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Geometric morphometrics of rodent sperm head shape

AutorSánchez, María Varea; Bastir, Markus ; Roldán, Eduardo R. S.
Fecha de publicación28-nov-2013
EditorPublic Library of Science
CitaciónPLoS ONE 8(11): e80607 (2013)
ResumenMammalian spermatozoa, particularly those of rodent species, are extremely complex cells and differ greatly in form and dimensions. Thus, characterization of sperm size and, particularly, sperm shape represents a major challenge. No consensus exists on a method to objectively assess size and shape of spermatozoa. In this study we apply the principles of geometric morphometrics to analyze rodent sperm head morphology and compare them with two traditional morphometry methods, that is, measurements of linear dimensions and dimensions-derived parameters calculated using formulae employed in sperm morphometry assessments. Our results show that geometric morphometrics clearly identifies shape differences among rodent spermatozoa. It is also capable of discriminating between size and shape and to analyze these two variables separately. Thus, it provides an accurate method to assess sperm head shape. Furthermore, it can identify which sperm morphology traits differ between species, such as the protrusion or retraction of the base of the head, the orientation and relative position of the site of flagellum insertion, the degree of curvature of the hook, and other distinct anatomical features and appendices. We envisage that the use of geometric morphometrics may have a major impact on future studies focused on the characterization of sperm head formation, diversity of sperm head shape among species (and underlying evolutionary forces), the effects of reprotoxicants on changes in cell shape, and phenotyping of genetically-modified individuals. © 2013 Varea Sánchez et al.
Identificadoresdoi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0080607
issn: 1932-6203
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