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Corona in Rotifers

The metachronous beating of cilia on the corona gives the illusion that the corona is a rotating wheel and the corona is sometimes called wheel organ. Rotifer literally means wheel bearer (L. rota: a wheel, ferre: to bear). The corona possibly evolved from a ventral ciliated region near the mouth, which was used for creeping. In Dicranophorus, the corona is used in creeping locomotion. The corona consists of a large oval ventral buccal field around the mouth and a circumapical band extending from the buccal field and encircling the margin of the head. The circumapical band is absent in Dicranophorus. The buccal field is reduced in swimming forms, but some of the cilia may remain as stiff sensory cirri. The circumapical band may have enlarged marginal cilia and may give out a pair of lateral auricles. These lateral auricles are used in swimming and retract during creeping locomotion. In some rotifers the margins of the apical band are modified into an inner anterior circlet or membranelle, the trochus, and an outer posterior circlet, the cingulum. These two circlets incorporate the buccal field so that the whole corona consists of two circlets or membranelles with a ventral mouth between them. The corona of Pedalia and Testudinella consists of a band encircling the head. In many other rotifers the corona is expanded into circular, oval or lobed discs for food gathering, and then there is a groove between the trochus and the cingulum, which carries microscopic food to the mouth. In the Bdelloidea the apical field, enclosed by the trochus, subdivides into two trochal discs raised on pedicels. The cingulum encircles the base of both pedicels and passes below the mouth. In this corona type the mouth is outside the disc. In the sessile Flosculariacea, the mouth is also outside the disc. In these rotifers the apical field comprises a round, oval or lobed disc edged by the two circlets of the trochus and cingulum, of which the trochus is the largest. This type of corona is used in feeding and is non-locomotory. The trochal discs are employed in swimming and feeding and are folded up and retracted during creeping locomotion.

In the Collothecacea the corona is extended into 1,2,3,4,5, or 7 lobes that form an anterior funnel with the mouth at the centre and bottom of the funnel. This functions as a trap to catch small organisms. In exclusive swimmers, like Asplanchna and Synchaeta, the circumapical band is reduced to a single girdle of membranelles often broken into arcs and tufts. The buccal field is also greatly reduced. Corona cilia are often compounded into cirri, membranelles or styles, etc. The corona of male rotifers is usually less modified than that of females. However, adult males of Atrochus, Cupelopagis and Acyclus have no corona. Ref: