Ultrastructural studies of midgut epithelium formation in Lepisma saccharina L. (Insecta, Zygentoma)



At the end of embryogenesis of Lepisma saccharina L. (Insecta, Zygentoma), when the stomodaeum and proctodaeum are completely formed, the midgut epithelium is replaced by the primary midgut, a yolk mass is surrounded by a cell membrane. Midgut epithelium formation begins in the 1st larval stage. Energids migrate toward the yolk periphery and aggregate just beneath the cell membrane. They are gradually enclosed by cell membrane folds of the primary midgut. Single cells are formed. Succeeding energids join just formed cells. Thus, groups of cells, regenerative cell groups, are formed. Their number gradually increases. The external cells of the regenerative cell groups transform into epithelial cells and their basal regions spread toward the next regenerative cell groups. Epithelial cells of neighboring regenerative cell groups join each other to form the epithelium. At the end of the 2nd larval stage, just before molting, degeneration of newly the formed epithelium begins. Remains of organelles and basal membrane occur between the regenerative cell groups. The new epithelium is formed from the regenerative cell groups, which are now termed stem cells of the midgut epithelium. J. Morphol., 2007. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.