Acta Parasitologica

, Volume 53, Issue 1, pp 19–29 | Cite as

Ultrastructure of spermiogenesis in the caryophyllidean cestode Wenyonia virilis Woodland, 1923, with re-assessment of flagellar rotation in Glaridacris catostomi Cooper, 1920

  • Jordi Miquel
  • Zdzisław Świderski
  • John S. Mackiewicz
  • Mohammed H. Ibraheem
Original Paper


The ultrastructure of spermiogenesis in Wenyonia virilis Woodland, 1923, a caryophyllaeid cestode from the silurid Nile fish Synodontis schall (Bloch et Schneider, 1801), is described by means of transmission electron microscopy (TEM) for the first time. Spermiogenesis follows the characteristic caryophyllidean type and is initiated by the formation of a differentiation zone. This area, delimited at its base by a ring of arching membranes and bordered by cortical microtubules, contains two centrioles associated with typical striated rootlets with a reduced intercentriolar body between them. The apical area of the differentiation zone exhibits electron-dense material that is present only during the early stages of spermiogenesis. Only one of the centrioles develops into a free flagellum that grows at an angle of >90° in relation to the cytoplasmic extension. Spermiogenesis is also characterized by a flagellar rotation and a proximodistal fusion of the flagellum with the cytoplasmic extension. The most interesting features observed in W virilis are the presence of a reduced, very narrow intercentriolar body and the unique type of flagellar rotation >90°. Results are compared with those described in two caryophyllideans, Glaridacris catostomi Cooper, 1920 and Khawia armeniaca (Cholodkovski, 1915). Contrary to the original report of Świderski and Mackiewicz (2002), that flagellar rotation has never been observed in spermiogenesis of G. catostomi, re-assessment of their description and illustrations leads us to conclude that flagellar rotation must logically occur in that species. The value of various morphological features of sperm in phylogenetic inference is discussed.


Wenyonia virilis Glaridacris catostomi Caryophyllidea Cestoda spermiogenesis ultrastructure 


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© Versita 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jordi Miquel
    • 1
  • Zdzisław Świderski
    • 2
    • 3
  • John S. Mackiewicz
    • 4
  • Mohammed H. Ibraheem
    • 5
  1. 1.Laboratori de Parasitologia, Departament de Microbiologia i Parasitologia Sanitàries, Facultat de FarmàciaUniversitat de BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.W. Stefański Institute of ParasitologyPolish Academy of SciencesWarsawPoland
  3. 3.Department of General Biology and ParasitologyWarsaw Medical UniversityWarsawPoland
  4. 4.Department of Biological SciencesState University of New York at AlbanyAlbanyUSA
  5. 5.Department of Zoology, Faculty of ScienceMinia UniversityEl-MiniaEgypt

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