Cytasters induced within unfertilized sea-urchin eggs.

R. Kuriyama, G. G. Borisy

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Conditions that induce the formation of asters in unfertilized sea-urchin eggs have been investigated. Monasters were formed by treatment of eggs with acidic or basic sea-water, or procaine- or thymol-containing sea-water. A second treatment step, incubation with D2O-containing, ethanol-containing or hypertonic sea-water induced multiple cytasters. The number and size of cytasters varied according to the concentration of agents and duration of the first and second treatments, and also upon the species of eggs and the season in which the eggs were obtained. Generally, a longer second treatment or a higher concentration of the second medium resulted in a higher number of cytasters per egg. Asters were isolated and then examined by light and electron microscopy. Isolated monasters apparently lacked centrioles, whereas cytasters obtained from eggs undergoing the two-step treatment contained one or more centrioles. Up to eight centrioles were seen in a single aster; the centrioles appeared to have been produced during the second incubation. Centrospheres prepared from isolated asters retained the capacity to nucleate the formation of microtubules in vitro as assayed by light and electron microscopy. Many microtubules radiated from the centre of isolated asters, whether they contained centrioles or not. This observation is consistent with many other reports that microtubule-organizing centres need not contain centrioles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)175-189
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of cell science
StatePublished - May 1983

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