Male scale insects of the species Parlatoria oleae Colvée (Homoptera: Coccoidea) produce motile sperm bundles. The bundle is a syncytium consisting of 10 to 20 closely packed, filamentous spermatozoa, which share a common cytoplasm and are enclosed in a common membrane. The individual spermatozoon is not surrounded by a plasma membrane, but is delimited by a scroll-like sheath composed of 45 to 50 microtubules. The microtubules run parallel to the long axis of the spermatozoon and are arranged in a spiral pattern as seen in transection. The outside diameter measures approximately 140 to 220 A and the inside diameter, 70 to 100 A. The spermatozoon is about 300 µ long and tapers gradually from a diameter of approximately 0.3 µ anteriorly to 0.1 µ posteriorly. The anterior half (150 µ) has a threadlike core of chromatin about 0.07 µ in diameter. A homogeneous cytoplasm surrounds the nuclear core and fills the posterior half of the spermatozoon. Neither osmium tetroxide nor glutaraldehyde fixation revealed the presence of a nuclear envelope, acrosomal membranes, mitochondria, flagellum, or centrioles. In spite of the apparent lack of orthodox cell organelles, the spermatozoon is actively motile upon release from the bundle. It exhibits capactiy for motility throughout its entire length. Since the sheath of microtubules is the only structure which extends the full length of the spermatozoon, it probably plays a significant role in spermatozoan motility.
Article| May 01 1966
MICROTUBULES IN RELATION TO THE MOTILITY OF A SPERM SYNCYTIUM IN AN ARMORED SCALE INSECT
W. Gerald Robison, Jr.
From the Department of Genetics and the Electron Microscope Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley.
Dr. Robison's present address is the Department of Anatomy, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
Received: October 21 1965
Online Issn: 1540-8140
Print Issn: 0021-9525
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W. Gerald Robison; MICROTUBULES IN RELATION TO THE MOTILITY OF A SPERM SYNCYTIUM IN AN ARMORED SCALE INSECT . J Cell Biol 1 May 1966; 29 (2): 251–265. doi: https://doi.org/10.1083/jcb.29.2.251
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