Spermatogenesis in the charophyte Nitella has been followed in antheridia prepared for light and electron microscopy. The antheridial filament cells contain paired centrioles which are similar in structure and behavior to the centrioles of animal cells. In the early spermatid, the centrioles undergo an initial elongation at their distal ends and become joined by a spindle-shaped fibrous connection. At the same time, their proximal ends are closely associated with the development of a layer of juxtaposed microtubules which will form the microtubular sheath. The architectural arrangement of these microtubules suggests that they constitute a cytoskeletal system, forming a framework along which the mitochondria and plastids become aligned and along which the nucleus undergoes extensive elongation and differentiation. The microtubular sheath persists in the mature sperm. During mid-spermatid stages, the centrioles give rise to the flagella and concomitantly undergo differentiation to become the basal bodies. The Golgi apparatus goes through a period of intensive activity during mid-spermatid stages, then decreases in organization until it can no longer be detected in the late spermatid. An attempt is made to compare similarities between plant and animal spermiogenesis.

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