Continuous circumferential bundles of microtubules, or marginal bands (MBs), are best known as a prominent structural feature of all nonmammalian vertebrate erythrocytes and mammalian blood platelets. Since their discovery in the late 19th century, MBs have been thought to play a cellular morphogenetic role, but no cytological clues to the mechanism of MB biogenesis have been reported. In previous work we have established the presence of MBs in serveral invertebrate blood cell types, including amebocytes and coelomocytes of certain Arthropod species and erythrocytes of a Sipunculan. We report here the occurrence of MBs in erythrocytes of the ark Anadara transversa (Mollusca) and four closely related species. The MBs of these arks have a striking structural feature; each is physically associated with a pair of centrioles. The centrioles are identified as such on the basis of morphological criteria: size, cylindrical shape, right-angle orientation, pairing, and 9-triplet ultrastructure. This intimate association between centrioles and MBs suggests that centrioles may be MB-organizing centers and invites comparative investigation of their possible role in vertebrate erythrocyte and platelet morphogenesis.

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