The International Journal of Developmental Biology

Int. J. Dev. Biol. 42: 625 - 628 (1998)

Vol 42, Issue 4

Chronology of events in the first cell cycle of the polyspermic egg of the domestic fowl (Gallus domesticus)

Published: 1 May 1998

D Waddington, C Gribbin, R J Sterling, H M Sang and M M Perry

Roslin Institute (Edinburgh), Midlothian, Scotland, United Kingdom.


The nuclear population in the polyspermic egg of the domestic hen was examined in whole-mount preparations of the germinal disc. The numbers of nuclei varied in groups of hens from averages of 5.9 to 26, depending on days from insemination. Changes in development from initial formation of pronuclei to the early mitoses of the zygote nucleus were staged according to the position of the egg in the oviduct. The findings substantiated earlier accounts on the timing of the apposition of the parental pronuclei towards the end of the first cell cycle. Additionally, analysis of the spatial distribution of accessory spermatozoal nuclei showed a slight, but significant, dispersal from a clustered arrangement at this time.

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