Developmental dynamics of myogenesis in the shipworm Lyrodus pedicellatus (Mollusca: Bivalvia)

Andrea Wurzinger-Mayer, J. Reuben Shipway, Alen Kristof, Thomas Schwaha, Simon M. Cragg, Andreas Wanninger

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Background: The shipworm Lyrodus pedicellatus is a wood-boring bivalve with an unusual vermiform body. Although its larvae are brooded, they retain the general appearance of a typical bivalve veliger-type larva. Here, we describe myogenesis of L. pedicellatus revealed by filamentous actin labelling and discuss the data in a comparative framework in order to test for homologous structures that might be part of the bivalve (larval) muscular ground pattern.

Results: Five major muscle systems were identified: a velum retractor, foot retractor, larval retractor, a distinct mantle musculature and an adductor system. For a short period of larval life, an additional ventral larval retractor is present. Early in development, a velum muscle ring and an oral velum musculature emerge. In late stages the lateral and dorsal mantle musculature, paired finger-shaped muscles, an accessory adductor and a pedal plexus are formed. Similar to other bivalve larvae, L. pedicellatus exhibits three velum retractor muscles, but in contrast to other species, one of them disappears in early stages of L. pedicellatus. The remaining two velum retractors are considerably remodelled during late larval development and are most likely incorporated into the elaborate mantle musculature of the adult.

Conclusions: To our knowledge, this is the first account of any larval retractor system that might contribute to the adult bodyplan of a (conchiferan) mollusk. A comparative analysis shows that a pedal plexus, adductors, a larval velum ring, velum retractors and a ventral larval retractor are commonly found among bivalve larvae, and thus most likely belong to the ground pattern of the bivalve larval musculature.
Original languageEnglish
Article number90
Number of pages15
JournalFrontiers in Zoology
Publication statusPublished - 10 Dec 2014


  • teredinid
  • mollusk
  • evodevo
  • evolution
  • ontogeny
  • larva
  • veliger
  • lophotrochozoa


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