Suspensions of Mytilus edulis eggs were fixed with osmium tetroxide at various intervals between 1 and 10 seconds after heavy insemination, and sectioned for electron microscopy to follow the natural process of acrosome reaction in the spermatozoa around the eggs. Sperm suspensions were also fixed after the addition of 10 per cent by volume of M/3 calcium chloride. Within the first second after the acrosome is stimulated to react, an opening appears at its apex, around which the plasma and acrosomal membranes fuse to each other, and the resulting membrane complex is reflected backward, presumably by the swelling of material lining it. At the same time the other material within the now open vesicle disappears, and the rudiment of the acrosomal process, consisting of a short axial rod loosely surrounded by the invaginated part of the acrosomal membrane, is exposed at the anterior side of the sperm head. Within another second this rudiment is extended by elongation of the axial rod and expansion of the surrounding membrane. If the spermatozoon has reacted close to the egg surface, the elongation may be very slight, whereas in suspended spermatozoa the process may reach a length of 13 µ. Possible mechanisms underlying these changes are suggested.

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