Document Detail

The spermatozoon of Eurasian murine rodents: Its morphological diversity and evolution.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  15164367     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The murine rodents are the most speciose subfamily of mammals. Here the morphology of the spermatozoon, as determined by scanning and transmission electron microscopy of representative species from four Eurasian clades, is described. Much interspecific variability in all components of the spermatozoon was found to occur, although most species have a bilaterally flattened sperm head with a single apical hook of variable length and orientation. Ultrastructural observations indicate that this apical hook invariably contains a nuclear projection as well as a large extension of the subacrosomal cytoskeleton, as a perforatorium rostrally, and a complex asymmetrical acrosomal extension. These spermatozoa also have relatively long tails that are attached to the lower concave surface of the sperm head. Uniquely, in species in the Apodemus clade, the apical hook is orientated caudally. In a few species a highly derived sperm head morphotype that does not contain an apical hook is present. These sperm heads vary in morphology from being globular in two species of Bandicota, to bilaterally flattened and paddle-shaped in Tokudaia and Micromys. In spermatozoa of the latter two genera the subacrosomal cytoskeleton, which is less extensive than in species with a hooked sperm head, forms an apical extension, but that is not the case in Bandicota. In all species where the sperm head lacks an apical hook the acrosome is more symmetrical. The sperm tail is much shorter in these species, with attachment to the head occurring on the ventral surface in Tokudaia and basal in Micromys and the two species of Bandicota. As the sperm head morphotype with a complex apical hook is present in all the major clades of murine rodents, it is likely to be a plesiomorphic character within each of these clades, with the nonhooked sperm heads, which vary greatly in structure between species of the different lineages, probably being independently derived. The ultrastructural organization of the sperm head of Bandicota, but not those of Micromys or Tokudaia, suggest divergence in some of the morphological events associated with sperm-egg interaction at the time of fertilization.
William G Breed
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Comparative Study; Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of morphology     Volume:  261     ISSN:  0362-2525     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Morphol.     Publication Date:  2004 Jul 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2004-05-27     Completed Date:  2005-01-26     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0406125     Medline TA:  J Morphol     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  52-69     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
Copyright 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Department of Anatomical Sciences, The University of Adelaide, SA 5005, Australia.
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MeSH Terms
Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
Microscopy, Electron, Transmission
Rodentia / anatomy & histology*
Sperm Head / ultrastructure*
Sperm Tail / ultrastructure*

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