ISSN 10630740, Russian Journal of Marine Biology, 2010, Vol. 36, No. 6, pp. 429–434. © Pleiades Publishing, Ltd., 2010.
Original Russian Text © Yu.A. Karetin, 2010, published in Biologiya Morya.
Cultured hemocytes of mollusks acquired a com
plex morphology after spreading that was hard to
describe using the common morphometric parame
ters. The application of fractal formalisms provides an
effective alternative to the classical approach: “The
men of science will be very surprised (I am sure of that)
and pleased, having found that henceforth they have
an opportunity to consider with strict (but fair) quan
titative positions those forms that they formerly char
acterized using various “unscientific” words, such as
branchy, seaweed like, wavy, twisting, flocculent,
intermediate, pimply, fluffy, speckled, wrinkled, con
fused, strange, rough, etc.” .
During the description of forms that are united
only by such general linear signs as size and the elon
gation or displacement of the center of mass of an
image relative to its geometrical center, it is logical to
provide nonlinear morphometric signs that enable one
to assess the degree of nonuniformity of spatial cover
ing by an object, the spatial complexity of an object,
and the connectivity of its elements. Fractal analysis,
one of the basic methods for making nonlinear analy
ses of morphology, depends on the description of nat
ural objects as quasifractal or fractaloid structures.
Quasifractality has been investigated at all levels of
the organization of living systems. The branching of
plants and coral colonies , the fractal structures of
the lungs, blood system, cerebral hemispheres [8, 9,
30], cancerous tumors [23, 24] are classical examples
of quasifractals in morphology and anatomy. Studies
of the fractal morphology of neurons  have already
become classic at the cytological level. The fractality
of arrangement of DNA nucleotide sequences has
been studied at the molecular level in detail .
The structural organization of cells is determined
by numerous factors, e.g., functional dynamics of
cells, including their responses to environmental fea
tures [18, 25], extracellular matrix [2, 14, 20, 28], the
genetic, biochemical and physiological features of
cells [3, 7, 11, 13, 19, 27], in particular, cytoskeleton
structure [5, 10, 12, 16, 17, 21, 22], and the set of cel
lular adhesion molecules . Thus, the analysis of cell
morphology is of great value for understanding their
functional condition and patterns of ontogenesis.
In this work, a comparative analysis of the mor
phology of in vitro hemocytes of two species of marine
invertebrates using the fractal formalism was carried
out for the first time.
MATERIAL AND METHODS
This work was carried out on the hemocytes of two
bivalve species, the scallop
(Pectinidae) and Pacific mussel
(Mytilidae) (see figure). The animals were sampled in
the middle of September in the Vostok Bay of the Peter
the Great Bay. The mollusks were cut open and then
hemolymph was taken with a syringe from the pericar
dium in the scallops and from the mantle cavity of the
Pacific mussel and immediately placed on a cover
A Comparative Analysis of the Nonlinear Morphometry
of in vitro Spread Hemocytes in Two Bivalve Species
Yu. A. Karetin
Institute of Marine Biology, Far East Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, Vladivostok, 690041 Russia
Far East State University, Vladivostok, 690000 Russia
Received November 19, 2009
—Fractal analysis of the morphology of in vitro spreading hemocytes of the Japanese scallop
and Pacific mussel
revealed significant differences in the cells of both
species according to several parameters of quasifractal organization. These differences support the applica
bility of this approach for numerical description of complex forms of cells that are “wrong” from the point of
view of classical geometry and the taxon specificity of the quasifractal organization of molluscan hemocytes.
Interspecific distinctions in the morphologies of individuals and two and three cell conglomerates in the local
dimension, massradial dimension, Kolmogorov’s dimensions, and lacunarity were revealed.
, hemocytes, mean mass fractal dimen
sion, binned probability distribution fractal dimension, boxcounting dimension, mean local connected frac
tal dimension, mean local fractal dimension, lacunarity.