Embryology History - John Gurdon

From Embryology
Embryology - 19 Apr 2024    Facebook link Pinterest link Twitter link  Expand to Translate  
Google Translate - select your language from the list shown below (this will open a new external page)

العربية | català | 中文 | 中國傳統的 | français | Deutsche | עִברִית | हिंदी | bahasa Indonesia | italiano | 日本語 | 한국어 | မြန်မာ | Pilipino | Polskie | português | ਪੰਜਾਬੀ ਦੇ | Română | русский | Español | Swahili | Svensk | ไทย | Türkçe | اردو | ייִדיש | Tiếng Việt    These external translations are automated and may not be accurate. (More? About Translations)


John Gurdon (2006) interview

Sir John Gurdon (born 1933) in 1962 used nuclear transplantation and cloning to show that the nucleus of a differentiated somatic cell retains the totipotency necessary to form a whole organism.

Links: Frog Development | Stem Cells | Shinya Yamanaka
Frog Links: Frog Development | 2009 Student Project | 1897 Development of the Frog's Egg | Hans Spemann | Wilhelm Roux | 1921 Early Frog Development | 1951 Rana pipiens Development | Rana pipiens Images | Frog Glossary | John Gurdon | Category:Frog | Animal Development

Some Recent Findings

Xenopus androgenetic haploids, hybrids and cybrids[2]
Frog eggs

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2012 was awarded jointly to Sir John B. Gurdon and Shinya Yamanaka

"for the discovery that mature cells can be reprogrammed to become pluripotent"
  • Deficient induction response in a Xenopus nucleocytoplasmic hybrid[2] "Incompatibilities between the nucleus and the cytoplasm of sufficiently distant species result in developmental arrest of hybrid and nucleocytoplasmic hybrid (cybrid) embryos. Several hypotheses have been proposed to explain their lethality, including problems in embryonic genome activation (EGA) and/or nucleo-mitochondrial interactions. ... Altogether, our study demonstrates that the egg cytoplasm of one species may not support the development promoted by the nucleus of another species, even if this nucleus does not interfere with the cytoplasmic/maternal functions of the egg, while the egg cytoplasm is also capable of activating the genome of that nucleus. Instead, our results provide evidence that inefficient signalling and differences in the concentrations of key proteins between species lead to developmental defects in cybrids. Finally, they show that the incompatibilities of cybrids can be corrected by appropriate treatments."
  • Nuclear actin polymerization is required for transcriptional reprogramming of Oct4 by oocytes[3] "Amphibian oocytes can rapidly and efficiently reprogram the transcription of transplanted somatic nuclei. ...Here, we found that nuclear actin polymerization plays an essential part in the transcriptional reactivation of the pluripotency gene Oct4 (also known as Pou5f1). We also found that an actin signaling protein, Toca-1, enhances Oct4 reactivation by regulating nuclear actin polymerization. Toca-1 overexpression has an effect on the chromatin state of transplanted nuclei, including the enhanced binding of nuclear actin to gene regulatory regions. This is the first report showing that naturally stored actin in an oocyte nucleus helps transcriptional reprogramming in a polymerization-dependent manner."

Recent References | References

Research History

Key Papers

Detached-cell method of transplanting nuclei[4]

Methods of transplanting nuclei from single cultured cells to unfertilized frogs' eggs[4]

"Two methods of transplanting single nuclei from monolayers of cultured cells to unfertilized eggs of Xenopus laevis are described, illustrated, and tested.

The detached-cell method is simpler and quicker to operate and is suitable for homogeneous populations of cells which are easily removed from the substrate on which they are growing. The other, attached-cell, method is technically more elaborate, but is applicable to cells whose properties can be individually determined under the phase-contrast microscope and to cells which are not readily dissociated from other cells or from their substrate."

Genetic content of adult somatic cells tested by nuclear transplantation from cultured cells[5]

"It has yet to be proved that somatic cells of an adult animal possess genes other than those necessary for their own growth and differentiation. A particularly stringent test of the genetic content of the nucleus of a somatic cell is provided by transplanting it to an enucleated egg. The development of the egg tests the capacity of the genes in the transplanted nucleus to elicit normal early development and differentiation. Although this method has been applied to certain cells of embryos, larvae, and newly metamorphosed froglets, it has not been possible, until now, to transfer nuclei successfully from the cells of normal adult animals."

Historic Embryologists

Embryologists: William Hunter | Wilhelm Roux | Caspar Wolff | Wilhelm His | Oscar Hertwig | Julius Kollmann | Hans Spemann | Francis Balfour | Charles Minot | Ambrosius Hubrecht | Charles Bardeen | Franz Keibel | Franklin Mall | Florence Sabin | George Streeter | George Corner | James Hill | Jan Florian | Thomas Bryce | Thomas Morgan | Ernest Frazer | Francisco Orts-Llorca | José Doménech Mateu | Frederic Lewis | Arthur Meyer | Robert Meyer | Erich Blechschmidt | Klaus Hinrichsen | Hideo Nishimura | Arthur Hertig | John Rock | Viktor Hamburger | Mary Lyon | Nicole Le Douarin | Robert Winston | Fabiola Müller | Ronan O'Rahilly | Robert Edwards | John Gurdon | Shinya Yamanaka | Embryology History | Category:People
Related Histology Researchers  
Santiago Ramón y Cajal | Camillo Golgi


  1. <pubmed>19132124</pubmed>
  2. 2.0 2.1 <pubmed>22131902</pubmed>| PLoS Biol. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name 'PMID22131902' defined multiple times with different content
  3. <pubmed>21536734</pubmed>
  4. 4.0 4.1 <pubmed>4923666</pubmed>| Development | PDF
  5. <pubmed>5530658</pubmed>| PDF


<pubmed>16134025</pubmed> <pubmed>15824436</pubmed> <pubmed></pubmed>


<pubmed></pubmed> <pubmed>10761853</pubmed> <pubmed>3308408</pubmed> <pubmed>5531072</pubmed> <pubmed>5967799</pubmed> <pubmed>13903027</pubmed> <pubmed>13726553</pubmed>

Search PubMed

Search PubMed Now: Gurdon+J

External Links

External Links Notice - The dynamic nature of the internet may mean that some of these listed links may no longer function. If the link no longer works search the web with the link text or name. Links to any external commercial sites are provided for information purposes only and should never be considered an endorsement. UNSW Embryology is provided as an educational resource with no clinical information or commercial affiliation.

Glossary Links

Glossary: A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z | Numbers | Symbols | Term Link

Cite this page: Hill, M.A. (2024, April 19) Embryology Embryology History - John Gurdon. Retrieved from https://embryology.med.unsw.edu.au/embryology/index.php/Embryology_History_-_John_Gurdon

What Links Here?
© Dr Mark Hill 2024, UNSW Embryology ISBN: 978 0 7334 2609 4 - UNSW CRICOS Provider Code No. 00098G