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The Perivitelline Space and Egg Envelopes of Bony Fishes: A Review

Hans Willer Laale
Copeia
Vol. 1980, No. 2 (May 1, 1980), pp. 210-226
DOI: 10.2307/1443999
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1443999
Page Count: 17
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The Perivitelline Space and Egg Envelopes of Bony Fishes: A Review
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Abstract

The perivitelline space enveloping the eggs of bony fishes prior to hatching is formed as a result of activation and fertilization and involves an egg shrinkage attributable to a fertilization induced cortical discharge of colloidal material as well as an osmotic distension of the egg envelopes. The perivitelline fluid and its containing multilamellar envelopes with their varied specialized patterns and filamentous elaborations provide a number of protective, nutritive, flotative, polyspermy preventive and regulative functions. Fish eggs and embryos, by monitoring the immediate environment, possibly may modify the colloidal composition of the perivitelline fluid and the substructural organization of the egg envelopes in some instances, thus providing an adaptive mechanism for survival in a polluted environment. The review includes a discussion of the problematic issues surrounding membrane origin, structure and nomenclature, suggestions for further research and an extensive bibliography.

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