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Free Content Development and fine structure of the yolk nucleus of previtellogenic oocytes in the medaka Oryzias latipes

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The development and fine structure of yolk nuclei in the cytoplasm of previtellogenic oocytes were examined by electron microscopy during several stages of oogenesis in the medaka, Oryzias latipes. Shortly after oogenesis starts, oocytes 20–30 μm in diameter have much electron-dense (basophilic) cytoplasm, within which a continuous or discontinuous, irregular ring-shaped lower electron-dense area of flocculent appearance (LF) begins to emerge around the nucleus. The yolk nucleus is first recognized within an LF area as a few fragments of dense granular thread measuring 20–25 nm in width. The threads consist of two rows of very dense granules resembling ribosomes or ribonucleoprotein (RNP)-like particles in size and electron density. These thread-like fragments gradually increase in number and length until they assemble into a compact, spherical mass of complicated networks. Analysis of serial sections suggests that the yolk nucleus is a complicated mass of numerous, small deformed vacuoles composed of a single lamella with double layers of ribosomes or RNP-like granules, rather than a mass of granular threads. When oocytes develop to greater than 100 μm in diameter, the yolk nucleus begins to fragment before dispersing throughout the surrounding cytoplasm, concomitantly with the disappearance of LF areas. At this stage of oogenesis, a restricted region of the granulosa cell layer adjacent to the yolk nucleus becomes somewhat columnar in morphology, fixing the vegetal pole region of the oocyte.

Keywords: Oryzias latipes; granular thread; previtellogenic oocyte; yolk nucleus

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Biology, Asahi University School of Dentistry, 1851 Hozumi, Hozumi-cho, Motosu-gun, Gifu 501-0296 and 2: Department of Biology, Aichi University of Education, Kariya 448-8542, Japan.

Publication date: December 1, 2000


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