Morphometry, Morphology and Ultrastructure of Ring-tailed Coati Sperm (Nasua nasuaLinnaeus, 1766)

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The ring-tailed coati (Nasua nasua) is a procyonid whose population is in sharp decline. Therefore, studies are needed to better understand the reproduction of this animal. For this reason, this study aimed to evaluate the morphology, morphometry and sperm ultrastructure of ring-tailed coati sperm. Four captive adult males were used for this study. Slides stained with Bengal Rose were used for the morphometric and morphologic analyses. The length and width of the head were measured, as well as the length of the midpiece and tail and the total length of the sperm. Scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy were used for the ultrastructural analyses. The most obvious morphological abnormalities observed were coiled tails (6.1 ± 8.7%) and the lack of acrosomes (5.4 ± 4.4%). Regarding the morphometry, the measurements of the head (length × width), midpiece (length) and tail (length) were (mean ± SD) 6.2 ± 0.4 × 8.1 ± 0.6 μm, 14.1 ± 0.5 and 63.9 ± 4.1 μm, respectively, and the total length of the sperm was 86.1 ± 4.3 μm. Through electron microscopy, the presence of electron-lucent points in the nucleus and the presence of approximately 55 mitochondrial spirals in the midpiece were identified. The data obtained in this study provide detailed information on the sperm characteristics of coatis and may inform future research on germplasm conservation, both for this species and other threatened procyonids.

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