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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1990;582:40-9.

Cleavage plane determination in amphibian eggs.

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Faculty of General Education, Yamagata University, Japan.


In the present study using eggs of Cynops pyrrhogaster and Xenopus laevis, we examined (1) structural changes in the cytoplasm before the appearance of the cleavage furrow using a cytochemical method, (2) the time of cleavage plane determination depending on the mitotic apparatus (MA), by changing the shape of the eggs, and (3) the time of arrival of the "cleavage stimulus" at the cortex, by injecting colchicine solution or removing cytoplasm. Results were as follows: (1) In amphibian eggs the diastema was formed after development of the MA, appearing between the two asters after the MA had begun to degenerate. (2) The cleavage plane was preliminarily determined by the MA in the meta- to anaphase of karyokinesis. At this time, however, the egg cortex had not yet received the "cleavage stimulus" indispensable for furrow formation. (3) The egg cortex was really prepared to establish the furrow just after the edge of the diastema arrived at the cortex, when the MA had already degenerated. These results imply that the cleavage plane of the amphibian eggs is determined in two steps: the first, depending on the MA, is the determination of the direction of the growth of the diastema, and the second is the arrival of the "cleavage stimulus" at the cortex in association with the diastema.

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