Formation of germinal granules during oogenesis was studied in sea cucumbers, Apostichopus japonicus, Selenka, 1867, using transmission electron microscopy. It was found that within the early oogenesis mitochondria interact with a Balbiani body, gradually become immersed into its substance and transformed into electron-dense structures, which are similar to the germinal granules of metazoans. In late oogenesis, formed germinal granules lose their contacts with a Balbiani body and are localized in the cortical portion of the oocyte, near the cell membrane. Vestigial mitochondrial cristae are a typical feature of germinal granules. The obtained data suggest that the process of transformation of mitochondria into germinal granules is one of the functions of the Balbiani body, whose role still remains unexplained.
Russian Journal of Marine Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Apr 8, 2015
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