Document Type


Publication Date




Publication Title

Journal of Experimental Biology








Understanding the extent to which changes in muscle form and function underlie ontogenetic changes in locomotory behaviors and performance is important in understanding the evolution of musculoskeletal systems and also the ecology of different life stages. We explored ontogenetic changes in the structure, myosin heavy chain (MHC) expression and contractile properties of the circular muscles that provide power for jet locomotion in the long-finned squid Doryteuthis pealeii. The circular muscle fibers of newly hatched paralarvae had different sizes, shapes, thick filament lengths, thin: thick filament ratio, myofilament organization and sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) distribution than those of adults. Viewed in cross section, most circular muscle cells were roughly triangular or ovoid in shape with a core of mitochondria; however, numerous muscle cells with crescent or other unusual cross-sectional shapes and muscle cells with unequal distributions of mitochondria were present in the paralarvae. The frequency of these muscle cells relative to 'normal' circular muscle cells ranged from 1: 6 to 1: 10 among the 19 paralarvae we surveyed. The thick filaments of the two types of circular fibers, superficial mitochondria-rich (SMR) and central mitochondria-poor (CMP), differed slightly in length among paralarvae with thick filament lengths of 0.83+/-0.15 μm and 0.71+/-0.1μm for the SMR and CMP fibers, respectively (P 0.05; ANOVA). During ontogeny the thick filament lengths of both the CMP and SMR fibers increased significantly to 1.78+/-0.27 μm and 3.12+/-0.56 μm, respectively, in adults (P-1 (where L0 was the preparation length that generated the peak isometric stress), nearly twice that measured in other studies for the CMP fibers of adults. The mean peak isometric stress was 119+/-15mN mm-2 physiological cross section, nearly half that measured for the CMP fibers of adults. Reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction analysis of paralarval and adult mantle samples revealed very similar expression patterns of the two known isoforms of squid MHC. The ontogenetic differences in the structure and physiology of the circular muscles may result in more rapid mantle movements during locomotion. This prediction is consistent with jet pulse durations observed in other studies, with shorter jet pulses providing hydrodynamic advantages for paralarvae.

Original Publication Citation

Thompson, J. T., Bartol, I. K., Baksi, A. E., Li, K. Y., & Krueger, P. S. (2010). The ontogeny of muscle structure and locomotory function in the long-finned squid Doryteuthis pealeii. Journal of Experimental Biology, 213(7), 1079-1091. doi:10.1242/jeb.034553