1. Developing eggs of the sea-urchin Psammechinus miliaris were subjected to carbon monoxide inhibition, which was controlled by changing from green to white light. The behaviour of the eggs was recorded by time-lapse photography.
2. If inhibition is applied before the eggs enter mitosis, their first cleavage is delayed by a time which is roughly equal to the period of the inhibition.
3. If the inhibition is applied when the cells have already entered mitosis, they complete mitosis and cleave with little or no delay, but their second cleavage is delayed by a time which is roughly equal to the period of the inhibition.
4. It is suggested that the necessary energy for the second mitosis and cleavage is being stored up during the first mitosis and cleavage, and that this energy store operates like a reservoir which is continually being filled but siphons out when it is full. Once the energy has siphoned out, it carries mitosis and cleavage through, even though the reservoir is not filling up because of carbon monoxide inhibition.