Ultrastructure of Germ Cells during Spermatogenesis and the Reproductive Cycle in Male Meretrix petechialis on the West Coast of Korea
Ee-Yung Chung
School of Marine Life Science, Kunsan National University, Gunsan 573-701, Korea
Gonad index, spermatogenesis and the reproductive cycle of Meretrix petechialis were investigated by cytological, histological observations. Monthly changes in the gonad index coincides the gonadal development. The morphology of the spermatozoon had a primitive type and is similar to that of other bivalves―a short mid-piece with five to six mitochondria surrounding the centrioles. The morphology of the sperm nucleus type and the acrosome shape of this species were cylindrical type and cap-like shape, respectively. The spermatozoon was approximately 40-45 μm in length including the sperm nucleus length (about 1.50 μm), acrosome length (0.60 μm) and tail flagellum. The axoneme of the tail flagellum consisted of nine pairs of microtubules at the periphery and a pair at the center. The axoneme of the sperm tail showed 9 + 2 microtubular arrangement. The spawning period was from June to September and the main spawning occurred from July to August when seawater temperatures were higher than 20°C. The reproductive cycle of this species could be categorized into five successive stages: early active stage (February to March), late active stage (February to May), ripe stage (April to July), partially spawned stage (June to September), and spent/inactive stage (September to
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