The investigation of jellyfish gastrovascular systems mainly focused on stain injections and dissections, negatively affected by thickness and opacity of the mesoglea. Therefore, descriptions are incomplete and data about tridimensional structures are scarce. In this work, morphological and functional anatomy of the gastrovascular system of Rhizostoma pulmo (Macri 1778) was investigated in detail with innovative techniques: resin endocasts and 3D X-ray computed microtomography. The gastrovascular system consists of a series of branching canals ending with numerous openings within the frilled margins of the oral arms. Canals presented a peculiar double hemi-canal structure with a medial adhesion area which separates centrifugal and centripetal flows. The inward flow involves only the “mouth” openings on the internal wing of the oral arm and relative hemi-canals, while the outward flow involves only the two outermost wings’ hemi-canals and relative “anal” openings on the external oral arm. The openings differentiation recalls the functional characteristics of a through-gut apparatus. We cannot define the gastrovascular system in Rhizostoma pulmo as a traditional through-gut, rather an example of adaptive convergence, that partially invalidates the paradigm of a single oral opening with both the uptake and excrete function.

A novel endocast technique providing a 3D quantitative analysis of the gastrovascular system in Rhizostoma pulmo: An unexpected through-gut in cnidaria

Massimo Avian
Conceptualization
;
Diego Dreossi;Vanessa Macaluso;Nicole Pillepich;Antonio Terlizzi;Gregorio Motta
2022

Abstract

The investigation of jellyfish gastrovascular systems mainly focused on stain injections and dissections, negatively affected by thickness and opacity of the mesoglea. Therefore, descriptions are incomplete and data about tridimensional structures are scarce. In this work, morphological and functional anatomy of the gastrovascular system of Rhizostoma pulmo (Macri 1778) was investigated in detail with innovative techniques: resin endocasts and 3D X-ray computed microtomography. The gastrovascular system consists of a series of branching canals ending with numerous openings within the frilled margins of the oral arms. Canals presented a peculiar double hemi-canal structure with a medial adhesion area which separates centrifugal and centripetal flows. The inward flow involves only the “mouth” openings on the internal wing of the oral arm and relative hemi-canals, while the outward flow involves only the two outermost wings’ hemi-canals and relative “anal” openings on the external oral arm. The openings differentiation recalls the functional characteristics of a through-gut apparatus. We cannot define the gastrovascular system in Rhizostoma pulmo as a traditional through-gut, rather an example of adaptive convergence, that partially invalidates the paradigm of a single oral opening with both the uptake and excrete function.
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https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0272023
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11368/3028406
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