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Temporal Germ Cell Development Strategy during Mixed Spermatogenesis within the Male Mediterranean Gecko, Hemidactylus turcicus (Reptilia: Gekkonidae) by ProQuest


The testes of Hemidactylus turcicus are composed of seminiferous tubules lined with continuous germinal epithelia in which multiple germ cell morphologies can be found during the active months of sperm development. Spermatogenesis is quiescent during September, with only spermatogonia A and spermatogonia B present in the seminiferous epithelia and minimal mitotic activity is observed. Recrudescence begins in October and the early stages of Spermatogenesis progress through November. The onset of spermiation is observed in December and continues through August with the heaviest sperm release occurring in June and July. Multiple generations of late elongated spermatids are found in association with early mitotic and meiotic cells during the months of December-August. This temporal germ cell development strategy is similar to that described in other squamates and anamniotes and is different from the spatial development exhibited by birds and mammals, in which germ cell populations collectively progress through the stages of spermatogenesis. The reptilian temporal model of germ cell development within a structurally amniotic testis leads to two hypotheses in character evolution: birds and mammals exhibit convergence of germ cell development strategy, or the spatial development strategy is a synapomorphy in amniotes, and reptiles represent an evolutionary reversal to the strategy employed by anamniotes. These findings, along with present and future data, may allow for more concrete phylogenetic analyses by creating more characters for phylogenetic matrices and may prove to be useful in future histopathological studies. [PUBLICATION ABSTRACT]

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