Gonadal histology and gametogenesis of the Antarctic limpet Nacella concinna (Patellogastropoda, Nacellidae) collected at Potter Cove, 25 de Mayo (King George) Island, during austral summer
The limpet Nacella concinna is one of the most widely distributed gastropods along the Antarctic Peninsula. This species has been a useful tool in ecological and physiological studies for understanding Antarctic trophic interactions. Although the reproduction of limpets has been thoroughly studied, very little is known about gametogenesis in the genus Nacella. The purpose of this study is to describe the gonadal morphology and gametogenesis in N. concinna observed by light microscopy and to determine its chromosome complement. All the limpets were sexually mature at the time of sampling. Oocytes were separated by trabeculae with abundant glycogen reserves. There was a predominance of late vitellogenic oocytes. Many previtellogenic oocytes were pyriform in shape. Oogonia were clustered near the ovary wall or the trabeculae. Only two meiotic stages were found: metaphase I and anaphase I, both of which showed a regular arrangement of chromosomes. The oviduct contained mature oocytes surrounded by sperm. Testicular tubules were filled with spermatozoa. The elongated head of the spermatozoon resembles that of other Nacellidae members. One of the bivalents is heteropycnotic. The haploid complement is n = 4 and the sex determination system is XO/XX. Although N. concinna has been commonly characterized as a broadcast-spawner, its unique spawning behavior, the presence of oocytes at anaphase I and spermatozoa within the oviduct suggests internal fertilization.
KeywordsNacella concinna Gametogenesis Internal fertilization Meiosis
We thank the staff of the Instituto Antártico Argentino for sampling assistance. We acknowledge Dr. Silvia Pietrokovsky who helped in revising the language of the manuscript. Financial support by FONCyT/DNA-IAA under grant PICTO 0091 is gratefully acknowledged.
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