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The parasitic nematodes, Ascaridia galli and Trichostrongylus colubriformis, were prepared for electron microscopy with fixatives containing tannic acid, which allowed their microtubule protofilament number to be examined. In contrast to many mammalian tissues, the nematodes did not contain microtubules with 13 protofilaments. Ascaridia galli contained microtubules with 11 protofilaments in all tissues examined, including nerve, intestinal, pharyngeal, and hypodermal cells. Trichostrongylus colubriformis contained nerve cells, known as microtubule cells, with bundles of larger microtubules (approximately 30 nm in diameter) with 14 protofilaments. The microtubules in these cells did not appear to be continuous for the entire length of the axon. Other cells examined in T. colubriformis, including nerve, intestinal and pharyngeal cells, contained two distinct types of microtubules, one with 11 protofilaments and an approximate diameter of 25 nm, and one with 12 protofilaments and an approximate diameter of 27 nm. All cell types examined contained both types of microtubules.


Journal article


J Parasitol

Publication Date





1094 - 1099


Animals, Ascaridia, Chickens, Cytoskeleton, Microscopy, Electron, Microtubules, Species Specificity, Trichostrongyloidea