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Type: Journal article
Title: Morphogenesis of the fibrous sheath in the marsupial spermatozoon
Author: Ricci, M.
Breed, W.
Citation: Journal of Anatomy, 2005; 207(2):155-164
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Issue Date: 2005
ISSN: 0021-8782
Statement of
M. Ricci and W. G. Breed
Abstract: The spermatozoon fibrous sheath contains longitudinal columns and circumferential ribs. It surrounds the axoneme of the principal piece of the mammalian sperm tail, and may be important in sperm stability and motility. Here we describe its assembly during spermiogenesis in a marsupial, the brush-tail possum, and compare its structural organization with that of eutherian mammals, birds and reptiles. Transmission electron microscopy showed that possum fibrous sheath assembly is a multistep process extending in a distal-to-proximal direction along the axoneme from steps 4 to 14 of spermiogenesis. For the most part, assembly of the longitudinal columns occurs before that of the circumferential ribs. Immunohistochemical and immunogold labelling showed that fibrous sheath proteins are first present in the spermatid cytoplasm; at least some of the proteins of the sheath precursors differ from those in the mature fibrous sheath. That immunoreactivity develops after initiation of chromatin condensation suggests that fibrous sheath proteins, or their mRNAs, are stored within the spermatid cytoplasmic lobule prior to their assembly along the axoneme. These findings are similar to those in laboratory rats, and thus suggests that the mode of fibrous sheath assembly evolved in a common ancestor over 125 million years ago, prior to the divergence of marsupial and eutherian lineages.
Keywords: fibrous sheath
Description: The definitive version is available at
DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-7580.2005.00437.x
Appears in Collections:Anatomical Sciences publications
Aurora harvest 2
Environment Institute publications

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