Localization and identification of the receptors by electron micrographic and ablation studies

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Abstract

Asexual reproduction (fissioning) in the planarian Dugesia dorotocephala is socially controlled through a cephalic mechanism; isolation releases fissioning, grouping inhibits it; decapitation releases it even in grouped subjects. Experiments were performed to confirm previous indications that direct contact is involved in the sensing of cohorts; the partial release of fissioning in grouped planarians by introduction of a chemically inert lubricant (0.1% purified agar) into the habitat water further confirms the necessity of intimate contact between the sensors and bodily surfaces of the sensed cohorts. Further experiments, correlating electron microscopic observations with the release of fissioning by various selected surgical ablations, reveal the pertinent sensors to be clumps of neural cilia concentrated in the cephalic margins. Comparable structures occur in the chemoreceptors of catfish, lamprey, and honey bee as well as in the olfactory epithelium of mammals.

Ancillary