BMC Zoology

golden mussel

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Erico Tadeu Fraga Freitas, Amanda Maria Siqueira Moreira, Rayan Silva de Paula, Gabriela Rabelo Andrade, Marcela David de Carvalho, Paulo Santos Assis, Erika Cristina Jorge, Antônio Valadão Cardoso

Limnoperna fortunei is a freshwater bivalve mollusc originally from southern Asia that invaded South America in the 1990’s. Due to its highly efficient water pumping and filtering, and its capacity to form strong adhesions to a variety of substrates by byssus thread, this invasive species has been able to adapt to several environments across South America, causing significant ecological and economic damages. By gaining a deeper understanding of the biological and ecological aspects of L. fortunei we will be able to establish more effective strategies to manage its invasion. The gills of the mollusc are key structures responsible for several biological functions, including respiration and feeding. In this work, we characterized the ultrastructure of L. fortunei gills and its ciliary epithelium using light microscopy, transmission and scanning electron microscopies. This is the first report of the morphology of the epithelial cells and cilia of the gill of L. fortunei visualized in high resolution.