Insemination of sea urchin (Arbacia) ova with mussel (Mytilus) sperm has been accomplished by treating eggs with trypsin and suspending the gametes in seawater made alkaline with NaOH. Not all inseminated eggs undergo a cortical granule reaction. Some eggs either elevate what remains of their vitelline layer or demonstrate no cortical modification whatsoever. After its incorporation into the egg, the nucleus of Mytilus sperm undergoes changes which eventually give rise to the formation of a male pronucleus. Concomitant with these transformations, a sperm aster may develop in association with the centrioles brought into the egg with the spermatozoon. Both the male pronucleus and the sperm aster may then migrate centrad to the female pronucleus. Evidence is presented which suggests that fusion of the male pronuclei from Mytilus sperm with female pronuclei from Arbacia eggs may occur, although this was not directly observed. These results demonstrate that Mytilus sperm nuclei are able to react to conditions within Arbacia eggs and differentiate into male pronuclei.

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