Balbiani cytoplasm in oocytes of a primitive fish, the sturgeon Acipenser gueldenstaedtii, and its potential homology to the Balbiani body (mitochondrial cloud) of Xenopus laevis oocytes

Monika Zelazowska, Wincenty Kilarski, Szczepan M. Bilinski, Daniel D. Podder, Malgorzata Kloc

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

34 Scopus citations

Abstract

The oocytes of many organisms, including frogs and fish, contain a distinct cytoplasmic organelle called the Balbiani body. Because of the scarcity of published information and the tremendous variability in the appearance, ultrastructure, and composition of Balbiani bodies between species, the function of the Balbiani body and its inter-species homology remain a mystery. In Xenopus laevis, the Balbiani body is known to play a role in transporting germ cell determinants and localized RNAs to the oocyte vegetal cortex. In fish, however, the molecular composition of the Balbiani body has not been studied to date, and its function remains completely unknown. We have studied the ultrastructure and molecular composition of previtellogenic oocytes of the sturgeon, Acipenser gueldenstaedtii, by using electron microscopy, in situ hybridization, and immunostaining. We have found that sturgeon oocytes contain two distinct zones of cytoplasm: homogeneous (organelle-free) and granular (organelle-rich). We have also found that the granular ooplasm, which we term the Balbiani cytoplasm, shares important homologies, in both ultrastructure and molecular composition, with Xenopus Balbiani bodies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)137-145
Number of pages9
JournalCell and Tissue Research
Volume329
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2007

Keywords

  • Balbiani body
  • Oogenesis
  • RNA localization
  • Sturgeon, Acipenser gueldenstaedtii (Chondrostei)
  • Xenopus laevis (Anura)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology

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