CHAPTER SUMMARY

VOCABULARY FLASH CARDS

STUDY QUESTIONS

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Study Questions

1. Suppose an egg of some creature is brought to your laboratory and you need to evaluate which stage of meiosis the egg is in. You also have the sperm from the same species. The egg is opaque and you can't peer into its interior. Can you devise a way to judge the meiotic stage of the egg?

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2. The eggs of some species may survive without being fertilized for extended periods of time. For example, in places where the weather can very arid, followed by rains, the eggs of some species can be fertilized and develop only when water is present. Can you think of some adaptations that eggs from a given species might possess in order to survive for extended periods?

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3. The cortex of eggs of many species changes its physical properties after fertilization, becoming considerably more rigid, so that it resists physical deformation when pressed with a needle. From your knowledge of the ultrastructure and the organization of the cytoplasm, what is the likely molecular change or changes that might be responsible for such changes in the cortex?

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4. It is possible to change the internal pH of cells by adding a dilute base that is able to pass from the medium in which the eggs are suspended through the plasma membrane. Ammonia is one such base. Design an experiment using ammonia to alter intracellular pH in order to evaluate whether pH is a factor in regulating cytoplasmic polyadenylation of mRNA in fertilized eggs.

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5. Compare spermatogenesis and oogenesis.

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6. What are the factors that activate the sperm and the egg during the process of fertilization?

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7. Discuss the effects of treating an egg which has just received a sperm nucleus with microtubule depolymerizing drugs.

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