Bimodal Distribution of α-Galactosidase Activities in Mouse Embryos

  • V. M. Chapman
  • J. D. West
  • D. A. Adler
Part of the Basic Life Sciences book series (BLSC, volume 12)


It is widely accepted that only one of two X chromosomes present in the somatic cells of female mammals is active (Lyon 1961). This results in a similar dosage relationship between functional X chromosomes and autosomes in females and males. This compensation occurs early in development between the 2-cell stage (Hoppe and Whitten 1972) and the time of implantation of the embryo into the uterus (Gardner and Lyon 1971). An important issue concerning X-chromosome differentiation is the functional state of X chromosomes during early embryogenesis, before irreversible dosage compensation occurs. That is, does X-chromosome differentiation involve a process of X-chromosome inactivation or X-chromosome activation? Choosing between these alternatives is important for understanding a number of features of X-chromosome differentiation, including:
  1. (1)

    the derivation of molecular and genetic models of this process, and

  2. (2)

    the determination of the timing of this differentiation.


In the latter instance, activation and inactivation events may pose entirely different conditions for using biochemical variants of X-linked genes for studying the developmental timing of the event.


Mouse Embryo Bimodal Distribution Artificial Insemination Probit Analysis Dosage Difference 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • V. M. Chapman
    • 1
  • J. D. West
    • 1
  • D. A. Adler
    • 1
  1. 1.Roswell Park Memorial InstituteBuffaloUSA

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