After in vitro fertilization of naked eggs of the polyclad turbellarian, Hoploplana inquilina, both cell separation experiments and deletions of specific blastomeres are possible. With these techniques one can analyze the developmental potential of isolated blastomeres and determine if the embryonic axes have been established at the four-cell stage in this primitive, equally-cleaving spiralian embryo. Two-cell separation experiments with development of both halves resulted in pairs of larvae 1) neither of which had an eye (29%), 2) both of which had one eye (19%), and 3) one of which was eyeless and the other was one-eyed (43%). Deletion of one blastomere at the four-cell stage resulted in 68% one-eyed, 28% two-eyed and 3% eyeless larvae. The one-eyed larvae were asymmetric with respect to eye position with more having right than left eyes. Abnormal or missing ventrolateral lobes occurred with deletion of any of the macromeres at four cells but were significantly more common when A or C rather than B or D was deleted. The experiments support the hypothesis that eye development is a consequence of cytoplasmic localization of both a specific eye precursor and an inducer which segregate independently of cleavage planes, and indicate that the embryonic axes have been determined at the four-cell stage.
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Boyer, B.C. Development of in vitro fertilized embryos of the polyclad flatworm, Hoploplana inquilina, following blastomere separation and deletion. Roux's Arch Dev Biol 196, 158–164 (1987). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00376309
- Mosaic development
- Spiral cleavage