Advertisement

Springer Nature is making Coronavirus research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Regional specialization of the sperm membrane in the tick Amblyomma hebraeum koch (Acari: Ixodidae)

  • 33 Accesses

  • 8 Citations

Summary

The spermatozoon of Amblyomma hebraeum is about 200 μm long and comprises: (1) a thick, club-shaped anterior part, about 20 μm long bearing at its apex a “tactile” hemisphere, and (2) an elongated tail-like part, about 180 μm long. The surface of the “tactile” hemisphere is covered by numerous bulbous expansions, attached to it by short stalks. The base of the hemisphere is surrounded by a fringe of thin motile processes; the remaining surface of the spermatozoon is covered with long cellular processes which run more or less parallel to one another.

The membrane-associated particles found on the membrane beneath the cellular processes are regularly arranged as groups of parallel strands. The external surface of the so-called “peripheral granules”, as revealed by freeze-etching, is smooth with a very small number of particles. Internally the particles exhibit a regular hexagonal pattern which has not been observed, so far, on any other membrane of these sperm cells.

The regional specialization of the spermatozoon surface membrane in relation to sperm motility is discussed. The results obtained indicate that processes of three types: (1) bulbous expansions, (2) motile processes, and (3) cellular processes are regional specializations, all engaged in aspects of sperm motility.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. Bonnet A (1907) Sur les organes génitaux mâles et la spermatogénèse chez les Ixodes. CR Ass Franç Avanc Sci 35:544–549

  2. Breucker H, Horstmann E (1968) Die Spermatozoen der Zecke Ornithodoros moubata (Murr). Z Zellforsch 88:1–22

  3. Breucker H, Horstmann E (1972) Die Spermatogenese der Zecke Ornithodoros moubata (Murr). Z Zellforsch 123:18–46

  4. Brinton LP, Burgdorfer W, Oliver JH Jr (1974) Histology and fine structure of spermatozoa and egg passage in the female tract of Dermacentor andersoni Stiles (Acari-Ixodidae). Tissue and Cell 1:109–125

  5. Casteel DB (1917) Cytoplasmic inclusions in male germ cell of the fowl tick. J Morphol 28:643–683

  6. Feldman-Muhsam B, Filshie BK (1976) Scanning and transmission electron microscopy of the spermiophores of Ornithodoros ticks: an attempt to explain their motility. Tissue Cell 8:411–419

  7. Friend DS, (1974) Acrosomal distribution in sperm: freeze fracture of altered membranes. J Cell Biol 63:466–479

  8. Oliver JH, Brinton LP (1973) Sperm maturation in ticks: an example of capacitation in invertebrates. Proc 3rd Int Congress Acarol Prague, 1971, Academia, 733–737

  9. Oppermann E (1935) Die Entstehung der Riesen-Spermien von Argas columbarum (Shaw) (reflexus F.). Z Mikrosk Anat Forsch 37:538–560

  10. Orci L, Perrelet A (1975) Freeze-Etch Histology. A Comparison between Thin Sections and Freeze-Etch Replicas. Springer-Verlag, Berlin Heidelberg New York

  11. Reger JF (1961) The fine structure of spermatids from the tick Amblyomma dissimili. J Ultrastruct Res 5:584–599

  12. Reger JF (1962) A fine structure study on spermiogenesis in the tick Amblyomma dissimili with special reference to the development of motile processes. J Ultrastruct Res 7:550–565

  13. Reger JF (1963) Spermiogenesis in the tick Amblyomma dissimili as revealed by electron microscopy. J Ultrastruct Res 8:607–621

  14. Reger JF (1974) The origin and fine structure of cellular processes in spermatozoa of the tick Dermacentor andersoni. J Ultrastruct Res 48:420–434

  15. Rothschild L (1961) Structure and movement of tick spermatozoa (Arachnida, Acari). QJ Microsc Sci 102:239–247

  16. Sharma GP (1944) Studies on spermatogenesis in ticks. Proc Natl Inst Sci India 10:305–316

  17. Tuzet O, Millot J (1937) Recherches sur la spermiogenèse des Ixodes. Bull Biol Fr Belg 71:190–205

  18. Wagner-Jevseenko O (1958) Fortpflanzung bei Ornithodorus moubata und genitale Übertragung von Borrelia duttoni. Acta Trop (Basel) 15:118–168

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to Dr. Zdzislaw Swiderski.

Additional information

The technical assistance of Mr. R. Haemmerle of Balzers Research Laboratories, Mrs. F. Seif and Miss C. Pugin, is gratefully acknowledged

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

El Said, A., Swiderski, Z. Regional specialization of the sperm membrane in the tick Amblyomma hebraeum koch (Acari: Ixodidae). Cell Tissue Res. 208, 35–45 (1980). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00234171

Download citation

Key words

  • Tick spermatozoa
  • Membrane specialization
  • Sperm motility