Indexed on: 10 Jun '14Published on: 10 Jun '14Published in: Microscopy Research and Technique
Observation of sperm development and determination of their morphological characteristics are very important to the understanding of phylogenetic relationships and the study of sperm function during fertilization. Although ultrastructural studies of sperm development in the testes of the fruit fly Drosophila have been performed, there are few reports describing electron microscopic morphology of mature sperm, that is, those released from the testes to the seminal vesicles. Here, we present the first report of the sagittal organization of Drosophila sperm head and neck regions by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The head and tail structures of a mature sperm, for example, the acrosome, nucleus, and flagellum, were easy to distinguish by the morphological characteristics of the sperm surface by SEM. The morphological relationships between the surface and internal structures of mature sperm were confirmed by observing longitudinal sections with TEM. Our approach overcame the technical difficulties involved in sample preparation for electron microscopic observation of the Drosophila mature sperm head, and therefore, this study serves as an important foundation for future genetic dissection of sperm ultrastructure and function in male sterile mutants.