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Slime Gland Cytology and Mechanisms of Slime Thread Production in the Atlantic Hagfish (Myxine glutinosa)

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Title: Slime Gland Cytology and Mechanisms of Slime Thread Production in the Atlantic Hagfish (Myxine glutinosa)
Author: Winegard, Timothy McEwen; Fudge, Douglas Steven
Department: Department of Integrative Biology
Program: Integrative Biology
Advisor: Fudge, Douglas Steven
Abstract: The multicellular slime glands of hagfish are functionally and structurally unique among cyclostomes. The holocrine release of cells from these glands results in the formation of a fibrous slime that viscously entraps seawater to discourage attacks by gill-breathing predators. Past research into the cytology of the slime gland, and processes of gland thread cell (GTC) and gland mucous cell (GMC) maturation, leads to a number of hypotheses on the mechanism of slime thread assembly in GTCs. Using a number of cell manipulation and imaging techniques, I reveal: (1) a previously undescribed cell in the hagfish slime gland, (2) the intermediate filament and microtubule distribution in hagfish gland cells, and (3) mechanisms of slime thread assembly. The findings test a number of hypotheses and provide the basis for further analysis of cytoskeletal element distribution and interaction in hagfish gland cell types.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10214/4870
Date: 2012-11


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