Choanoflagellate Lorica Construction and Assembly: The Nudiform Condition. I. Savillea Species

Barry Leadbeater

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)


The lorica of Savillea spp. (Choanoflagellida) comprises a two layered arrangement of siliceous costae, the inner layer consists of helical costae and the outer layer longitudinal. In Savillea micropora, the helical costae, in a left-handed conformation, undergo 1.5 turns and extend from a short distance above the base of the lorica to the anterior opening. In S. parva the helical costae undergo two turns from base to anterior opening. Ratios of the numbers of helical to longitudinal costae vary from 1:1 in S. parva to 1:1-1:4 in S. micropora. Cell division in Savillea is of the nudiform type, whereby a cell divides to produce a 'naked' flagellated juvenile that swims away from the parent lorica, settles on to a surface and produces a complete set of costal strips. The first formed strips are those that will form the longitudinal costae, this is followed by the slightly thicker strips which will form the inner helical costae. Lorica assembly occurs as a single continuous process and is mediated by the forward movement of the collar tentacles and a rotational movement by the cell. The longitudinal and helical costae are thereby moved in this one combined movement to their respective positions. The longitudinal costae must rotate freely during assembly whilst the helical costae are held at their front end by the respective longitudinal costae and their rear end on the surface of the cell sheath. The concluding inference, based on lorica construction, that there must be a rotational as well as the observed forward movement during lorica assembly is of seminal importance to understanding the basic pattern of lorica construction and the mechanism of lorica assembly in all choanoflagellates.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)259-268
Number of pages10
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 23 Apr 2008


  • ultrastructure
  • siliceous costae
  • Savillea
  • assembly
  • movement
  • choanoflagellates
  • lorica


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