Timing the early events during sea urchin fertilization

Gerald Schatten & Dieter F. Hülser
To determine precisely the timing, duration, and sequences of the earliest events during sea urchin (Lytechinus variegatus) fertilization, the bioelectric recordings of microelectrode-impaled eggs were electronically superimposed, by video mixing, over the microscopic differential interference contrast image of the same egg at insemination. Videotape analysis, utilizing a slow-motion analyzer, demonstrates that the successful sperm triggers the bioelectric membrane potential reversal within 3.36 ± 3.02 sec (0.72-9.76 sec range; Σ = 23 eggs) of sperm-egg attachment....
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