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Polarity in embryogenesis

In the frog Xenopus laevis, a pigment pattern provides the
oocyte with features of a radially symmetrical body with
a distinct polarity. The animal hemisphere is dark brown,
and the vegetal hemisphere is only weakly pigmented.
The axis of symmetry passes through on one side the animal pole, and on the other side the vegetal pole. The two
hemispheres are separated by an unpigmented equatorial
belt. Polarity has a major inuence on the emergence of
the embryonic structures. In fact, the axis polarity serves
as one coordinate of geometrical system in which early
embryogenesis is organised.[4]

1 Naming
The animal pole draws its name from its liveliness relative
to the slowly developing vegetal pole. Hence the vegetal
pole is named for its relative inactivity relative to the animal pole.

2 References
[1] Gilbert SF. Developmental Biology. 6th edition. Sunderland (MA): Sinauer Associates; 2000. Early Amphibian
Development. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.

An oocyte with poles depicted

[2] Wolpert, Lewis; Tickle, Cheryll; Martinez Arias, Alfonso

(2015). Principles of Development (5th ed.). Oxford University Press. p. 149. Retrieved 12 October 2015.

In developmental biology, an embryo is divided into

two hemispheres: the animal pole and the vegetal pole
within a blastula.

[3] Angerer, Lynne M.; Angerer, Robert C. (February 2000).

AnimalVegetal Axis Patterning Mechanisms in the
Early Sea Urchin Embryo. Developmental Biology 218
(1): 112. doi:10.1006/dbio.1999.9553. Retrieved 12
October 2015.

The animal pole consists of small cells that divide rapidly,

in contrast with the vegetal pole below it. In some cases,
the animal pole is thought to dierentiate into the later
embryo itself, forming the three primary germ layers and
participating in gastrulation.

[4] P. Hausen, M. Riebesell: The Early Embryonic Development of Xenopus Laevis - An Atlas of the Histology ISBN

The vegetal pole contains large yolky cells that divide very
slowly, in contrast with the animal pole above it. In some
cases, the vegetal pole is thought to dierentiate into the
extraembryonic membranes that protect and nourish the
developing embryo, such as the placenta in mammals and
the chorion in birds.

3 See also

The development of the animal-vegetal axis occurs prior

to fertilisation.[1] Sperm entry can occur anywhere in
the animal hemisphere.[2] The point of sperm entry denes the dorso-ventral axis - cells opposite the region of
sperm entry will eventually form the dorsal portion of the



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