Spermiogenesis in a Scutariellid (Platyhelminthes)

Carlo Iomini, Marco Ferraguti, Giulio Melone, Jean‐Lou ‐L Justine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Spermiogenesis and spermatozoa were studied by transmission and scanning electron microscopy in Troglocaridicolasp., a scutariellid epizoic on a cavernicolous freshwater shrimp. Spermiogenesis involves elongation of the spermatid in which the nucleus elongates, but remains close to the common cytoplasmic mass. Flagella first grow in opposite direction and at a right angle to the cytoplasmic shaft, and centrioles show associate structures. Later, the two centrioles rotate and the flagella emerge parallel, but still perpendicular to the shaft. An apical process elongates at the extremity of the spermatid shaft. The spermatozoon shows active flagellar beating and undulations of the sperm body. The spermatozoon comprises an anterior ‘corkscrew’ region, the flagellar insertion region, a cytoplasmic region and a posterior nuclear region. The corkscrew contains an electron dense structure, not membrane‐bound, originating from the apical process of the spermatid. The flagella show the 9+‘1’ pattern, usual in Platyhelminthes. The cytoplasmic and nuclear regions show a cortical row of about 50 twisted longitudinal microtubules surrounding a row of electron dense, and not membrane‐bound, 25‐nm granules. These granules are original structures and seem to be known only in a few Platyhelminthes species in which a non‐flagellar movement of the spermatozoon occurs. Thus, it is hypothesised that the 25‐nm granules play a role in cellular motility. Sperm ultrastructure in Troglocaridicolashows major differences to that in the temnocephalids. It is therefore concluded that the phylogenetic position of the scutariellids within the Temnocephalidea should be reinvestigated. 1994 The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)287-295
Number of pages9
JournalActa Zoologica
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1994
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Cell Biology


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