Brachet (1934, 1950) has proposed that the oxidation source for the anaerobic development of the early amphibian embryo is primarily from a pool of materials such as oxidized glutathione. Inasmuch as an investigation of the defective lactate producing ability of hybrid embryos (Barth, 1946) was contemplated, it seemed desirable to reinvestigate the problem of the source of anaerobic oxidations in this embryo. This was particularly necessary since, as will be discussed later, amphibian embryos in normal development may always be partly anaerobic and reasonable alternate interpretations of Brachet's data were possible.

Brachet's findings may be summarized briefly as showing (1) a production of carbon dioxide during anaerobiosis without diminution and indeed with some increase of tissue bicarbonates, and (2) a short burst of heightened oxygen uptake during return to oxygen with an R.Q. of about 0·3–0·5.

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