Eggs of the sea urchin, Arbacia punctulata, treated with 3% urethane for 30 sec followed by 0.3% urethane and inseminated are polyspermic and fail to undergo a typical cortical reaction. Upon insemination the vitelline layer of urethane-treated eggs either does not separate or is raised only a short distance from the oolemma. 1–6 min after insemination, almost all of the cortical granules remain intact and are dislodged from the plasmalemma. Later (6 min to the two-cell stage) some cortical granules are released randomly along the surface of the zygote. Not all zygotes show the same degree of cortical granule dehiscence; most of them experience little if any granule release whereas others demonstrate considerably more. The thickness of the hyaline layer appears to be directly related to the number of cortical granules released. Subsequent to pronuclear migration, several male pronuclei become associated with the female pronucleus. Later the male and female pronuclear envelopes contact and the outer and the inner laminae fuse, thereby forming the zygote nucleus. The male pronuclei remaining in the cytoplasm increase in size and progressively migrate to, and fuse with, the zygote nucleus. By 60 min some zygotes appear to contain only one large zygote nucleus which subsequently enters mitosis. Other zygotes possess a number of male pronuclei which remain unfused, and later these pronuclei along with the zygote nucleus undergo mitosis. There does not appear to be a direct relation between the number of cortical granules a zygote possesses and the above mentioned dichotomy.

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