Spermatogenesis in Boccardiella hamata (Polychaeta: Spionidae) from the Sea of Japan: sperm formation mechanisms as characteristics for future taxonomic revision
Reunov, A.A., Yurchenko, O.V., Alexandrova, Y.N. and Radashevsky, V.I. 2009. Spermatogenesis in Boccardiella hamata (Polychaeta: Spionidae) from the Sea of Japan: sperm formation mechanisms as characteristics for future taxonomic revision. —Acta Zoologica (Stockholm) 91: 477–456.
To characterize novel features that will be useful in the discussion and validation of the spionid polychaete Boccardiella hamata from the Sea of Japan, the successive stages of spermatogenesis were described and illustrated. Spermatogonia, spermatocytes and early spermatids are aflagellar cells that develop synchronously in clusters united by a cytophore. At the middle spermatid stage, the clusters undergo disintegration and spermatids produce flagella and float separately in coelomic fluid as they transform into sperm. Spermatozoa are filiform. The ring-shaped storage platelets are located along the anterior nuclear area. The nucleus is cupped by a conical acrosome. A nuclear plate is present between the acrosome and nucleus. The nucleus is a cylinder with the implantation fossa throughout its length and with the anterior part of the flagellum inside the fossa. There is only one centriole, serving as a basal body of the flagellum, situated in close vicinity of the acrosomal area. A collar of four mitochondria is located under the nuclear base. The ultrastructure of B. hamata spermatozoa from the Sea of Japan appears to be close to that of B. hamata from Florida described by Rice (Microscopic Anatomy of Invertebrates, Wiley-Liss, Inc., New York, 1992), suggesting species identity of the samples from the two regions. However, more detailed study of Florida’s B. hamata sperm is required for a reliable conclusion concerning the similarity of these two polychaetes. In addition to sperm structure, features such as the cytophore-assigned pattern of spermatogenic cell development, the synchronous pattern of cell divisions, the non-flagellate early spermatogenic stages, and the vesicle amalgamation that drives meiotic cell cytokinesis and spermatid diorthosis will likely be useful in future testing of the validity of B. hamata and sibling species throughout the world.