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Development July 1, 1988; 103 (3): 507-18.

Relocation and reorganization of germ plasm in Xenopus embryos after fertilization.

Ressom RE , Dixon KE .

In the unfertilized egg, germ plasm is widely distributed throughout the vegetal subcortex in small islets. Following fertilization or artificial activation, the location and organization changes, and by the 4- to 8-cell stage the germ plasm forms a small number of large patches overlying the vegetal pole. We distinguish three processes that produce these changes. The first of these is aggregation which involves the islets moving towards the vegetal pole to form large patches by coalescence. This phase requires microtubules but does not depend on cleavage or dynamic microfilaments. The second phase is ingression during which the patches of germ plasm move to the interior of the egg. The movement is due to a flow of cytoplasm from the vegetal pole internally and the cytoplasmic current does not require either microtubules or dynamic microfilaments. In the third phase, the germ plasm is trapped in the vegetal hemisphere by microtubular arrays--in normal development, the mitotic spindle.

PubMed ID: 3246221
Article link: Development

Species referenced: Xenopus
Genes referenced: grap2

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