles the thin-walled lipid sac ofE. marina. Both lie adjacent to, but are not contiguous with, the narrow mesenteric tissue surrounding the last region of the midgut. Both sacs contain a single, large deposit of intracellular lipid enclosed by a very thin rim of cytoplasm and resemble mammalian white adipocytes. The different habitats and reproductive processes of these two copepod species may relate to the observed variations in lipid cell morphology. The reserve lipid inE. marina plays a primary role in reproduction and is linked closely with the continuous cycle of oocytic maturation. The lipids synthesized and stored byP. xiphias, a strong vertical migrator, may be influenced by food availability, a function of their mesopelagic habitat. The primary role of the reserve lipids in this copepod may be to provide energy during migrations and between feeding periods, with relatively less lipid being allocated to reproduction.


Lipid Vertical Migrator Intracellular Lipid Reproductive Process Smooth Endoplasmic Reticulum 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. I. Blades-Eckelbarger
    • 1
  1. 1.Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution, Inc.Fort PierceUSA

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