The origin of nematode sperm: Progenesis at the cellular level

Abstract

Analysis of the development and structure of aberrant sperm of nematodes and other metazoans with internal insemination showed that these spermatozoa have several unusual, but shared features: (1) the absence of a flagellum and an axoneme, an unusual arrangement of centrioles; (2) an amoeboid shape and amoeboid motility due to cytoskeleton components; (3) the poor condensation of nuclear chromatin, which may be diffuse, thread-like, and discrete; (4) the absence of a nuclear envelope; (5) multiple unmodified mitochondria; (6) the absence of an acrosome; (7) unique membranous components derived from the Golgi complex; and (8) the large size of spermatozoa due to prominent cytoplasm filled with a great number of components. These shared features of aberrant spermatozoa may be explained by the conservation of a number of features that are characteristic of the primitive undifferentiated cell (the predecessor of all specialized gametes). The primitive cell features of numerous versions of aberrant sperm reflect the arrest of cytoplasm specialization of male gametes at an early stage of development. This pattern of gamete evolution is quite consistent with the conception of progenesis (retention of juvenile characters by precocious, sexually mature morphologically juvenile stage). Thus, the origin of the aberrant sperm of nematodes and many other metazoans may be interpreted as progenesis at the cellular level.

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Original Russian Text © V.V. Yushin, V.V. Malakhov, 2014, published in Biologiya Morya.

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Yushin, V.V., Malakhov, V.V. The origin of nematode sperm: Progenesis at the cellular level. Russ J Mar Biol 40, 71–81 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1134/S1063074014020114

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Keywords

  • acrosome
  • axoneme
  • spermatogenesis
  • flagellum
  • membranous organelles
  • fibrous bodies
  • mitochondria
  • progenesis
  • pseudopodia
  • centrioles
  • cytoskeleton
  • nuclear envelope