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Type: Journal article
Title: Spermatozoa of the old endemic rodents of Australia - the possible functional significance of their ventral processes
Author: Drew, S.
Leigh, C.
Breed, W.
Citation: Reproduction Fertility and Development, 2014; 26(8):1183-1187
Publisher: C S I R O Publishing
Issue Date: 2014
ISSN: 1031-3613
Statement of
Simon Drew, Chris Leigh and William G. Breed
Abstract: Spermatozoa of the plains mouse (Pseudomys australis), like those of most Australian old endemic rodents, contain, in addition to an apical hook, two further processes that extend from the upper concave surface of the head, the ventral processes. This study shows that these processes contain thiol-rich cytoskeletal proteins, which presumably help to maintain their rigidity during sperm transport, together with the overlying cell membrane having abundant intramembranous proteins. To determine the possible functional significance of these processes, an in vitro study of spermatozoon-zona binding was undertaken. The findings suggest that initial sperm binding occurs by way of the cell membrane over the acrosome of the apical hook and that, subsequently, the lateral surfaces of the ventral processes also become tightly bound to the zona matrix. These ventral processes may therefore have evolved to increase sperm adhesion to the outer zona surface and/or to enhance stabilisation of the spermatozoon at the time of zona binding and initial penetration of the egg coat.
Keywords: egg coats; hydromyine rodents
Rights: Journal compilation © CSIRO 2013
RMID: 0020134806
DOI: 10.1071/RD13162
Appears in Collections:Anatomical Sciences publications

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