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Cell Tissue Res January 1, 2021; 383 (1): 289-299.

Olfactory subsystems in the peripheral olfactory organ of anuran amphibians.

Jungblut LD , Reiss JO , Pozzi AG .

Anuran amphibians (frogs and toads) typically have a complex life cycle, involving aquatic larvae that metamorphose to semi-terrestrial juveniles and adults. However, the anuran olfactory system is best known in Xenopus laevis, an animal with secondarily aquatic adults. The larval olfactory organ contains two distinct sensory epithelia: the olfactory epithelium (OE) and vomeronasal organ (VNO). The adult organ contains three: the OE, the VNO, and a "middle cavity" epithelium (MCE), each in its own chamber. The sensory epithelia of Xenopus larvae have overlapping sensory neuron morphology (ciliated or microvillus) and olfactory receptor gene expression. The MCE of adults closely resembles the OE of larvae, and senses waterborne odorants; the adult OE is distinct and senses airborne odorants. Olfactory subsystems in other (non-pipid) anurans are diverse. Many anuran larvae show a patch of olfactory epithelium exposed in the buccal cavity (bOE), associated with a grazing feeding mode. And other anuran adults do not have a sensory MCE, but many have a distinct patch of epithelium adjacent to the OE, the recessus olfactorius (RO), which senses waterborne odorants. Olfaction plays a wide variety of roles in the life of larval and adult anurans, and some progress has been made in identifying relevant odorants, including pheromones and feeding cues. Increased knowledge of the diversity of olfactory structure, of odorant receptor expression patterns, and of factors that affect the access of odorants to sensory epithelia will enable us to better understand the adaptation of the anuran olfactory system to aquatic and terrestrial environments.

PubMed ID: 33247771
Article link: Cell Tissue Res

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
GO keywords: olfactory bulb development

References [+] :
Amano, Expression of odorant receptor family, type 2 OR in the aquatic olfactory cavity of amphibian frog Xenopus tropicalis. 2012, Pubmed, Xenbase