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The International Journal of Developmental Biology
Year: 2008  |  Volume: 52  |  Issue: 5-6  |  Page No.: 753 - 757

The use of poly-L-lysine to facilitate examination of sperm entry into pelagic, non-adhesive fish eggs

Tadashi Andoh, Takahiro Matsubara, Tatsuo Harumi and Ryuzo Yanagimachi    

Abstract: The fish egg is surrounded by a thick envelope called the chorion. The fertilizing spermatozoon enters the egg through a canal-like structure in the chorion, the micropyle. Examination of micropyle at fertilization is difficult if eggs are large and have no distinct landmarks surrounding the micropyle, or if they are positively buoyant in water. Eggs of many commercially important fishes (e.g., flounder, sea bream and eel) are buoyant in water or only slightly adhere to solid objects (e.g., sands, rock and water plants), which makes observation of spermatozoa at fertilization difficult. Here, we report that such eggs can be firmly attached to plastic and glass dishes that have been previously coated with poly-L-lysine. These adhering eggs can be fertilized and develop normally on the dishes. Observations of micropyles of three fish species, before and after sperm entry are presented.

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