Vol. 24, Nº 4

Ultrastructural studies of spermiogenesis of the clam Lucina pectinata (Bivalvia, Lucinidae) from Northern Brazil

I. Padovan; Guimarăes, A.; G. Casal; P. Padovan; C. Azevedo

KEYWORDS: mollusca, bivalvia, ultrastructure, spermatogenesis, Lucina pectinata, mangrove

ABSTRACT: Spermatogenesis and sperm ultrastructure of the clam Lucina pectinata (Lucinidae) from northern Brazil were studied using light and transmission electron microscopy. The uniflagellate spermatozoa are grouped into characteristic rings within somatic cells (Sertoli-like cells), with the acrosome oriented toward the periphery of these cells. The spermatozoa are long cells of the primitive type (ect-aquasperm) with a total length of 50.2 ± 2.5 μm, consisting of head (acrosome + nucleus), midpiece and tail. Acrosome is formed by an, acrosomal vesicle with a conical cylinder-like shaped (0.9 ± 0.1 μm length and 0.4 ± 0.1 μm in basal diameter) having a deeply infolded basis occupied by the subacrosomal space, containing flocculent material without axial rod. The acrosomal vesicle is formed by a membrane-bounded containing a broad basal ring of electron-dense material. The nucleus (7.5 ± 0.8 μm long) is an elongated, subcylindrical rod-shaped, slightly and gently curved, with a basal invagination (0.2-0.4 mm). It contains dense chromatin without any electron-lucent lacunae. The midpiece (1.0 ± 0.3 μm long; 1.1 ± 0.2 μm width) consist of four equal mitochondria located at the same level, surrounding two centrioles arranged at right angles. The proximal centriole lies at 90° relative the distal centriole and sperm longitudinal axis. The tail (40.5 ± 2.1 μm long) contains the common 9 + 2 pattern which in tapering end piece is successively reduced and sheated by the plasmalemma.