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Testicular, spermatogenesis and sperm morphology in Martarega bentoi (Heteroptera: Notonectidae)

Novais, Ademária M., Dias, Glenda, Lino-Neto, José
Arthropod structure & development 2017 v.46 no.4 pp. 635-643
Belostomatidae, Nepidae, Notonectidae, acrosome, asymmetry, flagellum, mitochondria, snails, spermatogenesis, testes, transmission electron microscopy
The testicular, spermatogenesis and sperm morphology of the backswimmer Martarega bentoi was described using light and transmission electron microscopy. In this species, a pair of testes, two deferent ducts, two different pairs of accessory glands, and an ejaculatory duct form the male reproductive system. Each testis consists of two testicular follicles, which are arranged side by side in snail shape. The follicles are filled with cysts at different stages of spermatogenesis, but in the same cyst the germ cells (up to 64) are in the same stage. At the end of spermatogenesis, the sperm cells are very long, with the flagellum measuring approximately 2500 μm in length, the nucleus only 19 μm, and the acrosome, with two distinct regions, 300 μm. The flagellum is composed of an axoneme, with a 9 + 9 + 2 microtubular pattern, and 2 asymmetric mitochondrial derivatives (MDs). These have the anterior ends inserted into two cavities at the nucleus base, exhibit two paracrystalline inclusions, and have bridges linking them to the axoneme. Few spermatozoa per cyst, asymmetry in size and shape of the MDs, as well as their insertion at the nuclear base are characteristics considered derived, and that differentiate the sperm of M. bentoi from those of the Nepomorpha, Belostomatidae and Nepidae.