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Sperm-cell ultrastructure of North American sturgeons. IV. The pallid sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus albus Forbes and Richardson, 1905)

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Sperm-cell morphology and ultrastructure in the pallid sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus albus) were examined using transmission and scanning electron microscopy. Metrics and structure were compared with similar metrics obtained from other published descriptions of sturgeon sperm cells. General morphology was found to be similar to that of sperm cells of the white (Acipenser transmontanus), lake (A. fulvescens), stellate (A. stellatus), Chinese (A. sinensis), Russian (A. gueldenstaedti colchicus), and shortnose (A. brevirostrum) sturgeons, which all shared a gradual tapering of the nuclear diameter from posterior to anterior, unlike that of the Atlantic sturgeon (A. oxyrhynchus). The sperm cell of the pallid sturgeon was similar in size to that of the Atlantic sturgeon, being only slightly larger. The sperm cell of the pallid sturgeon differed from those of other sturgeons chiefly in the acrosomal region, where the posterolateral projections (PLP) have the shape of an acute triangle and are arranged in a spiral about the longitudinal axis of the cell. The PLP were longer than those of other sturgeons, being twice the length of those of the Atlantic sturgeon and 58% longer than those of the lake sturgeon. Also, in cross section the acrosome had the shape of a hollow cone rather than the cap of an oak tree acorn, as was found in ultrastructural studies of other sturgeons. In addition, we were able to confirm that the structural arrangement of the distal centriole of the midpiece is identical with that of the proximal centriole: nine sets of microtubular triplets around the periphery of the centriole. This information is of potential use to fishery biologists, forensic biologists, zoologists, reproductive physiologists, taxonomists, evolutionary biologists, and aquaculturists.

La morphologie et l'ultrastructure des spermatozoïdes de l'Esturgeon pâle (Scaphirhynchus albus) ont été étudiées aux microscopes électroniques ordinaire et à balayage. Les mesures et la structure ont été comparées aux mêmes mesures dans les descriptions publiées de spermatozoïdes d'esturgeons. La structure générale des spermatozoïdes de cet esturgeon est semblable à celle de l'Esturgeon blanc (Acipenser transmontanus), de l'Esturgeon de lac (A. fulvescens), de l'Esturgeon étoilé (A. stellatus), de l'Esturgeon de Chine (A. sinensis), de l'Esturgeon russe (A. gueldenstaedti colchicus) et de l'Esturgeon à museau court (A. brevirostrum), qui ont tous un noyau s'amenuisant de l'avant vers l'arrière, mais pas à celle de l'Esturgeon noir (A. oxyrhynchus). Le spermatozoïde de l'Esturgeon pâle s'apparente à celui de l'Esturgeon noir par sa taille, puisqu'il n'est que légèrement plus grand; il diffère des spermatozoïdes des autres esturgeons surtout par la région de l'acrosome dont les projections postérolatérales (PLP) sont triangulaires, acérées et disposées selon un arrangement en spirale autour de l'axe longitudinal. Les PLP sont deux fois plus longues que chez l'Esturgeon noir et 58 % plus longues que chez l'Esturgeon de lac. De plus, en coupe transversale, l'acrosome a la forme d'un cône évidé plutôt que d'un capuchon de gland comme chez les autres esturgeons. Nous pouvons également confirmer que l'arrangement structural du centriole distal de la pièce médiane est identique à celui du centriole proximal, c'est-a-dire qu'il y a neuf groupes de triplets microtubulaires autour du centriole. Ces données seront utiles en biologie des pêches, en biologie légale, en physiologie de la reproduction, en taxonomie, en biologie de l'évolution et en aquaculture.[Traduit par la Rédaction]

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2001-05-01

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  • Published since 1929, this monthly journal reports on primary research contributed by respected international scientists in the broad field of zoology, including behaviour, biochemistry and physiology, developmental biology, ecology, genetics, morphology and ultrastructure, parasitology and pathology, and systematics and evolution. It also invites experts to submit review articles on topics of current interest.
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