The site of H3-uridine incorporation and the fate of labeled RNA during early embryo-genesis of the newt Triturus pyrrhogaster were studied with electron microscopic autoradiography. Isolated ectodermal and mesodermal tissues from the embryos were treated in H3-uridine for 3 hours and cultured in cold solution for various periods before fixation with OsO4 and embedding in Epon. At the blastula stage, the only structural component of the nucleus seen in electron micrographs is a mass of chromatin fibrils. At the early gastrula stage, the primary nucleoli originate as small dense fibrous bodies within the chromatin material. These dense fibrous nucleoli enlarge during successive developmental stages by the acquisition of granular components 150 A in diameter, which form a layer around them. Simultaneously larger granules (300 to 500 A) appear in the chromatin, and they fill the interchromatin spaces by the tail bud stage. Autoradiographic examination has demonstrated that nuclear RNA synthesis takes place in both the nucleolus and the chromatin, with the former consistently showing more label per unit area than the latter. When changes in the distribution pattern of radioactivity were studied 3 to 24 hours after immersion in isotope at each developmental stage, the following results were obtained. Labeled RNA is first localized in the fibrous region of the nucleolus and in the peripheral region of chromatin material. After longer culture in non-radioactive medium, labeled materials also appear in the granular region of the nucleolus and in the interchromatin areas. Further incubation gives labeling in cytoplasm.

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