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Ultrastructural evidence of sperm dimorphism in Deladenus sp. (Tylenchomorpha: Sphaerularioidea: Allantonematidae)

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image of Nematology
For more content, see Nematologica.

The dimorphic spermatozoa of the insect-parasitic nematode Deladenus sp. (Tylenchomorpha: Sphaerularioidea: Allantonematidae) were studied for the first time with a transmission electron microscope (TEM). The immature spermatozoa from the testis of mycetophagous males are 10-12 μm diam. and 4-5 μm long unpolarised cells with a centrally located nucleus without a nuclear envelope. The cytoplasm contains mitochondria and specific components, membranous organelles (MO) and fibrous bodies (FB). The MO are spherical vesicles with an internal system of finger-like invaginations of the membrane; the spindle-shaped FB consist of tightly packed parallel fibres. Spermatozoa from the uteri of infective females of Deladenus sp. are vastly different in size being tiny cells ca 2 μm diam. with a spherical or oval nucleus. Each cell contains several mitochondria and MO. Although each individual of Deladenus sp. contains only monomorphic spermatozoa, sperm dimorphism was revealed after analysis of the whole life cycle. Despite a difference in size the cytological characters of both types of spermatozoa conform to the typical rhabditid pattern. The presence of both MO and FB in sphaerularioidid spermatozoa differentiates the superfamily Sphaerularioidea from Tylenchoidea whose representatives lack MO in the spermatogenic cells.

Affiliations: 1: Institute of Marine Biology FEB RAS, Vladivostok 690041, Russia; 2: Hokkaido Research Center, Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute, Hitsujigaoka 7, Toyohira, Sapporo, Hokkaido 062-8516, Japan; 3: Shikoku Research Center, Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute, Asakuranishimachi 2-915, Kochi 780-8077, Japan


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