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Microsc Res Tech. 2000 Jun 1;49(5):445-50.

Centrosome inheritance in sheep zygotes: centrioles are contributed by the sperm.

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INRA, Unité de Physiologie animale, Jouy-en-Josas, France.


The inheritance and duplication of the sperm centriole in the sheep zygote was studied by transmission electron microscopy. We found two centrioles at one pole and a single centriole at the opposite pole of the first mitotic spindle, in monospermic eggs, 20-21 hours postinsemination. This indicated both duplication and relocation of centrioles to opposite spindle poles during fertilization. The absence of centrioles in mature sheep oocytes was confirmed. Following activation by the calcium ionophore A 23187, mature oocytes entered mitosis and formed a bipolar spindle 18 hours later. Centrioles were not detected in the mitotic spindle of parthenogenotes. Androgenetic eggs were obtained by excision of the anaphase II/telophase II meiotic spindle of fertilized eggs. They were capable of undergoing mitosis and formed one or two bipolar spindle(s) in monospermic and dispermic eggs, respectively, 20-24 hours postinsemination. In two monospermic androgenetic eggs, two centrioles were found at one pole and a single centriole at the opposite pole of the first mitotic spindle. Three centrioles were also observed in another androgenetic egg in prometaphase of the first mitotic division, in close vicinity to the sperm neck-piece. These data provide evidence that the sperm centriole do reproduce and occupy a pivotal position on opposite spindle poles at syngamy. Altogether, the present findings suggest that centrioles of sheep zygotes are paternally derived.

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