Non-Motile Sperm Cells

A sperm is the male reproductive cell. When the sperm has the usual single flagellum (or "tail") to propel it along, it is called a spermatozoon and may be described as uniflagellate. Unlike this motile cell, a sperm that lacks a flagellum is not motile and is termed a spermatium.

Spermatia are produced in the spermatangium, which is found in microorganisms, algae, fungi and the gametophytes of plants.

Fungi spermatia, also called pycnidiospores are often confused with conidia. In some fungi however, the spermatia are identical to conidia and actually germinate both with and without fertilization. In addition, one study of the fungi Botrytis cinerea demonstrated that large numbers of microconidia were found in the sexual bodies.

Crossing tests were performed which showed that microconidia are actually able to function similarly to spermatia during reproduction.

In the red alga Erythrocystis montagnei, a particularly dense portion of the spermatial vesicle membrane has a layer of microtubules that is 20 nm thick. Usually, this portion forms two swellings that appear three-shaped cross sectionally.

However, occasionally two separate cylindrical bodies, around 0.3 μm in diameter, have been seen in the vesicles and some have suggested they may be remnants of flagella.

Another red alga called Tiffaniella snyderae has also been studied. Their spermatia are released from the exposed spermatial strands that connect to the spermatangial heads. Individual spermatial strands interact to form multi-spermatial strands that can be as long as 600 μm with as many as 47 spermatia along their length, although mainly the strands are 100-200 μm in length and accommodate 8 to 21 spermatia.

Further Reading

Last Updated: Feb 27, 2019

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Written by

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Dr. Ananya Mandal is a doctor by profession, lecturer by vocation and a medical writer by passion. She specialized in Clinical Pharmacology after her bachelor's (MBBS). For her, health communication is not just writing complicated reviews for professionals but making medical knowledge understandable and available to the general public as well.


Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

  • APA

    Mandal, Ananya. (2019, February 27). Non-Motile Sperm Cells. News-Medical. Retrieved on May 16, 2022 from

  • MLA

    Mandal, Ananya. "Non-Motile Sperm Cells". News-Medical. 16 May 2022. <>.

  • Chicago

    Mandal, Ananya. "Non-Motile Sperm Cells". News-Medical. (accessed May 16, 2022).

  • Harvard

    Mandal, Ananya. 2019. Non-Motile Sperm Cells. News-Medical, viewed 16 May 2022,


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
Post a new comment
You might also like...
COVID-19 could change the levels of proteins related to male reproductive function