Ontogeny of digestive organs during early developmental stages of the tropical whitespotted bamboo shark

paper8Published online on 09. June 2015

Ontogeny of digestive organs during early developmental stages of the tropical whitespotted bamboo shark, Chiloscyllium plagiosum – a histological study

Xiaojin Xu, Yingxue Qin, Gang Luo, Xi Huang, Wen-zheng Zou, Lipin Zheng, Jun Wang, Yongquan Su


This study was undertaken to address a lack of understanding of the early developmental stages of the tropical elasmobranch whitespotted bamboo shark, Chiloscyllium plagiosum, to assist with advancement of its aquaculture. It is the first report of the histological and ultrastructural characteristics of its developing digestive tract. The study was carried out from hatching to 60 days after hatching (DAH). Embryos for this study were maintained in the laboratory. Histological investigations yielded the following data. At hatching, the gut of an embryo consisted of an undifferentiated straight tube that lay over the yolk sac. The digestive tract was differentiated into buccopharynx, esophagus, stomach, and intestine by 8 DAH. During the preflexion phase (within 16 DAH), the mucous cells of the esophagus were differentiated. Gastric glands were present at 60 DAH, indicating the transition from the embryonic to the juvenile stage and the acquisition of an adult mode of digestion. The lumen of the intestine appeared on 6 DAH; the intestinal valve appeared and divided the intestine into anterior and posterior sections on 20 DAH. The liver and the pancreas were formed on 8 DAH. The yolk sac was partially depleted by 80 DAH. In terms of ultrastructure, on 30 DAH, the anterior section of the esophagus was lined by a stratified epithelium, whereas the posterior section was lined by simple tall columnar epithelial cells. Goblet cells and oxynticopeptic cells were found in the stomach. The pancreatic acinar cells were strongly elongated and of two types: one with a pale and the other with a more opaque cytoplasm.

Marine and Freshwater Behaviour and Physiology, Volume 48, Issue 4, DOI: 10.1080/10236244.2015.1050229



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