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Related to Vitellogenesis: vitellogenic, Vitellogenin


The process by which yolk is formed in the ooplasm of an oocyte.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



the synthesis and storage of yolk in the developing female sexual cells of animals (oocytes) during oogenesis. Vitellogenesis starts in the relatively late stages of oogenesis, toward the end of which the size of the oocyte can increase tens of thousands of times. The growing oocyte acquires nucleic acids, amino acids, carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, which are used for the synthesis and storage of yolk. Vitellogenesis leads to the formation of a rich egg yolk in those animals whose embryos are incapable of feeding independently. In cases in which the embryo begins at an early stage to actively obtain food (larval development) or can obtain food from the maternal organism, only a small amount of yolk forms in the egg. In most animals the oocytes are surrounded by auxiliary cells—follicle and nutritive cells (trophocytes). In a number of animals (echinoderms, some mollusks and worms) the oocyte develops without the participation of auxiliary cells.

The chemical composition of the yolk varies in different animals. Yolk granules usually consist of proteins (including enzymes), lipoproteins, carbohydrates, and ribonucleic acid. In addition to the yolk granules, the cytoplasm of the oocyte contains drops of oil, which are also yolk inclusions. The degree of participation of the specific cell structures of the oocyte in vitellogenesis depends upon the presence and activity of auxiliary cells, the chemical composition of the yolk, and the amount of yolk in the cell. In many animals the yolk granules are formed in the area of the Golgi apparatus. In some crustaceans the yolk is synthesized and stored in cavities of the endoplasm network. In a number of mollusks and amphibians the crystalline yolk granules are formed inside the mitochondria. In insects, fish, and amphibians the surface of the oocyte has active pinocytosis and pinocytotic bubbles that contain proteins synthesized in other organs of the animal’s body (in the liver, for example) and provide the beginning for part of the yolk granule. In some invertebrates (for example, in a number of worms), special yolk cells develop outside the ovary.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
In the secondary vitellogenesis stage, late vitellin globule oocytes measured 315-321 [micro]m in diameter.
Vitellogenesis (stage II) was observed over two periods, during May-July, with the highest proportion of 4.5% in May, and during November, peaking at 20%.
Janz and van der Kraak (1997) suggested that apoptosis might have an important role in the selection and recruitment of follicles into vitellogenesis in Rainbow trout.
Even though lipids are mainly stored in the hepatopancreas, which is located in the cephalothorax (Vogt et al., 1985; Muriana et al., 1993; Garcia et al., 2002), and proteins are stored in the muscle, which is mostly located in the pleon (Rosa and Nunes, 2003), the present results show for the first time that the lipids and proteins used by females for vitellogenesis come from both body parts.
Moreover, Hacini [19] reported that in mid March to the end of this month, the females of this species have basic previtellogenesis oocytes and vitellogenesis.
In addition the smaller body-mass gain of the females without oviposition most likely suggests that those females stopped vitellogenesis during the experiment.
Hutz, Inhibition of Follicular Development, Vitellogenesis, and Serum 17b- Estradiol Concentrations in Zebrafish Following Chronic, Sublethal Dietary Exposure to 2,3,7,8- Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-Dioxin", Toxicological Sciences, 90(2), 490499(2006)
Vitellogenesis is the production of yolky eggs in oviparous species, and involves transport of gene products from the liver to the ovary where proteins are deposited in the maturing oocytes.
The vitellogenesis takes place from five days old until eleven days old.