The ovaries of Euborellia fulviceps are composed of five elongated ovarioles of meroistic-polytrophic type. The individual ovariole has three discernible regions: the terminal filament, germarium, and vitellarium. The terminal filament is a stalk of flattened, disc-shaped somatic cells. In the germarium, germline cells in subsequent stages of differentiation are located, and the vitellarium comprises numerous ovarian follicles arranged linearly. The individual ovarian follicles within the vitellarium are separated by prominent interfollicular stalks. The follicles are composed by two germline cells only: an oocyte and a single, polyploid nurse cell, which are surrounded by a monolayer of somatic follicular cells (FCs). During subsequent stages of oogenesis, initially uniform follicular epithelium begins to diversify into morphologically and physiologically distinct subpopulations. In E. fulviceps, the FC diversification mode is rather simple and leads to the formation of only three different FC subpopulations: (1) cuboidal FCs covering the oocyte, (2) stretched FCs surrounding the nurse cell and (3) FCs actively migrating between oocyte and a nurse cell. We found that FCs from the latter subpopulation send long and thin filopodium-like and microtubule-rich processes penetrating between the oocyte and nurse cell membranes. This suggests that, in E. fulviceps, cells from at least one FCs subpopulation show the ability to change position within an ovarian follicle by means of active migration.
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Vol. 28 • No. 11