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Co-evolution of gametes of the Greater Bandicoot Rat, Bandicota indica – a murine rodent from South-East Asia



Co-evolution of gametes of the Greater Bandicoot Rat, Bandicota indica – a murine rodent from South-East Asia



Acta Zoologica 95(4): 392-396



Most Old World mice and rats, subfamily Murinae, have a spermatozoon with an apical hook, a long tail and, as seen typically in eutherian mammals, a bilaterally flattened head. Dramatically different from this are the sperm of the Greater Bandicoot Rat, Bandicota indica. Here, we ask the question has the structure of the sperm head co-evolved with that of the egg coat, the zona pellucida? For this, we first summarise the morphological features of the spermatozoon of B. indica that may relate to zona pellucida penetration at the time of fertilisation, and we confirm that the sperm head is generally round, not bilaterally flattened, in profile and has a huge acrosome. We then show that the zona pellucida around oocytes in tertiary follicles also differs from that of the other murine rodents in being only about 4 ?m thick and, as demonstrated by lectin staining, has an unusual abundance of alpha-L-fucose. These findings indicate that both the male and female gametes of this South-East Asian murine rodent are highly divergent in their structural organisation. One of the functional implications of this probably relates to sperm zona interactions and the release of acrosomal enzymes that probably facilitate penetration by digestion of the zona matrix at the time of fertilisation.

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Accession: 036891342

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

DOI: 10.1111/azo.12036


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