Like other Lepidoptera, the silkworm (Bombyx mori) has both nucleated eupyrene and anucleated apyrene sperm that are derived from the same spermatocysts. The former type is responsible for egg fertilization, while the function of the latter is still uncertain. Many hypotheses have been presented concerning the role of the apyrene sperm in mating and fertilization, but none is supported by a convincing experimental approach. The aim of the present study was to enhance the production of apyrene sperm in vitro by using different concentrations of fetal bovine serum (FBS), namely 20%, 30% and 40%, in the culture medium used for cultivating the naked spermatocysts isolated from the silkworm testes at 0 hr, 120 hr, and 192~360 hr after the fourth molt. Cultivation of 0-hr spermatocysts was not successful. The development of spermatocysts into eupyrene and apyrene sperm bundles was slightly slower in vitro than in vivo. The overall growth percentage of both eupyrene and apyrene bundles was satisfactory when the spermatocysts were cultivated in TC-100 culture medium containing 30% FBS.
Fetal bovine serum