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Asellus aquaticus is a freshwater isopod with an unusually long excretory duct of the maxillary gland. The ultrastructure of this gland is described in detail for the first time. Only one comparable description of an isopod excretory gland has been published until now (for a marine species). The gland is composed of an end sac (coelomosac) with podocytes which allow passive ultrafiltration by haemolymph pressure. The podocytes resorb material (probably proteins) from the primary urine. The opening to the excretory duct is controlled by a valve, which consists of muscular sphincter cells and larger valve cells; the latter protrude into the duct. The ultrastructure of cells in different regions of the excretory duct and of the terminal duct is described and correlated with the possible function of the organ.
PMID: 29865727 [PubMed]