Ultrastructural features of the spermatozoon and its differentiation in Brandesia turgida (Brandes, 1888) (Digenea, Microphalloidea, Pleurogenidae).Parasitol Res. 2014 Jul; 113(7):2483-91.PR
Spermatological characters of the digenean Brandesia turgida (Brandes, 1888), an intestinal parasite of the frog Pelophylax ridibundus (Pallas, 1771), have been investigated by means of transmission electron microscopy for the first time. The process of the spermatozoon formation begins with the appearance of the differentiation zone bordered by cortical microtubules and containing two centrioles associated with striated rootlets and with an intercentriolar body. The intercentriolar body is made up of seven distinct electron-dense plates, two less electron-dense, and four electron-lucent zones. The orthogonal development of the two flagella is followed by a flagellar rotation and their proximodistal fusion with the median cytoplasmic process. This process is accompanied by an extension of both the mitochondrion and nucleus into the median cytoplasmic process. The mature spermatozoon of B. turgida contains two parallel axonemes of unequal lengths with the 9 + "1" trepaxonematan pattern, mitochondrion, nucleus, parallel cortical microtubules, four electron-dense attachment zones, an external ornamentation of the plasma membrane, and electron-dense glycogen granules. The anterior extremity of the male gamete contains one complete centriole, a small component of the central element of the second centriole, and peripheral cortical microtubules (up to 45). The posterior extremity of the mature spematozoon exhibits tubular elements of the disorganized axoneme. The present study provides the first data on spermiogenesis within the family Pleurogenidae. Variations of the spermatozoa ultrastructural characters within Digenea, in particular, between different families of the superfamily Microphalloidea, are discussed.