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Dynamics of spermiogenesis in Drosophila melanogaster

I. Individualization process

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Summary

A morphogenetic process that transforms spermatids from a syncytial state to a state in which each spermatid is invested in its own membrane, is initiated at the head region of the spermatid bundle and traverses through the entire length of the bundle in the testis of Drosophila melanogaster. This process not only eliminates the syncytial bridges between spermatids but also removes unneeded organelles and the excess parts of the nuclear membrane, nucleoplasm and cytoplasm. It also brings about structural modifications to flagellar elements. The propagation of this process is seen as the caudal movement of a fusiform swelling of the spermatid bundle, 100 μ or more in length. Spermatids are individualized in the basal half of the swelling, whereas they remain syncytial in the apical half. The swelling increases its volume as it accumulates cytoplasmic debris while traversing the sperm bundle, from about 15 μ in maximum diameter in the basal testicular region to as large as 30 μ at the apical end where it becomes a bag of wastes. A variation of the process in a mutant stock which is known to inactivate up to half of the products of meiosis is briefly described. The morphological change of interspermatid bridges prior to the individualization is also reported.

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This work was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health (USPHS-HD 03015 and GM-15971) and a contract from the Atomic Energy Commission, AT(04-3)-34, P.A. 150.

Graduate training grant USPHS GM 00702.

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Tokuyasu, K.T., Peacock, W.J. & Hardy, R.W. Dynamics of spermiogenesis in Drosophila melanogaster . Z. Zellforsch. 124, 479–506 (1972). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00335253

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00335253

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