Paper - Studies in the physiology of spermatozoa

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Cohn EJ. Studies in the physiology of spermatozoa. (1918) Biol. Bull. 34: 167-218.

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This 1919 paper by Cohn describes spermatozoa of the sea urchin.

Modern Notes: spermatozoa | sea urchin

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Studies in the Physiology of Spermatozoa

Edwin J. Cohn


I. Introduction

The changes in the physiological condition of the spermatozoon, from the time it is extruded from the genitalia of the male until it "undergoes the transformation into a nucleus" (Loeb, J., I9I3, p. 306) in the protoplasm of the egg are dependent in rate upon environmental conditions. The germ cells of most marine invertebrates are extruded into sea water, and fertiliza- tion of the egg by the sperm there follows.' The environment, sea water - or sea water modified by the excretions of the egg or of the sperm-must therefore be studied in order to understand the variations in the physiological condition of spermatozoa that have often been observed.

This investigation had its beginning in an attempt to under- stand seemingly contradictory effects of sea water that had contained the eggs of the sea urchin, Arbacia punctulata, upon the activity, the length of life and the "fertilizing power" of the spermatozoa of the same species. For interesting me in these phenomena, and for invaluable aid in this attempt at their solution, I am indebted to Dr. F. R. Lillie.

The experimental work was carried on during the summers of 1915 and 1916 at the Marine Biological Laboratory at Woods Hole, Massachusetts. During that time the behavior of the germ cells of other marine invertebrates were sufficiently observed to suggest that the relations that are hereafter reported for Arbacia are not highly specific

Cite this page: Hill, M.A. (2024, May 25) Embryology Paper - Studies in the physiology of spermatozoa. Retrieved from

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