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Description

This freeze fracture micrograph shows a region of membrane from the midpiece of opossum Didelphis virginiana sperm. This region of the sperm is notable for the repeating longitudinal bands composed of 3-5 intramembranous particles (IMPs). This micrograph by Gary Olson is Figure 7 from Chapter 1 (The Cell Surface) of 'The Cell, 2nd Ed.' by Don W. Fawcett M.D. A PDF copy of the accompanying chapter is available on the ASCB's BioEDUCATE website.

Technical Details

With the freeze-fracture technique, tissue is rapidly frozen and cracked to shear along zones of weakness. Cleavage of membranes occurs along the hydrophobic interior of the lipid bilayer to reveal views of a "p-face" (the outwardly-facing inner half of the membrane) and an "e-face" (the inwardly-facing outer half of the membrane), and a metallic replica is made of the fractured surface. The intramembranous particles represent integral membrane proteins.

Biological Sources

NCBI Organism Classification
Didelphinae
(American opossums)
Cell Type
sperm
Cellular Component
plasma membrane
integral to plasma membrane

Biological Context

Biological Process
fertilization
plasma membrane organization

Attribution

Name
Gary Olson
Published
ISBN 0721635849
Link
The Cell, 2nd Ed. by D.W. Fawcett

Grouping

This image is part of a group.
Data Qualifiers
processed data

Sample Preparation

Methods
freeze_fracture/freeze_etch
Relation To Intact Cell
isolated subcellular component

Dimensions

Spatial Axis Image Size Pixel Size
X 940px ——
Y 1304px ——
*CIL – Cell Image Library accession number. Please use this to reference an image.