Free-Hand Bisection of Mouse Oocytes and Embryos

  • Zbigniew Polanski
  • Jacek Z. KubiakEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 957)


Mouse oocytes and zygotes are semitransparent and large cells approximately 80 μm in diameter. Bisection is one of the easiest ways for performing micromanipulations on such cells. It allows living sister halves or smaller fragments to be obtained, which can be cultured and observed for long periods of time. Bisection can be used for different kinds of experiments such as analysis of nucleo-cytoplasmic interactions, the relationship between different cellular structures or between different parts of embryos, eventually for analyzing the developmental potential of embryonic fragments. Oocyte or embryo halves can be examined by immunostaining, by measuring different cellular functions and by Western blot and genetic analysis (e.g., RT-PCR). Here we describe a detailed protocol for the free-hand bisection of mouse zona pellucida-free oocytes and embryos on an agar layer using a glass needle.

Key words

Bisection Cell cycle Early embryo development Micromanipulations Mouse Nucleo-cytoplasmic interactions Oocyte maturation 



We thank Malgorzata Kloc for valuable discussions and critical reading of the manuscript. This work was supported by grants from ARC and LCC to JZK.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Genetics and Evolution, Institute of ZoologyJagiellonian UniversityCracowPoland
  2. 2.Cell Cycle GroupCNRS, UMR 6290, Institute of Genetics and Development of Rennes (IGDR)RennesFrance
  3. 3.Faculty of MedicineUniversity Rennes 1, UEB, UMS 3480RennesFrance

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