The large size of Xenopus oocytes, eggs, and embryos confers a number of technical advantages to the researcher. First, single cells can be manipulated with forceps and a dissecting microscope. Second, markers of cellular transitions, such as cortical contraction that denotes egg activation, can be observed with the dissecting microscope, allowing rapid determination of whether that transition has occurred. Third, microinjection can be performed simply and rapidly. Fourth, biochemical analyses that require large amounts of material, such as measuring intracellular concentrations of signaling molecules, are feasible. Fifth, some approaches, such as the spatial fractionation by dissection technique described in this chapter, are absolutely dependent on large size. Thus, the chapter provides analysis of cellular signaling events, the cytoskeleton, and spatial organization of macromolecules during early xenopus development.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology