Sea Urchin Sperm-Egg Interactions Studied with the Scanning Electron Microscope

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Science  16 Feb 1973:
Vol. 179, Issue 4074, pp. 685-688
DOI: 10.1126/science.179.4074.685


Scanning electron microscopy of the outer surface of sea urchin eggs sampled at intervals during the first 3 minutes after insemination reveals the detailed structural changes of the vitelline layer during its transformation into the fertilization membrane. A sperm attachment-detachment sequence is described for the large number of sperm which transitorily bind every egg during fertilization.