Ultrastructural analysis of the control and Merlin mutant cysts during the elongation and individualization stages. (A-C) Sections of the cysts from the control FM6 (A), Mer3 (B), or Mer4 (C) testis at the elongation stage. (A) A dark paracrystalline body was seen within the major mitochondrial derivative in the control spermatid. Bar = 2 μm. (B) Some of the spermatids in the Mer3 cyst contained two paracrystalline bodies (filled arrowhead points to one example). Also, some spermatids had two axonemes (open arrowhead). Bar = 0.5 μm. (C) Two paracrystalline bodies within the major mitochondrial derivative were frequently seen in the elongating spermatids of the Mer4 cyst. Bar = 0.5 μm. (D-F) Cysts from the control FM6 (D), Mer3 (E), or Mer4 (F) testis at the individualization stage. (D) The association of axoneme with the mitochondrial derivatives was seen in the spermatids of the control cyst. Bar = 2 μm. (E) Spermatids in the Mer3 cyst might contain two abnormally-shaped (filled arrowhead) or three (arrow) paracrystalline bodies together with one axoneme, or have two paracrystalline-filled Nebenkerns but without the axoneme (open arrowhead). Bar = 0.5 μm. (F) Spermatids with multiple Nebenkerns with (open arrowhead) or without (filled arrowhead) axonemes together with cytoplasmic fragmentation were seen in the Mer4 cyst. Bar = 0.5 μm. (G-I) Cysts from the control FM6 (G), Mer3 (H), or Mer4 (I) testis at the late stage of individualization. (G) Individualized spermatids in the control cyst displayed a highly-ordered axoneme-Nebenkern pair. Bar = 0.5 μm. (H) The spermatids in the Mer3 cyst were poorly arranged and some of them appeared to be fused together. Bar = 0.5 μm. (I) The Mer4 cyst showed a complete destruction of spermatid individualization, resulting in empty spermatids with or without axoneme or Nebenkern. Insert illustrates the structure of axoneme appeared to be intact. Bar = 1 μm. Bar in the insert = 0.2 μm.
Dorogova et al. BMC Cell Biology 2008 9:1 doi:10.1186/1471-2121-9-1