Structural diversification of the gustatory organs during metamorphosis in the alpine newt Triturus alpestris.

Abstract

Gustatory organs of the taste bud type occur in the epithelial lining of the oropharyngeal cavity of alpine newt larvae. They resemble the taste buds of bony fish, both in appearance (as revealed by scanning electron microscopy) and in detailed internal structure (seen on transmission electron micropscopy). During metamorphosis, at stage 55 of development, the secondary tongue (i.e. the soft tongue) is well formed and the anlages of taste discs are clearly apparent. Somewhat later, taste discs also appear in the epithelial lining outside the tongue, paralleling the disappearance of the taste buds. Well-developed taste discs of the newt differ from taste buds mainly by their structurally diversified set of 'associate cells' (mucous, wing and glial cells), which have no synaptic contact with nerve fibres. These cells accompany the neurosensory cellular components of the taste disc, i.e. the taste receptor cells and basal cells. This indicates that gustatory organs in metamorphosed newts, regardless of their small dimensions, fulfil the criteria established for taste discs previously defined in other Caudata and Anura species. Therefore, in the development of the newt there are two subsequent types of gustatory organs and two generations of the tongue: primary, in the larvae, and secondary, in metamorphosed animals.

Cite this paper

@article{uwaa2007StructuralDO, title={Structural diversification of the gustatory organs during metamorphosis in the alpine newt Triturus alpestris.}, author={Krystyna Żuwała and Michał Jakubowski}, journal={Journal of anatomy}, year={2007}, volume={211 3}, pages={371-5} }