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J Embryol Exp Morphol. 1975 Aug;34(1):209-20.

The effect of u.v. irradiation of the vegetal pole of Xenopus laevis eggs on the presumptive primordial germ cells.


The initial effect of u.v. irradiation of the vegetal pole was to inhibit cleavage in the vegetal hemisphere although karyokinesis was not substantially affected. In this way a syncytium formed in the vegetal hemisphere which broke down into individual cells some time between morula and late blastula. The movement of the germ plasm from the peripheral cortical regions into the interior of the egg was not appreciably delayed although aggregation of the germ plasm did not take place until the individual presumptive primordial germ cells were formed when the syncytium broke down. The method of segregation of the germ plasm and formation of the presumptive primordial germ cells was therefore very different in irradiated embryos from the normal orderly processes which depend on normal cleavage patterns. After neurula, the number of presumptive primordial germ cells declined rapidly and at stage 43/44, when the genital ridges in normal embryos contain primordial germ cells, the genital ridges in irradiated embryos were sterile. These results raise the question whether derangement of the segregation of the presumptive primordial germ cells is solely responsible for the later abnormalities in the cell lineage or whether u.v. irradiation affects the germ plasm and therefore indirectly the germ cells.

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