Muscular Anatomy of the Podocoryna carnea Hydrorhiza
The muscular anatomy of the athecate hydroid Podocoryna carnea hydrorhiza is elucidated. The polyp-stolon junction is characterized by an opening, here called the chloe, in the otherwise continuous hydrorhizal perisarc. The chloe is elliptical when the polyp first arises, but takes on a more complex outline as multiple stolons anastomose to communicate with that polyp. Surrounding the polyp base are spots, here called anchors, which autofluoresce at the same wavelengths as perisarc and which, like perisarc, contain chitin as assessed by Calcofluor White, Congo Red and wheat germ agglutinin staining. Anchors remain after living tissues are digested using KOH. Collagen IV staining indicates that the mesoglea is pegged to the anchors and rhodamine phallodin staining detects cytoskeletal F-actin fibers of the basal epidermis surrounding the anchors. Longitudinal muscle fibers of the polyp broaden at the polyp base and are inserted into the mesoglea of the underlying stolon, but were neither observed to extend along the stolonal axis nor to attach to the anchors. Circular muscular fibers of the polyp extend into stolons as a dense collection of strands running along the proximal-distal axis of the stolon. These gastrodermal axial muscular fibers extend to the stolon tip. Epidermal cells at the stolon tip and the polyp bud display a regular apical latticework of F-actin staining. A similar meshwork of F-actin staining was found in the extreme basal epidermis of all stolons. Immunohistochemical staining for tubulin revealed nerves at stolon tips, but at no other hydrorhizal locations. These studies bear on the mechanisms by which the stolon tip and polyp bud pulsate, the manner in which the stolon lumen closes, and on the developmental origin of the basal epidermis of the hydrorhiza.