Using double-barreled, Ca2(+)-sensitive microelectrodes, we have examined the characteristics of the Ca2+ release by inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (Ins(1,4,5)P3) in the various layers of Xenopus laevis eggs in which the organelles had been stratified by centrifugation. Centrifugation of living eggs stratifies the organelles yet retains them in the normal cytoplasmic milieu. The local increase in intracellular free Ca2+ in each layer was directly measured under physiological conditions using theta-tubing, double-barreled, Ca2(+)-sensitive microelectrodes in which one barrel was filled with the Ca2+ sensor and the other was filled with Ins(1,4,5)P3 for microinjection. The two tips of these electrodes were very close to each other (3 microns apart) enabling us to measure the kinetics of both the highly localized intracellular Ca2+ release and its subsequent removal in response to Ins(1,4,5)P3 injection. Upon Ins(1,4,5)P3 injection, the ER-enriched layer exhibited the largest release of Ca2+ in a dosage-dependent manner, whereas the other layers, mitochondria, lipid, and yolk, released 10-fold less Ca2+ in a dosage-independent manner. The removal of released Ca2+ took place within approximately 1 min. The sensitivity to Ins(1,4,5)P3 and the time course of intracellular Ca2+ release in the unstratified (unactivated) egg is nearly identical to that observed in the ER layer of the stratified egg. Our data suggest that the ER is the major organelle of the Ins(1,4,5)P3-sensitive Ca2+ store in the egg of Xenopus laevis.