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Gonad development in the sea cucumber <i>Holothuria scabra</i> Jaeger, 1833

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  • Agricultural Science


The purpose of this study is to describe the gonads of small Holothuria scabra. The same three tissue layers occurring in adults are also found in juveniles, even in very small specimens. The only difference between adults and juveniles less than 10 cm in length is that, in the latter, it is impossible to distinguish the germ cells in the inner epithelial layer, where they are probably structurally confused with somatic cells. In specimens over 10 cm in length, germ cells are found in the longer tubules (> 0.6 cm) but not in the shorter tubules (< 0.7 cm). The first recognisable germ cells appear eight to nine months after fertilisation (including larval development) in H. scabra.

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