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POLARIZATION MICROSCOPIC OBSERVATION ON THE SECRETION OF THE IN VITRO CULTURED MANTLE OF CRITARIA PLICATA

SHI AN-JING, CHEN SHU-NA (Department of Biology, Sichuan University, Chengdu, 610064)  
The experimental material is taken from freshwater mussel Cristaria plicata. The formation and changes of the mantle secretion, which was cultured in vitro, were observed through a phase contrast microscope. A polarization microscope was used to observe the birefringent phenomenon of secretion. Comparative studies were conducted on the birefringent phenomenon of mantle secretion of the living body, periostracum, prismatic layer and pearl layer. The experiment results indicate that, on one hand, the cultured mantle cells in vitro are able to produce identical secretion as those from the living body do; On the other hand, the observed secretion was able to form crystals and gradually grow up during the course of cultivation. It is discovered that there is a obvious similarity among the secretion patterns and crystals formed in different parts of the mantle cultured. It reveals that the in vitro cultured mantle bits have the same tissue structure, differentiation features and secretory function, as those from living body.
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