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Word Count: 1,562
Exploring the Fertilization of Sea Urchins Reproduction is a major aspect in the life and the continuity of life of every organism that inhabits the world In many cases the process of fertilization is internal however in the case of sea urchins fertilization occurs externally Because fertilization is external it is easier to monitor this process In order for fertilization to occur there are a few steps that take place the eggs recognition of the presence of sperm regulation of the amount of sperm allowed to penetrate the eggs membrane and activation of metabolism prompting cell division Fertilization of sea urchins begins with the release of the eggs and sperm cells The egg then attracts the sperm of the same species because of the peptide attractant in the jelly coat of the egg After the penetration of a single sperm there are two ways in which the egg prevents polyspermy These two ways are a rapid block influx of Na giving off an electrical charge unfavorable to sperm and slow block external Ca released into the space between the vitelline and plasma membranes of the egg When fertilization in the egg occurs the egg then has a rise in its cellular respiration and protein synthesis which is needed when the cell begins to divide This division slowly evolves into a newly formed organism While carrying out each procedure of the experiment and taking into account the many conditions in which fertilization is tested many questions arise These questions may revolve around the conditions that are essential to fertilization The first idea that comes to mind in fertilization of any species is that sperm is needed in order for fertilization to occur But then the thought of water conditions come to mind such as a change in the calcium level of the water which may or may not change the outcome of fertilization If calcium actually does make a difference in fertilization
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