Increased Uptake of Nucleosides in the Activation of Sea Urchin Eggs

  • D. Nishioka
  • C. E. Killian
  • N. F. McGwin-Scully
Part of the Proceedings in Life Sciences book series (LIFE SCIENCES)


Sea urchins have long provided a convenient and definable system for the study of cellular activation and early embryonic development. A single female, at the simple request of injecting isoosmotic KCl into the body cavity, may shed as much as 20 ml of fully mature eggs, each ml containing 2 × 106 eggs. A single male, at the same request, may shed as much as 5 ml of undiluted semen, each ml containing 10–100 × 109 spermatozoa. In vitro fertilization is accomplished simply by mixing eggs and sperm together in seawater. A most important advantage of this system is that the ionic composition of the external medium, seawater, is known, and under routine laboratory conditions, may be completely defined. Fertilized Strongylocentrotus purpuratus eggs will reach first cell division approx. 90 min after insemination at 15 °C. The next five divisions occur every 60 min and remain synchronous within each embryo and within a given culture. Development proceeds synchronously through easily recognizable embryonic stages (blastula, gastrula) to an early larval stage (pluteus) within 3 days. Several detailed and comprehensive reviews of fertilization and early development of the sea urchin are available elsewhere (Harvey 1956,Giudice 1973; Stearns 1974; Epel 1978; Nishioka 1982; Whitaker and Steinhardt 1982).


Thymidine Uptake Cortical Granule Cortical Reaction Cumulative Uptake Ribose Sugar 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. Nishioka
    • 1
  • C. E. Killian
    • 1
  • N. F. McGwin-Scully
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of BiologyGeorgetown UniversityUSA
  2. 2.Department of Biochemistry and Molecular BiologyM.D. Anderson Hospital and Tumor InstituteHoustonUSA

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