The journey of squid sperm.

Fernandez-Alvarez, Fernando A., Villanueva, Roger, Hoving, Henk-Jan T. and Gilly, William F. (2018) The journey of squid sperm. Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries, 28 (1). pp. 191-199. DOI 10.1007/s11160-017-9498-6.

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Sperm storage is common in internally fertilizing animals, but is also present in several external fertilizers, such as many cephalopods. Cephalopod males attach sperm packets (spermatangia) to female conspecifics during mating. Females of eight externally fertilizing families comprising 25% of cephalopod biodiversity have sperm-storage organs (seminal receptacles) in their buccal area, which are not in direct physical contact with the deposited spermatangia. The mechanism of sperm transmission between the implantation site and the storage organ has remained a major mystery in cephalopod reproductive biology. Here, jumbo squid females covering almost the entire life cycle, from immature to a laboratory spawned female, were used to describe the internal structure of the seminal receptacles and the process of sperm storage. Seminal fluid was present between the spermatangia and seminal receptacles, but absent in regions devoid of seminal receptacles. The sperm cellular component was formed by spermatozoa and round cells. Although spermatozoa were tracked over the buccal membrane of the females to the inner chambers of the seminal receptacles, round cells were not found inside the seminal receptacles, suggesting that spermatozoa are not sucked up by the muscular action of the seminal receptacles. This finding supports the hypothesis that spermatozoa are able to actively migrate over the female skin. Although further experimental support is needed to fully confirm this hypothesis, our findings shed light on the elusive process of sperm storage in many cephalopods, a process that is fundamental for understanding sexual selection in the sea.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Dosidicus gigas; Reproduction; Sexual selection; Sperm storage organs; Spermatangium; Squid
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB3 Marine Ecology > FB3-EV Marine Evolutionary Ecology
OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1007/s11160-017-9498-6
ISSN: 0960-3166
Projects: CALOCEAN-2, MINECO, RAPID, EAGER, Future Ocean
Date Deposited: 02 Oct 2017 09:16
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2020 09:12

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