Ultrastructure of the Larval Salivary Glands of Megaselia Scalaris Loew (Diptera, Phoridae)

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Each of the paired salivary glands of third instar larvae of the humpbacked fly Megaselia scalaris is a bag‐like structure with a short neck region from which a single duct emerges. The two ducts form a common duct that empties into the ventral region of the pharynx near the mouthparts. The wall of the glands and ducts consists of a simple squamous epithelium that rests upon a connective tissue layer. Cells in the neck are less flattened than those found elsewhere. The basal surfaces of the cells are infolded most deeply in the neck and the least in the duct. The apical surfaces of the cells possess microvilli except in the duct where the apices of the cells are covered by a complex extracellular layer. This layer displays circularly arranged folds that accommodate a thread‐like supportive structure resembling taenidial threads of tracheae. Elaborate junctional complexes are associated with the lateral surfaces of the cells. Elements of these complexes include a zonula adherens, a series of pleated septate desmosomes, and conventional desmosomes. The cytoplasm of the glandular cells is filled with RER and other organelles normally seen in cells that export proteins and mucosubstances. Secretory material found in the lumens of the glands reacts only moderately with the PAS procedure but more strongly with alcian blue and methods that demonstrate proteins. The nuclei of the glandular cells contain single large nucleoli and polytene chromosomes whose banding is rather indistinct. Treatment with EDTA produces detrimental effects on all of the foregoing ultrastructural features of the glands and ducts.