Flagellar Mechanics and Sperm Guidance

Experimental research using spermatozoa, a highly specialized cell with organelles involved in gene transfer, energy supply and cellular motility, has always occupied the forefront of studies in cell and reproductive biology. Several spermatological experiments have focused on the attraction of a spermatozoon toward the egg – sperm chemotaxis or sperm guidance. This process ubiquitously occurs in the reproductive system of many organisms. After its discovery in the late 19th century in plants, sperm chemotaxis is known to play a crucial role in fertilization success in both plants and animals. Spermatology has expanded in focus in recent years, as the structure of molecules relevant to sperm chemotaxis has been recently determined in several species of invertebrates and vertebrates, which promises remarkable progress for understanding events relevant to sexual reproduction. Reflecting upon these trends in the long history of sperm chemotaxis, Flagellar Mechanics and Sperm Guidance gathers leaders in the field of spermatology, who have presented their experimental research on the chemical cues behind flagellate behavior in a variety of organisms including bikonts and spermatozoa of marine invertebrates and vertebrates (fish, amphibians and mammals). Reviews presented in this monograph provide both basic and detailed information on the initiation and activation of sperm motility at spawning, sperm thermotaxis, and other mechanics such as mathematical models of a spermatozoon swimming. A comparison between features of sperm chemotaxis among different organisms is also given.

Flagellar Mechanics and Sperm Guidance will stir interest in spermatology research among a broad variety of readers including researchers, Ph.D. students studying reproductive biology and teachers involved in advanced biology courses.