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The structural organisation of sperm head components of the wombat and koala (suborder: Vombatiformes): an enigma amongst marsupials

  • WILLIAM G. BREED (a1), CHRISTOPHER M. LEIGH (a1) and MARIO RICCI (a1)

Abstract

The sperm head structural organisation of the koala and hairy-nosed wombat, and the effects of varying concentrations of the ionic detergent, Triton X-100, on its component parts, were determined by electron microscopy. Although alike in form between the 2 species, the sperm nucleus of the former, but not the latter, had nuclear vacuoles and appeared to be more easily dispersed by the Triton X-100. The structure of the acrosome of the spermatozoon was similar between the 2 species and, in both, previously undescribed thin posterior and lateral segments were found to be present. It is suggested that this thin segment may facilitate sperm-zona and/or sperm-oolemma binding and fusion.

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Correspondence to Associate Professor W. G. Breed, Department of Anatomical Sciences, University of Adelaide, SA 5005, Australia. Tel.: +61 8 8303 5743; fax: +61 8 8303 4398; e-mail: william.breed@adelaide.edu.au

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The structural organisation of sperm head components of the wombat and koala (suborder: Vombatiformes): an enigma amongst marsupials

  • WILLIAM G. BREED (a1), CHRISTOPHER M. LEIGH (a1) and MARIO RICCI (a1)

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