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Struttura ed ultrastruttura dell'apparato genitale maschile di Drosophila melanogaster Meig.

I0. Il testicolo

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Summary

The structure of the testes of Drosophila melanogaster Meig. was re-examined by means of phase contrast and polarized light microscopy; the ultrastructure was investigated by electron microscopy. Testes from adult virgins of wild strain “Varese” were studied, but some observations were made also on the testes of different aged insects, of some insects examined at different times during and after mating, and on testes from sterile mutant strains.

The results are summarized in the following points: 1) The testis is made up of an external wall and of an internal germinal tissue. The wall appears to be composed of two overlapping layers of very flattened cells: pigmented cells and muscle cells. 2) The ultrastructure of the muscle cells gives rise to some interesting considerations arising out of the fact that there are two kinds of filaments, but without any evident transverse band organization. 3) The testis falls into three different portions according to the organisation of the germinal tissue: the apical portion (spermatogonial zone), the middle portion (spermagenetic zone) and the terminal portion (spermatic zone). 4) The germinal tissue is made up of germinal cells and interstitial cells. The germinal cells occur in groups consisting of a fixed number of elements in a syncytial state: these groups are enveloped by interstitial cells forming the cyst. The cysts can be considered as the supracellular unit of germinal tissue.

The results are discussed in relation to numerous problems, such as: the existence and meaning of the syncytial state of the germinal cells; the existence of a functional cycle of the interstitial cells associated with the maturation of germinal elements; the phagocytic and mechanical functions of terminal epithelium; the existence of various movements of germinal tissue elements along the length of the testis from the apical zone to the terminal one.

The paper ends with a discussion on functional aspects of the male reproductive organs.

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Ricerche eseguite col sussidio del C.N.R. (Roma).

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Bairati, A. Struttura ed ultrastruttura dell'apparato genitale maschile di Drosophila melanogaster Meig. . Z. Zellforsch. 76, 56–99 (1967). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00337033

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