Small pieces of the sperm sacs of Lumbricus herculeus were fixed for 4 hours in chrome-osmium, embedded in methacrylate, sectioned with a Porter-Blum microtome, and studied with a R.C.A. EMU-2C electron microscope.
Each spermatid of a group developing synchronously is attached by a cytoplasmic strand to a common nutrient protoplasmic mass. This mass contains mitochondria and yolk bodies but is anucleate.
The proximal centriole, that is, the centriole nearer the nucleus, is at first associated with a small peg which becomes firmly attached to the nuclear membrane. Later these two bodies become separated during the development of the middle-piece which is differentiated in the usual manner from a nebenkern formed by the fusion of 6 or 7 mitochondria.
The acrosome develops in relation to the dictyosome (Golgi body), itself composed of 8 or more individual flattened sacs and situated in the cytoplasm opposite the point of attachment of the spermatid to the nutrient mass. Soon after its formation, the acrosome becomes incorporated into a cytoplasmic appendage or acrosome carrier. The carrier moves from its original position, along the lateral border of the elongating nucleus, to the distal margin of the nucleus where the acrosome is deposited. No evidence was found of a centriole located at the point of junction between nucleus and acrosome as suggested by earlier workers.