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A comparison of anatomical data collected by computer tomography (micro-CT) and histological sections on skeneimorph Vetigastropoda.

World Congress of Malacology, Phuket 2010, Abstracts, 346

Authors/Editors: Kunze T
Publication Date: 2010
Type of Publication: Congress Contributions and Posters

Anatomical and morphological data are crucial to shed some light onto the polyphyletic assemblage of skeneimorph vetigastropods. Until now histological semi-thin sectioning of plastic embedded material was the only way to get these data sets. Recent methodological progress allows us to get computer tomographic (CT) data sets with high resolution in micro scale. In this study a specimen of Protolira valvatoides Warén & Bouchet, 1993 was investigated by CT-scan (thickness 1.5 µm). Anatomy and 3D reconstructions are compared with the data of Munditiella ammonoceras Adams, 1863 serially sectioned with a histo-jumbo diamond knife.

3D-reconstructions of the data sets were performed using the software AMRIA, to compare the anatomical information of both methods. The manual histological section and the virtual CT sections were also compared to their morphological significance. CT-data are very helpful to get perfectly aligned section series without destroying critical point dried soft parts. Also it is a good method to investigate problematic specimens, e.g. those containing stones in the mantle cavity or the intestine, which cannot be sectioned with diamond knifes. The resolution of the CT-scans does not reach the same quality as a good histological section series photographed with digital camera setup. Especially small details like tiny nerves or histological details are missing. However, CT-scans are really helpful getting a first, fast overview of the general anatomy, but they cannot replace semi-thin sectioning concerning the microanatomy of these small gastropods.

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