To examine the nature of cytoplasm determinants for dorsal specification in zebrafish, we have developed a method in which we remove the vegetal yolk hemisphere of early fertilized eggs (vegetal removed embryos). When the vegetal yolk mass was removed at the 1-cell stage, the embryos frequently exhibited typical ventralized phenotypes: no axial structures developed. The frequency of dorsal defects decreased when the operation was performed at later stages. Furthermore, the yolk cell obtained from the vegetal-removed embryos lost the ability to induce goosecoid in normal blastomeres while the normal yolk cell frequently did so in normal and vegetal-removed embryos. These results suggested that the vegetal yolk cell mass contains the dorsal determinants, and that the dorsal-inducing ability of the yolk cell is dependent on the determinants.