Developmental Fates of Blastomeres of Eight-Cell-Stage Xenopus laevis Embryos

(intracellular injection/horseradish peroxidase/developmental fate/Xenopus embryo)



The developmental fates of animal, vegetal, dorsal, and ventral egg regions of Xenopus laevis embryos were examined. For this purpose, a tracer enzyme (horseradish peroxidase) was injected bilaterally into pairs of eight-cell-stage blastomeres and the clonal organization of marked cells in the early tail-bud embryos was examined. The epidermis over most of the body originated from animal-ventral micromeres, but that in the head originated from animal-dorsal blastomeres and that in the area surrounding the anus originated from vegetal-ventral blastomeres. The neural tube originated from animal-dorsal, vegetal-dorsal, and animal-ventral blastomeres. These results were consistent with those of previous studies. But in contrast to previous findings, results showed that the entire notochord is derived from animal-dorsal micromeres and that the somites originate from all four bilateral pairs of blastomeres in the eight-cell stage. These results are discussed in relation to the current maps of prospective fates based on results of vital-dye staining. Morphogenetic movements are also discussed on the basis of the clonal organization demonstrated in the present study.