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Mosaic haploid–diploid embryos and polyspermy in the tellinid bivalve Macoma balthica

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We investigated meiosis, fertilization, and early development in eggs of the tellinid bivalve Macoma balthica (L.), which has external fertilization. Meiosis is standard but polyspermy is found to be very common. In all eight crosses examined, mosaic embryos consisting of a mixture of diploid (2n = 38) and haploid cells occur at a frequency ranging from 2.7 to 29.1%. The earliest mosaic found is in the two-cell stage. We propose that an androgenic haploid cell lineage can originate from one supernumerary sperm that decondenses into a functional haploid nucleus, starts mitosis, and is incorporated in the developing embryo.Key words: bivalves, fertilization, embryos, polyspermy, mosaicism.

Les auteurs ont examiné la méiose, la fécondation et les premières étapes du développement au sein des œufs du mollusque bivalve Macoma balthica (L.), lequel est caractérisé par une fécondation extérieure. La méiose est de type standard, mais la polyspermie s'avère très commune. Chez chacun des huit croisements examinés, des embryons en mosaïque, constitués d'un mélange de cellules diploïdes (2n = 38) et haploïdes, étaient observés à des fréquences variant entre 2,7 et 29,1 %. La mosaïque la plus précoce a été observée au stade de deux cellules. Les auteurs postulent qu'un lignage cellulaire haploïde androgène pourrait être dérivé d'un spermatozoïde surnuméraire, lequel subirait une décondensation pour former un noyau haploïde fonctionnel, initierait la mitose et serait incorporé dans l'embryon en développement.Mots clés : bivalves, fécondation, embryons, polyspermie, mosaïque.[Traduit par la Rédaction]

Keywords: bivalves; embryons; embryos; fertilization; fécondation; mosaicism; mosaïque; polyspermie; polyspermy

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2002

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  • From its inception in 1957, this international cytogenetics journal has catered to the research areas of the members of the Genetics Society of Canada; traditionally, these have included agriculture, entomology, genetics/cytogenetics, and evolutionary mechanisms. The contents of the journal have evolved as contributors developed new technologies and interests. A 20-member Editorial Board is composed of scientists from around the world. Reviews and commentary from respected experts are often featured.
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