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n.1.(Zool.) One of the dilatations of the body wall of Bryozoa in which the ova sometimes undergo the first stages of their development. See Illust. of Chilostoma.
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The host gene expression changes due to the development of an embryo within the ovicell could potentially override gene expression differences influenced by the symbiont cells.
Interestingly, the experiment by Crean and Marshall (2008) also revealed phenotypic plasticity in egg size, manifested by increases in egg follicle cell area (accessory structures surrounding the eggs) and an accompanying (but proportionally smaller) reduction in the size of the ovicell. Overall, larger eggs were produced under low population densities, which may represent an adaptation to sperm limitation.
Adaptation and constraint as determinants of zooid and ovicell size among encrusting ascophoran cheilostome Bryozoa from opposite sides of the Isthmus of Panama.
neritina) colonies with obvious larva-containing ovicells were collected.
Photo: A skeletal colony of T.psammophila on the edge of a grain shows developing ovicells, the brood chambers where embryos change into swimming larvae.
Lecithotrophic larvae are brooded in ovicells external to the maternal zooid, and most colonies used in this analysis contained these reproductive polymorphs.
are brooded on the adult colony in specialized structures called ovicells (Woollacott and Zimmer, 1972).