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Free Content Presence of a nucleus or nucleus-deriving factors is indispensable for the formation of the spindle, the diastema and the cleavage furrow in the blastomere of the Xenopus embryo

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Abstract:

The present study examines the indispensability of a nucleus or nucleus-deriving factors in the induction of cleavage in Xenopus eggs by testing cleavage in Xenopus eggs fertilized with ultraviolet (UV)-damaged sperm and deprived of the female nucleus. These eggs, which contain only one UV-damaged nucleus with one set of centrioles, undergo unique cleavages. Cleavage takes place in only one of the two blastomeres formed by the immediately preceding cleavage. Histologically, only one nucleus, which does not appear to be organized into typical chromosomes, is found in one of the two blastomeres formed by the immediately preceding cleavage. The typical bipolar spindle and the diastema, or a slit of astral rays, are formed in the blastomere that contains the nucleus. By contrast, only asters lacking the spindle and the diastema are formed in the remaining blastomeres, which do not contain a nucleus. The same results are obtained in eggs that contain two UV-damaged nuclei with one set of centrioles. In these eggs, cleavage appears to occur in one or two blastomeres that contain either or both of the nuclei and one bipolar spindle. In eggs that contain one intact and one UV-damaged nuclei, cleavage takes place quite normally with each blastomere containing one nucleus or one set of chromosomes as well as one bipolar spindle. Thus, there is a very close correlation between the presence of a nucleus and the formation of the mitotic spindle, the diastema and the cleavage furrow in the blastomeres of Xenopus embryos. We conclude that the presence of a nucleus or nucleus-deriving factors is indispensable for the formation of the bipolar spindle, the diastema and the cleavage furrow in the blastomeres of the Xenopus embryos..

Keywords: Xenopus laevis; amphibian embryo; bipolar spindle; cleavage furrow; nucleus

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2001

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