Fates of the blastomeres of the 16-cell stage Xenopus embryo

Dev Biol. 1987 Feb;119(2):560-78. doi: 10.1016/0012-1606(87)90059-5.


The fate of each of the blastomeres in the 16-cell stage Xenopus embryo which had been carefully selected for stereotypic cleavages was determined by intracellularly marking a single blastomere with horseradish peroxidase and identifying the labeled progeny in the tailbud embryo by histochemistry. Each blastomere populated all three primary germ layers. The progeny of each blastomere were distributed characteristically both in phenotype and in location. For example, most organs were populated by the descendants of particular sets of blastomeres. Furthermore, within an organ the progeny of a single blastomere were restricted to defined spatial addresses. This study describes the fates of identified 16-cell stage blastomeres and demonstrates that they are distinct and predictable if embryos are preselected for stereotypic cleavages.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blastomeres / cytology*
  • Brain / cytology
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Ectoderm / cytology
  • Endoderm / cytology
  • Epidermal Cells
  • Histocytochemistry
  • Mesoderm / cytology
  • Spinal Cord / cytology
  • Xenopus laevis / embryology*