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Cell. 1984 May;37(1):185-94.

Fates and states of determination of single vegetal pole blastomeres of X. laevis.


Vegetal pole cells of Xenopus morulae contribute progeny to all three germ layers, but from the midblastula stage onward they contribute only to the endoderm. We have investigated whether this restriction in fate reflects cell determination by implanting labeled vegetal pole cells into the blastocoels of host embryos and asking which structures later include labeled progeny. Single vegetal pole cells from the morula and also from the midblastula stage can contribute progeny to all germ layers. At the early gastrula stage the cells can contribute only to the endoderm. Thus the restriction of fate in the midblastula does not reflect cell determination. However, the cells do become determined by the beginning of gastrulation.

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