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Journal of Marine Biology
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 202515, 7 pages
Research Article

Histology and Mucous Histochemistry of the Integument and Body Wall of a Marine Polychaete Worm, Ophryotrocha n. sp. (Annelida: Dorvilleidae) Associated with Steelhead Trout Cage Sites on the South Coast of Newfoundland

1Fisheries and Oceans Canada, 80 White Hills Road, P.O. Box 5667, St. John's, NL, Canada A1C 5X1
2School of Fisheries, Marine Institute of Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, NL, Canada A1C 5R3
3Department of Environmental Science, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, NL, Canada A1C 5S7

Received 15 December 2011; Revised 18 January 2012; Accepted 18 January 2012

Academic Editor: Garth L. Fletcher

Copyright © 2012 H. M. Murray et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Histology and mucous histochemistry of the integument and body wall of a marine polychaete worm, Ophryotrocha n. sp. (Annelida: Dorvilleidae) associated with Steelhead trout cage sites on the south coast of Newfoundland. A new species of polychaete (Ophryotrocha n. sp. (Annelida: Dorvilleidae)) was identified from sediment below Steelhead trout cages on the south coast of Newfoundland, Canada. The organisms were observed to produce a network of mucus in which groups of individuals would reside. Questions regarding the nature and cellular source of the mucus were addressed in this study. Samples of worms were taken from below cages and transported to the laboratory where individuals were fixed for histological study of the cuticle and associated mucus histochemistry. The body wall was organized into segments with an outer cuticle that stained strongly for acid mucopolysaccharides. The epidermis was thin and supported by loose fibrous connective tissue layers. Channels separating individual segments were lined with cells staining positive for Alcian blue. Mucoid cellular secretions appeared thick and viscous, strongly staining with Alcian blue and Periodic Acid Schiff Reagent. It was noted that lateral channels were connected via a second channel running through the anterior/posterior axis. The role of mucus secretion is discussed.