Cell cycle arrest and activation of development in marine invertebrate deuterostomes.
1. Resting and activated eggs of the sea urchin Arbacia punctulata were swollen in hypotonic sea water (60, 70, 80, and 90 per cent), and allowed to attain equilibrium volumes (Figs. 1 and 2). 2. Both fertilized and unfertilized eggs obey the Boyle-van't-Hoff law, but the value for b, the "osmotically inactive fraction" or non-swellable volume, was different for the two, averaging in the cases studied 7.3 per cent for unfertilized and 27.4 per cent for fertilized. 3. On activation, the eggs of the sea urchin undergo a definite increase in total cell volume, of approximately 2.7 per cent. 4. Some evidence is adduced for the possibility that the alteration in cell volume and in o.i.f. may depend upon the species in question. 5. A parallelism between change in b and alteration of respiratory metabolism in Arbacia, Chaetopterus, and Arbacia fragments is pointed out. This requires further investigation in other species to establish generality. 6. Equations for the calculation of the point at which osmotic pressures and cell volumes are identical for unfertilized and fertilized eggs are included. 7. A mechanical analogue of the phenomena is introduced (Fig. 3).