Cell lineage analysis in ascidian embryos by intracellular injection of a tracer enzyme. II. The 16- and 32-cell stages

Dev Biol. 1985 Aug;110(2):440-54. doi: 10.1016/0012-1606(85)90102-2.


Cell lineages during development of ascidian embryos were analyzed by injecting horseradish peroxidase as a tracer enzyme into identified cells of the 16-cell and 32-cell stage embryos of Halocynthia roretzi. Most of the blastomeres of these embryos developed more kinds of tissues than have hitherto been reported, and therefore, the developmental fates of each blastomere are more complex. It has been thought that every blastomere of the 64-cell stage ascidian embryo gives rise to only one kind of tissues, but the finding that the several blastomeres at the 32-cell stage developed into at least three different kinds of tissues, clearly indicates that the stage at which the fates of every blastomere are determined to one tissue is later than the 64-cell stage. The results also clearly demonstrate that muscle cells are derived not only from B-line cells (B5.1, B5.2, B6.3, and B6.4) but also from A-line cells (A5.2 and A6.4) and b-line cells (b5.3 and b6.5). Based on the present analysis as well as other studies, complete cell lineages of muscle cells up to their terminal differentiation have been proposed. In addition, lineages of nervous system, notochord, and epidermis are also discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blastomeres / physiology*
  • Epidermis
  • Histocytochemistry
  • Horseradish Peroxidase
  • Muscles / cytology
  • Muscles / embryology
  • Nervous System / cytology
  • Nervous System / embryology
  • Notochord / cytology
  • Skin / cytology
  • Skin / embryology
  • Urochordata / embryology*


  • Horseradish Peroxidase