Mineral deposition in bacteria-filled and bacteria-free calcium bodies in the crustacean Hyloniscus riparius (Isopoda: Oniscidea).

PloS one

PubMedID: 23554963

Vittori M, Rozman A, Grdadolnik J, Novak U, Štrus J. Mineral deposition in bacteria-filled and bacteria-free calcium bodies in the crustacean Hyloniscus riparius (Isopoda: Oniscidea). PLoS ONE. 2013;8(3):e58968.
Crustacean calcium bodies are epithelial sacs which contain a mineralized matrix. The objectives of this study were to describe the microscopic anatomy of calcium bodies in the terrestrial isopod Hyloniscus riparius and to establish whether they undergo molt-related structural changes. We performed 3D reconstruction of the calcium bodies from paraffin sections and analyzed their structure with light and electron microscopy. In addition, we analyzed the chemical composition of their mineralized matrices with micro-Raman spectroscopy. Two pairs of these organs are present in H. riparius. One pair is filled with bacteria while the other pair is not. In non-molting animals, the bacteria-filled calcium bodies contain apatite crystals and the bacteria-free calcium bodies enclose CaCO3-containing concretions with little organic matrix. During preparation for molt, an additional matrix layer is deposited in both pairs of calcium bodies. In the bacteria-filled calcium bodies it contains a mixture of calcium carbonate and calcium phosphate, whereas only calcium carbonate is present in bacteria-free calcium bodies. After ecdysis, all mineral components in bacteria-free calcium bodies and the additional matrix layer in bacteria-filled calcium bodies are completely resorbed. During calcium resorption, the apical surface of the calcium body epithelium is deeply folded and electron dense granules are present in spaces between epithelial cells. Our results indicate that the presence of bacteria might be linked to calcium phosphate mineralization. Calcium bodies likely provide a source of calcium and potentially phosphate for the mineralization of the new cuticle after molt. Unlike other terrestrial isopods, H. riparius does not form sternal CaCO3 deposits and the bacteria-free calcium bodies might functionally replace them in this species.