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2002 | 50 | 3-4 | 165-172
Article title

Development of the tongue and taste disks in Pelobates fuscus

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In the tadpole of Pelobates fuscus the process of tongue formation starts at the 32nd developmental stage. In more advanced stages (older than 38th) fast anterior and faucial growth of the tongue fold has been observed. This process is accompanied by the development of the gustatory organs. The dorsal surface of the tongue fold, smooth at the beginning, in older tadpoles (developmental stages 36-39th) forms protrusions in which gustatory organs of the taste disk type (TDs) develop. In the 41st tadpole developmental stage anlages of TDs are formed by elongated cells, located more or less perpendicularly to the surface of the tongue. The diameter of the sensory area of a TD at the 45th developmental stage amounts to 94 ?m, while in metamorphosed individuals it reaches 130-140 ?m. At the base of a TD the presence of basal cell morphologically similar to that of Merkel cell was observed at the 42nd developmental stage of a tadpole. Fully developed afferent synaptic connections in the sensory epithelium of a TDwere found starting from the 44th developmental stage. Single synaptic vesicles with an electron-dense core were observed in gustatory cells as early as at the 41st developmental stage of the tadpole. From the observations reported here it can be inferred that in Pelobates fuscus development of both the tongue and TDs is similar to that already described in the representatives of the Rana genus.
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K. Zuwala, Department of Comparative Anatomy, Jagiellonian University,R. Ingardena 6, 30-060 Krakow, Poland
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