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Development September 1, 1993; 119 (1): 277-85.

Cortical cytoplasm, which induces dorsal axis formation in Xenopus, is inactivated by UV irradiation of the oocyte.

Holowacz T , Elinson RP .

Localized maternal determinants control the formation of dorsal axial structures in Xenopus embryos. To examine the spatial distribution of dorsal determinants, we injected cytoplasm from various regions of the egg and 16-cell embryo into the ventral vegetal cells of a 16-cell recipient embryo. Cortical cytoplasm from the egg vegetal surface induced the formation of a secondary dorsal axis in 53% of recipients. In contrast, animal cortical, equatorial cortical and vegetal deep cytoplasm never induced secondary axis formation. We also compared the axis-inducing ability of animal versus vegetal dorsal cortical cytoplasm from 16-cell embryos. Significantly more dorsalizing activity was found in vegetal dorsal cytoplasm compared to animal dorsal cytoplasm at this stage. Previous work has shown that UV irradiation of the vegetal surface of either prophase I oocytes, or fertilized eggs, leads to the development of embryos that lack dorsal structures. Egg vegetal cortical cytoplasm was capable of restoring the dorsal axis of 16-cell recipient embryos derived from UV-irradiated oocytes or fertilized eggs. We also tested the axis inducing ability of cytoplasm obtained when UV-irradiated oocytes and eggs were treated as donors of cytoplasm. While vegetal cortical cytoplasm from UV-irradiated fertilized eggs retains its dorsalizing activity, cytoplasm obtained from eggs, UV irradiated as oocytes, does not. The egg vegetal cortex provides a suitable source for the isolation of maternal dorsal determinants. In addition, since UV irradiation of the oocyte vegetal surface destroys the dorsalizing activity of transferred cytoplasm, UV can be used to further restrict possible candidates for such determinants.

PubMed ID: 8275862
Article link: Development

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