In the freshwater snail Biomphalaria glabrata the formation and composition of yolk granules and the role of the follicle cells were studied by histochemical and electron microscopical techniques. The rough endoplasmic reticulum and the Golgi apparatus appeared to be involved in yolk formation, which is a continuous process throughout oogenesis. From the very beginning of yolk formation two main types of yolk granules were distinguished morphologically. However, with histochemical and enzyme cytochemical methods no differences were observed between these types. The granules acquire lysosomal enzymes after oviposition, indicating that their main function is probably digestion of perivitelline fluid, which contains nutrients for the developing embryo. Yolk formation and the activity of the follicle cells were studied in successive stages of oogenesis by quantitative electron microscopy. The data strongly suggest that the follicle cells are involved in the formation of the follicular cavity and hence in the ovulation process.
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