DAVID M. PHILLIPS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DAVID M. PHILLIPS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Colour enhanced transmission electron micrograph (TEM) of cross sections through sperm tails of a rat. A sperm's tail's ability to move is partly due to the arrangement of microtubules (part of the cell's cytoskeleton) within the tail. The microtubules are arranged in a central axoneme with two central single microtubules and nine peripheral double microtubules. Surrounding the microtubules are dense fibers, which provide rigidity and protection to the tail. Next is a layer of mitochondria which provide the energy for movement. Finally the tail is wrapped in a protective outer sheath.
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