Cytoplasm affects embryonic development | Science News



Science News is a nonprofit.

Help us keep you informed.


Cytoplasm affects embryonic development

2:27pm, February 28, 2005

New research provides the best evidence yet that a fertilized egg's nucleus isn't the sole site of control for an embryo's development. Signals emanating from the cell's mitochondria—its power-generating organelles—also appear to influence how an organism grows.

Mitochondria carry their own DNA, which is unrelated to the genetic material in a cell's nucleus. Scientists have been unsure whether mitochondrial DNA has an impact on developmental processes.

To investigate this, Zuo-Yan Zhu and his colleagues at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Wuhan cloned carp through a technique called nuclear transfer. This method removes the nucleus from one cell and inserts it into an egg that has had its own nucleus removed. However, instead of inserting carp nuclei into carp eggs, Zhu's team inserted them into goldfish eggs.

Normal carp have 33 to 36 vertebrae. However, the resulting cloned fish had between 26 and 28 vertebrae—the same number as goldfish&mdas

This article is only available to Science News subscribers. Already a subscriber? Log in now. Or subscribe today for full access.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from Science News

From the Nature Index Paid Content