The rates of oxygen consumption of unfertilized and fertilized eggs of Arbacia punctulata, Asterias forbesii, and Spisula solidissima were determined at 15 °C using an oxygen electrode. Unfertilized eggs of Spisula have the lowest rate of oxygen uptake while Asterias ova have the highest, those of Arbacia being intermediate in value. Fertilization of Arbacia and Asterias eggs is accompanied by an immediate, but transient increase in the rate of oxygen uptake which lasts approximately 1.5 min and is significantly greater in the eggs of Arbacia than in those of Asterias. Within 3 min after insemination, the oxygen uptake of fertilized Asterias eggs returns to a rate comparable to that of the unfertilized eggs; the rate of oxygen consumption of Arbacia eggs also falls, but to a level which is still significantly higher than that of the unfertilized ova. This transient increase, which is suggested to be associated with the elevation of the fertilization membrane, could not be observed in the ova of Spisula because the methods necessary for obtaining successful fertilization did not allow measurements to be made earlier than 6 min following insemination.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology