The sperm glycocalyx of Pezotettix giornai (Rossi) (Insecta: Orthoptera) after quick-freeze, deep-etching.

Department of Evolutionary Biology, University of Siena, Italy.
Italian journal of anatomy and embryology = Archivio italiano di anatomia ed embriologia 02/2001; 106(2 Suppl 2):181-8.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Mature spermatozoa of the catantopid orthopteran Pezotettix giornai are characterized by an elaborate external glycocalyx. This coating is removed during storage in spermatheca allowing preparation of sperm to their interaction with female gametes. We have studied this membrane coating in mature sperm by both conventional transmission electron microscopy and quick-freeze, deep-etching. The ultrastructural studies allowed visualization of three different domains in glycocalyx of testicular and deferent duct spermatozoa and only two in sperm cell isolated from seminal vesicles. These observations thus demonstrate that a remodeling of the male germ cell starts already during their storage in the seminal vesicle and is completed in the female genital tract. In this paper a three-dimensional (3D) model of sperm external coating is presented and discussed.