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How do these changes help the future gamete in performing its role in fertilization? Spermiogenesis is the final stage of spermatogenesis which sees the maturation of spermatids into mature, motile spermatozoa. It involves four phases: the Golgi phase, the Cap phase, the acrosomal phase, and the maturation phase. In the Golgi phase, the spermatids begin to develop polarity. The head develops at one end and the Golgi apparatus secretes enzyme that will eventually become the acrosome. At the other end of the cell, a thickened mid-‐ piece is developed. This is where the mitochondria gather and form and axoneme. The cap phase is the part where the Golgi apparatus surrounds the condensed nucleus, thereby becoming the acrosomal cap. In the Acrosomal phase, one of the centrioles of the cell elongates and become the tail of the sperm cell. A temporary structure, the manchette, assists in this elongation. During this phase, the developing spermatozoa orient themselves in such a way that their tails point towards the center of the lumen, and away from the epithelium. The maturation phase is the last phase of spermiogenesis. In this phase, excess cytoplasm, called the residual bodies, is phagocytosed by the surrpounding Sertoli cells in the testes. These phases are followed by a process called spermiation, in which the mature spermatozoa are released from the protective Sertoli cells into the lumen of the seminiferous tubules. This process then removes the remaining unnecessary cytoplasm and organelles. The resulting spermartozoa, mature and immotile are sterile. They are then transported into the epididymis by means of the testicular fluid produced by the Sertoli cells with the aid of peristaltic contraction. In the epididymis, they acquire motility but the release of the mature spermatozoa is only achieved through muscle contraction rather than the spermatozoa’s acquired motility. 2. What does the acrosomal cap contain? The acrosomal cap contains acrosome, that contains digestive enzymes, including hyaluronidase and acrosin. These enzymes break down the outer membrane of the ovum, called the zona pellucida, allowing the haploid nuclei of the sperm cell to join with the haploid nucleus found in the ova. 3. What roles do the Sertoli cells play in the testis? The Sertoli cell is a nurse cell that is part of the seminiferous tubules. It acts as a phagocyte, consuming the residual cytoplasm during spermiogenesis. The Sertoli cells secrete anti-‐Mullerian hormone, inhibin and activins (secreted after puberty and work together to regulate FSH secretion, androgen-‐binding protein (increases testosterone concentration in the seminiferous tubules to stimulate spermiogenesis), estradiol (aromatase that converts testosterone to 17 β-‐estradiol to direct spermatogenesis, glial cell line-‐derived neurotrphic factor (GDNF, promotes undifferentiating spermatogonia that ensures stem cell self-‐renewal during the perinatal period), the Ets related molecule (ERM transcription factor, for maintining the spermatogonial stem cell in the adult testis), and transferring (blood plasma protein for the delivery of iron ions).