Dextral and sinistral Amphidromus inversus Gastropoda: Pulmonata: Camaenidae produce dextral spermReport as inadecuate

Dextral and sinistral Amphidromus inversus Gastropoda: Pulmonata: Camaenidae produce dextral sperm - Download this document for free, or read online. Document in PDF available to download.


, Volume 130, Issue 4, pp 283–287

First Online: 19 October 2011Received: 04 April 2011Revised: 30 September 2011Accepted: 03 October 2011


Coiling direction in pulmonate gastropods is determined by a single gene via a maternal effect, which causes cytoskeletal dynamics in the early embryo of dextral gastropods to be the mirror image of the same in sinistral ones. We note that pulmonate gastropod spermatids also go through a helical twisting during their maturation. Moreover, we suspect that the coiling direction of the helical elements of the spermatozoa may affect their behaviour in the female reproductive tract, giving rise to the possibility that sperm chirality plays a role in the maintenance of whole-body chiral dimorphism in the tropical arboreal gastropod Amphidromus inversus Müller, 1774. For these reasons, we investigated whether there is a relationship between a gastropod’s body chirality and the chirality of the spermatozoa it produces. We found that spermatozoa in A. inversus are always dextrally coiled, regardless of the coiling direction of the animal itself. However, a partial review of the literature on sperm morphology in the Pulmonata revealed that chiral dimorphism does exist in certain species, apparently without any relationship with the coiling direction of the body. Though our study shows that body and sperm chirality follows independent developmental pathways, it gives rise to several questions that may be relevant to the understanding of the chirality of spermatid ultrastructure and spermatozoan motility and sexual selection.

KeywordsChirality Mollusca Left–right asymmetry Ultrastructural polarity Maternal effect genes Communicated by T. Bartolomaeus.

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Author: Menno Schilthuizen - Bertie-Joan van Heuven


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