Properties and function of mucous coat on the cuticle of armoured tardigrades (Tardigrada: Heterotardigrada)

Habazin, Siniša (2014) Properties and function of mucous coat on the cuticle of armoured tardigrades (Tardigrada: Heterotardigrada). Diploma thesis, Faculty of Science > Department of Biology.

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Tardigrades are microscopic invertebrates which inhabit terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems. They survive adverse environmental conditions, e.g. dessication, by entering into reversible ametabolic state called cryptobiosis. Body is covered with multilaminated cuticle overlain by mucous coat. Aim of this research was to determine composition, distribution, morphology and nanomechanical properties of mucous coat on the cuticle of armoured tardigrade Echiniscus testudo using Alcian blue, colloidal iron, Nile red and Coomassie brilliant blue staining techniques, as well as Raman spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy. Mucous coat was found to be composed of mucopolysaccharides, lipids and proteins. It was localized mostly in dorsal epicuticle flexion zones and depressions. Atomic force microscopy imaging revealed that hydrated mucous coat, composed of globular structures, settles into an irregular aggregations upon drying. According to results obtained, protective role of mucous coat was infered; together with hypotesis according to which mucous coat acts as a sealant for thinner regions of the cuticle, thus reducing transpiration of anhydrobionts.

Item Type: Thesis (Diploma thesis)
Keywords: meiofauna, integument, atomic force microscopy, electron microscopy, Raman spectroscopy, nanomechanical properties
Supervisor: Svetličić, Vesna and Matoničkin Kepčija, Renata
Date: 2014
Number of Pages: 53
Subjects: NATURAL SCIENCES > Biology
Divisions: Faculty of Science > Department of Biology
Depositing User: Silvana Šehić
Date Deposited: 12 Nov 2014 11:07
Last Modified: 12 Nov 2014 11:07

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