Corbiculacean Gill Morphology - The Lateral Cells
The lateral cilia are single cilia emerging from several cells
near the base of the gill filament
immediately beneath the mucous cell.
These cilia are not bound together to form cirri as those of the
eu-latero-frontal or the frontal
cirrus cells. The cilia are thought to be the componant of
the gill responsible for maintaining water flow through the gill
for feeding and respiration (McMahon, 1991). These lateral cilia
beat in metachronal waves. That is, the cilia beat in a wavelike
and sequential manner starting from one end of the filament and
proceeding to the other.
Below are images of he lateral cells and cilia.
An SEM of a lateral view of the gill filament of Musculium
partemeium showing (from upper left to lower right) the frontal
cilia, the eu-latero-frontal cirri, and the lateral cilia. Approximate
magnification of the original photo - 1.08kx.
A TEM of the lateral cells of C. fluminea also showing
the nerve fibers (small arrows) that
may be involved in controlling metachronal wave activity. Also
note the large number of closely packed mitichondria in this
- McMahon, RF. 1991. Mollusca:Bivalvia. Pp315-399. in</>
Ecology and Classification of North American Freshwater Invertebrates.
JH Thorp and AP Covich,eds.. Acedemic Press, Inc. New York.