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A caplike structure at the anterior end of a spermatozoon that produces enzymes aiding in egg penetration.

ac′ro·so′mal (-sō′məl) adj.


(Physiology) a cap-like structure on the tip of a spermatozoon that releases enzymes on encountering the ovum allowing fusion with the ovum in the sexual reproductive process; this part of the process is known as the acrosome reaction
[C19: from acro- + -some3]


(ˈæk rəˌsoʊm)

an organelle covering the head of animal sperm and containing enzymes that digest the egg cell coating, thus permitting the sperm to enter the egg.
[1895–1900; < German Akrosoma; see acro-, -some3]
ac`ro•so′mal, adj.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.acrosome - a process at the anterior end of a sperm cell that produces enzymes to facilitate penetration of the eggacrosome - a process at the anterior end of a sperm cell that produces enzymes to facilitate penetration of the egg
sperm, sperm cell, spermatozoan, spermatozoon - the male reproductive cell; the male gamete; "a sperm is mostly a nucleus surrounded by little other cellular material"
appendage, outgrowth, process - a natural prolongation or projection from a part of an organism either animal or plant; "a bony process"
References in periodicals archive ?
Once the high-calcium sea-water reached the sperm, the acrosome burst, followed by the rapid growth of a slender acrosomal process over the next several seconds.
Extraordinary divergence and positive Darwinian selection in a fusagenic protein coating the acrosomal process of abalone spermatozoa.
During the acrosome reaction, the extension of the acrosomal process occurs through rapid, localized polymerization of Gactin into filamentous actin (F-actin).
stouti show that acrosomal exocytosis of hagfish spermatozoa forms an acrosomal process, as is often seen in the spermatozoa of invertebrates, and that it produces numerous vesicles through membrane fusion at many points, which is also observed in the spermatozoa of many vertebrates (Morisawa, 1999a; Morisawa and Cherr, 2002).
First, after the acrosomal reaction, bindin self-associates, coating the acrosomal process.
Following activation, Mytilus sperm extend a preformed acrosomal process without the polymerization of new MFs (Dan, 1967; Longo, 1977, 1983).