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Comparative analysis of the jaw apparatus of three marine annelids using scanning electron microscopy: Microstructure and elemental composition.

Authors
  • Gonçalves, Cátia1, 2
  • Alves de Matos, António P3
  • Costa, Pedro M1, 2
  • 1 Associate Laboratory i4HB - Institute for Health and Bioeconomy, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Caparica, Portugal. , (Portugal)
  • 2 UCIBIO - Applied Molecular Biosciences Unit, Departamento de Ciências da Vida, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Caparica, Portugal. , (Portugal)
  • 3 Egas Moniz Center for Interdisciplinary Research (CIIEM), Egas Moniz School of Health & Science, Caparica, Portugal. , (Portugal)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of anatomy
Publication Date
Nov 01, 2023
Volume
243
Issue
5
Pages
786–795
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1111/joa.13910
PMID: 37278211
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Polychaeta are highly diversified invertebrates that inhabit marine, brackish or freshwater environments. They have acquired a unique range of adaptative features for securing food. However, the jaw apparatus may reveal not only defence and predation mechanisms, but also its relation to environmental chemistry. The present work compared the structure and chemical profile of the jaws of different estuarine Polychaeta: Nephtys hombergii (Nephtyidae), Hediste diversicolor (Nereididae) and Glycera alba (Glyceridae) using Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and Scanning Electron Microscopy with Energy Dispersive X-Ray (SEM-EDX). Analyses revealed that N. hombergii possesses a muscular jawless proboscis with terminal sensorial papillae for detecting prey, whereas the G. alba proboscis exhibits four delicately sharp jaws with perforations for venom delivery and H. diversicolor bears two blunt denticulated jaws to grasp a wide variety of food items. Melanin and metals like copper provide hardness to the slender jaws of Glycera, while, in the absence of heavier metallic elements, halogens contribute to H. diversicolor jaws robustness. The more specific chemistry of the jaws of glycerids is associated with its more refined venom injection, whereas Hediste is an opportunistic omnivore and Nepthys an agile forager. Altogether, the chemistry of jaws is an adaptive feature for feeding, locomotion and even resilience to complex and often adverse chemical profiles of estuaries. © 2023 Anatomical Society.

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