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Ultrastructure of spermatogenesis in the free-living marine nematode Halichoanolaimus sonorus (Chromadorida: Selachinematidae)

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For more content, see Nematologica.

Spermatogenesis of the free-living marine nematode Halichoanolaimus sonorus was studied with electron microscopy. The spermatocyte cytoplasm is filled with ribosomes, mitochondria, cisternae of the RER and Golgi bodies. The spermatids are subdivided into the residual body, which includes the entire synthetic apparatus of the cell, and the main cell body with a centrally located nucleus lacking a nuclear envelope. The mitochondria and the precursors of the fibrous bodies form a layer at the periphery of the main cell body. The main cell body surface bears numerous filopodia. The immature spermatozoa from the testes are unpolarised cells with a centrally located nucleus surrounded by spherical fibrous bodies, mitochondria and membranous stacks; the cell surface is covered by numerous short filopodia. Spermatozoa from the uterus do not show the dramatic changes common for activated spermatozoa of nematodes. Their nuclei, mitochondria, fibrous bodies and surface filopodia remain intact. Bundles of filaments appear between the fibrous bodies. Some of the ultrastructural characters of the spermatogenesis of H. sonorus (late appearance of fibrous bodies and their filamentous structure, absence of membranous organelles at all stages of spermatogenesis, occurrence of numerous surface filopodia in the immature and mature spermatozoa) may be utilised as distinctive cytological characters for phylogenetic analysis of the order Chromadorida.


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