Ultrastructure of the gastro intestinal tract of healthy Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica) using light and scanning electron microscopy

Ngare Wilkinson, Ivan Dinev, William J. Aspden, Robert J. Hughes, Ingrid Christiansen, James Chapman, Sheeana Gangadoo, Robert J. Moore, Dragana Stanley

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3 Citations (Scopus)


The Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica) are popular both as an alternative protein source and as a model of choice for scientific research in several disciplines. There is limited published information on the histological features of the intestinal tract of Japanese quail. The only comprehensive reference is a book published in 1969. This study aims to fill that niche by providing a reference of general histological features of the Japanese quail, covering all the main sections of the intestinal tract. Both light and scanning electron microscope (SEM) images are presented. Results showed that the Japanese quail intestinal tract is very similar to that of the chicken with the exception of the luminal koilin membrane of the gizzard. Scanning electron microscopic photomicrographs show that in the Japanese quail koilin vertical rods are tightly packed together in a uniform manner making a carpet-like appearance. This differs in chicken where the conformations of vertical rods are arranged in clusters.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)378-387
Number of pages10
JournalAnimal Nutrition
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018


  • Coturnix japonica
  • Gastrointestinal tract
  • Histology
  • Japanese quail
  • Microscopy
  • Scanning electron microscopy

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