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The silkglands of the 5th instar larvae of silkworms were dissected under the stereomicroscope. There are 3 parts to the gland : anterior, straight part; middle, loop-shaped part; and the posterior, coiled part. The anterior part of the silkglands were processed through the standard technique for the transmission electron microscope for this study. We found in the columnar cells of this simple tubular gland that it possessed the rough endoplasmic reticulum and a great number of mitochondria. This finding led us to propose that the anterior part of the gland also synthesized proteins. We also disclosed that the respiratory tract (air tubes) sent its terminal branches to the gland cell cytoplasm. This gave proof through our study that both oxygen and harmful things in the air could reach the cytoplasm of silkgland cells quite readily.
Key words : silk gland, Bombyx mori, function, ultrastructure.