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Type: Journal article
Title: A comparative study of sperm production in two species of Australian arid zone rodents (Pseudomys australis, Notomys alexis) with marked differences in testis size
Author: Peirce, E.
Breed, W.
Citation: Reproduction, 2001; 121(2):239-247
Publisher: Journals of Reproduction Fertility Ltd
Issue Date: 2001
ISSN: 1470-1626
Statement of
E.J. Peirce and W.G. Breed
Abstract: The plains rat, Pseudomys australis, and the spinifex hopping mouse, Notomys alexis, show marked differences in the size of their testes and in the number of spermatozoa within the epididymides. In the present study, the dynamics of sperm production and the duration of sperm transit along the male excurrent ducts were compared between these two species. The durations of the cycle of the seminiferous epithelium, spermatogenesis and sperm transit were determined by tracking cells using autoradiography after [(3)H]thymidine incorporation. Daily sperm production was determined from counts of testicular spermatids after homogenization and further estimates of sperm transit were obtained by dividing sperm reserves within the various regions of the extratesticular ducts by the daily sperm production of the attached testis. In the plains rat, the mean duration of the cycle of the seminiferous epithelium was 11.2 days, the duration of spermatogenesis was 45 days, daily sperm production was 2.6 x 10(7) spermatozoa per gram of testis and epididymal transit of spermatozoa took approximately 9 days (caput 0.8 days; corpus 1.5 days; cauda 6.5 days). In contrast, in the hopping mouse, the mean duration of the cycle of the seminiferous epithelium was 14 days, the duration of spermatogenesis was 56 days and daily sperm production per gram of testis was < 1.0 x 10(7). Epididymal transit of spermatozoa was completed in about 4 days (caput + corpus < 1 day; cauda 3 days); however, spermatozoa may be stored for an additional 1.5-2.0 days in the vas deferens. These results indicate that, in addition to small testes, the hopping mouse shows a low efficiency of sperm production, a relatively long duration of spermatogenesis and rapid passage of spermatozoa through the epididymis, all of which contribute to low epididymal sperm counts. These data are considered in relation to interspecific differences in sperm competition.
Keywords: Testis
Seminiferous Epithelium
Species Specificity
Description: Copyright © 2001 Journals of Reproduction and Fertility
DOI: 10.1530/rep.0.1210239
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Appears in Collections:Anatomical Sciences publications
Aurora harvest
Environment Institute publications

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