Reproductive biology of three hydrothermal vent peltospirid gastropods (Nodopelta heminoda, N-subnoda and Peltospira operculata) associated with Pompeii worms on the East Pacific Rise

Abstract : The gonad morphology and gametogenesis of three peltospirid gastropods (Nodopelta heminoda, N. subnoda and Peltospira operculata) from hydrothermal vents in the East Pacific Rise were analysed using histological techniques. Samples were collected on different hydrothermal structures from three chemically distinct sites in vent fields along the north East Pacific Rise (13 degrees N) to assess spatial variation in oocyte size-frequency distributions. The three species revealed the same gonad morphology. The ovary, which occupies a large part of the body, is confined to the dorsal area of the visceral mass and is located between the dorsal gill lamellae and the digestive gland that appear progressively from the posterior part. The oogonia develop into previtellogenic oocytes, and when they grow to a size of 50-70 mu m, vitellogenesis begins. Maximal egg size ranges between 129 mu m for P. operculata and 150 mu m for N. heminoda. The presence of oocytes at all stages of development, in all females, suggested a continuous gametogenesis within those species. Continuous reproduction appears to be a common trait in vent gastropods and may be adaptive in relation to constant energy supply and the ephemeral and unstable vent environment. Percentage of vitellogenic oocytes (i.e. gametogenic maturity) was independent of shell length. The slight variability observed between gametogenetic maturity of females from different localities is likely due to random individual variations in reproductive patterns rather than variation in environmental conditions or food availability.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, October 21, 2015 - 5:06:46 PM
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M. Matabos, Éric Thiébaut. Reproductive biology of three hydrothermal vent peltospirid gastropods (Nodopelta heminoda, N-subnoda and Peltospira operculata) associated with Pompeii worms on the East Pacific Rise. Journal of Molluscan Studies, Oxford University Press (OUP), 2010, 76 (3), pp.257-266. ⟨10.1093/mollus/eyq008⟩. ⟨hal-01218849⟩

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