Three-dimensional reconstruction of the amphid sensilla in the microbial feeding nematode, Acrobeles complexus (Nematoda: Rhabditida)

J Comp Neurol. 2009 Jan 10;512(2):271-81. doi: 10.1002/cne.21882.


Amphid sensilla are the primary olfactory, chemoreceptive, and thermoreceptive organs in nematodes. Their function is well described for the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans, but it is not clear to what extent we can generalize these findings to distantly related nematodes of medical, economic, and agricultural importance. Current detailed descriptions of anatomy and sensory function are limited to nematodes that recent molecular phylogenies would place in the same taxonomic family, the Rhabditidae. Using serial thin-section transmission electron microscopy, we reconstructed the anatomy of the amphid sensilla in the more distantly related nematode, Acrobeles complexus (Cephalobidae). Amphid structure is broadly conserved in number and arrangement of cells. Details of cell anatomy differ, particularly for the sensory neurite termini. We identify an additional sensory neuron not found in the amphid of C. elegans and propose homology with the C. elegans interneuron AUA. Hypotheses of homology for the remaining sensory neurons are also proposed based on comparisons between C. elegans, Strongyloides stercoralis, and Haemonchus contortus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Anatomy, Comparative
  • Animals
  • Models, Anatomic*
  • Nematoda / anatomy & histology*
  • Phylogeny
  • Sensory Receptor Cells / ultrastructure