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Dev Growth Differ. 1998 Jun;40(3):267-75.

Dorsal specification in blastoderm at the blastula stage in the goldfish, Carassius auratus.

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Nanae Fish Culture Experimental Station, Faculty of Fisheries, Hokkaido University, Japan.


The teleost dorsoventral axis cannot be morphologically distinguished before gastrulation. Previous studies by the current authors have shown that localized dorsalizing activity in the yolk cell (YC) induces the dorsal tissues in the overlying blastoderm. In order to examine whether or not dorsal blastomeres are committed to their dorsal fate before the gastrula stage, a variety of transplant operations were performed in goldfish blastoderms at the mid- to late-blastula stages. When the blastoderm was cut from the YC, rotated horizontally at 180 degrees, and recombined with the YC, the blastoderm frequently developed two axes, indicating that dorsal blastomeres of the blastula had already acquired the ability to differentiate into the organizer in the absence of dorsalizing signals from the YC. This result was further confirmed by experiments using ventralized embryos in which no dorsal structures formed: the axis formation was frequently observed in the normal blastoderm combined with the ventralized YC at the blastula stage. However, the axes formed in the absence of dorsal information from the YC exhibited a lower dorso-anterior index. Furthermore, the dorsal specification was not stably maintained when the dorsal cells were located far from the YC. These results suggest that the inductive and permissive influence of the YC may be required for the blastoderm to undergo full dorsal differentiation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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