Morphological processes in the vertical transmission of photosymbionts were investigated in the Prochloron-bearing ascidian Didemnum molle, Prochloron cells were found exclusively in the common cloacal cavity of the colony, attached mainly to the tunic lining of the cavity wall. Oocytes were found in the abdominal region of each zooid, but no Prochloron cells were associated with this stage. During embryogenesis, embryos moved into the tunic core of the colony and were always separated from Prochloron cells in the cloacal cavity by the tunic matrix, until they hatched out from the tunic core. In swimming larvae, Prochloron cells covered the surface of the posterior half of the larval trunk, whereas a thin larval tunic layer covered the anterior half, where no Prochloron cells were found. The tunic of the posterior half of the larval trunk had many folds that enfolded the Prochloron cells and may be adhesive in order to acquire Prochloron cells from the mother colony. The thin larval tunic layer is probably not adhesive and protects the anterior half of the trunk from interference by Prochloron cells with sensory receptors and adhesive organs.
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