Gross morphology, histology, and ultrastructure of the olfactory rosette of a critically endangered indicator species, the Delta Smelt, Hypomesus transpacificus

Pedro Alejandro Triana-Garcia, Gabrielle A. Nevitt, Joseph B. Pesavento, Swee J. Teh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The Delta Smelt (Hypomesus transpacificus) is a small, semi-anadromous fish native to the San Francisco Bay-Delta Estuary and has been declared as critically endangered. Their olfactory biology, in particular, is poorly understood and a basic description of their sensory anatomy is needed to advance our understanding of the sensory ecology of species to inform conservation efforts to manage and protect them. We provide a description of the gross morphology, histological, immunohistochemical, and ultrastructural features of the olfactory rosette in this fish and discuss some of the functional implications in relation to olfactory ability. We show that Delta Smelt have a multilamellar olfactory rosette with allometric growth. Calretinin immunohistochemistry revealed a diffuse distribution of olfactory receptor neurons within the epithelium. Ciliated, microvillous and crypt neurons were clearly identified using morphological and immunohistochemical features. The olfactory neurons were supported by robust ciliated and secretory sustentacular cells. Although the sense of smell has been overlooked in Delta Smelt, we conclude that the olfactory epithelium has many characteristics of macrosmatic fish. With this study, we provide a foundation for future research into the sensory ecology of this imperiled fish.

Keywords

  • Fish
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Neuroanatomy
  • Olfaction
  • Sensory ecology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Physiology
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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