The cardiac portion of the stomach is lined with macrovilli in a few rodent genera. These are Mystromys (Cricetinae, Cricetidae), Myospalax (Myospalacinae, Cricetidae), Tachyoryctes (Tachyoryctinae, Cricetidae), and Cryptomys(Bathyergidae). The macrovilli favor the development of symbiotic flora and are called symbiovilli. Growth of the corneal epithelium of the cardiac portion of the stomach serves as a morphological basis of symbiovilli. Cases of a hereditary malignant neoplasm giving rise to the formation of multiple macrovilli in the cardiac portion of the stomach have been found in Microtus abbreviatus (Microtinae, Cricetidae), a vole endemic to St. Matthew Island in the Bering Sea. The macrovilli resulting from the papillomatosis mutation are morphologically and histologically identical to the macrovilli of the stomach of the four aforementioned genera. The voles affected with papillomatosis still survive long enough to reproduce. Therefore, the macromutation that leads to death in adult and old voles has been fixed as a species character in some rodent genera. At the early stages of papillomatosis, the pathogenic morphogenesis creates favorable conditions for the development of symbiotic microflora, which gives a selective advantage to the affected animals. It is assumed that mutations with pathogenic effects have been fixed as a species character as a result of heterochrony. The pathogenic neoplasm serves as a preadaptation for the growth of symbiotic flora in the stomach. The mechanisms of the fixation of Goldschmidt's “systemic mutations” during phylogeny are discussed.
Russian Journal of Genetics – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 7, 2004
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