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Keywords:

  • aphidicolin;
  • egg activation;
  • energid;
  • Gryllus bimaculatus;
  • hypotonic buffer

In insects, egg activation is known to occur in vivo and independently of fertilization, but its mechanisms are poorly understood. To gain understanding of these mechanisms, an attempt was made to activate the egg of Gryllus bimaculatus in vitro. It was found that meiosis resumed and was completed in unfertilized eggs treated with hypotonic buffer. Early developmental processes in activated, unfertilized eggs were investigated and compared with those in fertilized eggs. Mitosis did not progress, resulting in formation of anucleate cytoplasmic islands (pseudoenergids). Development in the activated, unfertilized eggs stopped at this stage and both yolk subdivision and cellularization did not occur. To elucidate the role of the nucleus in the developmental process to the syncytial stage in fertilized eggs, eggs were treated with aphidicolin to inhibit DNA polymerization. It was found that pseudoenergids also formed in these aphidicolin-treated fertilized eggs. These results demonstrate that pseudoenergids can increase in number independently of nuclei, suggesting that the cytoplasm rather than the nucleus plays the primary role in development to the syncytial stage in G. bimaculatus.