Cross‐fertilization between sea urchin eggs (Strongylocentrotus nudus) and starfish sperm (Asterina pectinifera) was induced by treatment with polyethylene glycol (PEG). Without treatment with PEG, the denuded egg surface (jelly coat‐ and vitelline coat‐free) engulfed the head of acrosome‐reacted sperm; however, sperm penetration did not occur [Kyozuka and Osanai, 1988]. When these eggs were exposed briefly to PEG (molecular weight 3,000) in seawater, the sperm entered the egg by membrane fusion. Cortical granules were discharged, and embryogenesis began following sperm penetration. PEG did not induce parthenogenesis in Strongylocentrotus eggs. Egg activation is thus closely linked with gamete membrane fusion.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental Biology