Letter | Published:

Information Transfer in Molluscan Embryos

Naturevolume 214pages172173 (1967) | Download Citation



FLICKINGER1 first pointed out the possible use of actinomycin to find out whether embryonic information transfer is sequential. According to him mRNA for particular organs is “released in the cytoplasm immediately before differentiation”. If this view is correct, it should be possible to suppress the differentiation of organs selectively by treating the embryos (with inhibitors like actinomycin) at specific stages. Ideally, it should be necessary to follow up such experiments with autoradiographic and biochemical tests for suppression of UNA synthesis. Such selective organ suppressions, however, would be interesting per se and hardly any good examples are known. I have reported2 the inhibition of pigmented sensorial organs of Ciona by actinomycin and chromomycin. The latter drug, known to inhibit synthesis of RNA3, also binds to DNA, like actinomycin4,5, and its effects on Ciona are similar to those of actinomycin6,7.

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  1. 1

    Flickinger, R. A., Science, 141, 1063 (1963).

  2. 2

    Brahmachary, R. L., Acta Embryol. Morphol. Exp., 9, 25 (1966).

  3. 3

    Wakisaka, G., Uchino, H., Nakamura, T., Sotobayashi, H., Shirakawa, S., Adachi, A., and Sakurai, M., Nature, 198, 385 (1963).

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    Kajiro, J., and Kamijama, M., Biophys. Biochem. Res. Commun., 19, 433 (1965).

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    Kersten, N., and Kersten, H., Biochem. Zeits., 341, 174 (1965).

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    Brahmachary, R. L., and Reverberi, G., Acta Embryol. Morphol. Exp., 1, 180 (1964).

  7. 7

    Brahmachary, R. L., and Reverberi, G., (in the press).

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    Sherbet, G. V., and Lakshmi, M. S., Proc. Koninkl. Nederl., Akademie van Weterischappen., series C, 67, No. 4, 261 (1964).

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    Geilenkirchen, W. L. M., and Nijenhuis, E. D., Proc. Koninkl. Nederl., Akademie van Wetenschappen, series C, 62, No. 3, 214 (1959).

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    Raven, C. P., in Advances in Morphogenesis, 3 (Academic Press, 1964).

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    Wolsky, A., and Wolsky, M., Biol Bull., 121, 414 (1961).

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    Gross, P. R., and Cousinean, G. M., Exp. Cell Res., 33, 368 (1964).

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  1. Unit of Embryology, Indian Statistical Institute, Calcutta

    •  & K. P. BANERJEE


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