In order to determine whether or not tadpoles that once lacked primordial germ cells (PGCs) in the genital ridges and dorsal mesentery as a result of ultraviolet (UV) irradiation subsequently contained germ cells at more advanced stages of larval development, the numbers of presumptive PGCs or PGCs were carefully examined in Xenopus tadpoles at Nieuwkoop and Faber's stage 35/36–52 that developed normally from UV-irradiated eggs.
No late-appearing germ cells were observed in almost all the UV-irradiated tadpoles examined at stages 49–52. This same population had completely lacked PGCs at about stage 46. Moreover, presumptive PGCs (pPGCs) or cells with granular cytoplasm that reacted with a monoclonal antibody specific for the germ plasm of cleaving Xenopus eggs stayed in the central part of the endoderm cell mass in the irradiated tadpoles at stage 35/36, when the majority of those cells were located in the dorsal part of the endoderm in unirradiated controls. Furthermore, in the irradiated embryos pPGCs were demonstrated to decrease in number with development and eventually to disappear in tadpoles at about stage 40. The results strongly suggest that UV irradiation under the conditions used here totally eliminated germline cells from the irradiated animals.