Flagella-like motion occurs in filamentous spermatozoa of coccid insects, which have diameters (0.16–0.65 µ) and lengths (150–300 µ) similar to those of long flagella, but have no doublets or 9 + 2-like arrangements of microtubules. Light and electron microscope investigations of spermatozoa from 10 species reveal many bizarre patterns of microtubules and suggest some basic similarities to flagella. Detailed analyses of spermatozoa which are naturally bent in definable planes during their elongation in the male and their storage in the female provide evidence that a constant topographical relationship is maintained between their unorthodox patterns of microtubules, as viewed in transections, and the direction of bending. The configuration common to most coccid spermatozoa consists of an acentrically positioned crescent of microtubules surrounded by one to several concentric rings. A line drawn to connect the two ends of the crescent appears to remain perpendicular to the plane of bending, and it defines a plane in which bisection of the spermatozoon produces halves with unequal numbers of microtubules. Bisection of the 9 + 2 motile apparatus in a plane perpendicular to that of bending also appears to produce halves with unequal numbers of microtubules. Therefore, the indispensable elements for flagellar and flagella-like motion may be microtubules arranged in "asymmetric" patterns.
Article| January 01 1972
MICROTUBULAR PATTERNS IN SPERMATOZOA OF COCCID INSECTS IN RELATION TO BENDING
W. Gerald Robison, Jr.
From the Department of Biology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia 22903
Received: June 09 1971
Revision Received: July 19 1971
Online Issn: 1540-8140
Print Issn: 0021-9525
Copyright © 1971 by The Rockefeller University Press
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W. Gerald Robison; MICROTUBULAR PATTERNS IN SPERMATOZOA OF COCCID INSECTS IN RELATION TO BENDING . J Cell Biol 1 January 1972; 52 (1): 66–83. doi: https://doi.org/10.1083/jcb.52.1.66
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