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Tissue Cell. 1999 Aug;31(4):413-20. doi: 10.1054/tice.1999.0052.

Structure and energy pathways of spermatozoa of the rove beetle Aleochara bilineata (Coleoptera, Staphylinidae).

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Institute of Biology (Zoology), University of Freiburg, Germany.


The morphology of mature spermatozoa of the rove beetle Aleochara bilineata was examined by using scanning and transmission electron microscopy. They are about 1000 mum long and filiform. The acrosome and the nucleus are elongate and each about 20 mum long. A well-developed centriole adjunct region connects the nucleus with the sperm tail. The axoneme reveals the 9 + 9 + 2 pattern of the pterygote sperm flagellum. Two accessory bodies and two mitochondrial derivatives with paracrystalline inclusions are present. Cristae are reduced to the cortical zone of the derivatives. Cytochrome-c oxidase activity was detected within the cristae by DAB-reaction. The energy metabolism of the spermatozoa was investigated by using different inhibitors affecting the mitochondrial and cytoplasmic metabolic pathways. Sperm movement was used as an indicator for the utilization of ATP by the axoneme. In control experiments, the duration of motility was longer than 45 min. In the presence of atractyloside or potassium cyanide the motility duration was not affected. On the other hand, iodoacetic acid in the medium stopped sperm motility within 15 min. This indicates that sperm energy metabolism mainly depends on the glycolytic pathway.

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