A New Look at Monogenea and Digenea Spermatozoa
The spermatozoa of parasitic platyhelminths (Cestoda, Monogenea, Digenea) are generally rather long (up to 400 μm), threadlike and very thin (ca. 1 μm). For this reason, they are usually studied in transverse sections; in any group of these, the overwhelming majority are sections of the so-called “middle region”, showing dorsal and ventral microtubules, mitochondrion, two 9+“l” axonemes and nucleus. These are the sections most often described. Scattered among such sections are a very small proportion which do not conform to the general pattern (their relative infrequency reflects the shortness of the region involved). We have demonstrated (2, 4) that some of these aberrant sections show the anterior region of the spermatozoon, on which we have concentrated our efforts, using ultrathin serial sections.
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