By Prof. Dr. Jean Brachet, Dr. Henri Alexandre (auth.)

Nearly 10 years have elapsed considering i stopped writing the 1st version of Intro­ duction to Molecular Embryology. in this interval, molecular embryology has made nice strides ahead, yet with out present process a huge revolution; there­ fore, the final philosophy and description of the booklet have remained virtually un­ replaced. even if, the entire chapters needed to be nearly thoroughly rewritten in or­ der to introduce new proof and to dispose of findings that have misplaced curiosity or were disproved. there has been a tremendous hole within the first variation of this e-book: little or no used to be stated approximately mammalian eggs regardless of their seen curiosity for mankind. examine on mammalian eggs and embryos is so energetic at the present time that this crucial subject merits a whole bankruptcy in a ebook serious about molecular embryology. as a result, i'm very grateful to my colleague Dr. Henri Alexandre, who has written a bankruptcy on mammalian embryology (Chap. nine) and has ready all of the illustrations for this book.

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It should be pointed out here that both the egg and the spermatozoa are haploid cells, but they are very different in size. The egg is full of reserve materials (glycogen, fats, yolk proteins) which are responsible for its huge size. The tiny spermatozoa move actively because of their flagella. They are, as we shall see, machines adapted, like the bacteriophages, to the injection of the intact genetic material (DNA) into the egg. Eggs and spermatozoa contain the same amount of nuclear DNA despite their enormous difference in size.

Polarity gradients in an amphibian oocyte surrounded by follicle cells. PA animal pole; PV vegetal pole. Left half: distribution of the yolk platelets. Right half: Distribution of the ribosomes; note their accumulation around the nucleus (germinal vesicle) . In the cortex, gradient distribution of the pigment granules (melanosomes) (Brachet 1979) lation of ribosomes around the large nucleus (called the germinal vesicle) of the oocyte can be seen. Most of the ribosomes, in full-grown oocytes, are free.

14 a-d. Gastrulation in an amphibian embryo. a Early gastrula. Left: dorsal view; right: lateral view. b Middle gastrula. Left: dorsal view; right: section. c Late gastrula at the yolk plug stage. Left: dorsal view; right: vertical section. d Same stage as c transversal section . 2 A Few Important Experimental Facts It is customary, but not quite correct, to divide eggs into two different categories, on the basis of their reactions to experimental approaches such as destroying a part of the egg by pricking, transplanting or explanting groups of cells, centrifuging the egg, etc.

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