Dicyemid mesozoans (Phylum Dicyemida) are endoparasites (or endosymbionts) that typically are found in the renal sac of benthic cephalopod mollusks such as octopuses and cuttlefishes. Adult dicyemids likely adhere to the renal appendage of hosts via cilia of calotte peripheral cells. These cilia seem to be continuously worn away in the interaction between the dicyemids and the epidermal cells of host renal appendages. We cloned 4 cDNAs and genes, alpha-tubulin, beta-tubulin, tektin B, and tektin C, which are thought to play a key role in ciliogenesis, from Dicyema japonicum, and studied expression patterns of these genes by whole-mount in situ hybridization. We detected coexpression of these genes in the calotte peripheral cells, but not in the trunk peripheral cells. This suggests that regeneration and turnover of cilia continuously occur in the calotte. In vermiform and infusoriform embryos, we also detected coexpression patterns of these genes, which might correlate with ciliogenesis during the embryogenesis. We also predicted the secondary structure and the coiled-coil regions of dicyemid tektins.
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