Scanning Electron Microscopy of Ctenophores: Illustrative Atlas

Methods Mol Biol. 2024:2757:163-184. doi: 10.1007/978-1-0716-3642-8_6.


Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) is a powerful tool for ultrastructural analyses of biological specimens at their surface. With comb jellies being very soft and full of water, many methodological difficulties limit their microanatomical studies via SEM. Here, we describe SEM protocols and approaches successfully tested on ctenophores Pleurobrachia bachei and Beroe abyssicola. Our SEM investigation revealed the astonishing diversity of ciliated structures in all major functional systems, different receptor types, and complex muscular architecture. These protocols can also be practical for various basal bilaterian lineages such as cnidarians.

Keywords: Bolinopsis; Cilia; Ctenophora; Development; Digestive system; Evolution; Mnemiopsis; Muscles; Neurons; Pleurobrachia; Receptors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Ctenophora* / ultrastructure
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning* / methods