Russian Journal of Marine Biology

, Volume 45, Issue 4, pp 292–301 | Cite as

The Sperm Ultrastructure and Some Reproductive Characteristics of the Chemosymbiotic Bivalve Calyptogena pacifica Dall, 1891 (Vesicomyidae: Pliocardiinae)

  • A. L. DrozdovEmail author
  • E. M. Krylova
  • A. A. Kudryavtsev
  • S. V. Galkin
  • S. A. Tyurin


Pliocardiines (Bivalvia: Vesicomyidae: Pliocardiinae) are a chemosymbiotrophic group of bivalve mollusks that are obligate for reducing environments. These mollusks house endosymbiotic thioautotrophic bacteria in their gills, which provide nutrition for the host. The ultrastructure of spermatozoa and the state of the gonads in the pliocardiine bivalve Calyptogena pacifica in June 2016 were studied. Material was collected in the Bering Sea on the slopes of the Piip’s Volcano at a depth of 466 m. The condition of the gonads indicated a pre-spawning state. Active processes of spermatogenesis and oogenesis were noted in the gonads. The mature spermatozoon has an elongated bullet-shaped head with an average length of 4 ± 0.2 μm from the tip of the acrosome to the base of the mid-piece. The mid-piece was formed by a complex of four spherical mitochondria with a diameter of approximately 0.7 μm. An electron dense material of a lipid nature was observed in the distal region of the mid-piece of the sperm. C.pacifica mature eggs are approximately 200 μm in diameter. The results are discussed in the context of the available data on the morphology of pliocardiine gametes.


reproduction vesicomyids chemosymbiosis-based communities gonads gametogenesis spermatozoa Piip’s Volcano northwestern Pacific 



The authors are grateful to the expedition leader V.V. Ivin, master V.B. Ptushkin, the crew of the R/V Akademik Lavrentyev, as well as to V.A. Denisov and the crew of technicians of the ROV Comanche 18 for their expert help. We are deeply grateful to Yoshihiro Fujiwara (JAMSTEC, Japan), who sent us TEM images of Phreagena soyoae spermatozoa.


This research was performed within the framework of the state assignment project (no. 0149-2019-0009). E.M. Krylova (comparative analysis of reproductive characteristics of pliocardiines) and S.V. Galkin (collection of material) were supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (project no. 18-05-60228).


Conflict of interest. The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Statement on the welfare of animals. This article does not contain any studies involving animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. L. Drozdov
    • 1
    • 4
    Email author
  • E. M. Krylova
    • 2
  • A. A. Kudryavtsev
    • 3
    • 5
  • S. V. Galkin
    • 2
  • S. A. Tyurin
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.National Scientific Center of Marine Biology, Far East Branch, Russian Academy of SciencesVladivostokRussia
  2. 2.Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, Russian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia
  3. 3.Zoological Institute, Russian Academy of SciencesSt. PetersburgRussia
  4. 4.Far Eastern Federal UniversityVladivostokRussia
  5. 5.St. Petersburg State UniversitySt. PetersburgRussia

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