False-colour SEM of a spermatozoon on egg surface

False-colour SEM of a spermatozoon on egg surface

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This image is part of the feature Motta: Reproduction

Credit: PROF. P. MOTTA/DEPT. OF ANATOMY/UNIVERSITY "LA SAPIENZA", ROME/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: A spermatozoon on the egg's surface. False-colour scanning electron micrograph of the head of a spermatozoon trying to penetrate the zona pellucida which surrounds the egg. The zona pellucida is a resistant glycoprotein layer and may be ruptured by the spermatozoon thanks to enzymes released from the tip (yellow) of the head. This process is known as acrosome reaction and may occur only if spermatozoa undergo the capacitation process in the uterine cavity. During capacitation a glycoprotein coat and seminal plasma proteins are removed from the tip of the head. Magnification: x4680 at 6x7cm size. Magnification: x7230 at 4x5 inch size.

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Keywords: acrosome reaction, anatomy, egg and sperm, egg surface, false-coloured, fertilisation, fertilization, human body, reproduction, sperm, sperm and egg, spermatozoa, spermatozoon, zona pellucida

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