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Describe the structure of human sperm

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Structure of Human Sperm:

  • The male gamete is called as spermatozoon or sperm. It is a single cell structure and it bears a haploid set of chromosomes in the nucleus. 
  • Human sperm has a head, neck, mid-piece & tail. 

Head:

  • It is the anterior part of the sperm. Its shape varies from species to species. 
  • The anteriormost part of the head is occupied by the acrosome. 
  • The acrosome is formed by the Golgi-body and it is bounded by a unit membrane.
  •  It is full of sperm lysins & it helps in fertilization. 
  • There is a nucleus just behind the acrosome which is slightly elongated and its posterior end has a notch. 
  • The nucleus has a haploid set of chromosomes which have protamines in addition to DNA. 
  • The sperms of some species have a vacuole-like structure between the acrosome and nucleus which is called as a perforator. 
  • The posterior notch of the nucleus harbours a proximal centriole which is to be contributed to the egg at the time of fertilization. 
  • It helps at the beginning of the first cleavage. 

Neck:

  • It is a small part which connects the head to the mid-piece. 
  • It bears a distal centriole which remains at 90° to the proximal centriole. 
  • The distal centriole gives rise to an axial filament which extends throughout the length of mid-piece & tail. 
  • It exhibits a fibrilar arrangement of 9 (doublet) + 2 (singlet). 

Middle piece: 

  • In the middle piece, the axial filament is surrounded by a sheath called manchette. 
  • The manchette is made up of nebenkern (fused mitochondria) and little condensed cytoplasm. 
  • In the sperms of some species, the posterior end of the middle piece may have a ring centriole. Its role is not clear. 

Tail: 

  • In the tail, the axial filament is covered by a sheath which is made up of 9 (singlet) fibres. 
  • This sheath is absent around the terminal end of the tail. 
  • The whole sperm is bounded by a plasmalemma. 
  • Most of the sperms are mono-flagellated

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