The incorporation of leucine-3H into either ovarian or oocyte proteins occurs throughout vitellogenesis, but is at a maximum during early phases of this process. The labeling of ovarian and oocyte proteins is inhibited with cycloheximide. Oocytes are permeable to actinomycin D, and this drug does not affect the incorporation of amino acids into oocyte proteins but does block oocyte RNA synthesis. By means of both light microscope and high resolution radioautography, it has been demonstrated that the initial incorporation of leucine-3H under both in vitro and in vivo conditions occurs in elements of the rough-surfaced endoplasmic reticulum in the oocyte. Under pulse-chase conditions, the label subsequently becomes associated with intracisternal (precursor yolk) granules now aggregated within the cisternae of the connected smooth-surfaced endoplasmic reticulum. By 7 days, mature yolk globules are extensively labeled. The results of experiments designed to assess the possible contribution of maternal blood proteins to yolk deposition indicate that such a contribution is minimal. It is concluded that the crayfish oocyte is programmed for and capable of synthesizing the massive store of proteinaceous yolk present in the egg at the end of oogenesis.

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