Knowledge of the testis structure is important for gastropod taxonomy and phylogeny, particularly for the comparative analysis of sympatric Littorina species. Observing fresh tissue and squashing fixed tissue with gradually increasing pressure, we have recently described a peculiar type of cystic spermatogenesis, rare in mollusks. It has not been documented in most mollusks until now. The testis of adult males consists of numerous lobules filled with multicellular cysts containing germline cells at different stages of differentiation. Each cyst is formed by one cyst cell of somatic origin. Here, we provide evidence for the existence of two ways of cyst formation in Littorina saxatilis. One of them begins with a goniablast cyst formation; it somewhat resembles cyst formation in Drosophila testes. The second way begins with capture of a free spermatogonium by the polyploid cyst cell which is capable to move along the gonad tissues. This way of cyst formation has not been described previously. Our data expand the understanding of the diversity of spermatogenesis types in invertebrates.
Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Computer Science Applications
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Organic Chemistry
- Inorganic Chemistry