Microtubule array observed in the posterior-vegetal cortex during cytoplasmic and cortical reorganization of the ascidian egg
Development, Growth and Differentiation
Body axis formation during embryogenesis results from asymmetric localization of maternal factors in the egg. Shortly before the first cleavage in ascidian eggs, cell polarity along the anteroposterior (A-P) axis is established and the cytoplasmic domain (myoplasm) relocates from the vegetal to the posterior region in a microtubuledependent manner. Through immunostaining, tubulin accumulation during this reorganization is observable on the myoplasm cortex. However, more detailed morphological
... atures of microtubules remain relatively unknown. In this study, we invented a new reagent that improves the immunostaining of cortical microtubules and successfully visualized a parallel array of thick microtubules. During reorganization, they covered nearly the entire myoplasm cortical region, beneath the posterior-vegetal cortex. We designated this microtubule array as CAMP (cortical array of microtubules in posterior vegetal region). During the late phase of reorganization, CAMP shrank and the myoplasm formed a crescent-like cytoplasmic domain. When the CAMP formation was inhibited by sodium azide, myoplasmic reorganization and A-P axis formation were both abolished, suggesting that CAMP is important for these two processes.