The ability of ectodermal tissue to be induced to form mesoderm is lost during gastrula stages in Xenopus embryos. We have examined the extent to which this loss of competence depends on intercellular interactions, cell division, or protein synthesis. We find that ectoderm, when separated from a whole embryo as soon as the early blastula stage, and even when dissociated into its component cells, loses its competence at the normal time. When cell division was arrested by culturing isolated cells in solid medium, the time of competence loss was unaffected. To test whether protein synthesis is required for competence loss, ectoderm was treated with cycloheximide during the normal time that competence is lost; in some cases, this treatment had no effect and in others it prolonged competence, but only slightly. We conclude that the loss of mesodermal competence is a highly autonomous process in ectodermal cells, taking place in the absence of cell communication or cell division
To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.