Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Ultrastructure of sperm and spermatogenesis ofRugogaster hydrolagi, Schell 1973 (Platyhelminthes, Trematoda, Aspidogastrea, Rugogastridae)

  • 39 Accesses

  • 15 Citations


Mature sperm ofRugogaster hydrolagi exhibit the structure typical of Trematoda, with 2 axonemes of the 9+“1” pattern being incorporated into the sperm body, dorsal and ventral microtubules occurring in the principal region that contains the nucleus and mitochondrion, and a complete row of peripheral microtubules lying in the proximal region surrounding the two axonemes. During spermiogenesis, a zone of differentiation develops that comprises a row of microtubules along the cell membrane and an adjacent dense region along the nuclear membrane. The intercentriolar body and centrioles appear between the microtubules and the nucleus. Free flagella with striated rootlets grow out in opposite directions, the cell membrane protrudes and lengthens into a median cytoplasmic process (MCP), the nucleus and mitochondrion move into the MCP and the flagella rotate and eventually fuse with the process. A dense region develops in the spermatid shaft some distance from the proximal end, but it is not present in the mature sperm. The spermatid elongates and is eventually pinched off from the residual body at the level of the arching membranes after the rootlets and intercentriolar body have disappeared. Thus, spermatogenesis and sperm in the aspidogastreanRugogaster hydrolagi correspond to those in digenean Trematoda.

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


  1. Bakker KE, Diegenbach PC (1973) The ultrastructure of spermatozoa ofAspidogaster conchicola Baer, 1826 (Aspidogastridae, Trematoda). Neth J Zool 23:345–346

  2. Castilho F, Barandela T (1990) Ultrastructural study on the spermiogenesis and spermatozoon of the metacercariae ofMicrophallus primas (Digenea), a parasite ofCarcinus maenas. Mol Reprod Dev 25:140–146

  3. Daddow LYM, Jamieson BGM (1983) An ultrastructural study of spermiogenesis inNeochasmus sp. (Cryptogonimidae: Digenea: Trematoda). Aust J Zool 31:1–14

  4. Davis RE, Roberts LS (1983) Platyhelminthes-Encestoda. In: Adiyodi KG, Adiyodi RG (eds) Reproductive Biology of Invertebrates. Vol II Spermatogenesis and sperm function. John Wiley and Sons, Chichester New York, pp. 131–149

  5. Ehlers U (1985) Das phylogenetische System der Plathelminthes. Gustav Fischer. Stuttgart New York

  6. Gresson RAR (1965) Spermatogenesis in the hermaphroditic Digenea (Trematoda). Parasitology 55:117–125

  7. Halton DW, Hardcastle A (1976) Spermatogenesis in a monogenean,Diclidophora merlangi. Int J Parasitol 6:43–53

  8. Hendelberg J (1983) Platyhelminthes-Turbellaria. In: Adiyodi KG, Adiyodi RG (eds) Reproductive Biology of Invertebrates. Vol II Spermatogenesis and sperm function. John Wiley and Sons, Chichester New York, pp 75–104

  9. Justine JI (1983) Etude ultrastructurale comparée de la spermiogenèse des monogènes: 1.Megalocotyle (Monopisthocotylea, Capsa idae). J Ultrastruct Res 82:296–308

  10. Justine JL (1984) Comparative ultrastructural study of spermiogenesis in monogeneans (flatworms): 4.Diplectanum (Monopisthocotylea, Diplectanidae). J Ultrastruct Res 88:77–91

  11. Justine JL (1985) Etude ultrastructurale comparée de la spermiogenèse des Digènes et des Monogènes (Platyhelminthes). Relations entre la morphologie du spermatozoïde, la biologie de la fécondation et la phylogénie. Thèse d'Etat, Université des Sciences et Techniques du Languedoc (Montpellier II), France

  12. Justine JL (1991a) Phylogeny of parasitic Platyhelminthes: a critical study of synapomorphies proposed from the ultrastructure of spermiogenesis and spermatozoa. Can J Zool 69:1421–1440

  13. Justine JL (1991b) Cladistic study in the Monogenea (Platyhelminthes), based upon a parsimony analysis of spermiogenetic and spermatozoal ultrastructural characters. Int J Parasitol 21:821–838

  14. Justine JL, Mattei X (1986) Comparative ultrastructural study of spermiogenesis in monogeneas (flatworms): 5.Calceostoma (Monopisthocotylea, Calceostomatidae). J Ultrastruct Mol Struct. Res 96:54–63

  15. Justine JL, Lambert A, Mattei X (1985) Spermatozoon ultrastructure and phylogenetic relationships in the monogeneans (Platyhelmin hes). Int J Parasitol 15:601–608

  16. Mahendrasingam S, Fairweather I, Halton DW (1989) Spermatogenesis and the fine structure of the mature spermatozoon in the free proglottis ofTrilocularia acanthiaevulgaris (Cestoda, Tetraphyllidea). Parasitol Res 75:287–298

  17. Mohandas A (1983) Platyhelminthes-Trematoda. In: Adiyodi KG, Adiyodi RG (eds) Reproductive Biology of Invertebrates. Vol II Spermatogenesis and sperm function. John Wiley and Sons, Chichester New York, pp 105–129

  18. Mokhtar-Maamouri F, Swiderski Z (1975) Étude en microscopic électronique de la spermatogenèse de deux cestodesAcanthobothrium filicolle benedenii Loennberg, 1889 etOnchobothrium uncinatum (Rud., 1819) (Tetraphyllidea, Onchobothriidae). Z Parasitenkd 47:269–281

  19. Rees FG (1979) The ultrastructure of the spermatozoon and spermiogenesis inCryptocotyle lingua (Digenea: Heterophyidae). Int J Parasitol 9:405–419

  20. Rohde K (1971) Untersuchungen anMulticotyle purvisi Dawes, 1941 (Trematoda, Aspidogastrea): VI. Ultrastructur des Spermatozoons. Zool Jahrb Abt Anat 88:399–405

  21. Rohde K (1972) The Aspidogastrea, especiallyMulticotyle purvisi Dawes, 1941. Adv Parasitol 10:77–151

  22. Rohde K (1988) Phylogenetic relationship of free-living and parasitic Platyhelninthes on the basis of ultrastructural evidence. In: Ax P, Ehlers U, Sopott-Ehlers B (eds) Free-living and symbiotic Platyhelminthes. Gustav Fischer, Stuttgart New York, pp 353–357

  23. Rohde K (1990) Phylogeny of Platyhelminthes, with special reference to parasitic groups. Int J Parasitol 20:979–1007

  24. Rohde K, Watson NA, Cribb T (1991) Ultrastructure of sperm and spermatogenesis ofLobatostoma manteri (Trematoda, Aspidogastrea). Int J Parasitol 21:409–419

  25. Rohde K, Heap M, Hayward CJ, Graham KJ (1992).Calicotyle australiensis n. sp. andCalicotyle sp. (Monogenea, Monopisthocotylea) from the rectum and rectal glands, andRugogaster hydrolagi Schell, 1973 (Trematoda, Aspidogastrea) from the rectal glands of holocephalans off the coast of southeastern Australia. Syst Parasitol 21:69–79

  26. Sato M, Oh M, Sakoda K (1967) Electron microscopic study of spermatogenesis in the lung fluke (Paragonimus miyazakii). Z. Zellforsch Mikrosk Anat 77:232–243

  27. Schell SC (1973)Rugogaster hydrolagi gen. et. sp. n. (Trematoda: Aspidobothrea: Rugogastridae fam. n.) from the ratfish,Hydrolagus colliei (Lay and Bennett, 1839). J Parasitol 59:803–805

  28. Schmahl G, Obiekezie A (1991) Fine structure of spermatogenesis in polyopisthocotylid monogeneas (Protomicrocotyle ivoriensis, Gastrocotyle sp). Parasitol Res 77:115–122

  29. Stitt AW, Fairweather I (1990) Spermatogenesis and the fine structure of the mature spermatozoon of the liver fluke,Fasciola hepatica (Trematoda: Digenea). Parasitology 101:395–407

  30. Swiderski Z (1985) Spermiogenesis in the proteocephalid cestodeProteocephalus longicollis. Proc Electron Microsc Soc S Afr 15:181–182

  31. Watson NA, Rohde K (1991) Ultrastructure of spermatogenesis and sperm ofMulticotyle purvisi (Trematoda, Aspidogastrea). Zoomorphology 110:347–356

  32. Xylander WER (1989) Ultrastructural studies on the reproductive system of Gyrocotylidea and Amphilinidae (Cestoda): spermatogenesis, spermatozoa, testis and was deferens ofGyrocotyle. Int J Parasitol 19:897–905

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to N. A. Watson.

Additional information

This work was supported by grants from the Australian Research Council and the University of New England, Armidale

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Watson, N.A., Rohde, K. Ultrastructure of sperm and spermatogenesis ofRugogaster hydrolagi, Schell 1973 (Platyhelminthes, Trematoda, Aspidogastrea, Rugogastridae). Parasitol Res 78, 516–524 (1992).

Download citation


  • Cell Membrane
  • Opposite Direction
  • Nuclear Membrane
  • Dense Region
  • Proximal Region