Biochemical Genetics

, Volume 13, Issue 7–8, pp 457–470 | Cite as

Initial expression of the genes for fructose 1,6-diphosphatase, malic enzyme, and aspartate aminotransferase in Japanese quail and chicken-quail hybrid embryos

  • Peter G. Meyerhof
  • Leslie E. Haley


The initial appearance of a number of enzymes involved in gluconeogenesis was investigated in the early embryogenesis of the Japanese quail (Coturnix coturnix japonica), the domestic chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus), and chicken-quail hybrids. Starch gel electrophoresis and enzyme-specific stains revealed genetic differences between muscle and liver fructose 1,6-diphosphatase (FDPase) as well as malic enzyme (ME) and mitochondrial aspartate aminotransferase (AAT) isozymes of the two species. ME and AAT were present in unfertilized unincubated eggs, indicating maternal storage of these enzymes. The initial expression of the paternally inherited genes in the hybrid occurred before oviposition in the case of ME, and between 12 and 18 hr incubation in the case of AAT. Initial expression of both parental sets of genes for FDPase occurred synchronously between 16 and 24 hr in the hybrid, corresponding to the time of initial appearance of this enzyme in the quail and chicken. Glucose 6-phosphate administration at 0 hr was found to cause no prevention or delay of initial enzyme activation. These results are interpreted in terms of early patterns of enzyme activation regulation and nutrition in the avian embryo.

Key words

chicken-quail hybrid fructose 1,6-diphosphatase malic enzyme aspartate aminotransferase gluconeogenesis enzyme activation 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter G. Meyerhof
    • 1
  • Leslie E. Haley
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biology, Life Sciences CentreDalhousie UniversityHalifaxCanada

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