The exchange of isotopic water, 2H2O and H2(18)O has been studied in amphibian eggs. The experiments were carried out with ovarian and body cavity eggs of Rana temporaria and unfertilized eggs of Ambystoma mexicanum. The cytoplasmic diffusion coefficient for H2(18)O was found to be 4.6 × 10(−6) cm2/s, somewhat higher than that for 2H2O, 3.4 × 10(−6) cm2/s. The total change in reduced weight, delta RW, during the isotope experiments was compared with the total amount of water in the egg cell, m. The ratio delta RW/m was significantly higher than would be expected from calculations using ordinary water density values. The results are discussed in terms of different phases of structured cell water.
- © 1979 by Company of Biologists