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Dev Biol July 1, 1986; 116 (1): 228-40.

High-frequency twinning of Xenopus laevis embryos from eggs centrifuged before first cleavage.

Black SD , Gerhart JC .

In embryos of the frog Xenopus laevis, the dorsal structures normally develop from regions of the egg opposite the side of sperm entry. Gravity and centrifugal force, applied at an angle of 90 degrees to the animal-vegetal axis of the egg, can override this topographic relationship and can cause the dorsal structures to be positioned according to the force vector (S. Black and J. Gerhart, 1985, Dev. Biol. 108, 310-324). We report here that at time 0.40 (40% of the first cleavage interval), an average of 60% of eggs centrifuged at 30g for 4 min in this orientation form conjoined twins with one body axis arising from the centripetal side of the egg and one arising from the centrifugal side of the egg. This positioning is observed regardless of the orientation of the side of sperm entry in the centrifugal field. If, after the 0.40 centrifugation, the eggs are inclined with the centripetal side up, they do not make twins; instead, they make only a single axis at the centripetal side. This indicates that the second axis in twins is caused to form by postcentrifugation gravity-driven internal rearrangements of materials that were displaced by the centrifugation. Twins also form at high frequency in eggs centrifuged twice, first at an inclination of 90 degrees, and then at an inclination of 0 degrees. The second centrifugation yields secondary axes even when it is begun midway in the second cell cycle, well after the time of grey crescent formation. Double centrifugation also causes twinning ("double rescue") of uv-irradiated eggs which otherwise would not develop axial structures. This suggests that the internal displacements caused by the centrifugations can substitute for a step in the normal axis specification process that is impaired in irradiated eggs.

PubMed ID: 3488238
Article link: Dev Biol
Grant support: [+]
Genes referenced: frzb2

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