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Sperm structure in Parasitidae mites (Parasitiformes: Mesostigmata: Gamasina)

Witalinski, W. and Podkowa, D.

2016 - Volume: 56 Issue: 1 pages: 3-32


mites spermatozoa morphology variability ultrastructure taxonomy


This contribution reviews the ultrastructure of ribbon-type sperm in 14 genera of both subfamilies (7 in Pergamasinae and 7 in Parasitinae) of the Parasitidae family (Parasitiformes: Mesostigmata: Gamasina); in total 27 species were considered, of which sperm ultrastructure was studied for the first time in 17 species and 9 genera. We found a wide range of sperm dimensions and nucleus lengths, but basic external and internal structures were substantially constant across genera. Spermatozoa are rod- or club-shaped cells with an elongated nucleus. The chromatin granules are focused in the middle zone of the nucleus. The cytoplasm around the nucleus and in the adjoining postnuclear region is filled with inclusion bodies with striated content (striated inclusion bodies, sIBs), whereas in the distant postnuclear region they are replaced by larger granular inclusion bodies (gIBs) usually containing a striated core surrounded by granular material. Mitochondria are distributed mostly subplasmalemmally in the nuclear region and between gIBs in the postnuclear region of the sperm cell. The most variable feature of the spermatozoa is the number of compound longitudinal ribbons of plasmalemmal origin alternating with subplasmalemmal cisterns: 9 (Leptogamasus anoxygenellus) to 21 (Pergamasus barbarus) in Pergamasinae and 5 (Parasitus berlesei and Paracarpais loricatus) to 30 (Paracarpais lunulata) in Parasitinae. In general, ribbons are electron-dense in the nuclear region but more lucent in the postnuclear region. The variation in sperm structure was not reflected in the taxonomic arrangement of genera and subfamilies within Parasitidae, but it must be emphasized that the taxonomy of Parasitidae is still awaiting a comprehensive modern revision.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
2016 Witalinski, W. and Podkowa, D.
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