Volume 48/Number 3/Abstract 06
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Acta Parasitologica, Vol.48, No. 3, 2003, 182-194
Papa I. Ndiaye (1), Jordi Miquel (1)*, Roger Fons (2) and Bernard Marchand (3) - Spermiogenesis and sperm ultrastructure of the liver fluke Fasciola hepatica L., 1758 (Digenea, Fasciolidae): transmission and scanning electron microscopy, and tubulin immunocytochemistry

(1)Laboratori de Parasitologia, Departament de Microbiologia i Parasitologia Sanitaries, Facultat de Farmacia, Universitat de Barcelona, Av. Joan XXIII, sn, E-08028 Barcelona, Spain; (2)Departement d'Ecologie Evolutive, Laboratoire Arago, CNRS UMR 7628, F-66650 Banyuls-sur-Mer, France; (3)Laboratoire Parasites et Ecosystemes Mediterraneens, Faculte des Sciences et Techniques, Universite de Corse, F-20250 Corte, France
*Corresponding author: jordimiquel@ub.edu

We describe here the ultrastructure of spermiogenesis and the mature spermatozoon of Fasciola hepatica (Trematoda, Digenea, Fasciolidae) by means of scanning (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Spermiogenesis in F. hepatica follows the general pattern of digeneans. However, this is the first report of a flagellar rotation of about 120 in Digenea. The mature spermatozoon of F. hepatica is a filiform cell of about 275 um in length. SEM and whole mount TEM revealed a helical pattern of axonemes around the sperm body. The spermatozoon presented the same ultrastructural organization as the congeneric F. gigantica. The most interesting features of the male gamete of F. hepatica therefore are the dorsolateral cytoplasmic expansion, the external ornamentation of the cell membrane and the spine-like bodies. We also analysed the distribution pattern of tubulin in the microtubular cytoskeleton of F. hepatica by means of monoclonal anti-tubulins (anti-alpha-tubulin, anti-beta-tubulin, anti-alpha-acetylated tubulin and anti-alpha-tyrosinated tubulin). These anti-tubulins labelled axonemal and cortical microtubules but not the central core of the 9+'1' trepaxonematan axoneme.

KEY WORDS: Ultrastructure, SEM, TEM, immunocytochemistry, tubulin, spermiogenesis, spermatozoon, Fasciola hepatica, Digenea

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