Annual cycle of stored spermatozoa within the ovaries of Helicolenus dactylopterus dactylopterus (Teleostei, Scorpaenidae)

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The aim of this work was to analyse the ultrastructure of storage crypts and stored spermatozoa, and to describe changes during the annual reproductive cycle of the bluemouth Helicolenus dactylopterus dactylopterus, which has internal fertilization and a zygoparous mode of reproduction. Spermatozoa had elongated heads and long midpieces, two characteristics which are thought to be fairly advanced and correlated with internal fertilization, as is the case of the bluemouth. A remarkable spermatozoon feature was the retention of a significant quantity of cytoplasm around the head, a condition that appeared to be related to nourishment during the long storage period, up to 10 months in the intraovarian crystal structures of the female. Male sex cells’ protection against the female immune system was ensured by junctional complexes between the crypt cells composed of tight junctions and desmosomes.

Keywords: Helicolenus dactylopterus; annual cycle; sperm storage; spermatozoa; ultrastructure

Document Type: Regular Paper


Affiliations: Department of Environmental Sciences, Universitat de Girona, Campus de Montilivi, 17071 Girona, Spain

Publication date: August 1, 2007

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