Structure of a Sperm Cell

The idea behind this video module is to help you understand the term, its origin and definition along with the structure of the male reproductive unit.

The origin of the word sperm comes from Greek word ‘sperma’ and is defined as the male reproductive unit, cell or gamete which helps in the process of reproduction by fusing with the female gamete. 

The structure of the sperm varies from one species to another but the general structure refers to single flagella which helps in its motility or movement, a midpiece and a neck. The oval sperm head contains a haploid nucleus surrounded by a nuclear membrane. This haploid nucleus contains all the necessary genetic material essential for future generation.

The head of sperm has inner acrosomal membrane right outside the nuclear membrane while the outer acrosomal membrane lies next within the sperm cell plasma membrane.

The acrosome reaction combines the characteristics of receptor mediated cellular response. A protease enzyme of seminal vesicle origin is immobilised on plasma membrane which covers the sperm acrosome.

 This protease originating from Golgi apparatus is activated by glycoprotein and helps in dissolving the protective layer of oocyte for penetration and fertilise the egg.

The midpiece or middle section also known as connecting piece, contains mitochondria which provides the energy required for the movement of tail.

The tail represents a flagellum which helps in propulsive force and allows the locomotion of sperm cell as it moves towards the egg for penetration. The flagella comprising of microtubules, is arranged in a 9 + 2 arrangement which means there are two microtubules inside and surrounded by another 9 other around it.

This critical topic of sperm structure is going to help you understand the basic structure and why the role of sperm is so admirable. To help you understand the visuals accompanying the module can help enhance the interest in studying the complex topic of reproduction.


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