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Free Content Localization and behavior of putative blastopore determinants in the uncleaved Xenopus egg

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The present study examines putative blastopore determinants in uncleaved Xenopus eggs. Deletion of marginal and lower portions of Xenopus eggs when between 30 and 50% of the first cell cycle has been completed (0.3–0.5 normalized time (NT)) results in the complete absence of the blastopore, while deletion of the vegetal hemisphere during the same period leads to the formation of a smaller blastopore. Extrusion of only yolk and deep cytoplasm of the vegetal hemisphere during 0.3–0.5 NT does not affect the formation or size of the blastopore. Consistently, transplantation of cortical and subcortical cytoplasm from marginal, but not other, sites of eggs at 0.3–0.5 NT to an animal blastomere from 16-cell stage embryos induces an ectopic blastopore and bottle cell-like cells. This does not occur in the same transplantation from eggs at 0.2 NT. These results suggest that the blastopore determinants become localized to the marginal cortical and/or subcortical cytoplasm during 0.2–0.3 NT. Other results suggest the involvement of a hexyleneglycol-sensitive system in the process of localization of the blastopore determinants to the marginal region during 0.2–0.3 NT. The properties and behavior of the putative blastopore determinants are discussed in relation to those of VegT, which previously has been shown to induce ectopic blastopores.

Keywords: VegT; Xenopus laevis; blastopore formation; determinant; gastrulation

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Yamagata University, 1-4-12 Kojirakawa-Machi, Yamagata 990-8560, Japan.

Publication date: 2000-12-01

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