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J Exp Zool 1976 Jul 01;1971:31-57. doi: 10.1002/jez.1401970105.
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Scanning electron microscope studies of sea urchin fertilization. I. Eggs with vitelline layers.

Tegner MJ , Epel D .

The surface coats of sea urchin eggs and the events of fertilization which take place on these surfaces were examined with the scanning electron microscope (SEM). Gametes of Stronglyocentrotus purpuratus and Lytechinus pictus were considered in detail; eggs of seven other echinoids were examined for comparative purposes. Jelly coats, preserved by varying the pH of fixation, were found to vary in morphology and solubility properties between species. The vitelline layers of the nine echinoids are characterized by arrays of projections which are impressions of cytoplasmic microvilli in the vitelline layer. After sperm bind to the egg surface via the acrosomal process, fine filaments, apparently an egg response to insemination, further connect some sperm heads and tails to the egg. The cortical reactions spread out as a wave from where the fertilizing sperm fused with the egg; separation of the vitelline layer proceeds as a smooth wave from S. purpuratus eggs and as a series of localized separations in L. pictus eggs. The fertilization membranes of S. purpuratus and Allocentrotus fragilis zygotes are expanded replicas of their respective vitelline layers, suggesting that fertilization membranes are formed by an unfolding of the vitelline layer.

PubMed ID: 939961
Article link: J Exp Zool

Genes referenced: LOC100887844 stk36