A Caltech Library Service

Chemotaxis of Bracken Spermatozoids : Implications of Electrochemical Orientation

Brokaw, C. J. (1958) Chemotaxis of Bracken Spermatozoids : Implications of Electrochemical Orientation. Journal of Experimental Biology, 35 (1). pp. 197-212. ISSN 0022-0949.

PDF - Published Version
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


1. The chemotaxis of bracken spermatozoids involves their precise orientation in a gradient of bimalate or a few other similar ions. When a voltage gradient is established in a sperm suspension containing bimalate or other chemotactically active ions, a similar orientation is observed, causing the spermatozoids to swim towards the anode. 2. Photographic records of sperm responses reveal a linear relationship between turning rate and the component of the gradient perpendicular to the direction of swimming. 3. Estimates have been obtained of the ratio of the magnitudes of the two types of gradient required to produce an equal tactic response. 4. The results suggest that the sensory elements of the spermatozoids adsorb bimalate ions. The reversible adsorption of bimalate ions on ‘bimalate-combining sites’ on the anterior end of a spermatozoid might fully explain its tactic behaviour, without requiring any modification of flagellar activity by bimalate.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Additional Information:Published by Company of Biologists 1958. (Received 10 August 1957) The author wishes to acknowledge his indebtedness to the National Science Foundation for providing a predoctoral fellowship, to Prof. Sir James Gray for providing accommodation in his department, to Prof. H.C. Longuet-Higgins and Dr L. Orgel of the Department of Theoretical Chemistry at Cambridge for several valuable discussions, and to Lord Rothschild for continued advice and encouragement.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:BROjeb58b
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:11636
Deposited By: Archive Administrator
Deposited On:15 Sep 2008 04:44
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 00:21

Repository Staff Only: item control page