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Mag. Norbert Cyran

PhD student

Pre-and posthatching alterations within the mantle epithelium of cephalopods in relation to the temporary hatching gland (embryonic development, cell death strategies).


Embryonic development of cephalopods takes place in eggs with a commonly tough and robust integument. Beside mechanical devices as Kölliker bundles (in Octopods) and terminal spines (in Sepiolidae) almost all cephalopods possess a digestive hatching gland (or ‘Hoyle organ’) to weaken the cohesion of the egg integument during hatching. This gland is only temporary, appearing at embryonic stage 23-24 (~ 2 weeks before hatch) and degrading within a few days after hatch. The organ is composed of epithelial gland cells arranged in an anchor shape around the posterior mantle pole.

Degradation of the glandular cells occurs following a defined genetic program however the starting trigger is still unknown. Interestingly, different cephalopod groups have varying cell degradation patterns and different modes of cell death (Autophagy, necrosis-like programmed cell or hybrid types). After hatching all hatching gland associated cells disappear completely and are replaced by ordinary epithelial cells.

This study aims to investigate the time schedule of development and degradation of the hatching gland in cephalopods and to elucidate the combination of developmental programmed cell death modes in these processes.

The present project was financially supported by the Austrian Science Fond FWF (AP 21135).


Core Facility
Cell Imaging and Ultrastructure Research
University of Vienna

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Cell Imaging Lab
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Lastupdate: 04.04.2016 - 13:38