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Topography map of Friday Harbor from 1895, part of the San Juan Islands off the coast of Washington state (courtesy of University of Washington Library). Photos are larvae of two native echinoderms found in the coastal waters of Friday Harbor, the sand dollar Dendraster excentricus (top) and sea...
Electrophysiological techniques were used to study the role of ion currents in the ascidian Ciona intestinalis oocyte plasma membrane during different stages of growth, meiosis, fertilization and early development. Three stages of immature oocytes were discriminated in the ovary, with the...
During maturation, oocytes must undergo a process of nuclear disassembly, or “germinal vesicle breakdown” (GVBD), that is regulated by signaling pathways involving cyclic AMP (cAMP). In vertebrate and starfish oocytes, cAMP elevation typically prevents GVBD. Alternatively, increased...
Under the influence of gonadotropins or growth factors, a close cooperation develops between cumulus cells and the oocyte that is implicated in transmitting signals involved in maintaining or releasing the meiotic arrest in the oocyte. While cyclic adenosine 5′‐monophosphate (cAMP) is a key...
In many animals, fully grown oocytes are arrested at prophase of meiosis I. Before or after ovulation/spawning, a secondary arrest occurs at metaphase of meiosis I or II (MI or II, respectively). MI arrest in the ovary is released after spawning, and is followed by fertilization, whereas MI and...
Most mature ascidian oocytes undergo germinal vesicle breakdown (GVBD) when released by the ovary into sea water (SW). Acidic SW blocks this but they can be stimulated by raising the pH, increasing intracellular cAMP levels by cell permeant forms, inhibiting its breakdown or causing synthesis....
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