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J Morphol. 2004 Jan;259(1):1-6.

Roles of actin networks in peristaltic squeezing of sperm bundles in Bombyx mori.

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Division of Applied Bioscience, Graduate School of Agriculture, Hokkaido University, Sapporo 060-8589, Japan.


Two types of sperm are produced in the silkworm, Bombyx mori. Nucleate eupyrene sperm is an ordinary sperm that contributes to fertilization, while anucleate apyrene sperm is considered to play important roles in assisting eupyrene sperm. At the very late stage of spermatogenesis, a phenomenon called "peristaltic squeezing" occurs in both types of sperm, whereby cytoplasm of the eupyrene and nuclei of the apyrene sperm are discarded from the posterior end, forming matured sperm. In this study, rhodamine-phalloidin staining for actin was applied to sperm bundles. Before the start of peristaltic squeezing, actin filament networks are spread on the cyst cells and constrictions by the networks appear in several places of the bundles. Actin particles, which are later recognized as circlets, are localized within the bundles. Squeezing action by the networks occurs from the anterior region and transfers toward the posterior, eliminating cytoplasm together with circlets from the posterior end. It seems that actin filaments contribute to the peristaltic squeezing of the sperm bundles in Bombyx mori.

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