Research Articles


, Volume 49, Issue 6, pp 593-595

First online:

Two-step acquisition of motility by insect spermatozoa

  • M. OsanaiAffiliated withDepartment of Biology, Faculty of Science, Kanazawa University
  • , B. BaccettiAffiliated withIstituto di Biologia Generale, Universita' di Siena

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High motility of eupyrene sperm of a grasshopper (Omocestus ventralis) was induced by cAMP. Both trypsin and cAMP were necessary for high motility of eupyrene sperm of three other species of grasshoppers. The same was found for apyrene sperm of the silkmoth,Bombyx mori, when they had been wahsed free from seminal plasma. On the other hand, in locusts (Locusta migratoria), in which the yellow gland has high Arg-C endopeptidase activity, sperm motility was induced by trypsin, like that of apyrene sperm of Lepidoptera. Thus in these two orders of Insecta, sperm motility appears to be induced by the same two-step process: the first step by Arg-C endopeptidase, and the second by cAMP.

Key words

Motility acquisition of spermatozoa insects Arg-C endopeptidase cAMP initiatorin