Morphology and anatomical structure of the larval salt gland of Artemia tunisiana under different salinities

  • Magdy E Mahfouz
  • Mona M El-Gamal
  • Suzan M Shraby


Brine shrimps of the genus Artemia is characterized by its high adaptability to adverse environmental conditions. To elucidate the effect of salinity on the neck organ (salt gland) of Artemia tunisiana nauplii, the morphology and fine structure of the ion transporting epithelium were examined following culturing under different salinities (25, 40, 70, 140 and 180 g/L). The expression of APH-1 mRNA, using semiquantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), was also determined. The morphology and anatomical structure of the salt gland varied according to the salinity degree. At low salinities, salt gland was small, thin and flat having many shallow canals, while at high salinities, it was more elongated with deeper canals and grooves. Ultrastructure examination showed low amplification of the plasma membrane at 25 g/L with no tubular tufts, while at 40 and 70 g/L salinities, the apical and central zones showed a large amplification of the surface area of the plasma membrane. At 140 g/L salinity, the epithelial cells were more elongated and the cuticle appeared to be composed of many layers. The general structure of the salt gland of nauplii cultured at 180 g/L disappeared. Semiquantitative APH-1 mRNA analysis indicated that the gene was expressed in all tested salinities. The expression did not change remarkably between 25 and 40 g/L salinities. As salinity increased, the gene was up regulated at 70 g/L and reached the highest level at 140 g/L, while the expression level reduced significantly at 180 g/L. This coincides with the histological results and highlights the possible role of APH-1 in salinity protection in Artemia.

Keywords: Artemia, nauplii, salt gland, salinity, APH-1 gene expression

African Journal of Biotechnology Vol. 12(41), pp. 6032-6041

Author Biographies

Magdy E Mahfouz
Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, Kafrelsheikh University, Egypt.
Mona M El-Gamal
Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, Tanta University, Egypt.
Suzan M Shraby
Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, Kafrelsheikh University, Egypt.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1684-5315