The number of sperm incorporated into eggs made polyspermic with varying concentrations of nicotine (0.025–0.25%, v/v) appears to be directly related to the concentrations employed. The cortical response is morphologically equivalent to that observed in control preparations. Shortly after their incorporation all of the spermatozoa undergo structural events normally associated with the development of the male pronucleus in monospermic eggs. During the reorganization of the spermatozoa, sperm asters are formed. The number of male pronuclei that initially migrate to and encounter the female pronucleus is usually one to three. When pronuclei come into proximity to one another the surface of the female pronucleus proximal to the advancing male pronuclei flattens and becomes highly convoluted. Subsequently, the pronuclei contact each other and the outer and inner membranes of the pronuclear envelopes fuse, thereby producing the zygote nucleus. The male pronuclei remaining in the zygote after this initial series of pronuclear fusions continue to differentiate, i.e. they enlarge, form nucleolus-like bodies, and undergo further chromatin dispersion. In approximately 90% of the zygotes, all of the remaining male pronuclei progressively migrate to the zygote nucleus and fuse to form one large nucleus by 80 min postinsemination. Mitosis and cleavage of the polyspermic zygote occurs later than in monospermic eggs.

This content is only available as a PDF.