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Fertile offspring derived from mammalian eggs lacking either animal or vegetal poles

Zernicka-Goetz, Magdalena (1998) Fertile offspring derived from mammalian eggs lacking either animal or vegetal poles. Development, 125 (23). pp. 4803-4808. ISSN 0950-1991.

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In all animals so far tested, removing either pole of the undivided egg prevents normal development: embryos may arrest early, lack organs, or the adults may be sterile. These experiments have shown that spatial patterning of the egg is of utmost importance for subsequent development. However, the significance of spatial patterning in mammalian eggs is still controversial. To test the importance of egg polarity in the mouse a substantial amount of material either from the animal (polar body-associated) or the vegetal (opposite) pole of the fertilised egg was removed. One pole of the egg was cut away manually with a glass needle and the eggs were allowed to develop in vitro. Both kinds of surgical operation permit the development of blastocysts, which, after transfer to the uteri of pseudo-pregnant foster mothers, can produce viable offspring. Furthermore, these develop into fertile adult mice. I conclude that mouse eggs have no essential components that are localised uniquely to the animal or the vegetal pole and, therefore, do not rely for their axial development on maternal determinants that are so localised in the fertilised egg. Thus the mammalian egg appears to be very unusual in the animal kingdom in that it establishes the embryonic axes after the zygote has begun development.

Item Type:Article
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Zernicka-Goetz, Magdalena0000-0002-7004-2471
Additional Information:© 1998 The Company of Biologists. Accepted 29 September; published on WWW 9 November 1998. I thank my colleagues John Gurdon, Jonathon Pines, Roger Pedersen, Christopher Graham, Anne McLaren and Azim Surani for their encouragement and useful comments during the course of this work. I am grateful to Martin Evans for his continuing support, including providing space. I thank David Glover for discussions and for help in photographing mice. I also thank Richard Gardner for drawing my attention to the unresolved issue of the role of polarity in the mammalian egg. I thank the Lister Institute of Preventive Medicine. This work was also supported by Wellcome Trust grants to Martin Evans and to M. Z. G.
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Lister Institute of Preventive MedicineUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords: Mammalian egg, Animal-vegetal polarity, Mouse
Issue or Number:23
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190422-101709593
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Official Citation:Fertile offspring derived from mammalian eggs lacking either animal or vegetal poles M. Zernicka-Goetz Development 1998 125: 4803-4808
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:94845
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:23 Apr 2019 16:50
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 21:07

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