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