Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
Marine Botany


Male Gametophyte

The mass of pink filamentous cells pictured above is the male gametophyte of Macrocystis pyrifera.  The cells of the male gametophyte produce motile sperm.  These sperm are termed heterokont due to two different types of flagella.  One is short and hairless, while the other is longer and has hair-like extensions running the length of the flagella.  These sperm locate the egg by following pheromones released by the female gametophyte.  The concentration of the pheromone signals to the sperm if it is traveling in the appropriate direction.

© 2001 James Lopez       For Educational and Private Use Only

Last updated: Feb. 05, 2009